A seventh place in the all-around competition and a fourth in the floor final - the top European - again showed he is not out of place at this level. The Scot is accustomed to keeping the best of company in Antwerp and was not out of the medals in the floor until 17 year-old Japanese sensation Kenzo Shirai raised the roof with a sizzling floor routine as the final gymnast to perform.
The 22 year-old Scot, second last to perform, put together a solid routine after his double twist double opener and nailed his landings to move into the bronze medal position with 15.400 points. He produced a strong double Arabian finish with only a slight step forward on his landing.
It edged him ahead of Brazil's Diego Hypolito into a podium position after qualifying in fifth place with only one gymnast to come.
But Shirai, the best in qualifying, produced an exceptional performance to achieve 16.000 and take the gold medal and move Purvis down the rankings. American Jake Dalton took silver with 15.600 points and Japan's Kohei Uchimura, who won his fourth successive all-around world title on Thursday, took bronze (15.500 points), just a tenth ahead of Purvis.
"Going in to it I just wanted to enjoy it and then as it progressed it thought - I can get quite close here and was really happy to nail my routine, my best of the championships," he said afterwards.
"I've been strong all week and I'm really satisfied and proud of my World Championships. I knew that Shirai was last up so enjoyed being in third for a while but knew realistically he is at another level."
Purvis made a late decision on which routine to use after discussing it with his coach Andrei Popov on Friday evening but was happy with the way it went.
"I was a bit tired after the all-around finals but just wanted to go out and enjoy myself and put in a strong performance," he continued. "I knew I had a medal chance but I was happy with the way everything went."
By finishing in the top eight in the all-around final, he automatically qualifies for the World Cup at Glasgow's Emirates Arena in December.
England's Max Whitlock won a silver medal for Great Britain on the pommel horse with a score of 15.633 points after producing the most difficult routine of the final.
"I'm very happy with silver, to just miss out coming fourth in all-around and now to have a medal - I'm over the moon. It was a 7.2 start score and to be honest I'm just happy to make it through the routine, it was a little bit scruffy and there's room for improvement but I really can't complain with a World Championship silver medal to cap a great year for me."
Scotland's Daniel Keatings had missed out on a final place after falling during his routine in qualifying.