Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the 14 best Metroidvania games in 2023! As a popular genre that combines elements of both action-adventure and platforming games, Metroidvania has captured the attention of many gamers worldwide.
The term “Metroidvania” itself represents the harmony between “Metroid” and “Castlevania”, two legendary gaming franchises that have inspired this style of gameplay. Today, we will walk you through some of the top Metroidvania titles you simply must try in 2023.
To help you find the perfect game for you, we’ve segmented our list into ten distinct sections with different themes and styles. This includes classic Metroidvanias, indie darlings, modern gems, and even upcoming releases projected to make a splash in 2023! Let’s dive right in!
First out of the gate, we focus on games that laid the groundwork for the genre and remain beloved titles to this day. These classic Metroidvania games set the bar high and continue to inspire new generations of gamers.
Even after all these years, these titles still offer gripping exploration and addictive gameplay. Many players fondly remember spending countless hours navigating their way through sprawling, interconnected worlds filled with enemies, plot twists, and power-ups.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and rediscover some of the classics that started it all:
Super Metroid: Often cited as one of the pioneers of the genre, Super Metroid boasts non-linear exploration and an irresistible blend of action and adventure.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: Showcasing a vast explorable castle, RPG elements, and hidden gameplay secrets, this game continues to impress its fans.
Metroid Fusion: With its polished exploration mechanics and compelling narrative, Metroid Fusion solidified the series’ reputations for top-of-the-line experiences.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: Set in an intricate castle, this sequel adds various weapons and abilities, making it a hit with the fanbase.
La-Mulana: Featuring an ancient ruin filled with traps, puzzles, and foes, La-Mulana is both challenging and utterly immersive.
Axiom Verge: In this stylistic tribute to the classics, travel through an alien world armed with strange technology and unravel a mysterious story.
Gaming wouldn’t be complete without independent developers who create amazing Metroidvania titles. These indie darlings captivate vast audiences by putting innovative spins on the tried-and-true formula.
By maintaining the core essence of the genre while experimenting with new ideas, these games bring unexpected joys to players and ensure that Metroidvania remains a relevant and exciting experience.
Discover below a collection of some top indie Metroidvania games that have charmed enthusiasts and critics alike:
Hollow Knight: This critically acclaimed adventure featuring a bug-infested kingdom has enthralled players with its beautiful hand-drawn art style and engaging combat.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Experience a visually stunning world full of enchanting characters, meticulously crafted levels, and poignant storytelling.
Owlboy: Take flight as Otus, exploring a pixelated realm and solving complex puzzles in this heartwarming narrative-driven experience.
Dead Cells: This rogue-lite brings procedurally generated levels into play, offering a unique blend of Metroidvania and permadeath mechanics.
The Messenger: Merging nostalgia with modern gaming conventions, The Messenger boasts charming 8-bit and 16-bit art styles as well as enthralling level-design.
Blasphemous: Dive into the haunting world of Cvstodia, fighting your way through horrifying creatures in this dark and intense action-platformer.
Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Metroid Fusion, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, La-Mulana, Axiom Verge
Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, Owlboy, Dead Cells, The Messenger, Blasphemous
Although our list includes only ten sections, we have chosen to highlight six games from both the Classic Metroidvania and Indie Darlings categories. These titles bring elements from each category that make them exemplary choices for anyone looking to dive into the genre – from nostalgic players to newcomers alike.