10 Best Metroidvania Games Of All Time

While some genres have been around from the start of video games as a hobby, others have built off games of the past to make genres of their own. One such genre that has steadily taken form is that of the metroidvania.

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Named after two early games that helped build the genre of action-packed side-scrollers, there is a wide world of metroidvanias, and the roster keeps growing. Knowing this, it can be difficult to pick which of them to spend your time with. So, here are the best metroidvanias currently available.

10 Supraland

FPS Meets Metroidvania

A plasticine person from Supraland

Supraland is a game that really pushes the boundaries of the genres it finds itself in. It’s a metroidvania, but one that doesn’t follow the side-scrolling ideals of the games that paved the way for it.

There’s a childish nature to the game, thanks to the setting, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun for adults to get into it. It’s an interesting mix of tense combat, puzzle solving, and a bit of platforming here and there. No game fits between genres so easily as Supraland does.

9 Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night

A Metroidvania That Pops Out At You

A screenshot showing gameplay in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Released
June 18, 2019

Developer(s)
ArtPlay

A mix of two and three-dimensional art styles, Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night takes the gothic elements of Castlevania and adds some parts from classic facets of JRPG games for good measure. Taking control of the cursed orphan Miriam is an unexpectedly tough fight as you wander through a castle chock-full of monsters.

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While it isn’t as fast-moving as some of the other games on this list, the monster design and standout plot more than make up for it. It may not be the sharpest of the games out there, but it has a lot of heart and is still well worth your time.

8 Axiom Verge

The Aliens Invade

Axiom Verge main character talking to minerva

Axiom Verge

Released
March 31, 2015

Developer(s)
Thomas Happ Games

When playing Axiom Verge, you can see the direct results of the Metroid series’ influence, and that’s definitely a good thing. Simplified graphics, a classic side-scrolling gameplay format, and your not-so-everyday alien invasion all mix into a game that feels like a blast from the past.

There’s something so cool but so grim about seeing the pixelated landscape of the game transformed by the horrific aliens you were sent to destroy. If you want to go back to a game that understands the classic format, then this is the game for you.

7 Ori And The Blind Forest

A Softer Look At The Genre

A purple and blue, 2D level with a pool of violet liquid at the bottom.

This is a beautiful and often lighthearted metroidvania, which can be a hard mix to come by with the often-violent gameplay you often see. Ori And The Blind Forest is a game that separates itself from the competition.

It’s a balance between classic game tropes like a lost orphan and a magical forest and new ideals in the genre like a semi-two-dimensional art style and a focus on less combat and more adventure. If you want a more narrative side to your metroidvanias, then Ori will have you feeling all types of emotions.

6 Guacamelee

Get Ready To Rumble

Juan Aguacate performing an uppercut and maintaining a high hit combo while fighting enemies in Guacamelee!

Guacamelee

Released
April 9, 2013

Developer(s)
DrinkBox Studios

A brawling metroidvania that builds off of hispanic roots, Guacamelee is a fun and bright foray into the genre that’s great for new and old fans of metroidvania games. Become the legendary wrestler of your dreams, and maybe save the daughter of El Presidente along the way.

There’s a fun mix of fighting, supernatural elements, and an art style that really makes the game its own thing. There are plenty of different levels and challenges to keep you busy, plus some DLC as well that brings even more fighters into the ring.

5 Dead Cells

A Side Scroller With A Tough Streak

Dead Cells Plus: Fighting Ghouls In The Haunted Town Area

Dead Cells

Released
May 17, 2017

Developer(s)
Motion Twin

A metroidvania with gameplay mechanics that will definitely test your skills, few games in the genre offer a challenge quite like Dead Cells does. It hasn’t been long since the series first came out, but it’s since risen to the top of the list for metroidvania games.

The setting is great, the art is beautiful but simple, and death being a constant just makes you want to try that much harder to go farther and farther each playthrough. Fans of the genre should definitely check out this game if they haven’t already.

4 Blasphemous

A Bloody Adventure

The hero puts on a bloody, thorny mask in Blasphemous

A grim and gory take on the metroidvania genre. Blasphemous takes you to Cvstodia, a land thrust into chaos as something called The Sorrowful Miracle takes hold. As The Penitent One, you use your speed and mighty sword to lash out against the monsters and bosses that have all been twisted by said miracle.

It’s a fun take on the genre, and it often feels like the next logical step after greats like Castlevania. If you want a metroidvania game with more of a push toward mature themes, don’t miss out on this one.

3 Hollow Knight

A Bug’s Life

The Knight fighting a boss in Deepnest in Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

Released
February 24, 2017

Developer(s)
Team Cherry

Who says big things can’t come in small packages? While Hollow Knight takes you to a world small in stature, it isn’t a game you should overlook. The art style and character design all mix into a metroidvania game that feels unique.

There’s a cute atmosphere to the game that is immediately at odds with the violence and corruption that pervades the world around you. It may have come out of the blue, but Hollow Knight has made a name for itself in the genre.

2 Castlevania

Dracula Is In Another Castle

Juste Belmont Full Art from Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance

You can’t talk about metroidvanias without talking about half of the series that made the genre possible. Castlevania has been around since the days of arcade cabinets, and it’s been a big name in gaming to the point of branching out to multiple media platforms.

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It doesn’t really matter where or how you jump into the Castlevania universe as long as you enjoy the gothic elements and the underdog storylines of the Belmont family. Just make sure to watch out; Dracula doesn’t take too well to intruders.

1 Metroid

A Close Encounter

Samus's grapple beam glowing as she gets an upgrade in Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid

Released
August 6, 1986

Developer(s)
Nintendo

Futuristic but classic, and easy to learn, the Metroid series is one of the big names in the genre, to the point of helping name said genre. People who played the original game still remember the shock of seeing Samus for the first time at the end of the game.

Not only was it inspirational for the genre, but it also helped pave the way for gaming tropes like evil aliens, power armor, and, of course, powerful heroines. Few games have stood the test of time like the Metroid series has, although it helps to have such a good mix of fun and easy controls like Metroid does.

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