Best Pixel Art Games: The world saw the first video games in the decade of the 1980s, the first arcade video games made use of Pixel Art. To this day, the love for pixel games is not over and many players love to play games based on pixel artistry. I myself, am a big fan of pixelated games, they provide a feeling of nostalgia and take me back to those good old days.
Today at Benettonplay, we want to send you back to YOUR good old days and are here to present before you the best pixel art games that you must play.
Also Read: 10 Best Metroidvania Games
Best Pixel Art Games –
Without any further ado, let us jump right into the list of the top pixel art games.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Developers – Tribute Games
Release Date – June 16, 2022
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Windows & Linux
The fan base of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is enormous, these four turtle brothers trained in Ninjutsu and fight against evil in the city of New York. This beat ’em up pixel art game draws inspiration from the Turtle Animated Series of 1987.
In the game, you can assume the role of any one of the four Ninja Turtles in addition to them, you can also play April O’Neil, Master Splinter, and Casey Jones. Every character has its own set of moves and plays differently. The attacking style of the characters varies from having different speeds, ranges, and power. Throughout the game, you can find pizza boxes that can be used to heal the characters.
The adversaries in the game include Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang, Foot Clan, and of course Shredder.
The game features two playing modes: Arcade and Story Mode. Arcade mode offers you only a limited number of lives and requires you to complete the game in one sitting. In Story Mode, you can convert the points accumulated through the gameplay into health, extra lives, and a special ability, Radical Mode which enhances the characters’ combat abilities for a short duration of time.
The game also features a co-op multiplayer feature supported for up to six players on PC and up to four players on console. Although the game was just released in June 2022, it is already being counted in the list of the best pixel art games of all time.
Developers – Sabotage Studio
Release Date – Aug 30, 2018
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & Windows
The Messenger follows a story of a Ninja whose village has been attacked by a Demon king. The Ninja (known as the messenger) goes on a quest to deliver a scroll. The game draws inspiration from the Ninja Gaiden Series.
As the story progresses the Ninja gains new abilities like gliding in the air, shuriken attacks, climbing walls, and many more. The game features Time Shards which can be obtained by defeating enemies or destroying objects. These shards can be used to purchase health bonuses and other things. The player loses some of the shards to the demon Quarble if it dies in the story.
The game uses 8-bit and 16-bit presentations to represent the past and future scenes in the game. The game also adopts a metroidvania style like gameplay later in the game. The Messenger is designed beautifully and is a must-play if you like the pixel art style.
Developers – Re-Logic
Release Date – May 16, 2011
Platforms – PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows & Mobile Devices
It has been more than a decade since Terraria got released, but this game is showing absolutely no signs of aging. It is almost traditional that most games reach a maximum age of 7-8 years after which they are forgotten, but the developers of Terraria did an amazing job that helped Terraria see the decade of the 2020s.
The list of top pixel art games is incomplete without this amazing 2D sandbox game that allows you to explore, craft, build, paint, dig and fight with a wide range of procedurally generated opponents. The game is also counted in the list of best-selling video games ever.
The game has been well maintained and taken care of by Re-Logic and that is one of the reasons that the players play this game up to this date. Play Terraria if you’re looking to take some time off of games like Metroid and Minecraft (Alert: You might get addicted to it).
Enter the Gungeon
Developers – Dodge Roll
Release Date – Apr 5, 2016
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, Luna & PC
The only top-down game on this list. Enter the Gungeon is another shoot ’em up with roguelike elements in it. The objective of the game is to find a gun that is located at the bottom of the Gungeon (a dungeon filled with firearms weaponry), the gun has the power to kill their past.
In the game, you assume the role of one of the four characters known as the Gungeoneers. Each of the four characters has different abilities and traits and is equipped with unique items and weapons which can be used in the gungeon. Gungeoneers can knock over tables for cover and perform a dodge roll among others in their defense.
While progressing in the game, the player encounters several NPCs that provide various services to the player in their journey to the bottom of the gungeon. Enter the Gungeon is one of the best examples of what a good pixel art game looks like and is highly recommended to Pixel Art fans.
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Developers – The Game Kitchen
Release Date – Sep 10, 2019
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Luna, macOS & Windows
A prime example of a perfect pixel art game, Blasphemous is a brutal combat-centric metroidvania-style game. You play the game as a silent knight, that goes by the name The Penitent One, the sole survivor of the massacre of the ‘Silent Sorrow’.
The game features an in-game currency called Tears of Atonement that can be utilized to purchase items and upgrade the abilities of the Penitent One. The game takes place in the fictionalized city of Cvstodia which is filled with monsters. The Penitent One needs to make his way through the hordes of grotesque creatures and finally defeat the final boss, His Holiness Escribar.
The game’s story is written really well and the developers have done a fantastic job in designing the game. The pixel art in the Blasphemous now acts as a benchmark for all the new pixel art games. Blasphemous deserves its spot on the list of the best pixel art games of all time.
Developers – Toge Productions
Release Date – Jan 28, 2020
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, macOS & Windows
If you have heard about this game, you might be thinking how is this game on the list of top pixel art games? Coffee Talk is a unique addition to this list. It is not a video game where you might expect some hardcore action adventure but it is a visual novel. The game draws its inspiration from anime of the 90s. The whole ‘game’ takes place in a coffee shop named Coffee Talk which is located in fictionalized Seattle.
The game features several characters that act as patrons of the coffee shop and come to talk about their various concerns to the Barista and with each other. The visual novel takes place over the course of two weeks. There are a total of 11 characters in the game, and all of them are of different races including – a fairy, a human, an alien, an orc, elves, an alien, a werewolf, etc.
The gameplay includes mainly reading dialogues since it is a visual novel. You also get to prepare drinks using the ingredients in the coffee shop and the drinks can affect how the story of the novel unfolds. It’s for those of you who are a fan of the 90s anime and have a thing for reading.
Developers – Motion Twin
Release Date – May 10, 2017
Platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Cloud Gaming, macOS, Windows & Mobile Devices
Dead Cells is easily one of the best pixel art games. Dead Cells takes place in a land that is infested with mutated monsters and countless creatures ready to tear anyone from limb to limb. The game takes place on a fictional island that has been taken over by monsters. You assume the role of a shapeless creature, that goes by the name of The Prisoner and has the ability to possess human corpses.
The Prisoner progresses in the game with the aim to slay the island king. While progressing through the game, The Prisoner will come across many weapons, tools, and items that will aid him in his journey to kill the titanic beast. The game features a permadeath feature, which means that you will lose all your in-game currency (cells) and items (except a few, that are permanent) upon your death.
This metroidvania game is a fine example of how a pixel art game with action-adventure elements should be made.
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Lisa: The Painful
Developers – Dingaling Productions LLC, Dingaling & Dingaling Productions
Release Date – Dec 15, 2014
Platforms – PC
Lisa: The Painful has to be the most hard-hitting game on this list of the top pixel art games. This game breaks the notion that for a game to be emotional and touching, it must have realistic graphics. Lisa: The Painful is the second installment of the Lisa trilogy, it follows Lisa: The First and is followed by Lisa: The Joyful.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where you take up the role of Brad Armstrong, a middle-aged man, who explores the wasteland of Olathe in search of his adoptive daughter, Buddy. Brad can recruit certain party members that assist him in his quest to find out Buddy, potential party members can be found at various shops and bars located throughout the game map.
Lisa: The Painful deals with a dark subject matter and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The game offers unexpected and bizarre moments that can leave one baffled. The game has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam and is counted as one of the top pixel art games.
Developers – Toby Fox
Release Date – Sep 15, 2015
Platforms – PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & PC
The Undertale is a story of a child who has fallen into the underground which is a large isolated area beneath the Earth’s surface. The child then goes on a quest to return back to the earth’s surface, he is aided by a good monster, named Toriel, the caretaker of the ruins.
While progressing, the child comes across various monsters that can engage in a fight with the child, the combat system involves the player dodging the bullet-hell attacks by the monsters. While engaged in the battle, you control a heart and you must avoid the bullets fired by the monsters, and other actions while engaged in the battle with monsters include fighting, acting, healing, and mercy.
The child solves numerous puzzles on his way to the earth’s surface. The game has three different endings based on how you interact with the monsters, whether you kill them or spare them. Undertale was developed solely by Toby Fox except for the artwork and character designs, which were done by Temmie Chang. Both of the guys have done an amazing job and have made a game worth counting as one of the best pixel art games.
Developers – ConcernedApe
Release Date – Feb 26, 2016
Platforms – PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC & Mobile Devices
The ultimate entry in the list of top pixel art games, we have Stardew Valley. In the game, you assume the role of a boy who takes control of his dead grandfather’s farm, known as Stardew Valley in the fictionalized Pelican Town. The game is counted in the list of greatest video games of all time.
This pixelated farming simulation is open-ended and players can do a lot of activities including growing crops, raising livestock, fishing, cooking, mining, interacting with the townspeople, etc. The game draws its inspiration from the video game series Harvest Moon.
You can socialize with the townspeople and develop relationships. The relationships can culminate in marriage and the NPC mate can help the character with the farm chores. There is so much to do in Stardew Valley that exploring the whole game will take an appreciable amount of time. Play this relaxing game after a long day to relieve your stress.
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What is a pixel art game?
A pixel art game makes use of only pixels as the building block for generating images. These games are nostalgic since most of the arcade games of the1980s are based on Pixel artistry.
Is Minecraft a pixel art game?
Yes, Minecraft is a pixel art game that is based solely on pixels. Most of the pixel art games that you play are 2D, whereas Minecraft you play today is 3D.
What genre are pixel games?
Most pixel games are action platformers with role-playing elements in them. Although there is no hard and fast rule that pixel games have to be RPG-platformers, sandbox games can also make use of pixel art.
Why do indie games use pixel art?
The answer is simple, employing pixel art in games is cost efficient and it also makes use of fewer production tools.