Metroidvania is a game whose gameplay has features of the genre’s founding fathers – Metroid and Castlevania. Generally, there are no clear boundaries with Metroidvania; they often belong to role-playing games or action games. But basically, we consider two-dimensional platformers as Metroidvania. They must have the main character that runs around on the big open levels, exploring every nook, looking for clues to access the secret or story areas, add useful items to inventory, and so on. There is also a story in these games, which is closely intertwined with the gameplay – each action does not only encourage the player to get points or loot but also to move up the story.
We’ve added the best Metroidvania games, which you should definitely get acquainted with – read the mini-reviews, watch the trailers and choose!
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Release date: June 18, 2019
Our list of Metroidvania games opens with this atmospheric and mesmerizing 2D role-playing game. It is immediately obvious that the developers were inspired by the legendary Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. By controlling Miriam, you will explore a huge castle, uncover its secrets, open secret rooms, fight dangerous enemies. And all this is accompanied by gorgeous music in orchestral style with a touch of rock. Definitely, one of the best Metroidvania’s in the history of the genre. And certainly – the best among the recently released ones.
Release date: August 7, 2018
Another good Metroidvania game where you will control an abstract creature that has to get out of a labyrinth. Each passage will be unique due to the procedural generation of levels with enemies, treasures, items, and weapons with random characteristics. Setting off on your journey, you will feel helpless in the face of a huge two-dimensional world from the first seconds. But every minute, your strength will grow, and with it, your confidence in victory. Until you meet insurmountable obstacles and die to start all over again. We highly recommend this game to those who are interested in Metroidvania and who like real hardcore.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Release date: March 11, 2015
You’re probably surprised to see little Ory on this list. After all, it’s usually called “an incredibly beautiful and soulful platformer. But it’s also one of the best Metroidvania games ever, with all that it entails. Forest Spirit Ori explores his habitat, encounters enemies, discovers secret locations. And he is not just running around; the game has a story and even NPCs, an acquaintance with which is remembered for a long time. The sequel to Ori and the Will of the Wisps is already released, but we recommend playing the first part to get acquainted with Ori himself and the surrounding game lore.
Release date: May 14, 2015
A two-dimensional pixel action game in a sci-fi style. You play as a scientist who suddenly wakes up in an alien world. He doesn’t know how he got there or what’s going on. Some events will hint that everything around is a computer simulation. Probably, thanks to this, the scientist will be able to distort reality and benefit from it. But it’s too early to draw conclusions at the very beginning of the passage – you need to run through a bunch of levels, find weapons and different items, defeat alien monsters, and stuff like that. And in the end, perhaps the character will discover the truth.
SteamWorld Dig 2
Release date: September 22, 2017
Nintendo An adventure platformer and one of the best Metroidvania games in which you get to know a steambot and his glowing partner. The characters lived in an old trading town, but then strange earthquakes began to destroy it. Armed with tools, the steambot went into the bowels of the earth to find out who was causing the tremors and preventing the citizens from living in peace. Under the ground, he will meet various monsters and bosses, as well as traps and treasures. The graphics in the game are rather cartoonish, bright, and cheerful – it is sure to please adults and children.