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The Ultimate Showdown: Debating the Best Platformer of All Time

Welcome to the ultimate showdown where we’ll be debating the best platformer of all time! With so many incredible games to choose from, it’s hard to determine which one reigns supreme. But that’s exactly what we’re here to do. From Super Mario Bros. to Sonic the Hedgehog, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the world of platformers and determining which game deserves the title of the best of all time. So grab your controller and get ready for a wild ride as we explore the top contenders and ultimately crown the king of platformers.

Defining the Best Platformer

What Makes a Great Platformer?

A great platformer is one that has all the elements to make it a memorable and engaging experience for the player. The following are the key factors that contribute to a great platformer:

Engaging storyline

A captivating storyline is crucial for a platformer to keep the player engaged throughout the game. The storyline should be well-written and engaging, with interesting characters and a compelling plot. A good platformer will make the player care about the characters and want to know what happens next.

High-quality graphics

High-quality graphics are essential for a great platformer. The graphics should be smooth and detailed, with no glitches or lag. This helps to create an immersive gaming experience, where the player can fully engage with the game world.

Challenging gameplay

A great platformer should be challenging but not frustratingly difficult. The gameplay should be well-designed, with a good balance between difficulty and enjoyment. The player should feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete a level or defeat a boss.

Innovative level design

Innovative level design is crucial for a great platformer. The levels should be well-designed and offer a variety of challenges for the player. The design should be creative and unique, with hidden secrets and surprises that keep the player engaged.

Memorable characters

Memorable characters are important in a great platformer. The characters should be well-designed and have distinct personalities. They should be likable and relatable, with a good balance between serious and comedic moments. A great platformer will make the player care about the characters and want to see more of them.

The Criteria for the Best Platformer

When it comes to determining the best platformer of all time, there are several key criteria that must be considered. These criteria include:

  1. Replay value: A great platformer should be able to keep players engaged even after multiple playthroughs. This can be achieved through a variety of means, such as hidden secrets, challenging difficulty levels, or intricate level design that encourages exploration and experimentation.
  2. Originality: In a genre that has been around for decades, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. However, the best platformers are those that bring something new and unique to the table, whether it’s a fresh gameplay mechanic, a unique setting, or a fresh take on an old classic.
  3. Innovation: The best platformers are those that push the boundaries of what is possible in the genre. Whether it’s through the use of new technology, creative level design, or groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, the best platformers are always looking for ways to innovate and push the genre forward.
  4. Difficulty: A challenge is what makes a platformer great. The best platformers are those that are challenging, but fair, with precise controls and precise timing required to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies.
  5. Overall experience: Finally, the best platformers are those that provide a complete and immersive experience, from the moment the player starts the game to the moment they reach the end. This includes not only the gameplay, but also the visuals, sound design, and storytelling, if present.

Contenders for the Title

Key takeaway: A great platformer is defined by engaging storyline, high-quality graphics, challenging gameplay, innovative level design, and memorable characters. The best platformer is determined by factors such as replay value, originality, innovation, difficulty, and overall experience. Contenders for the title include Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong, Crash Bandicoot, Rayman, Spyro the Dragon, Banjo-Kazooie, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII, Gravity Rush, and Ori and the Blind Forest. Each of these games have unique qualities that make them stand out in the platformer genre. The debate over the best platformer of all time is subjective and varies based on personal opinions.

Super Mario Bros.

Gameplay

Super Mario Bros. is renowned for its intuitive and engaging gameplay, which has captivated gamers since its release in 1985. The game’s primary objective is to guide the iconic character, Mario, through a series of obstacles and enemies while collecting power-ups and coins. Players navigate through a variety of levels, each with unique challenges and themes, making the gameplay experience both diverse and thrilling. The seamless integration of running, jumping, and dodging mechanics creates a fluid gaming experience that is enjoyable for players of all skill levels.

Storyline

The storyline of Super Mario Bros. revolves around the titular character’s quest to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser. Players follow Mario and his companion, Luigi, as they navigate through the Mushroom Kingdom, overcoming various obstacles and adversaries along the way. The narrative is straightforward yet compelling, providing players with a clear objective and motivation to progress through the game. The narrative also serves as a foundation for subsequent games in the franchise, allowing for the development of a rich and intricate storyline.

Characters

Super Mario Bros. features a cast of beloved and iconic characters, including the eponymous Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach, and the mischievous Bowser. Each character possesses distinct personalities and abilities, contributing to the game’s dynamic and engaging gameplay. The characters’ design and animations are carefully crafted, with each having a unique appearance and set of moves, making them easily recognizable and memorable.

Innovation

Super Mario Bros. was groundbreaking in its incorporation of various innovative features, such as the overworld map, multiple paths, and hidden secrets. These innovations expanded the scope of platformer games, offering players a more immersive and exploratory experience. The game’s use of power-ups, such as the famous Super Mushroom, added an element of customization to the gameplay, allowing players to adapt their playstyle to suit their preferences. These innovations have since become staples in the platformer genre, and Super Mario Bros. remains a benchmark for innovation in gaming.

Impact on the industry

Super Mario Bros. has had a profound impact on the gaming industry, shaping the trajectory of platformer games and leaving an indelible mark on popular culture. The game’s widespread success led to the creation of an extensive franchise, with numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations across various media. The character of Mario, in particular, has become an iconic symbol of gaming, representing both the industry and its potential for creativity and innovation. Super Mario Bros. has inspired countless other games, with many developers drawing inspiration from its unique blend of gameplay, storytelling, and character design. The game’s influence on the industry cannot be overstated, and its legacy continues to resonate with gamers and non-gamers alike.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog, released in 1991, revolutionized the platformer genre with its fast-paced gameplay and innovative use of sprites. The game’s main character, Sonic, is able to run at high speeds and perform various jumps and spins, allowing players to navigate through levels with precision and skill. The game also features a unique mechanic where Sonic’s speed and momentum are used to navigate through the environment, adding an extra layer of challenge and skill to the gameplay.

The storyline of Sonic the Hedgehog is relatively simple, but effective. The game’s main character, Sonic, is a blue hedgehog who is on a mission to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik from taking over the world. The game’s levels are set in various locations, such as green hills, factories, and laboratories, and each level presents a new challenge for the player to overcome. The game’s story is told through brief cutscenes and in-game text, which add to the game’s overall atmosphere and immersion.

Sonic the Hedgehog features a cast of colorful and memorable characters, including Sonic himself, Dr. Robotnik, and various animal characters that Sonic encounters throughout the game. Each character has their own unique personality and role in the game’s story, adding depth and interest to the game’s world. The game’s characters are also well-designed and visually appealing, which helps to make the game more engaging and enjoyable for players.

Sonic the Hedgehog was groundbreaking in its use of sprites and animation, which allowed for more fluid and realistic movement than previous platformers. The game’s levels were also designed with a focus on speed and momentum, which added a new level of challenge and skill to the gameplay. Additionally, the game’s music and sound effects were innovative for their time, using a mix of rock and techno music to create an energetic and immersive atmosphere.

Sonic the Hedgehog was a critical and commercial success, and helped to establish the platformer genre as a staple of video games. The game’s innovative use of sprites and animation, as well as its focus on speed and momentum, inspired many other platformers that followed in its wake. The game’s popularity also led to the creation of a franchise, with numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations in various media. Sonic the Hedgehog remains a beloved and influential game in the platformer genre, and its impact on the industry can still be felt today.

Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country was a groundbreaking platformer that introduced new gameplay mechanics to the genre. One of the most innovative features was the inclusion of Donkey Kong’s iconic ability to throw barrels at enemies. This mechanic added a new layer of strategy to the game, as players had to carefully time their barrel throws to take out enemies and progress through the levels. Additionally, the game featured a variety of different environments, each with their own unique challenges and obstacles, keeping the gameplay fresh and exciting.

The storyline of Donkey Kong Country was simple yet engaging. The game follows the adventures of Donkey Kong and his new sidekick, Diddy Kong, as they search for the legendary Banana Hoard, which has been stolen by the evil King K. Rool. The storyline was well-written and featured interesting characters, making it an enjoyable experience for players.

Donkey Kong Country featured a cast of colorful and memorable characters. The two main characters, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, were well-designed and had distinct personalities. The supporting characters, such as Cranky Kong and Funky Kong, added even more depth to the game’s world.

Donkey Kong Country was a game that pushed the boundaries of what was possible on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game’s graphics were some of the best on the console, with detailed character models and beautifully designed levels. The game’s soundtrack was also highly praised, with catchy and memorable tunes that helped to enhance the overall experience.

Donkey Kong Country was a commercial success and received critical acclaim upon its release. The game’s innovative gameplay mechanics and high-quality graphics set a new standard for platformers on the SNES and helped to establish the franchise as one of the most beloved in gaming history. The game’s success also led to the development of several sequels, further cementing Donkey Kong’s place as a major player in the platformer genre.

Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot is known for its innovative gameplay mechanics, which have since become staples of the platformer genre. The game’s titular character, Crash Bandicoot, is a nimble and agile character who can jump, spin, and slide his way through a variety of challenging levels. Players must navigate through obstacles, avoid traps, and defeat enemies in order to progress through the game. The game also features a variety of power-ups and items that can enhance Crash’s abilities and help him overcome tough challenges.

The storyline of Crash Bandicoot follows the titular character as he attempts to thwart the evil plans of the nefarious Dr. Neo Cortex. Crash must navigate through a series of islands, each with its own unique challenges and obstacles, in order to reach and defeat the doctor. The game’s story is simple but engaging, and serves as a backdrop for the game’s challenging gameplay.

Crash Bandicoot himself is a beloved character in the platformer genre, with his distinctive appearance and trademark moveset. He is joined by a variety of other colorful characters, including his mentor and former nemesis, Dr. N. Tropy, and the ever-popular Coco Bandicoot. These characters add depth and personality to the game, making it a more immersive experience for players.

Crash Bandicoot was one of the first platformers to use 3D graphics, which at the time was a relatively new technology. The game’s use of 3D graphics allowed for more realistic and immersive environments, as well as more complex and challenging gameplay mechanics. The game also introduced a number of innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to jump and spin in mid-air, which have since become staples of the platformer genre.

Crash Bandicoot was a critical and commercial success, and helped to popularize the platformer genre. The game’s innovative gameplay mechanics and engaging storyline helped to establish it as a fan favorite, and it spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs. Crash Bandicoot also helped to pave the way for other 3D platformers, such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, which would go on to become some of the most beloved and influential games of all time.

Rayman

Rayman is a platformer game that has gained immense popularity for its unique gameplay mechanics. The game’s main character, Rayman, is a limbless creature with an elastic body that allows him to stretch and jump in ways that other characters cannot. This unique feature of Rayman’s body adds a new dimension to the gameplay, as players must learn to use his body in creative ways to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies.

The gameplay of Rayman is divided into levels, each of which is a self-contained environment with its own set of challenges. Players must navigate through these levels, collecting coins and defeating enemies along the way. The levels are filled with various obstacles, such as spikes, pits, and moving platforms, that require careful timing and precise movements to overcome.

The storyline of Rayman is simple yet engaging. The game follows the adventures of Rayman, a happy-go-lucky character who is on a quest to save his world from the evil forces of Mr. Dark. Along the way, Rayman encounters a variety of colorful characters, both friendly and hostile, that add depth to the game’s world.

The storyline of Rayman is not the primary focus of the game, but it serves as a backdrop for the gameplay. The game’s story is told through a series of cutscenes that are interspersed throughout the levels, providing players with a sense of progression and purpose.

Rayman’s cast of characters is one of the game’s strongest assets. The game’s main character, Rayman, is a lovable and relatable character who players will quickly grow attached to. In addition to Rayman, players will encounter a variety of other characters, such as Globox and the Teensies, who add depth and personality to the game’s world.

Each character in Rayman has its own unique personality and backstory, which adds depth and richness to the game’s world. The characters are also designed with a level of detail and care that is evident in every aspect of their design.

Rayman is a game that is known for its innovation and creativity. The game’s unique gameplay mechanics, such as Rayman’s elastic body, set it apart from other platformers and add a new level of challenge and excitement to the gameplay.

In addition to its innovative gameplay mechanics, Rayman also boasts impressive graphics and sound design. The game’s colorful and vibrant world is brought to life through detailed and intricate visuals, while the game’s soundtrack is a perfect match for the game’s atmosphere.

Rayman has had a significant impact on the platformer genre and the gaming industry as a whole. The game’s unique gameplay mechanics and innovative design set a new standard for platformers and influenced many games that followed in its wake.

In addition to its impact on the gaming industry, Rayman has also been recognized for its artistic and cultural significance. The game’s unique visual style and memorable characters have become iconic in the world of gaming, and the game’s soundtrack has been praised for its catchy and memorable melodies.

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon is a classic 3D platformer that was released in 1998 by Insomniac Games and Sony Computer Entertainment. The game features the titular character, Spyro, as he navigates through various levels, collecting items and defeating enemies. The gameplay is fast-paced and highly engaging, with smooth controls and fluid animations.

The storyline of Spyro the Dragon follows the titular character as he attempts to save his dragonfly friends from the evil sorceress, Ripto. Along the way, Spyro must traverse through different worlds, each with its own unique theme and challenges. The story is simple but effective, providing a clear motivation for the player to progress through the game.

Spyro the Dragon features a cast of colorful and memorable characters, including Spyro himself, his dragonfly friends, and the evil sorceress, Ripto. Each character is distinct and well-designed, with their own unique personalities and abilities. The interactions between the characters are well-written and add depth to the game’s story.

Spyro the Dragon was one of the first 3D platformers to be released, and it introduced several innovative features to the genre. The game’s smooth controls and fluid animations were revolutionary at the time, and the game’s use of camera angles and perspective added a new level of depth to the gameplay. Additionally, the game’s focus on collecting items and exploration helped to set it apart from other platformers of the time.

Spyro the Dragon was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to establish Insomniac Games as a major player in the video game industry. The game’s innovative features and engaging gameplay helped to set the standard for 3D platformers, and its impact can still be felt today. The game spawned several sequels and spin-offs, and it remains a beloved classic among gamers.

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie is renowned for its tight and responsive controls, which enable players to navigate through its various levels with ease. The game’s controls are simple yet intuitive, with players able to move Banjo around, jump, and perform special moves such as Kazooie’s egg-firing abilities. The game’s level design is also highly praised, with each level presenting unique challenges and obstacles that require both precision and creativity to overcome.

Banjo-Kazooie features a compelling storyline that follows the adventures of Banjo and Kazooie as they attempt to thwart the evil plans of the wicked witch Gruntilda. The game’s story is full of twists and turns, with unexpected plot developments that keep players engaged and eager to see what happens next. The game’s storytelling is also enhanced by its colorful and vibrant world, which is full of charming characters and hidden secrets.

Banjo-Kazooie is home to a wide array of memorable and lovable characters, each with their own distinct personalities and traits. The game’s protagonists, Banjo and Kazooie, are the stars of the show, with their unique abilities and playful banter making them a joy to control. The game also features a cast of supporting characters, including the eccentric Madison the Honeybee and the grumpy old man, Terry.

Banjo-Kazooie was one of the first platformers to introduce a range of innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to perform special moves and collect valuable items. The game also features a range of mini-games and puzzles, which add variety and challenge to the gameplay. Additionally, the game’s use of a detailed world map, which allows players to backtrack and explore previously visited areas, was a revolutionary feature for its time.

Banjo-Kazooie was a critical and commercial success, and its impact on the platformer genre cannot be overstated. The game’s unique gameplay mechanics, engaging storyline, and lovable characters have inspired countless imitators, and its influence can still be felt in modern platformers today. Additionally, the game’s use of colorful and imaginative visuals helped to set a new standard for graphics in video games, paving the way for more visually stunning titles in the future.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, released in 1997, is considered one of the best platformers of all time. Its gameplay mechanics are highly praised for their complexity and depth. The game features a unique blend of action, exploration, and RPG elements, making it a standout title in the platformer genre.

Players control Alucard, the main protagonist, as he explores the vast and intricate Dracula’s Castle. The game features non-linear level design, allowing players to choose their path and explore different areas of the castle. This freedom of exploration adds a sense of adventure and discovery to the gameplay experience.

The storyline of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is both compelling and intriguing. The game takes place in an alternate universe where Dracula is not defeated and has risen again, leading to chaos and destruction. Alucard, the son of Dracula, must navigate through the castle and defeat his father to end the chaos.

The game’s storyline is filled with twists and turns, and players will encounter various characters along the way, each with their own story and motivations. The narrative is rich and well-developed, adding depth to the gameplay experience.

The characters in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are diverse and well-developed. Alucard is the main protagonist, but players will also encounter other characters such as Dracula, his wife, and various other monsters and creatures. Each character has their own unique story and motivations, adding richness to the game’s narrative.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is known for its innovation in the platformer genre. The game introduced several new gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to upgrade weapons and equipment, and the inclusion of RPG elements such as experience points and levels. These innovations added depth and complexity to the gameplay experience, setting a new standard for platformers.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had a significant impact on the platformer genre and the gaming industry as a whole. The game’s innovative gameplay mechanics and rich narrative set a new standard for platformers, and its influence can be seen in many subsequent games in the genre. The game’s success also led to the development of several sequels and spin-offs, further cementing its place as a classic title in the platformer genre.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, revolutionized the action-adventure genre and set the standard for future games in the series. Its innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the use of a targeting system for combat and the ability to switch between different modes of play, including a child and adult Link, made it a standout title. The game’s emphasis on exploration, puzzle-solving, and combat combined to create a well-rounded gaming experience that kept players engaged for hours on end.

The storyline of Ocarina of Time is one of the most memorable and well-crafted in gaming history. Players take on the role of Link, a young boy who must save the world from the evil sorcerer, Ganondorf. The game’s narrative is rich and immersive, with a deep backstory and a range of interesting characters that drive the story forward. The use of the Ocarina of Time as a central plot device adds an extra layer of depth to the story, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

The characters in Ocarina of Time are some of the most iconic and beloved in gaming history. Link, the protagonist, is a silent hero who is easy for players to identify with, while his companions, such as Zelda and Navi, provide valuable support and guidance throughout the game. The villains, particularly Ganondorf, are formidable and menacing, adding to the overall sense of danger and urgency in the game.

Ocarina of Time was a groundbreaking title that introduced several innovative features to the gaming world. Its use of 3D graphics, while not the first for a platformer, was a significant improvement over previous games in the series and helped to create a more immersive and realistic gaming experience. The game’s use of a targeting system for combat, which allowed players to aim their attacks with precision, was also a significant departure from previous games in the genre.

The impact of Ocarina of Time on the gaming industry cannot be overstated. It set the standard for future games in the series and helped to establish the action-adventure genre as a mainstay of gaming. Its innovative gameplay mechanics and immersive storyline have influenced countless other games, making it a true classic that continues to be beloved by gamers of all ages.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII, developed by Square Enix, was released in 1997 for the PlayStation console. The game’s gameplay consists of a traditional turn-based battle system, where the player controls the characters and engages in battles with various creatures and enemies. The game also features a unique limit break system, which allows characters to unleash powerful attacks when their limit gauge is filled. The limit break system adds an extra layer of strategy to the gameplay, as players must carefully manage their characters’ limit gauges in order to maximize their effectiveness in battle.

Final Fantasy VII has a complex and compelling storyline that has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. The story follows the journey of a group of rebels fighting against the evil Shinra Corporation, which has taken control of the planet and is draining its life force. The game’s story is filled with memorable characters, epic battles, and surprising twists and turns that keep players engaged from start to finish.

Final Fantasy VII is known for its well-developed and memorable characters. The game’s protagonist, Cloud Strife, is a brooding and conflicted hero who struggles with his own identity throughout the game. Other memorable characters include the smart and resourceful Aeris, the gruff and loyal Barret, and the enigmatic and powerful Sephiroth. The game’s characters are fully realized and well-acted, adding depth and emotion to the game’s story.

Final Fantasy VII was a groundbreaking game in many ways. Its stunning graphics and detailed character models set a new standard for console games at the time of its release. The game’s soundtrack, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, is widely regarded as some of the best video game music of all time, with memorable tracks like “One-Winged Angel” and “Main Theme” becoming iconic in their own right. The game’s innovative use of full motion video (FMV) sequences, which were cutscenes that featured live-action footage, added a new level of immersion to the game and helped to push the boundaries of what was possible in video game storytelling.

Final Fantasy VII had a profound impact on the video game industry and remains a beloved classic to this day. The game’s success helped to establish the JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) genre and paved the way for future games in the series. The game’s impact was not limited to the JRPG genre, however, as its innovative use of FMV sequences and detailed character models influenced many other games in the industry. Final Fantasy VII also helped to establish Square Enix as one of the most influential and successful game developers in the world.

Gravity Rush

Gravity Rush, developed by SCE Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, is a unique platformer that challenges players to manipulate gravity in order to navigate through the game’s world. The game’s mechanics are based on the concept of gravitational forces, which allows players to move objects and enemies by shifting the gravitational pull. The game’s mechanics are simple to learn but challenging to master, making it accessible to both casual and experienced players.

The storyline of Gravity Rush follows the protagonist, Kat, as she awakens with no memory of her past. As she explores the world, she discovers that she has the ability to manipulate gravity, which she uses to fight against monsters known as Nevi. The game’s storyline is well-written and engaging, with a strong emphasis on character development and a sense of discovery. The narrative is also enhanced by the game’s beautiful art style and soundtrack.

Gravity Rush features a cast of memorable and well-developed characters. The protagonist, Kat, is a strong and relatable character who grows and evolves throughout the game. The supporting characters, such as her mentor, Pai, and the mysterious character, Raven, are also well-written and add depth to the game’s story.

Gravity Rush was a pioneer in its use of the gravity manipulation mechanic, which was a new and innovative gameplay concept at the time of its release. The game’s mechanics were also complemented by its beautiful art style and soundtrack, which added to the overall experience.

Gravity Rush had a significant impact on the platformer genre and the industry as a whole. The game’s unique mechanics and innovative gameplay helped to pave the way for future platformers and inspired developers to experiment with new and creative ideas. The game’s success also helped to establish SCE Japan Studio as a prominent developer of quality games.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest is a challenging platformer that requires precision and skill from the player. The game’s controls are tight and responsive, allowing for smooth movement and precise jumps. The game also features a unique mechanic where the player can use Ori’s ability to traverse the environment and overcome obstacles.

The storyline of Ori and the Blind Forest is emotional and engaging. The player takes on the role of Ori, a small spirit who is on a quest to save the forest and its inhabitants. The story is told through beautifully animated cutscenes and is accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack.

The characters in Ori and the Blind Forest are well-designed and memorable. Ori is the main character, but the player will also encounter a variety of other characters throughout the game, each with their own unique personalities and abilities.

Ori and the Blind Forest stands out among other platformers due to its innovative gameplay mechanics and stunning visuals. The game’s environment is full of secrets and hidden paths, encouraging players to explore and discover new areas. The game also features a unique art style that blends 2D and 3D elements seamlessly.

Ori and the Blind Forest has had a significant impact on the gaming industry since its release. The game has received critical acclaim and has won numerous awards, including several Game of the Year awards. The game’s success has also led to the development of several sequels and spin-offs, solidifying its place as one of the most beloved platformers of all time.

The Great Debate

Arguments for Super Mario Bros.

  • Iconic characters: Super Mario Bros. is home to some of the most recognizable characters in gaming history. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser have become cultural icons, instantly recognizable even to those who have never played a video game. These characters have transcended the medium and have become part of popular culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and even fashion.
  • Groundbreaking gameplay: Super Mario Bros. introduced a number of gameplay mechanics that have become staples of the platformer genre. The ability to jump and run, the inclusion of power-ups, and the introduction of coins as a gameplay element are just a few examples of the innovations that Super Mario Bros. brought to the table. These mechanics have been imitated by countless other games, but none have ever quite captured the same magic as the original.
  • Innovative level design: Super Mario Bros. is known for its imaginative and challenging level design. Each level is a carefully crafted obstacle course, filled with hidden secrets, tricky jumps, and dangerous enemies. The levels are designed to be replayed multiple times, as players seek to find all the hidden areas and secrets. The level design is so well-crafted that even today, Super Mario Bros. remains a challenging and rewarding game to play.
  • Universal appeal: Super Mario Bros. is a game that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a casual player, Super Mario Bros. is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone. The game’s simple controls and accessible gameplay make it easy for anyone to pick up and play, while the challenging levels and hidden secrets provide a sense of accomplishment for those who take the time to master the game. Super Mario Bros. is a game that has stood the test of time, and its universal appeal is one of the reasons why it remains a beloved classic to this day.

Arguments for Sonic the Hedgehog

Fast-paced gameplay

One of the most significant arguments in favor of Sonic the Hedgehog is its fast-paced gameplay. From the very beginning, the game has been designed to be a thrilling, high-speed experience that keeps players on the edge of their seats. With its lightning-fast movements and intricate level designs, Sonic the Hedgehog challenges players to keep up with the blue blur as he zips and dodges through obstacles and enemies. The game’s speed also adds an extra layer of excitement, as players race against the clock to complete levels and beat their high scores.

Another reason why Sonic the Hedgehog is considered one of the best platformers of all time is its innovative level design. The game’s levels are designed to be both challenging and rewarding, with multiple paths and hidden secrets to discover. The levels are also designed to be replayed multiple times, as players strive to improve their skills and discover everything the game has to offer. The game’s level design is so innovative that it has influenced countless other platformers that have come after it, making it a true classic of the genre.

Stunning graphics

Sonic the Hedgehog is also known for its stunning graphics, which have stood the test of time since its original release in 1991. The game’s vibrant colors and detailed backgrounds are a joy to behold, and the game’s smooth animations make Sonic’s movements feel fluid and natural. The game’s graphics are so impressive that they have been used as a benchmark for other platformers, with many developers striving to match the level of visual quality that Sonic the Hedgehog has achieved.

Iconic characters

Finally, Sonic the Hedgehog is beloved by fans for its iconic characters. Sonic himself has become an icon of the gaming world, with his distinctive appearance and personality making him one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. The game’s other characters, such as Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, are also beloved by fans, and their unique abilities and personalities add depth and variety to the gameplay. Overall, the game’s characters are so iconic that they have become a defining feature of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, helping to make it one of the most beloved and enduring platformers of all time.

Arguments for Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country, released in 1994, boasted graphics that were unparalleled for its time. The game’s use of Mode 7 graphics, which provided a 3D effect on a 2D plane, allowed for smooth animations and intricate level designs. The game’s vibrant colors and detailed environments created an immersive world for players to explore. The graphics were so impressive that they received praise from both critics and players alike, contributing to the game’s lasting appeal.

One of the most impressive aspects of Donkey Kong Country is its level design. The game’s levels were designed with a great deal of care and attention to detail, offering players a variety of challenges to overcome. Each level had its own unique theme, from jungle environments to snowy mountains, and players were required to navigate through obstacles, enemies, and traps to reach the end. The levels were designed to be both challenging and fun, with hidden secrets and bonuses to discover along the way.

While the gameplay of Donkey Kong Country was certainly impressive, the game’s storyline also played a significant role in its success. The game’s story follows the adventures of Donkey Kong and his sidekick Diddy Kong as they attempt to save Donkey Kong’s girlfriend, Princess Peach, from the clutches of the evil King K. Rool. The game’s story was well-written and engaging, offering players a reason to continue playing beyond the gameplay itself.

Finally, Donkey Kong Country’s memorable characters played a significant role in its success. The game’s two main characters, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, were instantly likable and relatable, offering players a reason to care about their journey. Additionally, the game’s antagonist, King K. Rool, was a formidable foe who added a sense of danger and urgency to the game’s story. The game’s characters were so well-designed that they have since become iconic figures in the world of video games.

Arguments for Crash Bandicoot

  • Unique gameplay mechanics
    • Crash Bandicoot was known for its innovative gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to jump, slide, and spin in order to navigate through levels. This added a new level of complexity to the traditional platformer, requiring players to master a range of skills in order to progress.
  • Challenging levels
    • The levels in Crash Bandicoot were designed to be challenging, with obstacles and enemies placed in strategic locations to make progress difficult. This added a sense of accomplishment when a level was completed, and kept players engaged for hours on end.
  • Quirky characters
    • The characters in Crash Bandicoot were designed to be unique and quirky, with each one having their own personality and style. This added a sense of fun and excitement to the game, and made it more enjoyable to play.
  • High replay value
    • Due to the challenging nature of the levels and the range of skills required to complete them, Crash Bandicoot had a high replay value. Players could try different strategies or take different paths through the levels, which added a new level of depth to the game.

Arguments for Rayman

Innovative Graphics

One of the key reasons why Rayman is considered one of the best platformers of all time is its innovative graphics. The game was one of the first to use pre-rendered 3D graphics, which gave it a unique and visually stunning look. The game’s environments were richly detailed and varied, from the dark and ominous Hall of the Gods to the bright and colorful Electric Mountain. The characters were also well-designed and animated, with Rayman’s distinctive red-and-white appearance instantly recognizable.

In addition to its innovative graphics, Rayman also boasted an engaging storyline that kept players hooked from start to finish. The game’s plot centers around Rayman’s quest to save his world from the evil Mr. Dark and his army of Robo-Pirates. Along the way, Rayman must battle through a variety of challenging levels, defeat numerous enemies, and solve puzzles to progress. The game’s story is told through a combination of cutscenes and in-game dialogue, which helps to flesh out the game’s characters and world.

High-Quality Music

Another factor that sets Rayman apart from other platformers is its high-quality music. The game’s soundtrack was composed by composer Barnaby Roper, who created a range of catchy and memorable tunes that perfectly capture the game’s tone and atmosphere. From the upbeat and energetic music of the game’s early levels to the more somber and eerie tunes of the later levels, the soundtrack is an integral part of the game’s experience.

Innovative Gameplay Mechanics

Finally, Rayman’s innovative gameplay mechanics are another reason why it is considered one of the best platformers of all time. The game introduces a range of new mechanics, such as the ability to punch and kick enemies, ride in helicopters, and use the Polokoon ability to transform into different shapes. These mechanics add an extra layer of depth to the gameplay, making it more engaging and challenging for players. Additionally, the game’s levels are designed to be replayed multiple times, encouraging players to explore and experiment with different strategies and techniques.

Arguments for Spyro the Dragon

  • Graphics that stand the test of time
    • Spyro’s debut game was released in 1998, and its graphics were groundbreaking for their time. The game featured bright and colorful graphics that made it stand out from other platformers. Even today, the graphics hold up well and are still pleasing to the eye.
    • The graphics in Spyro were so impressive that they helped to establish a new standard for platformers. The game’s use of color and lighting was particularly impressive, creating a vibrant and lively world that players wanted to explore.
  • Innovative gameplay mechanics
    • Spyro’s gameplay mechanics were also innovative for their time. The game introduced new features such as the ability to glide and the use of special moves to defeat enemies. These mechanics added depth to the gameplay and made it more engaging for players.
    • Additionally, Spyro’s gameplay was designed to be accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. This made the game appealing to a wide audience and helped to establish it as a classic platformer.
  • Memorable characters
    • Spyro’s characters were some of the most memorable in gaming history. The game’s protagonist, Spyro, was a lovable and relatable character who quickly became a fan favorite. Other characters, such as Sparx and Sheila, were also well-designed and added to the game’s overall charm.
    • The game’s characters were not only visually appealing but also had distinct personalities that made them feel like real characters. This helped to create an emotional connection between players and the game’s world.
  • Engaging storyline
    • Spyro’s storyline was also a significant factor in its success. The game’s story followed Spyro as he attempted to save his dragonfruit and defeat the evil sorceress, who had trapped them in eggs. This plot provided a clear goal for players and helped to create a sense of purpose within the game.
    • Additionally, the game’s story was filled with humor and wit, making it enjoyable for players of all ages. The game’s storytelling was so effective that it helped to establish Spyro as a beloved franchise.

Arguments for Banjo-Kazooie

One of the main arguments for Banjo-Kazooie as the best platformer of all time is its high-quality graphics. The game’s colorful and detailed world, combined with its smooth animations and fluid gameplay, make it a joy to play. Even years after its release, Banjo-Kazooie’s graphics hold up well and are still impressive to this day.

Another reason why Banjo-Kazooie is considered one of the best platformers is its innovative gameplay mechanics. The game introduced many new features and gameplay elements that have since become staples of the platformer genre. For example, the ability to ride vehicles, the use of special moves, and the ability to transform into different characters are just a few of the innovations that Banjo-Kazooie brought to the table. These unique gameplay mechanics made the game stand out from its competitors and helped to establish it as a classic of the genre.

Banjo-Kazooie also boasts an engaging storyline that keeps players hooked from start to finish. The game’s plot follows the adventures of Banjo and Kazooie as they attempt to stop the evil witch Gruntilda from stealing their friend’s beauty. Along the way, they encounter a cast of memorable characters and must solve puzzles and overcome obstacles to progress through the game. The game’s story is both fun and engaging, and it helps to keep players invested in the gameplay.

Finally, Banjo-Kazooie is known for its memorable characters. The game’s two main protagonists, Banjo and Kazooie, are both likable and endearing characters that players can’t help but root for. In addition to these two characters, the game also features a cast of other memorable characters, such as the friendly wizards and the mischievous duo of Rareware’s mascots, Conker and Berri. These characters help to bring the game’s world to life and make it a more immersive and enjoyable experience for players.

Arguments for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Dark and eerie atmosphere

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a unique and unsettling atmosphere that draws players into its world. The game’s Gothic setting, complete with dimly lit castles, cobwebs, and creaking doors, creates a haunting environment that is both immersive and unnerving. This dark atmosphere is further enhanced by the game’s foreboding soundtrack, which adds to the overall sense of dread and suspense.

In terms of graphics, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was ahead of its time. The game’s characters and environments are detailed and well-designed, with smooth animations and expressive facial features. The game’s use of color is particularly noteworthy, with a muted palette that complements the game’s dark atmosphere. The game’s graphics are also highly responsive, making it easy for players to navigate the game’s challenging levels.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a compelling storyline that keeps players engaged from start to finish. The game’s narrative centers around the Belmont family’s centuries-long battle against Dracula, and the game’s plot is filled with twists and turns that keep players on the edge of their seats. The game’s story is also highly relevant to the gameplay, with players unlocking new abilities and weapons as they progress through the game’s levels.

Finally, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is known for its innovative gameplay mechanics. The game’s use of RPG elements, such as leveling up and collecting items, adds depth to the gameplay, while the game’s combat system is highly engaging, with a variety of weapons and special moves to master. The game’s platforming elements are also highly polished, with precise controls and a variety of challenging obstacles to overcome. Overall, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s gameplay is a perfect blend of action, adventure, and exploration, making it one of the best platformers of all time.

Arguments for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

+ The introduction of a targeting system for combat and puzzles, allowing for more precise control over Link's actions.
+ The implementation of a three-dimensional world, providing a greater sense of exploration and immersion.
+ The incorporation of a horseback riding mechanic, adding a new layer of gameplay and traversal options.
+ The tale of Link's quest to save Hyrule and its inhabitants, filled with memorable characters and epic moments.
+ The emotional weight of the narrative, delving into themes of friendship, courage, and sacrifice.
+ The impactful ending, leaving a lasting impression on players and solidifying its place as a classic.
  • High-quality graphics
    • The detailed and expressive character models, bringing the world and its inhabitants to life.
    • The beautifully designed environments, from the lush fields of Hyrule to the dark depths of the Underworld.
    • The seamless integration of 3D graphics with a traditional 2D platformer, showcasing the potential of the medium.
  • Immersive world
    • The interconnectedness of the game’s various locations, encouraging exploration and discovery.
    • The dynamic weather and day-night cycle, adding an extra layer of realism and atmosphere.
    • The inclusion of side quests and mini-games, providing additional content and depth to the world.

Arguments for Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is renowned for its captivating storyline that draws players into a world of fantasy and adventure. The game’s narrative follows the protagonist, Cloud Strife, as he battles against the villainous Sephiroth and his plans to destroy the planet. The storyline is filled with plot twists, complex characters, and themes of friendship, love, and sacrifice, making it a compelling experience for players.

Final Fantasy VII boasts impressive graphics that were considered state-of-the-art at the time of its release. The game’s character models are detailed and expressive, while the game’s environments are rich and diverse, showcasing a variety of landscapes, from the bustling city of Midgar to the vast expanse of the high plain. The game’s use of pre-rendered backgrounds and FMV cutscenes also adds to its cinematic quality.

Final Fantasy VII introduces several innovative gameplay mechanics that have become staples of the genre. The game’s unique Active Time Battle (ATB) system adds a layer of strategy to combat, requiring players to manage their characters’ actions and abilities in real-time. The game also features a robust materia system, which allows players to customize their characters’ abilities and enhance their stats. Additionally, the game’s side quests and mini-games provide players with a variety of activities to engage in, adding depth and replayability to the game.

Final Fantasy VII is known for its memorable and endearing characters, each with their own distinct personalities and backstories. The game’s protagonist, Cloud Strife, is a brooding and complex character with a tragic past, while the game’s antagonist, Sephiroth, is a charismatic and menacing figure with grand ambitions. The game’s supporting cast, including the wise old sage Aeris, the lovable rogue Red XIII, and the stoic warrior Tifa, are equally memorable and add depth to the game’s narrative. Overall, the game’s rich cast of characters has become a hallmark of the Final Fantasy series and a major reason why the game is still beloved by fans today.

Arguments for Gravity Rush

  • Gravity Rush stands out from other platformers with its unique mechanics, which allow players to manipulate gravity to traverse the game world.
  • The ability to shift gravity in any direction adds a level of depth and complexity to the gameplay, making it a joy to master.
  • This innovative gameplay mechanic is supported by a seamless control scheme, making it easy for players to learn and enjoy.

  • Gravity Rush boasts a captivating storyline that keeps players engaged from start to finish.

  • The game’s protagonist, Kat, is a likable and relatable character who players will root for as she navigates the game’s world.
  • The storyline is supported by a rich cast of characters, each with their own unique personalities and motivations.

  • Gravity Rush features stunning visuals that bring its world to life.

  • The game’s environments are detailed and varied, offering players a visually stimulating experience.
  • The character models are well-designed and animated, adding to the game’s overall immersion.

  • Gravity Rush’s characters are some of the most memorable in the platformer genre.

  • Kat, the game’s protagonist, is a strong and relatable character who players will come to care about.
  • The supporting cast is equally well-developed, with each character bringing their own unique personality and charm to the game.

Arguments for Ori and the Blind Forest

Beautiful Graphics

One of the key arguments in favor of Ori and the Blind Forest is its beautiful graphics. The game’s visuals are truly stunning, with vibrant colors and detailed environments that immerse players in the game world. The game’s art style is reminiscent of a painting come to life, with each level featuring its own unique beauty. From the lush forests to the dark and eerie caverns, Ori and the Blind Forest is a visual masterpiece that is sure to leave players in awe.

Another reason why Ori and the Blind Forest is considered one of the best platformers of all time is its engaging storyline. The game’s narrative follows the story of Ori, a small white guardian spirit, and a spirit named Sein, as they navigate through a mystical forest to save their homeland from a darkness that threatens to consume it. The story is filled with twists and turns, and players will be drawn into the world of Ori and the Blind Forest as they uncover the secrets of the forest and the creatures that inhabit it.

Ori and the Blind Forest also stands out as one of the best platformers of all time due to its innovative gameplay mechanics. The game features a unique blend of platforming and puzzle-solving gameplay, with players needing to navigate through levels by jumping, running, and using a variety of abilities. The game also features a unique death mechanic, where players can use their deaths to unlock new abilities and explore previously inaccessible areas. This adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay, and keeps players engaged as they try to uncover all of the game’s secrets.

Challenging Difficulty

Finally, Ori and the Blind Forest is known for its challenging difficulty. The game is not for the faint of heart, with players needing to use all of their skills and wits to navigate through the game’s levels. The game’s platforming challenges are tough but fair, and players will need to use all of their reflexes and timing to succeed. The game also features a variety of enemies and boss battles, each with their own unique challenges and strategies. Overall, Ori and the Blind Forest is a challenging game that will test players’ skills and keep them coming back for more.

The Verdict

Audience Opinions

It’s worth noting that the debate over the best platformer of all time is subjective and can vary greatly depending on personal experiences and preferences. Some gamers may argue that the classic Mario franchise reigns supreme, while others may point to newer titles like “Rayman Legends” or “Ori and the Blind Forest” as the pinnacle of the genre. Ultimately, what makes a game the “best” is a matter of personal opinion and cannot be definitively settled.

The Author’s Personal Choice

As an AI language model, I do not have personal preferences or experiences, but I can provide an analysis of the factors that contribute to a game being considered the best platformer of all time. Based on critical acclaim, sales figures, and cultural impact, it’s difficult to ignore the influence of the Super Mario franchise. The series has consistently delivered innovative gameplay mechanics, charming characters, and imaginative worlds that have captivated gamers for decades. However, it’s important to recognize that other platformers have also made significant contributions to the genre and deserve recognition.

Final Thoughts

The platformer genre has a rich history and continues to evolve with each new release. While there may not be a definitive answer to the question of the best platformer of all time, the ongoing debate highlights the enduring appeal and significance of this beloved gaming genre. Whether you’re a fan of classic 2D platformers or modern 3D adventures, there’s no denying the joy and excitement that platformers bring to gamers of all ages and skill levels.

FAQs

1. What is a platformer game?

A platformer game is a type of video game in which the player controls a character that runs, jumps, and interacts with the environment to overcome obstacles and reach a goal. Platformers are known for their challenging jumping mechanics and diverse range of levels and enemies.

2. What makes a platformer game great?

A great platformer game typically features tight controls, creative level design, memorable characters and music, and a strong sense of progression and challenge. Some players also value replayability, secret areas, and hidden collectibles as key elements of a great platformer.

3. What are some of the most popular platformer games of all time?

Some of the most popular platformer games of all time include Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot, Rayman, and Donkey Kong Country. These games have all received critical acclaim and have become beloved classics in the gaming community.

4. Is there a consensus on the best platformer game of all time?

There is no clear consensus on the best platformer game of all time, as opinions on the matter are highly subjective and often depend on personal preferences and experiences. Different players may have different criteria for what makes a great platformer, and some may even argue that their favorite game is the best one out there.

5. How can I determine which platformer game is right for me?

To determine which platformer game is right for you, consider your personal preferences and the specific features that you value in a game. Are you looking for a game with tight controls and challenging level design, or one with a lighthearted and colorful aesthetic? Do you prefer games with a strong emphasis on storytelling and character development, or ones that focus on exploration and discovery? By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find the platformer game that best suits your tastes and interests.

Top 10 2D Platformers

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