2D side-scrollers have been around since the dawn of the video game industry and produced some of the most iconic game series out there. In this collection we present you with the 40 best platformer games this long-running video game genre has to offer! Ranging from homages to the classic 16-bit era titles like Sonic Mania to the more modern examples like Ori and the Will of Whisps – there’s truly a lot of options to choose from! Some of these games will invite you to visit stylish 2D levels brought to life through nostalgic pixel art, beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds, and old-school parallax scrolling effects. Not all 2D side-scrollers are linear however, as platformers like the infamous Terraria will offer you a more open-ended sandbox experience that encourages creativity and freedom. Find them all and more among the best platformer games presented below!
No matter what your preferences are, platforming games have something for gamers of all tastes and needs. On one hand, they can be casual, funny, and relaxing like the over-the-top cooperative platforming race that is Ultimate Chicken Horse from the developer Clever Endeavour Games. On the other hand, some 2D side-scrollers are also known for being brutally challenging and unforgiving just like Cuphead – a multiple-award-winning title released by StudioMDHR in 2017. No checkpoint system and punishingly hard boss battles might sound scary at first but the addicting run and gun gameplay together with the 1930s animation-inspired art style make it one of the best platformer games of recent years. Take a pick from this wide selection of great 2D platformers and don’t be afraid to try out something new!