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The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time 

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Updated June 25, 2019 2.1k votes 362 voters 42.1k views 86 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
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1988 (Nintendo)
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
2
Castlevania: Symphony of... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
FranklinAntonioObispo added Released: 1997 (Konami)
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

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3
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1985 (Systems Research & Development Co.)
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

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4
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1994 (Rare Ltd)
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
Super Mario World 2: Yos... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added Released: 1995 (Nintendo)
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
Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1991 (Ubisoft)
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

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7
Golden Axe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1989 (Acclaim Cheltenham)
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

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8
Super Castlevania IV is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added Released: 1991 (Konami)
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
9
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1987 (Technōs Japan)
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

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10
Terraria is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 2011 (Re-Logic)
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

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11
The Lost Vikings is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1994 (Krome Studios Melbourne)
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
Final Fight is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1989 (Capcom)
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

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13
Ecco the Dolphin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1993 (Appaloosa Interactive)
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

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14
Jazz Jackrabbit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1994 (Epic Games)
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
15
Altered Beast is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1988 (Sega Wow)
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

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16
Robotech: The Macross Sa... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 2002 (Lucky Chicken Games)
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
17
Commander Keen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
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.
18
ActRaiser is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
KelseyMartin added Released: 1990 (Quintet)
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
19
Double Dragon II: The Re... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1988 (Technōs Japan)
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

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20
Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 2004 (Konami)
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

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21
Shadow Complex is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 2009 (Chair Entertainment)
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
22
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1988 (Data East)
23
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1990 (Pack-In-Video)
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
24
Mega Man X is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
jltorres80 added Released: 1993 (Capcom)
Mega Man X, known in Japan as Rockman X, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the first Mega Man game for the 16-bit console and the first game ...more
25
Kenseiden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time
Released: 1988 (Sega)
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