I just finished the latest Castlevania game: Mirror of Fate HD and I thought I would reflect back on my favorite Metroidvania games.
- Super Metroid (SNES)
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (NDS)
- Guacamelee! (PC)
- Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC)
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS)
- Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
- Cave Story (PC)
- Aquaria (PC)
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (NDS)
- Shadow Complex (360)
It's clear that Castlevania is my favorite series and Super Metroid my favorite game of all time. If you have played Super Metroid you know why it's at the top of every list. If you have not played Super Metroid, then you should.
Now why did I choose Dawn of Sorrow as the best Castlevania game? Besides having the most epic castle ever, without having to invert the castle, this game offered the widest variety of weapons and armor, plentiful throughout the entire game. Players also had the ability to collect souls from monsters and equip three at a time. This game also offered some of the most memorable environments that were reminiscent of Super Metroid. The only thing that his game lacked was the secret moves available from the start of Symphony of the Night, but every other Castlevania game also lacked these.
Guacamelee and Dust were both amazing games. Most players would argue that Dust is the better game and had a better story. I would agree with the story part and thought both games had an equal sense of humor. However, Dust's combat was very exploitable and I was able to mindlessly tear through enemies without blinking an eye. I will admit this was pretty fun, but I found the combat, especially the boss battles more enjoyable and rewarding in Guacamelee.
Now why did I choose Order of Ecclesia, one of the less popular Castlevania games to make the list? Well I would have liked to have put every Castlevania game on the list, even the newest one which I found to have many flaws. Order of Ecclesia managed to be one of the hardest Castlevania games without being cheap. This was a pretty steep accomplishment, everything was avoidable in the game, if you got hit, it was your fault. I know that Order of Ecclesia lacked the epic castle and exploration that most Castlevania have, but the combat and boss battles were so satisfying in this game that I had to put it on this list.
Some honorable mentions to some other franchises: Muramasa, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Mega Man ZX, and La-Mulana.