What are the best 2D game engines?

asked by Anonymous
15 solutions
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Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming

Steven Roberts
Written on April 5, 2019
"One of the things I liked most about this game is its environment. Not like some of the medieval games I've played where you only have to hack your way thru hordes of enemies, GoT: WiC also lets me strategize my every move and plan ahead in joining alliances as well as making trades. A must-try for every fledgling Westeros lord!"
  1. 29

    #1GameMaker Studio 2

    GameMaker Studio 2

    GameMaker Studio 2 is a software for making 2D development environment. This will help game developers to turn early concepts into a complete product. It offers easy to use interface and useful tools. It offers a free trial.


    Windows, Mac

    $39- Varies by plan

    Joseph Henry
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Game development in today's technology arena requires a fast paced environment capable of working with many platforms. Gone are the days of developing only for a console or only a computer game, now you must be able to put games on computers, consoles, the web, and mobile devices. And you must be able to do it quickly. GameMaker Studio 2 is the perfect environment for today's game developer."
    Adam Sanders
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Game maker Studio 2 is the best 2D game engine solution you can think of.I have used it before and I was not disappointed.It allows you to export your game directly to windows desktop,Android TV,PLAYSTATION 4,Mac OS X,HTML5 and many more.Its awesome and all you need to do is to try,You can even try it for free!!"
  2. 20



    Construct is a game development software that utilizes the HTML5 platform. It is specifically made for developing 2D games. It allows anyone to create games without any knowledge in coding needed. Offers free trial.



    $99- Varies by plan

    Rubén Guillén
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "2D games are some of my favorite games. I've never had any computer programming experience and I've always wanted to make my own 2D game. I found this game creator easy to use and had my first game up and running within the hour. I did not even have to know any programming. I can export my game to IOS, Android or other platforms. It has opened up a new world of 2D game creation for me."
    Frank Kelly
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Construct 2 sounds like a good solution. It's HTML5 and it requires no coding skills. Looking at the web page, it does appear to be interesting."
  3. 18


    Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies. This platform is primarily used to develop video games and simulations for PC, consoles, mobile devices and websites.


    Free- Varies by plan

    Stephen Newman
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Unity is definitely a competent game engine though it's not really a 2D engine. While it is capable of creating a 2D aesthetic, the engine actually overlays 2D layers in 3D space in order to create a 2D game. So while the engine itself is good, I don't think it would be accurate to think of Unity as a 2D game engine."
    Steven Morrison
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Unity is an awesome 2D game engine. You basically are the decider in how good the game is, because Unity is not going to hold you back in nearly any way. There are many other good engines like this, though."


2D or also known as Two-Dimensional is a shape that has only two dimensions. It has no thickness and is only comprised of length and height. 


Did you know that 2D was the most common graphical style of game until the mid-1990s? According to an article from Art of Video Games, 2D games are shown from only one viewpoint, typically either from the top (top-down games like Contra and numerous shooting games) or the side (side-scrolling games like Mario and Sonic, or other shooting games, some of which use both perspectives). Video games started earnestly back in the 70s wherein games such as arcade smash Pong and the first ever video game console Magnavox Odyssey were released. Since technology was rapidly moving, several more systems were developed and graphics were a little more than white pixels on a black background during that time. By the end of the decade, graphics had a quite improvement in terms of more pixels and more varied colors. One of the best examples of an improved 2D games is Donkey Kong, it was developed by the 2D game innovator Shigeru Miyamoto in 198. Its gameplay focuses on maneuvering the character across a series of platforms while constantly dodging and jumping over obstacles. Donkey Kong was just one of the many games invented that are truly known as one of the originals. 

  1. 17



    MonoGame is an open-source game development software. Utilizing the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework, the software allows XNA developers to port their games on the latest gaming platforms.


    Windows, Mac, Linux


    James Wong
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Monogame is definetly the very best 2D game engine available. Once I downloaded and installed it I stayed awake for well over 24 hours playing games that I used to play on PlayStation on my PC! Before I had found Monogame I tried some other 2D game engines and with those ones I probably spent over 24 hours just to try to get them to work!"
    Ronald Miller
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Monogame is a great way to get started on your game project fast. With so much development and tools available it can be a snap to write your game for any platform."
  2. 17



    GameSalad is an authoring tool by GameSalad, Inc. An educational tool, it used for learning to develop games. The software is comprised of a visual editor and a logic system.


    Mac, Windows

    $17- Varies by plan

    Peter Cooper
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "GameSalad creator is a great, simple, easy game creation toolkit that helps even the most neophyte developers create, design, develop, and release their work. The fact that I can include revenue models, such as in-app purchases and ads means that, even though I have to pay per month to use it, means I can make that money back. My only issue is that it's subscription-based software; I feel like I'd prefer to just pay once for it and then be able to take my time developing."
    Catherine Moore
    Written on October 3, 2017
    "GameSalad is the only creator i have any real experience on. that said, it's very easy to use, intuitive, great for a newb. if i hit a roadblock, i could get help in the forum."
    Teresa Gomez
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "This is a nice program. You don't even have to be a programmer to use it. "
  3. 15

    #6Godot Engine

    Godot Engine

    Godot is a free game engine by Juan Linietsky and Ariel ManzurCapable of creating 2D and 3D games, it provides game making tools. The software is under the MIT license, meaning that developers own every game they make with this software.


    Windows, Mac, Linux


    Catherine Burke
    Written on September 25, 2017
    "I love making my own games and was looking for the best 2D game engine. I found out about Godot Engine and decided to try it. Wow, I'm impressed. It does everything I need it to do, both with 2D and 3D games. It's open-source, which is awesome. I just love all the various features included with it. I strongly recommend it if you're a game developer looking for something new and free."
    Martha Hunt
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "I love that Godot is completely open source and free! It's one of the best 2D game engines I've used. It's very simple and clean, which makes it easy to just focus on coding. I also liked that it was easy to learn from when I first starting using it. It may not be as well known as some other game engines, but I'd definitely recommend checking it out."
    Paul Mendoza
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "For those looking for the necessary engine to develop 2D games, Godot engine is a great resource. It is a free, open-source platform that is specifically designed for 2D and 3D game development. The website has a clean layout and offers simple instructions on how to get started."
  4. 14

    #7RPG Maker MV

    RPG Maker MV
    RPG Maker MV helps both beginners and expert devs build their own RP game. Over 100 Sample Maps, Character Generator Parts and more assets for developing role-playing games.

    Windows, Mac

    $79.99- Free trial available

    Cheryl Jensen
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "It may be a good site for some, but I would recommend learning code form scratch! Code is in everything and getting a good basis for your knowledge would be a better step. I would recommend looking into other alternatives, especially free ones!"
    John Fusin
    Written on January 20, 2019
    "Good for making rpg games and the community is very helpful and productive. There are countless assets and plugins in-game and also from the community that will help you save time in creating your own games. There are games created with this program are not that good and only a few you can say that is truly good or average but it still holds a potential when used by someone with talent and dedication for game making."
    Jean Evans
    Written on November 4, 2017
    "An rpg maker simple enough for any one to use but with all the features the most advance developer would want. If you want to make your own rpg game this is the way to go."
  5. 12

    #8Spine 2D

    Spine 2D
    Spine 2D is an animation tool for games. Developers can animate 2D characters for video games with useful tools. The animation tool creates animation based on skeletal simulation and it can be integrated into videogames.


    Windows, Mac

    Free- Varies by plan

    Ashley Fields
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "This is an excellent resource for 2D game animations. It offers a lot of options, and allows you to use their runtimes for many different game systems and programming languages."
    Amanda Gomez
    Written on October 4, 2017
    "While this will help with creating the animations for your 2D game, it isn't an engine and as such is pretty much an irrelevant solution."
  6. 10



    BYOND is a community-driven, game development platform. Players users can find games created by the developer community and creators can develop their own game with an easy-to-learn language, online support, tools, articles, tutorials and much more.   


    Windows, Linux


    Jenny Chang
    Written on November 4, 2017
    "I really like the idea of BYOND. It’s more of a niche community, but it provides tons of support for both gamers and creators. As a gamer, I felt like there was a wide variety of games to choose from, and I really enjoyed interacting with others and providing feedback to game creators. There were a ton of helpful tutorials, and using it felt like a very involving experience."
    Willie Davidson
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "BYOND is one of the best 2D game engines I've found. It's very easy to use and I recommend it to anybody wanting to create their own game. I haven't encountered a problem yet. I love it."
  7. 9



    Cocos2D-x is a platform for developing multi-platform games. An open-source software made in C++, the is for games, apps and other GUI-based programs. JavaScript and Lua bindings are included in this software.


    Mac, Windows


    Martha Olson
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "There are actually a few cool games that are made by this engine. A lot of the games made in the engine are app games for mobile devices. A few examples of popular games made by the engine are Angry Birds Fight, Clash of Kings, and even Geometry Dash!"
    Lorenzo Martínez
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "I just got into building games. This helps me out so much."
  8. 6

    #11Corona SDK

    Corona SDK
    Corona is a cross-platform framework ideal for creating apps and games for mobile devices and desktop systems. This is for creating projects and publishing it to multiple types of devices and TVs.

    Windows, Mac


    Russell Ortiz
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "This 2d game engine provides an intuitive experience to those looking to enter the gaming market. Im beginning to understand now why the app store is so saturated with such low rated games filled with ads, microtransactions, and blatant ripoffs of mario bros, GTA, or minecraft. Corona seems to not appear on any top lists for 2d game engines so I cant say for sure if this is truly a good engine to use."
    Stephen Grant
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Corona is a very good 2d game engine if you are looking for a free platform. There are better solutions if you are willing to pay for it."
  9. 6


    Stencyl is a game creation platform for beginners. It allows creation of video games for any platform. The free mode is complete with necessary tools.

    Mac, Windows, Linux


    Danielle Johnston
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "Stencyl is such an incredibly easy, user-friendly, and vibrant game creater! I have just a small amount of coding knowledge and have been wanting to try my hand at game creation for such a long time but I had never found a good way to get started. When I found Stencyl, I was so excited since this app gave me the basic tools that I needed to get started in game creation. I even have published a few games that my friends and I all know play! I highly recommend!"
    Judy Gomez
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "very clear explain"
  10. 4


    GDevelop is an open source, cross-platform game creator designer which can be used by anyone even those who have not much programming experience. Available for download on online, Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

    Web, Windows, Mac, Linux


    Florian Rival
    Written on June 27, 2018
    "GDevelop is a cross-platform game creator designed to be used by everyone. It is based on an intuitive event system, a powerful way to express the logic of games, without having to learn a programming language. Any kind of 2D games can be created. It supports Sprite objects, physics, particles engine, support for arbitrary collision masks, 9 patch objects, a platformer engine, pathfinding and most of the features of modern game engines. Games can be exported to Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Facebook Instant Games or HTML5 games!"
  11. 3


    libGDX is a cross-platform game development library. It is written in Java, OpenGL (ES) and some JNI code for sections that demand resources. Games made in libGDX works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, WebGL-enabled browser and iOS.

    Windows, Linux, Mac


    Cheshta Lobo
    Written on September 30, 2017
    "I have had nothing but problems trying to play this game. I use chrome and I know there is some issue with my windows chrome version and java but this was crazy ridiculous. The game wouldn't load and on the occasion that I could get it to load it seemed so slow. The frustration I felt trying to get the game to even play made me want to never try again. "
    Adam Wallace
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "libGDX is where it's at if you want those retro-style graphics in your game. I've put out some amazing work with this and it's only going to get better!"
    Victoria Payne
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "This is a great place to develop games. You write them in Java it is cool. I like this a lot."
  12. 2



    Buildbox is a game engine that anyone can use to create beautiful games for every platform. Its drag and drop user interface makes designing games easier, no scripting, programming or software design experience required.



    $15- Varies by plan

    Johnny Hanson
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "I tried using Buildbox and I wasn't very impressed. The available components all work, but they scope of what can be designed using the tool is pretty limited; you'd be better off learning something more robust, because to make something interesting in Buildbox you'll need to do a lot of work anyway."
    William Moreno
    Written on September 15, 2017
    "This is awesome for anyone that wants to get into making games for the IOS platform to make some extra cash or if its just a personal hobby. Great job on this resource."

Ask your Own Question


Best 2D game engines
1GameMaker Studio 2Software 29 Paid
2ConstructSoftware 20 Paid
3UnitySoftware 18 Free
4MonoGameSoftware 17 Free
5GameSaladSoftware 17 Paid
6Godot EngineSoftware 15 Free
7RPG Maker MVSoftware 14 Paid
8Spine 2DSoftware 12 Free
9BYONDSoftware 10 Free
10Cocos2D-XSoftware 9 Free

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