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Which of these 16 classic PlayStation 3D platformers was your favourite?

To celebrate Jak & Daxter’s return this week, we look back at classic mascots of yore

Crash, Spyro, Sly… PlayStation has been home to some incredible 3D platformers over the years. With the iconic Bandicoot riding high in the charts, the recent launch of nostalgic run ‘n’ jumper Yooka Laylee, and the return of Jak & Daxter this week via the HD PS4 version of The Precursor Legacy, the mascot adventure genre is experiencing a real renaissance.

So what better time to look back and take stock? We’ve been rummaging around PlayStation Store, refreshing our memories on some classics of yesteryear, and fighting over which one deserves the all-time PS platforming crown. Check out the list below and let us know which one is your favourite.

1. Crash Bandicoot (PS4, PS Vita, PS3)

Nathan Drake may think he’s just a thieving fox in jeans, but there’s no denying that this chart-topping marsupial is one of the all-time greats. All three Crash games – Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped – recently spun back into the spotlight via the hugely successful N.Sane Trilogy, not only looking far better than how you remember them, but playing just as well, too.

2. Jak and Daxter (PS4, PS Vita, PS3)

If you asked Nathan Drake about his uncles, it’s highly unlikely he’d describe them as a curious blonde-haired adventurer and an orange-furred otter/weasel hybrid. But back in 2001, Jak and Daxter were romping across the PlayStation landscape long before Drake was a twinkle in Naughty Dog’s collective eyes. If you missed out, Jak and Dater: The Precursor Legacy is about to show you its glory in a PS4 remaster.

3. Ratchet & Clank (PS4, PS Vita, PS3)

It’s rare for 3D platformers to be space bound, but the sci-fi quirkiness of Ratchet & Clank has not only been a hit time and time again – it also gave birth to two bona fide PlayStation icons.

The Lombax mechanic and his pint-sized robotic pal have gone on to feature in sequels and spin-offs, guest in the beat ’em up PlayStation All Stars Battle Royal and even walked the red carpet as animated movie stars. And while some platforming mascots’ celebrity has waned over the years, Ratchet and Clank’s recent PS4 outing was arguably their finest adventure yet.

4. Ape Escape (PS4, PS3)

A PlayStation series that helped show off the potential of the first Dualshock controller (known then as ‘Dual Analog’), this madcap franchise tasks you to chase and capture a variety of escaped slapstick simians.

But it’s not just about netting hyper intelligent, pants-wearing monkeys, you also have to traverse a variety of environments, tinker with a range of gadgets and enjoy a surprising batch of in-depth mini-games. Weird? Yes. Wonderful? Definitely.

Ape Escape

5. Spyro the Dragon (PS Vita, PS3)

Charm always plays a big part in the platform genre, and the loveable fire-breathing lizard has that by the crateful. Along with Crash, Jak and Ratchet, Spyro is another platform game series touched by veteran Game Designer Mark Cerny, bringing slick, family friendly action across the Dragon Lands. Give Gnasty Gnorc and Ripto a piece of your mind (by which we really mean “burn them up real good with Spyro’s flame breath”).

Spyro the Dragon

6. Sonic Adventure (PS3)

The blue-blur is kicking up a storm right now with Sonic Mania, but his first (and second) outing in 3D are still ones to remember. The mighty hedgehog doesn’t just spin and dash through expansive levels, but climbs, flies and even ride mechanical vehicles in order to stop the dastardly Dr. Eggman and snatch up the Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic Adventure

7. Sly Cooper (PS Vita, PS3)

When a master thief has gamers demanding he enters their house, you know you’re onto a winner. Sly Cooper’s series has only gone on from strength to strength, with four games tucked away across three PlayStation consoles.

With a surprisingly dark backstory and lore, mixing well with the noir-dipped animated visuals, there’s a style to Sly’s games that still remains distinctive to this day.

8. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS Vita, PS3)

Not quite 3D but sneaking in on its 2.5D virtues, when Klonoa arrived on PS one it charmed players with its colourful visuals, rich environments and the ability to throw enemies into the background (which also acted as a way to gain collect out of reach items).

To this day, no one knows what type of animal Klonoa actually is (Cat? Dog? Cat-bird-dog predecessor to Trico?) but its cheerful, cutesy fun remains one of the genres’ most accessible entries.

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

9. Jumping Flash (PS Vita, PS3)

It’s testament to Jumping Flash’s courageous uniqueness that few 3D platformers have attempted to follow its trailblazing path. Presenting its gameplay from a first-person perspective, the robotic rabbit called Robbit launched himself into the record books by being the first platform video game in true 3D.

Not only that, but it managed to be a slick, well-crafted bit of fun, with a funky soundtrack to match.

Jumping Flash

10. Psychonauts (PS4)

Staggeringly, it’s been over 12 years since Double Fine’s psychic odyssey hit PlayStation 2, but its cult classic status hasn’t diminished over time. Bringing a lot of action adventure elements to the 3D platform genre, Tim Schafer’s psychedelic journey through the minds of a variety of misfits gave the developer licence to explore everything from battlefields and party zones to a twisted, paranoid suburbia and a neon drenched city. Psychonauts’ mind bending creativity still surprises today.

PsychonautsPsychonauts

 

11. Tomba! (PS Vita, PS3)

Another 2.5D platformer that flirted with the third dimension, both Tomba! and its sequel let you throw a silent, pink haired jungle boy around vivid environments, rescuing villagers, eating food and splash diving on enemies. Oh, and… erm… dealing sweet, punishing justice to thieving bi-pedal magical pigs (they deserve it.)

Tomba!

12. Pandemonium! (PS Vita, PS3)

Carnival jesters are usually on the receiving end of rough treatment in video games, but Fargus, the croaky voiced joker of this PS one game is spared the typical humiliation of being a nameless punch bag. In fact, he and his partner protagonist Nikki go to work on everything from pig-nosed goons to ratbats in this 2.5 platformer from the PS one era.

Sure, it’s a tricky game, but Pandemonium! still carries a bit of magic in it that makes it easy to see why it was so popular back in 1996.

Pandemonium!

13. Yooka-Laylee (PS4)

No 3D platformer discussion is complete without mentioning the Kickstarter phenomenon from the Playtonic team. An ode to the Banjo-Kazooie era, Yooka-Laylee blends beautiful open worlds, quirky characters and an onslaught of collectibles to perfectly capture the spirit of late ’90s gaming.

Frolicking around colourful environments, bashing enemies on the skull and enjoying an abundance of imaginative scenarios – the chameleon and bat duo are right in the mix.

14. Snake Pass (PS4)

Like Yooka-Laylee, Snake Pass displays its old school roots loud and proud. But rather than going down the action-based route, the focus here is more on physics-based puzzle platforming.

The result is a more leisurely and cerebral game that captures the best brain-teasing aspects of classic 3D platformers. Not to mention an ambient yet jaunty David Wise soundtrack, which is guaranteed to lift your spirits.

15. Knack (PS4)

A PS4 launch title that garnered a big following, Knack is the perfect family-friendly action adventure. Sure, there’s plenty of rock ’em sock ’em combat to get stuck into, but the titular character’s size-changing ability plays into plenty of puzzles and platforming, too.

With its sequel waiting in the wings for a September 2017 launch, now’s a great time to get up to speed with the goblin-smashing star.

16. Tearaway (PS4, PS Vita)

Media Molecule’s step away from LittleBigPlanet shows just how creative the Guildford-based developer can be. Tearaway and Tearaway Unfolded is a treasure box of delights and surprises, making each part of atoi’s imaginative journey an absolute joy.

What other game has you using the Dualshock 4 wireless controller’s touch pad to send items ‘into’ the TV, or guiding your character through dark places using the light bar’s glow? Or even scratch mixing its soundtrack in real time?

68 Comments
4 Author replies

Jak and Daxter Ape Escape Klonoa: Door to Phantomile Crash BandicootSpyro the Dragon Tearaway Ratchet & Clank

1.1

more like this :)

1. Jak and Daxter

2. Ape Escape

3. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

4. Crash Bandicoot

5. Spyro the Dragon

6. Tearaway

7. Ratchet & Clank

Pretty sure Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy on PS4 is just the PS2 Classics emulator.

Wonder when we’ll get Jak II, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing.

Also Ape Escape 3 since it was rated.

Would be nice to see the Ratchet & Clank 1, 2, 3, Deadlocked, Size Matters, Secret Agent Clank and Sly Cooper 1, 2 & 3 up as well. And while we’re at throw in God of War I & II, Killzone, Syphon Filter (The Omega Strain, Dark Mirror and Logan’s Shadow) and Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.

2.1

I’m still hoping for that Killzone HD collection on PS4. The Lost Frontier should be remastered as well, it wasn’t as bad as reviewers said and a lot of people missed the chance to play it.

Additionally, why the heck doesn’t Jak X have online? That woul have been pretty cool to play with my friends (although I’ll proly invite them to my place for some good old couch co op).

3

Jak was my favourite but I do miss Klonoa. HAven’t played that in a while. The new RC is really nice, but Knack in this list… like really? XD

Tearaway is pretty special, it’s completely different from all the others and Sly 2 was the first PS2 game I got for my birthday, so it holds a special place in my heart (I just got the plats for the collection recently cause I felt like playing them all over again).

4

Ape Escape FTW

Corey Brotherson 23 August, 2017 @ 16:11
4.1

Have to agree on that one. Still hilariously charming.

4.2

Only one month left to Ape Escape 4 announcement, right? :)

@famikonBY the PS2 Classic of 3 more likely

Tomba/Tombi is one of my all-time favourites. Really wish there was more of it than just 2 games.

The other games on the list are obviously pretty good aswell.

5.1

Same here. It holds such a special place in my heart. When it released on psvita as a ps1 game, I’d played it all over again and the feeling of euphoria was insane. Not sure what happened to the company that made them, but I’d absolutely love a 3rd one.

MiseryPrincess 23 August, 2017 @ 19:17
5.2

They split up in 2000 and most the people went on to Access Games (best known for Sengoku Basara, Drakengard 3 and a few other titles).

5.3

Like Misery says: Whoopee no longer exists. And even if its DNA is mixed in with Access Games’: they haven’t done much of interest. And they probably won’t in the future either, since Swery left and started his own company.

I’m don’t think we will ever see a game like Tomba again. And that might not be a bad thing. It’s by far my favourite of the list above, and I’m glad that memory will not be sullied.

LogicalMarcochip 23 August, 2017 @ 15:27
6

Ratchet & Clank is my favourite videogame series of all time.

But the Jak & Daxter and Sly series are also in that place.

I always considered people who never played these games not worthy of playing videogames in general.

Actually I’m still convinced of that.

7

PS: Still haven’t tried the new Crash, but I received it recently so I’ll give it a go next week before Destiny 2 comes out.

Mario 64

9

Spyro. :p

I am surprised Little Big Planet is missing, considering it was such a phenomenon back in the PS3-era and it also spanwed a Karting version. Anyways, for me it’s Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter in that order.

Corey Brotherson 23 August, 2017 @ 16:12
10.1

LBP is one of my favourites, but I wanted to stick to 3D – or, at most early 2.5D – games, otherwise it would have made it! You’ve got some great choices, though ;)

But LBP is a 2.5d game. You can (for the lack of better term) go in and out of the level, not in the same way as klonoa, but close to some of crash’s 2D sections

Corey Brotherson 24 August, 2017 @ 09:20
10.3

That’s why I said “early 2.5D” ;-) But noted!

X_Blood_Curse_X 23 August, 2017 @ 15:45
11

Let’s get Klonoa 2 on PS4 as a Ps2 classic please. It’s super rare and it’s supposed to be really good

ThroughTheIris56 24 August, 2017 @ 12:28
11.1

It’s extremely expensive on PS2 now so that would be handy. Luckily I managed to get a PS2 copy for £20 and I can confirm it’s great.

1.- Spyro first for sure

2.- Pandemonium!

13

Crash and Spyro ma bros

14

I have an incredible amount of respect for all those and what each did for the industry. But Spyro has a special place in my heart. Sadly, after the original PlayStation games, there is still to be a decent game to be release.

Archangel7704 23 August, 2017 @ 16:28
15

Ratchet & Clank and Jumping Flash!!!

Gloom12356776543 23 August, 2017 @ 16:38
16

I will mention not the obvious ones like Crash, Ratchet … :)

So:

1. Bugs Bunny Lost in Time (PS1) – I would do anything for a remake of this one !!!!!! <3

2. Dogs Life (PS2) – Pleaseeeeee !!!!! port this to PS4 !!! <3

3. Scooby Doo: Cyber Chase (PS1)

4. Gex 1,2,3 (PS1)

5. Toy Story 2 (PS1)

6. Zapper (PS2)

7. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (PS2)

8. Klonoa 1 (PS1) and Lunetas Veil (PS2) – Pleaseeeeee !!!!! port this to PS4 aswell !!! <3

9. Tomba! 1,2 (PS1)

10. KAO 2,Challengers,3 (PS2,PSP) – this deserve PS4 port too !

11. Pandemonium 1,2 (PS1)

Edit: O ! my bad Klonoa, Tombi! and Pandemonium was already on this list :D next time it will be a good idea to read the whole article first :D :D :D

jason-bridges 23 August, 2017 @ 17:02
16.1

Holy smokes that’s a damn good list! Forgot about some of these gems

silverleo9166 23 August, 2017 @ 16:43
17

Definitely SPYRO, please remaster it! Love all the others too though, ratchet and jak and sly and even knack.

jason-bridges 23 August, 2017 @ 17:01
18

Let’s be honest, they were all fantastic!

Jak and Daxter <3

MiseryPrincess 23 August, 2017 @ 17:37
20

Wasn’t the original Sonic outing in 3d in Sonic Jam on the Saturn?

Buuuut top 3…

Spyro – Though kind of simple seeming it has this sense of freedom and lots of environmental puzzles. This one would be great for a remake!Tomba/Tombi – The first one is great and is like an RPG.Rachet and Clank – I like shooting stuff a bunch.

After that though Crash and a few others would need to be there. Why did I limit it to 3 again?

MiseryPrincess 23 August, 2017 @ 17:40
21

Also though not really a platformer Medievil needs a remake or something! It’s a Sony franchise that’s been missing for soo long.

Get Guerrilla to make it already!

21.1

Guerrilla Cambridge was shut down earlier this year, it’s why updates and content was cancelled for RIGS: Mechanized Combat

MiseryPrincess 24 August, 2017 @ 05:06
21.2

Gah I forgot about that! I guess Sony still own the rights to it, so it could be done still, just not by them.

22

I’ve got a question though…is the PS4 Jak & Daxter a port of the HD version, or an emulation of the original PSS2?

23

Once again, another tacky cut ‘n paste from the US blog, couldn’t even be bothered to put in the effort to change the NTSC PS1 covers to the far superior PAL versions.

24

PLEASE, make remastered Spyro The Dragon!

25

Easy one. Spyro all the way. The world needs his comeback more than ever.

Jessie_James17 23 August, 2017 @ 19:39
26

MediEvil by far

Please make my dream come true

bring it to PS4

Jak and Daxter

1: Spyro, 2: Crash, 3: Ape escape, 4: Ratchet and Clank. On that note: Were is ape escape 3? I know it was rated before ape escape 2 for ps4.

Really stretching the definition of a classic there.

Duke Nukem 3D forever best

30.1

Hail to the king, baby

medievil

medievil one love

nukualofaperson 23 August, 2017 @ 21:39
33

I love Jumping Flash. If I ever start doing cosplay, I’ll be that rabbit.

Tsukuyomi_Moon89 23 August, 2017 @ 23:49
34

Wow! Surprised that Pandamonium is on this list, not that i’m complaining at all!

Spyro is nr. 1 winner for me, loved that game as a kid!

You are missing an oldie tho’… Where is the love for Croc: Legend of the Gobbos?

Anyway, Spyro, Croc and Pandamonium that’s the list, right there ;-)

34.1

Man I totally agree, I think Croc was one of the best PS1 platformers, if not the best. It needs a remaster I would definitely buy it!

35

From this list above?

Ratchet & Clank

Others:

Kya: Dark Lineage (PS2 on PS4 please)

Vexx

Jak and deck and sonic 4 episodes 1,2 and sonic generations. Jak and deck should be remade like crash bandicoot trilogy and so should sonic trilogy to current gen AAA standerd games.

Romero_Carpenter 24 August, 2017 @ 01:45
37

Spyro!

In no particular order because I honestly believe these are superb games

Klonoa PS2

Ratchet & clank ps4

Sly 4 vita and ps3

Jak & daxter 1

Special honourable mention to daxter psp

1 – Treasure Planet

2 – Threads of Fate

3 – Spyro

4 – Pandemonium 1,2

5 – Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

6 – Asterix: Mega Madness

7 – Atlantis: the lost empires

8 – Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge

9 – Tom and Jerry in House Trap

10 – Gex 1-3

40

Crash bandicoot is the best

41

What happened to Little big planet?? That’s got to be up there!

42

Oops. Not 3d

43

Crash, spyro and Rayman, Tom and Jerry in House Trap, Gex probably my favourite.

Now you know what to remaster next :D

Pandemonium. It has that certain touch..

you know what I mean

Spyro closely followed by Ratchet for me. Would also go for Medievil, and Soul Reaver Legacy of Kain. Would Tomb Raider count?

Corey Brotherson 24 August, 2017 @ 14:00
45.1

We did debate Tomb Raider, given how the earlier ones were very much a sub set of the 3D platformer, but thought it may open things up a little *too* much given it would venture the list further into that wonderfully broad ‘action adventure’ genre – Ratchet kinda slips in under that, too.

45.2

Medievil and Soul Reaver were SO awesome. Two series that really need to be revived.

Finka_Karfein 24 August, 2017 @ 14:56
46

I loved Tearaway on Vita the most even though Crash Bandicoot Trilogy was for a long time my favourite. Ratchet is right behind them.

ThroughTheIris56 25 August, 2017 @ 00:29
47

I think I’ve played about half of the series listed, and they’ve all been very fun. While Klonoa and Ape Escape are in the most urgent need of sequels, I hope all of these franchises can continue. Tearaway is really underappreciated, I hope it gets another chance with more marketing. Also while it’s not 3D, Puppeteer is another awesome game that deserves a sequel.

48

Spyro and Harry Potter 1-3 from PS2

49

Was never a huge fan of platforming so definitely Ratchet and Clank for me, probably because it prioritizes action. Even though Jak and Sly are better platforming series, I prefer R&C.

On a side note, I also clearly loved these games more when they were lineair, first RC and Sly were way better than their more open sequels imo.

Ratchet and Clank, obviously, but the Crash trilogy, the Sly trilogy and the first Jak are also pretty good.

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