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Games Worth A Lifetime: Part 4 - Platformers

The best games of our lifetime that deserve your attention.

I decided it was time I share my thoughts and knowledge on what I think are some of the greatest games ever to be put to our screens, with this I hope to explain why I think these games deserve to not only be on this list, but also deserve your time to visit them so you too can share in some of the greatest games ever made.

Obviously not all these games are available for modern consoles, but thanks to plentiful remakes, re-releases, digital editions on Xbox, PlayStation 3, PC and many other devices, emulators or even just a few bargains on eBay, it's not hard to get stuck into the kind of games we gamers really deserve to play.

In the last article I spoke about the greatest racing games to have ever graced our screens, which you can read here. This week I'll be taking a look what I think are some of the best platformers ever made.

Sonic 3

The sonic series has been a shadow of its former self for many years now, even though the new Sonic Generations has repaired some of the damage done by some of the other sequels, it's too little too late.

But back in the days of the Sega Megadrive we had three amazing Sonic titles. The finest of these was by far Sonic 3, It had some beautifully designed levels, a truly iconic sound track and the plenty of the fast paced action that made Sonic so famous.

Where can I play it? Sega Megadrive, Windows, Virtual console, DS, PS3, Xbox 360 Arcade

Super Metroid

When Super Metroid was released it set a whole new standard for platform shoot-em-up's and in many ways it set the bar so high that it's hard to think of a game that has done a better job since.

Its mixture of puzzles, intense combat, superb level design and punishing boss fights are still as entertaining today as they ever were. This game may be 18 years old, but its gameplay still feels as fun today as it did all that time ago.

Where can I play it? Snes and Virtual Console


Much like sonic, I think the Rayman series has gotten worse with age, but the original two games in the series were by far the best of the bunch, especially the first game in the series with its 2D action platforming gameplay.

But it wasn't just its cute graphics and fun gameplay that stood out about Rayman 1, but it was also very demanding at times, I don't think I've ever completed it without using cheats (oh the shame...).

Kolonoa - Door to Phantomile

If you've heard of or played Kolonoa, well done! You’re part of an exclusive club. When this game launched back in 1997 it landed with rave reviews followed by poor sales, it didn't exactly fail, but it could have done so much better in terms of popularity.
It's one of the definitive examples of a great platform game, with beautiful 2.5D levels and a great soundtrack, although you may want to avoid the less fantastic Wii remake from 2008 which for all intents and purposes, fell flat on its face upon release.

Where can I play it? PlayStation 1

Abe's Oddysee / Exodus

When Abe first embarked on his PlayStation 1 adventure I was simply amazed with the gameplay. The simple use of basic voice commands to communicate with other characters in the game, in a bid to lead them to safety and ultimately help with your own escape at the hands of your captors.

This was ultimately a real game changer for platform puzzle / exploration games, but it’s a formula that you still rarely see today, with the exception of a few newer indie titles.

The best part of it is that the game is being remade from scratch with stunning HD graphics but all the original gameplay intact.
While there were other entries in the series, they are weak in comparison to the original titles and bare no more than being branded as spin-offs from the main game.

Where can I play it? PlayStation 1 and Digital Download (coming soon)

Super Mario Brothers 3

I’ve already covered Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 in previous posts, but it seems Mario is out for a third honour in this list. When it comes to fun and entertainment, the little plumber really knows how to deliver and the same was true for Super Mario Brothers 3.

It’s still one of the most colourful, entertaining and best playing platform games to date and it doesn’t matter if your old enough to remember the release date or barely old enough to shout at people on Call of Duty, everyone should play at least one of the original Mario titles.

For me Mario 3 was one of the best games ever released on the Snes, of course I know I’m not alone in this opinion as it’s highly regarded as one of the greatest games of all time by many people.

Where can I play it? SNES, Game Boy Advance and Virtual Console