Last week, we kicked-off our look at 20 of the greatest platformers ever made with such diverse titles as Earthworm Jim, Limbo, and Flashback.
Now, we have five more classics from across the decades to celebrate, paying tribute to 2D and 3D gems alike.
Brace yourselves for gun-toting cyborgs, high-jumping marsupials, and space-age bounty hunters in the second part of our love letter to platform games …
Super Mario World
Of course Super Mario World is on this list.
Viewed by many as one of the best video games ever made, Super Mario World was a massive hit back in the early 90s, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. This 2D platformer introduced Yoshi, one of the series’ most beloved characters, as well as the cape power-up which (unsurprisingly) grants Mario the power of flight.
Super Mario World’s multiplayer option allows two people to tackle the game together, playing as either Mario or Luigi as they battle through one challenging stage after another. Like most Mario games, Super Mario World isn’t easy, but its status as a classic is well deserved.
When gamers look back on the Nintendo 64, Banjo-Kazooie is one of the console’s most fondly-remembered titles.
As with many Nintendo exclusives, the game has a sweet, colourful set-up: players take on the dual role of Banjo, a honey bear, and Kazooie, the pal he carries in his backpack, as they embark on an adventure in a lush world popping with colour. As they progress, Banjo and Kazooie meet a variety of other creatures, collect music notes and jigsaw pieces, and learn new game-changing abilities.
The 3D platforming still works beautifully today, and the two characters’ different skill-sets are a refreshing change to more linear solo-platformers.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
When the PlayStation came along, Crash Bandicoot became one of the console’s most popular 3D platforming stars. While the first two games were well-received, the third was a massive hit and received widespread acclaim.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped revolves around time-travel mechanics, with players controlling Crash and Coco as they go back to the previous game to collect crystals before the original stars can. The game takes place in numerous environments, such as jungles, Egyptian catacombs, race tracks, and more. As in previous instalments, riding-based levels break up the on-foot platforming shenanigans.
The fast-paced platforming in Crash Bandicoot: Warped is as fun as it ever was today, with hours of crate-smashing action on offer. Crash himself is a fun, likeable character, and having sister Coco along for the ride adds a nice new dynamic.
RoboCop VS The Terminator
You might be surprised to see this in the top 20, but RoboCop Vs The Terminator is often sadly overlooked.
Based on the awesome four-issue comic-book miniseries written by the legendary Frank Miller and illustrated by the great Walt Simonson, RoboCop VS The Terminator pits two of cinema’s most iconic cyborgs against each other in a battle across time.
Players take on the role of RoboCop himself, upholding the public trust by blowing drug-dealers apart with a range of high-powered weaponry. As the story unfolds, enemies diversify to include Terminators and other machines from the characters’ respective universes. The game starts in a grim Detroit but soon takes RoboCop through offices, construction sites, and the ravaged future seen in the Terminator movies.
While this was released across multiple platforms, the Genesis version is by far the strongest. The SNES copy is hugely different, with weaker graphics and design, though the story unfolds via nice comic-book sequences.
On the Genesis, this is a fantastic, fast-paced platformer that still offers hours of fun today, boasting dynamic graphics, smooth animations, and a kick-ass soundtrack.
RoboCop VS The Terminator packs a serious challenge, especially on the ‘Killer’ difficulty setting, but the levels are so well-designed and fun to blast through, multiple attempts pose little problem.
Like Super Mario World, Super Metroid is regarded by many as one of the best video games ever created. It’s a bold claim, sure, but nobody can deny the level of respect this influential title has in the hardcore gaming community.
The game’s high difficulty might put some off, but Super Metroid is endlessly replayable despite its punishing challenge. Heroine Samus has an impressive range of movement, able to fire in eight directions (meaning no enemy is out of reach, unlike in some platformers) and use a handy wall-jumping skill to navigate the spacious levels in style.
Part of the game’s fun is in collecting power-ups to boost Samus’ overall bad-assery, with the iconic Morph Ball allowing her to roll through levels instead of running. The ability to activate and deactivate the various skills and weapons adds an extra dimension that many platformers miss, and the three potential endings offer plenty of reason to play again and again.
What are your favourite platformers of all time? Let us know!