Castlevania is one of the most iconic names in video games, so to honor the long-running, vampire-ridden series, we decided to put together a guide to best Castlevania games of all time! No further ado, check out now!
For this guide for best castlevania games ranked, we’re skipping Vampire Killer and Haunted Castle, as well as the Castlevania port for the Sharp X68000, which was later released for the PlayStation and eventually the PlayStation Network as Castlevania Chronicles. All of the aforementioned titles are ports or re-imaginings of the original Castlevania. Although they differ in a handful of ways, they’re not distinct enough to warrant their own spot. Still, if you’re a fan of the original game, Vampire Killer and Haunted Castle provide a unique spin.
Symphony of the Night – No 1 in the best Castlevania games
It’s hard to talk about Castlevania without mentioning one of the best PS1 games, Symphony of the Night. As the directorial debut for Koji Igarashi, Symphony of the Night has become a defining title in the Castlevania series, ditching the more linear gameplay of previous titles in favor of Super Metroid-style exploration — making it a solid Metroidvania game.
Aria of Sorrow
For ranking Castlevania games, we can’t miss this game.
Aria of Sorrow is another Koji Igarashi-led Castlevania game, and like Symphony of the Night, features open-ended exploration. It does so on the Game Boy Advance, however. Although there were other titles similar to Aria of Sorrow on the GBA, none of them got as close to the Symphony of the Night experience as Aria of Sorrow.
Mechanically, Aria of Sorrow is similar to the GBA games that came before it. That said, most reviewers at the time found its story, graphics, and music superior, if only by a small margin. Regardless, if you’re looking for a go-to Castlevania game on GBA, it should be Aria of Sorrow.
Circle of the Moon
Circle of the Moon was the first Castlevania game released on the GBA. Much like Aria of Sorrow, Circle of the Moon mirrors the exploration of Symphony of the Night, though it isn’t as refined as the GBA titles that would follow. In particular, Circle of the Moon doesn’t take full advantage of the GBA’s graphical capabilities.
The graphics are dark and, as a result, difficult to see. Although the core gameplay is some of the best the Castlevania series has seen, the overall experience isn’t as fluid as Aria of Sorrow. Still, if you like open-ended Castlevania games, Circle of the Moon is a must play.
Dawn of Sorrow
Dawn of Sorrow was the first Castlevania game released as a Nintendo DS game, giving core gamers a reason to upgrade to Nintendo’s latest handheld. Like our previous picks, Dawn of Sorrow was headed by Koji Igarashi, leaving intact the Metroid-esque exploration seen in previous titles.
In many ways, Dawn of Sorrow feels like a refreshed Aria of Sorrow, just with better visuals and the convenience of two screens. As for other differences, Dawn of Sorrow features a few new gameplay mechanics, but cuts down the length significantly; Dawn of Sorrow is one of the shortest games in the Castlevania series.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Breaking from the Koji Igarashi-led Castlevania games, Dracula’s Curse is the first title in the series that shows what it would eventually become. Castlevania III combines all of the best elements of Castlevania and Simon’s Quest into a single game, expanding the RPG elements seen with the second release while not letting platforming fall by the wayside.
Thank you for reading the ranking of best Castlevania games. For more games like Castlevania, check out this list What Are The Best Action Adventure Games?