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The Best Run And Gun Games of All Time

Updated November 13, 2020 4.5k votes 733 voters 42.4k views86 items

List RulesVote up the best video games in the run and gun genre.

This is a list of the best run and gun games of all time for any console or system, including cover art pictures when available. These highly rated run and gun games are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest run and gun games are at the top of the list. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these run and gun games are considered the best in the genre. This list includes all challenging run and gun games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new run and gun games.

The list you're viewing is made up of games like Contra and Moon Patrol.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best run and gun games?" and "What is the greatest run and gun game of all time?"
  • 1

    DeveloperTreasure Co. Ltd, M2

    PlatformSega Game Gear, Wii, Sega Mega Drive, PlayStation 2

    Gunstar Heroes is a run and gun video game developed by Treasure and published by Sega. Treasure's debut game was originally released on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in late 1993, and later on, ported...  more
  • 2

    DeveloperNazca Corporation, SNK Playmore

    PlatformNeo Geo CD, PlayStation, Wii, Sega Saturn, Arcade game

    Metal Slug is a run and gun video game developed by Nazca Corporation and published by SNK. It was originally released in 1996 for the Neo Geo MVS arcade platform. The game is widely known for its...  more
  • 3


    PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch

    Cuphead is a run and gun video game developed and published by StudioMDHR. Announced in 2013, the game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in September 2017, for macOS in October 2018,...  more
  • 4

    DeveloperNazca Corporation, SNK Playmore

    PlatformArcade game, PlayStation

    An upgraded version of Metal Slug 2, titled Metal Slug X, was released in March 1999 for the Neo Geo MVS. The game used a modified version of the engine from Metal Slug 3, which eliminated the...  more

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  • 5


    PlatformSega Mega Drive

    Contra: Hard Corps is a side-scrolling run and gun-style shoot-'em-up video game released by Konami for the Sega Genesis in North America and South Korea in 1994. It was also released for the Mega...  more
  • 6

    DeveloperNazca Corporation, Noise Factory, SNK Playmore

    PlatformXbox, PlayStation 2, Wii, Arcade game, iPhone

    Metal Slug 3 is a run and gun video game developed by SNK. It was originally released in 2000 for the Neo-Geo MVS arcade platform as the sequel to Metal Slug 2/Metal Slug X. The music of the game was...  more


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  • 7




    PlatformZX Spectrum, DOS, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System

    Contra, distributed as Gryzor in Europe and Oceania, is a 1987 run and gun action game developed and published by Konami originally released as a coin-operated arcade game on February 20, 1987. A...  more

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  • 8


    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Arcade game, Sega Mega Drive

    Sunset Riders is a side-scrolling run-and-gun style shoot-'em-up released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1991. The game is set during the American Old West, where the player takes control...  more
  • 9

    DeveloperSunstorm Interactive, 3D Realms

    PlatformMicrosoft Windows, Xbox 360

    Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project is a platform game developed by Sunstorm Interactive, produced by 3D Realms, and published by Arush Entertainment. It was released on Microsoft Windows on May 14, 2002...  more
  • 10


    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Wii, Nintendo Super System, Game Boy Advance

    Contra III: The Alien Wars, released in Japan as Contra Spirits and in the PAL region as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, is a 1992 run and gun game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System...  more
  • 11

    DeveloperMidway Games, Black Pearl Software

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga CD32, Arcade game, Atari Jaguar, Amiga

    Total Carnage is an arcade shooter, developed by Mark Turmell for Midway in 1992. The game was released for the SNES in 1993 and the Amiga CD32, Amiga, and DOS in 1994. It shares many gameplay...  more
  • 12

    DeveloperNazca Corporation, SNK Playmore

    PlatformWii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Neo Geo CD, Neo Geo

    Metal Slug 2 is a run and gun video game developed by SNK. It was originally released in 1998 for the Neo-Geo MVS arcade platform as the sequel to the popular 1996 game Metal Slug. It was re-released...  more
  • 13


    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System, Microsoft Windows, PlayChoice-10, Arcade game, Amiga

    Super Contra is a Run and Gun-style action video game by Konami that was released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988. It is the sequel to the original Contra and the second and last game in the...  more
  • 14


    PlatformPlayStation 2

    Neo Contra is the tenth video game in the Contra series by Konami. It was developed by Team Neo Kijirushi, a group of staff members within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, and released for the...  more
  • 15

    DeveloperCapcom, Sega

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, TurboGrafx-16, PC Engine SuperGrafx, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC

    Ghouls 'n Ghosts is a platform game/run and gun developed by Capcom and released as an arcade game in 1988, and subsequently ported to a number of other platforms. It is the sequel to Ghosts 'n...  more
  • 16

    DeveloperNoise Factory, SNK Playmore

    PlatformGame Boy Advance

    Metal Slug Advance is a run and gun video game for the Game Boy Advance handheld system created by SNK Playmore in 2004, and is canon to the Metal Slug series. It is notable as the only Metal Slug...  more
  • 17

    DeveloperSNK Playmore

    PlatformPlayStation Portable, Nintendo Entertainment System, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64

    Guerrilla War, released in Japan as Guevara, is an overhead run and gun game produced by SNK. Originally released for arcades in 1987 as a coin-operated arcade game, Guerrilla War followed the...  more
  • 18




    PlatformZX Spectrum, Nintendo Entertainment System, Amstrad CPC, Family Computer Disk System, Arcade game

    Jackal, also distributed under the title of Top Gunner, is an overhead run'n gun-style shoot-'em-up video game by Konami released for the arcades in 1986. The player must maneuver an armed jeep in...  more
  • 19


    PlatformArcade game

    Shock Troopers is an arcade game developed by Saurus. Gameplay involves taking command of one or three commandos in an eight-way shooter. The game received a semi-sequel in Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad....  more
  • 20


    PlatformCommodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade game

    Rush'n Attack, originally released in Japan and Europe as Green Beret, is an action/platform arcade game released by Konami in 1985. Rush'n Attack is remembered for its Cold War setting and its...  more
  • 21

    DeveloperData East

    PlatformArcade game

    Act-Fancer: Cybernetick Hyper Weapon is a 1989 horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game developed and published by Data East. It features a cyborg battling against alien creatures, while...  more
  • 22

    DeveloperMega Enterprise, Noise Factory, SNK Playmore

    PlatformPlayStation 2, Arcade game, Xbox, Neo Geo

    Metal Slug 4 is a run and gun video game for the Neo-Geo console/arcade platform created by SNK. It was released in 2002 for the MVS arcade platform and the AES game console, and is the fourth game...  more

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  • 23

    DeveloperData East

    PlatformTurboGrafx-16, Arcade game, Wii

    Bloody Wolf, released in Europe as Battle Rangers, is a run and gun arcade game released by Data East in 1988. Two commandos take on an entire army with many weapons, and defeat bosses to advance...  more
  • 24



    DeveloperWMS Industries Inc., Williams Entertainment Inc.

    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Amstrad CPC

    Narc is a 1988 arcade game designed by Eugene Jarvis for Williams Electronics and programmed by George Petro. It was one of the first ultra-violent video games and a frequent target of parental...  more


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  • 25

    Developer10tons Entertainment, 10tons Entertainment

    PlatformMicrosoft Windows

    Crimsonland is a top-down computer game with RPG elements. It was developed by 10tons Entertainment and published by Reflexive Entertainment in 2003. The game was re-released on Steam in 2014 with...  more