Best PS4 Platformers to Play on PS5

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The PlayStation 5 has finally arrived, but there aren't a ton of brand-new launch games to pick from. That's doubly true if you're a fan of platformers. Sure, Sackboy: A Big Adventure released alongside Sony's new console, and it is a fantastic game by our account, but overall, genre choices are currently thin on the PS5.  

The good news is that plenty of PS4 titles are available to play on PS5 through backwards compatibility, including plenty of must-play platformers.

It's not too late to look back and find a few games that you may have missed — or may be hiding in your backlog. Here are some of the best PS4 platformers that you should definitely play on PS5, as we wait for games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Balan Wonderworld

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Celeste

While all of the entries on this list are undoubtedly worth playing, Celeste can be considered one of the best platformers of the generation. It won both the Games for Impact and Best Indie Game awards at The Game Awards in 2018, and for good reason.

The game has tight, responsive controls, a fantastic soundtrack, and a plot that can be relatable to so many of its players.

Celeste is able to meaningfully tackle the topics of anxiety and mental illness while still making sure that its platforming stays enjoyable throughout the entire experience. It truly is one of the best in the genre.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

This classic platforming franchise made its return to relevance in 2017 with the N. Sane Trilogy, and as it turns out, Crash and Coco have a lot more to give to the genre beyond the original trilogy and a few spin-offs.

Crash 4 manages to bring back the feel of the original games while adding plenty of twists to keep things feeling fresh.

This time around, there are five playable characters and new masks that provide special powers to shake up the platforming. This is one that both newcomers and series veterans should check out.

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Ratchet & Clank

Like Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank is also a classic platformer. The difference here is that it's fully 3D and a lot more action-oriented, containing some of the most oddly unique weapons found in any game in the genre.

It's also technically a game based on a movie, based on a game. That sounds confusing, but trust me, it makes sense.

The Ratchet & Clank movie was coming out around the same time as the game, and this soft reboot is a retelling of the very first game. This means that all newcomers to the longstanding franchise are welcome to give this one a shot.

You'll get to see how Ratchet and Clank start out, going from humble beginnings to intergalactic heroes.

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

For most players, the first genre that comes to mind when thinking of Hollow Knight is probably Metroidvania. That said, there's still plenty of challenging platforming to overcome here.

It isn't easy, but if you can master the movement, timing, and control needed to traverse Hollow Knight's world, you'll find that it contains some of the best platforming experiences that the genre has to offer. You'll be finding secrets, tackling tough bosses, and enjoying that sweet satisfaction of improvement as you progress.

The Voidheart Edition is essentially the console version that contains all of the content added to the PC version of the game before it came to consoles. It was free on PlayStation Plus back in November but is $14.99 otherwise. 

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INSIDE

INSIDE is another entry on this list that's able to mix genres effortlessly. It's a relatively short narratively driven puzzle-platformer that'll keep you gripped through your entire playtime.

Those who played Playdead's previous platformer, LIMBO, will no-doubt love INSIDE just as much, if not more. It takes what made its predecessor great, and improves upon that already winning formula.

You're once again playing as a young boy, but this time, you seem to be heading towards the main cause of the danger around you.

The dark atmosphere, mysterious plot, and creative obstacles will be sure to leave you wanting more by the time the experience comes to a close.

Spelunky/Spelunky 2

Spelunky is a platformer with an endlessly fun roguelike gameplay loop. The first game launched on consoles back in 2012, and Spelunky 2 was just released in September for PS4.

The sequel piles on the exploration as players are tasked with avoiding traps while searching for treasures and missing family members on the moon. Each run can reveal new items, NPCs, and paths through the game. As you venture deeper, your home base will grow, leaving you more prepared to make those deep runs into the unknown.

This treasure hunt can be completed alone or with friends online, so there's plenty of randomized platforming to go around.

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The Messenger

The Messenger is a love letter to old-school Ninja Gaiden fans with its retro sounds/soundtrack, visuals, and overall feel. It even has an unexpected amount of humor, which is just a bonus, since it's already excelling in other aspects.

You assume the role of a ninja who must deliver a scroll to save his clan after his village has been attacked by a demon army. You'll be jumping, swinging, slashing, and warping between 8-bit and 16-bit worlds on this journey.

The level of nostalgia here is simply unmatched. The Messenger really does have everything that you could ask for as a fan of old school platformers.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight started out as a Kickstarter campaign that slowly became more and more successful. Developer Yacht Club Games has managed to deliver on everything promised and more.

This is another platformer that successfully captures the magic of retro games in the genre while still adding enough present-day flair to stand out on its own merit. Arming the player with a simple shovel and a few movement options seems odd at first, but you'll grow to love it in no time at all.

The Treasure Trove edition contains all four DLC campaigns, as well as a multiplayer Battle Mode and co-op for the main campaign. This is a platforming experience that absolutely shouldn't be missed out on.

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Sonic Mania Plus

Sonic the Hedgehog is a household name at this point. With Sonic Mania, SEGA and developer Headcannon brought the series back to the 2D platformer roots that made it so popular.

The "Plus" version adds DLC, allowing players can speed through levels as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, or Ray. It also features new zones, updated classic stages, and a four-player multiplayer option.

This game is a must-play for any and all Sonic fans, and it's also a great entry point for anyone curious to see what the blue hedgehog is all about.

Rayman Legends

Last, but not least, we have Ubisoft's platforming mascot, Rayman. Rayman hasn't gotten a new mainline game in nearly 10 years, so sometimes this platforming great isn't as talked about as others.

That shouldn't be the case, because Rayman Legends knocked it out of the park. It's a vibrant, joyful, and creative platformer that'll have you on the edge of your seat more than once throughout its relatively short runtime.

The game also features some of the best couch co-op platforming that you can find on the PS4, so don't miss out if you're a fan of the genre.

As you can see, there are more than enough top-notch PS4 platformers that should be played on PS5. And we can't wait to see even more games get added to the PS5's library in the years to come.

Are there any platformers that you'd like to see added to the list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Published Dec. 23rd 2020

Contributor

Lover of RPGs and all things Zelda, Pokémon, or Tales related. Can usually be found either struggling/failing to get 100% completions, or praying for a Jak 4.

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