16 Platformer Games Like Crash Bandicoot
There are plenty of games out there like Crash Bandicoot. Considering how Crash has become such a beloved IP over the years, it’s understandable that people would want to capitalize on that success.
However, for every copycat out there (or, should we say, copy-bandicoot), only a few manage to capture what made Crash Bandicoot so great.
The following recommendations are not necessarily inspired by Crash Bandicoot. However, if you love the tight controls and tough platforming challenges of new and old Crash Bandicoot games, there is a game on this list for you!
So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
16. Super Mario 3D All Stars
Super Mario 3D All-Stars brings together the best of the best when it comes to Mario’s 3D platformer outings.
Starting out with Super Mario 64, this game revolutionized the platforming genre when it was first released. While other games perfected the formula, Super Mario 64 laid the foundation for every game that followed.
When it comes to Super Mario Sunshine, Mario has never felt smoother to control. With tons of flips and new movement mechanics, the only thing missing is the long jump.
And, finishing up with Super Mario Galaxy, this game forwent the freedom of movement found in the other two titles but replaced it with jaw-dropping spectacle and one of the greatest video game scores ever conceived.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a great way to relive Mario’s glory days while we wait patiently for Super Mario Odyssey 2.
15. Neon White
At first glance, Neon White and Crash Bandicoot seem like polar opposites. Neon White is a recent speed-running game that involves discarding cards to perform various movement actions.
The whole game is built around getting from point A to point B as quickly and creatively as possible.
Crash Bandicoot is great as a casual game, but we shouldn’t forget that it also has a bustling speedrun community. Even if you don’t plan on ever dedicating yourself to speedrunning a Crash Bandicoot title, most games have Time Trial stages for you to test your skills.
Some of these Time Trial stages have lots of different paths and movement options for you to make use of as you sprint your way to the end goal.
Neon White and Crash Bandicoot both encourage players to try out as many different options as they can think of when trying to improve their overall time.
Also, the writing of both these games is pretty funny. Neon White has been criticized for its cringeworthy writing, but if you take into account that it was written to be cringey, the comedy transcends into a new level of hilarity.
14. Sonic Origins
If you love old-school 2D platforming challenges, then Sonic Origins is the game for you. This bundle allows players to relive the original trilogy + Knuckles, all in gloriously modern graphics.
The first three Sonic games managed to propel the blue hedgehog into the stratosphere of mainstream popularity, and it’s clear to see why.
There were a few teething problems with the first game, but Sonic Team really kicked it into gear from the sequel onwards.
The gameplay is fast, highly reactive, and most of all, fun! Sonic has seen his fair share of misfortune over the years, much like another shirtless orange gaming mascot you might know.
Still, the originals will always be there to replay, and thanks to Sonic Origins, they are as accessible as ever.
13. Super Mario Odyssey
The world of 3D Mario games can seemingly do no wrong. Ever since Super Mario 64, each new release has continued to push the boundaries of what makes the platforming genre so great.
Super Mario Odyssey is no exception, and many would rank it as one of the best platformers on the Nintendo Switch.
Super Mario Odyssey’s new mechanic this time involves using your hat to take control of various objects around the game world. it is a simple premise but allows for so much creative movement around levels and even more unique puzzles to solve.
Games like Mario Odyssey are few and far between, but the amazing level design, fluid controls, and challenging but fair gameplay is something found in most Crash Bandicoot titles also.
The only downside to Mario Odyssey would be that some of the worlds feel a bit by-the-books. The generic water, desert, and ice worlds, however, are juxtaposed with amazing new levels such as the Metro Kingdom and the Ruined Kingdom.
All in all, Super Mario Odyssey is a must-play for an avid Nintendo Switch enjoyer
12. Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy offers players some of the toughest platforming challenges ever made. With a control scheme that is easy to pick up but difficult to master, Super Meat Boy is a great game for both casual players and hardcore gamers alike.
What makes Super Meat Boy so great are the smooth-as-silk controls. There is no such thing as a cheap death in Super Meat Boy. Every game over can be attributed to something you, as a player, did incorrectly.
Crash Bandicoot hasn’t always been like this. In the early days of the series, cheap deaths seemed to appear around every corner.
Thankfully, this has been ironed out a lot in the newer games. Namely, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time’s inclusion of a small shadow is nothing if not a godsend.
Being able to precisely pinpoint where you will land when making a few tricky jumps has never been easier, thanks to this one simple inclusion.
If you love the sometimes brutal difficulty of Crash Bandicoot titles, Super Meat Boy will not disappoint.
11. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
A spinoff from the Little Big Planet series, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a PS5 exclusive platforming adventure with tons of charm.
Players will travel through various levels and take on increasingly difficult platforming challenges as everyone’s favorite modern-day PlayStation mascot, Sackboy.
This game is far less taxing than your average platformer. This goes doubly so when talking about a game like Crash Bandicoot.
Much like LittleBigPlanet was created as a pseudo tech demo for the PlayStation 3, Sackboy: A Big Adventure does the same thing for the PS5.
If you enjoy a more casual platformer to wind down with after a long day, this is the game for you!
With Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course finally hitting our screens, people are falling back in love with one of the greatest indie games ever created.
Let’s start off with the most striking thing about Cuphead; its art style. Every frame of Cuphead’s gameplay is hand-drawn, making the style all but timeless.
The gameplay here is layered with plenty of abilities to keep casual players interested and enough challenge to test speedrunners to their very limits.
The Delicious Last Course comes with a brand-new character that plays completely differently than Cuphead and Mugman. Additionally, the game comes with a plethora of new weapons and challenging boss fights, each with its own unique mechanics.
Cuphead is easily one of the best platformers on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox.
9. Sonic Mania
Sonic, much like Crash Bandicoot, has had a rough ride over the years, with the developers behind the IP being unable to recapture the magic of the original games.
Sonic, in particular, has been milked dry at this point, with crazier and crazier mechanics detracting from what made the blue blur special.
Fans have always been asking for a return to form, and a dedicated few decided to take things into their own hands.
Sonic Mania is created by fans for fans and reimagines some of the classic Sonic levels with a modern touch.
High-octane, fast-paced sidescrolling gameplay is par for the course in Sonic Mania. Crash Bandicoot’s bonus levels (and a few stages in Crash Bandicoot 4) opt for a 2D sidescrolling shift, and these are a nice break between the traditional levels.
Sonic Mania is a great return to form for Sonic and the best game released for this series since Sonic Generations.
8. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
The original Yooka-Laylee was designed from the ground up to be a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.
Unfortunately, it seems this end goal clouded the creative vision of some of the developers, as the final product felt more like a fan game honoring the original bear and bird and less like a fully flesh-out product.
Luckily, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair takes things in a different direction and is much better for it. The game still takes inspiration from a retro title (this time; Donkey Kong Country), but the unique mechanics on display here make the game more able to stand on its own two feet.
The sidescrolling challenges in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair are great for both newcomers and veteran gamers alike.
One problem with Crash Bandicoot is its crushing difficulty in certain sections. If you find yourself unable to progress through a particularly tough platforming challenge in this game, there isn’t really much you can do about it.
However, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair allows players to take on the final level right from the get-go. This level, as you might expect, is incredibly difficult. Luckily, by playing through the game’s other levels, you can acquire more health with which to take on the Impossible Lair finally.
This is a great mechanic that allows true hardcore players to test their mettle while the more casual audience can actively increase their durability.
7. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury completely revitalizes the 3D World lineup of Mario games. Everything that makes these games great is pushed to the absolute breaking point in Bowser’s Fury.
Despite this arguably being only one level, there are so many things to do and so much content to unpack here that it can easily pass for its own game.
A lesser-talked-about aspect of Bowser’s Fury is the soundtrack. The game is one massive world, but each different area has a unique and captivating background track to go along with it.
Crash Bandicoot has always had great music, from the simple but effective riffs of the first game to the strangely unique acapella score of Crash Twinsanity.
6. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet and Clank has seen a significant rebranding over the years. What started out as a buddy cop story about a snarky and quick-to-anger mechanic and his by-the-books robot partner has kind of fallen by the wayside.
The new age of Ratchet and Clank shifts Ratchet and Clank’s personality and makes them more into generic heroes.
The first game featured in this reimagining of the pair was met with a mixed reception. The gameplay was fun, and the new weapons are still enjoyable to use, but there was a lot less character and overall challenge.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart seeks to amend some of these mistakes. The developers are committed to this character rebrand, but the gameplay is always something that can be tweaked to perfection.
Tons of unique weapons, plenty of new mechanics, and a far more interesting story are what lies in store this time around.
Definitely be sure to check out Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart if you haven’t done so already (and managed to get your hands on a PlayStation 5)!
5. Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts is a cult classic video game. Fans had been asking for a sequel for years, and when Psychonauts 2 was finally revealed, it more than lived up to people’s expectations.
Unlike Crash Bandicoot, Psychonauts 2 places quite a large focus on its storyline. The overarching narrative of Psychonauts is just as pivotal to the overall experience as the gameplay.
That isn’t to suggest that the core platforming gameplay of Psychonauts 2 isn’t up to par. There are still plenty of great challenges and interesting mechanics on display that will test even the most capable of gamers.
If you love Crash Bandicoot but want a game with a little more of a narrative, Psychonauts 2 is the game for you.
4. Rayman 2: The Great Escape
For how many times Rayman 2 has been rereleased and on every console imaginable, you will have likely played this game already.
Despite being a relatively old game, Rayman 2 still offers tons of tough platforming challenges and unique gameplay features.
Much like Crash Bandicoot, Rayman 2 is always willing to try something new. In Crash Bandicoot, one minute, you will be running and jumping, and the next, you will be riding on the back of a polar bear or participating in a motorcycle race.
Rayman 2 keeps things just as fresh. One moment, you will be firing away at a group of enemies while on foot, and the next, you will be on a makeshift jetski trying to avoid perilous objects coming your way.
3. Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated
Rarely do games based on movies or television shows perform well. Sure, there are a few exceptions where genuine care and time are put into a project to make it successful. However, more often than not, creating a game tie-in is done only to make money.
The original Battle for Bikini Bottom was a great game and far better than a Spongebob game had any right to be. It had tight platforming, great voice acting, and an actual plot.
The game was so popular that it spawned a cult following with a dedicated speedrunning community still chipping away at it to this very day.
Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated was created mostly because of this cult following. Fans wanted to see the game reimagined, and the developers, after seeing there was still an audience there, decided to oblige.
Unfortunately, the game feels a lot like a rough copy and paste as opposed to a full reimagining. The gameplay is still solid, and the story is left unchanged, but considering this was originally a PlayStation 2 title, it would have been nice to see a few more quality of life improvements.
All in all, for those yet to play this game, Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is still a great ride from start to finish.
Banjo-Kazooie is one of the greatest 3D platformers ever created. It goes to show how amazing this game is that it still remains relevant twenty-plus years after its initial release.
Moreover, despite having only two mainline games that make up its entire franchise, fans still praise the bear and bird duo for perfecting the platforming formula.
Banjo-Kazooie takes players through various worlds where you will learn new attack moves, acquire new abilities, and take on various platforming challenges.
Much like Crash Bandicoot, one of the key incentives for completionists out there is the countless collectible items on offer.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time took this to the next level, including more items required for 100% completion than ever before.
Banjo-Kazooie was one of the pioneers of the “collect-a-thon” genre alongside other Rare classics like Donkey Kong 64.
Moreover, Banjo-Kazooie’s writing is another aspect that makes it special. Newer Crash Bandicoot games have great writing for characters like Cortex, and the hilarious character writing of Banjo-Kazooie will make fans of the Bandicoot feel right at home.
1. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot and Spyro go hand in hand the same way as Mario and Sonic. Both these mascots have gone through similar development cycles over the years until reaching the modern era.
Both the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro trilogy were beloved on the original PlayStation. Then, things got a little rocky as these IPs each had their brands exploited in different ways.
Unfortunately, this results in quite a few bad Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games for various gaming systems over the years.
However, now Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are back in the world’s good books, thanks to the full remakes of their original games.
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been praised by both newcomers and veterans alike for its great art direction, solid gameplay, and faithfulness to the original three games.
Yes, a few glitches that speedrunners used have been patched in these remakes. However, a large helping of new glitches can be found in these games that make the overall run completely different!
If you enjoy the tight platforming challenges, dozens of collectibles, and charming art style of Crash Bandicoot, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy should definitely be the next game on your list.