Are you a fan of the iconic Castlevania series? If you’re a Nintendo console owner, you’re in luck! Join me, Jennifer Thompson, as I take you on a journey through the best Castlevania games available on Nintendo consoles. From the original right-to-left style games to the immersive ‘Metroidvania’ experiences, we’ll explore the top titles that deserve a spot in your gaming library. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned vampire hunter, this comprehensive ranking will help you discover the most thrilling and memorable Castlevania adventures. Let’s dive in!
The Original Castlevania Games: Classic Side-Scrolling Adventures
Explore the early entries in the Castlevania series that established the iconic side-scrolling gameplay.
Before the rise of the ‘Metroidvania’ genre, the Castlevania series captivated players with its challenging side-scrolling adventures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best original Castlevania games:
1. Castlevania (NES)
The game that started it all! Castlevania for the NES introduced players to the Belmont family and their eternal battle against Count Dracula. With its tight controls, atmospheric music, and memorable level design, this classic is a must-play for any Castlevania fan.
2. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (NES)
Building upon the success of the original, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse expanded the gameplay with multiple playable characters and branching paths. It remains a fan-favorite for its challenging gameplay and memorable soundtrack.
3. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
Super Castlevania IV for the SNES pushed the boundaries of the series with enhanced graphics and more fluid controls. This entry is known for its detailed levels, haunting music, and the ability to whip in eight different directions.
4. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine)
While not originally released on a Nintendo console, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is worth mentioning for its impact on the series. This PC Engine game laid the foundation for the later ‘Metroidvania’ titles and is considered a hidden gem in the Castlevania library.
The ‘Metroidvania’ Revolution: Exploring the Expansive Adventures
Discover the ‘Metroidvania’ entries that combined exploration, non-linear gameplay, and RPG elements.
In the mid-1990s, the Castlevania series underwent a transformation with the introduction of the ‘Metroidvania’ genre. These games featured interconnected maps, backtracking, and character progression. Let’s delve into the best ‘Metroidvania’ Castlevania games:
1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation)
Considered a masterpiece, Symphony of the Night revolutionized the series with its sprawling castle to explore, RPG elements, and iconic protagonist Alucard. Its atmospheric music and memorable boss battles make it a standout entry in the Castlevania franchise.
2. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (Game Boy Advance)
Aria of Sorrow introduced players to the soul-stealing mechanic, where the protagonist gains abilities from defeated enemies. With its captivating story, diverse enemies, and tight gameplay, this Game Boy Advance title is a must-play for fans of the genre.
3. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (Nintendo DS)
Order of Ecclesia took the ‘Metroidvania’ formula to new heights with its challenging difficulty and unique Glyph system. Players must harness the power of glyphs to defeat enemies and progress through the game’s intricate map. It’s a rewarding and satisfying experience for Castlevania enthusiasts.
4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Nintendo Switch)
While not a direct Castlevania game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night captures the essence of the ‘Metroidvania’ genre. Created by Koji Igarashi, the mastermind behind the ‘Metroidvania’ Castlevania titles, this game offers a vast world to explore, diverse enemies to conquer, and a compelling story to unravel.