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The Best Side-Scrolling Games of All Time

Updated May 19, 2020 2.7k votes 404 voters 44.7k views100 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?"
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    DeveloperNintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development

    Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the...  more
  • 2


    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a platform-adventure video game developed and published...  more

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  • 3

    DeveloperSystems Research & Development Co., Ltd., Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development

    Super Mario Bros. is a 1985 platform video game internally developed by Nintendo R&D4 and...  more

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  • 4

    DeveloperRare Ltd

    Donkey Kong Country is a 1994 platforming video game developed by Rare and published by...  more

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  • 5

    DeveloperAppaloosa Interactive

    Ecco the Dolphin is an action-adventure game originally developed by Ed Annunziata and...  more

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    #2 of 16 Bad Video Games You Played as a Kid Because You Didn't Know Any Better#7 of 14 14 Impossibly Hard '90s Games No Kid Today Could Beat

  • 6


    Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up produced by Capcom. Originally released as an...  more

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  • 7

    DeveloperNintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development

    Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a 1995 platform video game developed and published by...  more

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  • 8

    DeveloperUbisoft, Konami

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, released as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles:...  more

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  • 9


    Die Hard is a video game released for the Commodore 64 in 1990 and for the NES in 1991 by...  more
  • 10

    DeveloperLucky Chicken Games

    Robotech: The Macross Saga is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up for the Game Boy Advance handheld...  more
  • 11

    DeveloperTechnōs Japan

    Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a side-scrolling beat 'em up produced by Technōs Japan...  more

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  • 12

    DeveloperCore Design

    Chuck Rock is a slapstick side-scrolling platform video game of the early-to-mid 1990s, which...  more
  • 13


    Super Castlevania IV, known in Japan as Akumajou Dracula is a 1991 action-platformer video...  more
  • 14


    Kenseiden is a video game for the Sega Master System created by SEGA. Kenseiden was released...  more
  • 15

    DeveloperAcclaim Cheltenham, Sega Wow, Aspect, Sega, Telenet Japan

    Golden Axe is a side-scrolling, beat 'em up, hack and slash arcade video game released in 1989...  more

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  • 16

    DeveloperHAL Laboratory

    Kirby Mass Attack, known in Japan as Atsumete! Kirby, is a puzzle platformer game in the Kirby...  more
  • 17


    Mega Man X, known in Japan as Rockman X, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Super...  more

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    The sequel to the game inspired by the classic game Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Flash 2...
  • 19


    Terraria is an action-adventure sandbox indie video game series, developed by game studio...  more

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  • 20

    DeveloperADK, SNK Playmore

    Ninja Combat is a 1990 side-scrolling beat 'em up video game developed by Alpha Denshi and...  more
  • 21

    DeveloperCore Design

    Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck is a slapstick side-scrolling platform video game developed and...  more
  • 22

    DeveloperTechnōs Japan, Arc System Works

    Double Dragon is a 1987 beat 'em up video game developed by Technōs Japan and distributed in...  more

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    DeveloperApogee Software

    Crystal Caves is a trilogy of side-scrolling platform games, developed and published by Apogee...  more
  • 25

    DeveloperColor Dreams

    Castle of Deceit is a sidescrolling game for the NES released on 1990 by Bunch Games, where...  more