Top Ten: 2D Platformers

The platformers that rise above.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 08/26/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

4) Mega Man X

Mega Man X Screenshot - Chill Penguin Stage

Released: SNES, 1994

Mega Man X as a series spawned eight installments. Ironically, for all the technological innovations each sequel brought to the table, for all the advancements in animation and storytelling the series saw as it transitioned from SNES to PlayStation and then PlayStation 2, Capcom basically did it best with this very first game. When the title was released, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune envisioned Mega Man X as the next evolution of the series, as well as a response to the changing desires of gamers. X delivered and then some.

The indelible aspects of the series remained, namely the non-linearity of level progression and the accumulation of enemy weapons to enhance Mega Man’s arsenal. What Inafune and company added that made all the difference was a sense of exploration and character modification that the original Mega Man games didn’t have. Armor and health upgrades were littered around each level, making it very rewarding to backtrack and discover them all. Also, X played a heck of a lot faster and was more intense than the original NES series. As a platformer, X pushed the genre in all sorts of new directions and was wildly fun.

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