Move over, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sometimes we want to be the vampire, not fight against them.
And who wouldn’t want to step into the shoes of a vampire protagonist for a little while? Mysterious and beautiful, these creatures of darkness have been popular in films for the best part of a century. It’s a wonder, then, that there aren’t more videogames about them. Thankfully, there’s enough that we’ve been able to rustle up a list of the best vampire games out there.
There aren’t quite as many games that let you run loose as a darkness-loving bloodsucker as you’d think. But we’re not completely without great vampire games. They do exist but, like vampires themselves, they’re hidden in the shadows. You’ve just got to know where to look. The best games about vampires take many forms, and come in various genres. The below list contains action games, a story-driven adventure game, side-scrolling platformers and visual novels, to name but a few.
Want to sink your teeth into the fleshy neck of a game that lets you play as a vampire? We’ve rounded up the best across all formats. Read on to discover the best vampire video games you can play.
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1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
While nearly all games in the Castlevania series have you going up against Dracula, perhaps the most notorious vampire in media, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night also has you playing as one. It’s undoubtedly one of the best vampire games ever made.
Alucard (see what they did there?) is Dracula’s son, but unlike his father he hasn’t become a monster or given up on mankind; probably because his mother was a human. Being the conscientious vampire that he is, you can’t make him drink blood, but you can make him rest in coffins to save your game progress. He’s also effortlessly cool and has access to many supernatural abilities. Who wouldn’t like to be able to turn into a bat, a wolf, or even some mist?
There are many ways to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. You can get a physical copy of the original PlayStation release, but it’s now very expensive. The easiest way is to purchase Castlevania Requiem on PS4, which bundles Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood together. If you’d rather play on Xbox, the Xbox 360 version is backwards compatible on modern Xbox consoles.
Read our review of Castlevania Requiem
When the developer of Life is Strange announced that its next game would be an action RPG about a vampire in London, we were very much intrigued by how it would turn out.
Vampyr, as it’s called, turned out to be a very good vampire game indeed. Of all the games on this list, it’s perhaps the only one in which you truly feel a like creature of the night, dependent on blood to maintain and develop your powers. It puts you in control of protagonist Jonathan Reid, an educated man coming to terms with his new life as a vampire. It’s also the best looking too, which should come as no surprise given that it’s the newest.
If you want to live the life of a vampire, making hard choices and engaging in conflict with those who seek to bring an end to your undead endeavours, give Vampyr a try. You can play it on PS4, Xbox One, PC or Switch. It’s playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, too, thanks to backwards compatibility.
3. Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
The first but not last game set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe on this list, Swansong is a narrative adventure that will have you pondering your options.
In Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong you’ll take control of a trio of vampires whose destinies are intertwined. It’s also about protecting yourselves, you see. With your hometown of Boston in danger of being plunged into chaos, you must work to protect it at all costs. Though how you do that is up to you. It’s set in a world controlled by various vampire clans, and so whose side you take as you play through will have a great impact on how the story unfolds.
Essentially an action RPG devoid of combat, if you like the idea of socially manipulating your way to success while solving fiendish puzzles, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is the game for you. It’s available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox and PC.
Read our review of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
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4. V Rising
V Rising may be an early access title, but it’s already substantial enough for you to sink your teeth into it. Even better, it’s available at a very reasonable price.
An action RPG developed by Stunlock Studios, V Rising challenges you create the vampire of your dreams, then fight for survival in an open world. You’ll need to hunt for blood to develop your powers, keep out of the sun, and form an army of loyal servants. Do well enough and you can even earn the title of Dracula. Isn’t that just lovely?
Being in early access, you might encounter some issues playing V Rising. There’s also no controller support as yet, which will probably put some off. If you’re up for it, though, V Rising can already provide hours upon hours of vampire based fun. You don’t have to play it alone, either: co-op is available, or you can fight against others.
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5. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is quite old now, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the greatest vampire games out there.
Plunging you into a dark recreation of L.A., Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines lets you loose as vampire affiliated with one of a number of clans. From there, it’s up to you how you progress in the game. You have choices to make – important choices – and when you’re not solving problems with words you’re likely to be solving them with violence. Being an RPG, how you develop your character is up to you, but rest assured, there are plenty of vampiric abilities for you to master and make use of.
Unfortunately the developer of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Troika Games, is no more, but a sequel to the game is currently in the works. While you wait for that to land, you can pick up Bloodlines on Steam.
6. Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York
Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York is a little different from the rest of the games on this list, for the fact it’s a visual novel. That means you don’t quite get to fulfil your dreams of roaming the streets as a vampire, but it does tell an excellent story about vampires. And the fact it’s set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe is a major plus.
The game’s story tells the story of a struggle between two vampiric factions: Camarilla and Anarchs. Set in New York (if the title didn’t give it away), it’s littered with famous landmarks as backdrops. And with three different playable characters, there’s plenty to experience.
Coteries of New York is a vampire game designed to be played multiple times, as the choices you make and the characters you play as will heavily influence how the story turns out. While we wait for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, it’s a great way to reintroduce us to the game’s universe. There’s a sequel available now, too: Shadows of New York. Both are available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. And of course, they’re also playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Read more about Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York
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7. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Developed by Silicon Knights and published by Crystal Dynamics on the original PlayStation way back in 1996, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was one hell of a game. There have been multiple games in the Legacy of Kain series, but this one, the very first, will always be the best in our eyes.
In it, you play as Kain, a slain nobleman who returns as a vampire to get revenge on his murderers. He didn’t want to return as a vampire, though; that was a necromancer’s doing. But as he goes about seeking a cure for his new affliction he starts to see it as more of a blessing. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether Kain embraces his newfound powers or throws them aside for the good of Nosgoth. Tough choice, huh?
These days, the easiest – and best – way to play Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is on PC. It’s available on GOG.com for a nice low price. Alternatively, you can pick it up digitally via the PlayStation store, then you can play it on PS3, PS Vita or PSP. Though if you still have an original PlayStation set up you could get a physical copy.
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8. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
MercurySteam’s spin on Konami’s classic Castlevania franchise had you playing as Dracula rather than taking the fight to him.
In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 you take control of Gabriel Belmont, who has fully embraced his role as the Prince of Darkness. He’s not really the villain that vampire hunters make him out to be though; in fact, he’s trying to save the world from forces that are even darker than people could imagine. While the original Lords of Shadow is a much better game, this sequel is still worth playing if you’re a fan of the series.
Originally released on PS3 and Xbox 360, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is playable on PS4 and PS5 thanks to streaming, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S thanks to backwards compatibility. It’s best played on PC though, and it’s available on Steam. You can pick up the original Lords of Shadow and Mirror of Fate HD on there too.
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9. The Elder Scrolls Online
You can become a vampire in quite a few of The Elder Scrolls games. It’s probably the most fun to do so in The Elder Scrolls Online, though.
Vampirism is a condition in The Elder Scrolls Online, one that you can contract by either getting attacked by a NPC vampire, or being fed on by another player who has the vampire affliction. It comes with its own skill tree, giving you access to a range of new abilities, both active and passive. It also has some drawbacks though, like being more susceptible to fire. The negative effects of being a vampire also grow over time; but you can return them to their base level by feeding on a human.
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the best massively multiplayer online RPGs out there, and it’s even better for the fact that you can play as a vampire. You should definitely give it a try. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
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10. BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites
There are numerous games in the BloodRayne series, and none of them are what you’d call great. BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is probably the best of the bunch though.
While most BloodRayne games are of the 3D action persuasion, BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites, which puts you in control of protagonist Rayne, is a 2D combat focused platformer. Its gameplay is pretty brainless, but it looks bloody nice thanks to its comic book styled visuals. So, if you want to turn off your brain, take in some beautiful sights and hammer buttons like a maniac in order to obliterate enemies as a female vampire, BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is the game for you.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.
11. Code Vein
The clue is in the name with this one, really: Code Vein – veins, blood, get it? An anime Souls-like from Bandai Namco, Code Vein doesn’t exactly cast you as a vampire. But you are a person suffering from a strange affliction, and part of that affliction lets you drain your opponents’ blood with your Blood Veil. That sounds pretty vampirey to us.
Code Vein isn’t your typical Dracula tale, though. You don’t need to skulk under the cover of darkness. And your characters are equipped with powerful weapons: you don’t need to rely on your fangs to protect you here. If anime action is your thing, this is a game definitely worth checking out, and it’s a fresh take on the vampire genre with a fun, action-packed story to enjoy.
You can play Code Vein on PlayStation, Xbox or PC.