Top 15 Best 2D Platformers With Great Action And Adventure (PC)

Best 2D Action Platformers
Do you enjoy platformers, but stomping on an enemy isn't your style? These games have a higher focus on action and will give you a variety of ways to defeat your foes as a result.

What are the best Action based platformers that you can find on PC?

There are a lot of platformers throughout gaming history. Back in the day, most platformers only had the player jumping and running. However, as time goes by, games started to expand in their mechanics. Platformers are no exception as features that have been seen in modern games such as skill trees, experience points, and level ups have been added. In addition, the direction in which a lot of platformers wanted to take in terms of a developer’s vision has changed. Some platformers aim to be a fun casual romp from level to level. Meanwhile, other platformers aim for a high emphasis on action. This list will cover 16 top-notch games that aim for the latter.

16. Gunpoint

Gunpoint Gameplay

Gunpoint is a stealth puzzle game where you play as a freelance spy. What do clients want this spy to do? Well, break into buildings to steal data of course. And how is the spy going to carry that goal out? He has a gadget called the Crosslink that can see how the wiring of buildings work and change the wiring to trick people into shooting each other.

What’s the big deal about shooting in Gunpoint? Well, one shot kills everything. Yourself included. So, think ahead about your plan to tackle your mission. That being said, you can approach the game however you like. Want to kill everyone? Knock yourself out (hopefully not literally). Or are you more of a pacifist? That’s no problem either.

The spy also has a common trait with a lot of action heroes since they cannot die from fall damage, so you can jump through windows to trick security guards.

You may be playing as a freelance spy working for clients, but that doesn’t mean you have to approach your relationship with them with complete honesty. If you’d like, you can try to trick your clients into believing what you have to say.

There are 20 missions to go along with the riveting story that Gunpoint has related to espionage.

Held at Gunpoint: It can be really interesting to figure out methods to get yourself out of bad situations.

Freelance Texter: Whether you want to approach your relationship with your client with honesty or deceit is a choice entirely up to you.

15. Mark of the Ninja: Remastered

Mark of the Ninja: Remastered Gameplay

Mark of the Ninja is a stealth platformer where you play as an unnamed Ninja and your first goal is to make your way past the guards along with a female Ninja named Ora to rescue your sensei Azai.

You come equipped with nothing but your fists and the ability to climb walls and enter vents. However, you will acquire a sword as well as Knives and a Grappling Hook early on in your adventure that you can also use.

You’re not the only one that will have gear though. The guards that you’ll need to get past. The guards have guns and they’re not afraid to use them. If you get close enough to them and they see you; Or if they hear you, they will shoot at you immediately.

Initially, you will have to maneuver around the guards by moving around in the dark as well as using the environment to hide from the guards. The guards aren’t unkillable though. When you retrieve your sword, if you haven’t been caught by the guards, you can do a quick time event and perform a stealth kill on a guard. Make sure to hide his body after doing that though, or it’ll trigger another guard if they notice the dead guard. In addition, you can use the knives to hit something that’ll set off a sound behind the guard so that you can sneak up and stealth kill that guard.

Adapt or Perish: The marked Ninja will learn different skills throughout the journey and the player can choose to allocate these skills to the playstyle they like.

Fatality: The Ninja strikes and performs a stealth kill on this guard. The background goes dark, and the guard will no longer be a threat.

14. METAL SLUG 3

Metal Slug 3 Gameplay

Metal Slug 3 is a Classic Run and Gun game developed by SNK. In Metal Slug 3, you take control of either the leader of an elite soldier squad called the P.F. Squad named Marco, the sergeant of an Intelligence group called S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S named Eri, the captain of the P.F Squad Tarma, or a major sergeant of S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S Fio.

The player can collect different enhancements for their gun. For example, collecting a square with an F on it will allow the player to shoot fire instead of bullets.

The main goal of the game is to move through levels and gun down hostile aliens along the way to reach their leader Rootmars. Metal Slug 3 introduces a feature not seen in the 2 games before it. Branching Paths. Pending on how you tackle a mission, you might wound up going down a different path. For example, depending on whether or not you use the fire power-up to melt the ice to a cave with a label called ICEMAN and enter the cave, you’ll go to a route where the player must fight sasquatches instead of the standard route if the player were to continue the level.

Take down Rootmars’ forces by yourself or with our friends both near and far.

I made a bad call: Tarma finds himself face to face with a very ugly crab-like alien and vehicle fusion. Time for those fight or flight instincts to kick in.

Some Very Unique Locations: Tarma is underwater face to face with a crab that is shooting a lot of orange spheres around.

13. Spelunky

Spelunky Gameplay

Spelunky is a Roguelike platformer set in a randomly generated cave. The goal of the game is to journey deep underground collecting as much treasure as you can. You control an unnamed character known as The Spelunker.  

The Spelunker is completely free to explore the caves to his heart’s content. However, for all the freedom that there is, there are also consequences. For example, if you want to steal from a shop instead of buying something, go right ahead. Don’t expect the storekeeper to take a criminal offence like that lightly though.

There are many items that The Spelunker can use to his advantage, including bombs to blow up the terrain to explore deeper areas. Or ladders so that The Spelunker can descend further down the cave without falling an absurd distance and breaking his legs as a result.

There are also a variety of enemies that The Spelunker will meet. There are bats, snakes, and spiders that all vary greatly in size. The Spelunker is able to defend himself though. He comes equipped with a whip as well as the strongest weapon of all; Shoes that he can jump on an enemy’s head with.

Decisions! Decisions! I wish I had a map: There are a lot of paths to choose between, and there’s no path that initially seems more correct than others. You’re free to do whatever you please.

$21,000? That’s not cheap at all: It sure isn’t. But what are you going to do about that? Leave peacefully knowing you aren’t getting that Shotgun now? Or do you steal it and risk feeling the wrath of the Storekeeper?

12. Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy Gameplay

Rogue Legacy is a Roguelike where anybody can become a hero. Upon each time that you die, you play as a different character. This is a result of the new character that you’re playing as being the child of the character that just died.

Your character can fall under 1 of 9 classes. For example, they could potentially ninja run with the Shinobi (also known as the Hokage) class where they wear a headband, and they have a lot of strength and speed, but very low HP.

But the journey isn’t exclusively about the character you’re playing as. What about the enemies that stand in your way? There are over 60 different types of enemies that you’ll square off against. For example, there is a very swift wolf that comes in black, red, and white varieties that will charge at you.  

In addition to your character’s physical appearance, they may carry traits from their lineage. One example is that perhaps they may have dyslexia, causing the player to occasionally hear creepy laughter and see enemies that aren’t actually there and can’t be damaged. (though they can’t damage you either) That’s all okay though. Nobody is perfect after all.

That’s a big Bodyguard: This Paladin finds herself face to face with an Earth wizard called Earthsor as well as a giant Shield Knight known as the Towerguard. The Towerguard will not actively attack the player, but that shield sure looks sturdy. The Earthsor will create a yellow seal where you’re located and create a large rock that damages you at the seal’s location.

Everybody is Unique: These are the stats of one of many potential characters that you’ll play as. You may notice that Lady Lisa here is a Paladin with Tunnel Vision as well as Gigantism.

11. Vagante

Vagante Gameplay

Vagante is an Action-Platformer inspired by roguelikes and features procedurally developed levels as well as permadeath. There’s a rumour going around that there lies a boundless treasure in a specific cave at the end of the woods. The dangerous lands contain a lot of terrifying monsters, and many adventurers have explored the area for some reason; Whether it be the glory, the fame, or the wealth, who knows? What is known is that none of those adventurers ever came back.

But what about your journey? You’ll be playing as a character based off a class of your choosing. Do you prefer to attack from a range? If so, then the Mage class is perfect for you. If not, the next question you should ask is if you prefer extra speed or power. If you prefer power, then the Knight class is just for you; And if you want speed, then the Rogue class is the class you want. There are also 2 unlockable classes that specialize in fast fist attacks and club-based attacks.

You’ll run into a lot of monsters that you’ll need to conquer if you want that treasure. There is a green slime that will slowly crawl in your direction and a red hooded Goblin that will walk up to you and attempt to stab you just to name a couple. After that, it’ll choose to attack. These are just a few of the many obstacles that stand in your way of that treasure. Nobody said this journey would be easy.

Explore the dangerous lands of Vagante by yourself or with friends. In fact, in co-op, if a player dies, they can respawn as a weaker skeleton. And if they die as a skeleton, they will revive as a wraith. However, the wraith is very limited in what it can do.

Spooky (Not So) Scary Skeleton: Two players have encountered a dragon, and one of them has perished in the past since that person is now a skeleton.

Friends that travel together stay together: You can experience the journey of Vagante with some friends if you feel that it's too dangerous to go alone.

10. Risk of Rain

Risk of Rain Gameplay

Risk of Rain is an Action Platformer with permadeath and Roguelike elements set on a mysterious planet. The goal of Risk of Rain is to survive and reach teleporters spread across the planet.

You only start with 1 character known as the Commando. The Commando specializes in long-range combat and mobility. The Commando comes armed with a gun and can roll a small distance which he can’t be hurt if he’s doing. You can also unlock an extra 11 characters that specialize in different fields.  

This planet is unforgiving, and over time, your journey on this mysterious planet is only going to get more and more dangerous. More and more enemies will decide that they want to play with you, such as a Jellyfish, a Sand Crab, and a Mechanical Spider just to name a few. However, you’ll also find a lot of items to help you on your journey such as a gun made of gold that will inflict damage based on how much gold you have amassed on your journey.

You can try to survive the world of Risk of Rain by yourself or with friends through online co-op.

That thing is Supposedly Very Easy: That blue eely looking thing is an Overloading Magma Worm. And; Despite how big it is; The Magma Worm’s only attack is that it emerges and submerges from the ground, leaving a patch of fire when it does.

That thing is Enormous: Indeed. In fact, the Wandering Vagrant is a Jellyfish the size of a house. The Wandering Vagrant deals damage through firing nematocysts (the balls scattered around the screen) at the player.

9. The Expendabros

The Expendabros Trailer

The Expendabros is a Run and Gun Platformer set in the forests of Eastern Europe. The Expendabros is a crossover between the Broforce Developers, Devolver Digital, and The Expendables 3.

You start the game as Broney Ross. However, there are up to 7 playable characters from The Expendabros that you can choose between after you’ve unlocked everyone, all with different playstyles. For example, Broney Ross attacks using Dual Pistols as a ranged weapon, a knife as a melee weapon, and Stickeybombs as a special command. Meanwhile, Lee Broxmas specializes in using knives, so he uses Throwing knives as a ranged weapon as well as a melee weapon, as well as a flurry of knives thrown in an arc as a special command.

The Expendabros are together once more and their target is a man under the name of Conrad Stonebanks. Stonebanks is in the forests of Eastern Europe, and the Expendabros will have to navigate the area full of excessive artillery, and soldiers that serve Stonebanks.

You can choose to be a lone wolf and play through the adventure of The Expendabros Single Player or go through the adventure with up to 3 of your friends in local co-op.

I’m Not Cleaning this Mess-Up: A lot of catastrophes are taking place inside that building. Lots of explosions and casualties to say the least.

INCOMING: Enemy soldiers are coming down from the sky to oppose Bro Caesar.  

8. Dead Cells

  Dead Cells Gameplay

Dead Cells is a Roguelike Metroidvania Action Platformer where you control a recently resurrected man and your goal is to explore the sewers, sanctuary, and Runes among many other areas of a castle.  

Be careful though. There are plenty of enemies, and Permadeath awaits you if you’re too reckless exploring the castle. Don’t get too comfortable about your knowledge of the castle either. There’s a lot that will change between two different playthroughs including the abilities that you may learn like the ability to jump more than once.

There are a lot of cute cuddly foes that you will meet on your journey. For example, there are Undead Archers that will shoot arrows at you, tiny purple bats that will charge at you, and blue scorpions with purple armour that will ambush you with its poisonous claws just to name a few.

The castle sure sounds intimidating. But fear not, you have a lot of equipment that you can use to battle the monsters that roam the castle. You’ll start with a Rusty Sword, an Old Wooden Shield, and a basic wooden bow. However, there are many weapon types scattered all around the castle that you can pry from the grips of defeated enemies.

As you collect new, more powerful gear, and eat a lot of delicious food, as you defeat foes, and face your own defeat by them, you’ll find that you’re learning how to defeat tougher and tougher foes, and you’ll inch closer and closer to the end of your journey.

Eye for an Eye: Shackled by 3 chains normally (only 2 in the image above) in the Insufferable Crypt is the deadly Conjunctivus; And it looks like she’s put on quite the beating to the main Protagonist. If only there were any scrumptious Drumsticks around.

Showdown: And here is the main Protagonist squaring off against some zombies as well as an Undead Archer.

7. Cuphead

Cuphead Gameplay

Cuphead is a 2D Run & Gun with an art style inspired by cartoons of the 1930s. The art style was even drawn utilizing techniques that artists would use in those days. For example, traditional hand-drawn cel animation, jazzy classical music, and watercolour backgrounds.

The main characters are a couple of mug-shaped, fun-loving kids named Cuphead and Mugman. Cuphead and Mugman enter a Casino ran by the Devil himself to play craps. They were on a winning streak until The Devil decided to raise the stakes. All of a sudden Cuphead rolls a Snake Eyes, and they are on the verge of losing their souls. They beg to keep their souls, and The Devil agrees if they agree to a deal. Cuphead and Mugman now find themselves trying to collect the Soul Contracts so that they can keep their souls.

Take on a variety of bosses, including a large Gorilla with only 1 eye chasing you through a castle area; A cackling Red Moon in the sky, and a tombstone with a blue face among many other bosses. Try to keep your head on straight, lest it be removed from your (Cup)head.

You may experience the antics of Cuphead and Mugman in single player or in two-player co-op mode.

Clowns... They're like Agents of Chaos: Cuphead and Mugman are fighting against Beppi the Clown, and have popped through his first phase. Now he has transformed into a giant Balloon. Progress is slowly but surely being made to collect his Soul Contract.

I See the Light... Again: Cuphead should not have bet on victory against Chips Bettigan as he has now been defeated. Looks like Mugman is still going strong though.

6. Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight Gameplay

Hollow Knight is an Action Platformer set in a ruined kingdom called Hallownest laid under the fading town that is Dirtmouth. Hollow Knight has a classic, hand-drawn art style, and it has a large, interdependent world.

There are many that want to explore Hallownest for different reasons, such as riches, glory, and answers to old secrets. You play as a genderless vessel called The Knight. The Knight comes equipped with a bladed weapon called the nail. As The Knight defeats enemies, The Knight will get a white substance called SOUL, which, later on, will be the source in which The Knight will need to use magic spells learned through a shaman with a snail-shell helmet called Snail Shaman.

There are over 30 bosses and 160 enemy types that you will have to overcome to see your journey through to its end. Along the way, you will find a variety of enemies. One example is a fly that has mandibles on its face similar to a Hercules Beetle called the Vengefly. Defeating the enemies and bosses will also add them to a journal that The Knight has called the Hunter’s Journal.

The kingdom of Hallownest is a vast one. You can explore a variety of beautiful and strange worlds in Hallownest, including an Ancient Basin, Noxious canyon full of mushrooms called the Fungal Wastes, and the capital city of Hallownest called the City of Tears to name a few.

Come at Me Head on Bro: The Knight is using its blade called the nail to slash at one of its foes.

A Spiky Death from Above: There is a spike-headed enemy right above The Knight.

5. Starbound

Starbound Gameplay

Starbound is an Action Adventure game where you take control of a person who has flown away from their home but is now piloting a damaged ship in space. The only way to repair your ship and explore the universe now is to teleport to different planets and gather their resources.

Your character can be one of seven different potential races, and the appearance and attitude of the player are entirely dependent on how you want them to look. In addition, you are the pilot of your spaceship, so as you repair it, you can customize your spaceship to look how you want it to look.

Over the course of your adventure, you will also find a lot of different objects that you can gather up so that you can create your own world. You’ll find these objects so you can build different structures such as a cabin in the woods, or a medieval castle to name a couple.

You can experience Starbound as a solo adventure, or you can partner up with a friend nearby or far away through local and online co-op. In addition, a player can pop in and drop out of your game at any time.

Eye Can See Clearly Now: This is one of many unique planets featured in Starbound. A bit spine chilling if you ask me.

Rocket Alien: The player is in his ship, and it seems like the player has gathered some resources to start repairing the ship, as it looks a fair bit better than it does at the beginning of the journey.

4. Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods Gameplay

Night in the Woods is an Action Platformer where you play as a cat with dark blue fur known as Mae Borowski. Mae is a College dropout who decided to return to Possum Springs. Possum Springs is the town in which she used to live in. However, upon returning, she notices that things have changed. That the people she knew have grown up. And that the environment itself is changing.

Run, jump, and explore the lush and vibrant world of Possum Springs, and experience more than one side of the city through both the real city as well as how the city is in Mae’s dreams.

There are a lot of people to meet in Possum Springs. One Person, for instance, is Mae’s best friend named Gregg. He is an orange fox with a tiny overbite that dons a leather jacket, blue jeans, and navy boots.

Night in the Woods is a heavily story-driven game, and, as a result, is a single player venture only.

Top 10 Anime Betrayals: Mae and her best friend Gregg are just relaxing outside a restaurant called the Donut Wolf, and Gregg wants to steal from his boss.

What a Dreamy background: Mae is running through a field in her dreams. The extra light blue on Mae is the giveaway that this moment is in her dreams.

3. Salt and Sanctuary

Salt and Sanctuary Gameplay

Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D Action RPG set in a creepy, punishing island. You play as a shipwrecked sailor of your own creation. This shipwrecked sailor’s goal is to find an unknown princess.

The character you create can fit into one of eight classes. Your character might be a knight, a mage, a paladin, a thief, a chef, a cleric, a pauper, or a hunter. The biggest difference between all these classes is the equipment in which you start your adventure with. For example, if your character is a knight, you start with a longsword called the Varangian Spatha, a large red and yellow shield called the Excuthceon, chain mail with a wool cape, chainmail gauntlets, and chainmail chausses.

Throughout your adventure, you will find different items throughout the world. These items will differ heavily. You may find a new weapon that might be more powerful than your current weapon. You may find armour pieces that soak up damage better than your current armour. Or you may find parts that you can use to craft or upgrade different weapons and armour pieces.

The island is a deadly one with a variety of locales that you can explore such as forgotten cities, and monuments that have long since been desecrated.

I bet the Grim Reaper is Jealous: The Player is pictured against a boss known as The Untold Inquisitor. The Untold Inquisitor has four scythes and will use them as efficiently as possible to slice you up.

Target Practice Anyone: This archer is taking aim at a large knight with a big shield.

2. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China Gameplay

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is an Action Adventure Platformer that takes place in China. It is the first game in the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles trilogy, and you control the last remaining Chinese Brotherhood Assassin Shao Jun.

The year is 1526, and the Ming Dynasty is crumbling. Shao Jun has recently been trained by the world-renowned Ezio Auditore. With a vendetta, Shao Jun makes her way back to China to exact revenge on those that destroyed her brotherhood.

What Shao Jun is most competent with is stealth. You’ll want to go to any lengths to fool enemies so that you can find and kill your target. Some different ways to fool them include using a disguise and whistling.

When all else fails though and you get caught, Shao Jun is far from defenceless. She has experience with close-combat Martial Arts, as well as a blade on her shoe and a Kian Sword that she can use to go on the offence against foes.

Round 1! FIGHT: Shao Jun is in her foe’s sights, and now she has to fight them.

At least this fight is fair: Shao Jun is seen crossing blades with a guard in a 1-on-1 fight.

1. Deadlight

Deadlight Gameplay

Deadlight is a Survival Platformer game set in a post-apocalyptic Seattle. Deadlight stars a man named Randall Wayne. Randall is trying to look for his family across Seattle after an event that took place in the 1980s has wiped out the population on Earth.

There are a lot of zombies out there in the world, and you only have a limited amount of ammo. Thinking before shooting is a mandatory thing if you want to survive. Sometimes, you’ll have to flee the scene just to survive. One wrong move will more than likely equate to death for Randall Wayne.

The world is dark. And to reach your family, you will have to scratch and claw your way through Seattle by running, jumping, shooting, climbing, and struggling your way through countless numbers of zombies.

Scratching and Clawing: Or you can just kick a zombie or two here and there.

You Just Keep Me Hanging On: For some reason, I just get the feeling that a hydro line shouldn’t be the safest way out of this situation, but in a post-apocalyptic world? I guess it’s better than being eaten.

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I am from the truly cold landscape that is Teulon Manisnowba. Both a player and a developer of games. A true fighting game Koopa solely because I am only familiar with 0s and 1s.
Gamer Since: 1997
Currently Playing: A Hat in Time, Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mortal Kombat X, Rocket League, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
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