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Best side-scrolling games on GamesNostalgia

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.

Disney's Tarzan windows

Disney's Tarzan (also known as Tarzan Action Game) is a platformer created by Eurocom Developments and published by Disney in 1999. Released for PlayStation and Windows, later, it was also ported to Nintendo 64.

Year: 1999 Genre: Platformer

2.5d cartoon disney jungle licensed movies platformer side-scrolling

Claw windows

Claw is a 2D platformer developed and published by Monolith Productions as a PC exclusive in 1997. Despite the fanmade adaptations and the repeated attempts to continue the story officially, it did not receive any sequel.

Year: 1997 Genre: Platformer

2d cartoon multiplayer pirates platformer side-scrolling

Disney's Aladdin amigagenesisgame-boy-color

Disney's Aladdin, one of the most successful ports from a movie to a videogame, is a 2D side-scrolling platformer developed by Virgin Games. It is based on the 1992 Disney motion picture.

Year: 1994 Genre: Platformer

aga cartoon disney fairy tale genesis original game hand-drawn animations middle east movies platformer side-scrolling

Mario Forever windows

Mario Forever is a freeware clone/unofficial remake of the famous Super Mario Bros. It was created by Buziol Games, and it was released for Windows only in 2004. After many request...

Year: 2004 Genre: Platformer

clone enhanced remakes freeware platformer side-scrolling super mario clone

Ghosts 'N Goblins Remake windows

Ghosts 'n Goblins Remake is a freeware clone of the 1985 popular side-scrolling platforming game developed by Capcom for arcades..

Year: 2004 Genre: Arcade

arcade clone dark fantasy enhanced remakes freeware horror platformer side-scrolling sword and sorcery

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 windows

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is a side-scrolling platformer produced by Epic Games (at that time under Epic MegaGames). After Arjan Brussee accidentally confirmed its existence in 1994, it was published for Windows in 1998.

Year: 1998 Genre: Platformer

2 players cartoon multiplayer platform-shooter platformer side-scrolling split-screen

Commander Keen dos

Commander Keen 1: Marooned on Mars is the first in the franchise of side scrollers of the same name, developed by id Software. The game was published by Apogee Software in 1990 for DOS.

Year: 1990 Genre: Platformer

2d platformer science fiction side-scrolling

Superfrog amiga

Superfrog is a platformer created for the Amiga by Team 17 and released initially in 1993. One year later the game was ported to MS-DOS. With a lot of colors and nice animations, the game is totally violence free.

Year: 1993 Genre: Platformer

amiga original game cartoon hop and bop jumper platformer side-scrolling

Rayman dosgame-boy-advancegame-boy-color

The first game in the popular Rayman series is a 2D side-scrolling adventure developed and published by Ubisoft. It was released in 1995 for PC MS-DOS, Playstation, Sega Saturn, and other platforms.

Year: 1995 Genre: Platformer

2d cartoon platformer side-scrolling

The Adventures of Lomax windows

The Adventures of Lomax is a platformer created by Psygnosis and released in 1996 for Windows and PlayStation. It is considered a spin-off of the famous game Lemmings. The artist...

Year: 1997 Genre: Platformer

2d cartoon platformer side-scrolling

Streets of Rage genesis

Streets of Rage is a beat 'em up game developed and published by Sega in 1991 for the Mega Drive/Genesis. The game is also known in Japanese as Bare Knuckle: Ikari no Tekken. The g...

Year: 1991 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime brawler genesis original game martial arts side-scrolling

Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure windowsgenesis

Pitfall: the Mayan Adventure is a side-scrolling action platformer. It's the forth game in the Pitfall series. It was developed by Activision in partnership with Redline games and published by Activision in 1994.

Year: 1995 Genre: Platformer

genesis original game hand-drawn animations jungle platformer side-scrolling

Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion dos

Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion (or Dangerous Dave 2) is the sequel to the original Dangerous Dave. It was developed by Gamer’s Edge and id Software, and published by Softdisk Publishing in 1991 for DOS.

Year: 1991 Genre: Platformer

2d horror platform-shooter platformer side-scrolling

Shinobi sega-master-systemamstrad-cpcamiga

Shinobi is an arcade game created by SEGA in 1987, ported almost immediately to the Master System and later to many other platforms. In the game, you control a ninja ("shinobi" mea...

Year: 1988 Genre: Brawler

arcade brawler coin-op conversion martial arts ninja progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling