The 9 Best Platformer Games on Nintendo Switch, Ranked

The Nintendo Switch in handheld mode is the best way to play platformer games. Here are our favorites you have to play!
The 9 Best Platformer Games on Nintendo Switch, Ranked

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It's no surprise that Nintendo consoles tend to host some of the best platformer games of all time.

Long ago, Nintendo helped pioneer the genre with the original Donkey Kong arcade game, then went even further with their plumber mascot, Mario, who's best known for his platforming games.

The Nintendo Switch continues in this tradition, offering players a rich library full of great platformer games to enjoy. If you're looking to jump your way to victory, there are some must-plays here.

Here are my picks for the best platformer Nintendo Switch games, a healthy mix of modern hits and re-released classics.

9. Super Mario World

This SNES classic got a new lease on life as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service, allowing a whole new generation of fans to experience that first game that introduced us to Yoshi for the first time.

The music, art style, and gameplay variety were all innovative at the time, and it all holds up today. Super Mario World remains one of Mario's best outings ever, and it plays just as well on the Switch as it did on the SNES.

8. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a quaint, colorful adventure that sees the pink glutton eat his way across a whole new game.

Classic Kirby abilities are all here, but his new power to utilize almost anything he wraps his stretchy mouth around is what makes this one of the best games in this classic franchise.

7. Hollow Knight

If you like the Metroidvania genre—full of games that reward players for skillful platforming and deep exploration—then Hollow Knight is one of the best games you'll ever play.

The art is gorgeous. The combat is tight, challenging, and fair. You can spend hours upon hours in this game and you still won't run out of places to explore. For fans of Metroidvanias, it doesn't get much better than this—and it plays equally great in handheld mode as it does on a big TV screen.

6. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight is one of those platformers that embraces the tropes and trappings of the genre with both arms, embodying all the things that have kept players coming back to the genre for decades.

It's a love letter to retro platformers, but still manages to inject its own little updates that help it feel more modern.

The Treasure Trove collection includes the base game plus its two expansions, along with a handful of new features that further improve an already great game. This is the definitive, must-play version of Shovel Knight.

5. Metroid Dread

Metroid has always been as much about exploration as about platforming, and that's why Metroid Dread's return to its 2D platforming roots was so celebrated by old and new fans of the series.

There's a sense of isolation to Samus's adventure in Metroid Dread that fits perfectly with the Nintendo Switch.

Everything from the atmospheric music, to the oft-crushing difficulty, to the spikes in anxiety when the terrifying E.M.M.I. robots are hot on your heels—it all comes together to form the best Metroid game of all time.

4. Inside

Inside is a dark and grim Nintendo Switch platformer game that's haunting and innovative in all the best ways.

This game will only take you a few hours to beat, and we see that as a good thing—there's absolutely no filler or padding to be found anywhere. It's tightly paced and brilliantly balanced, with a narrative that plays out in a wonderfully creative way.

We know some gamers don't think short games are worth it, but if you fall into that group, then we urge you to try this one and see if it changes your mind. It's the kind of game that'll stay with you for a long time.

3. Sonic Mania

If you're a fan of classic Sonic games, you owe it to yourself to check out Sonic Mania (along with the Encore DLC, which expands the game with two new characters, a new Encore Mode, and an improved Competition Mode).

Sonic Mania is a celebration of the original games in the series, and it successfully keeps to the heart of what made those earlier games so beloved, all while offering plenty of new content to keep things fresh.

This is the best Sonic game in recent memory and a brilliant title for anyone, but especially brilliant for those who gotta go fast.

2. Celeste

Platformer games are often light on story, instead choosing to focus their resources on level design, gameplay mechanics, and challenging puzzles that keep players mentally engaged.

Celeste certainly does all of that, but never at the expense of its story. You'll be taken on a deep and emotional journey that goes to places you'd never expect, and it meshes perfectly with the clean platforming mechanics.

This game is easily one of the best 2D platformers of all time and a great title to pick up for the Nintendo Switch. It truly is a special experience for any fan of platforming games.

1. Super Mario Odyssey

The sheer number of worlds and powers on display in Super Mario Odyssey is what makes this the king of all platformer games.

On the surface, Super Mario Odyssey is a clear love letter to all things Mario, packed with references to its retro titles from nearly every console generation. But beyond that, Super Mario Odyssey is a fun and challenging platformer with many hours of gameplay to enjoy.

Seeing Mario take over a T-rex—complete with his iconic hat and little mustache—is one of gaming's greatest moments to date.