Continued from Part One
where we present our picks for the 20 Best Metroidvania Games
you should play after the credits roll on the brilliant Dead Cells.
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, IOS
Humble Hearts LLC
Another incredible title created largely by one developer, Dust: An Elysian Tail
is an action-platformer that balances its fast gameplay with RPG elements gracefully.
The story relies on more than a few familiar tropes but it’s fully voice-acted dialogue and characters make it a memorable one regardless. Detailed animations ensure each moment exploring the game’s vibrant world is a visual pleasure, while making the core gameplay loop all the more compelling.
Not only a champion for modern Metroidvanias, Dust is one of the most successful indie games of all time.
Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4
Ever wanted to be a slugcat traversing your way through industrial wastelands and doing your best to avoid hungry predators?
is not your typical Metroidvania. Rather than learning to fight, you’ll need to learn to survive through cunning stealth and have quick reaction speed to outsmart other strange creatures, while finding your own prey to feast on.
Every aspect of Rain World
, from the gloomy artstyle to the murderous creatures and desolate setting, feels as if it is after you at every moment. It makes for an often-intense experience but also one that is strangely beautiful and melancholic.
Hyper Light Drifter
Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
If its stunning pixel art-style doesn’t grab you, then surely Hyper Light Drifter
’s atmospheric tone, cryptic world, dynamic combat and sombre story will have you hooked.
Plagued with an unknown but fatal illness, you play as a drifter with the ability to harness ancient technology in search of a cure. While exploring the ruins of civilizations long past, the story plays out through the gorgeous environments and terrific animations of the characters.
Hyper Light Drifter
is often praised for its deep and varied combat, but it's the smart environmental storytelling and intriguing world that make it such a compelling romp.
Windows, Mac, Linux, PS Vita, Nintendo Wii
A throwback to old-school games when it comes to difficulty, style and core gameplay, La-Mulana
is captivating for all the right reasons. The retro-inspired structure and gameplay loop replicates the feel of classic Metroidvanias. It’s easy to understand, punishing to play and rewarding to learn.
Tasked with exploring La-Mulana
’s labyrinthine ruins and solving each area’s various riddles, you’ll soon feel like the intrepid Indiana Jones.
Shadow Complex Remastered
Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
ChAIR Entertainment/Epic Games
If you prefer Metroidvania with guns over swords, then you can’t go past the remastered version of ChAIR Entertainment’s ’s Shadow Complex
A smart twist on the side-scrolling Metroidvania formula, Shadow Complex
keeps you guessing throughout its action-thriller story, switching perspectives and throwing dozens of crazy situations at you. As you traverse the game’s mysterious underground complex, you’ll discover several unique power ups, difficult challenges and epic boss battles to boot.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Windows, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One
From the iconic game director Koji Igarashi, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
is a retro-style Metroidvania reminiscent of Igarashi’s early Castlevania games. Much like those games, Bloodstained sees you hunt down horrific creatures of the night and battle your way through a menacing castle using deadly weapons —including a trusty whip, of course.
But despite the old-school aesthetics, Curse of the Moon isn’t afraid to switch up the formula. As you play, you’ll meet and unlock new characters to play as, each of whom brings their own unique abilities and weapons to the table.
One of the lesser known titles on this list (and the only Freeware one) is Iji
, an action platform shooter, that is much more than it might at first seem.
The largely-linear story here follows Iji
, who wakes to find that Earth is under attack by aliens and that she has been made into a super soldier. Similar to Toby Fox’s Undertale, you have the option of choosing to play as a pacifist, avoiding enemies and violence, or fighting your way through the alien invaders using an array of high-tech weapons.
The actions and decisions you make throughout Iji
’s surprisingly intense story determines how events play out. It’s a great Metroidvania and, in our opinion, one of the best Freeware games ever made.
Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita
Relying on a similar kind of procedural-generation to that found in Dead Cells, Chasm creates a unique Metroidvania experience each time you play.
Tasked with discovering the source of supernatural creatures threatening a mining town, you’ll need to explore the many distinct areas of the mine to save the kidnapped townsfolk, while also customising your character and taking on massive bosses.
As you continue your descent, finding mysterious ruins and paranormal phenomena, you’ll rescue characters who will aid your quest and help rebuild the town into a bustling hub.
Salt & Sanctuary
Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One
Heavily inspired by (and a loving homage to) the Dark Souls and Castlevania games, Salt & Sanctuary
is a dark fantasy 2D action RPG.
Developed by a married couple in the USA, S&S has an incredible handcrafted vibe. It features a lengthy story, brutal and complex combat and rich RPG elements. There are 100s of weapons and items to collect plus an extensive skill tree with hundreds of ways to customise your character.
Windows, Max, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4
Thunder Lotus Games
Feel like confronting hordes and giving up your humanity to obtain mythical powers to defeat terrifying Lovecraft-inspired bosses? Sundered
is most definitely for you.
An action platformer with up to four player co-op, Sundered
throws you into a series of ever-changing caverns, each filled with more enemies than you’ve likely ever seen. With a mix of hand-crafted and procedural levels, hundreds of upgrades and a unique story inspired by H.P. Lovecraft with several different endings, it’s a spectacular experience
well worth your time.