It’s time for another sequel to a previous list of Switch games, friends. We’ve recently made additions to our favorite JRPGs and fighting games on the platform, and the next one to get its update is our list of favorite 3D platformers. As with the other recent recommendations, this isn’t a replacement for the previous one but an addendum to it. All of those games on that original list are still worth checking out and will not be repeated here. Let’s give some newer or quirkier ones their time to shine.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury ($59.99)
This shows how long ago that first list was, I suppose. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury offers up two experiences in one package. One is a spiffed-up port of the Wii U Super Mario 3D World, an excellent platformer that is a blast to play in multiplayer. The other is the all-new Bowser’s Fury, a shorter and more experimental take on 3D Mario that has you earning Shines in a continuous open world. Being able to play with a friend or three helps this stand out among the other 3D Mario choices on Switch.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land ($59.99)
Here’s another one that can be fun to play with a friend. Kirby takes his first waddling steps into 3D, and it turns out Kirby takes to the third dimension quite well. Explore a brand new world and use Kirby’s new Mouthful mode to do some truly horrifying things. I mean, horrifying in a cute way, but still. As is always the case with Kirby games, you can make this one as chill or intense as you like depending on how you approach things.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time ($39.99)
This game, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of chill. Crash Bandicoot 4 is a very difficult game, and if you mean to actually complete it 100%? I hope you keep plenty of padding nearby to catch your controller when you throw it again and again. Setting aside the high level of challenge, this is a surprisingly faithful and well-constructed sequel to a series that had gone a very long time without one. It has lengthy, intricate levels with devilishly clever sequences that will test your skills, wits, and patience.
Sonic Frontiers ($59.99)
I know this might be a controversial one, but I personally think Sonic Frontiers is a unique, highly enjoyable take on 3D Sonic. It has a lot of flaws, but there’s a certain compelling quality to it that kept me coming back until I finished it. For better or worse, there aren’t many 3D platformers like this one. Will it lead to a new era for the Blue Blur? Probably not, but let’s enjoy the interesting games when we get them. One to nibble on little by little over a span of time.
It Takes Two ($39.99)
We’ve seen other multiplayer 3D platformers on this list, but this is the only one that requires a second player. You can’t play this alone, but the game does its best to provide you with every option for pulling in another player with support for online and local multiplayer and the ability for two people to play off of one copy. Given that the designers know that you’ll be playing this with another human, the level designs take full advantage by creating situations that require two people working together to solve. I’m not as enthused about the way the story works, but I can set that aside to enjoy the high-quality platforming on display here.
Pac-Man World: Re-Pac ($29.99)
Given that Pac-Man was something of a 3D game from the start, it was an easy shift to take the character faithfully into the realm of 3D platforming. This is a remake of a PlayStation game, and it feels like it in a number of ways. But there’s a real pleasure to its bouncy gameplay, and its more restrained level designs do some clever things to wring a lot out of some tight spaces. This was a big hit in its original form, and it’s not hard to see why even playing it today.
If you love collectathon 3D platformers, Tinykin is going to be right up your alley. Explore some massive levels, collecting all kinds of bits and bobs while solving various problems to open up new areas. The use of paper-thin sprites for the characters gives this game a distinct look, but the spot-on gameplay and carefully laid-out environments are familiar in all the best ways. An easy one to overlook, and I hope this list helps at least a few people find it.
Kao the Kangaroo ($29.99)
Despite having the same name, this isn’t a remake of the 2000 Dreamcast and Windows game. Rather, it’s a completely new installment, and one that manages to hit most of the same notes that made the original a cult favorite. This is another tough one, but its vibrant visuals, strong level designs, and unusual blend of beat-em-up and platforming challenges make it worth the squeeze. There are some rough edges here, but it makes the game feel like a new old game, if that makes sense. If you pine for the 3D platformers of the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 era, you’ll probably like Kao the Kangaroo.
Demon Turf ($24.99) & Demon Turf Neon Splash ($4.99)
Yes, I am cheating. Regular readers will know I am a rascal this way. While it is the newer release of the two, it’s perhaps best to consider Neon Splash to be a taste-test for the original game thanks to its low price and relative brevity. If you like what you get, you can grab its predecessor and dig into dozens of hours of fun. Those who enjoy perfecting runs to get through stages as quickly as possible will find plenty of potential here.
An affordable throwback to the 32-bit era, Lunistice parlays precise controls and some harrowingly tricky level designs into one of the biggest surprises of the genre in quite some time. While there aren’t a ton of stages here, each one is fairly lengthy and offers some secrets to uncover. The game also encourages replays, with some serious possibilities for speedrunning fans. Even if you just play through it normally and never touch it again, it’s hard to argue with the value being offered here.
And those are our “ten more” picks for the 3D platformer genre on the Nintendo Switch. Are there any we missed that you want to stand up for? Post them in comments for all to see, because it’s a win for everyone to have more great games to play. Thanks for reading!