The 8 Best Games like Castlevania for Fans of the Anime Series


Netflix's Castlevania animated series made its debut back in 2017. Four years and just as many seasons later, the show has finally ended, giving each one of the main characters a fitting and satisfying conclusion.

Dante is a Trevor-like take on the Alucard character archetype.

Unfortunately, now that the show has ended, you might be left with a vampiric itch that's not so easily scratched. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there. The best of which, you can find below.

Bloodborne

Bloodborne's setting should remind you a lot of Castlevania.

If we're being honest, any single one of the Souls game belongs on this list. However, the PlayStation exclusive, Bloodborne, shines as the most appropriate inclusion. With more medieval and macabre monster designs, as well as the emphasis on exploring villages instead of expansive castles, Hidetaka Miyazaki's arguably best Souls game yet wears its Castlevania aesthetic influence on its gothic cityscape sleeve.

Anyone who loved the Castlevania anime series will surely love getting lost in Bloodborne's rich environment, complete with the same flashy spells that Sypha loves to throw around in the Castlevania anime.

Speaking of the anime, Bloodborne also has infinite replay value. Just like how you can rewatch the Castlevania anime over and over again, especially if you want a more detailed re-watch, Bloodborne has dozens of reasons for you to sink more than a hundred hours and still find something new to enjoy in the game.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Ritual of the Night is a great intro to Metroidvania games if you're new to the genre.

There's no shortage of good Castlevania games, as well as games that take inspiration from the Castlevania series. Very few can actually replicate the magic though, which makes Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night quite the rarity.

Coincidentally, the game is made by former Castlevania lead producer, Koji Igarashi, who was behind Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which also served as an inspiration for the Castlevania anime series.

So, yeah, if you liked what you saw in the Castlevania anime and would like to play a game that follows a different set of characters in a familiar setting, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is for you. It feels a lot like Symphony of the Night, complete with a ginormous castle for you to explore that hides dozens if not hundreds of secrets.

If the Castlevania anime has made you want to play more similar games, you can do a lot worse than a game created by the same person behind what's largely considered the best Castlevania game of all time.

Hades

Yes, that is God of War's Kratos advising a fellow Demigod.

Hades' anime-infused shares a lot of similarities with that of Netflix's Castlevania anime series. So does its clever exploration of known and established characters. Whereas the Castlevania anime explored the humanity of Dracula and the monstrosity of humans, in general, Hades is a fun and hilarious take on Greek mythology.

While the isometric perspective, well-executed combat system, and tight platforming, are all top-notch, it's the numerous interactions with mythological characters that serve as the highlight in Hades.

We've already made a case before on how good of a game Hades is. Consider this as another reason to give it a try.

InFamous: Festival of Blood

Festival of Blood is a brief but well-designed vampiric take on the InFamous games.

Before Sucker Punch gave the world Ghost of Tsushima, it had the inFamous series. Although most of the inFamous games were all quite good, one that we would especially recommend to Castlevania fans is Infamous: Festival of Blood.

The standalone DLC content was released in 2011 as a PlayStation 3 game revolves around Cole McGrath, who becomes a vampire after a vampire that was reanimated with his blood bites him back as a favor. Cole then arms himself with what looks like a stake to find the Barbed Cross, which is a sacred weapon.

Festival of Blood drew mostly positive reviews when it was released. Many praised its story and gameplay, which should bode well if you're looking for a game featuring vampires like Castlevania to sink your teeth into.

Devil May Cry V

What's better than one Alucard? How about a pair that's got a lot more angst, anger, and personality?

The Devil May Cry series is full of fast-paced hack-and-slash titles that offer a similar story experience to that of the Castlevania anime series.

One could argue that the only difference here is that the series' version of Dracula, Sparda, isn't really present in any of the games. But, that's not really a big problem when you've got two feuding Alucards in Dante and Vergil, who occasionally will work together to fight off whoever was big enough of an idiot to piss off both of these squabbling brothers to get them to set their differences aside.

With Devil May Cry V bringing back the series to its roots while paving the way for the future, Castlevania fans will find a lot to love in the Devil May Cry series.

Hollow Knight

For a game set in a dead kingdom, Hollow Knight is brimming with life and personality.

Hollow Knight is a special game. It's not just good for an indie developer. It's a great game. In fact, it's one of the best games of its generation if not all time, and yes, that is a hill that we are willing to die on. Why? Because it's one of the very few games whose creators actually understood what makes some games good.

People will be quick to point out that Hollow Knight is a great "souls-like" game because it's difficult, but that would be severely underselling it.

What makes Hollow Knight such a masterpiece is its narrative approach. By choosing to show rather than tell, the developers managed to encourage gamers to brave through its immersive and ever-evolving world that's filled with creepy crawlies that can and will kill you on sight. The game also isn't afraid to experiment with genre staples.

Things like the map, warping, and even saving or taking a rest, are all made consistent with the overall theme of the game, making once-boring and monotonous things to do something you actually look forward to.

The story might not exactly evoke the same feelings as the Castlevania anime, but the spirit of the franchise that spawned the hit anime series is evident right from the get-go.

As a bonus, you can play Hollow Knight on a $500 gaming PC.

The Lords of Shadow Series

They say that you become what you hate, so that's probably why Gabriel became Dracula.

Castlevania's Lords of Shadow games are the de-facto best 3D Castlevania games. There just haven't been that many releases, nor have others been as good. Still, it's not just a good Castlevania game because the others were bad. It's still very much one of the best Castlevania games ever, with two games that revolve around separate character arcs.

In the first game, Lords of Shadow, as well as the DLCs, we get to know Gabriel Belmont, who, in his effort to save the world and revive his wife, effectively becomes the most powerful vampire in history, Dracula. Then, in the second game, we take on the shoes of Dracula as he, ironically, saves the world from the devil himself and those who would seek to harm it.

Admittedly, the story's a bit hard to wrap your head around, and the characters feel a lot less interesting than they should be.

Still, if the Castlevania anime series is your first exposure to Castlevania games, we suppose the God of War-like take on the franchise makes for an excellent entry point.

Vampyr

Although flawed, Vampyr is still a game that's worth playing.

2018's Vampyr is an underrated title that was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Although it's not a perfect game, it had a great hook to it. One that saw you take control of a medical doctor who just found out that he'd become a vampire.

As Jonathan Reid, you take to the streets of London during the few relatively peaceful years between World War I and World War II. Your mission is to eradicate the supernatural creatures that haunt the night. However, because you are a doctor who has to take the Hippocratic Oath, you'll often find yourself at odds with your morality, especially since you'll have to kill to survive.

Vampyr does a great job in making players choose to become more powerful or more human. The latter happens if you choose to limit how much Reid feeds throughout the game.

Again. Vampyr wasn't a perfect game. It still isn't. However, it's a great game that puts you in the role of a vampire that should sit well with those who are curious enough to find out what it would be like to live like one.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a freelance content writer based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.