My Top 5 Favorite Castlevania Games | 30 Years of Castlevania | Nefarious Wes

My Top 5 Favorite Castlevania Games | 30 Years of Castlevania | Nefarious Wes

Hey, what’s up? Wes here. Thanks a lot for tuning in. Now, it’s hard to believe that Castlevania
is 30 years old, and it is by far one of my all-time favorite video game franchises. So in celebration of Castlevania’s 30th
birthday, I figured I would compile a list of my top five favorite Castlevania games. Now I think I came up with a pretty damn good
list. What do you think, Alucard? “You have been doomed ever since you lost
the ability to love.” -Chuckles- Yeah, let’s take a look at the
list. The game that started it all. I fell in love with Castlevania back in ’87
when a neighbor lent it to me, and the name Konami struck a chord with me as it was the
very first title from the then elite video game publisher I had played. Well, for the NES anyway, Roc ‘n Rope for
the Colecovision was actually the first Konami game that I had encountered, but I’m getting
off track here. In Castlevania you assume the role of vampire
hunter Simon Belmont, who is assigned the task of ridding the world of the evil Count
Dracula, who has appeared in his sanctuary, Castlevania, alongside a cast of nefarious
monsters who abide to his every whim. Armed with a whip, Simon traverses six grueling
stages, loaded with infamous baddies throughout the horror genre such as Frankenstein’s
monster and my favorite as a kid, the Grim Reaper. Castlevania combined addictive platforming
with gorgeous visuals and an amazing soundtrack which enveloped you in the dark, macabre castle,
which other than Ghosts ‘n Goblins, was a fresh and innovative idea for North American
gaming. The use of a whip and sub-weapons such as
holy water brought a completely new element to the table, giving players alternatives
to how they chose to dispatch of Dracula’s minions. And the game offered a plethora of secrets
hidden within the castle such as treasure, 1-ups and the highly coveted pork chop. Castlevania is a classic in every sense of
the word. It has a ton of nostalgic value for me, being
as it was the inaugural game which introduced me to the series, and I’ve been a huge fan
ever since. It’s one of my go-to games that I can pick
up at any time, especially shit-faced, and it’s a good thing Dracula keeps getting
resurrected, cuz it only gets better from here. I picked up Circle of the Moon along with
Super Mario Advance on the Game Boy Advance’s launch date and guess which one I played the
most. Circle of the Moon continues with the “Metroidvania”
style tradition first brought to us in the form of Symphony of the Night. In it you play as Nathan Graves, armed with
an enchanted whip on the search for his lost mentor. Once again, Dracula is resurrected in an enormous
castle filled with beasts, devils, and demons, hell-bent on creating the utmost havoc for
our whip-wielding protagonist. Circle of the Moon boasts of a huge cast of
monstrosities, ready to unmercifully tear you to shreds with its unforgiving difficulty. Luckily save rooms are scattered throughout
and sub-weapons are littered within the castle walls to aid you on your quest. The game also employs a unique card system,
which allows you to customize secondary attacks and/or defense mechanisms which is paramount
to surviving the horrors within Castlevania. Numerous challenging bosses inhabit the castle,
and if you think they’re a handful, they’re nothing compared to the addictive balls-to-the-wall,
take no prisoners, sissies need not apply battle arena, where grinding to earn experience
points takes on a whole new level of masochism. While there were two more Castlevania games
released for the GBA in the same vein, both boasting better visuals; aesthetically, Circle
of the Moon is still very impressive, and the outstanding soundtrack, coupled with its
harrowing difficulty is what resonates with me on this gem. What can I say about Castlevania IV? I first played it in the summer of ’92 and
good god it blew me away! The graphics, my god the graphics! The gigantic rock monster, the vivid landscapes,
the swinging chandeliers! To say I was impressed is an understatement. Shit, the mode 7 on the map in between stages
was out of this world! I had dreams about this game when I wasn’t
playing it. And then there’s the music. From the eerie atmosphere of the ambient intro
right before the drawbridge closes to the blaring organ in the castle’s entrance,
to the amazing piano rendition within the first steps into Castlevania, the soundtrack
alone puts this game in my top five. Without a doubt, the ingenious score of Castlevania
IV damn near exploits every instrument that the Super Nintendo’s sound chip has to offer,
and masks the fact that the game is fairly easy, due to the introduction of Simon Belmont’s
eight-point attacks, and limp-wristed flick-a-whip style. With the ability to finally manipulate jumps
in mid-air along with the contortion of the whip, Castlevania IV provided the series with
stellar controls which no longer could be construed as a hindrance as opposed to its
prior installments. And in homage to these past installments,
many enemies reprise their roles including bosses, such as the Orphic Vipers and of course
the infamous Grim Reaper. Accompany that with an amazing soundtrack,
and Castlevania IV is absolute sensory overload, and will leave you drooling for hours after
you’ve turned the power off and set the controller down. Say what?! Symphony of the Night isn’t number one?! Now you’re probably wondering, “How much
crack does this guy smoke?” and the answer to that is: a lot. But just stick with me here. Symphony of the Night is a fantastic game,
and probably one of my all-time favorites. Now I didn’t know what to expect when I
walked into the local game shop in October of ’97 and saw this game on the shelf. I never even knew of its existence until that
very moment, but it was Castlevania dammit, and I had to have it. And holy shit I was not disappointed. Symphony of the Night is an absolute masterpiece! It ditched the linear style of Castlevania
that we had become accustomed to in favor of a more open world adventure akin to the
likes of Super Metroid, hence the “Metroidvania” subgenre which was later coined to describe
such adventures. The seek and find, backtrack and locate style
is absolutely addicting—as soon as you discover an item which will unlock a previously impassible
path, you immediately want to unlock and reveal its reward, which is often another impertinent
item necessary to advance further, or better yet, a whole new area to explore. The game adopted an experience system often
seen in RPGs, which again, glued you to the front of the TV for hours on end. Even grinding is a pleasure in this one, moving
from room to room, disposing of baddies and building the strength of Adrian Tepes, also
known as Dracula’s son, Alucard, who is the protagonist in this one. Items, weapons and armor aren’t just simply
hidden within the confines of Castlevania this time. Enemies will actually drop spoils which can
be equipped to further assist Alucard’s pilgrimage against “Daddy Gorefucks”. Alucard also has the ability to summon familiars;
little parasitic entities, to assist him in uncovering secrets like a seeing-eye dog, or providing potions when in dire need of resuscitation. The game is loaded with just about every distinctive
baddie you can think of and some of the most grotesque bosses to ever grace your television
screen. And then there’s the soundtrack. I think we have a theme going here. Do I really need to gush over how exceptional
it is? I’ve had it on my Ipod for years, and to
say its iconic is simply not giving it its due. Symphony of the Night is a helluva sweet ride. Secrets adorn just about every nook and cranny,
the castle is absolutely enormous, and just when you think you’ve finished the game—surprise,
surprise! What could possibly top it? So yeah, I admit, Symphony of the Night IS
the better game, but Dracula’s Curse is hands down my favorite! The memory of my entire summer of ’91 is
of me in my dark, dungeon of a basement playing Castlevania III. No sun for this Nintendo nerd! I already had a prepubescent hard-on for the
first two Castlevanias, so when I had first laid eyes on this game I fell madly in love
with it. It was just like the first one, only a thousand
times better! A prequel to the first installment, Simon
Belmont’s ancestor, Trevor, assumes the role of hero to, you guessed it, rid the world
of Dracula. This time around though, Belmont has the assistance
of three allies: Grant Danasty, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard, making his first appearance in
the series, although he is a bit of a wuss in this one. This allows for multiple paths and choices
to be made throughout the game, encouraging replay which at the time was pretty innovative
within itself. Dracula’s Curse basically took everything
that made the first installment such an amazing adventure and improved on it. By adding multiple paths to choose from, and
the ability to utilize secondary characters’ unique attributes to manipulate gameplay,
Castlevania III is one of the best adventures to be had on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Not only is the game loads of fun, but it’s
extremely challenging as well, and will keep even the most seasoned of gamers enthralled
with its brilliant stage layouts and clever enemy placements. The graphics and enemy sprites are some of
the best for an 8-bit machine, with the gloomy and spooky layout of the game encapsulating
you in the macabre landscape of Transylvania, and the bosses, like in subsequent entries,
are some of the most vile creatures you’ll ever have the pleasure of cutting into ribbons
with a whip. And of course we can’t forget the music. Some of the best on the NES, hands down! Konami really outdid themselves with this
one, and not only is Dracula’s Curse my favorite Castlevania game, it may be my all-time
favorite NES game EVER! A true monument in 8-bit gaming. So there you have it. Those are my top five favorite Castlevania
games. So, what would be on your top five list? What are your five favorite Castlevania games? Let me know in the comments below, I’m really
curious to see what other people have to say about Castlevania. So anyway, thanks a lot for watching this
video. Stay tuned for this month, I got a lot of
stuff planned for Halloween–it’s gonna be a blast. Until next time, I’ll catch you guys later.


  1. The only game worthy of surpassing symphony is aria of sorrow for gba. I will admit that dracula's curse is the best of the classic dungeon crawler style but metroidvania style far surpasses it in every way. Glad to see you gave circle of moon some credit though. That's one most overlook.

  2. 1 Castlevania Aria of Sorrow.
    2 Super Castlevania 4.
    3 Castlevania Symphony of the Night.
    4 Dracula X Rondo of Blood.
    5 Castlevania Circle of the Moon.

  3. 1 Castlevania Lords of Shadow 1

    2 Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

    3 Castlevania Mirror of Fate

    4 Super Castlevania 4

    5 Castlevania Symphony of the Night.

  4. Nicely done, was sure SotN would take the #1 spot, but you rose above and made C3 the star. (Though I do think the Japanese version is the best, both in terms of music and difficulty)

  5. My top 10 :

    1 – SOTN
    2 – Rondo of blood
    3 – Aria of Sorrow
    4 – Order of Ecclesia
    5 – Dracula's curse
    6 – Dawn of sorrow
    7 – Bloodlines
    8 – Belmont's revenge
    9 – Circle of the moon
    10 – Harmony of dissonance

  6. i just discovered symphony of the night this year i just unlocked it on dracula x chronicles and am going to start playing it soon

  7. 5.Castlevania 2 Belmonts Revenge
    4.Castlevania Legacy of Darkness
    3.Super Castlevania 4
    2.Castlevania Symphony of the Night
    1. Dracula's F'N Curse!!

  8. My top 5 would be:

    5. Castlevania (NES)
    4. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
    3. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
    2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
    1. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)

  9. About a CV that isn't on this list but mentioned by many: CV Bloodlines. This game was so good, it took everything out of the Sega Gen/MD visualy and it maybe had even the best CV audio in that era. But the game had 2 big flaws most other CV's didn't have: a half done story and a short playtrough. Sega could be there with SC-IV or even topped that one I think. Still it's one of my top 5 CV games 🙂

  10. I haven't played most of the games but here's my top 5:

    5 Curse of darkness
    4 Circle of the moon
    3 Bloodlines (genesis)
    2 SOTN
    1 Castlevania (nes)

  11. im digging your stuff though brother..i see the misfits..megaman pacman simpsons….wish we could smoke and play some old school games together…i was just giving you a hard time. i like to argue about castlevania

  12. "Super Castlevania IV" will always remain my most favorite game in the series because of how well-made it really is thanks to the tight controls and ability to swing the whip in multiple directions.

  13. its honestly hard for me to come up with an objective list of castlevania games because not only did i play them out of order…but at diff pts in my life. SOTN has to be on any top five list..its a law. after that, its real hard to know where to go. i guess where i differ with most opinions is where i would place CIV. IMHO its an overrated game…not saying its bad..but for the 16 bit era it gets SONNED by both rondo of blood AND bloodlines. hell, i'll even go so far as to say i like dracula x over CIV on the snes. I think its hard to have a top five and not have rondo and bloodlines included…and btw those two games…i might side with the genny, turbocd be damned!

    Irrespective of ranking the series…on the short list of BEST genesis games…i might give it to bloodlines when its all said and done.

  14. I bought a raspberry pi primarily to play sotn. But FYI, you can get an improved control patch for Castlevania for nes at

  15. Castlevania I (NES)
    Castlevania IV (SNES)
    Castlevania II (NES)
    Castlevania III (NES)
    Castlevania Chronicles (PS1)

    Dude, you have great videos. Greatings from austria.

  16. A well edited video and i wont argue with the list. 'Simons quest' was my least favourite, no fun at all. I also enjoyed the Mega Drive/Genesis game, 'Bloodlines', that would of made my list for sure.

  17. I'm surprised Rondo and/or Bloodlines didn't make the list. From the brief gameplay footage of them I've seen them seem close to CV4 status.

  18. You had me at "Castlevania". Here goes:

    5. Castlevania
    4. Dracula's Curse
    3. SOTN
    2. SCIV
    1. Rondo of Blood

    I like all of the Castlevania games EXCEPT the N64 versions–haven't seen your review but that's next…

  19. For years Super Castlevania was my favorite…..I preferred the traditional games. I had Sotn for probably 5 years but had only played about the first 10 mins and just didn't get into it…then one night it happened, I decided I was gonna make myself play it for at least an hour. About 4 hours later and I was hooked. Now it's at the very least tied for first place….lol

  20. circle of the moon is pretty underrated. Its so damn hard at times but in a good way. The whole gba trilogy is just perfection.

  21. nice list! alas, 2 major entries are missing. dracula x on the pc engine and the new generation/mega drive. even tho often overlooked in favour of the more famous castlevania games they do deserve a top 5 spot anytime. check them out if you haven't already.

  22. I LOVED this video. I’m a die hard Castlevania fan. It’s the reason why I became a musician. Great list but no love for the DS games? You are missing out. Also the prequel for SOTN, Rondo of Blood (the turbographix 16 version, not Dracula X). However here is my top 5.
    5. Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse4.Dracula X: Rondo of Blood3. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon2. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
    keep videos coming! I need more Castlevania in my life!

  23. Solid reasoning for number 1, and I’m also glad to see some special uses for the secondary abilities that I wasn’t aware of.

    Time to play it again and make use of those neat tricks, especially what with the additional changes in the JPN version.

  24. Always like seeing people's Castlevania lists to see if they put Simon's Quest on there.. always thought it was such a beautiful game, aesthetically.. even if it was a bit flawed here and there. Nice list.. as an NES guy, I'm very happy to see Castlevania 3 in your top spot.

  25. My problem with the metroidvania format is that the game ends up feeling like just a big open world devoid of any story or continuity. Sure the linear castlevania games may be more limiting, but within that limit they provide a more cohesive and immersive story and feel.

  26. I haven't played too many Castlevania games tbh due to seemingly every one of them costing an arm and a leg, but here's my list that nobody cares about:
    5.) Bloodlines (would be higher if I played more than 30 minutes of it on an emulator)
    4.) Lament of Innocence
    3.) Super Castlevania 4
    2.) Rondo of Blood
    1.) Symphony of the Night

  27. My Top 5 Castlevania Games of all-time

    1. Castlevania Bloodlines
    2. Castlevania Symphony of the Night
    3. Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance
    4. Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
    5. Castlevania Portrait of Ruin

    People sometimes say Bloodlines is "not as good as Super CV 4 " But Bloodlines Destroys SC 4 in every way…Bloodlines have such Beautiful graphics and the music is superb. To me Bloodlines will always be superior than SC 4!!!

  28. WTF no Rondo of Blood, the best Castlevania ever made, on this list? THATS BULLSHIT. Pretty good picks though.

  29. awesome!
    My list:
    1:Castlevania 3
    2:Castlevania Rondo of Blood
    4:Castlevania 4
    5:Castlevania Chronicles (psx or sharp 68000)

  30. I haven't played all of them, but the ones I personally liked (in no order). Castlevania 4 (SNES), Rondo (PCE-CD), Castlevania 2 (when I played it at the time, it felt really scary and eery, now its panned for its unintuitiveness), and Portrait (I really liked all the characters you could later choose, lots of replayability), I also like the Castlevania remake on the x680000 and the music option.

  31. Great list friend! Dracula's Curse rates above Symphony Of The Night for me as well. I think it's due to the fact I too was there when it first came out. Personally I feel that Simon's Quest was the first Metroidvania and I love it! I know many don't but for me it's a relaxing play through (try to get through it losing as few lives as possible for a challenge). I'd really have to think to compose my top 5, but Dracula's Curse would most definitely be there. (btw, I love Symphony Of The Night for all those concerned).

  32. One of my favorite series of all time. Yeah Castlevania 3 would've also be my first pick followed by Symphony of the Night. Great list, great video Wes!

  33. Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse is also my favorite game in the Castlevania series!! All five of those games are amazing though

  34. Personal Top 5 Favorite (For Pure Replay Value) –

    #1 Rondo of Blood
    #2 Castlevania
    #3 Castlevania III (Japanese version)
    #4 Super Castlevania IV
    #5 Aria of Sorrow

  35. i'm not good at top 5 or top 10 lists, but i will get to my favorite, and that is the one and only Super Castlevania IV. the graphics, the music, the controls, the ability to whip in multiple directions and hold down the button to fling it around, the atmosphere, the presentation, even the wicked awesome box art. not only is Super Castlevania IV my favorite castlevania game but it is also my favorite game of all-time. i love this damn game!

  36. No mention of Ecclesia or Rondo? The hell!? Symphony has its moments but its very mechanically unpolished, and i find it to be one of my least favorite Castlevanias (that isn't on the N64 or a GoW knockoff)

  37. 1. Symphony of the Night
    2. Rondo of Blood
    3. Dawn of Sorrow
    4. Order of Ecclesia
    5. Portrait of Ruin
    6. Aria of Sorrow
    7. Bloodlines
    8. Super Castlevania IV
    9. Castlevania III
    10. Castlevania

  38. Circle if the moon was the game that get hook to Castlevania. now i beat Nes CV, all 3 GBA, SCV 4 and Dawn of sorrow.

  39. Good list, man. I've been playing Castlevania since 1989 and it's one of my favorite series. I'm not that fond of Castlevania IV since I beat it first try. Way too freakin' easy. I'd rank my top 5 as follows:
    5- Castlevania 3
    4-Rondo of Blood
    3-Castlevania Legacy of Darkness (incredibly underrated game!)
    2-Aria of Sorrow

  40. that's 5 i would have picked, although i never really played part 4 to compare i to, i would say rondo of blood/castlevania x

  41. Wes My top 5 are
    5 legacy of Darkness N64
    4 Bloodlines Genesis
    3 Chronicles PS1
    2 Rondo of Blood TG16
    1 Super Castlevania IV SNES

  42. Well nice to know that Castlevania 3 is the inspiration for the anime adaptation of the series. I wondered where the hell Belmont came from when it showed up in the adaptation, seems I am very ignorant in the franchise. I really need to do my research.

  43. Not in any order but,
    Castlevania (nes)
    Super castlevania 4
    Draculas curse
    Symphony of the night

  44. 2. It and Legend of Zelda were the premiere controller swapping games on the NES for my friends and I. I love Dawn of Sorrow as well. Bloodlines should be here as well.

  45. 1. Castlevania 64(cause shut up) 😂
    2. Castlevania rondo of blood
    3. Castlevania SOTN
    4. Castlevania order of Ecclesia
    5. Castlevania 3 Dracula’s curse.

  46. I only have a top 3 cause thats all I've played so far. #3: Super Castlevania 4. #2: Castlevania Bloodlines. #1: Castlevania Symphony of the Night. All 3 are around the top of my all time fav games period

  47. 5. Castlevania, 4. Super Castlevania IV, 3. Symphony of the night,2. Lords of shadow, 1. Castlevania 3 Draculas curse.

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