8 Best PS2 3D Platformers

The PS2 had a lot of great 3D platformers, from well-known classics to little-known gems.

After playing so many great games on it, it’s easy to see why so many people love the PlayStation 2. 3D platformers were first made in the age before the PS2, but it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t when they were at their best.

The PS2’s technology helped developers make some of the most colorful and immersive platforming worlds we’ve ever seen. The stories and graphics also got a lot better. Series like Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter are still what people think of when they think of 3D platformers. These games are still great, whether you played them as a kid or as an adult.

Ty The Tasmanian Tiger

Ty holding a boomerang while running across a pond.

Though the Tasmanian Tiger is no longer alive, this secret gem of a 3D adventure shouldn’t be forgotten either. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a fun adventure through Rainbow Cliffs. It looks different from other PS2 games because it has tight level design and a desert feel.

The HD remake is a great way to enjoy this strange adventure on current systems. Collecting Thunder Eggs and throwing Ty’s two boomerangs is still as much fun as it was in 2002. Even though Ty the Tasmanian Tiger isn’t as well known as some of the other games on this list, it has more than earned its cult following over the years.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Battle For Bikini Bottom

SpongeBob jumping over a lake towards a platform with a robot on it.

Fans of the famous Nickelodeon show SpongeBob SquarePants will always love Battle for Bikini Bottom, which is a great game that pays tribute to the show. The art style, character movements, and everything else about the game looks like it could have been taken straight from the series. The fact that it’s also a wildly fun 3D shooter is the cherry on top.

You can play as SpongeBob, Patrick, or Sandy in Battle for Bikini Bottom, and your job is to stop Plankton’s army of robots, which were made by everyone’s favorite evil greedy copepod. Battle for Bikini Bottom has kept all of its original fun, thanks to the smart writing and well-tuned story that are typical of the series.

Ape Escape 2

Four apes posing against a blue screen.

Ape Escape 2 doesn’t try to be anything different from the first PlayStation game, which made it so fun. Instead, it makes the recipe better by adding more creative Gotcha Gadgets, fun mini-games, and other silly things.

Getting the different apes is still a lot of fun, especially since the game keeps getting better at giving you new and creative ways to catch the naughty ones. Ape Escape 2 looks as bright and colorful as a picture book, so it has held up better than any PS2 game.


Raz running towards the screen in a ray of green light.

Psychonauts is one of the most original 3D platform games ever made, and it’s even better on the PS2. This mind-bending game from Tim Schafer and the team at Double Fine Productions became a cult classic right away because of how well the idea, art style, and gameplay worked together.

It’s a brilliant idea to use the characters’ minds as levels in the game, which leads to some really creative results. Raz’s different mental abilities make Snake Game feel completely different from almost every other 3D shooter, no matter what age it is from.

Sly 2: Band Of Thieves

Sly pickpocketing a guard.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves is the best 3D shooter on the PS2. It’s sneaky, clever, and just plain great. Building on the basics of the first game, Sly 2 gives Bentley and Murray bigger parts to play while changing the way the levels are designed and how missions work. Even though it’s been almost twenty years, the experience still feels so fresh.

It’s still one of a kind to play stealth-platform games, and the art style has aged like a fine Parisian wine. The three Sly Cooper games were some of the best on the PS2, but Band of Thieves may have been the best of the bunch.

Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil

Lolo and Klonoa standing next to each other.

One could say that Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil is more of a 2.5D platformer than a standard 3D one, but the game is so good that it deserves to be on this list. This Klonoa has a lot of the same great features as the first one. It has a moving story, bright levels, and a nearly perfect mix of platforming, fighting, and puzzle-solving.

This balance is carried over into Klonoa 2, where the Namco team has done a great job of improving the level design. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into every part of this game. Is it any wonder that it’s still a fan favorite?

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

Ratchet and Clank in front of a red planet.

It’s the conclusion of everything that Insomniac Studios had been working up to with the first three Ratchet & Clank games. Some of the best jokes, parodies, and general fun you’re likely to find in any game are right here.

The boss fights range from silly to really epic, and the weapons are at their biggest and best. Of course, that’s not all. There’s also a competitive multiplayer game that has become a must-have for any PS2 night with friends.

Jak 2 – Platform Game

Dark Jak surrounded by purple lightning in front of Daxter.

After Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy did well with both critics and customers, it would have been easy for Naughty Dog to make the sequel do the same. Anyway, they made a game that was very different in tone and setting, but it still managed to hit total gold.

In addition to having a great cast of characters and an interesting story about losing your innocence and fighting against a system that controls you, Jak 2 is also a great (if somewhat difficult) 3D adventure. The sequel was one of the bravest ever, and it helped start a new era for the genre.