Top 10 Best Video Games Without Fall Damage

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If real life was a video game, fall damage would be one of the worst mechanics.

Even if you have enough STR and DEX to climb mountains or do parkour, you’re constantly faced with the risk of falling to your death.

This leads most players to never experience what the game of life offers in terms of exploration for fear of a game over.

The same thing happens with actual video games.

A wrong step in Skyrim, Minecraft, or Metal Gear Solid 5 will often result in grave wounds.

But you probably have enough on your plate trying to stay upright in real life – so I’ve put together a list of games that cut you some slack by removing fall damage, helping you relax by cushioning all of your falls.


10. Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015)

Xenoblade Chronicles X (2015) gameplay screenshot

Exploration is about taking risks.

Do you go left or right? Up or down?

Am I supposed to make this insane jump, or am I imagining things?

Monolith Soft chose to forego fall damage in Xenoblade Chronicles X to promote exploration and give players freedom of movement.

This was especially useful to jump off hard-to-reach high places, so you didn’t have to make your way back down the hard way.

These are the little things that make exploring an open world pleasant, and it’s a shame they brought fall damage back for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.


9. Borderlands 3 (2019)

Borderlands 3 (2019) gameplay

The Borderlands franchise made FPS fun again in a world overtaken by generic military or space shooters.

First, Gearbox achieved this with an unusual setting and unique art style – but with each entry, the game was refined further to become as enjoyable as possible.

While the original Borderlands did feature fall damage, it was removed since Borderlands 2 just to increase its fun factor.

Judging by how characters in Borderlands 3 still have indestructible knees, the experiment was a success.


8. Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) gameplay screenshot

When you’re swinging around in the supersized concrete jungle of New York City as Spider-Man, you don’t worry about fall damage.

You worry about becoming red-and-blue splat on the asphalt.

Or you’d have to if the geniuses behind the Spider-Man gaming franchise hadn’t removed fall damage for Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008).

Dying if you fail to swing adds zero fun to the game, so fall damage never came back.

This is only one of the many details that make Marvel’s Spider-Man one of the best games on Sony’s line-up.


7. Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (2001)

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (2001) gameplay screenshot

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle is one of the most iconic and influential blue hedgehog games ever released.

One of the reasons this platformer is so fondly remembered by fans is the excellent level design, which incorporated a lot of verticality and exploration into a game otherwise centered around speed.

Many levels had at least a couple of crazy shortcuts that involved falling long distances and landing in just the right platform or rail to survive and reach the finish line in a fraction of the time.

It even happened in multiplayer races, and though it made them unbalanced, it was also incredibly exciting.

This would have all been impossible had the game featured fall damage.


6. Warframe (2013)

Warframe (2013) gameplay screenshot

When your motto is “Ninjas Play Free,” you shouldn’t even consider fall damage – and Warframe developer Digital Extremes most certainly didn’t include it.

This free-to-play online TPS RPG is just as much about acrobatics and space parkour as it is about shooting.

Most of the time, your frame will be blazing through the air in a blur of chrome and neon lights as you avoid enemy fire and position yourself to deal massive damage.

It’s a dance of death that mixes melee and ranged damage, and its effectiveness depends on how efficiently you take risks.

Worrying about dying if you don’t make a jump can be highly limiting.

The developers gave the player freedom to explore all the possibilities by discarding fall damage.


5. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)

Super Mario Odyssey (2017) gameplay screenshot

Most Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine levels feature a fair bit of verticality, and maneuvering treacherous platforms at high altitudes to avoid falling to your death was vital.

As games got longer and the industry moved away from punishing players for failing, so did Nintendo.

Fall damage was notoriously missing from Super Mario Galaxy – and it didn’t make a return for Super Mario Odyssey.

The challenges in Mario’s new adventures are often specific to each level and involve various gimmicks and puzzles.

The lack of fall damage promotes faster gameplay suited to our modern tastes.


4. Apex Legends (2019)

Apex Legends (2019) gameplay screenshot

Both Apex Legends and Fortnite feature high-velocity gameplay where gaining height on your enemy is often the key to victory – but in this respect, I think Apex does it a bit better.

The difference?

Fall damage.

In Fortnite, falling from your physically impossible wooden tower is punishable by death even at full shield.

Apex foregoes fall damage altogether – though there is a brief stun on impact.

This keeps Apex’ gameplay lightning-fast, as you never know when someone’s teammate will land from their 300m fall to avenge them.


3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018)

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018) gameplay

If you want to explore a lifelike representation of ancient Greece within one lifetime, you can’t be reloading every time you fall down a cliff.

This was probably why Ubisoft chose to remove death upon falling great distances in Assasin’s Creed Odyssey despite fall damage being present in the Assassin’s Creed franchise for over 10 years.

In reality, fall damage is still a thing in Odyssey – it just won’t kill you.

Still, it made a significant difference in AC’s gameplay, so I’m sneaking it into the ranking.

Valhalla chose to make falling deadly again but included this protection in the form of a skill called Breakfall.

Believe me, Breakfall is an absolute necessity in that game.


2. Halo Infinite (2021)

Halo Infinite (2021) gameplay screenshot

Halo Infinite is fated to become one of the biggest shooters of the decade.

343 Industries made a nearly perfect game when it comes to gameplay – and fall damage is not a part of it.

It’s a controversial subject, and the Halo franchise has been on both sides of the divide.

Historically, only H2 and H3 had removed fall damage, whereas the rest of the games would punish you for falling.

Say what you will, but removing fall damage makes players bolder and willing to try crazy stunts they thought of in the spur of the moment.

Moments like jumping off a vehicle in mid-air to hijack another one or return a payload to the sender with your repulsor are what makes Halo so good – and I support making them just a bit easier to pull off.


1. Portal 2 (2011)

Portal 2 (2011) gameplay screenshot

Portal is a game about trial and error.

You’re supposed to leverage gravity and momentum by using portals to overcome obstacles and reach places a regular jump wouldn’t take you.

A classic example is jumping down from a great height into one portal so you’ll shoot out of another one with enough momentum to reach an otherwise impossible objective.

But what happens if you miss the portal?

Since reloading the game every five seconds would be frustrating, you’re provided Aperture Science Advanced Knee Replacements that dissipate the force of the fall.

While playing the original is a must, Portal 2 is ultimately the better game thanks to the high-stakes campaign and the outstanding multiplayer.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.