A Hat in Time
A Hat in Time is a 3D platformer developed by Gears for Breakfast and was made to bring back the joy of classic mascot platformers of the past such as Psychonauts, Super Mario 64, and Banjo-Kazooie.
Similar to those games that I mentioned, A Hat in Time features that collect-a-ton element that’s been missing in recent years. Throughout every stage, there are badges, cosmetic items, and pieces of yarn to find, always giving the player something to do.
If you’re looking for a solid platformer with tons of nostalgia and a game to just make you smile from ear to ear, then A Hat in Time is definitely worth checking out.
Sly Cooper Series
Sly Cooper and his gang of fellow thieves were first introduced to us on the PlayStation 2 and has since been on a few other platforms.
Along with Murray and Bentley, Sly aims to become a master thief like the rest of his family. Throughout the series of games, you use stealth to attack enemies, sneak around to avoid alarms/lasers, and collect bottles to unlock new skills for Sly’s crew.
The cast of characters in the Sly Cooper games have always been highly comical and they all actually go through some life-changing moments that make them relatable in a lot of ways.
Mix the interesting story with the excellent platforming that Sly Cooper offers and you got yourself a fantastic series of 3D platformers.
Jak and Daxter
With each Jak and Daxter sequel, Naughty Dog managed to up the ante every time. Jak and Daxter’s memorable and epic adventures stand the test of time when it comes to awesome platforming action.
The characters, high-octane moment to moment gameplay, and innovative mechanics made Jak and Daxter the action-adventure platformer that nobody could stand next to.
Back in the early 2000s, where else could you find one game with platforming, racing, puzzle-solving, action, and a furry comrade? Nowhere.
Ratchet and Clank
The Ratchet and Clank series has always been known for its comedic writing, outstanding use of interesting weapons and gadgets, and going through environments and defeating enemies.
Ratchet and Clank starts you off slow at the beginning of the game with a few weapons to use here and there, but the further you advance, the more access you have to additional gadgets and super-cool weapons.
That feeling of progression in these games always felt really good and played very well. Platformers can sometimes be plagued with terrible camera controls and/or crappy movement, but Ratchet and Clank nails all of that.
Psychonauts throws the player into the shoes of Raz, a boy who finds himself in a summer camp with a ton of students who are all gifted with a special ability, just like Raz.
In the summer camp, Raz discovers something fishy going on and, of course, it’s up to him and the other students to solve the mystery surrounding them all.
Using Raz’s psychic abilities to go inside the minds of other characters, you have to complete platforming segments in order to receive their aid. He also uses his super special powers to help solve puzzles and defeat enemies.
With the sequel planned to release this year from Double Fine, there’s no better time to jump on the Psychonauts train.
Since Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64 released around the same time, there was always arguments as to which 3D platformer was the best.
Mario 64 was polygonal and a bit ugly for the time, but Banjo-Kazooie, on the other hand, had a much-updated look and was actually praised for being a bit bigger than Super Mario 64, including collectibles all over the nine worlds.
Banjo-Kazooie was the definition of a collect-a-thon type of game, with the player having to spend dozens of hours to find and unlock every single thing.
While it’s not in the same conversation as Mario right now in 2019, Banjo-Kazooie still goes down as one of the best platformers on the Nintendo 64.
Sonic Adventure 2
The Sonic Adventure series did so much when it first released on the Sega Dreamcast; being able to play as six different Sonic characters in an awesome adventure game such as this was monumental.
Sonic Adventure 2 kept the energy going with a variety of stages, characters, and gameplay mechanics. One minute, you are riding down a San Francisco-like hill on a snowboard as Sonic, and then the next minute you’re controlling Eggman in a facility, blowing everything up using lasers and bombs.
Sonic Adventure 2’s use of cutscenes, dialogue, and setpieces makes it one of the most cinematic Sonic experiences you can find.
For the past 20 years or so that Ape Escape has existed in our lives, I always hoped that the ape-catching series would make a comeback in a big way on PlayStation 4.
It was always very enjoyable and satisfying to run around 3D environments and attempt to catch the monkeys any way that I could. Using your net, stealth, and whatever else you had at your disposal, every level tasked you with trapping a select number of monkey’s in your net.
It was awesome because each ape was different from the rest, usually donning some sort of accessory for you to be able to tell them apart from one another.
The Crash Bandicoot series is probably one of the hardest platformers out there today, requiring the player to pull off some expert platforming skills if they want to fully complete the game.
The Crash Bandicoot remastered trilogy releasing last year just reminded us just how much fun playing Crash was, and just how difficult it managed to be.
Attempting to complete any of those time trials was nearly impossible for myself to conquer, even as a fully-grown adult. Crash Bandicoot remains one of the best OG PlayStation exclusives. Of course, now, you can play Crash on Switch, Xbox One, and even PC.
Spyro, the magical flying purple dragon is one to be remembered as one of PlayStation’s flagship mascot platformers back in the day, next to Crash Bandicoot.
Spyro can breathe flames out of his mouth, fly (more like glide), and charge towards enemies like a battering ram. Using the help of his dragonfly buddy, Sparx, Spyro must find hidden Dragons, gems, eggs, and other kinds of mythical dragon-related collectibles.
Since the Spyro Reignited Trilogy released last year, check out the collection of classic Spyro games and see if this series of platformers is for you.