Total Nerd The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever  

Reference
1.6k votes 318 voters 67.7k 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
68 21
R-Type is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
R-Type 1987

33 Child Actors Who Died Young The Best Rail Shooter Games of All Time

2
49 19
1942 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
1942 1984

3
37 11
Raptor: Call of the Shadows is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

4
31 7
Ikaruga is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Ikaruga 2001

5
28 5
Tyrian is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
riza-emet added Tyrian 1995

6
18 2
Gradius is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gradius 1985

7
27 6
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 Jan 01 1986

9
35 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 Jan 01 1994

12
18 4
Radiant Silvergun is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

13
19 5
Salamander is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Salamander 1986

14
17 4
Strikers 1945 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

15
22 9
Thunder Force III is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force III Jan 01 1990

30 Celebrities Who Are Secretly Huge Gamers 30 Beautiful Women of Native American Descent

16
14 2
Thunder Force IV is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force IV Jan 01 1992

17
19 7
Super R-Type is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

18
23 11
Gradius ReBirth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gradius ReBirth Sep 02 2008

19
18 7
Thunder Force II 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 1985

21
14 6
Imperishable Night is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Imperishable Night Aug 15 2004

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

23
12 5
Twin Cobra II is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Twin Cobra II Jan 01 1995

24
12 5
The Raiden Project is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

25
14 7
Gaiares is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Gaiares 1990

26
19 12
Space Harrier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

27
10 4
Nemesis 2 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Nemesis 2 1993

28
12 6
Silpheed: The Lost Planet 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 Jan 01 1989

The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time The Finest Breasts In Entertainment

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

31
7 2
Bio-Hazard Battle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Bio-Hazard Battle Jan 01 1992

32
11 7
Thunder Force V is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force V Jan 01 1997

33
8 4
Sparkster is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Sparkster 1994

34
8 4
The Guardian Legend is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
The Guardian Legend Jan 01 1988

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
7 3
Raiden Fighters is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Raiden Fighters Jan 01 1996

39
5 1
Mushihimesama is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Mushihimesama

40
5 1
Dragon Blaze is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Dragon Blaze Jan 01 2000

41
5 1
Pulstar is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Pulstar 1995

42
9 6
Thunder Force AC is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Thunder Force AC Jan 01 1990

43
9 6
TwinBee is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
TwinBee 1985

The Greatest Fighting Games Ever Made The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

44
8 5
Super Xevious is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

45
7 4
1944: The Loop Master is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

46
6 3
Dangun Feveron is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Dangun Feveron Jan 01 1998

47
4 1
Blazing Star is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever

48
8 6
Abadox is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Abadox Dec 15 1989

49
7 5
Deimos Rising is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever
Deimos Rising Jan 01 2002

50
7 5
Blood Money is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Horizontal & Side Scrolling Shooter Games Ever