Total Nerd The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time  

Reference
1.8k votes 284 voters 37.6k views 85 items

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

List is made up of games like Double Dragon and Donkey Kong Country.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best side-scrolling games?" and "What is the greatest side-scrolling game of all time?"
list ordered by

1
74 25
Castlevania: Symphony of the N... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
FranklinAntonioObispo added Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a platform-adventure video game developed and published by Konami in 1997. It is the sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and features Dracula's dhampir ...more

2
67 22
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1988 Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It is the fourth overall installment in the Super Mario ...more

3
46 16
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1985 Super Mario Bros. is a 1985 platform video game internally developed by Nintendo R&D4 and published by Nintendo as a pseudo-sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. It was originally released in ...more

4
38 17
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1994 Donkey Kong Country is a 1994 platforming video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was first released on 21 November, 1994 in North ...more

5
33 14
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's I... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added 1995 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a 1995 platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In order to reunite baby brothers Mario and ...more

6
22 9
Super Castlevania IV is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added 1991 Super Castlevania IV, known in Japan as Akumajou Dracula is a 1991 action-platformer video game and a remake of the original Castlevania on the NES. It was developed and published by Konami and ...more

7
27 14
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, released as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Turtles in Time in Europe, is an arcade video game produced by Konami. A sequel to the original Teenage ...more

8
30 19
Golden Axe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1989 Golden Axe is a side-scrolling, beat 'em up, hack and slash arcade video game released in 1989 by Sega for the System 16-B arcade hardware. It is the first game in the Golden Axe series. Makoto ...more

9
25 15
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1987 Double Dragon is a 1987 beat 'em up video game developed by Technōs Japan and distributed in North America and Europe by Taito. The game is a spiritual and technological successor to Technos' ...more

10
29 23
Terraria is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2011 Terraria is an action-adventure sandbox indie video game series, developed by game studio Re-Logic and released on Microsoft Windows, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Windows Phone, Android, and ...more

11
33 30
The Lost Vikings is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1994 The Lost Vikings is a side-scrolling puzzle/platform video game series which was developed by Silicon & Synapse. The first game, The Lost Vikings, was released in 1992 by publisher Interplay ...more

12
18 15
Shadow Complex is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2009 Shadow Complex is a 2009 platform-adventure video game developed by Chair Entertainment in association with Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox Live Arcade. The game ...more

13
9 6
Kirby Mass Attack is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2011 Kirby Mass Attack, known in Japan as Atsumete! Kirby, is a puzzle platformer game in the Kirby series developed by HAL Laboratory for the Nintendo DS. The game was released by Nintendo in Japan ...more

14
14 12
Robotech: The Macross Saga is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2002 Robotech: The Macross Saga is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up for the Game Boy Advance handheld system, developed by Lucky Chicken Games and published by TDK Mediactive. This title was released ...more

15
14 12
Commander Keen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Commander Keen Commander Keen is a 2001 video game in id Software's Commander Keen series. It was developed by David A. Palmer Productions and published by Activision for the Game Boy Color.

16
13 11
Final Fight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1989 Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up produced by Capcom. Originally released as an arcade game in 1989, it was the seventh title released for the CP System hardware. Set in the fictional ...more

17
8 6
Shadow Dancer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1989 Shadow Dancer is a side-scrolling action game produced by Sega originally released as an arcade game in 1989. It is the second arcade game in the Shinobi series, following the original Shinobi ...more

18
18 17
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990 Die Hard is a video game released for the Commodore 64 in 1990 and for the NES in 1991 by Activision. Its gameplay is based on the 1988 movie Die Hard. During the game, the player rescues ...more

19
17 16
Altered Beast is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1988 Altered Beast is a 1988 beat 'em up arcade game developed and manufactured by Sega. The game is set in Ancient Greece, and follows a centurion who is resurrected by Zeus to rescue his daughter ...more

20
17 16
Jazz Jackrabbit is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1994 Jazz Jackrabbit is a platform game developed and published by Epic MegaGames. It was released in 1994 for PCs operating DOS, with subsequent Macintosh and Microsoft Windows releases in 1995 and ...more

21
17 16
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2004 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is a video game of the third person, beat 'em up genre released in 2004 by Konami. The GBA version is more of a Side-scrolling Platformer/Shoot'em up ...more

22
6 5
ActRaiser is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added 1990 ActRaiser, released in Japan as Actraiser, is a 1990 Super Nintendo Entertainment System action and city-building simulation game developed by Quintet and published by Enix that combines ...more

23
14 14
Chuck Rock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1991 Chuck Rock is a slapstick side-scrolling platform video game of the early-to-mid 1990s, which was initially created by Core Design in 1991 and was subsequently ported to a large number of home ...more

24
20 21
Ecco the Dolphin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1993 Ecco the Dolphin is an action-adventure game originally developed by Ed Annunziata and Novotrade International for the Mega Drive and published by Sega in 1992. Ecco the Dolphin was republished ...more

25
9 9
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass is a platform game developed by Apogee Software and published by Deep Silver for the Nintendo DS. A version for the PlayStation Portable began development, however was ...more

26
7 7
Double Dragon II: The Revenge is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1988 Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a side-scrolling beat 'em up produced by Technōs Japan originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988. It is the sequel to Double Dragon, released ...more

27
14 15
Commander Keen: Keen Dreams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1992 Keen Dreams is a 1991 video game by id Software which was originally released for PCs running MS-DOS by Softdisk Publishing, with all rights owned by Flat Rock Software since 2005. The game was ...more

28
4 4
Elevator Action is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1983 Elevator Action is a 1983 arcade game by Taito. It debuted during the Golden Age of Arcade Games. The player assumes the role of a spy who infiltrates a building filled with elevators. He must ...more

29
9 10
Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1993 Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck is a slapstick side-scrolling platform video game developed and published by Core Design in 1993 for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega-CD, Sega Master ...more

30
15 17
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1988

31
14 16
Risky Woods is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1992 Risky Woods, known as Jashin Draxos in Japan, is a computer game developed by Dinamic Software and Zeus Software, and published by Electronic Arts in December 1992. Its release marks the end of ...more

32
13 15
Crime Fighters is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1989 Crime Fighters is a 1989 side-scrolling beat-em-up released by Konami for the arcades. The player takes control of an undercover police officer who is assigned to rescue a group of kidnapped ...more

33
13 15
Retaliot is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2009

34
13 15
Sea Dragon is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1982 Sea Dragon is a side-scrolling game for the TRS-80 computer, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, and released in 1982 by Adventure International. It was one of the most popular games ...more

35
6 7
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1992 Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure is a video game programmed by Todd Replogle and published by Apogee Software in 1992. It is a two-dimensional side-scrolling platform game produced for the PC platform, ...more

36
4 5
Shank is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2010 Shank is a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up video game developed by Canadian independent studio Klei Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts in 2010. It was released on August 24 for the ...more

37
10 12
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time

38
8 10
Moon Buggy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2004

39
7 9
Castle of Deceit is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990 Castle of Deceit is a sidescrolling game for the NES released on 1990 by Bunch Games, where the player takes control of a wizard trapped in the titular castle with only one spell to defend

40
7 9
Hunter Hunted is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Hunter Hunted 1996 Hunter Hunted is a side-scrolling action computer game developed by Sierra Entertainment and published on October 31, 1996. The player controls a humanoid creature who fights enemies, completes ...more

41
6 8
Crystal Caves is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Crystal Caves 1991 Crystal Caves is a trilogy of side-scrolling platform games, developed and published by Apogee Software, released on 23 October 1991. The three episodes have the titles "Troubles with ...more

42
11 14
Super Smash Flash 2 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2011 The sequel to the game inspired by the classic game Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Flash 2 improves on the original with more authentic control (now with three-button command and jumping mapped ...more

43
5 7
Predator 2 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990

44
5 7
Gargoyle's Quest is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990 Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts 'n Goblins, is a platform/side scrolling adventure game for the Nintendo Game Boy, with mild role-playing video game elements from Capcom. It was released on May 2, 1990 ...more

45
5 7
Commander Keen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990 Commander Keen is a series of video games developed by id Software in the early 1990s. The series focuses on the adventures of Billy Blaze, an 8-year old boy who travels through space and ...more

46
4 6
Ninja Cop is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2003 Ninja Five-O, known in PAL regions as Ninja Cop, is a video game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, released by Konami in 2003.

47
3 5
Gish is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
2004 Gish is a 2D PC platform game developed by Alex Austin, Edmund McMillen and Josiah Pisciotta and distributed by Chronic Logic, Stardock and other distributors. A sequel was announced, but ...more

48
3 5
The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowou... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1990 The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout, known in Japan and on the title screen as Happy Birthday Bugs and in Europe as The Bugs Bunny Blowout, is the title of a Kemco video game released for the ...more

49
3 5
Kenseiden is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
1988 Kenseiden is a video game for the Sega Master System created by SEGA. Kenseiden was released in 1988. Kenseiden stars Hayato, a samurai that has to fight against warlocks and evil spirits that ...more

50
3 5
Alien Carnage is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Alien Carnage 1993 Alien Carnage, originally called Halloween Harry, is a side-scrolling platform game developed by Interactive Binary Illusions and SubZero Software, and distributed by Apogee Software. The game ...more