The best platform games of 2020 for PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox

Fans of jumping and platforms are in luck, 2D and 3D have been reborn and have given us some of the best games of the year.

That nougat that was left over from last year and now returns to the tray. (The harder the better, someone says). That brother-in-law someone. The Cachitos special for New Year’s Eve. Her Majesty’s NO-DO speech. The congratulations of WhatsApp with a joke included. The debate about Pedroche’s dress. Yes, there is definitely something old about Christmas. It is part of his grace. Wherever you look, everything speaks of the past and it ends up being difficult not to take a look in the rearview mirror and succumb to the same thing. Because it is a time designed to remember and do the math, even if only with the intention of showing that we have been good “children” in the letter to the Three Kings. In FreeGameTips, on the way to GOTY 2020, we have not resisted seeing what the last twelve months have given of themselves in terms of video games. These days we review, genre by genre, what have been the greatest joys of the industry during this course, as well as the most vibrant moments that we have recently experienced at the controls. And if we open our mouths with the best adventure games of 2020, today it is the turn of the best platform games. A genre that, far from paling and being in danger of extinction, as happened a few years ago, currently enjoys very good health and there is even talk of the resurgence of 3D platforms. But be it in three or two dimensions, this year there have been leaps for all tastes, and on top of that they have been quality leaps. Here are our favorites and a list with the most representative of the year.

5. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

  • Developer: Sumo Digital
  • Release Date: Nov 12, 2020
  • Platforms: PS4 and PS5
  • FreeGameTips Reviews. Grade: 8

It has been one of the surprises in the PlayStation 5 launch catalog. The sackboys, those adorable esparto dolls that look like a zipper with legs, have grown older and have become independent from the saga that saw them born, LittleBigPlanet, and from their acclaimed progenitors, the guys from Media Molecule (whose pampering and attention now monopolizes Dreams). And once they are independent, it is as if they have gone to college. They have gotten a new roommate, Sumo Digital (the developer behind Crackdown 3 and Team Sonic Racing, among others), and are doing their doctorate with her in the history of platforms in three dimensions. His final thesis is joint, it is called Sackboy: An adventure in a big way and it is a remarkable work that transports us to the past, to that time when plumbers, hedgehogs and marsupials were used to brand new consoles and were the pets and stars of different companies . Except for her charisma, forget how much you experienced at LittleBigPlanet alongside those young, first-time sackboys. His new proposal is completely different and offers a much more precise, agile and satisfactory platform. They have abandoned 2D and the “play, create and share” formula, of which they were their first champions. Now they go for a much more classic approach, for a title of all the life that lasts around 10 hours and is full of jumps, cartwheels, punches and grabs. An adventure that enjoys fast, intuitive and graceful control, as well as a waste of imagination and creativity that is not only reflected in its design of scenarios, but also when it comes to presenting new types of enemies, platforms and mechanics, something which he does at a good pace and frequently. The (temporary) absence of online multiplayer, of a little more depth and difficulty, or the lack of a greater technical deployment, are the only reasons that separate you from the elite. Apart from them, and as we said in his Reviews, Sackboy: An adventure in a big way is a round platform. It is valid both for the smallest of the house and for those more experienced in the genre; It’s just as nice to look at as it is to play, and it’s perfect, whether it’s to say goodbye to PS4 or to welcome PS5. Available on Amazon and Eneba

4. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

  • Developer: Toys for Bob
  • Release Date: October 2, 2020
  • Platforms: PS4 and Xbox One
  • FreeGameTips Reviews. Score: 8.3

More than twenty years after the original trilogy (twenty!), Crash Bandicoot has finally received a fourth numbered installment, and to everyone’s joy, it is a fourth installment to match. Gone are the dark times of Fight of the Titans or Twinsanity. It has cost him, but Activision has ended up finding its own Cinderella, Toys for Bob, the first developer to whom Naughty Dog’s shoes are not too big. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time wants us to make a clean slate. May we forget all the platform troubles of the marsupial in these last two decades and resume our love affair with him where we left off. The game offers no mercy or Cortex’s Revenge, one of the few salvageable sequels, and is set right after the events of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. From them, Toys for Bob has created a new adventure that perfectly captures the essence of Crash Bandicoot. It looks, plays and feels like one. It’s a splendid collection of impossible jumps and devilish difficulty, with exquisite control and a very clever phase design. Not to mention the quantity and variety of its content. Generous in levels, unlocking all the gems and collecting all the fruit is a real challenge, to which we must add, if we are left wanting more, a time trial mode, another multiplayer and the jewel in the crown, the new inverted mode. Hours and hours of content that have allowed its creators not to settle for replicating the original formula, but also to implement their own ideas and contributions to the genre, as is the case with the new playable characters, or the so-called “quantum masks”. Although brave, not all the additions shine equally, being their ups and downs the only thing that we have been able to reproach the marsupial this time. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time contains some of the best platformer levels of recent years and is without a doubt a must-have for fans of the genre and character. Available on Amazon, Kinguin and Eneba

3. Astro’s PlayRoom

  • Developer: Team ASOBI!
  • Release Date: Nov 19, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5
  • FreeGameTips Reviews. Score: 8.5

If you are among the lucky ones who have managed to get hold of a PS5 in these first months of speculation and limited stock, you surely understand why Astro’s PlayRoom has to be on this list. It’s not just that it deserves to be, it’s that it HAS to be. Because it is time to put Team ASOBI! where it deserves. That is to say, at the top. This is the same studio that Astro Bot: Rescue Mission gave us in 2018, a game that was not only among the best of the year, but also immediately became one of the best platforms of the generation and the leader and custodian of virtual reality, at least until the arrival of Half-Life-Alyx. With such a predecessor, it is curious that Astro’s PlayRoom has come under the radar and practically without appearing in all those surveys in recent months about what game we were going to release PS5 with. To this day it has become clear. Neither Demon’s Souls Remake, nor Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Astro’s PlayRoom is the best way to launch the new generation. It comes standard installed on all PS5s, and perhaps that was the “free” label that made us not pay too much attention to it, undervaluing it. Having no need to sell it, Sony has not made any marketing effort with it either, presenting it as little more than a demonstration of the virtues of Dualsense, the platform’s revolutionary command. So we take it as such, as a demo, an experiment, a minor product. How wrong we were! It is a short and simple platform, yes, but impeccable. In fact, it goes further, Astro’s PlayRoom is much more than a platform and will appeal even to those outside the genre, because it is also a love letter to PlayStation, a continuous succession of winks and tributes to the most iconic characters and games in history Of the brand. An injection of nostalgia, an invitation to fans to dust off Sony’s family photo album. All this seasoned with a good dose of jumps and time trials (here “races”), as addictive and challenging as the best. If before we talked about Crash (the first “PlayStation pet”) and Sackboy (who resurrected the term on PS3), we can only surrender to the charisma of Astro and his crew, who are called to be his heirs. Watch out for Team ASOBI! over the next few years. His talent cannot take us by surprise again.

2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

  • Developer: Moon Studios
  • Release Date: March 11, 2020
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch; optimized for Xbox Series X / S
  • FreeGameTips Reviews. Score: 9.2

It is not easy to come out of nowhere and surprise, as can be the cases of Astro’s PlayRoom and Sackboy: An adventure in a big way. Nor is it easy about Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, which had to overcome doubts and convince everyone that this time yes, that this time his new adventure was worthy of the character. But there is something even more complicated than all those situations. We mean living up to crazy expectations, overcoming a yardstick that people, after seeing your previous work, have set it sky high. That is to say, survive the pressure and self-demand, or stay in time and confirm itself as something more than a one-hit wonder. And that is precisely what Moon Studios has achieved with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The developer was facing her own ghost, one of those that seem unattainable. Back in March 2015, when the first Ori came out, called Ori and the Blind Forest, there was only one Xbox One game with more note in Metacritic: Grand Theft Auto V. More than five years later, Ori and the Blind Forest is still among the top thirty of the console and has only been surpassed by two exclusives: Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Horizon 4. The title was considered one of the great banners of 2D platforms and for many it is one of the most beautiful games that is have seen this last decade. But the thing had special merit, because the playability of that Ori managed to stand out even more than its artistic section. It had the soul of metroidvania, a wide variety of situations and mechanics, rhythm, multiple puzzles and of course it had impeccable control. Not to mention the complexity and difficulty that it reached, as delicious as it was frustrating. That’s the ghost Ori and the Will of the Wisps had to beat. Sorry, the ghost you beat. And talking about its virtues only enhances those of this splendid sequel, which once again contradicts the saying that second parts were never good. This is one of the best platform adventures of the generation, one of those games that you enjoy from start to finish. It is once again overwhelming at the audiovisual level and outstanding in the playable, where it is reinvented with a new combat system and even more skills and resources than the original. In short, a magical title. The new “ghost”, brilliant and at the same time terrifying, that from now on all 2D platforms will haunt. Available on Amazon, Kinguin and Eneba

1. Spelunky 2

  • Developer: Mossmouth
  • Release Date: September 15, 2020
  • Platforms: PC and PS4 (for Nintendo Switch due out in 2021)
  • FreeGameTips Reviews. Score: 9.5

Crown this list one of those titles that leave scars (some in the hands and others in pride). We are talking about Spelunky 2, a true masterpiece that hides behind a childish facade what is undoubtedly “the most hardcore game of the decade”. A brutal and ruthless 2D platform, in which every time we die (something that will happen a lot and very often) we lose everything we had achieved, we must start over from the beginning and above facing completely different levels, because their dungeons are they generate prodecurally and punish every mistake. That is why it is not a game for everyone. It requires a lot of patience, but it is a challenge worth facing at least once in your life. Because while being insanely difficult, Spelunky 2 is also highly addictive and its exploration and sense of progress and personal improvement is unique. It is satisfactory like few others. To begin with because we will always accept our deaths as fair and we will learn from the experience they leave, avoiding repeating mistakes and gradually understanding the visual language of the title. In that sense, Spelunky’s great victory is having created his own code, his own language, and the more we play, the more we understand it and the more we can recognize the threats before they appear. It is a form of communication that can only be achieved by video games, and when it occurs, it alone explains why we like this medium so much. As if that were not enough, the title is full of secrets, possibilities and details. It has content to bore, with several fantastic multiplayer modes, and can last for tens and tens of hours. And although he has shots and roguelike form, his soul is jumps. Millimeter platform sections, sometimes pure reflexes and intuition, with a good number of related abilities and objects (double jump, jet pack, etc.). It is difficult to do justice to so many benefits as it has, so do yourself a favor and discover them first hand by including the Three Kings on your list. Available at Kinguin

They have stayed at the gates …

We’ve picked what we think are the top five platformer games of 2020, but this year has brought us a lot more experiences. Without going too far, one of the great kings of the genre, Super Mario, has celebrated his 35th anniversary with Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. 35, a compilation of his best 3D adventures and his own battle royale, respectively . Two proposals whose quality is more than contrasted, but that seem somewhat vague and lazy for what the plumber deserved, which is why he has not given them to enter this top 5. Another title that would also have aspired to enter, but that in the end it has been left out, it is Super Meat Boy Forever, but in his case only because it comes out after the conception of this list (and specifically on December 23). We hope to see you next year. And to culminate the demonstration of resugir of the platforms in 3D, we find ourselves in the obligation to mention the heir of the MediEvil formula, the modest and still very nice Pumpkin Jack, who is made by a single person and manages to nail the essence of the games of yesteryear. Similarly, other names worth mentioning would be for example those of Horace, New Super Lucky’s Tale or Shantae and the Seven Sirens, but while they have seen the light on many new platforms during 2020, in reality all of them were released in 2019. Although if you have not yet given them a chance and you are more hungry for jumps, they are still very interesting options. Finally there would be that kind of limbo in which the platforms are blurred. Games in which even being present, they lose importance before the puzzles (The Pedestrian) or the action (Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, Huntdown, Wallachia: Reign of Dracula). Without a doubt, the genre has been on a roll over the past twelve months. Hopefully it lasts. Long live the platforms.

Super Mario 35th anniversary
Mario has been left out of our top despite celebrating his anniversary with two new installments: Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. 35.

About author

Chris Watson is a gaming expert and writer. He has loved video games since childhood and has been writing about them for over 15 years. Chris has worked for major gaming magazines where he reviewed new games and wrote strategy guides. He started his own gaming website to share insider tips and in-depth commentary about his favorite games. When he's not gaming or writing, Chris enjoys travel and hiking. His passion is helping other gamers master new games.

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