castlevania symphony of the night cover art

Top 10 Best Vampire Games That Don’t Totally Suck

As of late, the gaming market has been saturated with games that have been kinda samey; there’s plenty of battle royale games, plenty of FPS games, zombies-themed titles were all the rage for a brief spell and almost every game borrows from the popular “Souls-like” formula. Vampires were popular for a short period but have dormant for quite some time, which is absurd given there are plenty of good vampire games that have set the foundation for vampiric dominance. Here are the top 10 best vampire games that let you sink your teeth into the unsuspecting or pit you against the evil blood suckers.

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Best Vampire Games

vampyr feeding

Set in the flu-ridden streets of London after World War 1, Doctor Jonathan Reid awakens as a vampire with no recollection of how he became one. His goal is to figure out how he came to his current predicament while ridding London of the growing vampiric presence, but can he do it without breaking the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor is sworn to follow?

As an action role-playing game with some well done story content, Vampyr did a good job capturing the dilemma a doctor like Jonathan Reid would face if they were to become a vampire. As a doctor, you could craft medicine to heal the flu-ridden streets of London as you interact with the citizens to learn more about the supernatural uprising. As a vampire, your constant desire to feed was ever present, and you could break your sworn duty as a doctor to feed on humans to grow stronger. However, if you choose against feeding on them, you’d limit how strong Reid could grow making combat significantly harder as you face off against lower end vampires, werewolves and aristocratic vigilantes.

Your choices had decisions, and by the game’s end, it was very hard to envy being Jonathan Reid. There’s more to Vampyr than meets the eyes so go take a bite into it!

Legacy of Kain Series

Best Vampire Games

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When it comes to vampires in gaming, no title is as iconic as Crystal Dynamics’ Legacy of Kain series. Across five titles, players experienced the stories of Kain and Raziel; one a former nobleman turned vampire and the latter a former vampire turned wraith after being executed.

The Legacy of Kain titles are relatively old with the first title, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, releasing back in 1996 as an 2D action-adventure game. However, they were so instrumental in changing the gaming industry with critics pointing to the series’ fluid combat, impressive cinematic visuals and exploration of themes that really weren’t explored at the time such as man’s struggle for free will. Not to mention Crystal Dynamics and Raziel creator, Amy Hennig, went on to work on some really impressive titles after the series “ended” bringing forth their knack for storytelling with each new title they’ve worked on.

The series has been on hiatus since the last release back in 2003 with fans hopeful a return of the vampiric duo is in the cards. That being said, Crystal Dynamics has recently been acquired by the Embracer Group, who directly referenced the series during the announcement of the sale, so a return to the series is a possibility.


Best Vampire Games

darkwatch fighting

Are you a fan of cowboys, vampires, steampunk vibes and/or secret societies dedicated to hunting supernatural forces? Look no further, as 2005’s Darkwatch checks off all of those boxes.

Set in 1876, train robber Jericho Cross finds himself embroiled in a war with a vampire lord he accidentally releases while on his “last job”. Following a brief battle with a vampire, Jericho is bitten and starts to turn into a vampire. Given his predicament, he is forced to work for the very people he tried to rob: an ancient society known as the Darkwatch who have dedicated centuries to combating the forces of darkness.

This game flew under the radar for most back when it released, but for those who played it, they experienced a solid FPS experience amplified by Jericho’s vampirism. The game featured a morality system that determined how Jericho leveled up, akin to the Infamous games, where you could interact with humans/souls and choose to release them for good karma or feed on them for evil karma.

Both paths had a total of four unique powers changing Jericho’s skillset as he battles the creatures of the Wild West such as a silver bullet to do more damage (good karma) or a blood frenzy that provides invulnerability (evil karma). It wasn’t vampire 24/7, however, as some segments put Jericho in a daytime setting, removing his vampire abilities and forcing him to fight as a human.

There was a sequel planned, but it was ultimately canceled.

Infamous: Festival of Blood

Best Vampire Games

infamous festival of blood vampire cole

Speaking of Infamous, let’s talk Infamous: Festival of Blood.

Set as an expansion to Infamous 2, this adventure features Cole MacGrath’s partner-in-crime, Zeke Dunbar, using his sensational storytelling skills to charm a woman. On the fictional “Pyre Night” legendary vampire, Bloody Mary, is resurrected through the aid of Cole’s blood after he is captured by rogue vampires. As a “reward” to Cole, Mary turns Cole into a vampire, restoring her youth and telling Cole come sunrise, he will be her servant forever.

Over the course of eight hours, Cole must fight Mary and her minions will discovering a way to end her reign of terror and free his soul. Given that you are a vampire, the game ditches the previous entries morality system, as vampires are just naturally evil, allowing you to go completely vampire crazy and feed on everyone. Feeding lets you use special vampiric-based abilities such as “Shadow Swarm” which turns you into a swarm of bats to fly, and Cole’s signature melee weapon has been replaced by a wooden stake as you fight off evil vampires.

Overall, Festival of Blood was a nice change of up the Infamous gameplay letting you live a dream of becoming a super powered vampire.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

Best Vampire Games

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Before games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim changed the action role-playing genre, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was one of the first of its kind to introduce players to a deeply rich open world experience that rewarded player exploration.

Set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe –yes, the universe that recently produced Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt and Swansong— Bloodlines explores the 21st century Los Angeles with you taking the role of a recently revived fledgling vampire. At the beginning of the game, you are tasked with creating a character and can choose one of seven clans for your fledging to be a part of. Your choice directly impacts your gameplay and dialogue options and how you’re viewed in the world by the different factions. From there, you are free to explore the world and complete objectives however you see fit whether it be through talking or draining the blood from your foes.

There’s a lot more to this game than can be explained, but to date, the game is considered a cult classic despite being marred by bugs on launch. With the sequel seemingly on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to experience one of PC’s finest vampire RPG experiences.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Best Vampire Games

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Set years after Lords of Shadow and its downloadable content, Gabriel Belmont has completed his transformation into the legendary Dracula.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 gets a really bad rep, but what it did well was capture the feeling of being the most renown vampire of all time: Dracula. The combat was fast-paced and, as you put together meaty combos, you could also perform special combos to unleash even more damage. Outside of combat, there was an open-world to explore and plenty of vampiric based abilities for you to use such as possessing rats for stealthy approaches or turning into a mist to aid in platforming sequences. Oh, and you could also drink the blood from your foes to replenish health and stay hydrated.

Again, this game might not have been the best the series had to offer, but being Dracula and smashing things make it all okay in the end.

Code Vein

Best Vampire Games

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Believe it or not, Code Vein is a “Souls-like” title that has you playing as an anime vampire in a post apocalyptic world slaying monsters. While the gameplay doesn’t heavily lean into the vampire theme, the story and the world building is where all the blood sucking happens.

The world has fallen into the “Great Collapse”, summoning monsters that normal humans can’t contend with. Instead, society injects a few parasites into the deceased, bringing them back to life in the form of “Revenants” that need human blood for nourishment. There’s much more to the story, but your character sets out to help wander the aftermath of the “Great Collapse” and gain plenty of unique abilities along the way.

Outside of the world=building, any title that is labeled to be a “Souls-like” will most certainly play like one and Code Vein plays just like that. Use light attacks, heavy attacks, and special abilities to gain currency called “Haze” in order to level up your vampire in order to tackle the harder challenges the game throws at you.

You’re never exactly referred to as a vampire in-game, but you’re basically an anime vampire which is pretty cool!

BloodRayne Series

Best Vampire Games

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Much like how Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines set the path for games like Deus Ex and Skyrim to change the action RPG genre, BloodRayne set the path for hack and slashers like Bayonetta and even the underrated title, Wet, to develop such a huge fan base.

Across two titles and a 2D sidecroller, you take the role of Rayne: a half human, half vampire in a universe full of crazy vampires looking to take over the world. The story for these titles has never really been the main draw in comparison to the gameplay which leans heavily into Rayne’s vampire background. Rayne has two silver swords that are usable to cut up foes, guns a plenty to shoot her foes with including a slow-mo bullet time and, of course, it’s not a vampire game if you can’t feed on your foes.

Spoiler alert: she can feed, and it’s pretty brutal.

The main draw for this game was the blend of numerous inspirations from movies such as Blade and The Matrix. A high point for this short series was BloodRayne 2 as it improved on a lot of what made the first game good.

Bring back BloodRayne, and give it to Ninja Theory.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Best Vampire Games

castlevania symphony of the night cover art

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has you playing as Alucard and was set to be a new direction in the franchise taking inspiration from games like Legend of Zelda in order to encourage replaying the game: an issue that was always present in 2D side-scrollers. Come release, the game received critical acclaim for following the new direction the developers were looking at with praise being targeted towards its RPG elements, high replayability and the twists the story managed to flip on you.

This isn’t your standard vampire affair like Vampyr or Legacy of Kain, but it’s one of the best games of all time responsible for changing the course of the Castlevania franchise as a whole.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Best Vampire Games

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We mentioned Skyrim earlier so it had to be on the list.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim introduced us to vampires and the possibility of becoming one after coming into contact with another vampire or ingesting Vampire Salts. The effect of vampirism takes place over four stages with buffs to your frost resistance and illusion magic. As a trade off, your stats are massively reduced in the sunlight, and NPCs will eventually stop interacting with your character. You can slow the progression of your conversion by feeding on sleeping humans, and you can cure your vampirism should you choose to hate being a vampire.

Skyrim’s expansion, Dawnguard, dives deeper into the vampire lore by allowing players to become a vampire lord. Vampire lords are significantly more powerful than a standard vampire, and the choice to become one drastically changes your physical appearance.

There are plenty more games featuring the undead creatures, but until the industry brings them back, be sure to check out these titles!

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John Esposito
I love almost every type of video game, and when I'm not playing them, I'm writing about them... a lot. I have too many favorites to list so feel free to ask about them! Long live Ugly Sonic and the Resident Evil 3 Remake (this is a meme btw).