The 10 Best Metroidvania Games

 10 Best Metroidvanias

What is a Metroidvania? Quite simply put, it's a mash-up of two games, one being Metroid and the other being Castlevania. Both of those games have not only been smash hits during their existence, but they've gone on to spawn a whole new genre where other developers have taken the best parts of both and thrown them together to create something unique. Some of these off-spring have been terrible, some have been okay, and some have been pretty good, but today we take a look at those that have been genuinely great and are more than worthy of you parting with your hard-earned cash for.

If you love your action fast and side scrolly, then the following ten entries on this list are for you. Please note that neither Metroid or Castlevania will appear here as that would be pointless.

10 Of The Best Metroidvania Games

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Welcome to Hallownest, a kingdom that is being ravaged by a mysterious infection that drives its victims insane and leaves them mindless. This is where you, the player knight, find yourself as you set out on a quest to rid the place of this horrendous disease. With three possible endings and game-play that is simple to pick up but challenging to master, Hollow Knight is one tough s.o.b to beat but persevere and Team Cherry's little game that could reward you with a unique and fun experience unlike any other.

Guacamelee

Guacamelee 1 & 2

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Confession time, I love Wrestling. I know, I know, a fully grown man watching other fully grown men, and woman, rolling around in their pants in a supposedly fake sport, though never say that to a wrestler's face unless you want to find yourself missing some teeth, seems pretty sad but it is what it is. So you can imagine my utter joy when DrinkBox Studios decided to combine two of my favorite things into one game. Both Guacamelee 1 & 2 are the perfect combination of platformer and brawler and the fact that the sequel took the chicken transformation from the first outing and made it so you can now fight in that form should tell you all you need to know about the humor that Guacamelee brings to the genre.

Cuphead

Cuphead

Available On: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Is Cuphead a Metroidvania? I do not doubt that there is currently a fair few of you reading this article and yelling at the screen that I'm an idiot who has no idea what I'm talking about and that Cuphead is a run and gun. But, I think it shares more than enough strands of DNA with the genre to be included here. StudioMDHR's game is as brutal as it is beautiful and will push your abilities to the limit with continual boss battles. It will also kill you over and over and over again. This one is not for the faint of heart.

The Mummy Demastered

The Mummy Demastered

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

When Warner Brothers tried to reboot their Universal Monster series they failed miserably. It may have had something to do with terrible writing and CGI; it could've been that people hate Tom Cruise, but whatever the reason it was DOA. The only good thing that came out of it was The Mummy Demastered. After some teething problems, The Mummy Demastered is now one of the best games in the genre which sees you battling Princess Ahmanet and fighting all the monsters and nasties she sends after you. One of the best parts of the game is when you die, and you will, you'll be reset as a new character and will have to defeat a zombified version of your old self to retrieve all the items that you lost. That's pretty damn meta.

La-Mulana 2

La-Mulana 2

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Strap on your best Indiana Jones outfit and head into the world of La-Mulana 2 to unravel the mysteries that lay within. Unlike other games in the genre, La-Mulana 2 will not only punish you for any missteps you may make along the way but it will straight-up murder you if you don't put your brain in gear. This game does not hold your hand, and if you fail to solve any of the myriads of puzzles you encounter along the way, then you'll find yourself deader than corduroy, faster than you can blink. 

Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Axiom Verge looks like it was made in the 80s/90s but was released in 2015. It's also very heavily influenced by the work of H.R Giger, and that's always a good thing in my books. Just like most games in this sub-genre, it's brutally tough to complete or get anywhere near doing so. However, if you've spent any time with these kinds of games, you'll know that as soon as you figure out the patterns and mechanics that are involved, the sense of self-satisfaction you'll achieve when you emerge victorious is worth the pain, anguish, and gnashing of teeth that will proceed it.

Salt & Sanctuary

Salt & Sanctuary

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

If you've ever played the Dark Souls series and thought to yourself "You know what, that was pretty easy" then you really should grab yourself a copy of Salt & Sanctuary. This hand-drawn beauty from Ska Studios is probably the most difficult Metroidvania that has ever been made and will require you to be very familiar with FromSoftware's classics if you want even to stand a chance of progressing past the first battle. You will die, a lot, but as you advance through the game, the ability to level up RPG style will help you out. Until you meet even bigger and badder enemies, and then it's back to the endless cycle of pain, death, and broken controller rage.

SteamWorld Dig 2

SteamWorld Dig 2

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

The first SteamWorld Dig was if I'm too be honest here, boring as hell so you can imagine my surprise when I picked up a copy of SteamWorld Dig 2 and found myself immediately hooked. It's just an all-round better game with a more focused central mechanic and idea that sees you on the hunt for Rusty, the protagonist of the first outing. Collect upgrades, explore the world, and whatever you do, make sure you avoid those nasty monsters lurking deep within the rock.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

Available On: PC, Xbox One

This Xbox One exclusive is a criminally over-looked addition to the Metroidvania genre. This may be because unlike the other games on this list; it's a lot more bright and whimsical. There are battle elements in it, of course, as Ori's sidekick Sein shoots Spirit Flames whenever they're needed but the overall feel of Ori and the Blind Forest is one of wonder. It's also visually stunning, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

Chasm

Chasm

Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

Chasm takes a heavy dose of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and isn't ashamed to admit it. Outside of the Castlevania franchise, this is as close to a new Castlevania game as you're going to get for a while. So if you're familiar with those games that proceeded it, you're going to love Chasm. It also has a unique twist at its heart. The story is the same for everyone who plays it, but the world in which it takes place is different as it's randomly generated at the beginning of each run. So when you complete it, you can go back again, and everything will be different. 

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