Best Old School Side-Scrollers

Since summer is in full swing, I’m entering a sentimental mode and counting down some of my favorite side-scrollers to date. These are the games that kept me out of the summer heat for so many days and sometimes frustrated the living crap out of me. However, they live on as great multiplayer games and overall super stars of the 8-16 bit era.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

If you were a kid in the late ’80s to early ’90s; you were a Ninja Turtles fan (or you were mocked horrendously in elementary school). There are so many great Ninja Turtle games (as well as bad ones), but the best still probably has to be Turtles in Time. It was a normal action beat ‘em up game, but it got the job done by throwing the turtles in different years. As far as side-scrollers go, this might be the best of the best.

Final Fight

The exploits of Haggar, Cody and Guy in the original Final Fight would go down as something of a legend of side-scroller games, which can still be felt today since the trio can be found in modern games (most recently with Haggar joining the ranks in Marvel vs. Capcom 3). But before they got into hyper combos, they were set to clean up Metro city as Haggar (strangely enough, the mayor of the gang-ridden city) and fellow brawlers Cody and Guy. Yes, the premise of a crime stomping mayor is odd, but it was the ’90s and games were so strange and awesome back then.

Maximum Carnage

Maximum Carnage is the only game on the list that also happens to be a single player game, but damned if it isn’t one of the coolest. Spiderman and Venom are out to take down the psycho symbiote villain Carnage along with the help of many other Marvel friends. The game was made by LJN, and it actually turned out to be one of the best video games based on a comic book character because of its great gameplay and solid base of Spiderman villains.

Golden Axe

I never wished I had a Sega Genesis over my much loved SNES, except when I played Golden Axe for the first time at my cousin’s house. To this day Golden Axe stands as one of my favorite side-scrollers as you can play as either a barbarian, an Amazonian or a dwarf, each with his/her own awesome special magical powers. The villains were classic monsters like skeletons, savages and giants and hacking through dozens of these enemies always felt satisfying.

The Simpsons

When Maggie accidentally mistakes Mr. Burn’s diamond for a pacifier, instead of simply taking the treasure and giving back the baby, Burns steals the baby and the Simpson clan are determined to save her. Ok, so the story was lame, but The Simpsons game was fun and it had some sweet mini games in between levels. Also, characters could team up to unleash big damage on enemies depending on the choice and compatibility of Marge, Bart, Lisa and Homer. What else can I say? It was a perfectly “cromulent” game.

That concludes my list of the best old-school side scrolling games. What do you think, any classics I’ve missed?