[Top 15] Best Metroidvania Games To Play Today

Metroidvania, metroid, 2D platformer, action games, adventure games, abilities, RPG, Casltevnia, Hollow Knight, axiom verge, Blasphemous, Salt and Sanctuary
Hollow Knight leads the charge for the resurgence of Metroidvanias

There has been a serious resurgence of old-school type Metroidvanias making a return in recent years. With influences from more modern classics like Dark Souls, some of these games have established themselves as some of the very best in the genre. Here’s a list of the very best.

15. Yoku’s Island Express (PC, PS4 Xbox One, Switch)

A very creative and fun take on the usual Metroidvania

Pinball + Metroidvania is something that should NEVER work. But it does…

Yoku’s Island Express has one huge twist: It’s a pinball adventure game set within a Metroidvania-style world. Surprisingly, it combines these two with ease to create something truly special. Oh, and you also play as a dung beetle. 

This game is unique, smart, and most importantly, extremely fun. Its different interconnected levels filled with secrets will charm you from the getgo and won’t let go of you until you have discovered every inch of this imaginative world. If you’re looking for an adorable, fun Metroidvania with a twist, where you will spend hours obsessing over its collectibles, this is the game for you.

14. Unsighted (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Watch the trailer for this stylish game

Yeah, this games’ cover looks like a 90’s cartoon.

Set in a futuristic world, your friends, who are androids, are running out of the force that gives them life. Now it’s up to you to go on a journey to save them from impending doom. This is a race against time, literally, as in-game clock ticks down your friend’s time as well as yours, always keeping the intensity alive. 

This game infuses classic Metroidvania elements that we’ve all come to love with nail-biting combat to top it off. Unlike the majority of the games on the list, this game is not purely 2D and you have the freedom to travel in any direction you want. The game makes finding secrets and solving puzzles rewarding. The game does set markers for you if you choose to follow the intended path, but going off the road less traveled always seems to reap benefits. Some of the UI and RPG elements are annoying to navigate through and often interrupt the fluidity of the game. However, this is not enough to keep this game from being a memorable game with a unique twist.

13. The Messenger (PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)

The Messenger is a retro-looking action game. Check out the trailer

A mutant of influences that somehow manages to be unique. 

The Messenger can be classified as a 2D action platformer, however, there are elements of classic Metroidvania in there for sure. Brimming with personality, well-written dialogue, and a retro soundtrack, The Messenger is an excellent offering. 

Some players may find the Metroidvania elements forced into an otherwise linear action game, especially with a lot of backtracking, but The Messenger still manages to create a thrilling experience. There are super fun abilities to unlock and challenging platforming levels that will test your skills. The Messenger also switches between 16-bit and 8-bit throughout the game, which keeps things interesting as a gimmick. I recommend this title to both old-school 2D action gamers as well as Metroidvania enthusiasts looking for something a bit different.

12. Owlboy (PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

A colourful and charismatic game that pulls at the heartstrings

A heartwarming and charming game with excellent visuals and gameplay

Owlboy is another example of a modern Metroidvania with excellent pixel art visuals. Set in a city above the sky, you play as a boy named Otus, an owl-like humanoid boy. After your homeland is attacked by pirates, you set off on your journey. 

An interesting element of this title is how you use your friends in combat instead of traditional weapons or abilities. It fits the game well and still manages to keep the combat rewarding, fun, and engaging. While it may seem like it’s intended for younger audiences, more mature players will find plenty to love about this charming game, even if the difficulty of the combat or the puzzles are lacking compared to some of its competition. 

11. Dead Cells (PC, Linux, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, IOS, Android)​

Check out the trailer for the addicting Dead Cells

Giving Procedurally-Generated a good name. 

Dead Cells has a couple of selling points right from the start: it’s procedurally generated, there’s randomized loot, and there’s permadeath. Dead Cells excels at combining these three elements to create one of the most difficult, yet addictive action Metroidvanias I've ever played.

Of course, in order to keep this specific gameplay loop engaging, it needs to excel in the combat department. Dead Cells doesn’t only raise the bar in this regard but goes beyond it. Somehow, no matter how many times you fail, you will always look forward to your next run. The game offers a very satisfying sense of progression, and every time you overcome a difficult spot, the sense of accomplishment is real. All of this, while also boasting an electrifying soundtrack and eye-catching visuals, makes Dead Cells not only one of the best Metroidvania, but also one of the best games released this generation.

10.  SteamWorld Dig 2 (PC, Linux, MacOS, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Stadia, Nintendo 3DS, Switch)

If you like Steampunk and Metroidvania, you will DIG this game.

Set in an alluring Steampunk world, you play as Dorothy, the robot, searching for the protagonist from the first game. The main draw of this game is just how addicting and rewarding its traversal is. This is mostly due to the digging mechanic that lets you uncover items and passageways. For me, this is the perfect sequel to the first game, as it improves upon everything the first one did right. The visuals are crisp and clean, the combat is engaging, and so is the upgrade system. 

The sequel introduces a few more puzzles and RPG elements to great effect, making the gameplay loop even more varied and addicting. The dungeons are expertly crafted and any fan of "exploration till completion" will have a field day with this. While lacking in the usual difficulty that is found in most Metroidvanias, SteamWorld Dig 2 is relatively easy, but still incredibly fun and cozy.

9. Axiom Verge 2 (PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch)

Take all the beautiful pixel art in

A successful sequel to the old-school game that made waves when it came out.

Another line of games that feeds on nostalgia and old-school visuals. Axiom Verge 2 proudly wears its influences on its sleeves while also being a super unique Metroidvania by itself. It introduces a surprising amount of diversity in its environments and gameplay, making it exciting to go through this memorable adventure. 

You play as a CEO of a tech company investigating a case when you suddenly find yourself in another world. You acquire a lot of the mysterious story through journals left behind by others. As the story unveils itself, you will find an engaging narrative about AI and nanomachines taking over, while balancing this with the main character's personal journey. You start off with an icepick as your sole tool, but the game continuously provides you with upgrades and new abilities to keep the gameplay loop super interesting. These can be as simple as jumping up walls, and some more unique abilities to keep you on your toes.

8. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knight (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

A dark and gloomy game

A great fun Metroidvania with an influx of abilities to experiment with

The story set up for Ender Lilies: Quietus of the KNight seems basic enough: You play as a priestess who has to purify a kingdom devastated by the undead. You make and fight your way through a land overrun by monsters, all the while encountering all the elements needed to make an enjoyable Metroidvania

Even though the story doesn’t really get more interesting than that, the game boasts an exciting map to traverse and some surprising fun abilities that you unlock as you progress. The progression feels open and organic and there will be times where you won’t know which way to proceed. By the end of the game, you will need to cleverly combine all the abilities to fight and traverse your way through, and this is when the game really shines. It’s not going to change metroidvanias as we know it, but is a fun addition to the genre nonetheless. If you can’t wait for Silksong any longer, this is a great substitute for the time being

7. Sundered: Eldritch Edition (Switch, Xbox One, Stadia)​

An alluring world with Lovecraftian elements. Check it out.

A hectic and colorful Metroidvania with a Lovecraftian twist 

If there was one word I would use to describe this game, it’s chaos. The game is heavily inspired by classic Lovecraftian elements, while its gameplay is all-out pure Metroidvania. This gorgeous-looking game gives you new powers and abilities to unlock that help you reach new areas in the game, and thankfully, all of it feels worthwhile and rewarding. 

The cutscenes are expertly crafted and look amazing, drawing you into the narrative and themes. While the gameplay does the same thing through its combat mechanics and hectic scenarios, You never feel like you don’t have control. Instead, you always know that you can clear an area in just about any case if you play your cards right. In short, this challenging game pushes the player to think on their feet and keep their composure throughout its beautiful world.

6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Android, IOS)

A classic return for the legendary creator

A return to the classic Castlevania series, without actually being called ‘Casltevenia’

Created as a passion project by the legendary Koji Igarashi, this title acts as a spiritual successor to the classic, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Originally a kick-starter, there were a lot of expectations on this game delivering a modern, benchmark Metroidvania experience. Thankfully, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night succeeds in all departments. 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has great level design, diverse combat mechanics, a sprawling map, tight animations, and a tremendous score. The progression system and the choices you have in the way you approach its combat is the real star. You will want to experiment with different abilities and weapons as soon as you get access to them, which even makes the grinding fun in the later parts of the game. This is a must-play for fans of the genre.

5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch)

Watch this intense trailer. Beware if you have Arachnophobia

One of those rare games you show to non-gamers to showcase how beautiful this medium can be

You only need to take one look at this game-or its predecessor-to know that it's special. This game is just showing off its art style and animations. It’s not only a looker though, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps also holds a satisfying fairytale-like world to explore, with imaginative enemy designs and challenging platforming sections throughout. 

One way the sequel improves on its predecessor is the chase scenes that are spread out. These act like big boss fights and are especially fun to engage in, and to gaze at. Some of the later areas can become a bit frustrating to backtrack and find what you are missing, but the overall package is excellent.

4. Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch)​

A fabulous return to the franchise that has been vital to this genre

Metroid Dread manages to achieve something that was once thought was impossible. It manages to not only honor the classic 2D Metroids but adds layers on top of it to make it one of the best games of the year. This game acts as a grand finale to this epic storyline and despite all the development hell, it somehow manages to succeed with ease. 

This will be remembered as one of the defining titles on the Switch, absolutely shining in the graphics department. This colorful and creative alien world looks stunning and never lets up. This goes for the gameplay as well. The gunplay is as fast-paced as it’s ever been, and each new power-up adds to the intensity and the fun factor. Thankfully, the Switch is able to handle the chaos as the game barely dips in frame. All the classic power-ups are on display here adding to that sweet progression that is vital in these types of games. Metroid Dread is a must for Switch owners.

3. Salt and Sanctuary (PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Ps Vita, Switch)

A heavily inspired game that holds its own.

A 2D poster-child of Dark Souls

Salt and Sanctuary is what would happen if Dark Souls was a 2d action game. Wearing its influences on its sleeves, this game combines Dark Souls setting, combat, difficulty and respawn system, with the exploration elements of old-school Metroidvanias. 

In fact, this game doesn’t do anything truly special or unique. However, if you’re a fan of the titles this game draws from, you will find an addicting and fun adventure to add to your catalog. By the end of the game, you will realize how interconnected its world is and appreciate its overall design. Just be ready for some cheap, frustrating boss fights along the way.

2. Blasphemous (PC, Linux, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Just look at these visuals. A truly stunning game with a great first impression

This is a dark and gloomy game about the descent into darkness

The first thing you will notice about Blasphemous is how incredible its 16-bit world looks. Set in Cvstodia, a haunting world driven by extreme religious beliefs, you will make your way through its brutal world as the Penitent One. Thankfully, the actual game lives up to its gorgeous visuals, making for a thrilling, satisfying yet unforgiving experience.

It has also got one of the most visually striking and repugnant boss designs in gaming, so it's not for the faint of heart. Variety and a sense of discovery are essential in these types of games, and Blasphemous somehow manages to improve with each new area and boss. Blasphemous also has a nice twist on the skills that you gain to reach the new areas that the game always teases you with. Instead of having the basic "double-jump" or "dash", the abilities are more creative and contextual to their setting. This makes exploration extremely rewarding.

Overall, this is a must-have for anyone who enjoys old-school hardcore platformers set in twisted, dark environments.

1. Hollow Knight (PC, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Ps4, Switch)

Who would have thought when this trailer was released, it was for one of the defining games of the generation?

With your trusty needle in hand, you traverse a lost kingdom of bugs

Hollow knight excels in all of the parts needed for an unforgettable Metroidvania. It's got engaging combat, a huge map with endless secrets to discover, time-based platforming, challenging bosses, and gradual power-ups to unlock new areas on the map. Made by only 4 people, Team Cherry combined the 2D Metroidvania classics, with the more modern mechanics popularised by Dark Souls to incredible effect. 

The main thing Hollow Knight nails (pun intended) is how interesting and engaging it is to explore its eye-catching world. If you love Metroidvanias where you have no set-path and enjoy getting lost, this is right up your alley. Boasting an incredible world design with interconnected levels, you can always be sure there's something interesting to find around the next corner. To say Hollow Knight is one of the most impressive games of the past generation would not be an understatement. Team Cherry knocked it out of the park for their first game.


Enchanted since laying eyes on Crash doing a double jump spin, Giorgi has dedicated his life to exploring virtual worlds. Always gaming in the dark for full immersion, he takes his calling seriously
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Outer Wilds: Echoes of the, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham City, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine , Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

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