The Best Sega Saturn Platformers

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Despite not having the biggest library or sales numbers, the Sega Saturn is still beloved by fans. The Saturn saw a lack of third-party support, but this just made room for some amazing first-party titles and strange third-party partnerships. Many games that performed better on other consoles originated on the Saturn, such as Tomb Raider.

Platformers weren't the Saturn's strong suit either, since 2D platformers seemed antiquated in the new 3D age, plus there was barely any third-party support. However, the platformers it received were well-crafted titles with fans to this very day. Games like NiGHTS into Dreams and Gex are still relevant today, with rereleases on almost every platform.

Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

Croc was among the most successful of the burgeoning 3D platformer craze. The player assumes the role of Croc as he adventures through the land, searching for the captured Gobbos.

As the player progresses, they will encounter strange enemies and plenty of bosses to keep things interesting. There are even some secret levels that can be unlocked by finding the secret Gobbos hidden around the world. Croc was praised for its fun levels and great music that came together to make it one of the most enjoyable platformers on the Sega Saturn.

Tomb Raider

While most people probably remember Tomb Raider as a PlayStation exclusive, the game was actually a timed exclusive for the Sega Saturn at the beginning of its lifespan. Featuring the famous Lara Croft, the player explores various ruins around the world, looking for treasure and avoiding danger.

Throughout the multiple ruins, players will encounter puzzles, difficult platforming sections, and many different enemy types. These challenges escalate in difficulty as the player travels around Peru, Greece, Egypt, and even Atlantis. While the platforming sections feel dated now, the rest of Tomb Raider holds up surprisingly well, and this important title is still worth going back to.

Nights into Dreams

If you ever played Super Mario 64 and wished there were more Wing Cap sections, then this is your game. While Nights into Dreams is really strange, this Sonic Team classic has garnered a loyal following of devoted fans.

In this game, players control Nights, a Nightmaren who rebels against their nightmarish overlord by flying through multiple Dreams capturing Ideya. The plot of this game is something that can only be understood by playing it. Nights into Dreams has appeared on many top games of all time lists and is easily one of the best titles released for the Sega Saturn.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Many fans of this title probably remember it as one of the best games on the PlayStation. While this is true, most people don't remember its Sega Saturn release. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was a Japanese exclusive but had a few notable differences to set it apart from the PlayStation release. Players can play as Richter from the start, Maria Renard is playable, and exclusive items have been switched around. The rest of the gameplay is identical to its other release.

For those uninitiated to this classic title, players assume the role of Alucard, Dracula's son, on a quest to kill his father once and for all. To complete his mission, Alucard must traverse Dracula's castle, killing strange enemies and unlocking interesting abilities along the way. This title is the epitome of Metroidvania games and includes some solid RPG elements that incorporate well into fun platforming sections. Symphony of the Night is considered the best in the series and one of the best games ever made. So, if you haven't already, you must play this game.


Originally released for the 3DO, Gex is a fantastic Saturn platformer about a gecko traveling through the "media dimension". The gameplay itself is similar to most 2D platformers of the era, but the real attraction of this title is Gex himself. The anthropomorphized gecko is voiced by comedian Dana Gould and makes frequent jabs at Hollywood culture pre-1995.

There are 24 different levels to explore across five unique worlds, each with its own theme and challenges. By collecting all of the various collectables in each level, players can unlock multiple secret areas. While just being a 2D platformer, the game offers a ton of content for fans of the genre. Gex is a strange and enjoyable title that should be played by every Saturn owner.

  • Updated March 11, 2021