Popular culture has long been obsessed with vampires, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
In some incarnations, vampires are dark, mysterious figures with an air of dangerous romance about them, while in others, they’re horrifying monstrosities that represent the worst instincts and aspects of humanity.
If you’ve got a thirst for great vampire games, read on. Here, in no particular order, are the 20 best vampire games out there right now.
It’s no great secret that Troika’s ambitious action RPG wasn’t quite ready for the market when it was released.
As such, playing Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines without a number of fan-made patches and mods isn’t advisable.
However, once you’ve loaded the game up with the improvements fans have made to it after the fact, this is an incredible vampire RPG, full to the brim with great quests and opportunities for role-playing.
It may not be the most accomplished action game in the world, but Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain continues its series’ penchant for strong storytelling.
Following the story of disgraced noble Kain, who is himself a vampire, the game pits you against vampire hunters, monsters, and all sorts of unspeakable horrors.
It’s a fairly repetitive experience, but it’s worth it just to hear Simon Templeman’s rich, layered voice acting.
You’re going to be seeing Castlevania on this list a number of times, and for good reason. Symphony of the Night is, to put it simply, one of the greatest games ever made.
Alucard, the impossibly handsome son of Dracula, has returned to his father’s castle to put an end to the latter’s reign of terror, and he’ll do so by exploring a sprawling nonlinear world full of secrets and monsters to slay.
If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the term “Metroidvania”, wonder no more.
Admittedly, Don’t Nod’s strange, overly ambitious action RPG isn’t one of the best games ever made.
If, however, you’re looking for an experience that encapsulates the experience of being a vampire trying to balance their humanity with their thirst for blood, this is the best place to go.
The combat is a little clunky and the ending is unsatisfying, but Vampyr still has plenty of gothic thrills and chills to enjoy.
If Symphony of the Night was a little too nonlinear for you, then Super Castlevania IV’s vampire shenanigans might fit the bill better.
This is a classic platformer with whip-smart (no pun intended) level design, a huge degree of variety, and impressive visuals for the time.
The music is world-class, and the atmospherics transcend the SNES’ humble hardware restrictions.
Code Vein is a rather curious concoction. It’s a Soulslike action RPG that revolves around vampire-esque creatures known as the Lost, and it’s got an anime aesthetic to boot.
Suffice it to say that Code Vein is very much “not for everyone”. If you do gel with its odd style and exaggerated combat, though, you’ll find lots to like here.
If nothing else, Code Vein is noteworthy for its in-depth character creator.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Make no mistake: Castlevania III is hard. We’re not talking modern difficulty here; we’re talking brutal, late-80s-early-90s NES difficulty that will make you snap your controller in half.
Despite that, though, Castlevania III is an excellent romp that looks ahead to the nonlinear style of Symphony of the Night, with its branching pathways and multiple playable characters.
Hopelessly generic title aside, V Rising is a great survival sandbox game with a strong gothic vampire aesthetic and lots of developer support behind it.
The game is, at time of writing, still in Early Access, but its 1.0 release is scheduled for 2024.
If your fantasy is to construct your very own vampire castle and defend it from invaders, V Rising is the best way to achieve that dream.
As you might already have guessed from the title, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is Symphony of the Night with the serial numbers filed off.
Of course, it has an excuse to be such; it’s masterminded by Koji Igarashi, the man who brought you the aforementioned vampire adventure.
If you love Symphony of the Night, you’ll find an excellent spiritual successor in Ritual of the Night, which essentially brings together many of Igarashi’s best ideas into a single game.
Raziel’s journey through the world of Nosgoth is wordy, pretentious, and utterly brilliant. Its voice acting and storytelling were practically unparalleled at the time of its release.
Nowadays, you might notice a few crow’s feet on Soul Reaver, not least in its overreliance on cutscenes and its somewhat primitive visuals.
However, Crystal Dynamics’ vampire adventure is still relentlessly inventive, enthralling, and addictive.
Amongst the many post-Symphony of the Night Castlevania adventures that espoused that progenitor’s nonlinear style, Aria of Sorrow is arguably the best of them.
It transposes the action to the 21st century and follows Soma Cruz, a young man who is inexplicably given powers he doesn’t understand.
What follows is a great adventure that calls to mind Symphony of the Night but manages to best it in some areas too.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Blood and Wine DLC
If you buy modern versions of The Witcher 3 – including the ones available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S – you’ll get this excellent DLC bundled in.
It might not approach the lofty heights of Hearts of Stone, but Blood and Wine tells a vampire tale that’s just as compelling as some of the base game’s best side quests.
This expansion also allows you to own and manage your own vineyard, and who amongst us can say they haven’t dreamed of that?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC
Much like The Witcher 3, accomplished open-world RPG Skyrim also got an expansion focusing on vampires in the form of Dawnguard.
Dawnguard is a great time for anyone who enjoys digging through vampire lore to learn more about their foes, but it’s also an excuse to play through an additional chunk of Skyrim.
Darkest Dungeon’s The Crimson Court DLC
It’s a veritable DLC love-in right now, isn’t it? Darkest Dungeon is a brutally punishing roguelike RPG, and if you can’t get enough of its relentless difficulty, The Crimson Court is a great addition.
It adds a number of new enemies and bosses to fight, as well as an affliction known as The Crimson Curse, which is essentially vampirism in all but name.
The simplicity of arcade action gaming is something that many gamers miss, and Vampire Survivors pledges to take you back to a time when that kind of gameplay ruled the roost.
It’s a very simple setup: you must simply move around the arena and avoid enemy fire. Your weapons will attack the hordes of enemies that swarm you automatically.
However, “simple” isn’t “easy”, and Vampire Survivors will still challenge even the most hardened of arcade gamers.
Darkwatch: Curse of the West
Fans of the mid-2000s Van Helsing movie will likely find much to enjoy about Darkwatch, which is a Weird West-style shooter that blends horror and action.
The gameplay isn’t much to write home about, but it’s perfectly serviceable for a shooter, and the atmospherics carry this one over the finish line.
If you like games like Diablo or Torchlight, then you’ll definitely want to check out this action RPG from King Arthur developer Neocore Games.
Although it’s set in the 19th century, the game features deliberate anachronisms designed to both make the setting feel weirder and lighten the tone a little.
The gameplay is classic hack-and-slash vampire-slaying: satisfying, cathartic, and just a touch mindless.
Admittedly, Bloodborne isn’t a game “about vampires”, per se. However, the blighted land of Cainhurst is arguably home to creatures that would fit the bill nicely.
The rest of Bloodborne is a cosmic horror odyssey into a gothic town strongly inspired by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Dracula.
Although Bloodborne is well-liked, it’s arguably overlooked when compared to the likes of Elden Ring or Dark Souls.
Many gamers still remember the BloodRayne series from Uwe Boll’s godawful movie adaptation, but thankfully, BloodRayne 2 is much better than that.
It’s a stylish vampire adventure that might tend a little towards the exploitative at times, but its sharp combat and campy atmosphere carry it through any problems it might face.
If you want a little PS2-era nostalgia in your life, you could do a lot worse than BloodRayne 2.
Last but not least, here’s a curio from the PS2 vaults that you may have overlooked.
If you’re a JRPG fan, then Shadow Hearts should be at the top of your list of games to play; it’s a rich, vibrant horror RPG with a heightened real-world setting and plenty of memorable music and characters.
We’re including it here because, surprise surprise, it also features a vampire character in the form of well-spoken, mild-mannered castle lord Keith Valentine.
In conclusion, the allure of vampire games lies in their ability to let players explore the fascinating dichotomy of vampires in various forms—from brooding antiheroes to nightmarish predators. The 20 best vampire games we’ve explored offer a broad spectrum of this immortal genre, satisfying every gamer’s craving, whether it’s for gothic horror, thrilling action, or compelling storytelling. Each title serves as a testament to the vampire’s enduring appeal in gaming, providing experiences that are as diverse as they are engaging. So, if you find yourself yearning for a taste of the macabre, where strategy, survival, and the supernatural intertwine, delving into any of these vampire games is sure to quench your thirst. Whether you seek to walk in the shadows as a vampire yourself or stand against the encroaching darkness, these games offer numerous ways to immerse yourself in the captivating lore that vampires have inspired through the ages.