Best and worst Castlevania games

dscross

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
1,264
8
43
Country
United Kingdom
I recently went back to Castlevania. I have played the majority now, but I am yet to play the 3 GBA games.

While I'm not in a position to say the absolute best and worst without playing aria, dissonance or moon, I think I have I pretty good idea now.

I think I'd still have to say symphony of the night is the best by a whisper. All the DS games are awesome as well though - Order of Eccesia, Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin are all equally amazing I think,

But I wouldn't say the worst is Simon's Quest as some people think. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. The classics are pretty good despite their difficulty. Castlevania 64 is a bad game... that's fairly clear. It's probably the worst one. However, I know it's not a popular opinion but I also really didn't like the Lords of Shadow games - I think because it's a reboot the story kind of annoys me because it messes with established characters.

Anyway, what are your favourites and least favourites and why?
 

Necrozius

New member
Jun 21, 2016
61
0
0
Super Castlevania. Sure it's a step backwards to a more linear format but the graphics, music, mood and excellent controls made it the benchmark for all other games in the series (for me, anyway: Dracula X was prettier but I hated the de-evolution of the controls).

I mean, did ANY other Castlevania games let you attack with the whip in 360 degrees? By God that was so much fun.
 

WhiteFangofWhoa

New member
Jan 11, 2008
2,548
0
0
Pretty close to what you said. Lords of Shadow doesn't feel like a Castlevania game and discards the entire established continuity for no reason.

I loved all the DSvanias, but my favourite is probably Dawn of Sorrow. Likewise, if you ever want to try the GBA ones, I'd consider Aria of Sorrow the best one, even if Dawn is better overall.

As to the classics, I loved Dracula's Curse the best despite its difficulty. It was notable in that it introduced Alucard (and we know the brilliant game that came out of that), along with Sypha and Grant, and later got a direct story sequel Curse of Darkness. Apparently the TV series is going to be based on it as well, so we might yet get further exploration of Sypha and Grant's backgrounds. Super Castlevania 4 is good too, if more straightforward and simple.

Least favourite besides Lords of the Shadow would probably be Castlevania 64 or Legacy of Darkness.
 

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
9,783
2,930
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
Necrozius said:
Super Castlevania. Sure it's a step backwards to a more linear format but the graphics, music, mood and excellent controls made it the benchmark for all other games in the series (for me, anyway: Dracula X was prettier but I hated the de-evolution of the controls).

I mean, did ANY other Castlevania games let you attack with the whip in 360 degrees? By God that was so much fun.
Nothing wrong with being linear; I prefer the Classicvania games over the Metroidvania any day. For me, the best one in the series is Bloodlines. You have two characters. Jonh Morris is your standard whip guy and Eric Lecarde carries a spear, and it's one of the few Castlevanias' where you go cross country all over Europe. Both characters play different from each other, and you get fight loads of bosses. Not only that, but Konami proved what the Sega Genesis could do visually, just like with Contra: Hard Corps. John can't do a 360 whip like Simon, but can still whip diagonally (up and down) and can whip across ceilings Indian Jones style. Then you have Eric, who can reach certain places that John can't, or get to places faster with his charged jump.
 

Saelune

Trump put kids in cages!
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
8,411
15
23
Im gonna piss some people off maybe, but my favorite is Legacy of Darkness. The second N64 one where you play a werewolf. I also really liked Lament of Innocence.

My least favorite that I have played (for more than 2 seconds, cause I did play one of the 3DS ones and didnt like it) is Symphony of the Night. Now, I havent played many, and it is not that I hate it, I just always get lost and lose interest.
 

dscross

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
1,264
8
43
Country
United Kingdom
Saelune said:
My least favorite that I have played (for more than 2 seconds, cause I did play one of the 3DS ones and didnt like it) is Symphony of the Night. Now, I havent played many, and it is not that I hate it, I just always get lost and lose interest.
Is it that you don't like the Metroidvania style in general? Do you lik Super Metroid, for example?
 

dscross

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
1,264
8
43
Country
United Kingdom
dscross said:
Saelune said:
My least favorite that I have played (for more than 2 seconds, cause I did play one of the 3DS ones and didnt like it) is Symphony of the Night. Now, I havent played many, and it is not that I hate it, I just always get lost and lose interest.
Is it that you don't like the Metroidvania style in general? Do you like Super Metroid, for example?
 

Bedinsis

Elite Member
Legacy
Escapist +
May 27, 2020
582
107
48
Country
Sverige
Well I've only played two. Meaning that per definition one is the worst I've played and one is the best I've played.

Those titles are Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow.

I had fun with both of them but Dissonance was the better game in my mind.
 

sXeth

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
2,636
114
68
Bitter Hobbit said:
The first Lords of Shadow though I really got into, I thought it looked great had a fun combat system and a interesting story, I never did play the second one though but apparently it wasn't as good.
It had an interesting concept to it (Cyberpunk urban fantasy Castlevania), but that probably also alienated the purist fans of the series. Also felt kind of rushed and reeked of executive meddling. Overly short, some silly forced inclusions like the inane stealth sections. The future premise gets thrown out for about half the game too, as you randomly shift back into the medieval castle setting, like they were afraid to really go all in on the new idea.

The ending battle also goes into full blown anime style ridiculous levels, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your preference.

Satan calls out a giant flying worm/dragon thing to devour the world, Gabriel and Alucard jump on and end up climbing it in space as its coming back around at Earth, then blowing it up and fighting Satan (who possesses Alucard eventually) amidst the meteor shower of falling worm chunks cascading back down to Earth.
 

SmallHatLogan

New member
Jan 23, 2014
613
0
0
Favourite Classicvania: Rondo of Blood. Really good level design. Not ball bustingly difficult like the NES games but still challenging and fun. Good graphics and great soundtrack too.

Least favourite Classcvania: Simon's Quest. It had potential and the soundtrack is great but in the end it ended up being a bit of a mess.

Favourite Metroidvania: Symphony of the Night. Gameplay isn't particularly noteworthy but it's solid enough. World design, soundtrack, and atmosphere are great.

Least favourite Metroidvania: I don't know, they all kind of blur together after Symphony of the Night. I'll give it to Dawn of Sorrow because of the touch screen bullshit.

I can't really comment on the 3D ones because I've only played Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness. I have nostalgia for them but they do have a lot of problems.
 

Saelune

Trump put kids in cages!
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
8,411
15
23
dscross said:
Saelune said:
My least favorite that I have played (for more than 2 seconds, cause I did play one of the 3DS ones and didnt like it) is Symphony of the Night. Now, I havent played many, and it is not that I hate it, I just always get lost and lose interest.
Is it that you don't like the Metroidvania style in general? Do you lik Super Metroid, for example?
I never got completely lost in a 2D Metroid.
 

Necrozius

New member
Jun 21, 2016
61
0
0
MC1980 said:
Worst

1. Tiger Electronics Gaming Watch Simon's Quest
2. Tiger Electronics Handheld Simon's Quest
3. Tiger Electronics Handheld Symphony Of The Night
HAHHA oh my god YES. Those fucking awful Tiger Electronics games. Always a terrible disappointment.
 

Ogoid

New member
Nov 5, 2009
405
0
0
My favorite will always be Castlevania for the NES, probably in no small part because it was the one I first played and owned as a kid. Castlevania III is probably the better game, all things considered, but while Aquarius [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J8XqDENH1Y] and Stream [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpIQt5qUHDk] are pretty memorable tunes, Heart of Fire [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZpu4ClZ28] and Wicked Child [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7PFm7mrdVY] alone put the original on the top of my list.

Bloodlines and Curse of Darkness are also pretty fun games in the series I feel often don't get as much love as they deserve.

Now, I don't think I've ever played any of the unarguably bad ones, but one I could never for the life of me get into (and this is probably going to be a contentious statement) is Super Castlevania IV.

I don't know, maybe it's because I didn't play it back in its day, but it's just never really clicked with me in any level.
 

dscross

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
1,264
8
43
Country
United Kingdom
Of what I've played through at least once, from best to worst:

Super Castlevania - Perfected the playability of the classic formula, plus the music was outstanding

Symphony of the Night - Expanded upon it and had some of the best music in the series

Castlevania 3 - Best of the "old school" design

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence - Call me crazy but this was my favorite 3D game in the series

Castlevania: Mirror of Fate - Like a cross between classic formula and SotN. I liked it but not as much as the ones it drew inspiration from

Castlevania - The original that started it all...not much else to say

Castlevania 2 - Was too obtuse in design which often made it more stressful than as enjoyable as it should've been. Maybe because I only played it for the first time just last year. The fire whip is still one of the best weapons in the series though

Castlevania: LoS - Felt too much like a streamlined God of a War and only half as good

Castlevania: LoS2 - Like the first LoS but more annoying. About the only improvements were some combat design and expanding 3D past what LoS did

None of the above are what I'd consider "bad" either. My list is simply based on how much fun each game was of what I've played.

I've also played about half of Aria of Sorrow, Castlevania 64, and Curse of Darkness; none of which would crack my top 5 anyways. AoS would come close though.
 

MetalDooley

Cwipes!!!
May 27, 2020
2,054
0
1
Country
Ireland
Best:

Necrozius said:
Super Castlevania.
I mean, did ANY other Castlevania games let you attack with the whip in 360 degrees? By God that was so much fun.
This so much. Removing the 360 attack was a step backwards for the series

Worst: Harmony of Despair. It's a fucking boss rush mode released as a stand alone game for the same price as Symphony of the Night on XBLA
 

Erttheking

Member
Legacy
Apr 23, 2020
10,845
1
3
Country
United States
Symphony of the night and Dawn of Sorrow are my favorites by default. Only ones I played. I prefer Symphony by default, it felt more meaty. I do like how Dawn of Sorrow had a boss that was Vega meets Dio Brando though.
 

Sleepy Sol

New member
Feb 15, 2011
1,831
0
0
Personal favorite is Portrait of Ruin. The gimmick isn't frustrating and I think the difficulty is less of a hassle than in OoE. I guess SotN kind of stands above all of the DS and GBAvanias for me in general, but having played through it recently, I'd struggle to really explain why.

If I had to put what I think of the ones I've played in numerical order:

1. SotN
2. PoR
3. OoE
4. AoS
5. HoD
6. DoS
7. CotM

Comparing them isn't really very easy for me, though, since I'd gladly play through almost any post-SotN Castlevania multiple times. Except Circle of the Moon, maybe (I'd probably mark it as my least favorite even though it's still enjoyable). One day I'd like to muster the effort to get into the older games but I tend to get a little too annoyed playing them.
 

Kajin

This Title Will Be Gone Soon
Apr 13, 2008
1,016
0
0
The only two Castlevania games I've played are Symphony of the Night and Curse of Darkness. SotN is my favorite of the two hands down. CoD had probably the best intro music of any game I've ever played. It wasn't a great game, but I did enjoy it enough to play it to completion because I liked the main mechanic of the game with the beast creation and summoning (even though I hated having to use different weapon types to get different things), and the final boss fights were pretty good.