In side-scrolling games, pixels and nostalgia collide to create a gaming experience like no other. In these games, the character is seen from a side view, and the world scrolls (moves) horizontally when the character walks, runs, or jumps to the right and left. This was a big technological advancement compared to fixed or flip-screen games (where the background changes once the character reaches the border of the screen).
Defender (1980), Moon Patrol (1982), and Gradius are some of the first examples of side-scrolling games.
The first titles were space shooters, but soon more genres started to adopt this technology, including beat-em-ups and platformers. Manic Miner for the ZX Spectrum was one of the first computer games to use this technique. In 1985, Super Mario Bros set the standard for side-scrolling platformers. Many other games followed this inspiration, like The Great Giana Sisters, not to mention idSoftware's Commander Keen. The arcade Ghosts 'N Goblins used side-scrolling gameplay to represent a dark fantasy horror world, and Castlevania did the same on the NES.
In the 90s, we would see the explosion of side-scrolling platformers, from Thalion's Lionheart and Team17 Superfrog on the Amiga, Earthworm Jim and Disney's Aladdin on the SEGA Genesis, and Rayman and Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure on Windows. There are so many good side-scrolling games; it's impossible to mention them all, so browse the list below and have fun.