Top 10 Platform Anime Games [Best Recommendations]

The term platformer in gaming jargon refers to a game that requires the player to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies through traversing on platforms along the way. In other words, a platformer title is one that’s all about using platforms to your advantage to clear the level and progress through the game. These games are what really helped to breathe new life into the game industry, since around the time of the Atari things were looking gloomy. With major revolutionary hits like Super Mario Land, Mega Man, and Donkey Kong Country taking on the main platform, the industry transformed into what it is today. Whether you’re hopping on green shells to clear out a horde of enemies in Super Mario World, or saving the world from the evil Ridley in the classic Super Metroid, the popular platform genre is one that will never miss a step.

10. Ape Escape 3

  • System/Platform: PlayStation 2
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 4, 2005

Ape Escape 3 was a game that many slept on and perhaps it’s due to the vast number of heavy hitters that were out for PS2 at the time. The game starts two young twin protagonists Satoru and Sayaka, as they race around their city trying to thwart the evil Specter along with Dr. Tomuki and their plans to turn everyone into mindless creatures.

Ape Escape was such a blast to play because not only did you have an entertaining and very humorous story, it took you on this really wonderful adventure as you run around trying to capture every monkey before it’s too late. Capturing these monkeys was no laughing matter because they weren’t monkeying around at all, evading your attempts and creating more obstacles along the way. It was addictive because you knew that if you caught all of the monkeys that there would be a huge reward for it, so you’d spend hours on end trying to grab every one of them while searching for the secret ones too.


9. Shovel Knight

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Yacht Club Games
  • Developer: Yacht Club Games
  • Release Date: June 26, 2014

Shovel Knight is like every nostalgia gamers dream come true, as it takes everything you loved from the 8-bit classic hits like Super Mario, Zelda and Metroid, creating this new experience for the new era. Players take control of a Knight who carries around a shovel and must use it to destroy enemies, find new obstacles, and overcome towering bosses who aren’t very easy to say the least.

It’s everything you’d expect for a 2D platformer but with all of the modern perks put in place like a much smoother framerate, along with easier to handle controls and better quality of sound. It’s not very often that you see developers take on such a challenge to revive 8-bit games, but it seems like these days with the recent hit of the classic NES and Mini that retro games are starting to make a comeback. So many games these days focus so much of their time on graphics and performance, but what makes Shovel Knight such a thrill is that it throws all of that out of the window and warps you back to a time when all people cared about was simple gameplay mechanics with a large window of difficulty to keep you coming back for more.


8. Child of Light

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Release Date: April 19, 2014

Child of Light is another modern day platformer title that combines the classic style we’re all so fond of, with role playing elements to really bring the gameplay to a whole new level. Taking place in the mythical land known as Lemuria, where you take control of Aurora, a child who finds herself in this strange town after being spirited away from her home town. Now her new goal is to bring back the sun, moon and stars that have been held captive by Queen of the Night so that she can return home safely.

Innovation at its finest and who knows innovation better than Ubisoft. These guys know how to create real genuine platform titles, and with Rayman as their proof to seal the deal there’s no denying it. Watching Child of Light in action and you’re just blown away by all of the sparkling graphics and fantastic artistic direction Ubisoft took with it, along with some very thrilling gameplay that took you on an endless journey full of non stop challenges. Taking elements from Final Fantasy and the very popular Grandia franchises, the role playing style blended with the platforming aspects to create a very riveting experience that we recommend you try out.


7. Ori and the Blind Forest

  • System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Developer: Moon Studios
  • Release Date: March 11, 2015

Twitch has become the world’s leading platform for all things gaming, and when Ori and the Blind Forest released so many streamers flocked to this title. You take control of the white spirit named Ori, paired with his spirit partner named Sein as they traverse through tricky obstacles and solve challenging puzzles. Ori and the Blind Forest took a lot of notes from other popular platformers such as Rayman and Super Metroid, and took the gameplay to the next level with spectacular graphics, artistic style, and pleasing story.

Using Sein as your helper as it shoots out spirit flames to kill enemies, you must think about every move you make because often times you’ll run into obstacles that truly tickle your brain, and will not let you progress until you figure things out. Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the games that takes on the popular moniker ‘Metroidvania’, as it shares similarities in gameplay to the classic as we mentioned before, but also because you’re constantly going back and forth trying to collect everything as much as you can. Using the soul links as save points, you can save yourself the headache of starting from the beginning and work your way towards completing this one of a kind title from Microsoft Studios.


6. Strider

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Date: March 7, 1989

When we speak of difficulty and games that truly take your patience to its limits, we’re not talking about today’s industry standard difficulty. When we flashback to the early 90’s when codes and walkthroughs were scarce, we had to use our sound judgement and reflexes to clear stages. Here comes Strider into the fray, a game that to this day is still considered to be one of the hardest to complete. Of course due to dated hardware the game is no longer sought after by the tech heads of today’s generation, but old souls will agree that Strider was one of those games that created the term ‘Salt’, which refers to when you simply can’t take it anymore and you snap.

Every stage was filled with enemies that would sometimes charge at you out of nowhere, kill you and have you start over from the beginning. It was a headache time and time again, but what truly made Strider so addictive is that you pushed through it all and never gave up because you knew at the end of the dark tunnel, the light was surely waiting for you. There’s an updated version of Strider available for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but nothing can ever truly come close to the sheer greatness that is the arcade original.


5. Mega Man II

  • System/Platform: Nintendo NES, iOS, PlayStation
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Date: December 24, 1988

Mega Man II is the one title that still resonates with many veterans of the gaming world due to its challenging obstacles, tough boss battles, and one of the best opening themes we’ve ever heard in the history of gaming. You star as Mega Man, who’s on a set course to trump the evil Dr. Wily and his plot to take over the world with his sinister robot creations.

Each boss encounter left you sweating afterwards because they were no slouch when it came to truly challenging you. That’s one of the great treasures about classic titles, is that compared to today’s more silver spooned approach to gaming, the older titles featured a lot more in terms of difficulty which encouraged players to really spend time with the game and beat it 100%. As you progress through each stage of Mega Man II and beat bosses, you get to take their weapons and use it as you continue on your journey towards defeating Dr. Wily. It was great because it wasn’t a set course with regards to the stages, since you could pick which robot you wanted to fight in a strategic manner to overcome later obstacles in the game. A truly satisfying experience in every way possible.


4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

  • System/Platform: Nintendo Wii U
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Retro Studios | Monster Games
  • Release Date: February 14, 2014

Donkey Kong Country was a hit success among many who took part in the gaming world, and to this day it’s still highly regarded as one of the best platformers of all time. While everyone was blown away by Nintendo’s innovative craftsmanship pertaining to gameplay, what truly made Donkey Kong Country a hit was its iconic soundtrack that many still salivate over. You starred as Donkey Kong, a determined Gorilla that wanted to protect Kong Jungle and its inhabitants from King K. Rool and his cronies. With the help from his family members Diddy, Dixie and others, the Donkey Kong franchise smashed its way to the top with ease.

Fast forward to modern times and Tropical Freeze makes its way to Nintendo’s Wii U console, with a plethora of improvements over the Super Nintendo originals. Every Donkey Kong title has come with its perks, but what makes Tropical Freeze really stand out among the rest of them is that it takes all of what was great from each predecessor and upgrades those features dramatically to create a genuine experience, while still maintaining the integrity of the franchise. You had a much more allusive soundtrack that sounded several times better than the originals, especially the aquatic level that everyone now replays on their music list.


3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

  • System/Platform: Multi Platform
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release Date: March 20, 1997

Widely considered by many hardcore fans of the genre to be the best Castlevania title of all time, Symphony of the Night took the Metroidvania format and blew it out of the water. While most would agree that the story and voice acting in the game was subpar at best, what truly sold the title and made it a sleeper hit was that, it managed to take all of the best parts of Super Metroid and plant it very convincingly into the Castlevania universe which synced perfectly.

The major selling point of the Metroid series was just how much it forced you to think two steps ahead every time, often times traveling back to certain parts of the map to grab rare items or to beat mini bosses to collect powerful weapon buffs. You take all of that and throw into an already well developed title and you have a wonderful treat in your hands. Whether you’re whipping your way through constant enemies in hopes to save Maria and Richter, or just simply trying to find your way around this labyrinth of constant ups and downs, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one title for the PS2 that will remain one of the best that Konami has ever released in the history of the company.


2. Super Metroid

  • System/Platform: Super Nintendo, Nintendo Wii
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Research & Development 1
  • Release Date: March 19, 1994

Back in the early to late 90’s, Nintendo proved dominant in the gaming world because they had all of the top IPs, and the right companies to back them up along the way. One of Nintendo’s best IP’s to date is the Metroid series, where female bounty hunter Samus Aran travels the galaxy to collect the treasured metroids and stop the evil Ridley from wreaking havoc on everyone.

Super Metroid was the title that took the world by storm with its spectacular visuals during the time, while the super challenging gameplay was what captivated so many. You had to do so much back tracking in the game to find special items and weapons just so that you could advance, while encountering tough enemies and bosses that really tested your patience. Eventually Super Metroid became such a popular platform title that many games that came after it now use the term ‘Metroidvania’ to describe its over the top, metroid style platformer play that we all know and love.


1. Super Mario 64

  • System/Platform: Nintendo 64, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PQube
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: June 23, 1996

This number one choice should come as a no brainer since Super Mario 64 took everything we knew and loved (and still love) from previous hit titles, and revolutionized the gaming world by introducing 3D platforming to everyone. This was the first of its kind back in 1996 when the Nintendo 64 released and it was mind blowing to see Mario skip and dash his way through 3D stages, all the while performing the same acrobatics he’s been so well known for.

Super Mario 64 came at the perfect time in the game industry since many developers and publishers were moving into a new generation of gaming, while technology was becoming more sophisticated. Nintendo saw this coming miles ahead of the competition and pioneered a new wave of 3D platforming titles to hit the shelves long after its release. Even to this day, Super Mario 64 is still regarded as the best 3D platformer of all time and its incredibly addictive gameplay is enough proof to solidify that statement.


Final Thoughts

We mentioned Rayman in some of our paragraphs but we also can’t forget the likes of Jungle Book, Lion King, Earthworm Jim, Boogerman, Sonic, Vectorman, and the plethora of other hit classics that are still revered to this day. Whatever your taste in gaming, platformer titles will almost always be at the forefront of them all because it paved the way for other genres to flourish, and helped to restore life back into what was once considered a “dead industry” by analysts in the 80’s. Let us know what your favorite platform anime title is in the comments below, and always continue to support Honey’s by sharing our articles on social media!

As always, if you want to know about all the latest buzz straight from the bee’s nest in Japan, be sure to keep it locked here at Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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