Taking just a glance at all Castlevania games in order reveals just how everlasting this long-running video game franchise is.
With a history spanning nearly 40 years of console, handheld, PC, and even mobile games, keeping up with the series is no small task.
In this list, we’ll provide you with a list of Castlevania games in order of release, with respect to the main console games, handheld spin-offs, and Castlevania remakes/remasters.
So strap into those coffins and get ready for the best Castlevania games in order!
Table of ContentsShow
Main Console Games
Release Date: September 26, 1986
Platforms: Famicom, NES, C64, Amiga, MS-DOS, Windows, GBA
The original Castlevania was developed and published by Konami in the mid-1980s for the Famicom in Japan before making its way westward to be ported to the NES.
Best described as a 2D platformer, it casts players as Simon Belmont, a descendant of a legendary vampire hunter who tracks down Count Dracula’s castle in hopes of defeating him.
Upon release, the game was well-received as well as a financial success, with many considering it one of the platform-defining titles on the Famicom/NES.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Release Date: August 28, 1987
Platforms: Famicom, NES
Simon’s Quest sees players reprising their role as the legendary vampire hunter while on a journey to undo Dracula’s curse placed on him at the end of the first game.
The game is notable for deviating from the traditional platforming of its predecessor and incorporating more RPG and open-world game elements.
Much like the original, Castlevania II garnered positive reviews and is widely regarded as a Nintendo classic.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Release Date: December 22, 1989
Despite being the third entry in the series, Castlevania III is actually a prequel set a few centuries before the original Castlevania.
In it, players take on the role of Trevor C. Belmont, an ancestor of Simon Belmont tasked with ending Dracula’s assault on Europe with his army of monsters.
Following its release, Castlevania III was praised for revisiting the original’s format while introducing new allies and sound improvements with some minor criticisms aimed at the game’s difficulty.
Super Castlevania IV
Release Date: October 31, 1991
With the NES in players’ rearview, Super Castlevania IV launched on its successor, the Super NES, which supported 16-bit graphics and expanded audio.
This led to the game having one of the best soundtracks in the series, further complemented by a familiar plot in which Simon Belmont sets out to defeat Dracula in 1691 Transylvania.
As a result, Super Castlevania IV was met with critical acclaim and is even regarded by some as one of the greatest video games of all time.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Release Date: October 29, 1993
Platforms: PC Engine Super CD-ROM, PSP
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is an oddity in the franchise’s history due to it originally releasing for the PC Engine’s Super CD-ROM in Japan.
The story centers on yet another member of the Belmont clan, Richter Belmont, as he embarks on a quest to save his lover Annette after she’s abducted by Dracula.
While critics and fans were left disappointed by its Japanese exclusivity, Rondo of Blood would end up being positively received and winning the award for “Best Japanese Action Game of 1994,” by EGM.
Release Date: March 17, 1994
Platform: Sega Genesis
The first and only Castlevania game to appear on the Sega Genesis, Bloodlines was conceived as a unique experience tailor-made for the system.
To this point, it features faster, more action-oriented gameplay carried out by John Morris and Eric Lecarde, two vampire hunters waging war with a new threat: Dracula’s niece, Elizabeth Bartley.
This new approach was deemed a success as Castlevania: Bloodlines reviewed well and was retroactively named “the 8th best Genesis game of all time,” by gaming outlet GamesRadar.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Release Date: March 20, 1997
Platforms: PS1, Sega Saturn, Xbox 360, PSP, PS4, iOS, Android
Positioned as a direct sequel to Rondo of Blood, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night takes place four years later and sees Dracula’s son Alucard rising from his slumber to explore the castle.
The game’s design marks a significant break from previous outings, with a bigger emphasis on exploration, non-linear levels, and RPG elements reminiscent of Castlevania II.
While Symphony of the Night initially sold poorly, it would gradually build a cult following through word-of-mouth and eventually receive widespread critical acclaim.
Release Date: January 26, 1999
Serving as the first 3D game in the series, Castlevania 64 sets up two new protagonists: Carrie Fernandez, an orphan with magic powers, and Reinhardt Schneider, the heir to the Belmont clan.
Together, the pair set out to stop Count Dracula from returning to power by traveling to his castle to battle the vampire and his army of undead minions.
Despite the shift from 2D to 3D gameplay, Castlevania 64 managed to receive generally positive reviews at the time of release.
Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness
Release Date: December 8, 1999
Billed as both a prequel and an expanded version of Castlevania, Legacy of Darkness features a remake of the original game with improved graphics, new villains, and alternate level designs.
The story is set during the year 1844 when the man-beast known as Cornell embarks on a quest to save his adopted sister Ada from being sacrificed in one of Dracula’s rituals.
Following its release, Legacy of Darkness was met with mixed reviews as critics were left divided on its new features.
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Release Date: October 21, 2003
The next entry on our list of Castlevania games in order is Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, another 3D game that takes place chronologically before the rest of the series.
To be exact, during the year 1094 where we see the origins of the series’ eternal conflict unfold as Leon Belmont searches for a vampire’s castle where his kidnapped betrothed is being held.
The game received mostly positive reviews regarding its story, gameplay, music, and graphics as well as some criticisms for its repetitive level designs and excessive backtracking.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Release Date: November 1, 2005
Platforms: PS2, Xbox
Following in the footsteps of Lament of Innocence, Curse of Darkness is yet another 3D Castlevania game that includes more robust action-adventure gameplay.
In it, players assume control of Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who returns to Dracula’s castle to track down his rival Isaac after the death of his fiancée Rosaly.
Reviews for Curse of Darkness are generally favorable, particularly in regard to the game’s combat and music.
Castlevania: The Adventure
Release Date: October 27, 1989
Platforms: Game Boy, Game Boy Color
With all the main console games covered, we’ll switch over to Castlevania handheld games starting with Castlevania: The Adventure.
Set between Castlevania III and the original Castlevania, it casts players as Christopher Belmont, another member of the legendary vampire hunter clan on a quest to defeat Dracula.
Upon release, the game was met with a mixed reception as several critics felt it was ultimately held back by the technical limitations of the Game Boy.
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge
Release Date: July 12, 1991
Platforms: Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Despite this, Konami would release a sequel in the form of Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge, roughly two years later.
In this game, Christopher Belmont is forced to confront Dracula once again after his son Soleil is kidnapped and used in Dracula’s plan to retake his human form and rebuild his castle.
Thankfully, the game fared much better when it came time for reviews, with several outlets praising its use of the Game Boy’s hardware and inclusion of classic Castlevania items and weapons.
Release Date: November 27, 1997
Platform: Game Boy
Castlevania Legends is the third Castlevania game released for the Game Boy and was conceived as a prequel to the rest of the series.
However, over the years the game has been recognized as non-canon, with the story following Sonia Belmont, a vampire hunter tasked with battling the very first incarnation of Count Dracula.
Aside from a handful of complaints concerning its music and features, Legends is widely regarded as a cult classic Game Boy title.
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Release Date: March 21, 2001
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Part of the GBA’s launch line-up, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is one of the more controversial entries in the series due to its plot being retconned by former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi.
Instead of following one of the Belmont clan, the game stars Nathan Graves as he trains to confront Dracula himself, with help from his mentor Morris Baldwin.
Despite muddying the series’ timeline, Circle of the Moon received widespread critical acclaim upon release.
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Release Date: June 6, 2002
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Drawing inspiration from hits like Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance follows Simon Belmont’s grandson Juste on a mission to rescue his kidnapped childhood friend.
This plays out across a series of 2D side-scrolling levels with two Castle layers for players to explore, each with unique enemies, items, and interactive features.
The game was considered an improvement over its predecessor with better gameplay and graphics with some criticism regarding its confusing progression, story, and music.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Release Date: May 6, 2003
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Set during the year 2035 when Dracula is still sealed away, Aria of Sorrow follows Soma Cruz, a teenager with occult powers granted by the dark vampire himself.
Throughout the game, Soma is forced to fend off enemies looking to claim Count Dracula’s powers using a new Tactical Soul system.
Following its release, Aria of Sorrow received universal acclaim, with much of the praise attributed to its stellar visuals, gameplay, music, and level design.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Release Date: August 25, 2005
Platform: Nintendo DS
Hot off of the success of Aria of Sorrow, Konami would release Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, a direct sequel for the Nintendo DS that continues the storyline.
Having defeated Dracula and reclaimed his powers, Soma Crus is joined by allies in a tireless struggle to avoid becoming the new dark lord while pursued by a cult looking to kill him.
Similar to its predecessor, Dawn of Sorrow was met with widespread critical acclaim, with several gaming outlets crowning it as the best Nintendo DS game of 2005.
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Release Date: November 16, 2006
Platform: Nintendo DS
One year later, the next Castlevania DS game would release as Portrait of Ruin, an adventure platformer that included a cooperative multiplayer mode and English voice-overs.
Set during 1944 in WWII-era Europe, the story follows two different characters: vampire hunter Jonathan Morris, and the young sorceress Charlotte Aulin.
Since its release, the game has garnered an overall positive response from critics and fans, including several awards for “Handheld Game of the Month” and “Best DS Game of 2006.”
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Release Date: October 21, 2008
Platform: Nintendo DS
Set chronologically after Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia centers on a countermeasure organization created to prepare for the undead lord’s eventual return.
Among the Order’s assets is a triad of magical glyphs based on Dracula’s power that allows the main character Shanoa to perform special powers and obtain new skills.
The game received generally favorable reviews, with certain reviewers describing it as a “cross between Symphony of the Night and Simon’s Quest.”
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows
Moving along with our list of Castlevania games in order, we finally arrive at the rebooted trilogy that starts with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
In it, players take on the role of Gabriel Belmont as he heads off on a quest to defeat the evil Lords of Shadow and resurrect his wife during the Middle Ages.
While many fans swore off Lords of Shadow for separating itself from previous games in the series, it still sold and reviewed well as critics were impressed with its story, combat, visuals, and music.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, PS3, Windows
The commercial and critical success of Lords of Shadow led to a successor, Mirror of Fate, which appeared on the 3DS as well as consoles and PC as Mirror of Fate HD.
In a return to traditional side-scrolling Castlevania gameplay, the game reintroduces familiar characters Gabriel, Trevor, and Simon Belmont in addition to Alucard.
Upon release, Mirror of Fate received mixed reviews as some critics enjoyed the combat and visuals while others complained about the game’s easy difficulty and predictable story.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Platforms: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
It would only be a year before a full-fledged sequel to Lords of Shadow was released for PC and consoles.
In Lords of Shadow 2, players explore both medieval and modern open worlds where a weakened Dracula sets out to defeat his former enemy Satan.
Much like its predecessor, the game garnered a mixed response from critics praising its combat and visuals while taking issue with the direction of its narrative and forced stealth sections.
Remakes, Remasters, and Rereleases
Release Date: October 30, 1986
Known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula, Vampire Killer is a parallel version of the original Castlevania released for the MSX2 in Japan and Europe.
As such, it also stars vampire hunter Simon Belmont as the main character who travels to Dracula’s castle to confront him.
While Vampire Killer’s premise, soundtrack, characters, and locations are largely the same as Castlevania, the game’s structure and mechanics are slightly different.
Release Date: February 22, 1988
Platforms: Arcade, PS2, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Windows
Originally released in arcades, Haunted Castle is a side-scrolling platformer that has the player guiding Simon Belmont as he embarks on a journey to save his wife Selena from Dracula.
Following the game’s arcade release, it would be 18 years before Haunter Castle was ported to a home system with the PS2 version of Haunted Castle.
Even then, it was exclusive to Japan until 2019 when it was ported to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms as part of the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection.
Release Date: July 23, 1993
Platforms: Sharp X68000, PS1
Castlevania Chronicles is a compilation consisting of two versions of the first Castlevania and was originally released exclusively in Japan for the Sharp X68000.
Seven years after its release, the game came to other territories via a PS1 port that maintains the compilation’s two modes.
In Original Mode, players can experience the original Sharp X68000 version while in Arrange Mode, new cinematics, sprites, and gameplay rebalances were introduced.
Castlevania: Dracula X
Release Date: July 21, 1995
Sharing the same gameplay and storyline as Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Dracula X is a SNES-exclusive title with slightly altered content.
Among these are all-new levels, altered gameplay elements, and other changes intended to bypass the exclusivity agreement between Konami and PC Engine maker NEC for Rondo of Blood.
As such, the game plays largely the same as the original and even uses many of the same graphics.
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Release Date: October 23, 2007
In contrast to the previous entry, The Dracula X Chronicles is a full-fledged remake of Rondo of Blood developed for the PlayStation Portable.
This version is notable for featuring 2.5D graphics as well as being the first instance of Rondo of Blood officially releasing outside of Japan.
Furthermore, The Dracula X Chronicles includes a localized version of the original Rondo of Blood and a remastered version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
Release Date: October 27, 2009
At long last, we arrive at the final entry in our list of Castlevania games in order, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth.
Released in 2009 for the Wii via WiiWare, the game serves as both a remake of Castlevania: The Adventure and the third entry in M2’s ReBirth series.
The biggest additions to this version were remixes of previous Castlevania tracks included with the soundtrack.