After 10 years, Valdis Story: Abyssal City still sits in my brain like an oddly comforting Mind Flayer tadpole, and with it being $5.24 in the Steam Autumn Sale, you have no reason not to join me in the bliss of this criminally underrated Metroidvania.
Valdis Story is the previous game from Fae Tactics developer EndlessFluff Games, and like Dust: An Elysian Tail, another 2013 Metroidvania classic, it's aged like a fine wine. It's a side-scrolling action platformer with lovely chunky art, punchy combat mixing melee and magic, and an engrossing skill system that allows for absurd character builds.
It's one of the more RPG-heavy Metroidvanias I've played, but exploration feels great too, with that classic gameplay flow of obtaining new abilities that unlock previously out-of-reach areas. My fondest memories are of the boss battles, or rather, of absolutely destroying bosses by combining specific skills with armor pieces that feel like a prelude to the Hollow Knight charm system that's become so popular nowadays. Look past the magic swordsman motif and you'll find some off-beat warrior-monk builds that are a blast to play.
The music is great and it's got a lot of game on its bones. I just checked my Steam library to confirm: my playthrough took 24 hours, and that's just with one of the game's multiple playable characters. Valdis Story may have 2,219 Steam user reviews and a "very positive" score, but it's still my pick for the most underrated Metroidvania out there.
Here are our picks for the 25 best Metroidvania games out there.