There was a time back in the 16-bit days when side scrolling platformers used to be all the rage. After the stupendous success that the Mario games had seen, everybody wanted a piece of the pie for themselves, and so like we see in the modern FPS market, while there were tons of crappy, derivative knock-offs, some games were genuinely good and stood from the rest of the pack. And while, with the rise of 3D gaming, side scrolling platformers seem to have died out a bit, there is still as market for them, as is evidenced by the mind blowing sales that New Super Mario Bros Wii registered. This article attempts to list the best side scrolling platformers of all time.
However, since we did not want the entire list to be infested by Mario and Sonic, there will be only one game per franchise listed below. Have fun, enjoy the list, and give us your feedback via your comments below.
LittleBigPlanet was met with heavy praise for its Play-Create-Share functionalities, but a major flaw with the first game was that it had broken platforming. LittleBigPlanet 2 has wonderful platforming (although with a few niggles), and a much more expanded online community, with more to create, more to share and even more to play with. The colourful, cheerful nature of the game is infectious, and the game overall is so addictive and so vast, one cannot possibly get bored of it. If LBP2 does not deserve a place on this list, I don’t know what does.
While the Ninja Gaiden series has taken to a more violent, hack-n-slash feel nowadays, the franchise was once a quintessential platforming franchise in the NES days. The original Ninja Gaiden was a wonderful game with great action and brilliant platforming, and a story that was actually good for a game of those times. It is clear how good the first game was, because it went on to spawn an entire franchise. And though Ninja Gaiden might have turned into a very hardcore hack-n-slash series, the first game will always be remembered as the wonderful platformer that it was.
The highly popular Castlevania series began with this- what, till this day, remains probably one of the best Castlevania games ever. The atmospheric feel of the game, the eerie soundtrack, the creepy level design, the brilliant action and the slick platforming was all very memorable, and probably what the series should have stuck to. While the game feels incredibly dated today, and while the series drastically changed structurally after Symphony of the Night moved it more towards the Metroid-vania style of play, the original game still stands out as one of the tightest, most precise and most demanding platforming experiences to be had on the NES. Couple that with some high octane action- which the game had liberal doses of- and you get one of the of diverse games on this list.