All 15 Canon Castlevania Games, Ranked Worst To Best – Screen Rant

Castlevania is a long-running series that has been equally blessed and cursed with good and bad games. With entries across almost every mainstream console, Castlevania has been a staple of the gaming scene for decades, with the Belmont family's constant battle to defeat Count Dracula spawning a staggering 25-plus games. The style of Castlevania games have changed dramatically as well, with entries jumping between classic side-scrolling adventures, the much lauded (and much copied)Metroidvania genre, and 3D action adventures over the years. Not all can be considered classics though, and this list will help sort out what isthe very best and very worst of Castlevania.

Unfortunately, there are far too manyCastlevaniagames to rank coherently, therefore the following list will stick to the canonCastlevaniagames, the ones which come together to form the accepted story ofCastlevania.Konami may have left Castlevania in the lurch recently, with the latest game being released back in 2014, but that's no reason not to revisit the venerable series. There is also hope for new pseudo-sequels, as the Castlevania mantle has recently been taken up by theBloodstainedseriesled byCastlevania series producer Koji Igarashi.

Related: Why James Wan Was The Right Choice To Direct A Castlevania Movie

The Castlevaniaseries ofgames generally follow the same formula. Count Dracula has awoken and seeks to conquer the world, or occasionally just a corner of it, while members of the vampire-hunting Belmont family and their associates, including longtime favorite and prodigal son, Alucard, seek to stop him. There is an overarching narrative connectingthe Castlevaniagames in this list, but they can really be enjoyed without any knowledge of the other titles in the series- which makes for an excellent excuse to avoid some of the worst entries listed below. Besides, the best Castlevania narrative in recent memory remains the third game'sNetflix adaptation:Castlevania, whichbegan in 2017.

Castlevania: The Adventuresuffers from a number of technology-related issues. Released on the Nintendo Game Boy,Castlevania: The Adventureincludes only four stages and has no sub-weapons. Gameplay is painfully slow and relies on difficulty to keep players from finishing too quickly. Even though the music was solid for a Game Boy game,there's really nothing to recommend playingCastlevania: The Adventurebesides pure nostalgia.

Castlevania II: Simon's Questgets a lot of flak, but it is a more solid entry than most realize. Trying to differentiate itself from its predecessor,Castlevania II: Simon's Questintroduced a day-night cycle, towns to shop in, an overworld, and plenty of secrets. The gameplay could have stood to be a little tighter, and the often-confusing puzzles never helped matters, butCastlevania IIis worth a play today to see how game development changed rapidly in the 1980s. Though, for all its fascinating developments,Castlevania II: Simon's Questis quite a drag to actually play. The fact that it spawned a meme about it being a horrible night for a curse, it's easy to see why so many dislike it.

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revengeis a much better production than its predecessor. Still utilizing the same Game Boy hardware,Castlevania II: Belmont's Revengeincludes a Megaman-like level select with fairly interesting element themedenvironments.

Related:5 Ways Dragon's Dogma Is The Best Netflix Video Game Adaptation (& 5 Why It's Castlevania)

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge also managed to include the much-missed sub-weapons like the holy water and axe. Though the game is still painfully slow and short, it was clear that the developers were coming to terms with what it meant to make a goodCastlevaniagame.

Castlevania: Bloodlineshas the inauspicious claim to fame of being the only Sega Genesis Castlevania game and also one of the more convoluted entries in the series. Not only was the game's story more tied to the Bram Stoker novel than to the other games in the series, it also had a series of different names depending on where it was released, ranging fromVampire KillertoCastlevania Gaiden.The gameplay follows the familiar notes of most of the classicCastlevanias and even includes some interesting uses of Genesis hardware, but the overall experience is forgettable.

A fascinating entry into theCastlevaniaseries for lovers of story,Castlevania: Lament of Innocencewas chronologically the first game in the series. Gameplay was different from the traditional Metroidvania style as well, with exploration and combat occurring within a 3D space. An interesting addition, the basic combat and lack of replay value madeCastlevania: Lament of Innocencevery few players' favorite, but it still managed to deliver excellent music and and fascinating story. It turns out there's a lot most players didn't know aboutCastlevania'sstory.

While a competent follow-up toCastlevania: Symphony of the Nightand holder of "funniest name"Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonancemissed the mark in a few key areas. Gameplay again revolves around the Metroidvania style of exploration, item acquisition, and progress that marked the best of the genre, butCastlevania: Harmony of Dissonancefails to elevate the formula. It's a good entry in the series, but does nothing special. The worst offence inCastlevania: Harmony of Dissonanceis the music, which fails to live up to theCastlevaniastandard.

Castlevania: Rondo of Bloodwas one of the most important entries for solidifying what futureCastlevaniagames would look like. The first game on a CD,Castlevania: Rondo of Bloodintroduced much improved audio and hand-drawn cutscenes.

Related: Classic Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, & Contra Games Are Coming To PC

Many of the sprites used in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood would be reused in future games, setting the stage for the futureCastlevaniaentries. This entry has had a particularly rocky relationship with releases. It was remade asCastlevania: Dracula Xwith many of its defining features stripped out. This is by far the superior of the two.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curseintroduced multiple characters including series favoriteAlucard, son of Dracula.It also avoidedCastlevania II: Simon's Quest andreturned to the original's more classic side-scrolling adventure gameplay. Instead,Castlevania III: Dracula's Curseinnovated by allowing players to swap between unlocked characters as they played. The narrative was also solid enough to become the foundations of the NetflixCastlevaniaseries and introduced some of Castlevania's best-loved characters.

Castlevania: Curse of Darknessimproved upon the systems put in place byCastlevania: Lament of Innocencein almost every way. Playing as Hector, the Devil Forgemaster (and prominent character in the Netflix series) players had to navigate throughout the forests and villages of Eastern Europe battling another Forgemaster, Issac. With a better feel to combat and an interesting system in which the player forges "Innocent Devils" to assist in battles and puzzle solving,Castlevania: Curse of Darknessis an enjoyable entry.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrowfollowed in the successful footsteps ofCastlevania: Symphony of the Night.The Metroidvania style had replaced the classic side-scrolling adventure and done reasonably well on Nintendo handhelds.Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow,however, quickly became regarded as one of the best of these handheld titles.

Related:Castlevania: Top 10 Sypha Belnades Cosplays

With tight gameplay, an interesting soul collection system, and a story with fascinating twists and turns,Castlevania: Aria of Sorrowrekindled some of the lost love that the previous handheld entries had engendered. It also has one ofCastlevania'smost powerful enemies.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruinis another solid entry in the franchise. Taking place afterCastlevania: Bloodlines,this entry sees players controlling two characters at once. Each playable character handles differently but mastering both of their abilities was crucial to progression. The varied worlds, aided by the Portraits of Ruin themselves, added to solid gameplay and the series usual good music.Portrait of Ruinmay not be many player's favorite entry, but it is definitely quality and worthy of a playthrough for any fan.

The original Castlevania still holds up exceptionally well today. Launching Simon Belmont's quest to rid the world of the terror of Dracula,Castlevaniaoffers solid platforming, interesting weapons, and challenging enemies. The movement may feel a little clunky to modern players, but the weight behind Simon's actions was a stark contrast toSuper Mario Bros.floaty jumps and really forced players to strategize about their movements. This is also where a lot of the iconic music of the series was born, and no one can ignore Vampire Killer when it comes blasting out in all its glory.Castlevaniahas gone on to influence countless games, and even make substantial cameos in modern classics, like including Simon andDracula in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesiais a Metroidvania title that strays into the realm of proper RPG. There's a lot to like with this fresh take on theCastlevaniaformula, with innovations like the Glyph System, which allows the player to alter their abilities in addition to armor and weapons, keeping things interesting.Castlevania: Order of Ecclesiamanaged to tighten up what makesCastlevaniagames great and do it in a beautiful package with excellent music. It's a must-play.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrowis a classic. Taking the gameplay began inCastlevania: Symphony of the Nightand refined on the Game Boy Advance,Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrowtakes pretty much everything that players love about modernCastlevaniagames and makes it about as perfect as can be. There's interesting enemies, a magic system, some RPG progression, a fascinating story, and some amazing tunes. This is a must-play for fans ofCastlevaniaand for fans ofMetroidvanias in general.

Castlevania:Symphony of the Nightis consistently rated one of the bestCastlevanias,and for good reason.Castlevania: Symphony of the Nightintroduced the world to the 'vania' in Metroidvania. Taking control of Alucard, Dracula's son, players entered a massive open castle, exploring and battling monsters and puzzles as they went. To advance deeper into the castle, players had to track down certain magic items that granted new movement options and therefore opened new areas. A masterpiece of sound, graphics, and gameplay, it is easy to see why so many considerCastlevania: Symphony of the Nightto be a classic as well as the bestCastlevania.

TheCastlevaniaseries may havea long history, but there are a surprising number of classics hidden within its number. From the worst entry being a terrible Game Boy game with barely any substance, to the very best being a PlayStation classic that has influenced the gaming industry for decades, there's certainly a lot of range inCastlevania.Thankfully, with this list, it is possible to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the medusa heads from the zombie dragons.

Next:Every Pokmon Generation's Worst Design, Ranked

Cyberpunk 2077 Item Selling Needs One Simple Fix

Joe Fonseca is a PhD Candidate in History and a Freelance Game Journalist. Joe regularly writes about history and games and maintains a blog and podcast titled "Let's Talk about Wargames" with a fellow writer.

Read more here:
All 15 Canon Castlevania Games, Ranked Worst To Best - Screen Rant

Related Post

Comments are closed.