What Makes a Great 2D Game?

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  • I have been wondering this for sometime as I'm sure the answer is completely different for different people. So I shall list a few great 2D games, you may agree you may not.


    Secret of Mana

    Chrono Trigger



    Castlevania (Not technically a shooter, but long range weapon)


    Mario Bros

    Super Meat Boy

    Original Game Mechanic




    TMNT: Turtles In Time

    Street Fighter

    Of course there are so many amazing games to list them all would just take forever. I happened to list a few of my personal favorites from genres. So what makes a great game? We have seen games recently such as Shovel Knight which well surpassed it's kickstarter goal in 2013 with Sega style graphics. It had little to no story involved in the videos/descriptions given. So is it just the gameplay mechanics that make a best seller? Ocarina of Time arguably one of the best games ever made, would it have been so great with crap gameplay mechanics. So I ask the forum what is most important to you in a game? Original gameplay mechanics, amazing graphics, amazing story telling, or a mix where one leads the other slightly? Obviously the perfect game would have all of these traits. Then you have other things to consider such as art design, re-playability, ease of use. So feel free to add your own most important feature.

    For myself it is a mix of interesting original gameplay mechanic and story telling. The gameplay will get me invested originally, while the story makes me want to keep playing.

    What do you think?

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  • gameplay is the first and most important aspect in my opinion

    i like games that are easy to learn hard to master, most of the times i don't care about graphics

    and as a big rpg fan this is the genre i enjoy most specially Jrpg

    i like games with 100+ hours gameplay

    vast worlds to explore

    interesting heroes (art background story)

    so yea that is for me personally

    some of my best games i played are

    all Final Fantasy (excluding any FF on ps3)


    most of the Zelda and the best one ocarina of time



    resident evil

    super mario 64


    goldeneye 64

    World of Warcraft (what a game)



    Toejam and earl (megadrive)

    mortal combat 1+2

    chrono trigger

    Kingdom hearts

    Half life

    Earth worm Jim lolololol

    and the list goes on of course

    i don't like most of the modern games i don't know why but most of the are really boring form me

  • I like 2D games cause of their variety most. 1000 of different techniques, arts and gameplay-styles. I also like 3D-Shooters etc. but they will never make me feel like a good 2D-game.

    As a SNES-Kid, I think I have a warm childhood-feeling when I play these games, that younger generations may won�t understand.

    My all-time fav�s are:

    -Super Probotector: Alien Rebels

    -Super Tennis


    -Sim City

    -Age of Empires



    -SuperSmash Brothers






    + many many many many more....really to much to list them all :)

  • Gameplay trumps all in my opinion.

    Having said that, original gameplay mechanics are only worthwhile if they are intuitive and well implemented. I'd rather have a well done commonly used gameplay mechanic than something original that is poorly done.

    Good graphics are important too, but only in so much as bad graphics can put people off even the best game. Amazing graphics are nice to have (if you've got a dedicated artist or big budget) but not at the cost of gameplay. Sometimes simpler graphics work better than something more complicated - it all depends on the style/game/genre though and must fit with the gameplay.

    A well told story can make the game more interesting - but I don't need to be hit over the head with it and too many unskippable cut scenes are annoying. Sometimes it's better to just give the basic premise and let players fill in the rest through gameplay or imagination.

  • A good 2D game is a well executed game along with the subject preference of the gamer. I've seen good mechanics hammered by by poor design. I've seen good stories devoured by terrible game play. A good game is a well executed created game.

    Past that I know gamers who just play for the game mechanics and skip as much story and as fast as possible. Then on the flip side I know some gamers who want less game play and more story. The idea of mixing gameplay and story is to broaden the audiance to increase potential sales.

    Personally I like to divide the design down to difference of Sport and Story. Story is traditional to the merit of telling an engaging tell or lesson. "Games" at this point aren't games as they are a narrative experience. Sports however are defined as the players prowess and the challenge of getting better.

    So what makes a good game. Just do one of them well. What sells well. Well WWE did it, blend the idea of challenge of a "sport" with an engagement of a story.

    Anyways as a correction


    Street Fighter

    Mortal Kombat

    Samurai Showdown

    Dead or Alive

    Killer Instinct...


    TMNT: Turtles in Time

    Streets of Rage

    Final Fight

    D&D Shadows over Mystara

    Golden Axe....

    these are not the same game genre. Fighters are a Sport as they are focued on the challenge of improvement, Brawlers tell a story of heroism.

  • Ultima Online was probably my favorite childhood game

    I still go back once in a while to this free server: uoforever.com

    Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    Any Mario games

    Here's a cool list of upcoming indie games in 2014: indiestatik.com/2014/01/01/indie-games-2014 (not all are 2D but there's some awesome stuff coming)

  • for me the most important part of a game is visual character customization, this make me feel part of the world inside the game.

    the second factor is multiplayer co-op, multiplayer social games... i really like multiplayer especially when they have co-op mode. beat'n'up are always welcome at any time, even when they are simple, i would play super bomberman 4 at any time if i have ppl to play with me.

    the third factor are robots and mechs, no matter the game plot i dont care, if your game let me pilot robots or mechs, then your game is a instant play, simple as that.

    2D games that inspire me and give some design ideas:

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    (never play it but i would if a had a PSP)

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    Avernum series

    Megaman series (especially megaman 7)

    Super mario bros 3

    Final fantasy VI

    The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

    Seiken Densetsu 2



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