Metroidvania is a fun genre. It’s a subgenre of the action-adventure genre. Games in this genre commonly have elements of either the popular Metroid series or Castlevania series (often both). The genre has a bit of a cult following on mobile. There are also a surprising number of metroidvanias (or at least games with metroidvania elements) on mobile as well. Since mobile games like to smash multiple genres together, there aren’t many good examples of pure metroidvania. Still, there are some truly great games here. Here are the best metroidvania games for Android!
Ailment and Endurance
Price: Free / Up to $3.99 each
Ailment and Endurance are two roguelikes from developer Ivan Panasenko. Ailment is the first game and Endurance is the prequel that came later. Both games have some decent elements, including heavy shooter and action mechanics, tons of unlockable weapons and items, and a decent story to tie it all together. Ailment takes place on a ship where a character’s crew turns evil. Endurance is the story about why that happened. It’s a bit more dungeon crawler than metroidvania, but all of the elements are there minus the platforming. Plus, both games are premium games so there are no micro-transactions.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was one of the two games that defined the metroidvania genre. It’s available for mobile and it’s not even that expensive. The game is a complete port of the original for PlayStation. In addition, the game has hardware controller support, a new continue feature, unlockable achievements, and support for six languages. There isn’t much else to say, really. This is one of the originals in the genre and the mobile port is actually good so of course we recommend it to people.
Dandara is one of the better metroidvania examples on mobile. It’s a bit more like the Metroid side and we’re okay with that. It’s a 2D platformer with an open world and plenty of places to explore. Players unlock various weapons as they progress and can go back and view areas they explored previously. The game also includes hardware controller support, puzzles, and more. It’s a premium game so you only pay the $5.99 once. It’s worth every penny.
Dead Cells calls itself a roguevania, or a mix between rogue-like and metroidvania. That makes it one super niche game. This one is a 2D platformer with an open world and tons of stuff to explore. There is a little less parkour than some titles, but it makes up for it with satisfying combat mechanics. The world is interconnected like it should be in this genre. However, the game ups the intensity by introducing perma-death. It runs for $8.99 and this is definitely one of the more challenging games in the genre. Good luck!
Price: Free / Varies
Metroidvania’s hey day was back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. That means it’s difficult to play the classics on today’s modern technology without the use of emulators. You can find them easily for SNES, NES, PlayStation, SEGA, Nintendo 64, and many others. Thus, you can play all of the originals without much difficulty. We recommend starting with Metroid and Super Metroid since those are the original metroidvania games. The world is your oyster from there. We have a list of the best emulators for Android here if you want to see some options. John NESS, an excellent SNES emulator, is linked at the button.
ICEY is a 2D side-scrolling action game with some metroidvania elements. The game is marked with its truly outstanding and satisfying combat along with its excellent storytelling. The game focuses heavily on its combat mechanics and story so there isn’t all that much on the peripheral to talk about. Many liken this game to a mix between a metroidvania and a DMC (Devil May Cry) style game. It’s more or less apt. This one is a good mix of challenging and fun. It’s also relatively cheap.
Robot Wants Kitty
Price: Free / $3.99
Robot Wants Kitty is actually an older franchise. It used to be a flash game on some websites but this is the only mobile version. The game contains various areas to check out and various upgrades to unlock. The ultimate goal is getting that robot to the kitty. This one comes with some good stuff out of the box and even includes its own level editor if you want to keep playing after the game is officially over. Admittedly, this isn’t the very best example of metroidvania, but it’s a fun game and it has enough metroidvania elements to be here.
Price: Free / Up to $1.99
Swordigo is an action-adventure platformer and it’s actually one of the better looking games on the list. Players run along and beat up bad guys with a sword. There is an adventure to follow, puzzles to solve, and upgrades to obtain. It’s also one of the few in the genre without retro style graphics. This one leans a bit more on the Castlevania side of things in the metroidvania genre and that’s perfectly fine. The controls are occasionally frustrating, but the game is one of those hidden gems. It’s also really cheap and even free if you use Google Play Pass.
VVVVVV is one of the most unique metroidvania games on the list. The graphics are nothing to look at, but the game play for this one is fantastic. The player runs around an interconnected world while avoiding obstacles and progressing the narrative. You wouldn’t think this game would be any good if you just watch the trailer on YouTube, but trust us, it’s really good. It’s also cheap at $1.99.
Teslagrad is a mix between a metroidvania and puzzle game. You get the 2D platformer mechanics along with the parkour and narrative. However, the game also includes some neat powers to help you solve puzzles as you play. There is a narrative but there is no dialog, which is an interesting choice. The graphics on this one are pretty good as well. Some other features include support for hardware controllers along with Android TV and Nvidia Shield devices. The touchscreen controls could be better, but the developer has improved it a lot since launch.
AM2R stands for “Another Metroid 2 Remake”. It’s actually an independently made remake of, well, Metroid 2. It looks, feels, and acts like Metroid and it’s an excellent way to play the game on mobile. It also includes some additions and changes to make the game better in some ways There are only two caveats. The first is the lack of Play Store availability. You have to download it from a mirror off of this Reddit thread. That means you have to install it from outside the Play Store. We have a tutorial for that here if you need it. Metroidvania fans consider this one of the must-play titles in the genre, even if the installation process is more complicated. Make sure to check out that Reddit thread for more details.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
If we missed any great metroidvania games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!