PlayStation Plus Premium has a wealth of excellent Metroidvania titles under its umbrella, from the critically acclaimed Hollow Knight to the crowdfunded Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Here are the best PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvanias you can experience on the service as of the time of writing on PS4 and PS5.
7 - Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition
Zipping from place to place, you play as Dandara, your protagonist with anti-gravity powers. In this unique Metroidvania, you can utilize her abilities to jump on open platforms, and there isn't a traditional move-left-to-right method of control. It takes a while to get used to at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be shifting from place to place in an instant. As you progress through the story, you'll learn new abilities that will help you get to the next important area in Salt. These will help with puzzles and upcoming boss battles.
The graphics are mostly 2D pixel art, but there are some fascinating detailed backgrounds that will keep you invested in the environments Dandara travels to. The bosses also feature a high amount of imagination as they come to life on screen.
6 - Blasphemous
Continuing the pixel-art trend, Blasphemous is another striking 2D PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania. Likely drawing inspiration from the Souls series, Blasphemous has a dark gothic art style that has superb pixel animation and gorgeous scenery surrounding the bloodshed.
"The pixel art is masterfully executed, which complements the interesting and creepy character design and world-building," said Luigi Savenelli in his review for TechRaptor. "While the world of Blasphemous is gloomy in spirit, it’s still rich in color and contrasts that manage to further develop the feeling of uneasiness that takes hold of the player during the exploration."
You're the Penitent One, a being that has survived the Silent Shadow massacre and must now live in a "nightmarish world of twisted religion," according to the game's Steam page. It's up to you to save yourself from eternal damnation as you defeat the many enemies that stand in your way. It will certainly be a challenge, but Blasphemous has been acclaimed for its combo-based gameplay and deep customization.
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5 - Indivisible
If a big, epic story is what you'd want from a PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania, this game is your ticket right here. Indivisible is a blend of a 2D platformer and a turn-based RPG, which also acts as a Metroidvania. As you progress through the voice acted story, you'll be gaining new powers along the way that let you visit past unavailable rooms. How you traverse the game with these abilities is one of the highlights of Indivisible.
The turn-based combat is also fun as you combo your moves with over 20 characters to choose from. They all mix and match fighting styles, and it's up to you who is best for the party. The art style is also a plus as it's hand-animated and looks pretty on a big HD screen.
"Indivisible's character design is fantastic, and the locations you explore are downright gorgeous," said Samuel Guglielmo in his TechRaptor review. "There's some fantastic work done on the animations too, and watching each character fight is delightful."
Read more about Indivisible:
- Indivisible review
- Lab Zero on Creating Indivisible's Fantasy World
- Indivisible Divides by Genre to Multiply the Fun
4 - Dead Cells
Dead Cells is everything you want from a Metroidvania. Tight controls, stunning pixel art, and powerful abilities that will help you triumph over the beasts ahead of you. Jumping over obstacles and slashing your foes feels responsive as you try to tackle each challenging level. With multiple weapons on offer, which can be collected off defeated foes or found in chests, you can parry attacks with a shield or do a thrilling combo of strikes to annihilate foes. Each environment looks pristine with imaginative art and wonderful lighting effects throughout.
In addition, Dead Cells offers a solid amount of content for an indie title with players reporting an average on 14 hours on HowLongToBeat. The DLC is unfortunately not included on PlayStation Plus Premium, but they're relatively inexpensive if you want to continue this trippy adventure after finishing the main campaign.
Kenny Himpe gave Dead Cells a 9.5/10 review for TechRaptor, claiming the game is polished, has an amazing musical score, and "a very rewarding progress system."
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3 - The Messenger
What's better than a headless warrior? A ninja on a mission of course. The Messenger is an outstanding platformer that continuously gives you new abilities that you can utilize in prior areas. Jumping up, hitting a slash on a platform, and then gaining a double jump is one of the most satisfying motions in recent gaming memory. The graphics are a true love letter to the classic era of video games with a lovely 8-bit style and another format we won't spoil here.
"You can scale walls, hurl shuriken, slash your katana, and traverse impossible terrain with fancy footwork," said Alex Santa Maria in his TechRaptor review. "Every acrobatic move flows into the next one and attacks are rapid-fire and deadly" Santa Maria stated, "The true star of this show is the precision platforming and the ninja action."
The writing is spot on with some charmingly funny lines, and the level design is sublime throughout the adventure. It's definitely a PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania you should check out if you're a subscriber.
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2 - Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
From the legendary Castlevania: Symphony of the Night developer Koji Igarashi and his team is a wonderful return in the form of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. While not the prettiest game out of this bunch, Bloodstained makes up for it with a tremendous art style and thrilling gameplay. Each boss is a joy to figure out and defeat, and the traversal around the castle is extremely satisfying once you figure out how to utilize your new powers. There are many abilities, spells, and weapons you can collect and level up as well throughout your adventure, creating an epic RPG Metroidvania.
The storyline, while arguably Bloodstained's biggest weakness, has a great voice cast backing it with talents like Ray Chase (Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue), David Hayter (Metal Gear Solid, Dragon Age: Inquisition), and Erica Lindbeck (Persona 5 Royal, Marvel's Spider-Man) providing the lines. The graphics look aged, but if you can put aside that, there's a brilliant PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania to behold.
Read more about Bloodstained
1 - Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
Hollow Knight is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon types of games. It's an indie title that has received much acclaim and has amassed a cult following among the gaming community. In fact, Hollow Knight currently has a 97% rating on Steam from over 200,000 reviews. That's unheard of.
The reason why it's so beloved is the compelling gameplay and striking art style. With each new ability you earn and platforming technique you gain, the intensity of the difficulty begins to grow in a nuanced manner. Hollow Knight does a great job of gradually teaching you through its gameplay.
The mystical music and the grim art style match together to place you in this dark world as you face many obstacles and tough bosses along the way. The sound effects like the clanging of metal or the drip of water submerge you into this quiet yet atmospheric title.
Last but not least, is the tight controls. Jumping and then striking down on some metal spikes to get another lift in the air is entertaining and thrilling as you have to time your hits at just the right time. Trying to scale the many platforms above you to get around is also quite the task as you face flying enemies above and below you. Every hit you make on an enemy and a boss feels impactful. Hollow Knight is top notch and arguably flawless at what it sets out to do and deserves to be called the best PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania.
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Are there any PlayStation Plus Premium Metroidvania games we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
PlayStation Plus Premium access was provided to the writer by PlayStation Canada.