In the vast and diverse landscape of video games, 2D titles hold a special place in the hearts of gamers around the world.

From timeless classics that defined the era to modern masterpieces that push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, these titles continue to captivate players with their unique charm, engaging gameplay, and immersive storytelling.

There are a couple of titles that you may want to check no matter if you’re a longtime enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of gaming. Let’s have a quick look at some of the best 2D games according to several rankings for PC games.

Hollow Knight

Release date:2017-02-24
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Team Cherry

One of the best of its kind…

Hollow Knight is a captivating 2D action-adventure game set in the vast and mysterious world of Hallownest. You explore a breathtaking, gothic world, face challenging enemies, and uncover hidden secrets as the titular character.

With its hand-drawn art, tight gameplay, and rich lore, the game offers an immersive experience that’s sure to attract the attention of any 2D gaming enthusiast. It is also one of the best-rated games on Steam, with 300,000 reviews 97% of which were positive.

Key features
  • Beautiful hand-drawn art style
  • Challenging enemies and engaging boss encounters
  • Tight and responsive controls
  • A vast world with a rewarding exploration system

Celeste

Release date:2018-01-25
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Extremely OK Games

A touching story of a woman about her journey and personal struggles.

Celeste is a heartwarming 2D platformer telling us the story of Madeleine, a woman trying to climb the mystical Celeste Mountain. You make your journey through beautifully designed levels filled with creative puzzles and obstacles, where your task will be to overcome them to move further.

Its charming 8-bit graphics, perfectly combined with a touching soundtrack, and a story focused on self-discovery and personal struggles create a one-of-a-kind experience that makes this game a must-play for each fan of 2D gaming.

Key features
  • Gripping story with relatable narrative
  • Catchy and immersive soundtrack by Lena Raine
  • Additional B-side chapters made for those who love challenges
  • Well-designed levels containing complex puzzles

Stardew Valley

Release date:2016-02-26
Genre:Adventure
Developer:ConcernedApe

A delightful 2D farming simulator with a focus on community and relaxation.

Have you ever dreamt of escaping the hustle of modern life and starting all from scratch in the peaceful countryside? If the answer is yes, then Stardew Valley is a perfect choice for you. You inherit your grandfather’s run-down farm and it’s your task to bring it back to its previous glory.

Plant crops, raise animals, and bond with quirky Pelican Town residents. The relaxing gameplay and ready to be explored open-world make this game a worthwhile place to stay for a longer while.

Key features
  • Ability to become a part of the vibrant community of Pelican Town, build relationships and pursue romantic interests
  • Lots of crafting and customization options
  • Relaxing gameplay and soothing atmosphere
  • Multitude of quests and objectives to fulfill

Ori and the Blind Forest

Release date:2016-04-27
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Moon Studios

Let’s move from the farm to the forest…

Embark on a journey through a mystical forest where, at every turn, there is both beauty and danger. Ori and the Blind Forest tells us the story of a guardian spirit, Ori, who must navigate through lush environments and solve intricate mysteries to bring back balance to the titular forest.

Fabulous and stunning visuals will please your eyes, and the heartfelt storytelling will showcase the power of love, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of hope. Without a doubt, this title is an outstanding choice for someone who loves a good story.

Key features
  • Gorgeous hand-painted artwork
  • Deep story about love and sacrifice
  • Dynamic world and hidden areas waiting to be unveiled by you
  • Upgrade and unlock new abilities as you progress through the game

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Release date:2014-06-26
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Yacht Club Games

And there comes a mighty warrior with a… shovel?!

Paying homage to the classic games of the 8-bit era, Shovel Knight is a nostalgic 2D action platformer by an indie studio, at the same time offering a fresh and engaging experience. You are a Knight armed with nothing but a trusty shovel on a quest to defeat the evil Enchantress and find your loved one.

Its retro-inspired graphics give us an old-school vibe; however, the game combines this style with modern solutions. So, if you are looking for a reference to 2D classics but with a little bit of freshness, you should check this one.

Key features
  • Classic 8-bit aesthetic
  • Expansive campaigns and content offering hours of gameplay
  • Multiple upgrades for your armor and weapons
  • Dozens of challenges for those who want to try themselves

Barotrauma

Release date:2019-06-05
Genre:Indie
Developer:FakeFish

It’s time to dive even deeper…

Gather your crew, build your submarine, load your weapons, and dive deep into the unknown waters. Barotrauma allows you to take on the roles of crew members aboard a submarine. Work your way through long-forgotten depths full of ancient creatures lurking to sink their teeth into you.

With its atmospheric setting, immersive gameplay, and emphasis on teamwork and communication Barotrauma offers a thrilling and challenging experience and is a perfect solution for someone looking for an epic adventure together with their friends.

Key features
  • Multiplayer cooperative gameplay
  • Realistic submarine simulation experience
  • Submarine editor and mod support
  • Intense combat and rewarding exploration system

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Release date:2014-11-04
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Nicalis, Inc.

Should this basement be that huge?

Finally, a real treasure for every roguelike fan. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a dark and twisted roguelike game that plunges players into the disturbing world of Isaac, a young boy who tries to flee from his mother’s anger into a basement filled with deadly monsters and numerous traps.

A multitude of distinct items are there to help Isaac improve his abilities and overcome his nightmares. As levels are procedurally generated, every new attempt offers a unique experience. What is more, there are multiple secrets and unlockable characters which ensure tens or even hundreds of enjoyable hours with the game.

Key features
  • Numerous unlockable items and characters
  • Each run will be different thanks to randomized rooms, floors, and enemies
  • Challenging modes and engaging boss fights
  • Ultimate roguelike experience

The world of 2D gaming is full of timeless classics and modern masterpieces that continue to draw the attention of players of all ages. Whether you’re a fan of platformers, action-adventures, or simulation games, there’s something for everyone.

So, whether you’re seeking for a trip down your memory lane or a thrilling adventure in a new world, look no further than these outstanding 2D games. With their attractive appeal and endless possibilities, they remind us that sometimes, the simplest of graphics can contain the most worthwhile experiences.