What is a Platformer Game? 3 Types of Platformers

If you’re a gamer, then you’ve no doubt come across the term “platformer game.” But what exactly is a platformer game? And more importantly, what makes them so popular?

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. as a kid. That was my introduction to platformer games and games in general. I loved how you had to navigate through each level, avoiding enemies and obstacles, while collecting coins and other items. And of course, rescuing the princess at the end was the icing on the cake.

Since then, platformer games have come a long way. There are now 3D platformers, side-scrolling platformers, and even ones that combine elements of both. But at their core, platformer games are still about jumping and running your way to the finish line.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what platformer games are, and take a look at some of the most popular ones out there. We’ll also explore why gamers love them so much and offer a few tips on how to get started if you’re interested in playing one yourself. So if you’re ready to learn all about platformers, keep reading!

What is a Platformer Game?

A platformer game is a type of video game in which the player controls a character who must jump and climb their way through a series of obstacles to reach the end of the level.

The genre gets its name from the fact that most levels are designed around a series of platforms, which the player must scale in order to progress. Many platformer games also include elements of puzzle-solving, as well as enemies that must be avoided or defeated.

Some of the most popular platformer games of all time include Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong. In recent years, the genre has seen something of a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to highly acclaimed titles such as Celeste and Hollow Knight.

For many gamers, platformers provide an enjoyable challenge that can be both frustrating and rewarding in equal measure.

mario platformer game

Why are Platformer Games Popular?

Platformer video games have been around since the early 1980s, and they continue to be popular today. One reason for their enduring popularity is that they are easy to pick up and play.

Unlike some genres, platformers do not require a lot of time investment to learn the mechanics. In addition, platformers tend to be visually appealing, with colorful graphics and vibrant worlds.

They also often have an element of nostalgia, as many players grew up playing classic platformers like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. Ultimately, platformers are enjoyable and accessible games that appeal to a wide range of players.

Types of Platformer Games

There are three main types of platformer games: 3D platformers, side-scrolling platformers, and 2.5D platformers.

3D Platformers

3D platformers are games that take place in three-dimensional environments. The player character is able to move forward, backward, and sideways, as well as jump and climb. Super Mario 64 is a well-known example of a 3D platformer.

super mario 64 3d platformer

Side-Scrolling Platformers

Side-scrolling platformers, on the other hand, take place in two-dimensional environments. The player can only move left or right, and must jump and climb to progress. Many classic platformers, such as Super Mario Bros., are side-scrollers.

2.5D Platformers

Finally, 2.5D platformers are a hybrid of the two previous types. They take place in three-dimensional environments, but the player is confined to a two-dimensional plane. This type of platformer often uses 3D graphics to give the illusion of depth. LittleBigPlanet is a popular example of a 2.5D platformer.

little big planet 2.5d platformer

Why Were Early Games Mostly Platformer Games?

The platformer genre was one of the earliest genres to gain popularity in the video game industry. One reason for this is that early video games were mostly designed around simple mechanics that could be easily replicated on limited hardware.

Platformers are relatively easy to code, and they do not require a lot of processing power to run. In addition, early video game consoles were not capable of rendering complex 3D environments. As a result, most early games were either 2D or 2.5D platformers.

Despite the advances in technology, platformer games remain popular to this day. Many gamers enjoy the challenge that these games provide, and the genre has seen something of a resurgence in recent years.

Thanks to the popularity of games like Super Mario Odyssey and Celeste, platformers are once again at the forefront of the video game industry.

How to Get Started Playing Platformer Games

If you’re interested in playing a platformer game, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, be aware that some platformers can be quite difficult. If you’re new to the genre, it’s a good idea to start with a game that is relatively easy to learn. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more challenging titles.

It’s also important to choose a game that appeals to you aesthetically. Platformers come in all shapes and sizes, so take some time to browse through your options before making a decision.

Examples of Platformer Games

Now that you know a little bit more about platformers, here are some examples of popular games in the genre:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Donkey Kong
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Celeste
  • Hollow Knight

Best Platformer Games

I also wanted to compile a list of some of the best platformer games according to ratings and popularity:

  • Shovel Knight
  • Rayman Legends
  • Celeste
  • Sonic Mania
  • Dead Cells
  • Hollow Knight
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • It Takes Two
  • Spelunky
  • Mega Man
  • Spyro
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Rayman Origins
  • Cuphead
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Psychonauts
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Little Big Planet

Will There Always be Platformer Games?

The platformer genre has been around for over three decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Thanks to their easy-to-learn gameplay and appealing graphics, platformers are likely to remain popular for years to come. So whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a complete novice, there’s a platformer out there that’s perfect for you.


Is Zelda a Platformer Game?

The Legend of Zelda is a popular video game series that has been around for over 30 years. The games are typically classified as action-adventure games, but some titles in the series have elements of platforming. For example, Link’s Awakening features side-scrolling platforming sections, and Spirit Tracks has 2.5D platforming segments. However, the Zelda series is not considered to be a platformer game franchise.

Is Mario a Platformer Game?

Yes, the Super Mario series is one of the most popular and enduring platformer franchises of all time.