Castlevania for a lot of players is more than just a game – it’s a part of their childhood. It’s also a franchise that paved the road for a lot of modern platform video games. The truth is, however, that you can eventually get enough of a good thing, no matter how good it is – it’s especially true for a franchise that’s been with us for over three decades. For that reason, if you’re looking for some of the best games like Castlevania, take a look at our list down below.
Before you dive into the list, though, consider checking out Castlevania Advance Collection and Castlevania Anniversary Collection – all in all, you can’t beat the original, so if you’re looking for that good old classic experience, you may want to pick up either one of these two re-releases before moving on to other amazing Castlevania alternatives.
Castlevania Advance Collection is a collection of 4 more recent games: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, and Castlevania: Dracula X. It’s a convenient package for any Castlevania fan, but there’s more – Castlevania Advance Collection also comes with some new quality of life features, such as save/load, rewind, and replay, and also adds a unique artwork gallery, a useful encyclopedia, and a music player.
Castlevania Anniversary Collection, on the other hand, would be a great choice for the most dedicated fans of the series, as it includes 7 classic Castlevania games from the 1990s, as well as Kid Dracula, a game that was never released in English before. There is also History of Castlevania – Book of the Crescent Moon – an e-book that summarizes Konami’s legendary franchise’s history.
|Touhou Luna Nights||2019-02-25||Adventure||Team Ladybug|
|Bloodstained Ritual Of The Night||2019-06-18||Adventure||ArtPlay||87%|
|Death's Gambit||2018-08-13||Adventure||White Rabbit||74%|
|Blasphemous||2019-09-10||Adventure||The Game Kitchen||82%|
|Hollow Knight||2017-02-24||Action & Shooter||Team Cherry||46%|
|Skautfold: Usurper||2018-02-20||Indie||Steve Gal||48%|
|Chasm||2018-07-31||Adventure||Bit Kid, Inc.|
|Timespinner||2018-09-25||Adventure||Lunar Ray Games||31%|
|Axiom Verge||2015-05-14||Adventure||Thomas Happ Games||37%|
Touhou Luna Nights
The first game on the list is surely a fans-favorite – with overwhelmingly positive reviews on the Steam platform, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun here.
Touhou Luna Nights is a metroidvania game that follows the story of Sakuya as she’s thrown into a parallel universe, where she has to fight her way through hordes of enemies in order to regain her abilities. What makes the game special is one of the game’s mechanics that allows players to temporarily stop time. It’s an important gameplay element that opens up some interesting strategies to utilize during play. For example, it can be used to easily avoid some moving traps, or it can be comboed with your throwing knives to stop them mid-air after a throw, allowing you to use them as a temporary platform that you can jump on to reach seemingly unreachable places or dodge certain attacks. Finding new uses for this skill can surely be entertaining.
Another interesting entry on the list of Castlevania-like games could be UnEpic, where metroidvania meets a role-playing game.
UnEpic features non-linear gameplay and combines metroidvania with role-playing elements, which means that you will be able to not only explore the dark dungeon filled with monsters and treasures, and fight difficult bosses that jealously protect their belongings, but also gain experience, level up your character, and learn new powerful abilities that will help you during play. There are dozens of available spells and weapons to try, as well all sorts of equipment items to make you even stronger. There are even pets that can keep you company as you slay through ferocious creatures while trying to find your way out from the terrifying castle. Do you have what it takes to finish the task and make it out alive?
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
If you are looking for an ultimate Castlevania-like experience, you can’t go wrong with a game that’s considered Castlevania’s spiritual successor.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a metroidvania video game that follows the story of Miriam – one of the Shardbinders who managed to survive the sacrifice ritual. Shardbinders are crystal-infused people who were created by the Alchemy Guild as a part of the guild’s plan to stop the Industrial Revolution. The sole purpose of Shardbinders’ existence was to be sacrificed to summon demons – the guild believed that this would scare the people enough to stop the technological advance, but things quickly went out of control. Bloodstained: RotN offers quite a challenging gameplay with large maze-like levels, a reasonable amount of backtracking, and tons of great skills to use, which will surely give you a lot of fun. Additionally, the game is presented in a 2.5D style – it features 3D visuals but the movement is done entirely in 2D, which should be a treat for those who liked Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.
If you played Dark Souls games before, you will quickly recognize the source of inspiration for Death’s Gambit – it’s a great title that requires a fair bit of skill.
Death’s Gambit is an action role-playing game that draws a lot of inspiration from the Dark Souls franchise. It does, however, have its own unique soul, which makes it a solid Castlevania alternative if you’re looking for one. Gameplay-wise you will be mostly exploring a variety of 2D surroundings that are filled with great treasures and formidable opponents, including several mighty bosses that will guard the way forward. Combat requires some skill, knowledge, and proper timing – the character has a stamina bar that is used to perform actions during fights. Skillful stamina management is the key to success here – you don’t want to be caught off-guard with your stamina depleted. Save some of it to deliver a deadly blow after dodging an attack and your opponents won’t stand a chance.
|Developer:||The Game Kitchen|
Speaking of soulslike metroidvania games, one can’t forget about Blasphemous – a game that emits a strong Dark Souls aura not only in terms of gameplay but also when it comes to the atmosphere.
Blasphemous is a metroidvania game, where you will be playing as a knight who wears a peculiar-looking, cone-shaped helmet. As you explore odd and unusual locations in a dark fantasy world, you will get access to more powerful skills and abilities that will help you deal with more demanding opponents. Keep in mind, however, that having access to flashy skills doesn’t automatically make you unbeatable – you will need to put your own skill to the test and smartly utilize your powers during combat to give yourself the upper hand. Blasphemous draws a lot of inspiration from religion and art and twists them in its own special way to create an unforgettable and often obscure atmosphere – Blasphemous is surely one of the must-plays.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Hollow Knight could also be a great game to satisfy your Castlevania hunger. It looks more casual-friendly, but don’t judge the book by its cover – there is some challenging fun to be had.
Hollow Knight is an action-adventure indie game, where you will be playing as a silent, nameless knight, as he explores the underground, ancient city, in an attempt to reveal the mysteries that shroud the area. The task won’t be easy, but don’t lose hope just yet – as you progress through the game, you will get access to more abilities, spells, charms, and more powerful versions of your weapon, making your mission much more manageable. But even when you get stronger, you better don’t drop your guard – there are some enemies that can remain extremely dangerous, so explore the unknown with caution. You are also encouraged to take a break from combat from time to time and appreciate the detailed surroundings – the game features beautiful hand-crafted art that undoubtedly deserves a special mention.
You may be also interested in checking out Skautfold: Usurper – a game where combat revolves around a well-designed risk and reward system that encourages good timing and patience.
Skautfold: Usurper is a metroidvania action role-playing game that features a large number of secrets to be found, enemies to be defeated, and weapons and spells to utilize during play. However, the game’s most unique feature is its combat system. As it is in similar action role-playing games, your character has a certain amount of health, which, when dropped to 0 by receiving damage, will result in your character’s death. However, the game introduces a guard system that allows you to take hits without losing health – you will lose your guard points instead, and these can be replenished by timing your moves and dodging enemy attacks. Once you’re out of guard points, you will start to lose your health, so it’s in your best interest to master your guard management techniques to always have some guard points ready to protect you from harm. Learn your enemies’ moves and attack patterns and use that knowledge to make combat significantly easier.
|Developer:||Bit Kid, Inc.|
Chasm is also one of the cool Castlevania type games that are worth giving a try, especially if you like games with a bit of that specific old-school retro flavor added to the mix.
Chasm is a metroidvania game that will take you on an epic adventure, where you will have to prove your worth – if you want to lay your hand on the most valuable treasures, that is. The game revolves mostly around the exploration of procedurally generated worlds and revealing their secrets as well as defeating enemies that guard the scattered treasures. As you travel through a variety of different locations, you will encounter all sorts of dangerous creatures, but don’t fret – use all opportunities the game presents you to level up your character, and soon enough you will be equally powerful. Avoid traps, collect pieces of equipment, choose the best path to your destination and safely make your way through the most devious areas – that’s the only way to earn the fame and glory you’re longing for.
|Developer:||Lunar Ray Games|
Speaking of retro games, Timespinner could easily steal your attention if you’re a fan of this kind of experience. Making a good, modern but old-looking game is not an easy task, but Timespinner did a great job in this department.
Timespinner is a metroidvania game that was heavily influenced by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The similarities are undoubtedly easiest to see when it comes to combat, so if you loved the combat in SotN, you will feel like home in Timespinner. The most notable features of the game are the possibility to utilize your familiar’s strength on the battlefield during play to make fights slightly easier, and the ability to pause time for a few seconds to reach seemingly unreachable places, as well as dodge enemy attacks with ease. It’s quite a powerful skill, thus developers decided to artificially limit its use – pausing the time spends a special kind of resource, sand, that can be obtained by defeating more enemies. This makes gameplay more fun and balanced, as it encourages players to use this time-stopping skill only when it’s an absolute necessity, rather than allowing players to effortlessly beat all challenges with its help.
|Developer:||Thomas Happ Games|
Finally, there’s also Axiom Verge – yet another great retro-looking title that is polished to the absolute limits. It managed to get very positive reviews on Steam platform, so make sure to give this one a go.
Axiom Verge is a metroidvania game and a solid entry on the list of the best PC games similar to Castlevania. In Axiom Verge, you will have a unique opportunity to explore mysterious alien environments in a futuristic sci-fi setting that is further emphasized by the space-themed 8-bit sound effects and music. Gameplay-wise you can expect a lot of both action and exploration, as the maze you’ll be trying to escape from is full of dangerous opponents who will try their best to remove the intruder – which is you – from their world. Grab your weapon, collect dozens of unique power-ups and shoot your way through the enemy ranks to learn the truth and reveal the true nature of the place you found yourself trapped in.
The Best 10 Games like Castlevania
Castlevania is a classic series that managed to get a large cult following. Due to how popular it was back in the day – and still is today – it became an inspiration for countless video game developers across the world, thus giving birth to dozens of games similar to Castlevania in one way or another. Some video games added their own little twist to make everything more exciting for players to experience and discover. Some games mixed genres and added a bit of action or roguelike, while other games turned into metroidvania-like MMORPGs. Other games – including the original Castlevania titles – received more modern, remastered versions, making them a great pick not only for the most dedicated fans of the franchise but also for those who didn’t play Castlevania games before.
Now it’s a better time than ever to give metroidvanias a try – the genre received a lot of attention lately and you’ll surely find something cool to play. Even if the most recent games are not what you’re looking for, you can pick some older games – there’s something for everyone.
If you are looking for video games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or other games from the Castlevania franchise, you will find 10 great alternatives on our list above. Rediscover the genre at your own pace and give it some well-deserved love.