Updated with new entries. Enjoy!
Ah, the 3D platformer. Ever since Super Mario 64 landed and showed everyone just how good three dimensional platforms are could There were developers who hoped to capture just a small part of the magic of this game. It was a tough task even for the Plumber himself to follow, but his bespoke Switch outing finds him at the top of his game.
When compared to the extensive catalog of available 2D platformers – a selection so impressive that we decided to split it into the best 2D platformers and the best Metroidvanias for Switch – the list of possibilities 3D Platformer is significantly slimmer. Arguably none of Nintendo’s platforms enjoyed the breadth of 3D platformers we saw during the genre’s N64 heyday. These collectathons went out of fashion in the early noughties when games like gloriole heralded the rise of first-person shooters on consoles.
Still, one keeps popping up that reminds us of the good old days of Banjo-Kazooie and Glover. Switch has still collected some impressive examples of the genre, and while they might not all reach the incredible heights of the gentlemen’s Italian balloon ship, they certainly offer wonderful platforming experiences once the odyssey is over.
So let’s take a look – in no particular order – at the best 3D platformers for Switch.
Editor: team 17 / Developer: Playtonic games
Yooka Laylee is a worthy modern homage to the collectathons of yesteryear – stemming from many of the developers who created the incomparable Banjo-Kazooie – and comes highly recommended for Switch owners. This feels like a game that belongs in 1996, with all the quality of life improvements of a modern game, making for an excellent mix of new and old. Although it can be a bit uneven at times, the game as a whole manages to achieve what the Playtonic developers set out to do. to recapture some of that classic Rareware magic and make a new game with the same mischievous spirit for fans that have been waiting for so long. With compositions by brilliant ex-rare musicians David Wise and Grant Kirkhope, you know it makes sense.
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Editor: Sumo Digital / Developer: Sumo Digital
Oh the controversy – a 3D platformer where you can’t jump! Sumo Digitals snake pass is a real gem in the Switch library and certainly worth a look for anyone looking for a happy palette cleaner. It’s unlike anything we’ve played before; a fresh platforming experience that will keep you hooked to the end. Solid graphics, unconventional gameplay, an unforgettable soundtrack (David Wise again) and decent replay value make this a worthwhile one, and we give it an absolute recommendation. If you want to take a risk and play something unique then Snake Pass is worth a look.
Editor: activity / Developer: Toys for Bob
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a ruthlessly faithful recreation of some of the earliest achievements in 3D platforming. The levels are smooth, beautiful to look at and do a great job of recreating the feel of the originals. Newcomers to the series might be put off by the steep difficulty spikes and little to no explanation of some of the finer mechanics. All the fun and quirks of the original three games are here, for better or for worse, and despite some odd design choices, it’s still a genuinely entertaining retread of some old classics, warts and all. This is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of 3D platform games, but just like it did in the ’90s, Crash doesn’t quite play in the same league as Mario when it comes to playability, ingenuity, and entertainment. However, if you’re looking for a nostalgia trip, it’s hard to beat.
Editor: Nordic games / Developer: Nordic games
from blob 2 retains many of the characteristics of the original Wii game, with both the brilliant and not-so-brilliant features largely intact in this updated Switch version. The cameras can still be fiddly on occasion, and things can feel a little to Simple in places, but all-new 2D sections and a slightly more refined overall experience put the sequel just above the original in our pecking order. Both games should resonate well – especially with younger audiences – but this one just barely smashes into first place.
Editor: curve digital / Developer: No brake games
Human: Fall flat acknowledges a simple truth: people who fall are hilarious, and when they seem impervious to harm, that’s just an added guilt-free bonus. Playing as a wobbly, awkward avatar takes a lot of getting used to and you might never really get used to it, but the game leaves each level wide open to a multitude of solutions to suit your own personal style. Mastering the five to six hour adventure solo isn’t as much fun as getting a second player to join in, even if the game’s performance suffers. The lack of online multiplayer is a bit disappointing, but we think you and a fellow human could really fall for this little puzzle platformer. Over and over again.
Editor: Allianz Digital Media / Developer: PolyKid
You have to have a little pity poi and its developer PolyKid. You spend years creating your own 3D platformer, put your heart and soul into it, and the universe conspires to release it the same week as it did Super Mario Odyssey. Doh!
However, Poi: Explorer Edition is a great platform adventure in its own right. Anyone who enjoys a good “collecting athon” will be in heaven with this game – the medallions are great fun to work towards, and finding every single additional collectible will take some time and effort. If you like games of this genre, we definitely recommend trying Poi. It deserves to be played.
Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
OK, you think, I made an exception for Snake Pass, but now Captain Toad?! Well, despite the puzzle angle, this is still a 3D platformer and the lack of a jump button doesn’t make it any less of a winner. With beautiful graphics and an upbeat soundtrack, Treasure Tracker is a real gem; A wonderful and beautiful platform puzzler suitable for all ages that you should definitely experience if you haven’t already. Two-player co-op makes this offering even more palatable, and there’s even a nice little DLC nugget once you’ve polished the main game.
Editor: EA Originals / Developer: Zoink! games
Poignant and moving in theme and execution, feet is one of the most unique platformers on Nintendo Switch. Its platforming can be a little hit and miss, and its camouflage feels a little too indulgent at times, but that doesn’t stop its world and unique singing premise from enchanting you with a dark and gothic Norse fairy tale. While it’s not as groundbreaking as other dialogless games such as tripit’s still one of the most intriguing worlds to explore on Switch.
https://www.nintendolife.com/guides/best-nintendo-switch-3d-platformers Best Nintendo Switch 3D Platformers