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8 best Metroidvanias to play before Metroid Dread

Need some games to hold you over until Metroid Dread?

Nintendo

Metroid Dread is the next 2D game in the acclaimed series, set to launch on October 8, 2021. It has been 19 years since the last mainline 2D installment: Metroid Fusion.

Nintendo

The Metroid series also celebrates its 35th anniversary on August 6, so what better time to dive into the best games the franchise has inspired over the years?

Here are 8 Metroidvania games to play before Metroid Dread

Thomas Happ Games

8. Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge is as close to a Metroid game as they come, hailing from sole developer Thomas Happ.

Playable on PC, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Thomas Happ Games

Microsoft

7. Ori and the Blind Forest & Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Both of the Ori games — Blind Forest and Will of the Wisps — are stunning with beautiful art and satisfying exploration.

Playable on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Microsoft

Image & Form

6. Steamworld Dig 2

Image & Form nails the gameplay loop in Steamworld Dig 2, allowing players to dig through the ground to find upgrades and secrets.

Image & Form

Playable on PC, PS4, PS Vita, 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One

505 Games

5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Following in the footsteps of Castlevania, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is an impressive amalgamation of exploration, platforming, and combat.

505 Games

Playable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS

DrinkBox Studios

4. Guacamelee! 2

Beating up bad guys as a Mexican wrestler never felt so good. Better yet is Guacamelee! 2’s four-player cooperative play.

DrinkBox Studios

Playable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Epic Games/Microsoft

3. Shadow Complex

Shadow Complex is one of the Xbox 360’s indie darlings thanks to its visual appeal and addictive gameplay.

Epic Games/Microsoft

Playable on PC, Xbox 360, PS4, and Xbox One

Team17

2. Blasphemous

Blasphemous doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does an excellent job of paying homage to Metroid and Castlevania.

Playable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Team17

Team Cherry

1. Hollow Knight

Everything from the combat to the world design, art direction, and gameplay loop are top-notch in Hollow Knight.

Team Cherry

Playable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch