Best Castlevania Games - A Definitive List

Best Castlevania Games - A Definitive List
The Castlevania franchise is the best blend of horror and platforming, mixed with a bit of vania

Castlevania, one of the most creative horror video game franchises of all time, has a long and illustrious history spanning three decades.

There is no shortage of fantastic Castlevania titles to choose from, ranging from the early games' basic side-scrolling action to the wholly new and gigantic metroidvania adventures.

You may be thinking which Castlevania game is the best of all time.

So, whether you've been a fan for a long time or are new to the franchise, we'll cover everything from NES classics to massive genre defining moments.

Keep reading to find the finest Castlevania games of all time!

We hope you're ready to visit the haunting corridors of Dracula's castle and combat some of gaming's most horrific monsters!

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12. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is the game that most people we're tricked into purchasing, while seeing those classic images in Nintendo power fill their imagination with the joys of an epic sequel. Instead, gamers got something extremely different and rather unique. Pushing the limits of what the NES had to offer in terms of hardware.

Being a typical action-platformer game at its core, it pushed the boundaries with some novel gameplay components that distinguish it from its predecessor. Unlike the first Castlevania game's linear level structure, Simon's Quest takes place in an open world that players can explore at their own time. In order to continue through the game's universe as Simon Belmont, players must collect objects, solve puzzles, and kill bosses.

Despite its age, Simon's Quest is still a revered classic among Castlevania aficionados. Its distinct blend of action, adventure, and RPG features, as well as its original gaming mechanics and enigmatic writing, distinguishes it as a noteworthy entry in the series.

11. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is a classic side-scrolling action experience that we know you'll enjoy. You'll be out to take on the role of Trevor Belmont a successor that is set out to bring down the wicked Count Dracula. Trevor can recruit three allies along the way: Grant, Sypha, and Alucard, each with their own set of talents and play styles.

The plot in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse puts you in the life of Trevor Belmont's attempt to take on Dracula and his followers. Trevor meets three companions along the route who join him on his journey. They must work together to negotiate the perilous terrain of Dracula's castle and destroy the Count's army of monsters.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is an absolutely legendary NES game that has stood the test of time. Fans of the action-platformer genre will like the game's demanding levels and enjoyable gameplay.

The massive sprites that this game has to offer and sound design to fill the room nicely will leave you with enjoyment every staircase you fall through. With incredibly unique character designs and evocative music that perfectly convey the game's gothic ambiance.

10. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

Taking place three years after the events of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is where you'll lie in the timeframe of Curse of Darkness. The plot revolves around Hector, a former Devil Forgemaster who seeks vengeance on Isaac, another Devil Forgemaster who betrayed him and killed his beloved.

Along the way, Hector must navigate the perilous environment of Castlevania, meeting a variety of personalities and foes while battling with the evil curse that plagues him.

Curse of Darkness has aspects of fast-paced combat, exploration, and crafting. Players take control of Hector, a former Devil Forgemaster who defeats foes with a range of weapons and magical spells over the game's numerous stages. Players can also employ the Innocent Devil system to nurture a companion creature that will fight alongside them and aid in exploration and puzzle solving.

The crafting system is one of the game's distinguishing elements. Being able to gather various materials and use them to craft new weapons, armour, and trinkets was such a rewarding feature in our eyes. The game also has a levelling system in which players may acquire experience and increase Hector's abilities, making him stronger as the game advances.

9. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Dawn of Sorrow's gameplay is one of its most notable aspects. Players take control of Soma Cruz, a character with the unusual ability to absorb his enemies' souls and gain their abilities.

Bringing you a strategy element by requiring you to choose which powers to use in order to defeat various obstacles and enemies. The game also includes a range of weapons and objects that players may utilise to improve their abilities and ease their way through Dracula's castle.

Dawn of Sorrow is a really remarkable gaming experience because to its intriguing gameplay, captivating plot, and breathtaking graphics. The game's soundtrack is particularly noteworthy, with haunting melodies and spooky tones perfectly portraying the game's gloomy and foreboding atmosphere.

Whether you're a lifelong Castlevania fan or a newbie, it's clear to see why Dawn of Sorrow belongs on our list of the best Castlevania games of all time!

8. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

In Lament of Innocence, players control Leon Belmont, who must travel numerous levels filled with adversaries and traps while using his combat skills and unique powers to battle Walter Bernhard's zombie henchmen.

With an extremely typical 3D hack-and-slash gameplay style, responsive controls, and a variety of weapons to pick from, such as swords, axes, and whips. Leon may also use his magic spells extremely strategically in order to help him in battle, and as the game progresses, while being able to level up his attributes and abilities.

We had a blast playing through this epic PS2 adventure game. It's no doubt you'll have a great time giving it a go.

Remember, the skeletons aren't entirely scary as they make the transition from 2D to 3D!

7. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon features stunning 2D graphics with intricate character and backdrop designs. The graphics are excellent and contribute to the overall gaming experience. The game's audio is also fantastic, with an immersive soundtrack that compliments the game's gothic ambiance.

We absolutely loved the innovative gameplay structure, which kept the game intriguing and thrilling. The card system is also a fantastic addition that adds a degree of strategy to the game.

One main drawback that we felt was necessary to include is that it can be quite difficult, especially for newcomers. The game is also relatively short, which may disappoint those looking for a longer gaming experience.

Despite its difficulty and short length, we highly suggest Castlevania: Circle of the Moon to Castlevania fans and action-adventure game lovers.

This game is a gaming marvel that will keep you occupied for hours.

6. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin features the classic 2D side-scrolling gameplay of the Castlevania series. You take on the roles of Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin, who must explore Dracula's Castle in order to prevent a bunch of villains from resurrecting Dracula.

The fighting mechanism in the game is fluid and responsive, allowing you to swap between characters and employ their special powers to advance through the game. You can also collect numerous weapons and goods, which adds depth to the action.

Michiru Yamane, who has worked on earlier Castlevania games, composed the game's soundtrack. The video game music in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is appropriate for the setting and contributes to the overall ambiance.

The variety of adversaries and bosses is what we appreciated best about Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Each adversary has a distinct assault pattern and necessitates a different strategy to overcome, keeping the action interesting and hard.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is easily one of the best Castlevania games ever and it's obvious to see why.

5. Castlevania: Bloodlines

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Bloodlines

Castlevania: Bloodlines offers amazing visuals and music for a game published in 1994. Backgrounds and landscapes are realistic and evocative, while the character sprites are emotive and well-animated. The game also has a noteworthy soundtrack, with catchy tracks that add to the overall ambiance of the game.

The variety of gameplay techniques and level designs in Castlevania: Bloodlines is one of our favourite aspects of the game. Each level feels distinct, with new opponents, traps, and riddles to keep you guessing. We also like that there are two playable characters that bring an entirely new dimension to the side scrolling action.

The game's difficulty can be harsh at times, and some of the later stages and bosses can be annoyingly difficult. Since the story is relatively short, with only six levels, it doesn't provide as much replayability as other games in the series.

4. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

Rondo of Blood features vampire hunter Richter Belmont on his attempt to save his kidnapped girlfriend, Annette, from Dracula's grasp. The plot of the game is delivered through brilliantly rendered cutscenes for the time. It's a straightforward plot that keeps the player interested throughout.

The visuals and acoustics of Rondo of Blood are excellent for a game launched in the early 90s. The game has vivid and vibrant sprites that still hold up brilliantly today.

The music is equally remarkable, with catchy and memorable melodies that stick with the player long after the game is over. Seriously, some of our favorite tunes are featured on this PC Engine classic.

3. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

The plot of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow follows Soma Cruz, a high school student who is transported to Dracula's castle after a solar eclipse. Soma then realises he has the ability to absorb the souls of defeated monsters and assume their skills, making him a strong contender to inherit Dracula's power.

As Soma travels across the castle, he meets many personalities who assist him discover the truth about his talents and the castle's mysteries.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has effortlessly blessed us with some of the Game Boy Advance's best graphics and music. The sprites for the characters are detailed and dynamic, while the backdrops are ambient and engaging. The soundtrack in the game is also excellent, with memorable tracks that fit the game's gothic and horror themes wonderfully.

The difficulty curve is one thing that might be addressed, as the game can be too easy at times. We know that the story is incredibly intriguing, it can also be convoluted and downright confusing at other times.

One of my favourite aspects of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is its soul system, which adds a layer of depth to the gameplay. Exploration is also enjoyable because there are constantly fresh regions to discover and secrets to learn.

2. Super Castlevania IV

Best Castlevania Games Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV's gameplay is traditional action-platformer at its best. Taking on the extremely fun role in Simon Belmont, who must fight his way through Dracula's castle and finally slay the terrible vampire ruler.

The controls are fluid and responsive, and Simon has a variety of weapons and skills to aid him in his mission. There are also numerous secrets and hidden regions to explore, making the game both difficult and rewarding.

The plot of Super Castlevania IV is straightforward but effective. To redeem the world from Dracula's reign of horror, Simon Belmont must enter Dracula's castle and defeat the wicked vampire ruler. While the plot isn't particularly complex or nuanced, it serves its purpose well and serves as a good backdrop for the game's action.

It's extremely easy to talk about Super Castlevania IV and just how great it really is. With the epic boss battles, the extremely tight nit controls or the soundtrack that rivals the best in the business, Super Castlevania IV would be considered the best Castlevania game ever if it wasn't for the other title below.

1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Best Castlevania Games Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features some of the best hand drawn graphics that shine brighter than the rest. Every sprite and background gives you that awe that only pixel art can accomplish.

The mediaeval ambiance is brilliantly captured, with each area of the castle having its own theme and feel. The music design is also amazing, with a haunting soundtrack that fits the game's sombre tone well.

The plot of the game picks up where Alucard awakens from his rest and travels to his father's castle to prevent further chaos just shortly after Rondo of Blood. He meets various other characters along the journey, including Richter Belmont, whom he must defeat in order to continue his quest.

he story is well-written and fascinating, with various plot twists and multiple endings based on the player's decisions.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a timeless masterpiece that has aged well. Its non-linear exploration, exciting fighting, and compelling storyline make it an absolute must-play for every Metroidvania lover.

The graphics and sound design in the game are excellent and still hold up well today.


Best Castlevania Games

Castlevania is a well-known franchise that has something for everyone in our eyes. Whether its the classic platforming action of the early entries to the sophisticated RPG aspects of the latter games.

While all Castlevania games are enjoyable, a few stand out above the rest. Symphony of the Night is still a fan favourite due to its creative gameplay and timeless design.

Another wonderful title with solid mechanics and tough gameplay is Circle of the Moon, while Dracula's Curse provides a classic platforming experience that is still enjoyable to play today.