The PlayStation 3 made its debut in 2006, and since then, gamers have been treated to over 1,000 titles for the console platform. While there are many different types of games available on the PS3, platforming games are one of the most popular categories.
In the grand pantheon of video game genres, the platformer reigns supreme. Games like Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and countless others have enthralled kids and adults since the earliest days of console gaming, and they remain as popular today as they were back then. Even so, not all platform games are created equal, so it’s hard to choose which platformers are the best of all time.
Let’s explore the best platformers for the PlayStation 3 so you can get gaming now!
What is a Platformer?
A platformer is a video game in which the player maneuvers an avatar across platforms and along ledges, usually while jumping to avoid obstacles. The main purpose of these games is to get your character from the start to the end of the level, usually with something like coins or power-ups in between that can help you on your way or make things more challenging. These games became popular on home consoles during the 1980s when platforms like Nintendo’s NES and Sega’s Master System were available in living rooms everywhere.
As one of the most popular genres in gaming, platformers have managed to stay relevant throughout the years by consistently updating themselves. Platformers usually have a lot of variety, but some games within this genre share similar elements. For example, both Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog have levels based on jumping between platforms, although each has unique aspects.
Was the PlayStation 3 Known for Platformers?
The PlayStation 3 was known for platformers. The console first launched in the United States on November 11, 2006, quickly becoming one of the most popular video game consoles. It was also known for having some of the best platformers available at the time. From 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64 to side-scrolling shooters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong, here’s a look at what we believe are the absolute best PlayStation 3 platformers of all time.
#10. emRayman Origins/em
- A Massive Universe to Explore - Rayman Origins includes over 100 characters, 12 unique worlds and over 60 levels of 2D platforming gameplay designed for all ages and playing styles.
- Crazy Moves & Gameplay: Rayman, Globox and the Teensies gain unique abilities as they progress through the adventure, including swimming, diving, slapping and the sensational "HairlyCopter."
- Epic Boss Fights: A giant pink monster with hundreds of eyes A possessed, mountainous golem. An evil daisy-cum-carnivorous plant. Rayman Origins will put players to the test with these and many more...
- 4-Player, Jump-In/Jump-Out, Co-op Gameplay - Play on the same screen as Rayman in the solo campaign, or have up to three friends jump in at any time to play as Globox or as one of the two Teensies.
- Rebirth of a Platforming Legend - Discover the roots of Rayman by encountering classic characters & collecting and assembling pieces of the Glade's history to reveal the truth behind Rayman's origins.
emRayman Origins/em is a game that takes you back to the days of sidescrolling platformers, making you fall in love with its retro gameplay, charming art style, and addicting soundtrack.
The game features an easy learning curve and an intuitive control scheme. You’ll be able to jump, punch, kick, and slide through each stage without breaking a sweat. There are tons of different worlds to explore, each with unique challenges.
The entire game takes place on one huge map filled with secret areas and collectibles spread across each level. emRayman Origins/em also has an amazing story unfolding as you play the game.
In emRayman Origins/em, players control Rayman, a heroic and benevolent being who set out to save the world from an evil being known as Darktoons, who has captured the Electoons, which are creatures that keep the world in balance. To do so, Rayman must defeat hordes of enemies and collect Lums, small spheres that act as life energy for the world. The game has been lauded for its detailed graphics, unique gameplay mechanics, and clever level design.
The gameplay in emRayman Origins/em is an absolute blast. Each level has unique challenges and puzzles for you to solve, but they all feel different enough that you never get bored with them. The level design is also superb: tons of secrets are hidden throughout every stage.
Check out emRayman Origins/em on Amazon here.
#9. emSonic Generations/em
- An innovative new interactive menu system allows for complete immersion in Sonic's universe with favorite characters and hidden treasures gradually being revealed throughout the game.
- Each incarnation of Sonic in Sonic Generations comes complete with his trademark special move, Spin Dash and Spin Attack for Classic Sonic, and the Homing Attack and Sonic Boost for Modern Sonic.
- Once you complete each level and 'free' Sonic's captured friends, you'll get to go back and take on more challenges with them at your side.
- Iconic environments from gaming history come to life in beautiful HD for the ultimate Sonic adventure, each revisited, recreated and re-imagined with stunning results.
- Master Classic Sonics famous spin-dash attack and utilise Modern Sonic 's 'Sonic Boost' as you complete the all new tracks.
emSonic Generations/em is the perfect mix of classic Sonic gameplay and modern technology.
It’s built on the same engine that makes the GTA franchise so popular, but it’s still a distinct experience that will keep you coming back long after you’ve beaten it. The gameplay of emSonic Generations/em is similar to that of its predecessors: players control Sonic using his trademark speedrunning abilities to overcome obstacles and enemies while collecting rings as they run through levels without losing lives or running out of time.
Instead of racing against other characters, however, this time around, the player is given a choice between two different game modes. “Classic Mode” plays like a traditional 2D sidescrolling platformer where players collect rings from enemies as they go, and “Modern Mode” features faster-paced gameplay similar to that found in earlier games, such as Sonic Unleashed.
The game combines the best aspects of both classic and modern Sonic games with the ability to play as either the original blue hedgehog or his later iterations in over two dozen levels. And thanks to its time-traveling story, you can experience levels from various points in Sonic‘s history. There are also unlockable characters like Knuckles and Metal Sonic, making this game even more amazing.
The graphics are incredible — you can tell that this was an early attempt at making the characters more realistic-looking than previous games in the series. The soundtrack is also outstanding; it’s one of those rare cases where getting an extra copy doesn’t make sense because there’s too much music here.
You can find your own copy on Amazon here.
#8. emSly Cooper: Thieves in Time/em
- Brand new Sly Cooper action adventure featuring Sly and his gang
- Epic boss battles, action elements, and new stealth moves provide a deep gameplay experience
- Humorous time travel storyline and engaging puzzle elements
- A variety of playable characters with unique play styles
emSly Cooper: Thieves in Time/em is a series of platformer games with stealth elements that stars Sly Cooper, an anthropomorphic raccoon with a penchant for thievery and a thirst for adventure, and his gang.
In this game, you play Sly Cooper, a raccoon with a long list of skills he can use to solve crimes. Sly‘s best trick is to sneak around, but he also has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Sly also has two sidekicks: Bentley and Murray. The three make up a crime-fighting team known as “The Thievius Raccoonus,” which they use to locate stolen goods and help people in need.
This game features a variety of levels set in different locations, from the jungles of Asia to the streets of Paris. You’ll go on quests for treasure, fight enemies, solve puzzles, and collect hidden items scattered throughout each level. The gameplay is fast-paced and fun because you’ll have to think quickly about how you want to approach each situation so that you don’t get caught by guards or bad guys trying to stop you from finding your treasure.
The controls are incredibly responsive, making this game easy to play even if you’re not familiar with them. The graphics are incredible, with detailed environments and characters that look like they belong in the game world instead of just sitting on your television screen.
Get your hands on emSly Cooper: Thieves in Time/em on Amazon here.
- The unique ability to change your head anytime you choose. Lose your head and you lose a life. Use your head and discover that you have the ability to change the world
- Wielding a pair of magical scissors, Kutaro cuts and crops his way through the adventure
- A huge variety of backgrounds that are continually changing, taking you on a journey of discovery that will surprise and thrill
- Audience, lights, sets, music and narration all combine to create a mesmerizing, unique storytelling experience
In the sidescrolling platformer emPuppeteer/em, the player takes control of Kutaro, a youngster who has been turned into an animated puppet before being beheaded.
Throughout the game, Kutaro acquires many heads to replace his own, each of which grants access to distinct animations and references the surroundings. Kutaro loses his head if he sustains an injury from an adversary or impediment. The head will vanish if the player does not retrieve it in a brief period.
When all three of his heads are lost, Kutaro restarts from the previous checkpoint. He may hold three heads at once. A player can gain an additional life by gathering 100 “Moonsparkles” in a certain gaming area. emPuppeteer/em's visuals are simply breathtaking. You’ll be amazed by the detail in its environments and characters and its unique art style (which creates an almost dreamlike effect). Its music is also incredible: it’s rich and powerful but gentle enough for kids to enjoy and adults.
The gameplay is also quite different from most other games in its genre. Instead of moving from left to right, you have to manipulate objects around you using your special powers. You can take control of things like scissors or birds and make them attack enemies or help you solve puzzles by attacking them like they do in real life.
Check it out on Amazon here.
#6. emJak and Daxter Collection/em
- Sony Jak & Daxter Collection PS3 Video Game
- The package may be bilingual (English and Spanish) the game play is in English
The emJak and Daxter Collection/em is one of the best platformers on PlayStation 3 — it has a unique, whimsical style that brings a lot of life to the game.
The story is fun and addictive, and there are plenty of hidden things at each level. This collection includes all three games in the series, which are action-adventure platformers that revolve around the adventures of Jak, a lonely young man who is forced to team up with a barbed-wire spinner named Daxter.
The game puts you in the shoes of Jak, who’s trying to stop his evil nemesis from destroying Haven City. It features a variety of environments ranging from forests filled with enemies (who will try to attack you at every turn) to snowy peaks where you’ll need some strong jumping skills to get past obstacles like snowballs.
The game features gorgeous graphics on a PlayStation console and looks fantastic in high definition. The music is great, too: you’ll hear classic tunes that have become staples of PlayStation games over time. The gameplay itself is also quite good; it’s fast-paced and fun but never gets boring, thanks to some clever level design that keeps things fresh throughout the entire experience.
You can get it for yourself on Amazon here.
#5. emRayman Legends/em
- Four-Player Co-op: Once again you and 3 friends can save the Glade of Dreams in online or offline co-op. Jump in and jump out at any time during the 80+ levels of gameplay!
- 3D Boss Battles: The bosses have a big advantage over Rayman's gang-- an extra dimension! Dragons and other epic creatures can attack from all angles, so you'll have to be on top of your game to...
- Rayman Rocks: See if you have what it takes to be a Platforming Hero-- jump to the beat of a drum, punch to the bass line, even zip-line during a guitar sustain. Timing and rhythm are the key to...
- New Online Challenge Mode: Connect with your friends through a variety of challenges that will test your skill and speed. Check the leaderboards to see where you rank around the world.
emRayman Legends/em is a platformer with a story mode and tons of levels.
The game starts with Rayman and his friends getting sucked into the world of paintings, inhabited by all sorts of creatures. The player controls Rayman as he navigates through these levels by jumping from platform to platform and using his magical ability to shrink down to enter areas where he can sneak up on enemies or hide from them entirely.
The gameplay is reminiscent of the original Rayman games, but the level design has been improved to encourage exploration and finding collectibles. The levels are varied in difficulty, so players who want a challenge can go for some more difficult levels, while others who wish to enjoy themselves can stick to easier ones. The game takes place on a series of islands filled with sidescrolling levels and challenging puzzles.
Collecting enough lums will unlock new levels and exclusive costumes and characters. One of the cooler features is that you can play with up to four other people cooperatively or competitively, meaning there’s something for everyone. With more than 120 levels you can play through multiple times, emRayman Legends/em has tons to offer players of all ages. The game has a classic 2D platformer feel with some fun surprises thrown in here and there.
Find it on Amazon here.
#4. emLittleBigPlanet 2/em
- PlayStation Move enabled - Control Sackboy in a whole new way with both motion and navigation controllers.
- New levels and costumes - Adventure through 10 new storyline levels and 7 mini-games from Disney / Pixar’s Toy Story and "Rise of the Cakeling." Plus tons of new costumes to customize your Sackboy.
- "Move Paint" - your own in-game art studio.
- Ingenious Tools - Create your own PlayStation Move o enabled games and share them with the world.
- Endless Fun - Download thousands of user-generated PlayStation Move enabled games by fans just like you.
emLittleBigPlanet 2/em is the sequel to the original LittleBigPlanet.
With a level editor that’s easy to learn and use, emLittleBigPlanet 2/em is the perfect platformer for those looking to flex their creative muscle. It also has many game modes, so you can play it however you want. The game features many different levels that are unique in their way. Each level is like an individual puzzle that needs to be solved before moving on to the next level. It’s not just about running through levels as fast as you can — it’s about finding each level’s solution and completing it with style!
The game has a ton of content, from dress-up costumes for your character to items you can use to craft new ones. You can also make your levels for other players to play through, which is pretty awesome because then you get to see what other people are making. The controls are simple, which means it’s accessible to beginners. You’ll never be bored in emLittleBigPlanet 2/em because over 8 million levels are created by gamers worldwide just waiting for you to play them. In addition, you can share your creations with other players through the community hub online co-op.
You can get it for yourself on Amazon right here.
#3. emRatchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time/em
- New space gameplay that gives players the opportunity to engage in space battles, explore the surrounding star system, and discover hidden items and collectables.
- An original new adventure and story that answers many of fans' most-asked questions and wraps up the story arc that started in earlier games, 'Tools of Destruction' and 'Quest For Booty.'
- Non-linear levels with plenty of hidden areas to explore, and new gadgets like the Hoverboots that let Ratchet soar to new heights.
- All-new Clank gameplay and special "Time" abilities that bring new meaning to "past selves," and multiple personalities.
- The series' renowned arsenal gets even larger with brand new weapons, as well as weapons that players can customize with various modifications.
emRatchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time/em has a huge world with many different environments, an interesting storyline, and fun gameplay that anyone can enjoy, whether they’re a fan of the series or not.
You play as Ratchet, a space pirate who wants to save his best friend, who Dr. Nefarious has kidnaped. Players can explore levels using new gadgets like Ratchet’s Hoverboots, which allow them to move quickly through levels without worrying about falling off ledges; they can also take off in Ratchett’s ship to explore nearby planets and moons while they’re at it too! Clank can manipulate time and use new abilities to try and stop Dr. Nefarious‘ plan from succeeding.
Throughout the game’s missions, players discover hidden items and collectibles that help them solve puzzles and defeat enemies along the way. The game features some of the most iconic characters from the Ratchet & Clank franchise. They’ll have many different tools, including new weapons and gadgets. Plus, there will be tons of new planet-hopping levels for fans to explore. This is one game that gamers won’t want to miss.
Check it out on Amazon here.
#2. emRatchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction/em
- Embark on a galactic adventure with gadget-building hero, Ratchet, and his brainy robotic sidekick, Clank
- Try to find an ancient device that is the key to preventing the return of an ancient, evil race of interdimensional aliens
- For some unknown reason the evil Cragmites hate Lombaxes of which Ratchet is the sole living survivor
- Ratchet and Clank must not only save the galaxy from annihilation, but also unravel the mystery of Ratchet's origin
- New characters, new weapons, and all-new worlds to explore
A classic platformer, emRatchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction/em is the perfect game for fans of the series.
With over a dozen weapons and gadgets at your disposal, you are sure to find one that suits your fancy. In emTools of Destruction/em, you control Ratchet, who teams up with Clank (a robot) to stop Emperor Percival Tachyon from taking over the galaxy.
You’ll get your hands on crazy weapons like cannons that shoot robots, rocket launchers, and flamethrowers. Ratchet may occasionally experience free fall or, with a Clank upgrade, fly; during these times, the user maneuvers Ratchet using the tilt functionality of the SIXAXIS controller. The SIXAXIS’ tilt-sensing abilities are also used to control some weapons and devices.
As you defeat enemies, they’ll drop bolts for you to spend at vendors where you can buy new equipment or upgrades for old gear. You can also collect mini-kits scattered throughout levels by solving puzzles or completing various challenges, such as jumping across platforms without touching them or defeating all enemies within a time limit.
Find it on Amazon here.
emJourney/em is one of the best PlayStation 3 platformers ever.
Made by Thatgamecompany Inc., it’s not just a game; it’s an interactive parable where you’ll experience a person’s life passage and intersections with others. It is a game that has to be experienced to be understood. It’s a story about your life and the lives of others told through mysterious, beautiful landscapes that you’ll want to explore repeatedly. It’s a game about exploration and discovery in an ancient world — a world that may know more about you than even you know about yourself.
The emJourney/em begins when you wake up in a burning desert, with miles of sand stretching out in front of you. You’re alone and soon discover that the looming mountaintop is your goal, but as you go from place to place, you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer to your goal and discovering who you are along the way.
What makes emJourney/em so special is how it blends beautiful music with gorgeous visuals to create an experience unlike any other. The story is told through a series of stunning vistas and breathtaking landscapes — and that’s just the beginning of what makes this game so special.
The game also has some of the best controls, making playing it even more immersive than most games on this list. It’s easy to jump and climb across obstacles, but when you want to get off your mark and jump in mid-air while climbing, you can do just that. This kind of control helps make emJourney/em so fun and engaging — and that’s why it’s our #1 pick for the best PS3 platformer.
Take emJourney/em home from Amazon here and see why it’s our top pick!
The difficulty in choosing a true number one platformer is that each fan has opinions and ideas about what makes that game special. For example, some like a challenging adventure with a rich story and an extensive cast of playable characters. Others prefer a colorful environment and an interesting terrain to play through — still, others like the realistic aspects and a focus on killing enemies. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a decade since the PlayStation 3 was first released.
The console had an incredible line-up of games across all genres, but platforming games were always among the most popular. From classics like Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction to innovative new titles like LittleBigPlanet, Sony has created a wide variety of games for the PS3 that are still being played today. This list is by no means complete, but it represents some of the best PS3 platforming games.
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