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The 5 Best Platformer Game Series To Grace Our Beloved Consoles | LRM’s Top 5

The Platformer Game is a staple of video games and can be found across nearly every console ever made. Platformers are best described as action-y games that use platforms to help the player-controlled character traverse the levels. Classically 2D, the genre successfully made the transition to 3D on systems like the N64 with Mario 64 and the PlayStation with Crash Bandicoot.

This genre has given gamers some of the most recognizable characters in the industry, spawned advertising wars, and even found their way into racing and fighting games. Let’s get ready to argue in the comments and take a look at the best platformer franchises in existence. Let me make it clear that I know every franchise has had its bad eggs, I am basing this list one the best each series has to offer. You know, ignoring that which Kyle no-likey.

Number 5: Spyro The Dragon

Platformer Game Spyro

Spyro came into our homes on the original PlayStation in 1998 and ignited our imaginations. If you got the joke there, you’re welcome! The original game helped pave the way for platformers to plant their feet squarely in the 3D realm and the property would not only spawn sequels but also kick off the toy-to-game craze with Skylanders.

Controlling Spyro and his attacks (mostly fire and ramming) is a lot of fun and despite Spyro not being able to fly, the gliding function works great for getting around and solving puzzles. Spyro’s world is filled with quirky characters, humor, and incredibly colorful worlds to explore. I can fondly remember spending hours playing the original in my room into the early morning hours. It was varied enough that it never really seemed to get boring.

The little purple dragon’s origins were introduced to the latest generation of gamers with its first three games getting the remake treatment on the current generation of consoles back in the fall of 2018. Well, Switch users had to wait almost a year for the port to hit the hybrid console/handheld. With new fans coming into the fold, and Skylanders basically done, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spyro hit the next generation of consoles in the future.

Number 4: Ratchet and Clank

Platformer Game Ratchet And Clank

I love this game series. It masterfully blends the platforming and action-adventure genres with great mechanics and wonderful humor. If Spyro helped plant the genre’s feet in the 3D realm, Ratchet and his robot buddy perfected it. Hitting shelves in 2002 on the beloved PlayStation 2, we entered a world with a corrupt government, a false hero, a wisecracking Lombax, and a very dryly funny robot.

The original Ratchet and Clank offered melee combat via Ratchet’s wrench and ranged combat through various destructive and unique weapons. Like most platformers, there’s a certain amount of puzzle-solving that went along with the game. Clank, the green-eyed robot, helps Ratchet with long and high jumps and gliding action. He is also used to go into smaller areas and crawl spaces to help Ratchet clear the level.

This is a Sony exclusive series and has seen games released on every PlayStation system including the two handheld consoles. The series spawned a failure of a movie, which sucks because the series offers great action and humor, and will be getting a brand new game on the upcoming PlayStation 5. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart does not have a release date but footage was shown during the PS5 reveal event online and will feature a multi-verse element to up the ante on our heroes.

Number 3: Mega Man (X)

Platformer Game Mega Man

Oh, the blue bomber, how I… well I have mixed feelings about you. The original Mega Man games were difficult due to the precise jumping required, instant death spikes, and annoying restart points after death. That doesn’t make the games bad, but when the series moved onto the Mega Man X, I had so much more fun.

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The original games allowed Mega Man to get the weapons of his fallen enemies and eventually gave him a robot dog to help out too. X not only got to take the weapons of the baddies, but he also was able to charge up his blaster and upgrade his armor and move set. The X series also allowed players to take control of the fan-favorite character Zero. 

The original numbered series had ended with Mega Man 8 in 1998 on the PlayStation but went on to spawn  Mega Man 9, 10, and 11. The X series was left with a cliffhanger at the end of Mega Man X 8 on the PlayStation 2 in 2004. With the three classic style new releases and the success of the Legacy Collections, it’s prime time that we get a sequel and potentially end X and Zero’s story.

Number 2: Sonic the Hedgehog

Platformer Game Sonic

Sega may not exist as a console company anymore, but their time in the game gave us this game… series. Sonic the Hedgehog helped Sega find a mascot and compete with Nintendo, especially in the North American market. Sonic brought an attitude to the platformer series with his cocky animations. This included him tapping his foot and laying down if the player doesn’t move the character for a period of time. Speed also added to Sonic’s uniqueness from the Mario Bros. over at Nintendo. 

Sonic’s adventures sprawled out across every Sega system before his exclusivity died with the Sega Dreamcast. Sonic is now available in classic 2D adventures and 3D games across all platforms. Sonic’s classic move set for defeating enemies included jumping on them and a type of ramming in a ball form at high speed.

One of the other things that set Sonic apart from other platformers was his every expanding supporting cast. Tails the twin-tailed fox and Knuckles the echidna are two fan favorites. Sonic has had a couple of cartoons, a constant stream of comics, and saw the release of a feature film earlier this year. What the future holds for the character remains to be seen.

Number 1: Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros

Was there any doubt as to the top dog of the platformer genre? Mario and his brother Luigi have been jumping on stationary, horizontal moving, and vertical moving platforms since the 80s. The original Super Mario Bros. helped save the gaming industry along with the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. There was something so satisfying about squashing Goombas and throwing Koopa Troopa shells around.

There would be three games on the original NES before the series evolved on the Super Nintendo. Mario and Luigi have seen plenty of adventures together as well as spin-offs and separate stories. The property has seen games released on every Nintendo system ever released, including the Virtual Boy.

The property went 3D with Mario 64 on the N64. It then returned to classic 2D play with New Super Mario Bros. There have been countless weapons, usually coming with a costume change, to help the heroes beat back Bowser’s army, but jumping on things is still the go to move for the plumbers and their supporting cast.

Conclusion:

Platformers are awesome. What else needs to be said? They appeal to casual and die-hard gamers alike and offer us brilliant worlds to escape reality with. Of course, some of you are going to ask where is Kirby or Metroid and to that, I say… tell us what’s on your list and why in the comments below!

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