Classic 2D arcade platformers, brawlers and beat 'em ups can have amazing background art—with pixel perfect details and a wonderful color palette. Unlike the similarly awesome 2D fighter backgrounds, people don't pay as much attention to these.

Looking through 2D arcade game backgrounds, it's funny to see how the artists were so into dodgy city districts that are so characteristic to the 90s. But for me, the best part is finding the small details—whether it's an easter egg or a hidden tiny item.


Metal Slug 2

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

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Metal Slug 4
Metal Slug 5
Silent Dragon

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja
Undercover Cops

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

Captain America and the Avengers
X-Men (arcade)
Final Fight

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

Final Fight 2 (with an accidental Chun Li cameo)
Double Dragon 2
Double Dragon 3

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

Ninja Gaiden (arcade)
King of Dragons
Knights of the Round

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

Crime Fighters

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds

The Punisher
TMNT IV: Turtles In Time
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon

The Best 2D Arcade Game BackgroundsThe Best 2D Arcade Game Backgrounds


sources: VGMaps, VGMuseum, BGHQ, ScrollBoss

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