The Best Nintendo Switch 3D Platformers

Nintendo fans have always been spoiled when it comes to platforming games. From the original Donkey Kong and Super Mario games to the 3D gems of Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, each game of the past carried the torch further for what success looks like within the genre.

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The Nintendo Switch is no different. It offers a plethora of incredible titles ready for you to climb, run and jump your way through. Each level acts as a playground for you to showcase your platforming skills, and there’s something undeniably charming about them too! Whether you’re a fan of 3D platformers, or are a newcomer looking to dive into the genre, there are some wonderful games waiting for you on the Nintendo Switch.

10 Fe

Art from the video game Fe, with the main character model perched uptop a tree.

Fe possesses a striking visual art style and takes you on a relaxing journey through the use of platforming mechanics. While the gameplay does lack some of the enjoyment that is traditional with the genre, the soundtrack allows you to get lost within your own adventure. It’s here that you will find yourself exploring the world and finding peace for the few hours Fe spans.

Overall, Fe is a simplistic game that is both calming and beautiful. There is endless beauty within the comfort of playing, and you get to interpret the story your own way by interacting with the world in a style not many other platformers would allow.

9 Poi: Explorers Edition

Poi: Explorer Edition, Boy reaches to grab the Tree Stump Medal

Poi is a fantastic little 3D platformer that takes great inspiration from platforming classics on the Nintendo 64. When you traverse the game’s levels, you’ll experience a heartwarming wave of nostalgia, as the art style will remind you of these titles. These feelings stay with you throughout the many challenges and the various different worlds Poi has you explore.

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The aim of the game is to collect all Explorers Medallions. If you’re a completionist, you’ve got your work cut out for you as there are over 100. In collecting them, you’ll battle engaging bosses and participate in wonderful minigames. Poi is truly a charming platformer that is overflowing with content for you to sink your teeth into.

8 Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Promotional Art for Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a brilliant compilation of the best Mario platformers across three generations worth of consoles. Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy all contributed significantly to the genre and despite their age, still remain enjoyable. Should you be wanting to possibly revisit your childhood memories or are a fan of Mario but never played these titles, now you can.

Both visual and gameplay improvements means each game feels fresh and upscaled. While Super Mario 64 is only 720p, you will no doubt be amazed at how clean Sunshine and Galaxy look as they match the visual quality of titles being launched today. A genuinely remarkable collection for any Mario fan.

7 Blue Fire

Blue Fire: Umbra wall running with a fountain in the background.

Blue Fire is a game that isn’t afraid to punish you if you mess up. It’s an old school platformer that mixes elements of combat and action with free-flowing movement. The gameplay feels smooth and will have you gliding around your enemies, however, each encounter will still bring its fair share of challenges.

There’s no denying Blue Fire is a tough game, but it’s clear that it is made with real passion for the genre. This love is evident in the amount of content available. You’re free to shape your gaming experience the way you want, from exploration, upgrading weapons, to customising your character and dressing them up in various cosmetic outfits. This all adds to the uniquely tailored adventure that’s fun to explore.

6 Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby And The Forgotten Land: Kirby Sucking In A Fox Creature

Kirby and the Forgotten Land marks Kirby’s 30th anniversary with its first 3D adventure. It’s a delightful experience that is particularly aimed at a younger audience, but also has plenty to offer if you’re a returning fan of the pink circular vacuum. The gameplay is both accessible and non-frustrating, meaning there isn’t much in the way of challenge, but still manages to hold universal charm.

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A real gem within the game is Mouthful Mode. This feature stands out for its entertainment value as Kirby undergoes comical transformations, assuming a variety of quirky forms to cleverly solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and come to the rescue of numerous Waddle Dees.

5 Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Crash, Coco and Lani-Loli, from Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a game very fitting of its title; it’s the fourth instalment of the series and comes 22 years after the third. Continuing on from the events in Crash Bandicoot: Warped, you play as Crash and his sister, Coco as they traverse multiple levels to halt Dr. Neo Cortex and Dr. N. Tropy’s evil plans once more.

You’re unlikely to get bored while playing, as there are a multitude of challenges and collectibles that are akin to the Crash Bandicoot series. This is helped by three different modes to keep you spoiled for content. Completionists can find themselves averaging a massive 84 hours, meaning you’ll need to dedicate some time to get everything there is to offer with this one.

4 Sonic Frontiers

Sonic Frontiers - Modern Sonic Holds A Silver Chaos Emerald

Sonic Frontiers is an open-world 3D platformer that takes Sonic and pals in a completely different direction than what we’re all used to. Throughout the game there is a vast amount of Sonic history spread throughout the levels. However, it also remains completely unapologetic in its addition of newer content.

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Sonic’s catchphrase ‘Gotta Go Fast’ is fully embodied as the game does exceptionally well at making you feel as if you are the speedy blue hedgehog. To accompany this feeling, there is plenty of variety when it comes to platforming out in the open world, with puzzles, ramps, boosts and combat. If that still isn’t enough for you, there’s also an entire story that fleshes out characters in a way that previous Sonic games failed to do.

3 A Hat In Time

Hat Kid riding a scooter off a ramp during the day.

If you’re looking for a platformer that possesses a lot of charm and creativity, A Hat in Time is for you. It is inspired by classic 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, with the art style to match. However, what makes it so special is the additional personality and humour that run throughout the game.

Each level is a vibrant and imaginative trip down nostalgia lane. You are rewarded for your curiosity to explore, and you will no doubt get lost for hours in doing so. A Hat in Time is one of those games that you will pick up and play until completion. Even when you think your time with Hat Kid is done, you’ll find yourself purchasing the DLC.

2 It Takes Two

Cody and May as dolls sit on a couch during therapy in It Takes Two

It Takes Two is arguably one of the best co-op games of all time, let alone platformers. It embodies the spirit of a healthy marriage, so knowing how to communicate and work together naturally plays a huge role in this game.

All the platform mechanics are fantastically crafted, making the gameplay feel as smooth and natural as possible. This is extremely important when it comes to character specific mechanics, as they gel together with your partners to help you progress. All elements, from the story and gameplay to the interactive environments and soundtrack, play a huge part in making It Takes Two a masterpiece within the videogame world.

1 Super Mario Odyssey

Mario looking shocked in Super Mario Odyssey.

Some could say Mario didn’t help create the platforming genre, but instead is the genre. Super Mario Odyssey only helps that argument as it offers a wholesome and enjoyable gaming experience. Equipped with his companion, Cappy, Mario gets a new set of abilities to aid his adventure. Additionally, if you wish to introduce your children to the world of Super Mario, a second player can take control of Cappy in a delightful co-op feature.

While the story is essentially the age-old classic of save the princess, Odyssey keeps the game feeling fresh and will surprise you at how well it introduces thoughtful and creative new mechanics. It’s within these innovative features that showcase how safe the Mario series will be for years to come.

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