Castlevania is likely one of the most iconic names in video video games, so to honor the long-running, vampire-ridden sequence, we determined to place collectively a information to the most effective Castlevania video games of all time.
Sadly, Castlevania’s early days are messy, with a handful of barely altered ports launched for various platforms and areas. For this information, we’re skipping Vampire Killer and Haunted Fort, in addition to the Castlevania port for the Sharp X68000, which was later launched for the PlayStation and finally the PlayStation Community as Castlevania Chronicles. All the aforementioned titles are ports or reimaginings of the unique Castlevania. Though they differ in a handful of the way, they’re not distinct sufficient to warrant their very own spot. Nonetheless, should you’re a fan of the unique recreation, Vampire Killer and Haunted Fort present a novel spin.
1. Symphony of the Evening
It’s laborious to speak about Castlevania with out mentioning Symphony of the Evening. Because the directorial debut for Koji Igarashi, Symphony of the Evening has turn into a defining title within the Castlevania sequence, ditching the extra linear gameplay of earlier titles in favor of Tremendous Metroid-style exploration.
Symphony of the Evening isn’t simply the most effective Castlevania recreation, however probably the greatest video games ever launched. As an alternative of specializing in subpar 3D visuals like most different PlayStation titles on the time, Symphony of the Evening perfected 2D platforming, providing a much-needed change of tempo for the sequence as an entire.
2. Aria of Sorrow
Aria of Sorrow is one other Koji Igarashi-led Castlevania recreation, and like Symphony of the Evening, options open-ended exploration. It does so on the Sport Boy Advance, nonetheless. Though there have been different titles just like Aria of Sorrow on the GBA, none of them bought as near the Symphony of the Evening expertise as Aria of Sorrow.
Mechanically, Aria of Sorrow is just like the GBA video games that got here earlier than it. That mentioned, most reviewers on the time discovered its story, graphics, and music superior, if solely by a small margin. Regardless, should you’re in search of a go-to Castlevania recreation on GBA, it ought to be Aria of Sorrow.
three. Circle of the Moon
Circle of the Moon was the primary Castlevania recreation launched on the GBA. Very similar to Aria of Sorrow, Circle of the Moon mirrors the exploration of Symphony of the Evening, although it isn’t as refined because the GBA titles that might comply with. Particularly, Circle of the Moon doesn’t take full benefit of the GBA’s graphical capabilities.
The graphics are darkish and, in consequence, tough to see. Though the core gameplay is a number of the finest the Castlevania sequence has seen, the general expertise isn’t as fluid as Aria of Sorrow. Nonetheless, should you like open-ended Castlevania video games, Circle of the Moon is a should play.
four. Daybreak of Sorrow
Daybreak of Sorrow was the primary Castlevania recreation launched on the Nintendo DS, giving core avid gamers a motive to improve to Nintendo’s newest handheld. Like our earlier picks, Daybreak of Sorrow was headed by Koji Igarashi, leaving intact the Metroid-esque exploration seen in earlier titles.
In some ways, Daybreak of Sorrow appears like a refreshed Aria of Sorrow, simply with higher visuals and the comfort of two screens. As for different variations, Daybreak of Sorrow options a couple of new gameplay mechanics, however cuts down the size considerably; Daybreak of Sorrow is likely one of the shortest video games within the Castlevania sequence.
5. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Breaking from the Koji Igarashi-led Castlevania video games, Dracula’s Curse is the primary title within the sequence that reveals what it could finally turn into. Castlevania III combines all the finest components of Castlevania and Simon’s Quest right into a single recreation, increasing the RPG components seen with the second launch whereas not letting platforming fall by the wayside.
Like Simon’s Quest, Dracula’s Curse options a number of endings relying on the paths you are taking all through the sport. Though simple to take with no consideration these days, it’s necessary to do not forget that Dracula’s Curse was launched for the NES in North America 30 years in the past.
6. Concord of Dissonance
Concord of Dissonance sits in between Circle of the Moon and Aria of Sorrow on the GBA. Though extra refined visually than Circle of the Moon, Concord of Dissonance appears like a step again mechanically, making an attempt its finest to reflect the Symphony of the Evening expertise. It’s nonetheless an amazing Castlevania recreation, simply not so good as Aria of Sorrow.
7. Portrait of Break
Portrait of Break was the follow-up to Daybreak of Sorrow on the DS. The sport options many of the gameplay mechanics of the unique DS title, however tries to construct upon it in varied methods, generally for the higher and different occasions for the more severe. For essentially the most half, Portrait of Break is yet one more nice Castlevania recreation, although with some often awkward gameplay.
eight. Order of Ecclesia
Rounding out the Nintendo DS lineup of Castlevania video games — and the most recent authentic 2D recreation within the sequence — is Order of Ecclesia. Upon its launch in 2008, Order of Ecclesia obtained largely constructive opinions. Nevertheless, with the growing discontent within the stagnant nature of the sequence, Order of Ecclesia was overshadowed by the titles that got here earlier than it.
Transferring away from the extra trendy titles, Castlevania: Bloodlines is the primary recreation from the sequence to point out up on the Sega Genesis. As the one Castlevania title on any of Sega’s consoles, Bloodlines is commonly neglected with most gamers pointing towards Tremendous Castlevania IV as the most effective 16-bit possibility. For traditional Castlevania gameplay, nonetheless, it’s laborious to beat Bloodlines.
10. Tremendous Castlevania IV
Following intently behind Bloodlines is Tremendous Castlevania IV. Regardless of being launched three years previous to Bloodlines, Tremendous Castlevania IV is definitely the better-looking recreation. Nonetheless, it has a couple of points. Tremendous Castlevania is a simple 2D platformer, and though the gameplay is superb, it doesn’t characteristic most of the RPG mechanics that the sequence is thought for.
By trendy requirements, Castlevania has a handful of issues, particularly in comparison with later entries within the sequence. Nonetheless, it’s robust to jot down an inventory of the most effective Castlevania video games with out paying homage to the unique. Recognized for its knuckle-busting issue, Castlevania set the tone for a sequence that’s now greater than 30 years previous.
12. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
With Belmont’s Revenge, we’ve our first style of Castlevania’s complicated naming conventions. It’s truly the fifth recreation launched chronologically, however the identify comes from the truth that it was the second title launched on Sport Boy. Though missing in comparison with later Castlevania titles, Belmont’s Revenge is the most effective recreation the sequence has seen on Sport Boy.
13. Lords of Shadow
Breaking from the 2D sidescrolling roots of the sequence, Lords of Shadow is a 3D action-adventure recreation, initially launched for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation three in 2010. Hideo Kojima, director of the Metallic Gear sequence and Loss of life Stranding, truly helped produce Lords of Shadow, and though it’s a break from Castlevania custom, it’s one of many higher motion video games of the period.
14. The Journey ReBirth
Barely earlier than the discharge of Lords of Shadow, Konami launched The Journey ReBirth completely for WiiWare. ReBirth is a re-creation of the primary Castlevania title launched on Sport Boy, The Journey. Typically hailed as one of many worst Castlevania video games of all time, The Journey options dated visuals and unforgiving issue, each of which had been mounted with ReBirth.
15. Lament of Innocence
Following Symphony of the Evening because the second Castlevania title on a Sony platform, the anticipation for Lament of Innocence previous to its launch was by way of the roof. Though a superb 3D motion recreation, Lament of Innocence breaks from the platforming seen in Symphony of the Evening in favor of a extra conventional third-person expertise.
16. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
To not be confused with Belmont’s Revenge, Simon’s Quest is the second recreation within the Castlevania sequence. Ditching the action-platforming of the primary recreation in favor of extra RPG mechanics, Simon’s Quest is a snapshot of the sequence in limbo. Though the primary displaying of many mechanics that might later outline Castlevania, Simon’s Quest focuses too closely on them, hurting the sport total.
17. Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Destiny
Mirror of Destiny is the sequel to the unique Lords of Shadow, although it was handled as extra of a by-product. Launched initially for the 3DS in 2013, Mirror of Destiny tried to re-create all the incorrect elements of its console predecessor. With little in the best way of exploration and a redundant fight system, Mirror of Destiny appears like not more than a barely above-par motion recreation.
18. Lords of Shadow 2
Sadly, Castlevania’s newest displaying is considered one of its worst. Lords of Shadow 2, regardless of being six years previous, is the final true Castlevania recreation Konami launched. Though a enjoyable hack-and-slash recreation, Lords of Shadow 2 doesn’t reside as much as the unique recreation. The graphics really feel outdated, the extent design is primary, and the gameplay, though enjoyable, is senseless.
19. Curse of Darkness
Like Lords of Shadow 2, Curse of Darkness is a good motion recreation, however a poor Castlevania recreation. Launched for the unique Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2005, Curse of Darkness options related 3D motion gameplay to Lament of Innocence. Nevertheless, its lackluster stage design and monotonous encounters go away the entry feeling stale.
20. Legacy of Darkness
Legacy of Darkness expanded the primary Castlevania recreation launched on Nintendo 64, releasing in the identical 12 months and rehashing a lot of the identical content material. As Konami’s second go at a 3D Castlevania recreation, Legacy of Darkness, like most N64 video games, hasn’t aged properly. The graphics are ugly, fight is awkward, and depth is missing.
It could be laborious for any recreation to comply with Symphony of the Evening, however saying Legends was a disappointment upon launch can be an understatement. Rounding out the Sport Boy lineup of video games and launched simply months after Castlevania’s finest title, Legends feels outdated in each means. Koji Igarashi even refers to it as “…a humiliation for the sequence.”
22. The Journey
Rounding out our checklist is Castlevania’s first foray onto the Sport Boy: Castlevania: The Journey. The Journey isn’t inherently a nasty recreation, only one poorly designed for its console. Even by Sport Boy requirements, the graphics are subpar. Additional, The Journey is brutally tough, to the purpose that it’s not very enjoyable to play.