No media (book, movie, or game) exists in a vacuum. Castlevania shared concepts in common with platformers that came before it and then influenced games afterwards. This is especially true once the series merged into the Metroidvania genre (which, we should note, happened with the second game in the series, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest) -- it was inextricably linked to the explorational adventure-platformers, forever now being referenced when a new game (a "Metroidvania" game) in the genre is released.

So what makes a game a direct relative of Castlevania or Metroid? Is it just the ambiance, or the game play? Really, it's both. Throughout this section we'll look at the games that came out before, around, and after the Castlevania entries and look at what was influenced by our favorite series and what might have been drawn from them in return.

"Classic" Platforming Games

These games seem inspired by the classic game play typified by the Castlevania series. Whether inspired by the series or simply created by designers with "like minds", it's hard to look at the games and not see the influence of our favorite series in the bones of their platforming action.

  • Ghosts 'n Goblins (1985, Various Systems)
    • Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1988, Arcade)
    • Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, (1991, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
    • Makaimura for WonderSwan (1999, WonderSwan)
    • Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins (2006, PlayStation Portable)
  • 8 Eyes (1988, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Ninja Gaiden (1989, Nintendo Entertainment System)
    • Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (1990, Nintendo Entertainment System)
    • Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (1991, Nintendo Entertainment System)
    • Ninja Gaiden (1991, Sega Game Gear)
    • Ninja Gaiden Shadow (1991, Nintendo Game Boy)
    • Ninja Gaiden (1992, Sega Master System)
    • Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (1994, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Master of Darkness (1992, Sega Master System & Sega Game Gear)
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993, Various Systems)
  • Rusty (1993, NEC PC-9801)
  • Shovel Knight (2014, Various Systems)
  • Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (2018, Various Systems)
  • Brave Earth Prologue (TBD, PC)

"Metroidvania" Adventure Games

These games exemplify the action-adventure-exploration combo that the Castlevania series really began to explore with the advent of Symphony of the Night. While we'll discuss the Metroid games specifically (because you can't talk about this genre without first discussing Metroid), we won't look at a lot of Metroidvania games that put their emphasis on sci-fi setting and run-and-gun gameplay. Games more directly influenced by Castlevania, one that draw from the mix of RPG-elements, gothic ambiance, and close-quarters magic and combat will draw our focus.

  • Metroid (1986, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1987, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Rygar (1987, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Faxanadu (1989, Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Gargoyle's Quest: Ghosts 'n Goblins (1990, Nintendo Game Boy)
    • Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness (1992, Nintendo Entertainment System)
    • Demon's Crest (1994, Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • Shantae (2002, Nintendo Game Boy Color)
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010, Various Systems)
    • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014, Nintendo 3DS & Nintendo WiiU)
    • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (2016, Various Systems)
    • Shantae and the Seven Sirens (2019, Various Systems)
  • Mega Man Network Transmission (2003, Nintendo GameCube)
  • The Mummy Demastered (2017, Various Systems)
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (2019, Various Systems)