The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

GamePro counts down the twenty greatest platforming video games from 1989 to 2009!

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Platformers are the bread and butter of many gaming consoles, some of which have given the industry its most popular and recognizable mascots. Where would gamers be without the likes of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog?

The overall competition for this genre was pretty tight, but these titles, both new and classic, are GamePro's picks for the 20 top platforming games from the last two decades.

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

20. Crash Bandicoot (1996)

Crash Bandicoot can easily be considered the father of the Jak & Daxter series, as this was the game that put developer Naughty Dog on the map. Crash was yet another gaming character that fell into the "extreme talking animal" archetype, but his first game was as addicting was it was difficult, making it one of the PlayStation's first bona fide hit titles.

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

19. Psychonauts (2005)

PS2, Xbox, PC
How many games make their levels based solely on the mental psyche of their characters? Tim Schafer's game may not have set the charts on fire, but Psychonauts is still one of the most original platformers that people haven't played. With a vast amount of psychic powers you can learn, the levels are just icing on the cake for this game.

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

18. LocoRoco (2006)

LocoRoco remains one of the most underrated games on the PlayStation Portable, despite gameplay that's as easy as it is inventive. Putting players in the role of Mother Earth, the levels themselves required a lot of turns and tilts, since the titular LocoRocos had to be bounced across various colorful levels in order to combat the evil Moja Troop.

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

17. Banjo-Kazooie (1998)

Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 had plenty of platforming games in its early library, but nothing was quite as quirky and original as Banjo-Kazooie's huge levels and wacky collection of odd critters. As one of the most praised games in the N64's lineup, the titular dynamic duo quickly became one of Rare's most popular mascot teams, founding their own franchise.

The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to 2009

16. Donkey Kong (1994)

Loosely based on the classic 8-bit title of the same name, Donkey Kong's 1994 Game Boy version was one of the hardest games in history. While players could easily breeze though the original four levels, this game would eventually stack challenge after challenge, culminating in an insane 101-level love letter to Nintendo's retro fanbase.

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Why does he keep referring "Jak and Daxter" as "Jak and Dakter"? It's DAXTER


wow nice list! The kind of list which makes me comment a lot:

#20 I think Crash 3 would have been a much better choice
#14 One of my favorite games ever
#7 wow said there wasn't a good 3D Sonic game? lol, it ranked higher than any other Sonic game on the list
#6 should have been way higher
#5 Never gave the series a try but if it was made by the creators of the original Spyro games, it should be good.
#2 Finally some one acknowledged SMW instead of giving all the credit to SMB3. SMW is, by far, my favorite 2D game
#1 I think SM64 was put on the list for the revolutionary impact it had on the industry, not cause it is the best one, kinda like OoT, I liked SMG better.


I think SMB3 should be on there for bringing the whole World concept into Mario and just being plain awesome!


those were maybe your favorite platform games, mine are rpg games and other types.

though I will say that sonic was up on that list.

but examples of my favorites would probably be.

Super Metroid
crono trigger
shiningforce series dating back to sega, sega cd, sega saturn.
phantasy star series also
star ocean games rule
mario rpg
grandia series

thats just a sample of my list.


It's not surprise that Mario has dominated this list. Each time a new Mario comes out, it's feels so much the same and yet always feels fresh and new. I'm also glad to see Super Mario World FINALLY getting ranked above Sonic the Hedgehog, a great game that none the less stole, unfairly, GamePro's Game of the Year back in 1991. I love Super Mario World and I'm glad to see it ranked so high.


Tillerized wrote:

You forgot Mario 2!!!

mario 2 sux........
but mario 3 is one of my favorites

Mario 3
Mario World
are my all time fav.

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