7 perilous platforming levels that made you feel like a champion

tricky platforming levels super mario odyssey darker side

There’s something incredibly satisfying about mastering tricky platforming levels. We’ve all been there – playing a level over and over again just so we can jump, climb, and zoom around at full speed, avoiding every single hazard like an absolute champion.

Of course, some levels take longer to master than others, but it makes you feel like even more of a superhero when you get that elusive perfect run. So here are 7 tough platforming levels that definitely deliver on the bragging rights front. How many of these have you mastered?

1. Golden Ridge – Celeste

As you make your way up Celeste Mountain, you encounter plenty of challenges and pitfalls… and Golden Ridge is probably one of the trickiest. With moving platforms and bouncy clouds to contend with, and strong winds trying to blow you off course, it’s often tough to know exactly where you’re heading next.

But once you get the knack for it, gathering all the secrets concealed around Golden Ridge is the most satisfying feeling ever.

2. Fiery Frolic – Cuphead

Of all the bosses in Cuphead, the fire-breathing (but still politely apologetic) dragon Grim Matchstick in the Fiery Frolic level has to be one of the toughest.

The three stages of Grim Matchstick’s fight involves a lot of hopping between stormclouds, dodging fireballs, and parrying attacks at just the right moment. With just three health points to see you through the ordeal, timing is everything, but you get some serious bragging rights if you were able to survive this fiery encounter.

3. Grannies World Tour – Rayman Legends

There may be no enemies in the musical Grannies World Tour level, but that doesn’t make it a cakewalk. As the music starts, you have to run. And run. And try not to fall into the pits, step on mines, or drop off into the void as the ground collapses beneath your feet. It took us more goes than we like to admit to ace this one.

4. Road to Nowhere – Crash Bandicoot

Rickety rope bridges, stampeding hogs, and bouncing turtles… what could possibly go wrong?

This tricky level involves you running headlong into the swirling mist along a narrow path with lots of holes in, which means unexpected surprises can spring out at you very quickly, but with careful timing and monastic levels of concentration it’s definitely doable. And if you really get stuck, you could always try your luck at balancing on the ropes on either side of the path.

5. Pitioss Ruins – Final Fantasy XV

The Final Fantasy series is better known for its sprawling stories, heart-wrenching plot twists, and epic set-piece battles than for platforming shenanigans, so it’s fair to say that this optional dungeon surprised us more than a tap-dancing chocobo.

Half of the battle is simply getting there in the first place, because the runway for landing your flying car is almost comically short. On the plus side, once you’re actually inside you don’t have to fight a single enemy (though just outside the entrance there are a fair few big nasties). Jump, roll, and solve puzzles to master this fiendish dungeon – and we really, really hope you remembered to save before you tried to fly away again.

6. Darker Side of the Moon – Super Mario Odyssey

So you completed the game and collected 500 power moons, which is a great pair of achievements in itself. Then you discovered that your adventure isn’t over yet: now you’re faced with the hidden Darker Side, a secret kingdom on the Moon which is the true final level of the game.

You’ve got to deal with low gravity, a complete lack of checkpoints, and a fiendishly long section where Cappy’s magical powers can’t be used. We’re in awe of anyone who managed this level in one go.

7. Brag Rights (Cotton Alley Dark World) – Super Meat Boy

It’s tricky enough to get through the Cotton Alley levels once, and then there’s the Dark World versions. While some are arguably easier than their Light World counterparts, the same can’t be said for Brag Rights, the final level in the game.

As if the narrow passages filled with spinning saws weren’t scary enough already, there’s also a wall of bigger saws heading inexorably downwards towards you. Whatever you do, don’t stop…