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Best Metroidvania Games

The Metroidvania genre originated from a unique blend of the fundamental concepts established in the original Metroid and Castlevania games back in 1986. Over the years, the genre has experienced significant growth and evolution, now standing as a formidable force in the gaming world. Now, here we are ranking the best Metroidvania games on all platforms.

Emphasizing exploration and the continuous unveiling of new map areas through acquired abilities, Metroidvanias offer rewards for creativity and determination. As the genre’s popularity has surged, it becomes essential to highlight the finest and most influential titles since its inception. Below, we present a list of the top Metroidvania games available.

Best Metroidvania Games On Mobile

Are you someone who enjoys exploration-based games with immersive worlds and challenging combat? Do you like uncovering hidden secrets and acquiring new abilities to advance through the game? If you said yes to these questions, you’re in luck. We will be delving into the world of Metroidvania games on mobile and presenting you with the top 5 titles that you absolutely must not miss in 2023. These games offer atmospheric environments, tight platforming, and an all-encompassing experience.

Now, what exactly is a Metroidvania game? The term is a combination of two iconic games, Metroid and Castlevania. Falling under the action-adventure genre, Metroidvania games place great importance on exploration and character development. In these games, players take on the role of a protagonist navigating intricate worlds filled with challenges and enemies.

As you progress, you uncover new paths and collect power-ups to enhance your abilities. With mobile gaming gaining popularity, developers have brought the thrilling Metroidvania experience to our smartphones and tablets. So, without further delay, let’s explore the 5 Best Metroidvania Games on Mobile in 2023.

10. Runic Curse

In Runic Curse, you become Adrian, a member of a shipwrecked crew stranded on a mysterious island. As Adrian, you’ll wield powerful weapons, magic, and runes to unravel the secrets behind the crew’s predicament. The game’s visual style is reminiscent of classic Metroidvania titles such as Castlevania and Salt and Sanctuary.

While it may not boast cutting-edge graphics, a recent update enables smooth 120Hz gameplay for owners of powerful devices. Additionally, the game offers dedicated NG+ and Boss Rush modes, making it a compelling experience at a reasonable price of $2.99.


ICEY is an RPG that offers a unique blend of exploration and side-scrolling hack-and-slash combat, complemented by a charming meta sense of humor. Following the directions of the narrator leads to a compelling story and exhilarating combat. However, players who choose to deviate from the prescribed path will encounter half-finished levels and humorous criticisms of game development.

The combat mechanics are highly satisfying, featuring responsive inputs, combo-based damage multipliers, and creatively designed enemies. If you enjoy the behind-the-scenes revelations reminiscent of The Stanley Parable, ICEY provides a captivating experience worth exploring, whether you follow the rules or venture off the beaten path.

8. Mangavania

If you’re familiar with the 2D action platformer Downwell, you’ll find Mangavania’s monochrome visuals to be quite reminiscent. The game draws clear inspiration from classic pixel-art visuals, featuring a catchy 8-bit-inspired soundtrack and a strong focus on exploration and backtracking.

In Mangavania, you’ll assume the role of Yuhiko, a stylish ninja on a daring quest to find a cure for his ailing brother. Your journey will take you deep into a complex underworld, where you’ll utilize various tools and abilities to uncover new paths. Yuhiko is equipped with skills like double-jumping, dashing, and hanging on ledges, all of which are essential for advancing through the game’s challenges.

7. Pascal’s Wager

Pascal’s Wager, a prominent entry in our best souls-like roundup, offers a dark fantasy action RPG experience with a bleak art style, grim tone, and challenging difficulty. Players must actively explore hostile environments, collect items, and engage in fierce battles with gruesome enemies to make progress.

The touch controls in Pascal’s Wager are highly effective, providing responsive inputs and well-placed buttons, which are crucial for a game featuring punishing Souls-like combat. The game creates a genuinely tense atmosphere as tough enemies seem to emerge from the walls, adding to the sense of exploration. Additionally, Pascal’s Wager offers full Android controller support for players who prefer a different control method than touch controls.


In a world reduced to ruins, most of the land has become inhospitable, infested with merciless mutants. However, there is a safe haven down south where survivors have sought refuge. In HAAK, a game inspired by the best aspects of Metroidvania, you take on the role of a lone wanderer.

Your goal is to reach this sanctuary in the south, and to achieve this, you’ll utilize HAAK’s many abilities to navigate through treacherous environments. Jump, dash, charge, and use HAAK’s hook to overcome obstacles and defeat formidable enemies. What sets HAAK apart from other Metroidvanias is its distinctive visual style.

5. Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition

Dandara leans more towards the Metroid style than Castlevania, emphasizing 2D platforming that involves scaling environments to avoid traps and discovering new abilities to overcome previously impassable obstacles.

Playing as Dandara, you’ll skillfully leap across pitfalls and utilize her unique ability to cling to various surfaces. The game has received numerous notable nominations, including Best Portable Game of the Year, and has won several awards as well. The Trials of Fear Edition introduces new content, such as additional bosses, challenges, and upgrades that were not available in the original release. Dandara is priced at $3.99 but is also accessible through a Play Pass subscription.

4. Grimvalor

Grimvalor blends 2D platforming with Metroidvania mechanics and elements reminiscent of souls-like games. In this 2D action platformer, you’ll be immersed in a dark and challenging world, where mastering enemy attack patterns is crucial, and you must strike only when there’s an opening.

While the complete version is available for $6.99, Grimvalor offers a free introduction for players to experience. Additionally, the game is part of the Play Pass subscription. Moreover, Grimvalor has received updates with new content, including additional equipment and the introduction of a New Game+ mode.

3. Dead Cells

Best Metroidvania Games

In recent years, few indie titles have garnered as much critical acclaim as Dead Cells. This game places a significant focus on combat, where even a small mistake during a fight can result in permadeath.

Dead Cells is a versatile game in the mobile gaming world, blending the challenging gameplay of a roguelike with Metroidvania elements. It also stands out as one of the most demanding titles on Android, boasting stunning visuals and exceptionally high framerates. The game is available for $9.99 on the Play Store or can be accessed for free with the Play Pass subscription. Additionally, several DLCs have been released since its launch, making Dead Cells one of the most content-rich Metroidvania games available.

2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

While Metroid games remain exclusive to Nintendo platforms, Castlevania has seen releases on nearly every major gaming platform since 1986. Considered by many as the best in the series, despite some hit-or-miss voice acting, Symphony of the Night represents the pinnacle of 2D platforming and is credited with popularizing the term “Metroidvania.”

Symphony of the Night showcases Igarashi’s exceptional work as an assistant director, programmer, and writer. The game pushed the PS1 console to its limits in terms of 2D platformers, featuring crisp pixelated graphics and incredibly smooth animations. Even after many years, few games have matched the atmospheric quality and depth of exploration found in Symphony of the Night. For $2.99, players can experience the finest Castlevania title specifically designed for mobile platforms, complete with controller support.

1. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Koji Igarashi, synonymous with the Castlevania franchise, has captured the essence of the source material in Bloodstained. As Miriam, players explore a fully-realized gothic castle, immersing themselves in all the classic elements of a Metroidvania game. With 120 unique enemies and over one hundred weapons at your disposal, combat encounters offer a diverse range of approaches. Bloodstained, featuring Igarashi’s signature work, is available for $9.99 on the Play Store, providing players with the ultimate Castlevania experience on their mobile devices.

Best Metroidvania Games On PC

The Metroidvania genre proves to be a challenging one to define. It derives its name from the fusion of two distinct Nintendo-based game series, Metroid and Castlevania, leading to ongoing debates about what truly qualifies as a Metroidvania game. As a result, creating a definitive list can be contentious, as some favorite games may be excluded due to differing interpretations. However, we stand by our choices, considering them to be exceptional.

We’ve taken a conservative approach, selecting games that adhere to the classic model of a large game world for exploration, where areas are unlocked and revisited as new abilities are acquired. We’ve made efforts to avoid including games that fit better into the “roguelike/lite” category or those that are simply “platform games.” It’s a tricky task, navigating through the genre’s complexities, and we’re still honing our selection abilities.

Therefore, Dark Souls and similar games, along with Batman’s Arkham adventures, are not part of this list. While you may disagree, that’s entirely acceptable. Within our team at RPS Treehouse, the most controversial omission is Dead Cells. Some argue passionately that it qualifies as a Metroidvania, while others correctly identify it as a roguelite platformer with a growing skillset. This decision has led to heartfelt discussions.

10. Aquaria

Upon closer examination of the creators, it becomes evident why Aquaria possesses such depth and power. The game was a collaboration between Derek Yu, who later gained fame as Mr. Spelunky, and Alec Holowka, the co-creator of the remarkable Night In The Woods released in 2017. Together, their talents transformed the unassuming appearance of Aquaria into something exceptional, leaving few imitators able to replicate its impact.

Taking place entirely underwater, the core aspect of the Metroidvania genre – jumping – is not prevalent in Aquaria. Instead, the player’s character, Naija, interacts with the underwater life and casts spells through singing in colors, eschewing the direct interaction with game objects and enemies found in other games. This unique approach results in a hauntingly scored and surprisingly solitary game, evoking both serenity and melancholy in all the right ways.

9. Strider

Strider originated as an arcade game in 1989, and later made its way to various home consoles and computers, including a definitive version on the Mega Drive/Genesis by Sega in 1990. This side-scrolling platform game features Strider Hiryu, whose manic attacks and acrobatic maneuvers light up the screen with fast-paced action and violence.

In 2009, an attempt to reboot the game was unsuccessful due to the bankruptcy of developers Grin. However, Capcom finally succeeded in remaking Strider in 2014, entrusting Double Helix with the task. The remake integrated all of Hiryu’s skills from both the original Strider and its sequel, along with cartwheeling leaps and bounds. A notable addition was the implementation of a skills-based progression system, firmly placing the game within the boundaries of the Metroidvania genre. Interestingly, the inspiration for this progression system came from the game Shadow Complex, which, ironically, did not make it onto this list.

Nevertheless, Strider itself is an astonishing game. It offers lightning-fast gameplay with an abundance of action, making it a swishy, ludicrous, and enjoyable arcade experience. The inclusion of colored gates allows players to revisit areas later on, adding depth and exploration to the game.

8. Metroid: Zero Mission

Best Metroidvania Games

Metroid, released in 1986, became an instant classic and laid the groundwork for what would later become the Metroidvania genre. However, due to the technological constraints of the NES, the original game had its share of design issues. In 2004, Metroid: Zero Mission was introduced as a remake of the original Metroid, aiming to address these shortcomings and provide an enhanced experience.

Zero Mission not only updated the graphics and designs but also refined the game’s mechanics to create a smoother and more polished gameplay. Additionally, the remake included additional narrative elements to enrich the story and provide more depth to the game. Notably, Zero Mission introduced the character Zero Suit Samus, who has since gained popularity among fans of the series. With these improvements, Zero Mission became a favorite among players seeking to experience the renowned yet improved origins of the Metroid franchise.

7. Guacamelee! 2

While the first Guacamelee! didn’t necessarily demand a sequel, Guacamelee! 2 secures its place on this list by refining the game’s combat and co-op experience while maintaining the whimsical story and Luchador-themed humor that made the original game so enjoyable. Expanding the world of its predecessor, Guacamelee! 2 delves into the Mexiverse, a hilariously Mexican-themed twist on the concept of the multiverse.

The gameplay features impressive wrestling combos and further develops the mechanics of playing as a chicken. Opinions may vary on whether Guacamelee! 2 surpasses the first game, but both titles are undoubtedly worth exploring for fans of the Metroidvania genre.

6. SteamWorld Dig 2

While SteamWorld Dig was an enjoyable game, looking back, it appears more like a proof of concept when compared to the enhancements found in its sequel. SteamWorld Dig 2 significantly improves upon the mechanics, controls, and overall flow of the game, resulting in a brilliantly polished and fantastic experience from beginning to end.

If you’re eager to delve into the wonderfully creative world of SteamWorld, it’s worth giving the first game a try. However, SteamWorld Dig 2 stands out as a far superior and more refined Metroidvania, offering a truly exceptional gaming experience.

5. Metroid: Dread

Nineteen years after the release of Metroid Fusion, the highly anticipated sequel, Metroid: Dread, finally hit the market and received rave reviews. In this installment, Samus Aran is sent to the enigmatic planet ZDR to investigate the disappearance of the Federation’s EMMI units, which were initially sent to explore sightings of the mysterious X Parasite.

Upon her arrival, Samus finds herself in a hostile world, engaging in battles and evading the corrupted EMMI units as she delves into alien ruins, ancient laboratories, and ominous cave systems. While following the familiar Metroid formula, Metroid: Dread manages to strike a balance between the strong linearity of Fusion and the open exploration of Super Metroid, resulting in a compelling experience that lives up to the legacy of the Metroid franchise.

4. Ori And The Will Of The Wisps

Best Metroidvania Games

Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a captivating sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, takes us on another enchanting journey with the forest spirit, Ori. This hauntingly beautiful game follows Ori as he embarks on a quest to find his lost friend in a new and mysterious land. Throughout the game, players encounter whimsical creatures, experience emotionally touching moments, and explore absolutely stunning levels.

While Ori and the Will of the Wisps stands strongly on its own and is a must-play, it also seamlessly builds upon the foundation set by Ori and the Blind Forest. Experiencing both games back-to-back is highly recommended, as they complement each other beautifully and together offer an unforgettable and immersive gaming experience.

3. Blasphemous

Blasphemous, a brutal platformer set in the nightmarish world of Cvstodia, puts players in the role of The Penitent One, the sole survivor of a harrowing ordeal. The objective is straightforward: put an end to the eternal damnation plaguing the land. Armed with the sword Mea Culpa, the knight embarks on a quest to explore the unforgiving world and vanquish enemies.

The game’s skillful combat system complements the punishing atmosphere, adding to the sense of urgency throughout the journey. Blasphemous has earned its reputation as a must-play title since its release, offering a satisfying yet challenging combat experience, stunning art style, and an impressive soundtrack that come together to create an unforgettable gaming adventure.

2. Super Metroid

No list of the best Metroidvania games would be complete without Super Metroid. While the original Metroid laid the foundation for non-linear platformers, Super Metroid perfected the gameplay to a remarkable level.

Regarded as the quintessential example of the Metroidvania genre, Super Metroid follows Samus as she revisits the planet Zebes and delves into the transformations that have occurred since her last visit in the original Metroid. The game features intense battles with both new and familiar adversaries, encouraging players to engage in clever exploration. Additionally, Super Metroid boasts a hauntingly beautiful and iconic soundtrack that adds to the immersive experience.

1. Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight provides an excellent gaming experience. This modern 2D adventure revitalizes classic Metroidvania concepts in an innovative manner, infusing a touch of Dark Souls with challenging bosses and demanding combat. Players assume the role of an unknown, nameless knight armed only with a small yet deadly nail to conquer the world. Numerous menacing bugs stand in your path, but defeating them yields generous rewards. As you progress through the vast open-world of Hallownest, you’ll acquire spells and abilities to enhance your fighting style, encouraging thorough exploration of every corner.

The captivating story comes to life through its dark yet delightful art style and animation, a rich cast of characters, and a gorgeous orchestral soundtrack that accentuates its melancholic atmosphere. Team Cherry, the developers, didn’t stop there; Hollow Knight is replete with detailed secrets waiting to be uncovered and numerous sidequests to engage in. Considering the size of the development team, the game’s stunning quality is undeniable, making it an essential experience for Metroidvania enthusiasts.

Best Metroidvania Games On Consoles

If you’re a fan of exploration, immersive storytelling, and thrilling gameplay, you’re in for a treat. Metroidvania games have become a beloved genre, fusing the best elements of Metroid and Castlevania to create unforgettable experiences.

In these captivating adventures, you’ll embark on epic journeys as skilled protagonists, navigating intricate worlds filled with challenges, foes, and hidden secrets. With nonlinear progression, you’ll gain new abilities, unlock paths, and uncover mysteries that deepen the gameplay and narrative.

Whether you’re a seasoned Metroidvania enthusiast or a newcomer eager to dive into this mesmerizing genre, our list has something for everyone. So grab your controller, prepare for epic exploration, and let’s embark on an unforgettable adventure through the 10 best Metroidvania games on consoles!

10. Blast Brigade Vs. The Evil Legion Of Dr. Cread

Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread, a fantastic 2D action-adventure, draws inspiration from 1980s action-adventure films, infusing the game with a healthy dose of humor. To tackle the unique biome challenges, players must assemble a group of hard-core heroes, and the game strongly emphasizes Metroidvania-style exploration.

This game offers a refreshing change of pace for those fatigued by combat-heavy Metroidvania titles. While I do enjoy combat in games, I welcome occasional variation. The developers’ approach to creating this game somewhat reminds me of Trine.

Blast Brigade Vs. The Evil Legion Of Dr. Cread is a self-aware game that embraces fun, humor, and a video-gamey essence in an enjoyable way. If you appreciate exploration but desire something light-hearted with an appeal to your inner child who once loved action movies, give this game a try—it might pleasantly surprise you.

9. Infernax

Infernax presents itself as an 8-bit era creation, akin to a Metroidvania Castlevania, which adds a cool and unique touch. It’s worth noting that not all Castlevania games are Metroidvania style, which might sound a little peculiar. What sets this game apart is the incorporation of RPG elements, including decision-making and a playtime of over fifteen hours if you aim for all achievements.

Having played this game thoroughly, I found the characters intriguing, and the plot was well-crafted. The key selling point lies in the significance of your choices. These decisions affect quest availability and NPCs’ perceptions of you, among other aspects. Additionally, the game boasts multiple different endings.

Furthermore, the ability to play with various versions of the main character adds to the uniqueness of your gameplay, resulting in a game with high replayability. Infernax is a remarkable indie game, highly recommended for Xbox owners and fans of the genre alike, particularly for Castlevania enthusiasts, as it pays a clear homage to that franchise.

8. Sundered

Sundered stands out not only for the stunning and trademark gorgeous art by developer Thunder Lotus Games but also for its chaotic nature. The screen is constantly filled with enemies, demanding both quick reflexes and a calm demeanor to navigate successfully.

Despite the intense combat, the game manages to strike a balance by being forgiving in the Metroidvania sense. You won’t lose your progress or items, and the distance to travel after defeat is minimal. The primary focus lies on combat, which may lead to some repetition, but given the nature of the genre that involves trying again and again, Sundered excels at providing a sense of satisfying progress.

7. The Messenger

First and foremost, The Messenger is an action platformer that transforms into a Metroidvania experience midway. With its inspiration drawn from Ninja Gaiden, the game focuses on mastering ninja skills, utilizing a sword, grappling hook, and the essential cloud step ability. This ability allows for double jumps and additional height gain by striking something with the sword mid-jump, making for challenging yet enjoyable gameplay, thanks to its highly responsive controls.

The game’s dungeons come in two versions: a present version with 8-bit visuals and music, and a future version in 16-bits. While the gimmick is cool, it does lead to some dungeon recycling, which could have been avoided. Nevertheless, the story goes beyond just being a gimmick, effectively immersing players in the role of a hero fighting an ancient curse, creating a compelling narrative.

6. Iconoclasts

The highlights of this stunning adventure are its inventive boss fights and versatile tools. Despite its inviting appearance, Iconoclasts presents a darker story than one might expect, and with subtle tweaks to the established formula, the game remains consistently entertaining.

Similar to Sundered, the game doesn’t rely on acquiring new skills but instead focuses on utilizing your existing inventory to solve puzzles, like the best of puzzle games genre, shifting the emphasis away from challenging combat. Moreover, the well-crafted narrative ensures that players will grow fond of the determined protagonist, Robin, by the end of the journey.

5. Ender Lilies: Quietus Of The Nights

Metroidvanias and Soulslikes make a perfect combination, like peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly — well, peanut butter and almost everything. Several games, such as Dead Cells and Hollow Knight, have blended these genres, and Ender Lilies can easily stand alongside them, despite occasional issues with its controls.

This outstanding title motivates exploration by offering tangible rewards and captivates players with an unfolding, gripping story. It’s also a visual delight, boasting a stunning art style and accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack.

4. Axiom Verge 2

Indie developers excel at delivering exceptional Metroidvanias and surprising us with sequels that surpass the originals in exciting ways. Axiom Verge 2 is one of those remarkable sequels.

The true strength of Axiom Verge 2 lies in its exploration. Navigating the world, utilizing tears to access The Breach, and discovering new paths and hidden treasures provide endless rewards and immense satisfaction. The game’s visuals are stunning, and playing it is an absolute delight. However, the combat and boss fights are somewhat lackluster, preventing it from reaching its full potential.

3. The Messenger

The Messenger may appear unconventional at first, as it deviates from the typical Metroidvania formula. It follows a stage-based structure and draws inspiration from games like Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man, and early Castlevania titles, rather than the classic Metroidvania style.

However, the game surprises players with its true nature a few hours in. It transforms into a genuine Metroidvania experience, showcasing a unique time-hopping mechanic that complements its polished controls and enjoyable gameplay. The Messenger stands out as one of the best Metroidvania games due to its clever mechanics and satisfying gameplay.

2. Carrion

Best Metroidvania Games

Carrion stands out as a unique game in the Metroidvania genre. Unlike other games on this list that focus on exploration, Carrion is about escaping, not exploring. In this game, you take on the role of a monstrous creature that has broken free from captivity and must use its deadly abilities to eliminate enemies and grow stronger.

Described as a reverse horror game, Carrion provides a refreshing perspective where you become the menacing force. From the beginning, you feel a sense of power that only grows as you progress and acquire new abilities. The game’s pacing is excellent, and while it can be completed in one sitting due to its brisk run time, the experience will leave a lasting impression on players. The chilling conclusion of the game adds to its lasting impact.

1. Castlevania Requiem

Castlevania Requiem makes it onto this list primarily because it includes the timeless classic, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. In this game, you take on the role of Alucard, Dracula’s son, as he embarks on a quest to stop his father’s evil deeds and confront his own dark desires. Symphony of the Night introduced the Metroidvania formula to the Castlevania series, and it did so remarkably well, solidifying the “Vania” in the genre’s name.

Even when compared to modern Metroidvania games, Symphony of the Night holds up exceptionally well. It boasts a timeless art style and an outstanding soundtrack that continues to impress. The game offers multiple endings, a plethora of secrets to discover, high replayability, and one of the most memorable post-game revelations in gaming history, making it a true winner. Additionally, Requiem includes Rondo of Blood, often hailed as one of the best Classicvania titles and a prequel to Symphony of the Night.