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Top 25 best platformers for Nintendo Switch

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Top 25 best platformers for Nintendo Switch

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You'd kind of expect the Nintendo Switch to be home to some wonderful platformers really, wouldn't you?

Nintendo, after all, is the defining figure in the formation of the platformer genre. From the original Donkey Kong through to Mario's latest 3D opus, it's turned out a number of the very best and most influential platformers in the business.

The following list really doesn't disappoint - unless your own personal favourite is missing. We've had to leave off some absolute classics, such was the level of competition.

What we've gone for, beyond simple quality, is a good representation of the current Switch platformer scene. This is a deeply diverse genre, and not just in terms of 2D and 3D perspectives.

There are roguelikes, metroidvanias, shooters, RPGs, and much more beside among the following selection. Something for everyone, you could say.

And if indeed we have missed one of your favourites, be sure to share in the comments below. Hop to it!

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1
Super Mario Odyssey

3D platformer ever made. Super Mario Odyssey is packed full of wonder, with more ideas and diversion in a single sprawling level than most games manage in their entire length.

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2
Celeste

A supreme 2D platformer that somehow marries a series of taut bite-sized acrobatic challenges with a beautifully written narrative. Celeste is a modern great.

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3
Hollow Knight

The Switch isn't short of brilliant metroidvanias, but Hollow Knight is arguably the finest of them all. Featuring a wonderfully atmospheric bug-themed world, weighty melee combat, and a sprawling interconnected world to explore, Team Cherry nailed the genre first time.

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4
Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

An almost-lost Wii U classic gets a second chance on Switch - and what a game it is. This is a 2.5D platformer of the very highest quality, with superb level design and DK's distinctively kinetic movement.

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5
Dead Cells

Dead Cells is one of the greatest action platformers to be launched on any platform in recent years, but this slick roguelite suits Switch best of all. Its fluid and varied 2D combat is even more of a feature than its slick platforming.

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6
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Super Mario 3D World is a 3D platformer of breezy, easy-going grace. It's packaged here alongside the bracingly different Bowser's Fury, which places you in a full (if compact) open world and sets you against a towering Bowser. Both are brilliant, in very different ways.

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7
Steamworld Dig 2

Like the first game, Steamworld Dig 2 is a brilliantly vertical metroidvania, in which you must dig down through dirt and precious rocks in a bid to uncover a lost civilisation. Image & Form's expressive steampunk aesthetic is on point, as ever.

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8
Sonic Mania

After various ill-advised 3D excursions, Sonic returns to his speedy 2D roots in Sonic Mania. The result is arguably the finest Sonic platformer ever made.

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9
Inside

This spiritual successor to the marvellous Limbo goes even further with its spookily immersive world and engrossing platform-puzzler gameplay. Beautiful, strange and slightly icky.

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10
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

A wonderful reinvention of the classic adventure-platformer, with beautiful hand-drawn graphics and an orchestral soundtrack. Yes, it's a port with non-optimal virtual controls, but the underlying game is fabulous.

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11
Kaze and the Wild Masks

If you've blasted through Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and find yourself itching for more 2.5D platforming brilliant, Kaze and the Wild Masks is a great next step.

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12
Ori and the Blind Forest

One of the main competitors to Hollow Knight for the title of 'bestest most charmingly gorgeous metroidvania game,' Ori and the Blind Forest sets you loose into a beautifully verdant 2.5D world.

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13
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe doesn't have the progressive feel of Super Mario Odyssey or even Bowser's Fury, but this 2.5D adventure is an absolute hoot - especially in multiplayer.

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14
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Boldly and successfully switching away from the 3D platforming of the original, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is more of a 2.5D Donkey Kong Country-meets-Super Metroid affair - and a rather splendid one at that.

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15
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

The name says it all really: this is a veritable treasure trove of retro platformer goodies, combining the brilliant original with its two generous expansions. As comprehensive a 2D platformer package as you're likely to find.

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16
Cave Story+

Cave Story+ is the ultimate iteration of a true indie classic. This is an action platformer that's packed full of memorable levels and a surprising amount of variety.

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17
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

It feels a little weird having the original PlayStation mascot represented so boldly on a Nintendo platform. But Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy makes itself at home with three rich slices of no-fuss 3D platforming action.

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18
de Blob 2

De Blob did the whole 'paint your environment' thing way before Splatoon - albeit in a rich 3D platformer format. This sequel is like an enhanced take on the Wii original, with some fresh 2D sections thrown in for variety.

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19
Fe

Fe is a beautiful and unusual take on the 3D platformer, with a serious artistic bent, a beautiful narrative, and an explorative edge.

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20
N++

Another member of indie game royalty, N++ contains a seemingly endless supply of bite-sized platforming challenges, and some of the most tactile platforming mechanics you'll find anywhere.

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21
Yooka-Laylee

Essentially a love letter to Rare's classic Banjo-Kazooie games of the N64 era - and made by some of the key talent behind those games - Yooka-Laylee is an appropriately bright and bouncy 3D collect-a-thon.

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22
The Messenger

A game that takes its inspiration from old school action platformers like Ninja Gaiden, The Messenger's 'cloudstepping' mechanic leads to a series of exhilaratingly balletic aerial battle.

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23
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition

The ultimate version of one of the finest 2D platformers of the modern era. Rayman combines truly stellar cartoon-level graphics with joyously madcap platforming.

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24
Shinsekai: Into the Depths

It's not the most polished metroidvania on Switch, but Shinsekai: Into the Depths nails those feelings of exploration and isolation better than anything, and its underwater setting makes for some fascinating platforming mechanics.

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25
GoNNER 2

The original GoNNER was an early indie exclusive for the eShop, with a distinctively gruesome hand-drawn aesthetic and a lashings of tough roguelite action-platforming. This sequel offers more of the same, which still makes it pretty darned unique.

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