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Best Metroidvania games to explore to absolute completion

best metroidvania games - dead cells
(Image credit: Motion Twin)

Metroidvania games, as a genre, have been around since the 90s, and grew into what’s by now a popular sub-genre of action-platforming. You likely already know and love Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the games that started it all, but these days - especially in the indie game scene - we're able to indulge heavily in a new Metroidvania boom that's fuelling this list of best Metroidvania games. 

 Behind Metroidvanias lies a seemingly simple principle – enter a dungeon, explore its depths, and find new weapons and skills to progress to previously locked-off parts of a giant, interconnected whole. At the same time, you can spend hours upon hours chasing 100% mastery by peeking in every corner and finding every secret, which is just the kind of challenge that makes a great Metroidvania grow onto its players. 

Many developers who enjoyed Metroid as kids now make their own tributes, ensuring the genre lives on. Here are the best games you can play on PC and current-gen consoles right now.

25. Dandara

best metroidvania games - dandara

(Image credit: Raw Fury)

Brazilian studio Long Hat House tried something a little different – a Metroidvania in which you teleport instead of jumping. New abilities unlock throughout the story, and by defeating enemies and using the salt they drop as currency.

Steeped in Brazilian mythology, Dandara takes place in a beautiful world that shifts around the map, another interesting concept that in practice can take time to get used to. It’s a challenge, as many of its genre colleagues often are, but it offers a genuinely new approach in a genre that can otherwise often feel slightly static.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS

24. Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

best metroidvania games - Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

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This game may have flown under your radar, as the Record of Lodoss War franchise of games, animes and light novels isn’t particularly well-known outside Japan. Currently in early access, Record of Lodoss War is going for that old-school Symphony of the Night feel. The currently available version is very short and slightly lacks in responsiveness, but this is a safe bet for everyone who can’t get enough of the classic Metroidvania experience.

Available on PC

23. The Mummy Demastered

best metroidvania games - the mummy demastered

(Image credit: Universal)

The Mummy Demastered is a licensed video game for the 2017 Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise, a game much better than the film it originated from. Looking as 16-bit as they come, this is the one to play if you enjoy shooting in Metroidvanias over melee combat.

Beyond that, it comes with a crucial twist – if you die, you don’t simply respawn somewhere and leave your stuff behind, but start as a new character. If you want your stuff back, you have to fight for it – with your former self. The map could’ve done with a bit more detail, and it’s not really about unlocking new skills as it is about finding new weapons, but it’s a good-looking, uncomplicated (but difficult!) advocate of its genre.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

22. Aggelos

best metroidvania games - aggelos

(Image credit: Stonybird)

Aggelos can feel more like a light Metroidvania such as Zelda, a game that doesn’t box you in too much but still has many secrets to offer. It’s the right fit if you like your games colourful and fun, with chubby enemies and Super Mario-esque backgrounds. 

While it doesn’t play like the ‘modern-day marvel’ it’s advertised as, and instead pretty much exactly like those 16-bit era platformers it’s inspired by, it’s one of few Metroidvanias for players looking for something that doesn’t come with hardcore base difficulty. If you’d like things to be more difficult, there’s still a hard mode for you to try. With a cute soundtrack and a reasonable playtime of around 10 hours, it’s the perfect Metroidvania snack for a wide variety of players.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

21. Alwa’s Awakening

best metroidvania games - alwa's awakening

(Image credit: Elden Pixels)

Boasting 400 interconnected rooms, Alwa’s Awakening is a game about a sorcerer trying to save the kingdom of Alwa by finally giving all the ne’er do wells a good whacking and collecting the four crystals that used to protect the land. 

Look, you’re not going to play this for the story, and it’s perhaps a bit bland-looking, but it’s one of those games that don’t have you relying on speed. If you’ve ever played NES-style Metroidvanias that had to make do with fewer frames and liked that, this will be more for you than a game where frame by frame precision is the name of the game.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Turn to page two for more of the best Metroidvania games to play right now...