How "side-scrolling" do you mean? Do you have any game examples in mind?
Arcade King of the Dragons (SNES) is a beat'em up with lots of fantasy RPG-elements. It's a bit like the home port of Magic Sword (SNES), but no platforms and more isometric view. Import RPG Tales of Phantasia was on the SNES before being ported to the GBA. Cybernator, another SNES title, is an action platformer with weapons you can level up. Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is a linear Action-RPG than adventure. Crusader of Centy / Soleil is a close analog on the Genesis; it's an action-adventure with RPG elements. Closer to Zelda, but still pretty linear. Another Genesis title, Arcus Odyssey, is an isometric action-adventure with RPG elements.
And of course there are the expansive adventure games like Super Metroid with more things to discover than you care to count.