Updated with the… well, you know what word we’d use here: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
With a vast selection of platformers available on the Nintendo Switch, choosing one can be overwhelming. The genre has a strong history on Nintendo systems, dating back to the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Fortunately, many of these classic titles, including Super Mario Bros., can be found on the Nintendo Switch Online NES and Super NES games.
Since Super Mario’s debut, the platforming genre has expanded, with countless side-scrolling jumpers and sub-genres. With so many options to choose from, there’s a 2D platformer to suit every taste, sparking debates about how to categorize them.
Best 2D Platform Games on Nintendo Switch
Here are our top picks for the best 2D platform games currently available on the Nintendo Switch. This selection is presented in no particular order and will continue to evolve over time. We have also created a separate list for the best Metroidvania-style platformers to give both collections ample space.
If you prefer 3D platformers, be sure to check out our guide to the best ones on the Switch. But for now, let’s dive into our selection of the best 2D platformers on the Nintendo Switch.
Publisher: Matt Makes Games / Developer: Matt Makes Games
Release Date: 25th Jan 2018 (USA) / 25th Jan 2018 (UK/EU)
Celeste is a remarkable action platformer that combines style, mechanics, and character. It offers both challenging gameplay for genre enthusiasts and customizable elements to cater to all audiences. The art style and narrative are truly special, evoking emotions and inspiring players. Celeste is the pinnacle of personal exploration and discovery on the Nintendo Switch.
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Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 2nd Oct 2018 (USA) / 2nd Oct 2018 (UK/EU)
Mega Man 11 brings the Blue Bomber back to life with modern touches and new ideas. The tight and challenging run-and-gun action platforming gameplay is enhanced by new visuals and replayability options. It’s a modern classic that pays homage to the beloved series, making it a must-have for any Switch library.
Publisher: Playdead / Developer: Playdead
Release Date: 28th Jun 2018 (USA) / 28th Jun 2018 (UK/EU)
Inside is a beautifully crafted puzzle-platformer with dark undertones. The physics-based puzzles and wordless narrative create a haunting experience. It’s a game that wastes no time, packing more memorable moments than most games three times its size. And don’t forget the honorable mention: Limbo, which remains a brilliantly moody and expertly designed platform-puzzler.
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 12th Sep 2017 (USA) / 12th Sep 2017 (UK/EU)
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition is a highly acclaimed platformer with madcap multiplayer. While most of the content is the same as previous editions, this version includes a complete character roster and a tournament mode for its football mini-game. It’s a top-tier platformer and a must-play for anyone who hasn’t experienced it yet.
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Christian Whitehead
Release Date: 17th Jul 2018 (USA) / 17th Jul 2018 (UK/EU)
Sonic Mania is a true return to form for the iconic mascot in his 2D ‘Classic’ guise. It celebrates the glory days of the original games while introducing new ideas. With imaginative levels and boss encounters, Sonic Mania is one of the best 2D platformers of recent memory.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 11th Jan 2019 (USA) / 11th Jan 2019 (UK/EU)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe offers a fantastic 2D Mario experience with multiplayer and glimpses of the innovation seen in Super Mario Odyssey. Although it has some aging visuals and minor irritations, it’s still a great addition to the Switch library.
Publisher: Yacht Club Games / Developer: Yacht Club Games
Release Date: 3rd Mar 2017 (USA) / 3rd Mar 2017 (UK/EU)
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove combines all three chapters of the beloved platformer, offering an incredibly compelling package. With around 15 hours of gameplay, it’s a must-have for any Switch owner.
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Nomada Studio
Release Date: 13th Dec 2018 (USA) / 13th Dec 2018 (UK/EU)
Gris is a masterpiece with its stunning visuals and emotionally evoking score. While it may be short and lack challenge, it focuses on fragility and offers an unforgettable experience.
Publisher: Nicalis / Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Release Date: 17th Nov 2017 (USA) / 17th Nov 2017 (UK/EU)
VVVVVV is a unique platformer that stands out with its lack of a jump button. Featuring multiplayer on the Switch version, it’s a fresh and fun game that is well worth revisiting.