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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

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

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

Traps 'n' Treasures amiga

Traps 'n' Treasures is a platform action-adventure game developed by Nightingale for the Amiga and published by Starbyte and Krisalis in 1993-94. TNT takes players on an exciting pirate adventure with Captain Jeremy Flynn.

Year: 1993 Genre: Platformer

action-adventure amiga original game pirates platform-adventure platformer side-scrolling

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earthworm Jim genesis

Earthworm Jim is a 2D shooter/platformer created by Shiny Entertainment originally for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and published in 1994. The game design and the creation of the ch...

Year: 1994 Genre: Platformer

comedy genesis original game hand-drawn animations platform-shooter platformer run and gun side-scrolling

Shantae game-boy-color

Shantae is a platformer for the Game Boy Color developed by WayForward and published in 2002 by Capcom. It was later re-released by WayForward itself. The game unfolds in the encha...

Year: 2002 Genre: Platformer

cartoon game boy color middle east pirates platformer side-scrolling

Streets of Rage 3 genesis

Streets of Rage 3 is a beat-em-up created by SEGA for the Mega Drive/Genesis, released in 1994. It is the third chapter of the famous Streets of Rage series. After the success of ...

Year: 1994 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime brawler co-op genesis original game progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling