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Top Ten Castlevania Games on a Nintendo Platform According to Negative World [top ten]
 
With the recent release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate for 3DS earlier this year, I figure now is a good time as any to see where the entire Castlevania series stands according to the ratings given by the Negative World community! Over the years, Konami has created true classics spanning many of Nintendo's systems, but which Castlevania games are considered the best? Of course, since our game database only includes games on Nintendo systems (this is a Nintendo site after all), this list will not include Castlevania games from other platforms.


(Notes:
Release dates shown are for U.S.
The score shown is out of a max of 10 points.)
Posted: 05/18/13, 08:34:11  - Edited by 
 on: 10/31/13, 21:23:16
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Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.47 (19 votes)

Released for
Game Boy Advance
2002



SirMasterSephiroth's review

The second GBA Castlevania title comes in at tenth place. Starring Juste Belmont, the game featured a brighter color palette compared to Circle of the Moon before it.
 
Castlevania
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.62 (20 votes)

Released for
NES
1987



Here is where it all began: the never-ending battle between the Belmonts and Dracula. The Vampire Killer whip is the weapon of choice. Some truly enduring music tracks were first heard here, especially the track "Vampire Killer." Don't you love flying Medusa Heads?
 
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.69 (19 votes)

Released for
Game Boy Advance
2001



SirMasterSephiroth's review

The first Castlevania game on a Nintendo system implementing the Metroid-like features, it was also a launch title for the Game Boy Advance. It was definitely a showcase for Nintendo's new handheld system, although the graphics were a bit hard to see on the original 'no-backlight' GBA!
 
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.72 (16 votes)

Released for
NES
1990



The last NES entry ranks higher than either of the first two games. This game came late in the NES era, and Konami really knew how to push the 8-bit hardware to create a memorable experience. The 'choose-your-path' adventure and the ability to play as multiple characters really sets this game apart, even from the SNES game that came after. I haven't actually finished it though, because I can't pass the falling block stage.
 
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.72 (21 votes)

Released for
Nintendo DS
2006



SirMasterSephiroth's review

It's a tie with Castlevania III! But this one has more votes.

The second DS Castlevania also ranks the lowest compared to the other two DS games. This game had an interesting story line that took place in 1944 Europe during World War II, allowed the player to control two characters, Jonathan and Charlotte, and had outdoor environments as opposed to the castle interior setting the series is well known for.
 
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.93 (17 votes)

Released for
Wii Virtual Console
2010



Originally released for TurboGrafx-16, Japan only, in 1993. A number of us here at Negative World played this game together for Retro Game Club # 5. A Castlevania game previously not seen in North America, its release on the Wii Virtual Console allowed fans to appreciate Konami's work for the first time!
 
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Click here for database entry!
Score:
8.96 (18 votes)

Released for
Nintendo DS
2008




SirMasterSephiroth's review

The final DS game comes in at a respectable fourth place. You would think that, at this point, gamers would have grown tired of the series already. But the truth of the matter is, Konami was quite good at keeping the quality in place and adding some different features to the game even as they released one game after another.
 
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Click here for database entry!
Score:
9.00 (25 votes)

Released for
Game Boy Advance
2003



SirMasterSephiroth's review

The final GBA entry (and third since Circle of the Moon) ended up being quite the polished experience. The Tactical Soul System is considered by many to be one of the best magic systems in the series (i.e. you collect souls from fallen foes or special candles. When you gain dominance over their soul, you can use their abilities in battle).
 
Super Castlevania IV
Click here for database entry!
Score:
9.01 (29 votes)

Released for
Super NES
1991



What a classic! This is perhaps the finest pure Castlevania experience before the series became Metroid-like. The soundtrack is easily one of my favorite in the SNES library. This game really shines as an early SNES title; lots of great SNES special effects really created a chilling atmosphere appropriate to the Castlevania franchise.
 
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Click here for database entry!
Score:
9.06 (28 votes)

Released for
Nintendo DS
2005




SirMasterSephiroth's review

The first Metroid-style Castlevania to appear on the DS (and the fourth in the series since Circle of the Moon). This game was a direct sequel to its predecessor, Aria of Sorrow on GBA (which sits in at 3rd place on the list!), and and thus also stars Soma Cruz as the main protagonist. The Tactical Soul System returns from Aria of Sorrow, with some updates!
 
Where do your favorites stand on the list? I included links for each game so you can add your own rating if you have not done so already! In the end, the only thing that matters is that Castlevania games are pretty awesome and are a significant part of Nintendo's legacy. Where will the series go from here?


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Posted: 05/18/13, 08:34:11  - Edited by 
 on: 10/31/13, 21:23:16
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Just a note: Two games would have made the top ten list if they had more ratings: Castlevania: Dracula X (only has 6 ratings) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (only has 1 rating), which both have a 8.5 at the moment.
Posted: 05/18/13, 08:34:27  - Edited by 
 on: 05/18/13, 08:35:21
Interesting that Dawn is first. I thought most people preferred Aria. I'm really happy that you put up my reviews for each of the games! By the way, it is my personal goal to have a review for each of the games in this list by the end of this year, hopefully.
Posted: 05/18/13, 08:57:29
@sirmastersephiroth

Yeah, but look at that small difference in the score! Dawn has 9.06, Aria has a 9.00. Less than 0.1! Guess they're both pretty well revered. In fact, many of the games are very, very close.

And of course I'm going to post the links to your reviews, they're some of the most extensive articles on the games I've ever seen. I do look forward to seeing you continue your reviews of the Castlevania games!
Posted: 05/18/13, 09:06:33
I definitely prefer Dawn over Aria, just liked the environments more and it felt meatier to me.

If we were including non-Nintendo platforms I'd go with Symphony of the Night, but otherwise I think the right game is at the top here...
Posted: 05/18/13, 10:59:00
I am so disappointed that Castlevania 2 didn't even crack the top 10. I need to rate that game highly, as it's my favorite Nintendo based Castlevania. Sigh.
Posted: 05/18/13, 16:19:10
@TheOldManFromZelda

Everyone here hates it!
Posted: 05/18/13, 17:47:59
I'm torn a bit here. I'm very happy that Dawn of Sorrow is #1 - that game is an absolute gem and is deserving of that rank.

On the other hand, I'm severely disappointed that SUPER Castlevania IV ranked so high. That's easily my least favorite game in the series, and a fairly snooze-worthy entry in the franchise. Especially coming off the heels of the phenomenal Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.

I'm a little disappointed that Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge didn't make the list, but I suspect not many people played that one. Also bummed that Castlevania 64 didn't make it, either. That game is much more fun than most give it credit for.
Posted: 05/18/13, 17:48:01
I'm just shocked there are more than 10 Castlevania titles on Nintendo systems.
Posted: 05/18/13, 19:04:52
Deerock69 said:
I'm just shocked there are more than 10 Castlevania titles on Nintendo systems.

You're kidding right?

NES
Castlevania
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Gameboy
Castlevania: The Adventure
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
Castlevania Legends

SNES
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania: Dracula X

N64
Castlevania
Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Gameboy Advance
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

DS
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

3DS
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

Wii
Castlevania Judgement

WiiWare
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth

Wii VC
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Posted: 05/18/13, 19:38:39
@gojira

Castlevaniowned.
Posted: 05/18/13, 20:03:46
Pretty disappointed CotM is so low. DoS being above AoS is a crime!
Posted: 05/18/13, 20:16:36
Rondo >>>>>>>>>>>> Super C4

And I liked Order of Ecclesia best of the non-SOTN Metroidvanias, but I can see how its downsides would be more prominent to others.
Posted: 05/18/13, 21:51:40
I haven't played much Castlevania, but the fact that I didn't like Castlevania III (which fans like) but enjoyed both Castlevania games on the N64 (which fans don't like) makes me pause and think that what the fans like and what I like are two different things. So I wonder if I should play the lowest-rated games instead...
Posted: 05/18/13, 23:26:34
I would put the original at the top of the list. Castlevania 3 and Rondo of Blood would be up there as well. I don't think the XP-based Castlevanias are as good as the classic ones, but Circle of the Moon would be my #1 in that category (probably even ahead of Symphony of the Night if it was eligible).
Posted: 05/18/13, 23:27:08
I would put Aria above Dawn but they are both fantastic.

Man, what I wouldn't do to have another game in that series come out for 3DS.
Posted: 05/18/13, 23:40:28  - Edited by 
 on: 05/18/13, 23:41:01
I seem to like the black sheep of the Castlevania series. Castlevania Legends, Circle of the Moon and the N64 game.
Posted: 05/19/13, 06:44:34
I've only played the original. Very rewarding game. The difficulty is perfect. Well, maybe the last level is a little unfair. But I love it; anyone with gaming experience can beat that game if they think about what they're doing.
Posted: 05/19/13, 07:53:39
I liked Castlevania on the N64 as well! I no longer have my copy though...

@Secret_Tunnel

Hhmm, then I shall have give it another go then. The last time I tried on Wii VC, I still couldn't finish it.
Posted: 05/19/13, 08:43:17
God damn, I never realized just how many Castlevania games existed...

I enjoy pretty much all of them, but my list would definitely be in a different order. Plus, no SIMON'S QUEST? In some ways, it was kind of a kusoge, but in others, it was pretty ambitious and awesome. But, y'know, I'm sure that the context under which we played each of these games would significantly affect our opinions of them. I have a soft spot for Castlevania I & II, since I grew up on them. Aria would definitely be the top Igavania for me. And Circle of the Moon would be pretty high, too. I haven't played enough of the N64 games to comment, but the PS2 games were pretty shitty. And the new stuff isn't even Castlevania.

In conclusion, it's a horrible night to have a curse, Roy-o.

EDIT: Haha, I just realized that this was done by the overall ratings. I thought it was your personal list!
Posted: 05/19/13, 15:56:13  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/13, 15:57:48
Simon's Quest was awful. It had some cool things here and there but overall the game was a mess.
Posted: 05/19/13, 17:45:19
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