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A Journey Through the Best Metroidvanias

  • from PLITCH
  • 16.05.2024

Embark on a journey through pixelated wonders and haunting landscapes as we explore the best Metroidvanias. From the mesmerizing depths of ANIMAL WELL to the adrenaline-pumping action of Dead Cells, these games redefine exploration and adventure. Get ready to dive in and lose yourself in these captivating worlds!


the best metroidvanias: animal well

Let’s start with a recent 2024 release and one of our favorite games so far this year: ANIMAL WELL. The game has you navigating a mesmerizing pixelated world teeming with life, both charming and eerie. It puts a unique spin on the genre, trading linear paths and predictable unlocks for a labyrinth of interconnected wonders. The design pays homage to the classics while feeling innovative and fresh.

A testament to indie gaming at its finest, ANIMAL WELL takes you on a journey of discovery where the rules are yours to discover. Dive into its depth, experiment with its myriad tools and upgrades, and get lost in one of the best Metroidvanias we’ve ever played.

Hollow Knight

Next up is a game we love so much that it has already made it onto our Best Indie Games and Best Soulslikes lists. However, a blog about the best Metroidvanias would feel incomplete without it, so we have to mention Hollow Knight again. Team Cherry’s stunning masterpiece may have frustrated us from time to time, but seven years after its release, we still find ourselves returning to it time and time again.

Enter the hauntingly beautiful world of Hallownest, where every corner holds secrets, challenges, and adorable grubs! As the enigmatic Knight, you’ll navigate through eerie ruins and treacherous caves, meet a cast of intriguing characters, and battle formidable foes. The game’s hand-drawn visuals, atmospheric soundtrack, and masterful storytelling combine to create a truly unforgettable adventure.

Ori and the Blind Forest & Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Another duology we can’t stop gushing about, even though we already mentioned it in our blog about the best 2D games, is Moon Studios’ beautiful Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. These two exceptional Metroidvanias will tug at your heartstrings and make you reach for your tissues.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of the dying forest of Nibel, where the first installment introduces you to a young orphan destined for greatness. Adorned with hand-painted artwork, both games invite you on a visually stunning journey through a vibrant and lush world. You’ll need every ounce of courage you can muster as you embark on a quest to reunite a broken family and repair a world in chaos.

Tales of Kenzera: ZAU

Embark on a mystical journey through an intriguing realm in Tales of Kenzera™: ZAU, where the Shaman’s Dance holds the key to restoring lost spirits. Developed by Surgent Studios, this Metroidvania-style adventure lures you into a world teeming with beauty and danger. As Zau, a young shaman driven by the desire to reunite with his deceased father, you’ll navigate lush landscapes and perilous terrain, guided by the whispers of ancient lore.

Prepare to be enraptured by the game’s stunning visuals, reminiscent of the meticulous craftsmanship found in Ori and the Blind Forest. Each environment is a masterpiece in its own right, rich with detail and variation, begging to be explored. And as you venture forth, the enchanting soundtrack will immerse you deeper into the heart of Kenzera, weaving a tale of sorrow and resilience that will resonate long after the game is over. We highly recommend it!

Dead Cells

Let’s move on from heartbreaking stories to rogue-lite action with Dead Cells. This is another game that has already made it onto our list of the best Souls-likes. However, Motion Twin’s 2D action platformer is one of the best Metroidvanias in our opinion, and definitely deserves its place here as well. If you like adrenaline-pumping action, relentless challenges, and a twisted sense of humor, then Dead Cells is for you.

You play as a nameless, resurrected warrior, slicing and dicing your way through a labyrinthine world filled with horrors, mysteries, and colossal bosses that will make your heart race. But here’s the thing: Dead Cells thrives on unpredictability. Every time you dive in, a new adventure unfolds before you. You’ll never know what deadly weapon, game-changing ability, or hair-raising obstacle is around the corner, which is what keeps us coming back for more.

Yoku’s Island Express

If you’re like us and loved playing pinball as a kid, then Yoku’s Island Express is perfect for you. In this colorful Metroidvania, you play as Yoku, a pint-sized mailman on a grand mission – to awaken an ancient island deity and restore peace to Mokumana Island. Combining pinball mechanics, open-world exploration, and quirky characters, the game relies on pinball flippers and bumpers for vertical movement.

The island is teeming with life and secrets waiting to be discovered. From sleepy villagers to explosive slugs, every encounter brings something new and exciting. And with multiple questlines and storylines to follow, there’s never a dull moment on Mokumana Island. Visually stunning and with a catchy soundtrack, Yoku’s Island Express is a true hidden gem!

Rain World

The next game on our list of the best Metroidvanias is again one you’ll be familiar with if you’ve read our blog about the best 2D games. However, we just had to highlight the 2D adventure with the nomadic slugcat as the hero once again. Set in a world with a fractured ecosystem, Rain World challenges you to outwit predators and avoid becoming prey yourself.

Armed only with your wits and a trusty spear, you’ll embark on an epic journey through the haunting industrial wasteland. With stunning visuals and a nostalgic 16-bit aesthetic, Rain World pays homage to the classics while delivering a modern gaming experience. Get ready to get lost in this atmospheric adventure where every decision could mean the difference between life and death.


Let’s talk about the 2019 release Blasphemous, another Metroidvania with 2D pixel graphics and Souls-like elements. Set in the nightmarish world of Cvstodia, where death is your constant companion, you take on the role of The Penitent One, the lone survivor of a brutal massacre, trapped in an endless cycle of agony and redemption.

As you journey through this twisted land, you’ll face hordes of grotesque monsters and titanic bosses, each more menacing than the last. Despite its relentless difficulty, Blasphemous offers a unique and compelling experience. Its stunning pixel art style brings the nightmarish setting to life, while its non-linear gameplay invites you to explore every dark corner. We also highly recommend the sequel!

Salt and Sanctuary

Staying with the Souls-like mechanics, we’d like to recommend one of our personal favorites and one of the best Metrodvanias we’ve ever played: Salt and Sanctuary. Step into the shoes of a lone sailor, cast adrift on stormy seas and washed ashore on an island shrouded in shadow and mystery. Salt and Sanctuary plunges you into a realm where every step could be your last, and every encounter will test your skill and resolve.

Prepare for fast-paced, brutal 2D combat where every swing of your weapon and dodge of an enemy’s attack could mean the difference between life and death. RPG mechanics allow you to customize your character to suit your play style, whether you prefer melee combat or ranged magic. The art style and music add to the nightmarish atmosphere of the world and kept us glued to our screens for hours!

Dust: An Elysian Tail

Ever since Stardew Valley, we know that sometimes truly amazing games can come from the genius of one person. Dust: An Elysian Tail is no exception. As Dust, a mysterious warrior, you embark on a quest to uncover the truth about his past in a stunningly beautiful, hand-painted world. Armed with the legendary Blade of Ahrah and accompanied by the spirited Fidget, you will plunge headlong into heart-pounding battles against hordes of enemies.

Master the art of combat with an intuitive yet challenging system that rewards skill and strategy. The game’s brilliant storyline is brought to life through fully voiced characters. And don’t forget the award-winning score by Hyperduck Soundworks, which sets the perfect tone for your epic adventure. Dust will take you on an unforgettable journey with gorgeous visuals, fun gameplay, and a compelling story.

The Devil Within: Satgat

Embark on a thrilling journey through a world teetering on the brink of oblivion in The Devil Within: Satgat. Step into the shoes of Kim Rip, a royal guard whose very essence is slipping away, as you navigate a hauntingly beautiful 2.5D landscape filled with danger and intrigue. Armed with your sword and honed marksmanship skills, you will engage in adrenaline-pumping battles against relentless enemies hell-bent on your destruction.

Use advanced combat techniques, including the nuanced Sekiro-esque parry and dodge mechanics, to defeat your enemies with finesse. With smooth gameplay and a unique trait upgrade system, The Devil Within: Satgat offers hours of immersive gameplay and endless exploration.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Another 2024 release that surprised us with how much we enjoyed it is Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. In a world where time itself has been corrupted, you will use your Time Powers to defeat deadly enemies and mythological creatures with awe-inspiring combos. Explore the vast and cursed landscapes of Mount Qaf, each biome teeming with wonders and dangers waiting to be uncovered.

Immerse yourself in a Persian mythological fantasy with an intriguing storyline where colorful characters guide you through the mysteries of Mount Qaf. High-quality graphics and stunning cinematics make every moment a visual feast. The game offers a superb metroidvania experience that seamlessly blends platforming, action, abilities, and puzzles.

The Last Faith

Last but not least on our list of the best Metroidvanias is another 2D game with pixel graphics and Souls-like mechanics, The Last Faith. In this gothic realm teetering on the brink of oblivion, you play as Eryk, a lost soul struggling with fading memories. Armed with a vast arsenal of weapons, spells, and firearms, you must make your way through the desolate landscape.

With a robust leveling system that allows you to customize your character to suit your play style, and a diverse array of skills and weapons to master, every encounter feels fresh and exhilarating. Journey deeper into the heart of darkness, face fearsome bosses, and uncover the secrets of this forsaken land. From the haunting melodies to the masterful voice acting that brings the world to life, every aspect of The Last Faith has been crafted with care and precision.

Dive into the best Metroidvanias with PLITCH!

Do you find yourself struggling with the relentless challenges of games like Hollow Knight or Salt and Sanctuary? Do you wish you could make these games a little easier or customize them in some other way? Then you should give PLITCH a try!

We offer customization options for all the games on this list and over 4,600 more! Whether you want more Geo in Hollow Knight, tweak the rain cycle in Rain World, or get stealthy in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, we’ve got you covered. Our mods can only be used in single-player mode, so you don’t have to worry about ruining anyone else’s fun.

If you want to learn more about safety, legality, and other aspects of PLITCH, check out this blog. Also, be sure to head over to our YouTube channel to see our codes in action!

Happy Gaming!