What Is The Best Castlevania Game of All Time?

Even though we just started playing the original Castlevania for the Together Retro game club less than a week ago, some of our members have already completed it.  And since there are so many other great games in the series on an array of different platforms, I wanted to ask the racketboy community about which Castlevania games stood out to them the most.

Again, in this poll, you can select up to five games in your vote.  Also, feel free to share your thoughts about your game choices in detail in the comments section below.  Also, if you’re up for the discussion, I’d like to hear your thoughts on what Castlevanias are the best for beginners and which ones are the most challenging.

[poll id=”10″]

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Gyshall says:

Symphony of the Night, no doubt. It’s the epitome of 2d side scrolling platform adventure games, and easily sticks out as one of the best games on a system dominated primarily by 3d games.

Going to have to play it again, thanks….

Philipofmacedon says:

I feel bad Curse of Darkness isn’t getting any love. It and Lament of Innocence weren’t the best Castlevanias, but I still had a good time playing them.

Covarr says:

I don’t know why so many people vote SotN. Sure it was good, but more recent Castlevanias have had better graphics, better level design, better mechanics, a distinct lack of terrible voice acting, etc. The only thing that SotN has that the GBA and DS games didn’t have was that it was the first metroidvania game.

It’s like Final Fantasy VII; it was a wonderful game, but the standard it set has since been far surpassed by later games.

Alejandro Moreno says:

Covarr, you make an interesting point. And I’d argue that it depends on the question being asked.

“What are THE top 5 games” could be perceived as “what 5 games would you recommend to someone that hasn’t played many Castlevania games?”

And I would take “what are YOUR top 5 games” to mean “from the games you’ve played, which would you like to play again the most?”

And this was addressed nicely by racketboy by asking people to also post comments 🙂

To that matter, even though I’ve only played about half of the games on this list, I’d say the original Castlevania is the most challenging for a beginner; and Symphony of the Night the most recommendable (mostly because I feel like it’s the easiest, and at the same time most fun).

Philipofmacedon says:

SOTN has better music than any of the new incarnations. The voice acting is classic, who could forget this?


Ryan says:

Why oh why does Super Castlevania IV get so much love? It’s slow, it looks terrible, the music is uninteresting, and the whole 8-way-whipping thing makes it piss-easy. A failure of a game, amongst the most over-rated games ever.

My Top 5:
01-Dracula X: Chi no Rondo
02-Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
03-Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
04-Castlevania Bloodlines

gord allott says:

I have been replaying castlevania: bloodlines latly, i forgot how geninuely good it is. not the best, but good.

James says:

Why did you put Simon’s quest on there??? lol

Most people will vote SotN as their favorite, and to be perfectly honest I think it has something to do with nostalgia. People literally fell in love with this game and hold it higher than any other game in the series or even any other series. That being said, it is a fantastic game that deserves respect but not so much as to neglect other gems in the series.

I’ll have to say that Castlevania III on the NES is my favorite, I played that game to death so its my personal favorite. Then in no particular order Bloodlines on the SEGA, Dracula X on SNES, SotN and Harmony of Dissonance.

Not a definite best of all time list, but my personal favorites.

ott0bot says:

I see some points about newer gba and ds versions being superior, but I’d add that the GBA versions were far shorter and less in depth. I can’t speak for the DS versions, but the other games are all emulating the style of SOTN, which was an updated version of Simon’s quest. So really are clones better than the original? What did they really improve upon. I thought some of the special ability systems were a bit cumbersome in the GBA titles and were more based around the enemies randomly dopping the cards or giving you a power up. You can play through with Richter and have a different experience. Plus the music is far superior in SOTN. Maybe it’s just nostalgia….

Ghouls 'n Ghosts says:

Mine are:

1. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
2. Castlevania Bloodlines
3. Super Castlevania IV
4. Akumajou Dracula (It’s the X68000 version, right?)
5. Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo

I love the Symphony style games, but I enjoy playing the old school games a lot more.

SmartOne says:

1. Harmony of Dissonance
2. Aria of Sorrow
3. Bloodlines
4. Symphony of the Night
5. Dawn of Sorrow

peace4myheart says:

Voted for SOTN. The only other two games I played are Super Castlevania IV on SNES and Dracula X for Turbo Duo. I have to say it is the RPG element that made SOTN a classic. It was the first Castlevania to do so.

RyaNtheSlayA says:

For me it was close between Portrait of Ruin and Symphony of the Night but we all know which one won.

Gentlegamer says:

1. Castlevania III – Dracula’s Curse
2. Castlevania
3. Dracula X – Chi No Rondo (Dracula X – Circle of Blood)
4. Castlevania Bloodlines
5. Super Castlevania IV

devmas says:

1. Castlevania 64
My first Castlevania, it is my favorite. No other Castlevania left so much of an impression on me, had more fun with this one than any other.
2. Chi no Rondo
I think it is much better than the new Castlevania RPG games.
3. Super Castlevania IV
It isn’t nostalgia, I first played it a few years back, and it was a great game with great whip controls…
4. Castlevania Bloodlines
5. I also voted for Legacy of Darkness… More or less the same game as Castlevania 64, but with many new elements and levels.

retro gamer says:

-SOTN would have to be my very favorite.
-i love simon’s quest, no matter what anyone says. the layout, rpg elements, day/night system (yes, even that) and NPC make for a fresh approach. without simon’s quest, the whole series would be completely different, if it was even still around. besides, everyone has to admit that for a first sequel, it made huge gameplay leaps.
-i thought curse of darkness was actually very good. the familiar system, with its evolving and leveling up of demons, was new and really built on what sotn established.
-super castlevania iv was awesome too. especially the spinning room and the grappling hook ability of the whip.
-finally, i must mention the first one, castlevania. it started everything and took a well used genre and used it well.

Ridley says:

Akumajo Dracula Sharp X68000 may not be very popular in the series (compared to recent Metroidvanias, that is), but in my opinion it’s one of the best takes on the original formula that Konami has ever made.

Classic style 16-bit graphics, creative boss fights, old-school Castlevania design and difficulty, an amazing OST with themes such as Moon Fight and Tower of Dolls… What else could you ask for…? Even the sprite of Simon Belmont is brown-ish in order to pay homage to the original Castlevania on the NES.

I can’t believe you neglected to mention one of the best titles in the whole series on a list that has even Castlevania Legends just for the sake of it.

celestial-- says:

SOTN for me is the best! has moral values, action, brutality and more!!! weeeeeee!!! other than that the HERO is DRACULA’S SON! wahahaha!!

i really wish KONAMI publish SOTN2 for PC someday or atleast some other game publisher’s reversion it for PC

Adam J. Romano says:

This poll is tilted by what games were available to most people. While a good game, Castlevania IV should not beat out the feat that was Dracula X: Chi no Rondo. It’s just that gamers had more access to the former title (I guess).

Berumondo X68K says:

No Castlevania for Sharp X68K / Castlevania Chronicles for PS1?


On the other hand, Ghouls & Ghosts and Ridley… You deserve all of my respect! Hahahahaha… 😉

racketboy says:

Well, I wasn’t about too list all the compilations and variations … if you a problem with list, it was based on Wikipedia.

Bob* says:

Castlevania Bloodlines is a terrific game! I can’t believe a lot of people doesn’t agree

Kriztoffer Swank says:

1. Super Castlevania IV
2. Castlevania (NES)
3. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
4. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
5. Castlevania Bloodlines

Though I also think that Rondo and SOTN are just as good as all of those. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but in my opinion IV definitely reigns supreme. It is easy, true (although hard mode offers a challenge), but the music and graphics are so incredible, giving a very strong atmosphere; the level designing is top-notch; the eight-way whip is a lot of fun; and there just isn’t anything I can say bad about it. Plus it was the first Castlevania game I ever fell in love with, back when it came out and my cousin had it.

Kriztoffer Swank says:

Also, since racketboy says he culled the list from Wikipedia, Akumajo Dracula is indeed the X68000 game since that’s what they call it in the list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Castlevania_titles

And the game is incredible. I love my copy of Castlevania Chronicles.

Gotta add that I love the old school Castlevanias so much more than the Metroidvanias, although I love those too. Just an awesome series all-around.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts says:

High fives Ridley, BeromundoX68K and Kritztoffer Swank.

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