Exclusive titles can be a real pain for gamers. Although competition between brands is inherently a good thing for consumers, it’s a shame that many gamers haven’t experienced franchises like Halo, The Legend of Zelda, or Uncharted.
One other exclusive series that has eluded many gamers is Ratchet & Clank. The sci-fi series‘ exclusivity is particularly disappointing for Nintendo Switch owners, as Switch owners are, generally speaking, the biggest advocates of mascot platformers. Thankfully, Nintendo’s console has tons of excellent platforming titles of its own that can scratch the itch of anyone who likes the look of Ratchet & Clank
Updated on January 12th, 2023, by Jack Pursey: The topic of video game exclusivity has become even more prevalent during the ninth generation of home consoles, mainly due to significant acquisitions such as Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda and ongoing acquisition of Activision, while Sony has acquired Bungie. As such, gamers aren’t holding out much hope that exclusivity will be slowing down anytime soon. To help Switch owners who are looking for an experience like Ratchet & Clank, we’ve updated this list with some more up-to-date information.
11/11 Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Release Date: March 25, 2022
Available Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Kirby and the Forgotten Land was released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch in March 2022. The game was well-recieved by fans and critics, exemplified by its 85 critic score and 8.8 user score on the review aggregator site Metacritic.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land immediately grabbed the attention of Kirby fans by being the first main series game in the franchise to be fully 3D, along with its beautiful art design and expanded copy mechanic that often produces hilarious results, such as when Kirby turns into a car.
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Available Platforms:PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
A game that is considered a spiritual successor to the classic Banjo-Kazooie was always going to draw attention. Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee started life on Kickstarter, where it broke multiple records for the money it raised. Unfortunately, the game’s huge expectations weren’t reached, and many people were disappointed by the final product. The Nintendo Switch version scored 75 on Metacritic, which is 17 points less than what Banjo-Kazooie achieved.
Despite failing to match the qualities of Banjo-Kazooie, Playtonic Games’ platformer is still worth checking out for anyone interested in the genre. The first level, in particular, is extremely well-designed, as players can easily get lost in it for hours finding all of the secrets and hidden items tucked around every corner.
9/11 Sonic Mania Plus
Release Date (Plus version): July 17, 2018
Available Platforms (Plus version): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
From one of the freshest new IPs in platforming to one of the oldest still around today, Sonic burst onto the scene in 1991 as Sega hoped their blue hedgehog would be a worthy competitor to Nintendo’s Mario. Unfortunately, Sonic’s iconic character design and the memorable first game have been let down by numerous disappointing releases.
Sonic’s difficulty adapting to modern gaming was best exemplified in 2017 when the latest main series game, Sonic Forces, was woefully received by fans and critics. In contrast, Sonic Mania, a game that remixes older stages, is now considered one of the franchise’s best-ever entries.
8/11 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Available Platforms: Wii U and Nintendo Switch
Another mascot character that has survived many decades and changes to gaming is Donkey Kong. Unlike Sonic, Donkey Kong doesn’t get many new games, but the ones that do release are usually great quality.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze isone of many Wii U games that has been ported to the Nintendo Switch, and it is considered to be of a similar quality to the classic SNES game Donkey Kong Country. The Nintendo Switch edition adds a handful of new features, including New Funky Mode, which adds Funky Kong as a playable character. Funky Kong is far more skilled than Donkey Kong, making the game considerably easier.
7/11 Hollow Knight
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Available Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
The Metroidvania genre has had a welcome resurgence in recent years. Hollow Knight is just one of the many fantastic entries into the retro genre during the eighth generation of consoles. The game itself impressed in almost every key area, as the gameplay, music, and overall level design make Hollow Knight one of the Metroidvania genre’s best-ever titles.
Along with its excellent Nintendo Switch Metascore of 90, Hollow Knight picked up numerous awards, including Independent Game of the Year at the Australian Game Awards.
6/11 Guacamelee! 2
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Available Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One
From one excellent modern Metroidvania to another, Guacamelee! 2 was releasedin August 2018 on PC and PlayStation 4 before coming to the Nintendo Switch a couple of months later. Much like Hollow Knight, DrinkBox Studios’ Guacamelee! 2 is faithful to the Metroidvania games of old but brings plenty of new ideas to the table to differentiate it from other titles.
Along with its unique art style, Guacamelee! 2 stands out with its innovative combat styles, inspired by a common professional wrestling style in Mexico known as Lucha Libre.
5/11 Okami HD
Release Date (HD version): October 30, 2012
Available Platforms (HD version): PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The Legend of Zelda-inspired Ōkami HD may not have as many platforming sections as Ratchet & Clank,or any other game on this list, for that matter. However, Clover Studio’s classic adventure is certainly worth checking out for simply being one of the best third-person adventures of all time.
Despite the universal praise and 93 Metascore that Ōkami received when it was initially released on the PlayStation 2, the game struggled to perform sales-wise. Thankfully, the Nintendo Wii port and multiple Ōkami HD releases have finally given the adventure the commercial success it always deserved.
4/11 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Available Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’sFury takes the Wii U game Super Mario 3D World to the Nintendo Switch while adding Bowser’s Fury forgood measure. The Super Mario 3D World section of the game plays similarly to the Nintendo 3Ds game Super Mario 3D Land, with its small but tightly designed levels. Meanwhile, Bowser’s Fury offers one large stage that is broken up into small islands.
Bowser’s Fury has numerous interesting mechanics that may reappear in the next main series Mario title, such as Bowser being a constant presence who sporadically pops up to wreak havoc upon players as they try to find Cat Shrines.
Release Date: January 25, 2018
Available Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia
It’s worth stating right off the bat that Celeste isn’t for the faint of heart. The game is one of the most difficult platformers ever released, putting it alongside notoriously difficult games like Super Meat Boy and I Wanna Be The Guy. Celeste‘s difficultycertainly isn’t a gimmick, though, as it ties into the game’s story about the protagonist’s mental health difficulties as she attempts to scale an imposing mountain.
Moreover, the difficulty never feels unfair as the playable character has some of the most well-crafted movement mechanics in platforming history, which makes Madeline a joy to control.
2/11 Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Release Date: March 11, 2020
Available Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S
The third and final Metroidvania game to appear on this list, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a great choice for Ratchet & Clank fans as two of the game’s main strengths mirror Insomniac Games’ franchise: the platforming and combat mechanics.
However, platforming and combat aren’t all that’s great about Ori and the Will of the Wisps, as the game improves upon its predecessor by implementing more open-world mechanics. The game becomes very open at around the halfway point, when players are free to take a break from the main story to complete side quests and activities.
1/11 Super Mario Odyssey
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Available Platforms: Nintendo Switch
There probably won’t be too many people gasping in surprise that Super Mario Odyssey appears on this list. As is common for gaming’s most iconic character, Marioonce again raised the bar for all platforming titles with Super Mario Odyssey, which has become one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, exemplified by its impressive 97 Metascore.
Super Mario Odyssey has tons of hours of content, wonderfully designed levels, and a fantastic mechanic that lets players “capture” living things and objects around the stages to give them an advantage, which is an ingenious way to make the gameplay feel varied and engaging.