As games continue to get bigger, and graphics constantly get more realistic, there’s something about a good old fashioned 2D game that big budget games will never be able to beat.
Some of my favorite games of all time are 2D, and I personally find myself playing them more than I do 3D games.
A few of these are very short games, but a handful of them have many hours of replayability.
7. Destination Sol
Starting off this list is a game that was surprisingly fun. Destination Sol is an open world space exploration RPG where you can fight enemies, explore planets, upgrade ships and equipment, and collect resources.
At first the space movement can be a little hard to get used to, but eventually it starts to feel natural. You start off in a space station and can roam the world as you choose destroying things and collecting resources.
Enemy pirates roam the world and will attack you if you get too close, and you can defeat them for money and equipment. Over time you can upgrade your ships blasters and armor, or get new ships altogether.
As you get close to planets, gravity will pull you in and seamlessly transfer you to the planet. What’s awesome about Destination Sol is that there aren’t any loading screens, and you can travel across the galaxy without worrying about the game stopping to load.
Antenna is a very short game that doesn’t give you any instructions whatsoever. At first I was somewhat frustrated because I couldn’t figure out what to do, but once I solved it the rest of the game was extremely fun.
It only took me about 20 minutes to complete, but the puzzles in it were extremely unique and fun to solve. They weren’t too hard to solve but the game is difficult because it doesn’t give you any directions.
There wasn’t any deep story behind it as far as I could tell, so the ending left me a bit confused. Despite that, I found it to be a pretty fun game. Antenna has a really cool atmosphere, very similar to the puzzle platformer Limbo.
It felt good to solve the puzzles after being stuck on them for a while, and made me want to keep playing. For such a short game, Antenna was one I was glad I played.
5. Pixel Worlds: MMO Sandbox
Pixel Worlds takes the basic building and mining gameplay of other games and turns it into an MMO style game. You can create your own world to build and mine in, or explore other people’s world’s that they’ve made.
After exploring the game, I was surprised at how cool some of the player created worlds were. There are platformer maps, puzzle maps, and tons of other really cool maps to find.
There’s the whole building aspect of it too that I never really got into much. I didn’t realize it at first but this game is actually on both Android and IOS, and has cross platform multiplayer with PC. This is awesome because you can play it with friends who don’t even have a PC.
It has a pretty large community and there’s a lot to do, so definitely check it out if it looks interesting to you.
Mandagon is a platformer style game based heavily on Tibetan theology and philosophy, and it has a lot of deeper meaning behind it.
I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the lore or everything else going on, but I found the gameplay to be really fun. The world is beautifully crafted, and you can really tell a lot of effort went into it.
The goal of the game is to find stone tablets and place them into totems around the world. Each totem powers a giant door that leads to the end of the game, and you need to explore the world to locate all the power sources.
Even though I kinda skipped over all the deeper meaning behind the game, the core gameplay was really enjoyable and I played it through until the end. It’s another pretty short game but I really enjoyed playing it.
If you’re a fan of any game similar to Super Smash Bros, then I think you’ll love Brawlhalla. I’m not particularly good at games like this so I apologize for how badly I’m playing in the gameplay.
Even though the game is free, there are tons of characters you can unlock through in app purchases. The good news is that you can play the core gameplay for free with a variety of different characters.
Each character has their own weapon they can use along with their own movesets, and to use them effectively you need to practice with each character. The maps that I played were really fun and most of the characters seemed pretty balanced.
I didn’t have a lot of trouble getting used to the combat either, even though I’m extremely bad at these types of games. Brawlhalla has a huge community of players so you’ll never have any trouble finding a match.
If you’re a fan of fighting games or would like to try out a fun one, Brawlhalla is an awesome 2D game to get.
2. Soda Dungeon 2
I wasn’t expecting much going into Soda Dungeon 2, but it surprised me how much I enjoyed it. The idea of the game is to recruit a team of adventures to traverse the dungeon and defeat monsters.
As you get more money, you can hire more people, buy more equipment, and upgrade your town. I’m not normally a fan of turn based combat games, but Soda Dungeon 2’s combat drew me in and made me want to keep playing.
You can choose to fight enemies manually or let the game auto fight for you. As you progress through the dungeon, you can choose to take alternate paths that change up the enemies you fight, or you could simply continue on the linear path.
It’s really satisfying seeing your characters level up and get further every run, and I could see myself getting addicted to this game if I played it long enough.
1. Realm of the Mad God Exalt
Realm of the Mad God is a 2D MMO where you travel through the open worlds and fight enemies. It’s an action roguelike that gets more fun the longer you play it, and you have to be careful not to get addicted to it.
It’s one of those games that’ll draw you in and suck up all your free time if you aren’t careful. The retro style graphics makes it feel like an older game, but with tons of content packed into it.
You play the game by joining a world and fighting enemies to level up. Enemies can drop healing items or better equipment that’ll help you survive longer and destroy them quicker.
Every once in a while, an enemy you defeat will reveal an entrance to a secret area. These new areas have tons of enemies to defeat as well as a boss at the end that’ll drop some good loot.
Realm of the Mad God has several different class to choose from that you unlock the more you play it. Even though it’s an older game, it had a large update recently called Realm of the Mad God Exalt which made a significant number of improvements over the old version.
It’s a ton of fun and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.