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5 Best Platforming Games on Xbox Game Pass (June 2024)

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Whimsical world in platforming game on Xbox Game Pass

When it comes to video games, some of the most fun and memorable moments come from platformer games. Remember dodging barrels in Donkey Kong, or zipping through the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario? Well, platformers are still packing a punch, bringing us heaps of fun on modern consoles like the Xbox. Let's dive in and see the five best platforming games on Xbox Game Pass that are keeping the flag flying high for the genre.

10. The Gunk

The Gunk - Launch Trailer

The Gunk immerses you in the role of Rani, a gritty space hauler exploring a planet teeming with life and secrets. The journey begins with Rani and her partner, Becks, landing on this untouched world in search of valuable resources. However, they quickly discover that the planet is plagued by a toxic gunk parasite. Using her trusty Power Glove, Rani must clear the corruption to reveal the planet’s hidden beauty and unearth the secrets of a shattered civilization.

The game challenges players to use their quick reactions and problem-solving skills to overcome various obstacles. As Rani, you battle the curse of the gunk, which requires both strategy and ingenuity. The evolving relationship between Rani and Becks adds a rich narrative layer to the game. Their tight radio contact throughout the adventure provides context and depth to the story. Also, the game's writing, coupled with Fiona Nova's stellar voice performance as Rani, brings the characters to life and keeps players emotionally invested.

In addition to its engaging story, The Gunk features a unique system of corruption and regrowth. Players can restore nature by eradicating the gunk, which transforms the environment and unlocks new areas to explore. And the explorative atmosphere is conveyed through an evocative art style and soothing music.

9. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps - E3 2017 - 4K Teaser Trailer

Ori and the Will of the Wisps isn't just a game; it is an emotional journey that immerses players in a touching narrative. At its core, the game follows Ori, a guardian spirit, on a quest to help a young owl named Ku. Along the way, players experience themes of friendship, sacrifice, and hope, which are beautifully woven into the storyline.

Moreover, the game offers a seamless blend of platforming and combat. Ori gains various abilities and skills throughout the game, which are essential for battling enemies and overcoming obstacles. The combat system is dynamic and fluid, which allows Ori to use different weapons and techniques to defeat a wide range of foes. Boss battles, in particular, stand out due to their intensity and the strategic thinking required to triumph. These features create a gameplay experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

Additionally, the game’s design encourages players to engage with the world in meaningful ways. Various quests and side missions offer opportunities to explore Ori's world more deeply and uncover hidden secrets. Furthermore, the game’s pacing keeps players engaged, with a perfect blend of action, puzzle-solving, and story moments. These elements together make Ori and the Will of the Wisps an unforgettable platforming adventure on Xbox Game Pass.

8. INSIDE

Inside Xbox One E3 2014 Trailer

INSIDE is a dark and atmospheric platformer where you control a young boy who finds himself in a world filled with danger and mystery. The game starts with the boy running through a forest, immediately drawing players into a tense and gripping journey. The gameplay here is centered around solving puzzles and avoiding threats. The puzzles are cleverly designed and often involve manipulating the environment to progress. The game’s controls are simple, but the puzzles themselves can be quite challenging, so players have to think carefully about their actions.

The world of INSIDE is meticulously crafted to create an eerie atmosphere. While the visual style is minimalist, the details are profound, enhancing the sense of foreboding that permeates the game. This is complemented by a haunting soundtrack and sound design that further immerses players in the unsettling environment. The story is told without dialogue, relying on the environment and actions of the boy to convey the narrative, which is open to interpretation and deeply engaging. Here, players will find themselves constantly on edge, with many surprising and memorable moments throughout the game.

7. Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana | Launch Trailer

Planet of Lana is an engaging adventure that takes players on an epic rescue mission. You guide Lana and her companion through a colorful world brimming with both beauty and danger. The story is set against a backdrop of a once harmonious planet now threatened by a cold, faceless army. However, the narrative focuses on the journey to restore balance rather than on the conflict itself. This companion-based gameplay allows you to solve puzzles by leveraging the unique abilities of both Lana and Mui, who must work together to navigate the challenges they face.

Moreover, the game’s puzzles are diverse and creatively designed, offering quirky twists that keep the experience fresh and engaging. Players will need to carefully navigate through dangerous situations using stealth and wit, avoiding the cold machines and unfamiliar creatures that now inhabit their world. Additionally, action sequences test your reflexes. Throughout this journey, you uncover an epic story that will reveal the history of Lana's world.

6. Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2- Official Story Trailer

Psychonauts 2 is a fun and exciting platform-adventure game full of quirky missions and mysterious conspiracies. You play as Razputin “Raz” Aquato, a young psychic and skilled acrobat who joins the elite psychic spies, the Psychonauts. But things aren’t perfect in the Psychonauts. Their leader is acting strange since his rescue from a kidnapping, and there’s a mole in their headquarters. The game mixes danger, excitement, and humor, taking you on a thrilling journey through the minds of various characters to defeat a dangerous psychic villain.

In this game, you explore unique environments inside people’s minds, battling inner demons, unlocking hidden memories, and resolving emotional baggage. The platforming challenges you with acrobatic leaps, tightrope walks, and trapeze swings. Raz also has powerful psychic abilities like blasting, burning, levitating objects, and slowing down time to solve puzzles and fight strange enemies.

5. Neon Abyss

Neon Abyss - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Neon Abyss is a thrilling game where you dive into deep dungeons full of danger and adventure. In this game, you join the Grim Squad, a group formed by Hades to conquer the Abyss and defeat the New Gods. Each time you play, the game changes. You encounter different rooms and enemies. When you lose a life, you return stronger and more prepared for the challenges ahead. This cycle of death and empowerment makes each session exciting and unique.

During your explorations, you collect many items. These items have special powers that help you on your journey. They can work together in many ways, creating powerful combinations that enhance your abilities. There is no limit to how many effects you can combine, making every game different from the last. This system of collecting and combining items keeps the gameplay fresh and engaging, allowing you to try new strategies every time you play.

Neon Abyss also includes fun mini-games to enjoy between battles. These games offer a chance to win extra items and add a light-hearted break from the action. You might play a piano, meditate, or even dance. Pets can also join you in the dungeon. These pets start from eggs and gain abilities as they grow. They help you fight and survive longer against the tough challenges of the Abyss. Overall, this mix of main action and side activities fills your adventure with surprises and enjoyment.

4. The Last Case of Benedict Fox Definitive Edition

The Last Case of Benedict Fox - Launch Trailer

Alternatively, The Last Case of Benedict Fox Definitive Edition invites players to solve a haunting mystery steeped in supernatural elements. In this game, you step into the shoes of Benedict Fox, a detective with a unique connection to a demon. This connection allows you to enter the minds of the deceased. Here, you will search for clues to help solve the murders of a young couple and the mysterious disappearance of their child. The game's setting is a massive, old mansion filled with secrets and dangers, which provides a rich backdrop for exploration and discovery.

In this adventure, your detective skills will be put to the test. You must navigate through complex puzzles that challenge your understanding of the game's dark world. The puzzles are intertwined with the narrative, revealing more of the story as you solve them. Combat is also a significant aspect, where you must use your weapons and demon powers creatively.

Moreover, the bond with your demon companion is central to gameplay. It not only helps in combat but also is crucial in accessing the surreal memory worlds of the victims. These segments are visually distinct and play a critical role in piecing together the mystery. Here, you confront not only physical enemies but also the emotional and psychological traumas that plague the mansion's ill-fated residents.

3. Terraria

Terraria Official Trailer

Terraria is a game about exploration and creativity. It takes place in a sprawling, pixelated world where you can dig, build, and fight. The world is full of resources that you can use to craft new items and equipment. This helps you explore further and defend yourself against various creatures. Terraria is known for its deep crafting system which allows for personalization and unique play styles.

Players can shape the game world to their liking. You can build elaborate structures, from simple homes to grand castles. The game also includes various biomes, like deserts, jungles, and oceans, each with its own set of challenges and enemies. This game offers a blend of adventure and creativity, making it a playground for imagination.

The fights in Terraria are exciting and varies greatly depending on the enemies and the environment. Boss fights are especially epic, requiring careful planning and quick reflexes. The game supports multiplayer mode, letting friends join together in exploring and building.

2. Another Crab's Treasure

Another Crab's Treasure - Xbox Game Pass Reveal Trailer

In Another Crab's Treasure, you step into the shoes of Kril, a hermit crab, on a quest to retrieve his home shell, which has been taken away. This quest leads him through a once-thriving underwater kingdom now on the verge of ruin due to pollution and a harmful infection known as the Gunk. During his journey, Kril explores diverse areas like lush kelp forests, vibrant coral reefs, and the shadowy depths of sea trenches, all to find his cherished shell.

The game creatively uses discarded items as essential resources. These pieces of trash aren't just litter; they're crucial for Kril's protection. He adapts by using found objects as shells to shield himself from the infected creatures he encounters. This approach integrates environmental themes into the gameplay, emphasizing resourcefulness and adaptation as Kril navigates through the endangered ocean. In addition to this, Another Crab's Treasure offers a range of Umami Techniques, which are special skills that Kril learns from other ocean inhabitants.

1. Have a Nice Death

Have a Nice Death | Xbox Launch

Have a Nice Death is a 2D action roguelike where you control Death himself, who finds his underlings have disrupted the balance of souls. This chaos interferes with his vacation plans. To restore order, Death must use his scythe to demonstrate his authority. The game unfolds within the whimsically grim walls of Death Inc., where procedurally generated levels ensure every playthrough feels fresh and challenging.

In this game, you will travel through various departments of Death Inc., each uniquely themed and filled with new foes. Here, Death meets a variety of quirky characters, such as Pump Quinn, a friendly pumpkin-headed assistant who shares office rumors. This adds a lively and engaging narrative layer to your quest. The game cleverly mixes exploration and interaction, bringing the gloomy yet charming workplace of Death to life.

The gameplay in Have a Nice Death focuses on skill enhancement and mastering over 70 weapons and spells. These tools allow you to create powerful combinations to use against minions and bosses scattered throughout the departments. Since Death cannot die, failure is merely an opportunity to learn and improve.

So, what do you think about our list of the best platforming games on Xbox Game Pass? Are there other titles you believe deserve a mention? Let us know your thoughts 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.