Best sidescroller of all time?


Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2013
Pennsylvania USA
Nintendo 64
What was your favorite sidescroller of all time?

Mine was Donkey Kong Country 2, I have never fell in love with a game like I did with that one! The graphics were amazing, the soundtrack was stunning, and the platforming was in a tier of its own. I still love replaying it every year, and it still looks amazing to me.

In a close second is Super Mario Bros. 3, it was one of the first games that I played for the NES (having only got one 4 years ago) and I was amazed by the quality of the platforming and the massiveness of the game. Although it didn't quite reach DKC2 in my opinion.
Castlevania 2, Super Mario 3 and Super Metroid are all contendors, with a special mention of Symphony of the Night. It would be very difficult for me to pick a winner from the list. All of these games were amazing in their own way. Castlevania 2 had the adventure feel, while the difficulty remained low. Super Mario 3 was straight up action, with a high difficulty. Super Metroid is a combination of both adventure and difficulty.
Of those three games, only Super Mario Bros. 3 technically belongs to the sidescroller genre. Sidescrollers are essentially 2D predecessors of 3D platformers, where the focus of the gameplay is basically jumping. Castlevania is more of an action game while Metroid is... who knows, it's Metroid :)
I don't know Donkey, some of the Castlevania games have a whole lot of jumping central to the gameplay, as do the Metroid games. If you want to get technical though, I'll stick with Mario 3 then :p
OK, let's get technical then. Castlevania 1 was an action platformer, Simon's Quest was an action RPG, back to action for Castlevania III and IV, and Castlevanias starting with Shadow of the Night belong to the "Metroid" genre. They are Castleroids. :p
If teu are 2D and the screen can scroll from left to right, it is a sidescroller.that is how I see it.
Oh professor, you are so technical. Castleroids is a good term though! I agree with Banjo however. A 2D game, scrolling to the side, is a sidescroller! Now like it! :p
If you follow that logic, then you have to consider all the sideways shooters (like Gradius) and a lot of weird arcade games sidescrollers, too. And those games are definitely not sidescrollers. Also, all the crappy games on the iPhone which happen to have a moving screen--also not sidescrollers.

I think the confusion here is that a lot of games use side-scrolling technology (we take it for granted now, but it was a novelty in the early 80s), but sidescrollers as a genre are something more specific.

Sidescrollers are basically anything that resembles the original SMB in gameplay. People usually use the word sidescroller when referring to 2D platformers, in fact, I think those two are interchangable.
I do view those as sidescrollers. It doesn't have to be a platformer to e a sidescroller. A sidescroller is any game in which the player is in a 2D playing field, the camera is at a side view, and the player moves from left to right or vice versa. Games such as super mario bros, Metroid, Mega Man, Trine, Super Smash Bros Subspace Emisary, Rayman, Castlevania, Sonic, Ducktales etc. are all sidescrollers. Sidescrollers can be 2D platformers but are not limited to that genre. They can be beat em' ups, Adventure, action, RPG, and shooters. If the screen scrolls and there is a side view, it is a sidescroller.
We have our first Nintendo forum debate! Seems to me, that Banjo has the correct definition in the most basic of terms. I do see Donkey's point though. Most people consider Super Mario a side scroller and not Metroid. I stick to the basic definition camp myself.
There are just too many, it's difficult to just pick one. Well, I've always had a soft spot for ninjas as they are the ultimate action video game heroes. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master on the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive is probably my favorite. I've completed this game on all it's difficulty settings and it's been a blast every single time. I remember that it was in development for a very long time but it's technically one of the best and most polished games on the system.

Can I pick the SMB series as a whole? Because that is mine.
My favorite 2D sidescrolling game is New Super Mario Bros. 2
So would Donkey Kong Country be considered a side-scroller, or would it be a platformer... Or is there a difference?

Super Mario Bros. 3 was amazing, and you could argue the best side-scroller of all time, but if I can vote for DKC, that's my pick. That minecart level is probably one of my favourite levels of all time, and the first thing I played when I recently reconnected my Wii and booted up the Virtual Console.

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