We love a good bloodsucker here at Retro Dodo, so we’re sinking our teeth into the best vampire games of all time.
The concept of vampires has evolved dramatically from their earliest incarnations in European folklore with the svelte, smoldering vampire image easily outpacing the bloated monstrosities of their origins.
I seriously need to contact whoever the vampire community is using for the PR!
While movies and television have often portrayed vampires in that more visually appealing light, vampires in gaming have often straddled the line between beauty and beast.
For our list we’re not only looking at games where you play as the sharp-toothed stalkers of the night, but also games where you do battle against these bloodsuckers.
From the original PlayStation to modern day mobiles, these immortal beings have endured through several generations and will probably still be admiring their invisible reflections centuries after we depart from this mortal coil.
Vampires in gaming are here to stay and we even have a new vampire game on the horizon with Marvel’s Blade being announced at The 2023 Game Awards.
Sharpen your stakes, top up your holy water and cover up those necks as we take a big, juicy bite out of the 10 best vampire games of all time.
Table of Contents
1. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999)
The best vampire game of all time is Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.
Soul Reaver is the second entry in the Legacy of Kain series and acts as a chronological sequel to Blood Omen.
Players wrap themselves in the cloak of Raziel, a lieutenant in the vampiric army led by Blood Omen’s protagonist, Kain. After Raziel evolves beyond his commander, growing wings and becoming the next step in vampire evolution, Kain mutilates Raziel before casting him into the Lake of the Dead.
Revived as a wraith by the mysterious Elder God, Raziel accepts his fate as a Soul Reaver and sets out on his quest to take revenger against Kain.
What makes Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver so special is the ability for Raziel to shift between two realms. Player will encounter numerous traps and puzzles as they navigate the world of Nosgoth and can overcome obstacles by morphing the world around them.
Seamlessly transitioning between the two realms is incredibly impressive and a technical marvel on the original PlayStation.
The combat is fast and exhilarating with Raziel using all manner of weapons, including the blade that shares his ‘Soul Reaver’ moniker, to dispatch foes before sucking out their souls for sustenance.
The story was penned partly by industry legend Amy Hennig. Hennig would go on to develop the Uncharted series at Naughty Dog and is now currently working on brining her creative vision to life in one of the many upcoming Star Wars games.
2. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (1997)
Konami’s 1997 masterpiece arrived at a time when gamers and developers were embracing the power of the 32-bit PlayStation to deliver 3D graphics.
In contrast to the emerging trend, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features gorgeous 2D environments and beautiful sprites that offer more character than any early polygonal models could.
The story sees Alucard attempting to destroy Dracula’s castle after it reappears following the events of Rondo of Blood. The castle itself is a wonderful labyrinth of gothic architecture that opens up and unveils its secrets the more players explore its corridors.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a landmark title and established a legacy and a blueprint for every ‘metroidvania’ that followed.
The halls of Dracula’s castle are littered with secrets to discover and hordes of enemies to defeat. The story twists and turns and will keep new players guessing right until the end of the tale.
Symphony of the Night is an incredible experience from start to finish and easily one of best vampire games of all time.
3. Vampire Survivors (2022)
The most recent vampire game in our list is Vampire Survivors. Vampire Survivors took the gaming world by storm last year when it released on PC, mobile and Xbox.
The simplistic, dare we say, retro-inspired graphics of Vampire Survivors belies the addictive gameplay loop of the game.
A top-down, rogue-like, Vampire Survivors sees players controlling a single character as they automatically attack against wave after wave of encroaching monsters.
Levelling up grants players the choice of several upgrades to make their attack stronger or to add new abilities to their automatically deployed weaponry.
Guiding characters through each of the several maps in Vampire Survivors is an exercise in risk management and gameplay strategy.
Hundreds of enemies will fill the screen during a run and will force players to make snap decisions that could result in success or failure.
The game arrived on Nintendo Switch earlier this year and is still free to download and enjoy on mobile. Players must exercise caution when dipping into Vampire Survivors though. The catchy tunes and moreish gameplay have seduced many players already and once it sinks its teeth into you, it’ll be almost impossible to play anything else.
4. Bloodrayne 2 (2004)
The early 2000s was a fantastic time for games based on vampires and this sequel to the original Bloodrayne reinforces that opinion.
Bloodrayne 2 shifts the action into a new millennium with protagonist Rayne having spent decades slaughtering her vampiric half-siblings after seemingly dispatching her vampire father Kagan at the end of the first game.
Darker and more grotesque in tone than most of the entries on our list, Bloodrayne 2 successfully delivers rapid hack n’ slash action in the vein of Devil May Cry or Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Rayne’s mobility allows her to quickly traverse through each of the games’ stages, dispatching vampires with a mix of attacks from her arm blades and knife boots.
She can also drain enemies to regain health and charge up her special moves. The array of moves in Rayne’s arsenal grants a true power fantasy to players as they somersault through the air before lopping down vampires in showers of blood.
5. Infamous: Festival Of Blood (2011)
Several years before the Infamous series moved to Seatlle, donned a beanie and started firing neon out its fingertips, the original Conduit, Cole MacGrath took a bit of a funny turn.
Infamous: Festival of Blood is an expansion to the PS3 exclusive Infamous 2 and sees Cole swap lighting bolts for pints of blood.
The story is a yarn spun by Cole’s friend Zeke, and sees players experiencing the events of ‘Pyre Night’. The game arrived just before Halloween back in 2011, making Cole’s transformation into a vampire a perfectly timed excursion.
After being forced to resurrect a vampire known as Bloody Mary, Cole must work against time and his new need to drink the crimson stuff, in order to defeat Mary and save New Marais from being destroyed.
The game is a bite-sized (pun intended) chunk of classic Infamous action and Cole is a pleasure to control as ever. Thankfully the morality system from the other Infamous games doesn’t make an appearance in Festival of Blood, allowing players to suck the citizens of New Marais dry whenever they please.
Developer Sucker Punch have yet to revisit the Infamous series after the success of Ghost of Tsushima, but maybe one day we’ll get a spiritual sequel to Festival of Blood and see Jin SaKai wrap himself up in a cape and drain some Mongols.
6. Vampyr (2018)
One of the most recent entries in our list of the best vampire games of all time, 2018’s Vampyr plonks us into an unusual predicament in what could easily be a Mitchell and Webb sketch. For our protagonist, Jonathan Reid, is a vampire doctor.
Dr. Reid is certainly an expert hematologist, as his penchant for sucking blood comes into direct opposition with his Hippocratic Oath.
The opening to Vampyr is exceptionally dark with Jonathan emerging from a mass grave and inadvertently killing his poor sister Mary due to his uncontrollable bloodlust.
What follows is an open-world adventure where players can choose to kill or save the residents of 1918 London. There are multiple endings to discover, with each finale unlocked based on your in-game actions and morality.
Will you give in to your new vampiric urges or will you fight to save those that you’ve sworn to protect? Either way, Vampyr offers a gripping narrative within a beautifully grim city.
7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
Who doesn’t love a good stroll through the world of Skyrim? In a game where you can be anything, a warrior, a cook, a thief, why would you want to be anything other than a vampire?!
Well, for starters, there are a couple of drawbacks to becoming a vampire in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Vampirism will envelope players who have been afflicted with the Sanguinare Vampiris disease for three in-game days but will see those that turn become weak against fire and take damage when in direct sunlight.
It’s not all bad news for people looking to adopt an aversion to garlic however. This is the best vampire games of all time after all!
Players who avoid taking an arrow to the knee can continue their adventures with access to vampiric spells and abilities. Vampiric Drain lets Skyrim’s bloodsuckers recover health by feasting on enemies and the ‘curse’ means players will be immune to all other diseases and poisons in the game.
Thankfully, you can revert back to human form at any time via a few different means. Perfect for when you want to bask in the sunshine of Whiterun.
8. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines (2004)
Secret societies and vampires go hand-in-hand. If everyone knew of the terrors that seek to drain our blood we’d all be wearing reinforced turtlenecks to bed.
But what if those secret vampiric societies didn’t just live in the shadows, but actually influenced the human world from within the darkness.
That’s the premise of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines as players adopt the role of a freshly turned vampire in this action orientated RPG.
Every playthrough of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines is unique due to the character creation system that allows players to shape their bloodsucker however they want.
Several vampire clans can be joined including ones which specialise in fighting, groups that are hideous monsters or vamps that have a knack for seduction. I know which clan I fit into… yes, it’s the hideous monster one…
Levelling up allows players to nurture their budding abilities through modern Los Angeles as they battle to prevent the vampiric apocalypse.
9. Darkwatch (2005)
Let’s not beat around the bush. Vampires are cool. But you know what else is cool? Cowboys!
Darkwatch tells the story of outlaw Jericho Cross, a cowboy that is turned into a vampire in the Old West. Imagine in John Marston was bitten by Dracula and you’ll have the general idea.
Also known as Darkwatch: Curse of the West, the game sees Jericho embracing his newfound vampiric lifestyle by hunting down monsters across the American Frontier.
Darkwatch was ahead of its time when it came to gameplay. The PS2 and Xbox title offered fast-paced first-person blasting combined with Jericho’s supernatural powers such as the ability to perform double jumps and summon blood shields.
The game also included a morality system, allowing players to choose what kind of creature of the night they wanted to become.
The unique setting of Darkwatch is one that all gamers should experience, even if it’s just to play as a cowboy vampire with a rocket launcher… I said it was cool.
10. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2002)
It’s 1999 and youngsters are returning home from school. 6pm and TVs across the land (the UK) are tuning into BBC2 for an evening of excellent entertainment. We have The Simpsons followed by the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and last but not least, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It was a simple time full of simple pleasures but one of the greatest joys in a teenagers’ life at that time was watching Buffy kick some vampiric butt!
A few years after Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang made their debut, EA and The Collective released a tie-in game exclusively for Xbox.
The game takes place across thirteen levels that fit neatly into the third season of the show with Buffy’s diabolical antagonist, The Master, up to more evil deeds.
While the game does feature the cast from the show reprising their roles, Buffy Summers herself, Sarah Michelle-Gellar, doesn’t appear.
Don’t let SMG’s absence deter you from playing Buffy The Vampire Slayer though as the game itself is a surprisingly fun and accomplished beat ’em up, full of the charm and wit fans of the show will love.
And that’s a wrap; it’s time to close the lid on the coffin once and for all!
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our look back at the best vampire games of all time. These midnight menaces all offer fantastic gaming experiences for anyone with a bit of a bloodlust.
If vampires you think vampires suck and prefer your undead monsters a little more braindead, you might enjoy our list of the best zombie survival games of 2023.
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.