Top 15 best 2D platformers for iOS
You'll love rummaging through our list of best 2D platformers for iOS
Finding a great 2D platformer for iOS can be quite time-consuming, not to mention exhausting. The App Store has more titles than you can count, but sadly not all of them are going to be worthy of your time. So, which are?
In today's article, we are going to take a look at some of the best 2D platformers for iPhones and iPads you can get your hands on right now, be it paid or free, there is a game that can match anyone's needs and wants in terms of gameplay, graphics, and narrative.
What defines a good 2D platformer?There are a lot of factors to consider when picking a platformer. Since we're going to focus solely on 2D options, you won't find some of the bigger titles that feature heavily realistic graphics and motion. Instead, we'll list lots of pixelated games and Mario-like creations that will bring back memories.
As for what defines a good one, you can probably imagine that it's quite complicated. Since many players prefer action-packed platformers while others like more casual ones, we've hand-picked a couple of titles from pretty much every genre and difficultly (with a little bias towards pixelated ones). Of course, if you want a more general list of iOS platformers (including 2D, 3D, and everything you could imagine) you should read our top 25 list of platformers for iOS.
So grab your iPad or iPhone and get ready to jump, slide, tap and run as best as you can, because we're about to dive into the slashing world of 2D platformers on iOS!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
We're going to start off the list with one of the classics. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best 2D platformers you can play on any device, be it a console, a projector (if you dare), or an iPhone. This game looks fantastic even years down the line, and it has such amazing gameplay and narrative that it just begs to be featured on every single list it qualifies for.
If you're not sure why it's such a great game, then we have a few reasons why you should play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night right now. But if you're not convinced, you can always check the Netflix show to convince you - we're pretty positive that will make you immediately jump on the Castlevania hype train with us!
If you're curious how it plays, you should watch our hands-on gameplay video!Download Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
A downwards platformer that is more feisty than most, Downwell is an action-packed roguelike platformer with lots and lots of booms, hacks, slashes and punches. You basically have to slay monsters as they come while trying to navigate from platform to platform and further down into the madness.
If you're trying to get better at it, you can read some of ourDownwell tips and tricks. We've got a couple of guides to really help you get better when it comes to intense brawls.
Don't forget to read our Downwell review if you are curious how it is to actually play this crazy vertical platformer.Download Downwell
Another beautifully-drawn game that takes the player into an oppressed world, filled with gravity-defying platforms and challenges, all while trying to restore the beauty the land once had. It's an intriguing game that has not only an immersive narrative, but also a very hands-on play style.
We have a Dandara review, so you should make sure to check it out because this game is worth all the praise it can get. It's one of those unique 2D iOS platformers you can't really put into words.Download Dandara
A game that's already gained a massive audience with its first release, Dadish 2 is a must-play. This cutesy platformer will put you in charge of a radish dad (yeah, a radish that is a dad) trying to find his missing children. Radish children. If that's not enough to convince you to try it out, then let me explain further.
The world in Dadish 2 is filled with food-themed characters, anything you could (and couldn't) imagine - from burgers to doughnuts, everything will follow the food theme. However, you mustn't let that cutesy approach fool you. The stages are fairly difficult and they may even become frustrating at times. You can read all about that in our Dadish 2 review! Or you can read some useful tips to help you through the levels.Download Dadish 2
Moving on from the food-themed platformers to another adorable one, but with a cat as the main character - Nameless Cat is one of the very few games where you will find that the story isn't just a random blurb, but something that the entire game revolves around. In Nameless Cat you have even more adorable pixelated graphics that are absolutely stunning to look at.
The main goal is to discover how you can return to your owner, all while defeating challenging bosses and dashing through the countless levels ahead. It's a brilliant game that is as adorable as it is sad, in a way. It's definitely worth playing if you want a platformer filled with action and story.Download Nameless Cat
Dan the Man
Dan the Man is a game you've probably heard of so many times. Well, that's because it is definitely worth playing, especially since it stays true to the challenging platformers filled to the brim with action and battles. The main focus in Dan the Man is not the narrative or even the graphics - instead, you've got a game that feels as alive as the retro platformers used to decades ago.
That might not be something that will appeal to everyone, but if that's what you're looking for, Dan the Man is the game you want. You can choose from a number of characters, each with unique perks, and fight, dash, jump and throw everything you have at the enemies and frustrating traps ahead. And yeah, they do get frustrating at times!
Did you know we've got a Dan the Man review? Check it out if you're curious!Download Dan the Man
Have you ever played a game so brilliant it stayed with you for years? If not, then you clearly haven't played Dead Cells yet - while this game was released back in 2017, it's still as brilliant and fresh as ever. In this iOS platformer, you have a roguelite masterpiece designed to keep you glued to your device for hours. Through stunning pixelated and colourful graphics and plenty of challenging levels, you must slash your way through waves of enemies or find the right tactics to defeat them.
The goal is pretty straightforward - you must discover what happened to the once prosperous land. You can upgrade your character, choose whichever way you want to progress, and overall just have a good time.Download Dead Cells
Nyan Cat: Lost In Space
Who could've guessed that the meme which took over the internet makes up one of the most fun and challenging platformers in 2021? Nyan Cat: Lost in Space is a game of adventure, fun, colour and hyper platform jumps that will most likely be a fun choice to most platformer enthusiasts.
You can even change the appearance of Nyan Cat since there are so many customisations, and pick from five different game modes to adventure in. It really never gets boring if endless runners and platformers are your mobile genre of choice. And if you haven't tried this game yet, you should do so ASAP!Download Nyan Cat: Lost In Space
Cookie Run: OvenBreak
Cookie Run is a sweet game, to say the least. In this intense endless running platformer, you can pick your favourite cookies (anything from sweet to spicy) and try to collect as many jellies as you can, while expanding your collection and forming bonds with them. It's a game that has gained massive popularity and rightfully so - it's fun, engaging and you could play it for hours without getting bored.
There are a few Cookie Run games released, so if you like this one, you should check them all out! Cookie Run: OvenBreak is one of the best iOS 2D platformers ever in my opinion, and if you're trying to get some freebies, you should check our regularly updated Cookie Run: OvenBreak codes!Download Cookie Run: OvenBreak
Dere Evil Exe
A game that hasn't exactly made it to many players' devices, Dere Evil Exe is actually quite interesting. You have to complete various puzzles by running through the platforms and defeating arguably creepy monsters? Well, they're not really creepy, to be completely honest. The graphics are stunning though, so I'll let it pass.
You control the main hero named Knightly, and your task is simply to survive and escape the pixelated nightmare you found yourself in. There are instances where the game is trying to break the fourth wall, and that gives it an element of unicity that you cannot find in many other mobile games, especially ones belonging to this genre.
It's worth giving it a try if you're into that sort of approach. You can read more in our Dere Evil Exe review though!Download Dere Evil Exe
Up next, we actually have two entries, because it was too difficult to pick just one. While it's essentially the same game but with different visuals, we decided to mention both!
We'll start by simply saying, who doesn't love sausage dogs? And by that, we mean those adorable Dachshunds that are oh-so-adorably called sausage dogs - in Silly Sausage you have a unique platformer where you play as one, and your goal is to stretch, stretch and then stretch some more in order to avoid obstacles and collect rewards.
It's not exactly your typical 2D platformer, but it plays similarly. It's super fun and it looks great too! Furthermore, there's Silly Sausage and Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert where you have a dessert-filled world instead of a meaty one!Download Silly Sausage or Download Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert
Super Phantom Cat
In the blocky world of Super Phantom Cat, you encounter some of the best of all-time platformer genre - great retro pixelated graphics and a contemporary play style that feels so great on mobile. You have adorable characters that smoothly glide from block to block, and a background music to perfectly capture the mood.
There are multiple worlds from famous games that you can immerse into (such as the ones in Donkey Kong and Sonic), and that's only partly where the fun comes from. Overall, it's a game that will make you excited to play a (retro) 2D platformer in 2021.Download Super Phantom Cat
Yeah Bunny 2
If this is not one of the most adorable games of all time, I don't know what is. Yeah Bunny 2 pays homage to old school Mario games but gives them a fresh new look and pastel graphics to set the mood. You play as an adorable white rabbit, and your goal is to collect coins and goods and defeat bosses.
It's actually pretty straightforward but feels extremely smooth with its one-finger controls and level design. Actually, if you want something which strongly resembles Super Mario Run, but in a more 2D and pixelated format, this is the perfect game. There are over 50 levels to dive into, so plenty of challenges await!Download Yeah Bunny 2
Cat Bird is probably one of the best 2D platformers on iOS ever created. Ever!
In this beautifully pixelated world you control an animal... is it a cat? is it a bird? Nobody could tell, so it's probably a cat bird. Jokes aside, when it comes to the actual gameplay and controls, everything is by the book - the game looks outstanding and the narrative is very compelling.
You have challenging platforms to jump or fly on, and although sometimes you'll end up sending this pretty cat bird straight into oblivion (or into a wall of spikes to be more precise), you'll find yourself wanting to try again and again until you succeed. That must be what makes Cat Bird such a successful game, I suppose. Definitely worth a shot!
If you're curious to read more about it, make sure to check out our Cat Bird review.Download Cat Bird
Rayman Adventures is the game you will find so easy to adapt to, and so hard to put down. It's one of those iOS 2D platformers that looks and feels great, and that always seems to come up with a new challenge in any new stage you try. The game has hundreds of characters (a.k.a. Incrediballs) to collect, and so many challenges and game modes that you will never have time to get bored.
You should read our Rayman Adventures review for a full overview of our gameplay, or you can jump straight into the beginner's guide. We also have a guide to show you how to reach high scores in each level type, so make sure you don't miss that one either.Download Rayman Adventures