Platforming games have been around nearly as long as video games themselves.
One of the most popular genres, there have been hundreds – if not thousands – of excellent platformer games in the last 30 years. The genre’s popularity may have been driven by Mario and Sonic, but they’re far from the only platforming heroes out there. Over time, plenty of other platform games have carved their own path. Even today, PS5 has its fair share of the best platformer games. But what are they?
Well, they come in all shapes and sizes. Platformer games can be side-scrolling, or they can be 3D, set in a huge open world. No matter what type of platformer game you prefer, hopefully there’s one you’ll enjoy on PS5. Read on to see our picks of the best platformer games on PS5, all available to play right now, and all with native PS5 versions.
Want more platformer games to play? Click here to see our list of best platform games on PS4.
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This list was first published in April 2022 and has been updated periodically since.
1. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
While there’s much more to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart than just being a platformer, it’s still undoubtedly one of the best platformer games on PS5. Being made specifically to utilise the power of Sony’s latest console, it looks absolutely phenomenal for one. But it’s also a great deal of fun to play.
Is it a platforming game, or is it an action-adventure? Well, in our opinion, it’s a bit of both. While combat and action sequences to play a big part in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, platforming is perhaps the most important element. Jumping around and traversing the environment has always been a major facet of the Ratchet & Clank series, and it’s no different here. But this time around, being able to wall-run, use jet-powered boots and a tether to jump from one rift to another, makes platforming more fun than ever.
2. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Remember the LittleBigPlanet games from the PS3 days, and their adorable mascot Sackboy? Well, he’s back – and this time he has an adventure all of his own. Sackboy: A Big Adventure launched alongside the PS5, providing one of the best platforming experiences on the console. It gets so many things right: challenging levels, a beautifully designed world – and even voice acting from the likes of Dawn French and Richard E. Grant.
This is a pretty sizable game, with various worlds to make your way through, each with its own unique design. In control of Sackboy, you’ll run, jump and swing your way across platforms and obstacles, tackling enemies and solving environmental puzzles as you go. Each level is slightly different: perhaps you’ll simply need to reach the end, or maybe you’ll need to complete an objective as you go. And with the ability to play in co-op – not to mention the addition of dressing up Sackboy in a range of outrageous and wonderful outfits – there’s a lot to love here.
3. Astro’s Playroom
Hands down, Astro’s Playroom is one of the best platformer games on PS5. Heck, it may even be the best. And, to top it all off, it’s absolutely free. That’s right: Astro’s Playroom is bundled with every new PS5. And so if you own a PS5, simply head to the store and download it for free. You won’t regret it.
Alongside being a fantastic platforming game in its own right, Astro’s Playroom is also a celebration of all things PlayStation. You’ll come across characters from your favourite Sony games, and collect items to go on display in a digital PlayStation museum. Before you can enjoy the relics of the past, though, you’ve got to find them first. And that means making your way through a number of levels, all designed to utilise the full functionality of the PS5 and its DualSense controller.
Whether you’re swinging from branches as a monkey, or running around as an AstroBot, one thing is for sure: you’ll be having a lot of fun. It’s just a shame that it’s only a few hours long. We’d gladly play a full-length version of Astro’s Playroom. Make it happen please, Sony.
4. Little Nightmares II
If you like your platforming games a little spooky, they don’t come much better than Little Nightmares II from Bandai Namco. It may be one of the best platforming games on PS5, but we wouldn’t recommend jumping into it unless you can put up with a few scares along the way.
Little Nightmares II puts you in control of Mono, a child with a bag over his head. He’s accompanied by Six – who you’ll recognise if you’ve played the first Little Nightmares. You don’t need to have to fully enjoy Little Nightmares II though; this is a perfectly standalone game. As Mono, you’ll make your way through a series of terrifying levels, where you’ll be pursued by nightmarish creatures out to get you. Few games create an atmosphere quite as imposing as Little Nightmares II, and that’s one of the reasons we love it so much. But it also nails platforming, and moving through its environments is nothing but a joy. Terrifying, sure. But a joy all the same.
5. Solar Ash
Solar Ash is perhaps the most unusual game on our list of best platformer games on PS5, but it’s also one of the most deserving. Developed by Heart Machine, Solar Ash puts you in control of Rei, a Voidrunner. Her job? To stop the planet falling apart. No big deal, then.
As Rei, you’ll spend your time traversing a ruined but beautiful (and incredibly stylish) 3D world. Figuring out how to get from one area to the next feels like a puzzle, but that’s the beauty of Solar Ash. Like the best platforming games out there, utilising a range of skills – like grinding rails, using grappling hooks and gliding from one high platform to the next – is the key to success. It’s not always easy, but it’s always a joy.
Solar Ash is incredibly smooth to play, and you’ll get a huge kick out of exploring its environments. Even when you’re struggling to reach the next location. Perseverance is always key.
6. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
We have a love-hate relationship with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. The Crash series has undoubtedly given way to some of the best platforming games ever made. And so, seeing everyone’s favourite marsupial return for more was hugely exciting. But Crash Bandicoot 4 is hard. Ridiculously so, at points. And so while this may be one of the best platformer games on PS5, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
Crash Bandicoot 4 combines side-scrolling platforming with 3D sections, on-rails levels and more, meaning it’s always going to keep you on your toes. A range of interesting mechanics are utilised, like a phase shift, a gravity switcher and a huge spin-jump, all designed to make traversing Crash 4‘s world as varied as possible. They succeed in doing so, but they also make it tough-as-nails. You’ll need to have quick reflexes to get past some of the game’s more tricky sections. Ultimately, it’s worth it though; this is a gorgeous-looking game, and it feels good to be back in control of Crash.