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10 Best Platformers on Xbox Series X|S (2024)



Character climbs futuristic structure in Xbox platformer

Platformers date way back to the days of arcades. These were mostly single-screen and 2D side-scrolling games. They've since evolved to 3D and include versatile traversal mechanics like climbing, sliding, grappling, and navigating hostile paths. Furthermore, they cover nearly every genre, from action-adventures to Metroidvanias, so there's something for everyone’s taste. Contrary to popular belief, the Xbox Series X|S has an endless sea of platformers. These pack a heavy potential for a good time solo or with friends. If you enjoy platform games and want to discover hidden gems on the Xbox Series X|S, check out these best platformers on the Xbox Series X|S.

10. Rain World

Rain World - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

First up, in Rain World, you're a slugcat trying to find your family in a world that's full of danger. You need to move through old ruins and avoid scary predators, all while looking for food and a safe place to hide from the deadly rain. This adventure isn't just about staying alive; it's also about exploring and discovering the secrets of a world filled with strange creatures. Every safe spot you find and every bite of food feels like a big win in this challenging world.

The game takes you back to the feel of old 16-bit games, but with a twist. You have to be smart and sneaky to survive because you're not the strongest in this world. There are bigger and meaner creatures out there. Learning how to stay out of sight and use what's around you is key. You have to figure out how everything in this world works together and use it to your advantage.

9. Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition – Available Now!

Alternatively, Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition finds a special place among platforming fans with its rich blend of exploration, combat, and adventure, all set within a mesmerizing hand-drawn world. This edition enriches the base game by integrating all downloadable content, inviting players into the depths of Hallownest—a vast, deteriorating kingdom filled with unique creatures and winding tunnels.

Furthermore, the Voidheart Edition enhances Hollow Knight's allure by adding even more content that deepens the narrative and gameplay. With new areas to discover, formidable bosses to defeat, and fresh abilities to wield, it caters to various playstyles and strategies. The game's captivating atmosphere, underscored by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, perfectly complements the knight's epic quest. So, as a definitive experience for those who cherish depth, challenge, and artistry in their platforming games, this edition remains a genre staple, celebrated for its complexity and beauty.

8. Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana | Launch Trailer

In Planet of Lana, players dive into a visually captivating adventure, following a young girl and her faithful companion. They embark on a mission through a world where the balance of life faces threats, filled with mystery and danger. This puzzle platformer stands out with its companion-based gameplay, where players solve complex puzzles that intertwine with the story. Here, the challenges involve navigating obstacles and striving to preserve the essence of a planet on the brink of disharmony.

Furthermore, Planet of Lana captivates with its beautiful scenes and a deep story that covers centuries and galaxies, yet remains intimate and engaging. Players become part of a fight to maintain the equilibrium of a world where humans, nature, and animals once lived together in peace. The game's mechanics engage players' logic, reflexes, and emotions. Through stealth, wit, and quick reactions, every puzzle solved and action sequence completed draws players deeper into understanding the high stakes of their journey.

7. Unravel Two

Unravel Two: Official Reveal Trailer | EA Play 2018

Unravel Two is a heartwarming adventure that brings players together. It builds on the first game by adding a friend for your Yarny, letting two players solve puzzles and explore as a team. This teamwork turns the game into something special, making every challenge a shared adventure. It is not just about getting through the game; it's about the connections you make along the way.

The game takes you through beautiful places, each with its own story. You'll wander through bright forests and dark factories, with every scene painted perfectly to fit the mood. The mix of lovely graphics, touching music, and puzzles that need two to solve makes Unravel Two stand out. Overall, it's a game that feels like a journey with a friend, making it a memorable pick for Xbox Series X/S players looking for platforming games.

6. Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana | Launch Trailer

In Planet of Lana, you step into a world that looks like it's been painted by hand, filled with colors and mysteries. It’s about exploring an alien place with your friendly alien pet. Together, you’ll solve puzzles that make you think and look at things differently. The game is special because it tells a deep story without using any words. The beautiful scenes and the bond you form with your alien buddy make every challenge worth it.

Additionally, playing Planet of Lana feels like being inside a peaceful yet exciting adventure. The game mixes calm moments with brain-teasing puzzles, all wrapped up in stunning scenes that could be paintings. You get to feel a mix of emotions, from excitement to just enjoying the quiet moments. As you move forward, you uncover the planet's secrets, driven by the connection you’ve built with your companion.

5. It Takes Two

It Takes Two Official Reveal Trailer

You’ll need a friend or even a relative to play It Takes Two. Trust me, it’ll be a friendship ride you’ll never forget. Players take on the roles of Maya and Cody, who’ve been teleported into their daughters dolls. They were having issues in their marriage and considering a divorce. Now, they must work together to find their way back to their bodies. 

Aside from the obviously oversized objects around them, It Takes Two is filled to the brim with magical wonders. They start to solve puzzles, which pack an incredible amount of wild ideas. Like working together to connect the dots on a map using a giant pencil. Or, co-piloting a plane while wearing underpants. Or, having Cody grow into a massive flower to help Maya traverse across him.

There’s no shortage of these types of ideas, some of which will have you laughing until your ribs get tired. Furthermore, Maya and Cody regularly run into a talking book called the Book of Love, which sends them off on new adventures and grants them mindless powers. Dr. Hakeem’s hope for the talking book is for Maya and Cody to rekindle their love for one another. And they sure do in what quickly becomes the wildest adventure of their lives.

4. Celeste

Celeste - Launch Trailer | PS4

Alternatively, you can try Celeste, a side-scrolling game about climbing a mountain. There’s a twist, though. Your character, Madeleine, suffers from anxiety and depression. She questions herself about whether she’ll be able to reach the top of the mountain. However, she still forges on, infusing a story about fighting inner demons and surviving a tough feat of journeying to the top of Celeste Mountain.

Unsurprisingly, the game packs a lot of rewarding moments, far more than any platformers released in recent memory. It has the cutest sound track that perfectly nails the lore of the game. The controls don’t lag behind either, with the developers nailing a tight, precise, and responsive system. This is great because the journey to the mountain is filled with all sorts of hazards, and any wrong move will cause Madeleine to respawn.

Madeleine runs, jumps, dashes, and climbs over and above brilliant art and animation. The level design also changes progressively, thus making it feel like an actual uphill climb that grows tougher by the day. In the end, Celeste comes pretty close to climbing an actual mountain, which seals off the beauty of it all.

3. Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 Launch Trailer

Psychonauts threw the ball out of the park, quickly rising through the ranks to become one of the most memorable platformers ever. Then, the developers treated us to a devastating hiatus, before releasing Psychonauts 2 a decade and a half later. No fret, though. The long wait pays off, so we needn’t complain.

Psychonauts 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. It keeps everything that worked well while refining the graphics and gameplay to match modern standards. Players control Razputin “Raz” Aquato, a 10 year old runaway boy whose mind blows you away. He’s joined an international psychic espionage organization as an intern and embarks on quirky missions to solve mysterious conspiracies.

Right off the bat, Psychonauts 2 proves to be everything I’d hoped for and more. If you’re a newcomer, you have the chance to catch up in a quick animated cutscene. Then, the story picks up in an excellent fashion that feels delightful to witness and is pretty well-written. But if you’d like something a little different, check out Trials Fusion.

2. Trials Fusion

Trials Fusion - Launch Trailer

Racing platform lovers will enjoy playing Trials Fusion, a simple yet addictive futuristic post-apocalyptic bike racer. You’ll use your skills to traverse all manner of ramps and obstacle filled courses. From the start, you’re treated to a catchy tune that immediately immerses you into its world of goofiness and tough-as-nails racing.

You might crash a tad too many times. But it’s the trial and error that brings out the joy of trying all the tricks that come to mind. And when you achieve victory, it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face as you proceed to more ecstatic scenarios.

1. Sonic Frontiers

Sonic Frontiers - Story Trailer

Sonic is no stranger to platforming. In fact, it was quite hard to pick which Sonic platformer takes the win here before settling on Sonic Frontiers. Embark on a high-speed adventure playing as the fastest blue hedgehog in town. This time, he searches for the missing Chaos emeralds, which leads him to get stranded on an ancient island.

This genre-bending entry infuses action, adventure, and mystery into one. It merges several worlds into five massive open-world islands where you’re free to experience Sonic’s high-speed velocity. The world is brimming with natural intensity and hidden secrets. You’ll make friends with strange creatures. Others aren’t as friendly, though, instead launching attacks with hordes of powerful creatures against you.

Sonic Frontiers introduces all-new high-speed freedom and cyber-powered combat to the franchise. It uses an in-depth battle system and skill tree to create diverse strategies and launch attacks on mysterious foes. Will you save your friends and the people in Starfall Islands from the impending, colossal robotic threat?

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our best platformers on Xbox Series X|S? Are there more platformers on Xbox Series X|S we should know about? Let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.

Amar is a gaming aficionado and freelance content writer. As an experienced gaming content writer, he's always up-to-date with the latest gaming industry trends. When he's not busy crafting compelling gaming articles, you can find him dominating the virtual world as a seasoned gamer.