Computer games or 2D games, more specifically, kept most of us hooked to our computer screens in our childhood. The great thing about these best 2D games is that they are evergreen, keep improving, and are still loved by many.
Undeniably, today, there are better games with great graphics and design; nothing meets the excitement of 2D games.
So, one may wonder, what’s so special about 2D games? Everything is special about 2D games as they blessed us when computers didn’t have great graphics to make crystal clear games. Moreover, the visuals, the story, the concept, and the sounds were beyond perfection during the mid-90s.
Despite having many restrictions and challenges, developers of 2D games would often nail it with significant story build-up.
To make games even better, developers would enhance difficulty levels and make things challenging and exciting. Moreover, most 2D games are easy to learn but difficult to master, so; they wouldn’t disappoint gamers fond of challenges.
Over the years, computer graphics have changed for good, and better graphics have also helped developers create graphic-rich games. The truth about these more advanced games is, they are complicated and are very demanding. Whenever a gamer is looking to enjoy a light game full of challenges, a 2D game is their best bet.
Despite so many technological advances, developers even today keep innovating their 2D games. Have you ever thought, why after all these great graphic cards in modern computers, developers do so much for these age-old games?
Over the years, the community of 2D games has multiplied significantly; some players have played the same game for many years.
Developers and gaming companies dedicate themselves to serve the vast community of their 2D games. And in return, the community showers the companies and developers with great love and support. Since 2D games are relatively easier than 3D games, and the player can move in two dimensions, these games are unique.
Moreover, with various limitations, developers have managed to make 2D games in multiple genres. Games across genres have made 2D games even more popular and appealing to various gamers. In the list of popular 2D games, one may find different puzzle games, fighting, racing, and more.
The vibrant color scheme, engaging storyline, impressive characters, and uniqueness are the major positives of any immensely popular 2D game. These factors, combined with regular enhancements, keep the gamers wanting more and more.
Let’s have a look at the list of widely popular and best 2D games.
Best 2D Games Of All Time: Our Pick 👌👌
1. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley takes players to a valley where they own a farm to grow as a farmer amongst sellers. Valley life is quite interesting as the players need to complete various missions to level up their way in the game. The Stardew Valley is rich in graphics and has a vibrant color scheme to look eye-pleasing.
The game’s slow proceedings make it one of the best 2D games for people who want to avoid fast-paced games.
What appeals to the gamers is the bunch of activities that Stardew Valley makes them throughout the game. The game has coins and various tools that players will use to make their life better in the valley.
The exciting part about this RPG is that the gamers can also start their family in the game. About a dozen characters may choose to date and then eventually develop as a husband and wife. The Stardew Valley would provide a soothing gaming experience with a ton of adventures and new experiences.
The game is also known to have soothing music to enhance the gamer’s experience. Unlike many other games, the music in Stardew valley changes after a period of time. Moreover, each track that plays in the game suits the overall setup of Stardew Valley.
Pros of Stardew Valley:-
1. The music in Stardew Valley makes the game quite interesting, with seasonal changes for a soothing experience.
2. There are as many as five maps of farms where players can indulge in various activities like farming, fishing, breeding, etc.
Multiple farms also encourage gamers to plan their game accordingly for each activity. Players can also fight monsters, be a craftsman or everyone’s best friend.
3. Each season in Stardew Valley comes with various challenges for players that can help them craft new things.
4. Gamers can customize a lot of things, starting from their character to decoratives for homes in the valley. Customization also ensures that gamers keep experimenting with things in the game.
5. Players can also go on adventures, exploring caves, fighting monsters, and claiming treasures.
6. The game is available in more than a dozen global languages, making it widely accessible to people across the world.
Cons of Stardew Valley:-
1. New players may find it challenging to get started at first as the guides aren’t quite informative. However, things tend to get better with some experiments and time spent in the game.
2. Stardew Valley can’t run on systems with lower versions of Windows. Gamers need to have at least Windows Vista or higher versions to run the game.
3. Though the game is multiplayer, a group can’t play with five or more members.
Based on the 1930s cartoons and design theme, Cuphead is also amongst the best 2D games. The game is quick and goes from one stage to another in no time and without compromising the difficulty. Cuphead being a run and gun game, the players are to shoot using their finger, and enemies would try to escape.
Things might sound easier, but don’t get too excited because they could get annoying at times. When the player intends to take down enemies in Cuphead, various groups of enemies will do everything to put you down. However, beating down enemies wouldn’t be easy and may take up to twenty tries at times.
The cartoonish graphics of Cuphead makes it quite refreshing and appealing to gamers. Moreover, the heroes are neatly designed with some extraordinary abilities in their hands. The shooting capacity in the game is beyond one’s expectations.
Gamers can get a hold of controls with practice and patience; however, they are quite complex to master. Things might get a bit frustrating when the player is trying to jump from one pink surface to another. Gamers much appreciate the idea of additional abilities to counter various new challenges.
Pros of Cuphead:-
1. Depending on the players’ choice, they can opt to play even with their friends in the local mode. The local support one-on-one or even team-based gameplay. However, if you think teaming up with your friend would make the game easy, think again.
2. The graphics and the design of Cuphead are quite impressive, and the game doesn’t look odd.
3. There are various control setups that gamers can choose from to play the game. Some setups are hard to master, while others are quite easy to get started.
4. The game tends to run smoothly on most systems that support the game. The game rarely gets unresponsive and slow.
5. Users can access their favorite game, Cuphead, in a dozen global languages, including Polish and Russian. Multi-language support makes the game quite popular and one of the best 2D games.
Cons of Cuphead:-
1. Some users may feel that the sounds of Cuphead are too loud for their liking. However, the louder sounds are maybe to match the genre of the game.
2. The initial stages of Cuphead aren’t interesting enough and often bore the gamers. It’s the final stage when the game gets interesting.
3. In a battle, players don’t get to know what level of health their opponent has left in them. The lack of a health bar makes the game even more tricky. Moreover, when the gamer gets knocked out, the game would show a map telling them what they could have done.
3. Mark of the Ninja
Mark of the Ninja is a shadow-based Stealth game where the gamers need to utilize the environment to their benefit. The game requires the undivided attention and patience of the gamer. There’s a wide range of weapons that the game has, and users can use them in battles against their enemies.
The game has a lot of features that keeps gamers hooked to the game for long hours. The Mark of the Ninja’s quick events is quite interesting and highly engaging in the lateral stages. The game also has an excellent system for rewarding the players who progress well through the stages.
The visuals, on the other hand, are stunning and add to the experience of the gamers. All the environments in the Mark of the Ninja game are hand-painted and look amazing. Even the game’s sounds don’t feel too annoying or weird at any stage of the game.
While many stealth games struggle with controls, the controls of the Mark of the Ninja game can be customized. The customization of the game works well with the keyboard, mouse, and gamepad support. These customizations and controls work for the gamers’ benefit and make it easier to control the game.
The in-game development of killing features and interactive design makes for a great experience. The artificial intelligence used to develop the new game variant in the game seems much more real.
Moreover, throughout the game, the battlegrounds and fields are nothing but realistic for one of the best 2D games.
Pros of Mark of the Ninja:-
- The animations and graphics of the Mark of the Ninja are eye-pleasing and gripping. The moves of the character while attacking feel great on the screen.
- The climax and story of the Mark of the Ninja 2D game are thrilling and entertaining.
- The weapons included in the game are guns, melee, and much more. Various weapons make fighting easy and exciting.
- The Mark of the Ninja game is available in around six global languages, making it widely popular amongst gamers.
- The Mark of the Ninja also has a new game mode after the latest updates. The new game plus mode is much more rewarding and offers great challenges and rewards.
- The Mark of the Ninja game runs smoothly on various operating systems, including the Mac OS and Linux systems.
Cons of Mark of the Ninja:-
- The Mark of the Ninja game requires almost about 2.5GB of space in the hard drive. Some heavy users may not have the desired space to run the game smoothly.
- However, sound support requires high-end sound cards and drivers to provide the best sound.
Undertale is amongst the best 2D games that became an instant hit because of its amazing story and great graphics. The character in the game is a small child that plays throughout the game. The child has to explore the underground world, facing challenges, and unlocking chests.
The players need to play multiple roles throughout the game to unlock various levels and move further in the game. The controls of the Undertale are responsive and easy to learn; however, they might misbehave at times. Though, given that an individual designed the game, some glitches don’t harm gamers.
What differentiates Undertale from many other 2D games is the main idea of the game. The gamers don’t need only to kill the opponents to level up, but they need to spare enemies. If a user kills the enemy, the game will develop the story based on the player’s choice to kill or spare opponents.
The sounds and music of Undertale are great as they were carefully crafted to suit the theme of the game. The music composer for Undertale was dedicated to preparing some great tunes and songs for the game.
The interesting fact is, the title song of Undertale went through various changes before it was finalized.
Pros of Undertale:-
- The storyline of Underline is quite unique and differs from most of the best 2D games out there. The story changes based on the choices of the players throughout the game.
- The Undertale game is available on multiple platforms, including Nintendo, PS4, and Linux. Users across devices can enjoy this interactive 2D game.
- Undertale’s story is quite humorous throughout the game. The comic story writing of the game makes it different from many games out there.
- Nicely timed attacks would deal additional damage to the opponents, giving an upper hand to the gamer for proceeding in the game.
- The minimum storage space required to run Undertale on Windows is just 200MB. However, gamers can have a smooth experience if they have at least 500MB of storage.
Cons of Undertale:-
- Undertale is a single-player game, and gamers can’t play it with a group. The lack of multiplayer support for Undertale makes it less appealing to gamers who only play games with their friends.
- The game is available in only two global languages. The game’s interface is available to read in English and Japanese.
- Undertale may show a few images that some users may not want to see at some places in the game.
- The game also has some bugs that affect the user experience at times. However, these bugs don’t do much damage to the gameplay.
5. World of Goo
The next game on our list of the best 2D games is World of Goo, a puzzle-based video game. The game grew widely popular amongst gamers across continents and won various awards in a short time.
The game stands out from the rest of the video-based puzzles because of its unique gameplay and classic graphics.
Based on physics and construction, World of Goo is a truly amazing game for anyone to kill their time. The game is full of mysterious levels and strangely beautiful puzzles. Gamers can make various structures like buildings, cannonballs, and giant tongues.
The game has various balls called Goo balls; each such ball has a special ability that helps gamers unfold the game. Combining various balls helps gamers discover different tales of conspiracy, beauty, and love throughout the game. Goo balls are precious and enhance the World of Goo gameplay and keep users hooked to the game.
The World of Goo has four chapters where each chapter has a new setup of background and animations. These chapters have certain challenges for gamers that they need to overcome to reach the next chapter.
While each chapter is suitable for all gamers, the levels are equally hard, and unlocking the next level may take longer than expected.
Things tend to get a bit frustrating when the level increases; however, the game manages to stay all fun and silly. The heavy goo balls are hard to manage while creating structures, and it demands a strategy to build new structures.
Pros of World of Goo:-
- The World of Goo is a single-player 2D puzzle game that users can play in as many as nine global languages. For all the supported nine languages, the game also provides subtitles to gamers.
- The Goo balls in the game provide a thrilling twist to the game full of suspenseful tales.
- The game controls are responsive and easy to master for all players, irrespective of their skill set.
- The graphics and the game’s sound are quite good compared to other games in the same genre.
- The various puzzles and challenges included in the game keep gamers from getting bored or disappointed with the game.
Cons of World of Goo:-
- The gamers may not be able to play the World of Goo with their friends using multiplayer mode.
- Some gamers may feel that the game ends quite early, and there should have been a few more levels. However, indeed a few more levels or chapters wouldn’t have hurt anyone.
- The game developers don’t send frequent updates for the World of Goo. Some users want regularly updated content in the games and, all such users will be disappointed here.
6. The Cave
The Cave is a thrilling adventure game with a gripping storyline, and the player’s choices decide the course of the game. The gamer can choose his characters from a wide variety of options available to them. Each character has a different story with its twists and turns throughout the game.
The characters have different stories, but they also have unique and special powers to solve puzzles. The special powers of characters help them unlock new puzzles and move the gamer further in the game. Playing the stories of various characters in the game is a rewarding and fun experience.
As per the name, the Cave game only revolves around the caves where users explore their characters’ stories. The cave will do away with almost everyone’s expectations from the game as the game’s caves are adventurous. The cave has theme parks, some battlefields, and the deadliest weapons.
To smoothly run the game, one needs to have ample free space on their computer or laptops. The computers with less than 1.5GB of space on the hard drive may not run the Cave smoothly. Even the graphic card required to run the game is at least Intel HD 2000 graphics.
The game has some brilliant voice acting that makes things exciting and more fun. The players can also enjoy the game, again and again, thanks to the multiple stories it features. Moreover, the interface of the game helps gamers spend long hours exploring various stories and solving puzzles.
Pros of The Cave:-
- The story and the gameplay of the Cave never fail to surprise the gamers and provide them a great experience.
- The sounds, animations, and character development are beyond amazing in the Cave. The users would be up for a great gaming experience with fun puzzles and much more.
- The Cave game gets super fun in the local mode, where players can cherish the characters’ beautiful stories.
- The Cave is available in five global languages, including English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The entire audio of the Cave 2D game is only available in English.
Cons of The Cave:-
- The Cave controls aren’t that impressive, and users might have to retry certain options to make a specific move.
- macOS users need to have at least 4GB of free space on their hard drive. Without that much space, the Cave won’t run smoothly on a Mac.
- In an attempt to create a lot of stories for the game, the writers missed out on some moments. Eventually, the stories would feel dull at some moments.
7. Dead Cells
Dead Cells is the latest 2D game launched in 2018 on various platforms like Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Nintendo, etc. The game has high-quality graphics that are superior enough to uplift the gaming experience for gamers. Moreover, the action that the gamer will experience in Dead Cells is nothing but phenomenal.
The Dead Cells game is full of action and has multiple weapons that gamers can use throughout the game. Over four dozen weapons are provided for gamers in the Dead Cells, making the fights more aggressive. To protect their character, the gamers can also use various spells and even the emergency panic feature that protects them.
The main idea of the Dead Cells game is to explore new secret rooms, various hidden passages, and much more. Various hidden rooms across the game take gamers to explore new landscapes and stories. Moreover, all the landscapes are great to explore because all of them are simply impressive.
The Dead Cells is one of those best 2D games that is highly competitive and requires the gamer’s undivided attention. There’s one mode in the game called Daily Run Mode with a leaderboard for players to compete with their friends. The game offers endless fun, and a gamer may need up to 30hours to end the Dead Cells.
The game only requires 500MB of storage space on the gamer’s computer, and it’ll run smoothly on most operating systems.
However, the computer must meet other system requirements to run the game. The minimum RAM required to run Dead Cells is 4GB, and anything less than that will have the game unfunctional or misbehaving.
Pros of Dead Cells:-
- Gamers across the globe can play Dead Cells in over a dozen global languages. Each language also provides full audio and subtitles for the speakers.
- The developers of the game keep sending frequent updates to make the game better and better. The Dead Cells also has some of the best graphics, so; it’s a treat to play it repeatedly.
- The sounds, animations, and overall quality of the game make it quite a fantastic game. The rough gameplay will meet the expectations of most users.
- There are various unique weapons in the Dead Cells game; gamers can use them in the game to kill or stab enemies.
Cons of Dead Cells:-
- Windows users need to have at least Windows 7 to run the Dead Cells game on their computer. The game doesn’t support any previous versions of Windows. Moreover, gamers also need to ensure that their processor is intel i5 or better.
- The boss cells with higher difficulty levels make the game quite difficult to handle. Any player with minimum skills may find it challenging to complete missions in the hard mode.
8. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Shovel Knight is amongst those few eye-pleasing best 2D games that provide an insane gaming experience. The game is a classic adventure game that stands tall on the expectations of gamers across the globe. The 8-bit retro theme of the Shovel Knight game makes it quite popular for the theme itself.
Moreover, along with the theme, various adventures, its gameplay is beyond amazing and keeps gamers hooked for long hours.
There are various stages in the game where the players battle as a Knight to protect the lost partner. The Knight has to overthrow the opponent’s leader to win the battle and save his love.
The Treasure Trove lists four more games that provide additional fun and a great gaming experience to players. All these four games have four different Knights seeking to complete their missions. The gamers need to live through their stories and fight enemies on their behalf.
Pros of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove:-
- The Shovel Knight game is available in more than ten global languages, making it widely popular amongst gamers.
- The game requires only 2GB of ram and Windows 7 or above to run smoothly on computers. Moreover, the Shovel Knight runs on most operating systems and requires as little as 250MB of free space on the computer.
- The players can also play the Shovel Knight game in a Player v/s Player mode. The PvP mode adds fun to the game and provides players with a chance to compete with their friends.
- The Treasure Trove includes four additional games for players to make things even better and interesting. Each game has new challenges and a different storyline.
- The gamers can also switch the genders of their characters in the game as per their choice. Gender swapping of characters is fun, makes the game better, and stands out as one of the best 2D games.
Cons of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove:-
- In the Shovel Knight’s lateral stages, the game tends to lose some spark, and the pixels get disappointing. Some users may ditch the game due to poor graphics towards the end.
- Inexperienced gamers who haven’t played games on highly competitive platforms may find the Shovel Knight very difficult.
There are various best 2D games that players may choose from depending on the genre they wish to play. Most 2D games have brilliant graphics, stunning audio, and engaging storyline to keep players hooked for long hours. Even the weapons in 2D battle games are insane and unique depending on the type of the game.
Moreover, one doesn’t have to be a pro gamer to enjoy a plethora of 2D games available today. Since most 2D games don’t require a particular skill set, they are great for almost everyone.