7 Platformers that would make excellent gifts for the 2023 holiday season

7 Platformers that would make excellent gifts for the 2023 holiday season

Platformers are mostly fun for the whole family, and the 2023 holiday season has some real winners. You might notice that most of these are available on the Nintendo Switch, but that is mostly because the device has an excellent design for games of this style. While a majority of them are 2D, there are plenty of 3D options available as well.

2023 has seen the release of many games of this kind, and some are solid contenders for you to enjoy on your own or with your loved ones during the holiday season. This article will list some of the best among them.

That said, the year’s not over yet. As November and December pan out, we’ll look at any new Platformers that come out, and if they’re worth adding to this list, we’ll come back and update accordingly. Unfortunately, we didn’t review all of these, but I have played them personally, so I can vouch for their inclusion on this list.

Platformers you should consider for the 2023 holiday season

1) Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Image via Nintendo)
Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Image via Nintendo)
  • Link to Review: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is one of the best platformers on the Switch, and is easily the best Mario game since Super Mario World. If you have a Switch and don’t get this during the 2023 holiday season, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

It perfectly captures the essence of the series. Nearly the entire crew of developers that worked on the original Super Mario Bros. came back for this one. The end result — the perfect platform title for the 2023 holiday season — reflects the fact that it was built by a team that knew what they were doing. The Badge System is neat, the four-player co-op is chaotic fun. Overall, it’s a charming, beautiful game.

2) Blasphemous 2

Blasphemous (Image via Team 17)
Blasphemous (Image via Team 17)
  • Link to Review: N/A
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows

Sadly, we didn’t review Blasphemous 2, but I adore this little series. Normally, I’m not into the Souls-like genre, but the first game really enchanted me. The grimdark, brutal pixel-based Metroidvania/Soulslike blend really comes together amazingly. The platforming feels tight, and the violence is perfect.

Like the original Blasphemous, all the platforming feels excellent. I never really felt like it was the game’s fault when I missed a jump or didn’t land an attack. Just because it’s the 2023 holiday season, that doesn’t mean you can’t give the gift of gore. That said, it’s really not recommended for the queasy.

3) Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread (Image via Nintendo)
Metroid Dread (Image via Nintendo)
  • Link to Review: N/A
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Metroid Dread here is still one of the definitive Metroidvania and platformer entries. It’s a few years old now, but it’s still worth picking up during the 2023 holiday season. It also feels like a little bit of a Soulslike, or at least Survival Horror, with the robots constantly chasing you.

The powerups are great, and the boss fights are challenging but easy to learn and prepare for. The game also has had several updates and additional modes added. The title feels similar to Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion without being derivative. The twist was also pretty wild. If you want a good platformer, grab this during the 2023 holiday season.

4) Celeste

Celeste (Image via Maddy Makes Games)
Celeste (Image via Maddy Makes Games)
  • Link to Review: Celeste
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Xbox One, Linux, Google Stadia

This is the game I’ve probably played the least on the list, but I still quickly found myself enchanted by it. Celeste is a beautiful, tight platformer with a memorable story and even better gameplay. It’s certainly a game you get better at as you play. As you learn the mechanics, you, like me, will find yourself falling in love with it.

It’s one of the most charming titles on the 2023 holiday season list this year. I loved the feeling of jumping and air-dashing over spikes, hitting a wall, and getting around other obstacles as I went from screen to screen. It’s cute, but it’s also incredibly challenging.

5) Kirby’s Return to Dreamland

Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe (Image via Nintendo)
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe (Image via Nintendo)
  • Link to Review: Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Kirby is a franchise I’ve loved since the very beginning. The platforming isn’t hard, but it’s so cute and fun that I don’t care. There’s never a bad Kirby game to give during a holiday, especially not during the 2023 holiday season.

It’s a gorgeous remaster, and the gameplay is just as good as I remember it being. Besides the sublime base game, you also have the Merry Magoland and all the cool minigames. There’s so much fun to be had, and it’s super cute.

6) LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Image via Traveler's Tales)
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Image via Traveler’s Tales)
  • Link to Review: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Windows

From a multiplayer mode to tons of characters, there’s so much charm, heart, and humor in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Even if it’s a year old, it’s a fun 3D platformer that is worth buying during the 2023 holiday season.

There’s really not much to say about the LEGO games – typically, you know exactly what you’re getting in these platformers. Hundreds of characters, charming, familiar levels, and lots of fun. They don’t deviate from this style of gameplay because it works.

7) Pizza Tower

Pizza Tower (Image via Tour De Pizza)
Pizza Tower (Image via Tour De Pizza)
  • Link to Review: N/A
  • Platforms: Android, Windows

If you loved the Wario platformers, you will adore Pizza Tower. I’ve played this game the least of all, but the awesome visuals and fun gameplay hooked me instantly. I cannot stress enough that this indie game belongs on every 2023 holiday season wishlist.

It has an irreverent story, where pizza chef Peppino Spaghetti has to scale a tower in order to prevent the destruction of his place of business. It made me wonder several times, “What if the creators of Rocko’s Modern Life made a video game?”The platforming is sharp, the over-the-top visuals kept me chuckling, and it’s all just a treasure. Don’t skip out on this game.

At their heart, these games need to be one thing: Fun. All the ones on this list deliver in that respect. As the holidays roll closer, we’ll update this list with more deserving platformers if there are any that deserve to be on this list. Make sure you keep an eye right here as the 2023 holiday season rolls around.

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