The Metroidvania genre started out 2024 with a bang with some great releases, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and Momodora: Moonlit Farewell being two. Luckily, there’s plenty more to come with indie originals, long-awaited sequels, and DLCs alike. Here are my Top 10 Metroidvanias to watch in 2024.
What are the Top 10 Best Metroidvanias to Watch in 2024?
10. Tales of Kenzera: ZAU
Inspired by the Bantu tales of Africa, Tales of Kenzera is an upcoming story-focused Metroidvania releasing on April 23 for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and Switch. As Surgent Studios puts it, “this is a tale of loss and grief, but also one of facing those emotions on a journey that will see the main character work toward becoming a spirit shaman.” Visually, this is one of the games I’m most excited about taking a 2.5D perspective in a beautifully generated world of crystals and magic.
As for combat, Zau aims to become a spiritual healer in his adventure alongside the God of Death. Therefore, he comes equipped with mystical weapon artifacts like the Moon and Sun Masks. The Moon allows him to manipulate time in and out of combat and crystallize enemies. The Sun mask gives him access to fire-based spells, like summoning fiery spears.
There also seems to be a combo system where you can chain attacks and switch between elemental weapons. Overall, I’m excited for Tales of Kenzera as we don’t often get insights into African mythology in modern games.
Did you like Celeste? Well, Extremely OK Games is back with a Metroidvania version of the game called Earthblade. This time, we’re diving into a mystical world of magic and the occult — but with a cute twist. The beautiful pixel art and smooth platforming are back from Celeste, but we explore a vast world with an actual combat system in place. From the gameplay trailer, I saw a melee attack and some spell-focused abilities, so I assume we’ll unlock more of them to access different areas and fight enemies in alternate ways.
That said, another important element of Earthblade seems to be social interactions. You meet various friends and foes during your journey. They’re rendered in a stylized art style, making them pop from the otherwise pixel art world. Meet and talk to these denizens to discover the secrets of both the main character, Nevoa, and the world. Not much is known about the game as of yet, and there’s no firm release date outside of 2024, but I must say that the visual style, a certain sense of worldbuilding whimsy, and the Celeste devs background intrigues me.
From the minds of Hadoque and El Huervo comes an alien psychedelic journey through a world aesthetically inspired by South American mythology. We’ll dive into a unique sci-fi world with a combat system more akin to fencing than hacking and slashing. Ultros mixes relaxing exploration, mesmerizing music, and swordplay that’s based on precise inputs as you dodge and weave.
That said, the most exciting part about the game — besides the art style — is the looping system. You uncover the mystery of the world by returning to key moments in the story and replaying them again with a new perspective. Unlock different areas and abilities as you go with an upgrade system that’s similar to a skill tree. Each loop reveals more lore and the nature of your character, in addition to providing mechanical benefits. The game honestly looks like a neon fever dream I can’t wait to explore. It launches on February 13 for PC and PlayStation.
Crowsworn has been on my radar for a while now, and what first caught my eye was the obvious Hollow Knight inspiration mixed with Bloodborne vibes. A devilishly great combination. However, instead of an action RPG, it’s a 2D Metroidvania where you play as a plague doctor trying to cure a wicked curse afflicting the population.
From the Steam demo I played, the combat feels as smooth as Hollow Knight‘s but with more weaving with a scythe and gun. The game also goes hard on dark fantasy themes, featuring a vibrant yet somber world to explore with various movement abilities. I was blown away by the game’s boss fights, which are both challenging and satisfying. We’re still waiting for a release date on this one.
6. Grime 2
The original GRIME is one of my favorite Metroidvanias ever because of its worldbuilding and visual style alone. It’s such a unique aesthetic based on stone, wood, gems, minerals, and other earthy tones, yet it’s so alien in its presentation. You make weapons from the limbs, organs, and appendages of the monsters you defeat, and each ability you unlock brings you closer to the truth of your origin.
Grime 2 introduces a new story and character. It continues the idea of consuming your enemies and stealing their abilities by making molds. Even the environment is a weapon as you knock enemies into traps or navigate for a better strategic advantage. Don’t get me started on the bosses, either, which are larger than life and just as aberrative and beautifully horrid. There’s no release date yet.
5. Hollow Knight: Silksong
Will we finally get Silksong in 2024? Maybe. I hope? In the long-awaited Metroidvania follow-up, we’ll play as Hornet, the badass needle-wielding protector of Hallownest. Not only will we learn more about her and the world of Hollow Knight, but the combat system is set to change, too.
Hornet is much more agile and acrobatic than the original MC, making fights faster with new movement abilities. From what I’ve heard and seen, Silksong will also feature a crafting system to expand our arsenal of weapons, tools, and traps. Overall, it’s Hollow Knight but faster and with more world building. What’s not to like?
I really like the unique combat aspects of Grime: killing enemies and absorbing their abilities. A similar mechanic is at the core of another 2024 Metroidvania I’m excited about: Biomorph. In this dark sci-fi story, you analyze defeated enemies and quite literally become them. Each enemy you kill offers you a new set of skills used to tackle the next challenge.
You’ll need these new skills as you explore a ruined world and a fallen civilization full of sprawling, interconnected levels. The Steam demo I’ve played shows off its Metroidvania inklings, forcing me to return to unbreakable walls with new abilities later in the game. It helps that Biomorph is beautiful and fun to explore. This one’s set to release on March 4, 2024, for PC and Switch.
3. Monolith: Requiem of the Ancients
Up next, I have to highlight a third-person action RPG Metroidvania called Monolith: Requiem of the Ancients. It’s a much lighter game than some of our previous entries, focusing on a mystical world filled with ancient ruins and runic magic. You master various weapons, abilities, and spells to save the world of Gliese and uncover what the previous civilization left behind.
The combat system is structured like a third-person spectacle fighter, where you can switch weapons for new moves mid-combo. However, the main mechanic is the Runic Swarm, which allows you to create magical constructs that obstruct your foes and help you during platforming and exploration. You can even summon companions with it. Plus, the 3D perspective is refreshing when you consider that most Metroidvanias are 2D side scroller. We still don’t know when this one will release.
2. Anima Flux
Anima Flux is a cooperative Metroidvania that’s best enjoyed with a friend. You play as cybernetically and genetically enhanced soldiers fighting through mutants in a dystopian world ruled by a theocratic regime. Take control of the two main characters with a buddy and combine their skills to explore the setting and battle monsters.
The main mechanics are based on teamwork-focused abilities that synergize. I miss the old days of local couch co-op, and fewer titles nowadays implement split-screen. Anima Flux is here to remind us with an 80s retro sci-fi aesthetic, a dark atmosphere, and exciting co-op boss fights. Anima Flux is still a little ways off, scheduled to release in Q4 2024 for PC, PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Switch.
Last but not least, we have a Dark Souls-inspired action RPG Metroidvania called Mandragora. This is a beautiful 2.5D epic fantasy game similar to the first entry — but darker. Mankind has surrendered to a world of monsters, and it’s your job to quell them or join them. Apparently, the game has interactive moral choices in the story that affect the endings.
Furthermore, just from the trailer, the combat system is very Soulsy. Perhaps 2D Lords of the Fallen would be more appropriate. Somehow, the slower tactical movement of LotF works much better in this perspective. Lastly, I want to point out the awesome boss fights, enemies, and animations in general of Mandragora. Fighting that grey wolf boss, tossing a fireball at it, and then jumping and slashing him down looked rad as hell. While one that I’m incredibly excited for, I’ll have to wait for this one. There’s currently no release date available.