In the 64 bit generation we have Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Ape Escape, Banjo Kazooie, Conker, DK64, Rayman 2 and tons more
Last generation: Sly, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Mario Sunshine, Sonic Adventure, Ape Escape 2, Rayman 3, Prince of Persia
This generation: Mario Galaxy, Ratchet and Clank, Sly 4
After dominating the market around the turn of the millennium, the number of 3D platformers are shrinking fast. Even some of the ones I listed were more a mix of multiple genres. Similar to the decline of the adventure (point and click) genre of the last generation, I find the slow death of 3D platformers to be the worst trend of this gen IMHO.
Why does this sub-genre get such a bad rap? I look at comments about Rayman Origins and see things like "this is where Rayman belongs, 2D" even though Rayman 2 and 3 to an extent were stellar games as well. I loved the actual platforming/racing sections of Sonic Adventure 2, but due to a bunch of design failures in games such as Heroes, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006, it seems people are convinced that Sonic just doesn't work in 3D. Now the developers are following suit and the last two major games in the franchise have been mostly 2D and a watered down, cinematic 3D. I hear complaints about the camera destroying the experience in games like Mario Sunshine, but it was basically a non-factor.
Why do so many people think that 3D platformers are archaic? Super Mario Galaxy and the sequel are an absolute blast to play and there is no mechanic in jumping in a 3D plane from point A to point B that feels old. It feels more fresh than your standard military FPS or Tolkien-esque RPG.
Playing Sly 2 inspired me to create this thread, because you just don't see that kind of creativity from mission to mission in any 2D game.
Alright guys, I'm done preaching. I'm having a little trouble getting my idea across so I'd love some feedback