The Pixelated Powerhouses: The Best Games To Play If You Love Pixel Art (July 2023)

  • Samanta Blumberg

If you're a fan of classic gaming aesthetics interspersed with modern gaming dynamics, you're in luck. Pixel art games have emerged from the embers of the past, blending the timeless charm of 8-bit and 16-bit eras with contemporary gameplay mechanics. Here are the top games to play if your heart yearns for magical pixel creations. But fair warning, nostalgia may hit hard!

1. Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun

Warhammer 40,000 Boltgun

In an unexpected move, the Warhammer 40,000 franchise took a detour from its usual gritty realism and threw itself into the pixel art realm with Boltgun. This side-scrolling shooter retains the grim future theme of a universe besieged by chaos and Xenos races. Set against complex pixel art landscapes, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun beautifully revives the retro gameplay experience of the ‘90s with updated mechanics that feel so current.

2. Fraymakers


Fraymakers is the ultimate indie platform fighter boasting a unique combination of detailed pixel art and a fully modular battle system. The game proves that pixel art and fresh gaming dynamics can converge to produce a masterpiece, with characters and environments remarkably rendered in lovingly handcrafted pixels. Fraymakers adds depth to pixel gaming, making it awe-inspiring and immersive.

3. Triangle Strategy

Triangle Strategy

Inspired by classic turn-based strategy games, Triangle Strategy brings intricate pixel art to life on an almost 3D grid-based map. Each character, map, and cutscene has been painstakingly designed, demonstrating an unprecedented level of detail. The game's vibrant color palette and striking aesthetic make it a visual treat for pixel art lovers.

4. Potion Permit

Potion Permit

Potion Permit takes you on a charming journey as a newly commissioned chemist in the Moonbury village full of beautiful pixel-art graphics. Alongside its quaint charm, the game incorporates modern storytelling, character development, and unique potion-making gameplay mechanics. Every detail in this game is a thoughtful echo of traditional pixel art aesthetics.

5. Octopath Traveler 2

Octopath Traveler 2 game new

The sequel to the highly praised Octopath Traveler, this title continues the legacy with its mesmerizing 'HD-2D' aesthetic that blends 16-bit character sprites and texture-filled environments with advanced effects and high-resolution background, creating an immersive world that looks classic and modern simultaneously.

6. To The Moon

To The Moon

Considered a masterpiece in pixel art storytelling, To The Moon uses a simplistic 16-bit style to craft a beautiful narrative about love, loss, and dreams. The game reminds us that riveting stories and emotional journeys are not restricted to high-end graphics but can thrive within the framework of minimalist pixel art.

7. Bonfire Peaks

Bonfire Peaks

Known for its serene, minimalist design, Bonfire Peaks presents a unique approach to pixel art. Players navigate the beautifully melancholic world by solving puzzles, presenting a meditative experience. The dreamy pixel vistas paired with the soothing soundtrack make it a visual and aural treat.

8. Eastward


Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Eastward is a beautifully designed pixel art game with richly detailed environments and expressive characters. The game feels like walking through an animated movie with gameplay complemented by a brilliant sound design, and this atmospheric storytelling proves that pixel art can pack a punch.

9. Terraria

Terraria new game

Regarded as a 2D sibling to Minecraft, Terraria showcases the immense possibilities of pixel art. Combining adventure, survival, and creativity, the game's detailed environments, a multitude of weapons, and various enemy designs, all rendered in vibrant pixel art, create an enchanting and immersive world to explore.

10. Kingdom Two Crowns

Kingdom Two Crowns

Kingdom Two Crowns takes basic pixel art and infuses it with a sense of depth and detail not often seen in such simplistic aesthetics. Set in reimagined medieval and samurai ages, the game allows players to build their kingdom, defend against creatures, and explore magical lands; all encapsulated in low-res pixel art glory.


From side-scrolling shooters to turn-based strategy games, these titles prove that the art of pixel isn't confined to the past but remains a thriving style in the current gaming landscape. If players' reviews are anything to go by, the crown for the best pixel art game goes to Eastward. Its impressive fusion of intricate pixel art design, evocative sound design, and captivating storytelling make it a standout in the world of pixel art games.