The Best Xbox Platformers

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Back in 2001, Microsoft decided to throw their own fighter into the console gaming war with the Xbox. Named after their gaming API DirectX, the Xbox gave American audiences a console dedicated to them. With larger support for American developers, gamers got to experience Halo and Psychonauts for the first time. This console was not quite as successful as the PlayStation 2, but it paved the way for years of great games, fun online play, and many more iterations. The Xbox was easily one of the most influential consoles of all time – for example, players could now subscribe to Xbox LIVE which gave them access to a large community of online players to test their skills against. The Xbox deserves plenty of praise for what it added to the console gaming world.

Platformers have always been one of the easiest genres to pick up and play. Players of any skill level or age could fall in love with these games. While 3D was becoming more standard in the gaming industry, platformers were starting to become few and far between, leaving only the greats to give players the fun running and jumping gameplay they have been aching for. The Xbox had some great platformers on the system, both 2D and 3D. Titles such as Mega Man Anniversary Collection, Rayman 3, and Oddworld all graced this system with their exciting gameplay and weird art styles.


One of the best 3D platformers of all time, Psychonauts gives players an awesome premise and an even crazier art style. Players take control of Raz, a new recruit into the Psychonauts, a program that solves the world’s issues by travelling into the mind.

Each environment is more bizarre than the last as players dive deeper and deeper into the minds of their targets. The solutions for each targets’ problems also get weirder as players use thought-bubbles for skateboards among other crazy ideas. Psychonauts is easily one of the most innovative 3D platformers ever made, giving players one of the most unique gaming experiences out there.

Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee

One of the Xbox’s launch titles, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is a strange 3D platformer with plenty of puzzles and charm. Players will take control of either Abe or Munch depending on the level, each have their own abilities that can come in handy when clearing difficult puzzles. During each puzzle, players can enlist the help of other characters to help them complete certain objectives with their own abilities.

Each character is beautifully rendered and written, giving this game a ton of charm and making it one of the Xbox’s best. Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee could not be recommended enough for fans of puzzles and a wacky art style.

Mega Man Anniversary Collection

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the classic Capcom series featuring the iconic Blue Bomber, gamers were given a collection of everything Mega Man. In this title, Capcom included eight main series Mega Man titles across nine years along with two previously non-localized titles that Xbox players will be able to experience for the first time.

Along with all of the fun gameplay, there is plenty of bonus content such as episodes from the Mega Man TV series, concept art, and other awesome tidbits for long-time fans. Experience one of the great’s in gaming with this awesome collection of games with hours upon hours of content.

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc

Maybe one of the craziest games in the series, Rayman 3 makes a return to the world of Lums, Globox, and an arm-less hero. Globox has swallowed the Lord of Dark Lums and angered the Hoodlums. So it’s up to Rayman to save Globox and stop the Hoodlums in typical Rayman style.

The environments in Rayman 3 are bigger and more beautiful than ever, showing exactly what the Xbox is capable of. Despite having plenty of enemies in the player’s path, there is a large arsenal of fun abilities at the player’s disposal. Rayman 3 is another awesome entry into the series and one of the Xbox’s best.

Tak: The Great Juju Challenge

The third entry into the Tak series of games, this title has the players compete in the great Juju Challenge. Players can take control of Tak or Lok as they compete in the challenge representing the Papanunu tribe. Players are able to partner up with a friend who can control one of the characters in order to cooperatively achieve the best time in each challenge.

This title is all about getting the best time possible, so learn each challenge and execute your moves strategically in order to receive the Great Juju’s highest honor. This is an awesome cooperative title for friends who want to experience some Xbox fun.

Pitfall: The Lost Expedition

A return to Activision’s Atari 2600 classic, Pitfall: The Lost Expedition brings the iconic 80’s action to a new generation of gamers. The Lost Expedition has Pitfall Harry stranded after a plane crash and he must find the lost members of his crew in the deep jungle.

The Lost Expedition does a great job combining aspects of the original with new generation platforming elements. There are plenty of perilous situations as Harry avoids pitfalls (duh), booby traps, and bloodthirsty beasts. This title is a great return to the classic game and easily one of the best 3D platformers on the Xbox.

Voodoo Vince

Microsoft’s answer to Jak and Daxter, Voodoo Vince is a strange platformer with a ton of weirdness and charm. This title turns typical combat on its head, forcing the player to damage themselves in order to hurt enemies. Players will accomplish this by running into the level’s various hazards which will defeat the host of enemies throughout the world in the game’s thirty levels.

Voodoo Vince is a really beautiful game, showing off some evocative environments such as cemeteries and sewers. This title turns the platformer genre on its head giving Xbox players one of the most innovative and strange adventures out there.

  • Updated September 4, 2020