Total Nerd The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever  

1.5k votes 299 voters 66.1k views 85 items Embed

List Rules Horizontal and side scrolling shooter games only.

While it sometimes seems like the days of the best side scrolling shooter games have come and gone, they still are very fun to play. Scrolling shooters initially gained popularity in the 1980s with games such as 1942 and R-Type, which were hits in the arcade. The colorful graphics and fast-paced action kept gamers putting in quarter after quarter. But which are the best scrolling shooter games of all time? See what gamers think in the ranking below.

Both horizontal and side scrolling games are included in this list, as they offer very similar gameplay. The only difference between the two subgenres are the way the games scroll. One scrolls from right to left while the other scrolls from top to bottom.

While scrolling shooter games don’t exactly get much attention today, they enjoyed immense popularity during the mid-nineties. In the late nineties and early 2000s, a special type of scrolling shooter dubbed “bullet hell” shooters became immensely popular. They featured amazingly difficult gameplay that took hours and plenty of continues to master.

But were those bullet hell games the pinnacle of the genre? If you think so, you’d probably like games such as Ikaruga or Mushihimesama. Fans of earlier scrolling shooters will probably enjoy 1942 or Raiden II more. To settle the debate, vote for your favorite horizontal / side scrolling shooters or add any that you think are missing.

list ordered by

1
18 1
Gradius is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gradius 1985

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2
67 19
R-Type is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
R-Type 1987

3
49 18
1942 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1942 1984

4
36 11
Raptor: Call of the Shadows is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

5
29 7
Ikaruga is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Ikaruga 2001

6
25 4
Tyrian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
riza-emet added Tyrian Jan 01 1995

7
26 5
Raiden II is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Raiden II 1993

8
27 8
Darius is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Darius 1986

9
34 15
Einhänder is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Einhänder 1997

10
28 11
R-Type III: The Third Lightnin... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

11
25 10
Gunbird is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gunbird 1994

12
22 9
Thunder Force III is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force III Jan 01 1990

13
16 4
Radiant Silvergun is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

14
17 5
Salamander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Salamander 1986

15
18 6
Thunder Force II is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

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16
19 7
Super R-Type is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

17
23 11
Gradius ReBirth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gradius ReBirth Sep 02 2008

18
13 2
Thunder Force IV is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

19
15 4
Strikers 1945 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

20
14 4
Gun.Smoke is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gun.Smoke Nov 01 1985

21
18 9
Raiden Fighters Aces is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

22
12 4
The Raiden Project is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

23
13 6
Imperishable Night is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

24
14 7
Gaiares is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gaiares 1990

25
11 5
Twin Cobra II is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Twin Cobra II Jan 01 1995

26
12 6
Silpheed: The Lost Planet is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

27
18 12
Space Harrier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

28
7 2
Raiden Fighters is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

29
12 7
R-Type II is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
R-Type II 1989

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30
9 4
Cotton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Cotton Jan 01 1993

31
7 2
Bio-Hazard Battle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

32
9 4
Nemesis 2 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Nemesis 2 Jan 01 1993

33
11 7
Thunder Force V is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

34
8 4
Sparkster is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Sparkster 1994

35
8 4
Phelios is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Phelios 1988

36
7 3
Sexy Parodius is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

37
7 3
River Raid is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
River Raid 1982

38
5 1
Mushihimesama is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Mushihimesama

39
5 1
Dragon Blaze is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Dragon Blaze Jan 01 2000

40
5 1
Pulstar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Pulstar 1995

41
9 6
Thunder Force AC is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force AC Jan 01 1990

42
9 6
TwinBee is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
TwinBee Mar 05 1985

43
7 4
1944: The Loop Master is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1944: The Loop Master Jun 20 2000

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44
7 4
The Guardian Legend is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
The Guardian Legend Jan 01 1988

45
6 3
Dangun Feveron is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Dangun Feveron Jan 01 1998

46
4 1
Blazing Star is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

47
8 6
Abadox is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Abadox 1989

48
7 5
Omega Five is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Omega Five 2008

49
7 5
Gley Lancer is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gley Lancer Jan 01 1992

50
7 5
Super Xevious is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Super Xevious Jan 01 1984