Best 2.5D Games

Want to know what are the best 2.5D games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch? We’ve got you covered in this list of 2.5D games you can play right now!

Whether it’s 2D, 3D, isometric, top-down, or something in between, video game perspectives come in a variety of styles depending on the genre and/or hardware.

An exception to this would be the 2.5D viewpoint that’s become progressively popular in modern indie and AAA platformers and RPGs hoping to stand out from the crowd.

In this list, we’ll explore the stylistic potential of this visually-striking POV by showcasing the best 2.5D games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

This includes games set on a two-dimensional plane that employ 3D characters, objects, and/or backgrounds to create depth, scale, and atmosphere or otherwise stand out.

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The first 2.5D game to catch our eye while researching this list, ANNO: Mutationem is a stylish action RPG that drops players in a vibrant cyberpunk world.

Taking on the role of a highly-skilled operative named Ann, players are tasked with hunting down vicious criminals while exploring a sprawling city dominated by soulless mega-corps.

The game’s mix of 2D and 3D visual stylings ties in nicely with its gameplay, which centers on hack-and-slash-style combat as well as free-roaming exploration.

The first Switch-exclusive 2.5D game in our sights is Live A Live, a 1990s cult classic RPG that was remade for the Nintendo console in July 2022.

In this game, players go through seven distinct chapters spanning different time periods and protagonists until reaching a climactic conclusion.

Much like the original, gameplay revolves around story-driven exploration and turn-based combat played out on a grid-style battlefield.

Keeping with the RPG theme, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is an action RPG that marks the beginning of the Eiyuden Chronicle franchise and is considered a spiritual successor to Suikoden.

It was initially conceived as a stretch goal for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes’ Kickstarter Campaign in collaboration with several veteran Suikoden series developers.

In it, players explore 2.5D labyrinth-like structures spanning multiple rooms with platforming sections, real-time battles, and town-building mechanics.

Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is an action RPG with roguelite progression and a unique team system that sees you recruiting over 40 different allies.

Led by the genius alchemist Noah and her cat companion Zipper, they set out to explore ancient ruins to defeat enemies, gain power, and uncover secrets.

Unlike the games we previously mentioned, Little Noah has fully 3D graphics despite its gameplay relying on strictly 2D movement.

Next up is Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, a remaster of the PlayStation platformer series that contains updated versions of both games.

Rendered in full 3D, each game features 2D side-scrolling platformer gameplay in which the hero Klonoa sets off on a journey to save the world.

Without a doubt, this is the best way to play through arguably the most overlooked entry on this list, especially if you didn’t own a PlayStation console growing up.

The OlliOlli games are worth checking out if you’re the type of player who enjoys arcade-style skateboarding with a splash of 2D platforming.

OlliOlli World is the latest installment and casts you as a young skater looking to conquer Radlandia, a skater paradise overflowing with colorful ramps, gaps, and grind rails.

Building off of its predecessors, the game introduces a broader pool of tricks and combos to pull off as you navigate across dynamic 2.5D levels with moving obstacles and hazards.

The first appearance of Square Enix’s “HD-2D” graphical style, Triangle Strategy is a tactical strategy RPG from the same team behind Octopath Traveler and the Bravely series.

Similar to games like Final Fantasy Tactics, gameplay revolves around turn-based battles with an emphasis on positioning, follow-up attacks, and elemental chain reactions.

This is further complemented by stunningly-detailed 2.5D visuals that blur backgrounds to create depth and keep characters at the front and center.

Originally intended to release for the Nintendo DS, it would be years before Metroid Dread eventually made its grand debut on the Nintendo Switch.

In it, players reprise their role as intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran as she investigates a mysterious transmission on Planet ZDR.

Building off of previous Metroid installments, the game employs a 2.5D art style with fully 3D character models, objects, and environments.

Billed as a spiritual successor to the Castlevania series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a visually-captivating Metroidvania with 2.5D graphics.

Set in 19th-century England, the story centers on an orphan who underwent a series of alchemic experiments as a child that granted her supernatural abilities.

Now an adult, Miriam must use her powers to slay demons and other monsters as she explores a castle unlocking new abilities and discovering hidden areas.

The precursor to Triangle Strategy, Octopath Traveler is another RPG by Square Enix that combines retro pixel art with modern visual effects to achieve its HD-2D aesthetic.

This involves active lighting, shadows, and particle effects that make the game’s turn-based fights exciting during a long 60-hour-plus adventure.

With a sequel currently in development, now is the perfect time to go back and play the game that kicked off the recent 2.5D revival.

Next up is the fourth and most recent game in the Trine series, The Nightmare Prince, which makes a much-requested switch from Trine 3’s poorly-received 3D perspective back to 2.5D.

In it, the ongoing trio of sorcerer, soldier, and burglar must join forces again to rescue a prince from his dreadful sorcery and return him to the Astral Academy.

While characters’ movement is strictly limited to the two-dimensional plane, models, objects, and environments are all rendered in full 3D graphics.

To conclude our list, we’re highlighting the critically-acclaimed 2.5D puzzle platformer from Playdead, best known for the equally atmospheric 2D game Limbo.

Following in the footsteps of that game, Inside casts you as an unnamed boy forced to navigate a strange facility housing an assortment of creepy creatures and platforming puzzles.

The switch from 2D to 2.5D along with a broader color palette compared to Limbo adds richness to Inside’s visual storytelling and overall atmosphere.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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