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A subtype of the ActionAdventure genre, usually with PlatformGame elements, Metroidvania refers to any game containing the major gameplay concepts shared by the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series and later ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games.

Your typical Metroidvania game is typically portrayed as a single large area or a set of large areas, broken up into many different rooms, corridors, and open spaces, with RespawningEnemies in most areas. Progress in the game is driven by the discovery of VideoGameTools (actions, abilities, inventory items) that allow the player to navigate obstacles and "unlock" new areas, while also serving as more than just a "key"; for example, a weapon powerful enough to destroy certain walls will often deal more damage to enemies, and the ability to climb walls could be used to avoid enemies as well as reach high places.

The player will often pass many insurmountable obstacles as they explore the game, which they must {{backtrack|ing}} to after finding the appropriate item/ability, often made easier by opening [[DoorToBefore Doors To Before]]. There are usually many secrets hidden around the game, some far more difficult to obtain than any item required to proceed.

It often contains mild RPGElements as well, like stat-boosting equipment or a [[CharacterLevel level system]]; some of these games will have multiple playable characters with different abilities and require the player to switch between them. But if not, expect to find hidden {{Heart Container}}s in every cranny and nook.

Despite the openness of the game, progression is usually linear, with the more difficult areas separated by natural barriers such as high shelves, sealed or locked doors, or other obstacles that can only be bypassed by finding specific items or weapons. Among gamers, SequenceBreaking is a common stunt used to access these areas before the player is "supposed" to.

The definition of this subgenre varies somewhat depending on whom you ask. People seem to variably demand some or all of the following traits:
* Some people say it has to be a 2-D environment; some even go as far as saying it has to be platforming.
* Non-linearity of (official) game sequence, often resulting in {{backtracking}}, especially for new players.
* SequenceBreaking capabilities, even if not official. (Some players go so far as to insist it must be unintentional to count as [[NoTrueScotsman true]] sequence breaking.)
* Highly interconnected areas.
* [[AbilityRequiredToProceed Items, keys, tools, weapons, or powerups used to get around obstacles.]]
* A focus on exploring one's environment.
* [[EquipmentBasedProgression Becoming more powerful through better equipment]] which also [[UtilityWeapon aids in overcoming obstacles]].

This sub-genre gets its name from the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series. The TropeMaker was ''VideoGame/{{Metroid|1}}'', published in 1986, and subsequent ''Metroid'' games have consistently used it in all of its installments (except ''Prime Pinball''). ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' first used the style in 1986's ''Vampire Killer'' and 1987's ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'', before abandoning it and then returning to it after the success of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'', the TropeCodifier. The term itself was originally used for the ''Castlevania'' games of the same style as ''Symphony of the Night'', but Jeremy Parish of [[http://www.retronauts.com Retronauts,]] expanded the definition so that it referred to an entire genre; his use of the term popularized it, and along with it his definition. Ironically, the designer of ''Symphony of the Night'' actually modeled that game on the ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series, which also shares a number of traits with this genre though is often overlooked in discussions due to not being 2D side-scrolling.

While ''Metroid'' and ''Castlevania'' were the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier, respectively, the [[UrExample Ur Examples]] were ''VideoGame/BrainBreaker'' (1984/1985) and ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu'' (1985). Several early Metroidvania titles were inspired by these titles, particularly ''Xanadu''. Metroidvania elements could be traced further back to non-platformer games ''VideoGame/{{Tutankham}}'' (1982) and ''VisualNovel/ThePortopiaSerialMurderCase'' (1983).

A somewhat lesser version of this was fairly popular towards the end of the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem's life cycle. The game would be separated into stages, but each stage was a wide-open, explorable area instead of a linear progression. Many of these games allowed you to revisit a stage after you already beat it.

Games in this genre tend to be a four (or three) on the SlidingScaleOfLinearityVsOpenness. Competing terms include "Castletroid", "Castleroid", "Metrovania", "[=IGAvania=]", and "non-linear action adventure platformer", with or without capitalization.

Unfortunately, [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant this is not a crossover between]] ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}''... but it so should be.


%%Examples have been alphabetized within folders.

[[folder:Trope Namers]]
* Most of the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' games of course. Some people don't consider the 3D titles (the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' sub-series and ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'') to count, but even those games play out the same, with the main difference being that the environments are arranged in 3 dimensions rather than 2 (''VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns'' is a TwoPointFiveD example). The clear exceptions are ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters'' (more of a first-person shooter with a few exploration elements), ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimePinball'' (a pinball game), and ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeFederationForce'' (a co-op FPS).
* For a period, almost all of the 2D ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games fit this build. From 1997's ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' up until ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' the series was a TropeCodifier. ''Symphony of the Night'' isn't the first time that the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series experimented with the genre, either; ''Vampire Killer'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' shared many of the same gameplay elements, though the latter didn't have the closed complex setting typical of the genre, and the former had no RPGElements. The series has seemingly moved away from the 2D Metroidvania style for 3D ActionAdventure HackAndSlash format. An interesting note is that the man behind most of the Metroidvania titles had actually never heard of the term until around 2012 (though he quite liked it). He said his inspiration in creating ''Symphony of the Night'' actually came from ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' (which in turn borrowed elements from ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu'' and the original ''Metroid'').


* The SNES game of ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' is this, as well as having a quasi-HubLevel in the form of the entrance hall.
* ''Ainevoltas 1'' and ''2'', freeware games. ''Ainevoltas 2'' is the remake of the first one.
* ''Albero and the Great Blue Emblem''
* ''VideoGame/AliensInfestation''. Quite fitting, considering the influence ''Film/{{Alien}}'' had on the original ''Metroid''.
* ''VideoGame/AlwasAwakening'' is a Metroidvania in the classic screen-by-screen style.
* ''VideoGame/{{Amea}}'' is an online Metroidvania by Creator/{{Godlimations}}.
* ''VideoGame/{{Antichamber}}'' is non-linear, allows sequence breaking, features interconnected areas, requires upgrades to advance, and focuses on exploration.
* ''VideoGame/AnubisAndTheBuriedBone'' currently has just 1 big giant map with no clear objective on what to do.
* The indie game ''VideoGame/{{Aquaria}}'' embraces this trope fully, although there is much less of a platform element since it takes place almost entirely underwater.
* [[http://www.kongregate.com/games/gharding3/asciivania ASCIIvania]]--as the title suggests, it's a Metroidvania-style game with ASCII graphics. The AbilityRequiredToProceed element is mainly provided by finding different letters, which you use to complete words that are blocking your way. There are also the abilities to jump, double jump, and reverse gravity, all of which you will need to find all of the letters of the alphabet and complete the game.
* ''VideoGame/AxiomVerge'' is a love letter to the genre, ''VideoGame/{{Metroid|1}}'' and other classics of the 8-bit era, allowing players to utilize and create glitches to access new areas, bypass obstacles and change enemy behavior.

* ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' borders closely on this, and can be used to illustrate the genre differences between this and a straight PlatformGame. The levels, as in the previous game, are non-linear, large and focus on exploration and [[GottaCatchEmAll item collection]], have a lot of puzzles and pathways between each other, and there are a lot of unlockable moves and attacks required to progress through the HubLevel and to [[HundredPercentCompletion complete everything]]. On the other hand, progress in the game is limited by having later levels [[DisconnectedSideArea mostly]] inaccessible until opened one at a time by turning in PlotCoupons at a central location (unless using a certain in-game cheat), so SequenceBreaking is fairly limited.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' is not a pure example, sort of fitting somewhere between ''Metroid'' and ''Zelda''.
* ''VideoGame/BattleKid'' combines this with a less [[FakeDifficulty unfair]] version of ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy''.
* The obscure ''VideoGame/TheBattleOfOlympus'' for the NES.
* ''VideoGame/BionicCommando''(NES) and its remake.
* ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster''
* ''VideoGame/BloodstainedRitualOfTheNight'', a Website/{{Kickstarter}} SpiritualSuccessor of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series by Koji Igarashi, producer of many of the trope-naming Castlevania games. He coined the term "Igavania" to refer to games in his gothic style.
* ''VideoGame/BrainBreaker'', developed in 1984 and released for the UsefulNotes/{{Sharp X1}} computer in 1985, is one of the [[UrExample first true]] Metroidvania-style games, along with ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu'', released the same year.
* ''VideoGame/TheBreach'' is more or less what you'd get if you bred ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' with ''Film/EventHorizon.''
* ''VideoGame/BunnyMustDie'', which even includes [[ShoutOut shout outs]] to both ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''.
* ''VideoGame/CaptainComic'' and its sequel
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' is clearly influenced by both ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' and ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}''. There are various items and abilities needed to proceed through the game, and backtracking yields many hidden areas and items that were completely unobtainable when first encountered.
* ''VideoGame/ClarencesBigChance'': Sort of. Though the game itself is very linear, each level is very open and full of secrets.
* ''Videogame/ClashAtDemonhead'' was widely considered an early example of the genre.
* UsefulNotes/BBCMicro game ''Codename: Droid'' is another early example.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crazd}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Two}}''

* VideoGame/{{Dandara}} is a Metroidvania game where the player cannot run or jump and instead explores the world by zipping from one flat surface to another.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}'' is a 3D, third-person game with the Metroidvania elements of using new equipment/abilities to unlock different areas, and freely backtracking to previous areas to collect previously unreachable items or treasure. ''VideoGame/DarksidersII'' is much the same with the addition of more RPGElements via a variety of weapons and armor with various stats and a skill progression tree. Both games also takes inspiration from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' with distinct dungeons that have puzzles to be solved and doors to be unlocked using the items and keys found inside.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI'' shares a lot of similarities with the Metroidvania genre, particularly with its world design. It is also a rare 3D, third-person example.
%%* ''VideoGame/DarkTheory''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dex}}'' has plenty of bonus areas that can only be accessed with jumping upgrades, having poison/electrical resistance or hacking/lockpicking your way past a high-level gate.
* ''[[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/divide/divide.htm The Divide: Enemies Within]]'' for the PSX and PC is a rather excellent 3-D example of this.
* ''[[http://miriti.ru/games/ld24/ DNA]]'' is a short example of the genre made in 48 hours for a game making competition with the theme of evolution.
* ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu'', released in 1985, was the UrExample of Metroidvania gameplay, along with ''Brain Breaker''. The later ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'' games ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}'', ''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard'' and ''VideoGame/{{Sorcerian}}'' continued the Metroidvania format established by ''Xanadu''.
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail'' fits most of the subgenre traits, being a 2-D ActionRPG with a simple levelling system and a heavy focus on platforming. Area maps consisting of multiple interconnected parts? Check. Some of those map parts requiring certain skills or items to reach, forcing you to backtrack there later? Check. Vast amount of exploration required to ''find'' all of that stuff, not to mention all of the hidden treasure chests? Check. Equipment that gives stat bonuses and gets more powerful as you reach new areas? Check. SequenceBreaking through creative use of early abilities? Check. Considering that the PointOfNoReturn occurs right before the final boss, by the end of the game you have every location available to revisit and clear if you want to get [[OneHundredPercentCompletion 117% completion]] on your save file.
* ''[[http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/elephant-quest Elephant Quest]]'' is a free flash game in which a [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter cute elephant]] sets out on a quest to reclaim his CoolHat made in this format. With lasers.
* The final levels of the two main games in the ''VideoGame/{{Emogame}}'' series (especially the second one) play out like this, though it's doubtful that any of the ''Castlevania'' or ''Metroid'' games ended with [[spoiler:Belmont or Samus beating Dracula or Ridley]]. The third game would've been done entirely in this style, [[{{Vaporware}} had it ever been finished]].
* ''Videogame/{{Endeavor}}'' requires players to find different items/collect special upgrading fruit to be able to reach new areas.
* ''VideoGame/EnvironmentalStationAlpha'', which heavily borrows from VideoGame/Metroid1 aesthetically and VideoGame/SuperMetroid gameplay wise.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromPuppyDeathFactory'' is also an online Metroidvania by Creator/AdultSwimGames.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' is somewhat unique in that you never actually leave the hub world; the plot involves main character Alex reading the histories of previous owners of the game's TomeOfEldritchLore, and by experiencing their stories, she is given access to the magick spells that they learned in their time, going on to cast the spell herself and uncover a new means of going deeper into the mansion to find more pages of the Tome.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDaughter'' starts with the protagonist able to do the typical platforming routine, but certain areas in each level can only be reached once she gets the ability to jump higher, slide off walls, etc.
* ''Exhumed'', also known as ''Power Slave'', is possibly one of the earliest examples of a Metroidvania FPS, predating ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' by almost a decade.
* The ROM hack ''[[http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=244 Extra Mario Bros.]]'' is a Metroidvania game built on ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', and is probably the only example of the genre with one-way scrolling.

* ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}''. Some of the other ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'' games also have Metroidvania style gameplay, particularly its predecessor ''VideoGame/DragonSlayerIIXanadu'', one of the {{Ur Example}}s of the genre (along with ''Brain Breaker''). ''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard'' in particular is a much more Metroidvania-like entry in the series, like ''Xanadu'' and ''VideoGame/{{Sorcerian}}''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fez}}'': While additional powers are gained, the real key to progress is figuring out how to read the clues in the game in order to solve the puzzles and gain trinkets, which are used to unlock various doors.
* ''VideoGame/TheFloorIsJelly'' has some elements of this. Each of the game's levels are interconnected to a single hub, and you can freely revisit and backtrack through each level as well. The night level, the second swamp level and the DiscOneFinalDungeon plays this more straight in which these levels are more non-linear and has you searching these levels to find several keys that will open a portal leading to the level's exit.
* The ''VideoGame/GargoylesQuest'' trilogy.
* ''VideoGame/GhostSongAJourneyOfHope'', another game from Website/{{Kickstarter}}, is most influenced by ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', with a recurring NPC which pursues the player through the open world.
* ''VideoGame/GhoulSchool''
* ''VideoGame/TheGoonies II''.
* ''Videogame/{{Guacamelee}}'': A Metroidvania where you learn wrestling moves (from goatmen or fighting chickens) to access more areas.
* ''VideoGame/GunGirl2'' has a linear main plot but a Metroidvania-type world with plenty of hidden upgrades.

* ''VideoGame/{{Hasslevania}}: The Quest For Shuteye'', a parody of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series.
* ''VideoGame/{{Headlander}}'': Made by ''Creator/DoubleFine'', a rather unique take on the genre as progress isn't as much locked behind skills or abilities that you unlock, but rather the robot bodies you take control of, with higher level robots giving you access to more areas.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Hebereke}} Hebereke]]'' for the Famicom (and the Euro Release ''VideoGame/{{Ufouria}}''). Something about a drunk duck (''hebereke'' translates into ''stumbling drunk'') falling into an alternate dimension with his animal-ish friends who have to find a way back home (or so it appears). Plays like ''Metroid'' meets ''Mario''. All the sequels (on the SNES) completely abandoned this genre and are party games.
* ''VideoGame/HellYeahWrathOfTheDeadRabbit'' is essentially Creator/{{Sega}}'s take on this genre.
* ''VideoGame/HeroCore'', by the creator of ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', can basically be described as the combination of a Metroidvania and a ShootEmUp.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' video game adaptation ''Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!'' has elements of this. Finn and Jake run around the Land of Ooo, fighting monsters and learning new powers in order to progress at certain points.
* The free and moderately NSFW ''VideoGame/{{Holdover}}'', which forgoes combat entirely to focus on some fairly tricky platforming in an old, [[DownTheDrain flooded]] laboratory [[MalevolentArchitecture filled with spikes and other nasty obstacles]]. It's made trickier by the fact that your character's only protection is a one-piece swimsuit that loses its top or bottom half [[OneHitPointWonder in a single hit]], potentially leaving her naked and completely vulnerable until she can restore it. On top of that, metal braces on her feet make it [[WalkDontSwim impossible to swim]] and half the platforming is done underwater, requiring you to [[OxygenMeter manage your air]] throughout. Luckily, the game has a quick-save feature [[SaveScumming that it outright encourages you to abuse]], which brings the difficulty back down to manageable levels.
* ''VideoGame/HollowKnight'' is another "love letter" to the genre, with a ''very'' ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' feel and a plethora of [[ShoutOut Shout Outs]].
* ''Videogame/HouchouShoujoGensoukyoku'' is ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' reimagined as an action metroidvania.
* ''VideoGame/{{Iconoclasts}}'' by Joachim "Creator/{{konjak}}" Sandberg
* Indie freeware game ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' borders on this--once you clear a level, you can't backtrack, but each level is huge and there are several secret areas that require Metroidvania logic to reach--to get one Supercharge requires getting a jump upgrade, [[RocketJump using an enemy's rocket]] attack to reach an elevator back to a now accessible ledge that leads to a weapon necessary to destroy a wall blocking off the powerup.
* ''[[http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=5762.0 In 60 Seconds]]'' is a freeware mini-Metroidvania. As the title suggests, you get just one minute to gather all the abilities required to reach the boss and defeat it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Indivisible}}'', an upcoming game by ''Creator/LabZero'' that mixes the genre with a combat system inspired by ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile''.
* ''VideoGame/InsanelyTwistedShadowPlanet'', albeit lacking the platformer elements typical for the genre
* ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' is sometimes described as one of these, despite the fact that it doesn't have any powerups or [[OneHitPointWonder heart containers]].

* ''Videogame/JablessAdventure''
* ''VideoGame/KirbyAndTheAmazingMirror'' is unique in that unlike other Metroidvanias, instead of finding abilities to progress to other abilities, you have to [[PowerCopying eat enemies for their abilities]] which are near the parts you have to use those abilities in, and you can discard the abilities soon after. You could also get help from the 3 other Kirbies, and do things in [[SequenceBreaking any order, even reverse.]] The Great Cave Offensive in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' had similar gameplay, but was more linear. (Note that other games in the series, including the other components of ''Super Star'', are {{Platform Game}}s).
* ''VideoGame/KnightmareIITheMazeOfGalious'', the game that inspired ''La-Mulana''.
* The free flash game ''Videogame/{{KOLM}}'' from Armor Games, in which the main character is a robot that needs to rebuild itself (thereby gaining [[AbilityRequiredToProceed the required powerups]]). If you [[HundredPerCentCompletion collect all the letter panels]], [[CosmeticAward the final scene reveals]] that the acronym stands for [[spoiler: [[LampshadeHanging Kind Of Like Metroid]]]].

* ''VideoGame/LaMulana'':
** The first game, in two levels of quality, MSX original and SNES remake. The game follows Lemeza, a Japanese-American AdventureArchaeologist who explores an ancient, trap filled ruin.
** ''La-Mulana 2'', a kickstarted sequel to the first game, stars Lemeza's daughter Lumisa.
* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Soul Reaver'', although its sequels were much more linear in nature.
* ''VideoGame/LegendOfKalevala'' is an online [[UsefulNotes/AdobeFlash Flash]] Metroidvania by Dit Dah Games.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** The series is a parallel or even sub-genre, as the games also focus on collecting VideoGameTools to bypass obstacles in the wide-open [[TheOverworld Overworld]] (often to the point of allowing sequence breaking). While the early games mainly feature a top-down perspective, some contain side-scrolling sections, and the transition to 3D saw the series leaning more towards the [[PlatformGame platformer]] genre. However, one major difference remains: the [[DungeonCrawling dungeons]], fully self-contained areas separate from the Overworld that require only a single trip to complete. ''Zelda'' dungeons mainly require completing puzzles/tasks and collecting keys to progress, with the exception of one important item to be found and utilized to reach (or even to fight) the dungeon boss. After completing the dungeon, the item discovered there can be used in the Overworld to progress toward the next dungeon.
** ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' has all the action take place in 2D side-scrolling sections, including towns and dungeons, although these are all still contained within a top-down overworld. Some of the handheld titles in the series, starting with ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', also have a small amount of 2D side-scrolling sections, and even add a jump button to the top-down controls, making the entire game a platformer.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' has the best bridge between the two with the Temple of the Ocean King, a huge dungeon which contains maps and keys to access the other smaller and self-contained dungeons, which in turn hold the items and keys needed to progress further into the temple (and make previous sections simpler and quicker to pass through), while the overworld holds sands for the hourglass which allow you to explore for longer periods of time before having to turn back. Both the sands and the items from each smaller dungeon are needed to safely and successfully navigate the massive dungeon.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' narrows the gap between ''Zelda'' and most Metroidvanias by adding hallmarks of the latter that had been largely absent in the former, with some of the main additions being [[DungeonTown less distinction between the overworld and dungeons]], as well as {{Save Point}}s.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Lemegeton}}''
* ''Lord of the Sword'' for the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem.
%%* ''VideoGame/LyleInCubeSector''
* ''Franchise/MegaMan'':
** The first ''VideoGame/MegaManZero game''.
** The first ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' game features waypoints that allow you to teleport to any waypoint already visited, but all waypoints must be found by exploration first (except for the isolated area that becomes the HubLevel, which gets added to the teleport list once you complete a certain early mission), and very few areas have their entrance right next to a waypoint. The first ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' game features the same, but has a habit of automatically placing you at the beginning of the relevant area at the start of each mission you accept; which, combined with the fact that many areas host two missions, means that if you never wandered outside the HubLevel in between missions, you would never notice that most of the areas are physically connected to each other (specifically, you would only notice that one pair of areas, plus the linearly-connected areas of the final three missions, are connected).
** ''VideoGame/MegaManZX Advent'', on the other hand, is a step back from ZX, with at least as many missions taking place in self-contained areas as otherwise. It wins back points by being more reliant on AbilityRequiredToProceed than its predecessors (and offering shapes to morph into with overlapping functions, thus offering multiple solutions to certain mazes and traps), introducing a ''Metroid''-inspired minimap and encouraging re-exploration of completed areas to apply your new abilities to find hidden stuff just as much as ZX did before it.
** In addition, ''Zero'' lacks the ability-gaining that is central to the genre (some Cyber-Elves can give you permanent upgrades, but they're never needed to access areas you couldn't reach before).
** ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' has a GaidenGame for the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube called ''Network Transmission'' (largely an homage to the classic verse, with platforming gameplay in classic 'verse level designs), whose main internet area qualifies for this. The main Internet alone branches to Lan's, Mayl's, and Dex's homepage, an outpost of Higsby's chip shop, the Zero Area and its guardian areas, the legendary WWW area, and the Undernet. There are alternate, disconnected areas, but most of the game occurs in the main Internet.
** The ROMHack ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' uses this for [[TheMaze Wily St]][[MarathonLevel age 3]]. The previous stage's boss, Snatchman, is an EvilKnockoff of Mega Man that steals the first four weapons he uses. In Wily Stage 3, you must defeat the eight robot masters again, but for half of them you get their weapon back, and the other half doesn't give you anything. The maze-like structure of the level, which [[AllTheWorldsAreAStage uses the tiles and enemies of every previous stage]], also fits this trope well.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'' is a partial case, in that it's a third-personal shooter but has a very similar nonlinear explorative feel to it. With the proper special items, nearly all the underground areas can be made to interconnect too.
* ''VideoGame/MeikyuujouHydra'' has no RPG elements, but you can collect things to extend your ability to travel around and stay alive.
* ''VideoGame/MetalWalker'', while an ActionRPG, has elements of this. Returning to previous areas with more Core Units can get you items, gold, and in some cases, new Recipes and special Cores.
* ''VideoGame/{{Momodora}}''
* ''VideoGame/MonsterTale'' is this, with a side order of RPG elements. Your main character gains new powers in Metroidvania fashion, by finding them. Your sidekick gains new powers from EXP and leveling up.
%%* ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade''
* ''VideoGame/MystikBelle'' with traits of a [[{{PointAndClickGame}} Point-And-Click Adventure Game.]]

* Nicklas "Creator/{{Nifflas}}" Nygren's games ''VideoGame/WithinADeepForest'', ''VideoGame/{{Knytt}}'', ''VideoGame/KnyttStories'' and ''VideoGame/{{Knytt Underground}}''. His games are unique in that they have minimal power-ups and focus on exploration.
* ''VideoGame/TheNightmareBeforeChristmasThePumpkinKing'' for UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance was a transparent wholesale ripoff of the GBA ''Castlevania'' games. It was considerably better than 'VideoGame/SamuraiJackTheAmuletOfTime''.
* ''VideoGame/OdallusTheDarkCall'' has stages with multiple paths that lead into further areas or dead ends with boss fights. Any discovered stages can be accessed from the World Map.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', being strongly inspired by ''Zelda'' per WordOfGod, mostly fits this genre with an long, intense and elaborate plot, power-ups and {{Plot Coupon}}s that allow you to unlock the (very) wide map, a barely restricted freedom of exploration and a ''huge'' number of sidequests, optional power-ups and {{Heart Container}}s. There are a few areas [[CollapsingLair where you cannot return afterwards]] but these only contain items necessary to the plot or VendorTrash.
* ''[[http://operationsmash.com/ Operation Smash]]'': A heavily ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid''–inspired indie game involving time travel and hammers. Currently available from Desura, and also up for voting on Steam Greenlight.
* ''VideoGame/OriAndTheBlindForest'', focusing much more on platforming and exploration rather than combat.
* VideoGame/{{Outland}} is what would happen if Metroid and ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' made sweet love while ''Castlevania'' watched.

* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' has heavy elements of this, but with AdventureGame puzzles and RPG battles littering the levels.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'' videogame for the SNES and Genesis. (Different areas are connected through a world map rather than being continuous, but it's still a good, classic example of this genre.)
* ''VideoGame/PharaohRebirth'' is another example of game with self-contained stages, but otherwise fits the definition. It's also the sequel of the freeware title ''Return of Egypt'' mentioned below.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pitfall}} II: Lost Caverns'' was a precursor to the genre, as well as sequels ''VideoGame/SuperPitfall'' and ''[[VideoGame/PitfallTheLostExpedition Pitfall: The Lost Expedition/The Big Adventure]]''. Another precursor was ''VideoGame/MontezumasRevenge'', where the game world is a bit small, but with familiar gameplay elements.
* ''VideoGame/{{Poacher}}'', a freeware release made in Game Maker by [[Creator/BenCroshaw Yahtzee Croshaw]] of ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'' fame. A bit unusual in that most of the overworld opens up after a certain point early in the story and you're free to tackle the different areas [[SequenceBreaking in any order]]. Each major area uses the basic jump-and-shoot controls for a different gimmick, such as a [[StealthBasedGame sneaking around]] [[BlackoutBasement a dark tomb]] or vertical platforming up through [[TheLostWoods gigantic trees]]. The big upgrade in each area is also only required to clear that particular area and generally just makes things easier or allows you to access secrets in the others. The progression gets more linear again after clearing all the areas and making it to the last act of the story.
* There are many areas in the ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'' series that are not inaccesible because of {{Broken Bridge}}s, but because you need the right [=HMs=], usually Cut, Strength or Rock Smash. An important HM is Surf, which allows you to travel to islands, where some gyms and [[OlympusMons Legendaries]] are. Where does the ability to use [=HMs=] outside of battle come from? Badges from [[BossBattle Gyms]].
* ''VisualNovel/ThePortopiaSerialMurderCase'', released in 1983, could be considered an early first-person Metroidvania. It had key Metroidvania elements, such as an open world with interconnecting areas, backtracking to previous locations, and finding new items to unlock previous areas.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2008'' is an interesting example of the 3D kind. While the abilities the Prince and Elika gain help them explore new areas, they don't ''find'' the abilities, they ''buy'' them... but they use light seeds to buy the abilities, and the only way to find enough light seeds to buy a new power is to use your latest power to explore a new area.
%%* ''VideoGame/ProjectBlackSun'', an extremely difficult one for PC, Mac and Linux.
* Each Unit in ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' consists of a group of revisitable interconnected areas.

* ''VideoGame/RabiRibi'' combines its Metroidvania gameplay with brutal BulletHell bosses wrapped in a CuteEmUp package.
* ''VideoGame/RainWorld'' boasts having over a thousand rooms to explore, but breaks away from the formula due to how fragile the Slugcat is and the time limit of every cycle.
* Surprisingly, the NES videogame of ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'', which featured one of the most confusing, maze-like game worlds ever.
* The first ''VideoGame/RedFaction'' is more linear than most examples, but allows you to backtrack to previous levels, which is sometimes required.
* Freeware title ''[[http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/game.php?id=4810 Return of Egypt]]''.
* ''Videogame/ReVeN'' is heavily influenced by ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' but adds the wrinkle of [[ItemCrafting mining materials to make your upgrades]].
* ''VideoGame/RobotWantsSeries''.
* ''VideoGame/RushNAttack: Ex-Patriot.'' Yes, Creator/{{Konami}} simultaneously revived one of their mustiest [=IPs=] and [[FollowTheLeader shamelessly ripped off]] ''VideoGame/ShadowComplex'' all in one game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rygar}}'', the NES version, which has a whole series of items to collect in order to improve your climbing skills more and more, and then makes you try to remember which previous stage had that unreachable ledge.
* The UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum game ''VideoGame/TheSacredArmourOfAntiriad'' is now retroactively considered one of these; it's basically a parallel evolution of ''Metroid''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack: [[VideoGame/SamuraiJackTheAmuletOfTime The Amulet of Time]]'' for UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance was a transparent wholesale ripoff of both the GBA ''Castlevania'' and GBA ''Metroid'' games. Not that it was ''bad''...
* ''VideoGame/ScurgeHive'' is probably the only isometric perspective example.
* ''Secret Scout in The Temple of Demise'' is a not-too-good one of these by Color Dreams.
* ''VideoGame/{{Seiklus}}'', a highly minimalistic freeware Game Maker game that takes certain quirks even further than the previous two: the whole overworld bar the final area is available to explore immediately [[SequenceBreaking in any sequence you want]], and there is absolutely no combat or even any way to die whatsoever. There aren't even any upgrades to find in order to progress: your impetus for exploring is finding a bunch of [[PlotCoupon artifacts]] to unlock the door to the final area and climb back up to the [[FluffyCloudHeaven cloud land]] you fell from. There's also [[GottaCatchEmAll a bunch of colored whisps scattered throughout the game world]] that you can collect in order to unlock paths to [[ExtendedGameplay pieces of a moon amulet]] you can bring back to the cloud land for HundredPercentCompletion.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowComplex'' on UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade has been described by pretty much ''every single reviewer'' as an (awesome) callback to ''Metroid'' and ''Castlevania''. This was intentional: the developers have openly admitted to basing it on said games, and spent the entire ''first month of development'' [[http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4119/making_shadow_complex_donald_.php?page=3 playing them.]] Even the minimap in the top right corner looks [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} eerily familiar]]. On top of that, the debut article about the game in Play Magazine mentions ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' 17 times. On the first page.
* ''Manga/ShamanKing: Master of Spirits 1'' and ''2'' on the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}}'', which has similarities to ''MonsterWorldIV''.
* ''VideoGame/SongOfTheDeep'' is an underwater example as the main character starts off in a mini-submarine that grows in power as she obtains weapons and movement upgrades.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The Game Gear spin-off ''VideoGame/TailsAdventure'' is divided into levels for cartridge space's sake. But everything else plays out like a Metroidvania, and you can revisit levels to look for new stuff.
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' has shades of this (all the levels are connected through a hubworld, you can backtrack and gain various items). ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' drops most of this.
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdvance3'' seemed to be another stab at this: All worlds are connected through a hub, and different character combinations beyond the initial Tails and Sonic are needed to explore the levels fully and achieve HundredPercentCompletion.
** The fan-made ''VideoGame/SonicChronoAdventure'' has two ring-shaped maps to be explored and abilities that transform Sonic. The developer used the term "Metronic" when talking about it, not feeling it had much influence from ''Castlevania''.
* ''VideoGame/SpyroAttackOfTheRhynocs'' is isometric but contains all of the other traits.
* ''VideoGame/SteamworldDig'': As you proceed deeper into the mines, obstacles appear that require a specific upgrade to pass.
* The NES version of ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' often requires returning to levels several times after obtaining keys or [[AbilityRequiredToProceed ability upgrades]]. The 2014 reboot continues the tradition.
* ''VideoGame/{{Sundered}}'' has many classic Metroidvania traits, having the player explore sprawling nonlinear areas while collecting abilities in the field that can be used to overcome previously impassable obstacles. Players upgrade their stats by spending Shards at a central hub area, similar to ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. The game’s areas are partially procedurally-generated, and their layouts will change every time the player dies: important rooms that contain abilities, bosses, and obstacles have fixed locations.
* The final stage of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'''s Adventure mode, The Great Maze. The rest of the mode is straight platforming.
* ''[[http://ektomarch.com/games/ Subbania]]'': A Metroidvania where you pilot a submarine through underwater caves, collect upgrades to explore new areas, and survive against the creatures within. Everything figuratively and literally goes to hell as you go deeper.
* ''VideoGame/TheSwapper'' has a protagonist, setting, and map layout very similar to Metroid, only that it's a puzzle platformer instead of an action adventure.
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' of all things, although it's not that surprising considering where Metroid Prime was pulling it's inspiration. The original game features a honeycomb map wherein the player is often forced to backtrack after acquiring an item that lets them proceed.

* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'':
** '' Radical Rescue'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoy. You start off as Michaelangelo and must rescue the rest of the gang, whose abilities open new areas to explore.
** ''Danger of the Ooze'' is another Metroidvania-style game, this one based off the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 third cartoon]] and for the [=3DS=], [=PS3=], and Xbox 360. This one sees all four turtles playable from the start and lets them upgrade their abilities as the game goes on.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' is somewhat of an example, since although the game is based around freely building and mining in a randomly generated map, certain areas are very difficult before finding or crafting the right tools or equipment.\\\
''VideoGame/TheStoryOfRedCloud'', a ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''–based [[GameMod mod]] of ''Terraria'', includes a massive pre-built map with strategically placed items and removes the player's ability to freely build or destroy, turning the game into a full-fledged Metroidvania.
* ''VideoGame/{{Teslagrad}}'' is one. Interestingly, it's very light on combat, making it mostly about exploration and puzzle solving.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tomba}}'' and its sequel are all about this. There's all sorts of weapons, clothing, and other items that can be used to find and complete the 100+ quests scattered around the game world.
* ''Toshi Tenso Keikaku Eternal City'' for the PC-Engine.
* ''VideoGame/TreasureAdventureGame'', a freeware pirate-themed game based around collecting treasures.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tutankham}}'', released in 1982, could be considered a proto-Metroidvania, as it had some Metroidvania elements.
* ''VideoGame/UmbralCloud'', a freeware game made using the ''VideoGame/ZeldaClassic'' engine.
* ''VideoGame/AnUntitledStory''

* ''VideoGame/ValdisStoryAbyssalCity'' is an indie title for PC that adheres to the genre very closely. More in common with Castlevania than Metroid, with a focus on melee combat and magic spells. It has a fairly robust skill tree with your typical Castlevania-style stats and equipment to go along with it that allow the player to create a good number of fairly varied playstyles depending on what they choose. The combat system is more in-depth though with freeform melee chain combos and a skill cancel ability that also functions as a dodge. There ends up being a pretty high skill ceiling as you gain powers and figure out the intricacies of the systems. There are also 4 characters, two of whom are unlocked for a second playthrough.
* ''VideoGame/AValleyWithoutWind'' has large elements of this, with the added bonus of being procedurally-generated at random.
* ''VideoGame/{{VVVVVV}}'' is a simpler ''VideoGame/{{Pitfall}} II''-style variety of Metroidvania, but is otherwise unlike ''Pitfall II'' in gameplay.
* ''[[VideoGame/WarioLand Wario Land 3]]'' is separated by levels rather than being interconnected, but meets all other criteria, as one unlocks new abilities in a non-linear order and frequently has to backtrack. Uniquely among Metroidvanias, it's impossible to [[ForegoneVictory actually die]] with the exception of the final boss.
* ''Videogame/WineAndRoses'' is this in EasternRPG form. The game is very non-linear, and there is nothing impeding you from exploring the entire game aside from the first tutorial fights. Each battle rewards you with specialized powerups that help you fight stronger enemies.
* ''VideoGame/WiltLastBlossom'' has this; you pick up skills and powerups along the way, granting access to new areas.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitness'': A unique example in that you progress though the island not by acquiring upgrades but by acquiring the knowledge in how the puzzle symbols work together. This has led it to be dubbed by fans as a "Metroid''Brain''ia".
* ''VideoGame/WizardsAndWarriors III''. Not so much the first two.
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'', ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterWorld'', and ''VideoGame/MonsterWorldIV'' ([[NoExportForYou Japan-exclusive]] until [[UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole 2012]]).
* ''VideoGame/{{Wuppo}}'' features an interconnected world filled with a plethora of items to collect.

* ''VideoGame/{{Xeodrifter}}'' is a retro-style Metroidvania that clearly draws its thematic inspiration from ''Metroid'' also.
* ''VideoGame/YouHaveToWinTheGame'' has this with four abilities to aid your exploration.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} III: Wanderers from Ys'' (not so much in the remake, which was an overhead ActionRPG)

* ''Zeliard'', published in 1987.
* UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem game ''VideoGame/{{Zillion}}''--based on ''Anime/RedPhotonZillion''--in addition to similarities with ''VideoGame/ElevatorAction'' and ''VideoGame/ImpossibleMission'', it has some Metroidvania elements, leading the gamer to explore an alien base as fighting enemies and finding weapons and power-ups to open up new areas to explore.
* Someone over at Griptonite Games seems to like Metroidvania, as it shows up in several of their games (some of which are better than others):
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro: The Eternal Night'' (GBA)
** ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'' (DS)
** ''Daniel X: The Ultimate Power'' (DS)
** ''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'' (DS)
** ''Film/GreenLantern: Rise of the Manhunters'' (DS/3DS/Wii)
* There are even a few Metroidvania IOSGames, most notably ''Grokion'' and ''Phoenix Spirit''.