Best Xbox One Platformers
(Pocket Ribbon) – There’s real fun in a well-crafted platformer – something games have been taking advantage of since the very early days of home consoles. Now, many years later, brilliant new platformers are still coming out.
The Xbox One is home to many of the very best from the past few years, and we’ve rounded up a selection of real highlights for you to check out here, so keep reading to see if you can find your next great platformer.
If you’re looking for a different game genre, check out our dedicated listings in the table below.
What are the best platform games on Xbox One?
Hollow KnightOri and the Will of the WispsCelesteSpyro Reignited TrilogyShovel KnightInsideDead CellsRayman LegendsSteamworld Dig 2Cuphead
We love Hollow Knight, a game that takes the platform genre back to life, bringing in Metroid and Dark Souls influences. You will explore a huge underground map with different regions, each with its own challenges and boss battles.
The combat is accurate but fair, and the platforming gets involved surprisingly by the game’s conclusion – depending on which of the many endings you actually unlock the first time around. There is so much to discover, and so many delightful touches in a great experience.
Ori and the Will of the Strings
Another hugely celebrated game, the second Ori title is an excellent choice. It smooths out some of the rough edges from the first go, making things more reliable and giving you some nice powers sooner. In addition, the whole thing just looks stunning.
It also tells a delightful, touching story that unfolds without many words, and moves at a really nice pace to ensure you never get bored or wonder what to do next.
Celeste is a platform game with a carefully graded difficulty and lets you attempt to climb a mountain without making sure you can actually do it. You learn that you can do more than you think. If you have a dashboard mechanic very early on, it starts to become apparent that things get complicated.
The game introduces new challenges and techniques with such care and attention that you sometimes stop and realize you are making moves that are more complicated than you thought – it is so good at holding your hand while you learn.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
A loving update to three classic games from a bygone era, Spyro exploded back onto the scene with the Reignited Trilogy, reminding countless gamers why they have such fond memories of the little purple dragon.
You jump, dive and fly around on great maps that are clearly the same as they used to be, except that the details have increased enormously and the art style has been subtly updated to make it indistinguishable from a modern release.
A game that’s modern but looks retro, rather than the other way around, Shovel Knight is a brilliant title that brings the best of old-school platforming to the Xbox One, letting you jump and bounce through a tough but fair campaign.
The Treasure Trove Edition also offers a number of expansion packs with new characters to control, each of which completely changes the way you play the game, so it’s almost a couple of games in one, all extremely charming.
A platformer that doesn’t ask much of you, Inside may be a side-scroller, but it has a heavy story. That doesn’t mean there’s dialogue and exposition, though – it’s more like making your way through a great mime performance.
We don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, so trust us when we say that if you like short stories and a touch of macabre, Inside will probably stay with you long after the mind-blowing ending.
For something a little more action-packed and skill-based, the roguelike Dead Cells should scratch your itch. It is a side-scrolling combat game where you try to defeat a random array of enemies and bosses to escape your captivity.
Each time you pick up new weapons and skills, you learn more about the mechanics you need to understand to get through it all the way. Numerous expansions and patches have made it even better than it was at release.
Another classic game character came to the Xbox One when Rayman Legends came out towards the beginning of the console’s lifespan, and the game has really aged gracefully thanks to its funky art style, which looks really great.
You run, drive and jump through tons of different levels with a cast of fun characters joining you at times, and some really great twists on the key gameplay mechanics that keep things fresh. All we can ask is this – where’s the sequel, Ubisoft?
Steamworld Dig 2
The Steamworld universe is a lot of fun and rewarding, and this mainline sequel is a lot of fun to play through. You dig to the bottom under a frontier town in search of riches and answers, and eventually penetrate much further than that.
By digging through the subsurface you create your own paths and routes, learning them like the back of your hand, which is an experience that not many other games have offered that we can think of.
For those who like a lot of punishment before getting any pleasure, Cuphead is a brilliant treat. It has a cute retro art style that looks incredibly accurate as a cartoon from the early days of movies and cinema.
That’s a facade though – hiding one of the most brutally difficult games released in years. It’s a brutal side-scrolling shooter that will have you pulling your hair out when the bosses drop new moves on you. Trust us, this is one for the hardcore gamers among us.
More about this story
Every game in this list has been tested and played by our team to make sure it’s worth getting included.
We’ve played through their campaigns, put hours into their multiplayer offerings, and carefully compared them to direct competitors to make sure they represent the most satisfying and rewarding options on their platform.
However, with every collection it is not possible to provide a list that will work for every type of user. That’s why we rely on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team – and also thoroughly assess the areas above – to do our best in this regard.
What we always avoid with these guides are unnecessary details – we just want to provide an easy-to-understand summary that gives you an idea of what each game is like to play.
Written by Max Freeman Mills.