With large interconnected maps that invite exploration, plenty of combat and a sprinkling of RPG elements, the metroidvania genre is one of the best out there in our opinion.
Ever since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night wowed us all those years ago, taking elements from the Metroid series and building upon them to create a new experience quite unlike any other, we’ve been hooked on metroidvanias. And now, more than 20 years later, the genre is perhaps more popular than ever. So that means there are plenty of metroidvania games available on PS5.
If you do have a PS5 and the urge to play a metroidvania game, however, you might be wondering exactly which ones you should play. And for that reason, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best available. All of the metroidvanias on this list are PS5-native, ensuring they have great performance and short loading times. And we’ve played them all extensively, so they really do get our seal of approval.
Once you’ve exhausted this list, why not check out our list of the best metroidvania games on PS4 for even more metroidvania action?
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1. F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch
A PS5 console exclusive, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch is perhaps the best-looking metroidvania currently available. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun to play, too.
Taking control of a rabbit named Rayton, who’s equipped with a giant robotic fist attached to his back, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch challenges players to liberate Torch City from the clutches of the Machine Legion. But of course, it won’t be easy. As Rayton you’ll need to travel to various areas of the city, freeing your friends and completing other objectives, until you’re finally able to take on the Machine Legion once and for all.
Aside from its glorious visuals, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch stands out thanks to its challenging but fair combat, complemented by a wealth of skills and upgrades to unlock. There are multiple weapons to acquire too, in addition to Rayton’s iconic fist. Needless to say, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch is one of the best metroidvania games on PS5 right now. Some might even consider it the best.
2. Control: Ultimate Edition
You might be surprised to find Control: Ultimate Edition on this list, what with it being a third-person shooter. But the truth is, it is actually a metroidvania at its core.
Playing as Jesse Faden, Control: Ultimate Edition finds you entering the Oldest House, a mysterious building that seemingly defies space. In your pursuit to save your brother and put an end to the Hiss, a dark force that seemingly corrupts those it touches, you’ll need to acquire new skills and weapons that will allow you to access new areas of the Oldest House and face ever more powerful threats. It’s riveting stuff, and also very enjoyable to play thanks to its fast-paced combat.
While Control: Ultimate Edition is available on PS4, a PS5-native version is also available, which boasts improved visuals and performance. If you don’t mind playing at 30fps, you can enable ray-tracing too, which makes the visuals even more impressive. Even better, if you already own Control: Ultimate Edition on PS4, you get a free upgrade to the PS5 version. It’s definitely one of the best metroidvania games on PS5, so be sure to play it.
3. Tails of Iron
As metroidvanias go, Tails of Iron might be light on some of the elements you’d expect. But this game where you take control of a rat, fighting your free your kingdom from an army of frogs and other hostile creatures, is well worth jumping into nonetheless.
In Tales of Iron you play as Redgi, who on a day that should be filled by joy, is instead hit with calamity. When frogs invade his kingdom and kill his family, he jumps into action. First he must save his people, then think about rebuilding his once glorious land. But of course, it isn’t going to be easy.
As Redgi, you’ll engage in brutal combat inspired by the likes of Dark Souls. But there’s also plenty of exploration to be done, and many quests to be completed. It’s not the biggest game, so those who like sprawling metroidvanias might not be overly impressed with it. But it is one of the most polished and quirkiest metroidvanias on PS5.
Thanks to its dark, moody visuals, aside from being one of the best metroidvanias on PS5, Moonscars is also one of the atmospheric. Lost and alone, Moonscars find you in control of Grey Irma, a warrior constructed of clay and ichor who must seek our her creator. Taking inspiration from the works of FromSoftware, the story here is cryptic, rewarding those who take the time to delve into it and let it ruminate in their minds. And there are elements of FromSoftware’s works in the gameplay, too.
Combat is tense and challenging, for example, with bosses that demand that you fight at the best of your abilities. Chances are you’ll die, die and then die again before overcoming most of them, though even normal enemies can be arduous opponents, too. Still, if you’ve got the skills, you’ll find Moonscars to be a thoroughly engrossing affair.
5. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
While Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is the fourth game in WayForward’s Shantae series, you don’t need to have played any of its predecessors to enjoy its story. In fact, with it being the first made for modern consoles, we think it’s the best starting point.
Reintroducing us to Shantae’s world, Half-Genie Hero treats us to the most sumptuous visuals seen in the series yet, and the gameplay is finely honed too. You’ll be doing plenty of platforming, but you’ll also be whipping enemies with your hair and dealing with formidable bosses. And as you play through the game you’ll gradually unlock four alternative forms, such as the Monkey, which allow you to access new areas.
If you bought Shantae: Half-Genie Hero on PS4, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a free PS5 upgrade. If not, definitely consider picking it up. It’s undoubtedly one of the best metroidvanias on PS5, and once you’re done with it, there are four other Shantae games to tackle on PS5 too.
6. Record of Lodoss War – Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth
Chances are, if you’re a fan of metroidvanias, you’ve played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. If so, you might be interested to hear that Record of Lodoss War – Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is reminiscent of it in several ways.
It’s mainly the visual style – it’s almost as if developers Team Ladybug and WSS Playground went out of their way to make a game that looks as close to the classic PlayStation metroidvania as possible. And it’s not a bad thing: Record of Lodoss War – Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth looks great as a result.
Thankfully, in terms of gameplay, while Record of Lodoss War – Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is one of the most traditional metroidvanias on this list, it does have some unique features. The biggest is that you can change elemental spirits as you play, allowing you to strategically exploit enemy weaknesses and avoid taking damage. Needless to say, if you’re after the best metroidvanias on PS5, you should certainly give this a look.
7. Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread
With its humorous narrative and emphasis on gunplay, Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread is quite different from other games on this list. As you’d expect, its story revolves around taking down a nefarious villain known as Dr. Cread. And while you’ll initially be in control of the gruff Jeff Jefferson, you’ll eventually unlock other characters for use, too. Each of them has their own signature weapon and skills, and you’ll need to make the most of them to succeed.
Don’t let the bright, colourful visuals of Blast Brigade vs. the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread fool you – this can be very challenging game at times. Its bosses are truly fiendish, and for some, they may even prove to be too hard. If you can hack it though, there’s a hell of a lot of fun to be had.
Souldiers is a game that begins with your death. Though thanks to a Valkyrie, you’ve been given the chance of a new life. The question is: what will you do with it?
You don’t really have a choice, though. Instead, you’re guided through an adventure where you and your friends are hellbent on finding a way back home. It’s a journey that will take you through dark caves, old temples and whole lot more, facing off against powerful enemies as you go. Though it’s not all about combat and exploration, there are plenty of puzzles, too.
We had issues with Souldiers when we reviewed it at launch, but patches since then have cleared some of them up. So, if you’re after a charming metroidvania with neat visuals and an intriguing story, be sure to give it a try.
9. Lost Epic
Inspired by classics such as Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Lost Epic is a 2D action RPG that boasts a beautiful and distinctive art style. That art style may be what draws you to the game in the first place, but it’s the satisfying fantasy-themed gameplay that will keep you playing.
Lost Epic tells a tale of gods and witches, and tasks you with an adventure concerned with saving the world. You know, that old chestnut. Alongside its metroidvania elements, there are also some Soulslike properties thrown into the mix, making for a game that’s challenging yet fair. Taking down powerful enemies will grant you new abilities, like being able to break down walls. But dying, like in Dark Souls, will see you leaving any Anima – which you’ll need to level up – where your body lays.
If you’re up for the challenge, then, Lost Epic is one of the best metroidvania games on PS5. But you’ll need to prepare for some tricky combat if you want to get far.
10. Greak: Memories of Azur
We weren’t overly impressed by Greak: Memories of Azur when we played it for review, but many others enjoyed it so it deserves a spot on this list.
In Greak: Memories of Azur, you take control of a young boy called Greak, separated from his siblings. The Urlags are to blame, a hostile faction that have invaded the land of the Courines, but before Greak can escape with those who have helped him, he’s intent on finding his brother and sister. And when you do, you get to take control of them, too.
It’s at that point that you’ll either grow to love Greak: Memories of Azur or hate it. You’ll eventually end up taking control of all three siblings, and the controls present some challenges. You’ll need to move them all, you see, and during challenging boss encounters and platforming sections it can all become a little too fiddly. Still, if you’re after a stunning-looking metroidvania that offers something a little bit different, you might want to give it a try.