Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - There's real joy in a well-made platforming game - something that's been tapped into by games since the very early days of home consoles. Now, many years later, there are still brilliant new platformers coming out all the time.

The Xbox One is home to plenty of the very best from recent years, and we've gathered a selection of real highlights for you to check out right here, so keep reading to see if you can find your next great platforming game.

If you're looking for a different genre of game, check out our dedicated lists in the table below.

Our Xbox One game buyer's guides
• Best games overall
• Best indie games
• Best shooters
• Best role-playing games (RPGs)

What are the best platformers on Xbox One?

  1. Hollow Knight
  2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  3. Celeste
  4. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  5. Shovel Knight
  6. Inside
  7. Dead Cells
  8. Rayman Legends
  9. Steamworld Dig 2
  10. Cuphead

Hollow Knight

We adore Hollow Knight, a game that makes the platforming genre feel new all over again, pulling in influences from Metroid and Dark Souls in the process. You'll explore a huge underground map that has distinct regions, each with its own challenges and boss fights.

The combat is precise but fair, and the platforming gets surprisingly involved by the game's conclusion - depending on which of its many endings you actually unlock the first time around. There's so much to discover, and so many delightful touches throughout a wonderful experience.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps


Another hugely celebrated game, the second Ori title is a superb choice. It smoothes over some of the rough edges from the first time out, making things more reliable and giving you fun powers earlier. Plus, the whole thing looks simply astonishing.

It also tells a delightful, touching story that unfolds without many words, and moves at a really nice pace to ensure you'll never be bored or stuck wondering what to do next.


A platformer with a carefully-graded difficulty curve, Celeste has you trying to climb a mountain without being sure that you're actually capable of it, learning that you're able to do more than you might think. Once you get a dash mechanic very early on, it starts to become clear things are going to get complicated.

The game introduces new challenges and techniques with such care and attention that you'll sometimes stop and realise that you're pulling off moves more complicated than you thought - it's that good at holding your hand while letting you learn.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy


A loving update for three classic games from years gone by, Spyro exploded back onto the scene with the Reignited Trilogy, reminding countless gamers why they have such fond memories of the little purple dragon.

You'll bound, swoop and fly around great maps that are clearly the same as they used to be, except with the detail ramped up massively and the art style subtly updated to make it look indistinguishable from a modern release.

Shovel Knight


A game that's modern but looks retro, instead of the other way around, Shovel Knight is a brilliant title that brings the best of old-school platforming to the Xbox One, letting you jump and bounce your way through a tough but fair campaign.

The Treasure Trove edition also offers up a number of expansion packs with new characters to control, each of them completely changing how you'll play the game, so it's almost like a few games in one, all of them charming in the extreme.



A platformer that doesn't ask a huge amount of skill of you, Inside might be a side-scroller but it's got a heavy story focus. That doesn't mean there's dialogue and exposition, though - it's more like walking your way through an amazing mime performance.

We're incredibly keen not to spoil the experience for anyone, so trust us when we say that if you like short stories and a touch of the macabre then Inside is likely to stay with you for a long time after its stunning ending.

Dead Cells


For something more action-packed and skill-based, the roguelike Dead Cells should scratch your itch. It's a side-scrolling combat game that sees you trying to run a randomised gauntlet of enemies and bosses to escape your imprisonment.

Each time you'll pick up new weapons and skills, learning more about the mechanics you need to understand to make it all the way through. Loads of expansions and patches have made it even better than it was at release, too.

Rayman Legends


Another classic gaming character made it onto the Xbox One when Rayman Legends came out near the start of the console's lifespan, and the game has aged really gracefully thanks to its funky art style, which looks really great.

You'll run, ride and jump through plenty of diverse levels with a cast of fun characters that join you at times, and some really great twists on the core gameplay mechanics that keep things feeling fresh throughout. All we can ask is this - where's the sequel, Ubisoft?

Steamworld Dig 2

The Steamworld universe is a really fun and rewarding one, and this mainline sequel is great fun to play through. You'll dig down to the bedrock under a frontier town in search of riches and answers, and eventually penetrate far further than that.

By digging through the underground you'll make your own paths and routes, coming to learn them like the back of your hand, which is an experience that not many other games have offered up that we can think of.



For those who like a lot of punishment before they get any pleasure, Cuphead is a brilliant treat. It's got a cutesy throwback art style that looks incredibly accurately like a cartoon from the early days of movies and cinema.

That's a facade, though - hiding one of the most brutally difficult games released in years. It's a tough-as-nails run and gun side-scrolling shooter that will have you tearing your hair out when its bosses drop new moves on you. Trust us, this is one for the hardcore gamers among us.

More about this story

Every game in this list has been tested and played through by our team to make sure that it merits inclusion.

We've played through their campaigns, sunk hours into their multiplayer offerings, and carefully compared them to direct competitors to make sure that they represent the most satisfying and rewarding options out there on their platform.

With any roundup, though, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user. That's why we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.

What we always tend to avoid with these guides are needless details - we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each game is like to play. 

PC Gaming now has a dedicated hub page!
PC Gaming Week in association with Nvidia GeForce RTX may have come to an end, but you can still find all of that great content as well as all future PC gaming news, reviews, features and more on our dedicated hub page.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.