Total Nerd The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever  

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2.1k votes 456 voters 80.1k views 89 items

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.

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list ordered by

1
109 37
R-Type is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1987

2
52 20
Einhänder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1997

3
52 21
Raptor: Call of the Shadows is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

4
37 10
Tyrian is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
riza-emet added 1995

5
38 12
Raiden II is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1993

6
29 6
Thunder Force IV is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

7
63 33
1942 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1984

8
41 16
Ikaruga is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
2001

9
28 8
Gradius is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1985

10
31 11
Thunder Force III is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

11
33 14
Darius is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1986

12
35 16
R-Type III: The Third Lightnin... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

13
24 9
Radiant Silvergun is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

14
26 11
Super R-Type is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

15
24 10
Salamander is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1986

16
11 1
Last Resort is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

17
22 9
Strikers 1945 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

18
22 10
Gaiares is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1990

19
23 12
Thunder Force II is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

20
27 16
Gunbird is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1994

21
25 16
Gradius ReBirth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

22
11 3
Pulstar is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1995

23
18 10
R-Type II is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1989

24
11 4
Mushihimesama is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Mushihimesama

25
16 9
Gun.Smoke is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1985