While many people nowadays will point towards the more cinematic 3D games as being very beautiful to look at, the same can also be said of older 2D games. We just needed to look in the background! Back in the days of the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and even going towards the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Dreamcast, the norm was to see worlds being crafted out of nothing but pixels; little digital squares of colors that when brought together en masse would create some spectacular pieces of digital art. Especially when put in the hands of truly talented game developers. Fighting games in particular could especially flex their artistic muscles as they could focus on one particular scene to show off at a time instead of having multiple environments to worry about. This meant that they could really go crazy and design some pretty spectacular living, breathing worlds.
As you can see, these are a collection of some of my favorite 2D pixel backgrounds taken from a number of different fighting video games. And while they are indeed 2D backgrounds composed of hundreds of pixels, they certainly aren’t static images. They are colorful, vibrant, and have movement. Even though we can only see what amounts to only a few seconds of animation, these scenes give us enough for us to paint a picture of what this world is like. Whether it’s a peaceful lake, a burning building, or a scene from a bustling Japanese street, these backgrounds are both functional in creating a virtual world, AND also beautiful to look at. The amount of detail in some of these backgrounds is truly breathtaking and makes you appreciate how somebody took the time to give it so much care and attention. The fact that these were created using nothing but pixels instead of being hand-drawn also gives you a sense of how much time and effort it truly takes to create even one of these scenes. The next time you play a 2D fighting game, take some time to look at what’s going on in the background. The amount of detail that you’ll see may surprise you!
Take a look at some more pixel backgrounds!