If you're a fan of 2D side-scrolling platformers, then you'll love the Metroidvania genre. The Metroidvania genre has been around since the early 2000s, and while it was once popular on consoles, it's now seeing a resurgence on PC. These games are typically characterized by their open-ended level design, non-linear gameplay, and exploration-based mechanics. In this blog post, we will take a look at five of the best Metroidvania games that are currently available on PC. So without further ado, let's get started!
5. Cave Story+
We begin with an epic adventure dubbed Cave Story+. This game takes you into a curious, joyful world inhibited by a rabbit-like community known as the Mimigas. After you wake up in this carefree world without any memories of who you are and how you got there, you soon realize a threat. The good folks of Mimigas are in danger as a result of a maniacal scientist. It is up to you to save them from the potential horrors that await. The game features satisfying boss fights as well as great character development.
The simple story behind it is enough to make you feel empathy for the precious Mimigas. Aside from that, you also gain various rewards for your heroic deeds. The more you progress, the more complex the events get, which eventually lead you to a spectacular finale. Explore the Mimigan world by flying, running, and jumping through hostile environments to get to the root of the threat. As you dig deeper, you learn more about the origin of that world and how to bring an end to the wickedness that is thriving in it.
4. Hollow Knight
One of the best Metroidvania games you just can't miss playing is Team Cherry's Hollow Knight. This game brings all the classic Metroidvania concepts to the modern PC. It is a 2D adventure that puts you in the shoes of an insectoid warrior armed with a nail. This is not your typical combat weapon, but the nail comes in quite handy. You can use it to fight and, most importantly, find your way around this underground world. The task is to collect as many souls as you can by striking down enemies.
The game features melee combat, which involves short-distance attacks, while you can also learn spells that allow you to strike your enemies from a distance. Hollow Knight has a blend of Dark Soul and features epic boss fights you ought to enjoy. Similarly, there are considerable rewards to be earned once you relinquish your enemies. For instance, you can earn Geo, the game's currency, off your fallen opponents. There is much to enjoy about Hollow Knight, including the stunning storyline that comes with it.
3. SteamWorld Dig 2
Moving on to a game that can very well fit into more than one genre, we have SteamWorld Dig 2. This is the fourth entry in the SteamWorld series. The story behind the series revolves around a tribe of robot folks living on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Their main activity is mining for jewels and other treasures underneath the desert. As Rusty, players can mine, explore, and take down enemies throughout the subterranean world. The mined gems help in upgrading, purchasing, and unlocking more areas. SteamWorld Dig may seem like a simple game at first glance. However, what makes it special is the complex plot surrounding the series.
In SteamWorld Dig 2, you assume the role of Dorothy, who is now searching for Rusty after he disappeared in the previous game. You explore beneath a new town where you face a variety of enemy creatures. There are plenty of skills and weapons to gain as the game progresses, including a pneumatic arm that breaks down rocks. Despite the compelling endings that often feature in these games, SteamWorld Dig 2 is quite family-friendly and any audience can appreciate the game.
Next on the list of best Metroidvania games on PC is one of the most bizarre platformer games, known as Blasphemous. We say bizarre because the game features a hellish world where you play as The Penitent One, the sole survivor of a tragic event. This world, known as Cvstodia, harbors all sorts of enemies whom you must defeat while exploring its environment. Combat involves close-range sword fights and the casting of spells that you learn as you progress. The fighting mechanics are powerful and impressive, which makes the game more satisfying.
You go around the harrowing realm collecting upgrades at certain points in your adventure. You can also rescue trapped angels known and Children of Moon from caged prisons and earn hefty rewards. What makes the combat system in Blasphemous so brutal is the dynamic nature of the enemies. For instance, each of them has a different striking pattern, which you need to learn in order to defend and attack effectively in every fight. Not forgetting the stunning soundtrack that wraps the whole adventure into an incredible experience.
Aquaria is a side-scrolling Metroidvania game that you don't come across every day; it is just too special. This prize-winning 2D adventure focuses primarily on puzzle-solving and exploration. You play as Naija, an aquatic woman whose singing comprises special abilities and makes up the biggest part of the gameplay in Aquaria. Naija's singing enables her to move objects, alter her physical form to fit certain environments, as well as affect some sea animals and plants. Other activities include swimming and taking down enemies as she explores the sea world, uncovering her history.
Combat involves firing at enemies and using different singing notes. You can also collect various ingredients that allow you to prepare different dishes. These dishes affect Naija differently, and it's up to you to determine how you can exploit them. For instance, some dishes can enhance health while others upgrade abilities such as defense and speed. For new abilities, you may have to venture deeper into more exotic dishes. Those who like to explore more gorgeous game mechanics aside from the typical dungeon aesthetics we are used to might enjoy playing Aquaria.
Which video game from the list above do you think is the best Metroidvania game on PC? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!