The 12 Best Platformer Games for PS5

Image credit: CrashBandicoot.com

Otherwise referred to as “jump and run” games, which is perhaps an even more descriptive title, platformer games are pretty popular among gamers.

They belong to a sub-genre of action games where you progress by moving the main character across specific points within an intentionally designed environment.

The level design of these games plays a huge role in how fun platformers tend to be, as they often influence the types of abilities that the character has, how these abilities can develop, and how difficult it is to progress.

Running through a platformer will usually involve basic moves such as jumping and climbing, but even these simple actions can be really exciting if the game’s mechanics are creative enough. For instance, introducing extreme parkour elements is one way to make jumping and climbing extra fun.

Anyway, there are many choices to pick from in this gaming category. So, I put this researched guide together to provide options from a smaller pool of some of the best platformer games for PS5. Let’s get into it!

Pumpkin Jack: New-Gen Edition

Credit: Steam

If that screenshot is not enough to reel you in, there are a few other reasons why Pumpkin Jack is a pretty attractive proposition for anyone looking for the best platformer games for PS5.

The game was initially published in 2020, but the New-Gen edition released for the PS5 arrived a year later. The new edition comes with 60fps support, making the gameplay feel smoother and more enjoyable.

In terms of gameplay, Pumpkin Jack is sort of a throwback to an era of games that may have been better suited for the PS2. That’s not to say that the game feels dated at all. It is more a reference to the nostalgic manner in which the adventure is crafted.

The setting of the adventure is the Arc En Ceil Kingdom. There, the Devil has placed the curse of the eternal night, conjuring monsters to disturb the peace and bring a little fun to the otherwise dull town.

Clearly, the Devil’s idea of “fun” is just a tad bit too warped for the liking of the humans, and they respond by choosing a mighty wizard to fight the monsters plaguing their kingdom.

In response, the Devil also brings forth his own champion – the pumpkin head that you see in the picture above.

His name is Jack, and he used to be an evil person while alive. The Devil crams Jack’s soul into a human body with a pumpkin head and offers him passage into the afterlife if he manages to find the wizard and destroy him. – that’s where you come in.

It’s not the most content-heavy platformer out there, but Pumpkin Jack is a lot of fun while it lasts.

Cyber Shadow

Credit: Steam

Speaking of games that have a throw-back feel to them, Yacht Club GamesCyber Shadow falls within the category – albeit for a different reason.

As you’ll see from the picture attached, the visuals almost give off a “Contra vibe” that makes the game feel very retro. And if there are two things that are quite popular among retro games of this nature, they are robots and ninjas.

Both elements are found in Cyber Shadow and they bounce off each other quite well in the vast, futuristic city where the game is set in.

You play as Shadow, a ninja that has been awakened from stasis to foil the plans of a mad scientist and his army of robots. The scientist is on a mission to revive the dead in the city and further grow his burgeoning army, but your ninja thinks the dead should remain dead.

There’s a nice element of progression in the way that your abilities increase as you go from basic jumps and attacks to more sophisticated maneuvers and skills.

Your main enemies are the robots, and the more you play, the more you’re able to upgrade your powers to fight these increasingly difficult machines.

It’s fairly straightforward in the sense that you progress through simply designed levels, fighting robots and bosses, and earning upgrades.

There are some pretty neat upgrades in there that give you the ability to do cool “ninja stuff” such as summoning fire and fending off projectiles. The game does get harder as you progress through the levels, but not hard enough that you need to have a spare controller close by.

If you’re looking for an old-school, ninja-style platformer game for PS5, Cyber Shadow is a pretty solid option to consider.

Solar Ash

Credit: PlayStation

Solar Ash is almost a 3D re-enactment of Heart Machine‘s Hyper Light Drifter. The two games are set in the same universe and on the surface seem similar but for the difference in the dimension presentation.

However, when you actually get into the game, you’ll see that Solar Ash is quite unique in its own way. It is a faster-paced platformer where there is more attention on the movement of the character rather than fights against enemies and bosses.

Said character is named Rei, and is one of a group of characters in the game called “Voidrunners”. These Voidrunners, on a mission to save their planet, dive into a black hole lazily named the “Ultravoid”.

Rei does have to face off against some humongous enemies over the course of the mission, but as I said, those combats are merely a side attraction to the main show of Rei’s fluid movement across the delicately-designed but massive environment.

When it comes to smooth, satisfying 3D platform gaming, Solar Ash is one of the best platformers for PS5.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Credit: Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot as a franchise needs no introduction, especially if you’re well-versed in the platformer gaming category.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was initially released for the PS4 by Activision, but the gorgeous PS5 update arrived in 2021 with support for 60fps gameplay and vibrant 4K.

These visual upgrades make it extra fun to jump into the big shoes of the very likable Crash, nimbly jumping, spinning, and sliding your way across each obstacle-loaded level.

There are enemies here too, although they are more of a nuisance than real threats once you’re able to get your timing right. As is the fashion with Crash Bandicoot games, there is a lot of fun stuff to pick up on the way as well, and these gems are pretty useful for upgrades.

Apart from the clearly better visuals, the significantly faster loading times of Crash Bandicoot 4 on the PS5 make it worth giving another go even if you played the old-gen version. It’s just a much smoother experience and that’s always a major point when it comes to platform games.

Unfortunately, there is limited support for DualSense features, so you’ll have to make do with what you get, which is the occasional input of the adaptive triggers.

Either way, the limited PS5-specific features do not take much from the sheer fun of Crash Bandicoot 4, and it is one of the best platformer games for PS5.

The Pedestrian

Credit: Steam

The Pedestrian provides one of the best experiences that you’ll get from any 2D puzzle-platformer out there.

With this sort of game, there is a tendency for repetitiveness in gameplay. However, Skookum Arts have managed to create a unique and memorable experience with The Pedestrian, and the result is far from…pedestrian. I had to do it.

There is no standout story here, really, but that’s okay. The core of the game is based on the puzzles that you’re expected to solve.

Your character, from the cues provided, is a restroom humanoid whose sole reason for existence is to tell people which restroom their gender is supposed to go into. It’s a pretty boring life, and the humanoid understandably wants to be more. So, an adventure begins.

During your journey, most of your interaction will be with other signs. It is as you traverse across the environment and encounter these multiple signs that puzzles are placed before you to progress further, each one harder than the last.

Moving these signs around helps you to link up doors, ladders, and other stuff that help you along your journey, and it’s all done in a nicely rendered 3D environment.

To be honest, the gameplay mechanics in The Pedestrian are a lot cleverer than I can put into words in a short review, but all you need to know is that this is not only one of the best platformer games for PS5, but it is also one of the most innovative.

Little Nightmares II: Enhanced Edition

Credit: Steam

Little Nightmares II is developer Tarsier‘s second take on a horror approach to platform gaming. It is the sequel to the 2017 original, Little Nightmares, which was a strong introduction to the series.

This sequel was published by Bandai Namco in early 2021, and an enhanced edition of the base game arrived later in the same year with two graphics modes.

Speaking of graphics modes, you get “Beauty mode” and “Performance mode”. The names are fairly self-explanatory – “Beauty” suggests a focus on details in the visuals with native 4K support while performance mode focuses on smoother gameplay with higher framerates of up to 60fps.

One way to describe the game itself would be to call it a “fever dream come alive”. Everything from the sound, the art direction, the puzzles, and the mood makes it clear that the developer built this game with the intention of creating a waking nightmare.

As you would expect from any platformer, the game mechanics involve a lot of walking, running, jumping, grabbing, and leaping across things with near-perfect timing to get ahead.

However, the introduction of other elements such as puzzle-solving and stealth add a bit of extra flair to this one.

The phrase “Less is more” applies aptly in Little Nightmares II. Despite the lack of dialogue, the creatively-designed environment, brilliant selection of music, and inventive puzzles prove to be more than enough to provide a stellar gaming experience.

It Takes Two

Credit: Steam

Apart from being a pretty good platformer game, It Takes Two is also one of the best party games for PS5.

What’s more, where The Pedestrian may be lacking in a cohesive plot, It Takes Two comes with a story that adds a lot of depth to great gameplay and “pretty” visuals.

The game is borne from the backstory of a girl named Rose whose parents are about to get divorced. As a little kid may do in that situation, she goes into her room to cry, wishing that the divorce would never happen.

The first plot twist hits when Rose picks up two action figures that she’s created of her parents, and allows her tears to fall on them. When they fall, they also hit the “Book of Love” that she’d bought to learn how to make them love each other again.

Apparently, the kid’s tears are magic (or cursed) because the next thing that happens is that the souls of Cody and May (Rose’s parents) pass into the action figures, throwing everyone into a panic.

In a bid to find the solution to their…small problem, the pair have to work together. You can probably guess where the story leads from there.

When it comes to platformer games, it can be difficult to find one with an excellent co-op system. It Takes Two is one of the few that manages to execute it pretty well, and that is why it’s on my list of the best platformer games for PS5.

I do like a little bit of variety, after all.

Demon Turf

Credit: Steam

If the heartstrings-tugging adventure of It Takes Two is not doing it for you, then consider this action-adventure platformer from Hell.

Sometimes it’s 2D, other times it’s 3D, but one constant is that Demon Turf is a really good game from start to finish. The blend of visuals across both dimensions actually works better than you would expect, and the game also manages to innovate in other ways.

In Demon Turf, your character is called Beebz. Beebz is a young demon that wants more than what the hierarchy of the demon world is offering and as a result, sets out to break the status quo.

There are enough “good guy” games out there, so the fact that Beebz is not just another hero on a mission to save the world is actually kind of refreshing.

Instead, she’s a brat with a plan that is completely selfish, but her character arc and story progression are so well done that you find yourself rooting for her all the way even if you’re not the one playing.

She has some pretty slick moves and abilities too, most notably a flashy double jump and the ability to shapeshift. I mean, what kind of demon would she be if there was nothing like that?

If overthrowing the Devil and taking over the reins in Hell sounds neat to you, then you should get on Demon Turf. Or, you know, if you just want to play a really cool platformer game on your PS5 – it works too.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Credit: PlayStation

When the PS5 launch lineup came up, Sackboy may not have been the most anticipated title on the list.

I mean, sure, it is a Sony Interactive Entertainment title, which automatically gives it some attention.

Also, the main character is one of the most iconic PlayStation characters from way back. However, when you have massive budget titles such as Demon’s Souls and Spiderman: Miles Morales on the same list, the attention is not evenly divided.

Regardless, when people actually got around to playing Sackboy: A Big Adventure on the PS5, it turned out to be a fantastic…adventure.

The story is set in Craftworld, in the village of Loom where the main character, Sackboy lives.

When a villain from the sky begins to enslave the people of the village, Sackboy escapes, stealing the plans for a superweapon of sorts that will help him to take over the world. However, he needs to find help to get the materials needed.

In terms of aesthetics, Sackboy looks really good on the PS5. The visual details are sharp, and the environment is very pleasing to look at and explore. The detail has so much depth that you’re likely to miss many little things until you play specific levels multiple times.

These visual upgrades, faster loading times, DualSense controller support, and 3D audio make the PS5 version of Sackboy the one to try, although the PS4 version is also quite good.

What’s more, Sackboy is an excellent option for people that are looking for the best co-op platformer games for PS5.

The online multiplayer mode allows up to four players to experience the game together, and there are stages in the game that are specifically designed for these multiplayer games.

Astro’s Playroom

Credit: PlayStation

If you’re new to the PS5, and you’re looking to start off your experience with a platformer game, then Astro’s Playroom is the best place to look.

I say this because the game was pretty much built to showcase the new features that the ninth generation PlayStation console was coming with, and it does so really well. So, starting off here will give you a solid understanding of what to expect in terms of how these features would translate into gameplay in other types of games.

Astro’s Playroom is a 3D platforming game developed by Japan Studio, but don’t worry, this is one of those Japanese games with English support.

It was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment in time for the release of the PS5, and it comes pre-installed on the console.

Everything you may want to test is implemented excellently here – the DualSense controller with great haptic feedback and use of adaptive triggers, the speed of the high-speed SSD, smoother framerates, sharper details – everything.

Step into the shoes of the Astro Bot and experience the intentionally-crafted adventure of the PlayStation 5 in its full glory.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Credit: PlayStation

When it comes to debut titles from game developers, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is as good as it gets. The game was Ember Lab‘s first attempt at building a game for consoles, and it turned out to be a pretty solid first effort.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure platform game, and it was published in 2021 – also by Ember Lab. In that way, it is a similar game to Demon Turf, but the premise and gameplay are very different.

Kena follows the story of the titular character, a young spirit guide that has magical powers. Those powers are pretty useful in smashing stuff up and defeating enemies, which you’ll be doing quite a bit of.

As a spirit guide, Kena’s purpose is to help dead people that are stuck in limbo between the physical and spirit worlds. These dead people get stuck because they are traumatized or have unfinished business, so it is up to spirit guides to help them sort things out.

In some ways, Kena feels similar to The Legend of Zelda. It’s not necessarily a comparison for passing judgment on the game, just something to note.

On the PS5, you get two game modes that determine the visual quality and performance of the game. “Fidelity mode” renders the game at native 4K with 30fps, while “Performance mode” runs at 60fps with dynamic 4K.

There is also a “Photo mode” similar to what you get in Ghost of Tsushima, and you can use this to take pictures in-game.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Credit: PlayStation

Much like Astro Playroom, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a fantastic audition for the PlayStation 5 in a way that many games released around the same time were not at launch.

It was one of the first games to be made exclusive for the PS5, so there was already some level of expectation about how much of the power packed into Sony’s ninth-gen offering the game would be able to tap into.

Ratchet and Clank is a hugely popular series, so you should have some idea of what to expect from this shooter platform game in terms of mechanics and the general premise.

Rift Apart is the first new game in the series since the time of the PS3, so its arrival was perfectly timed to take full advantage of the much-improved tech in the PS5.

First off, this game is absolutely gorgeous on the new-gen console. It is one of the best-looking games on the PS5, period. That said, it is extra impressive how those stunning visuals are not unarguably the best part of playing the game.

Rift Apart makes fantastic use of the DualSense controller. Each move you make is greeted with a satisfying rumble from the controller, and you can feel the “ka-ching” reverberation when you collect new weapons or currency.

Adaptive triggers are also excellently implemented when firing weapons. You have genuine control over how your guns fire depending on how hard you pull the trigger, and the mechanics are different for each weapon.

The shooter element combined with the platform movement and progression make Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart not only an excellent platformer but also one of the best adventure games for PS5.

Final Words

Twelve – that’s not so bad, especially when you consider the fact that this list includes a nice variance in the options offered.

There are 2D, 3D, aesthetically pleasing, gameplay-focused, and multi-genre options that should keep you fairly busy for a while even if you skip multiple dinners. Also, as far as action goes, most of these games also have a fair bit going on.

However, I’m a pretty humble guy sometimes, so I’ll admit there’s the possibility that I’ve made a terrible mistake and left a major title out.

Or, you know, maybe the entire list is just not doing it for you, in which case I’ll have to question your taste. Whatever the case is, leave a comment and bare your soul to me – I can take it!

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