Our picks for the most relaxing Metroidvania games that we have played so far.

Most Metroidvania games have a significant level of tension, either in the narrative or the in the gameplay. Sometimes though, you just want to do something that doesn’t raise your blood pressure; you just want something to wind down with after a long day.

We’ve gone through all the games we’ve played so far, and picked out the games that provide both atmosphere and a level of difficulty that encourages a peaceful feeling. We aren’t necessarily saying that these games are “Easy”, just that they (mostly) avoid filling your blood with adrenaline. As with all of our lists going forward, we may update this top 10 in the future as we review more games. And of course, this list is just our opinion; everyone relaxes differently.

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To avoid any confusion, I’m also including the “Metroidvania Fit” rating with these games. We fully acknowledge that not all of these fit perfectly into the Metroidvania Mold – but we recommend them nevertheless.

Click each Game’s Title for our full review!

10. Supraland

Metroidvania Fit: Medium Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, GOG), Nintendo Switch (Announced)
Supraland has a nostalgia charged world built for becoming immersed in. There are plenty of extra activities too, such as playing Supraball or searching for treasure. Whether it be chatting up silly NPCs while relaxing music plays or solving a well-designed puzzle, Supraland is a great candidate for escapism. We’ve put it so high on the list simply because it still has hordes of enemies harassing you from time to time. But, the combat is easy enough, and it’s so satisfying to break their spawn points that I don’t think it detracts from being a relaxing puzzle game overall.

9. Dreaming Sarah

Metroidvania Fit: Low Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, itch.io), Xbox One
The “Yume Nikki” of Metroidvania games, in Dreaming Sarah you must traverse the visions of a girl in a Coma. Like any game about dreaming, nightmares and disturbing images are part of the experience, but you’re never in any actual danger. The point of the game is to contemplate the potential symbolism of the imagery, thus immersing yourself in its world is key to the experience. While some of its darker themes might defy the point of this list, I think that between catharsis and its ultimately positive message makes this a good candidate for a slower, more restful evening of gaming.

8. Robot Wants it All

Metroidvania Fit: High Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam), Many of the games in the collection are available as free flash games online.
Robot Wants it All basically has it all. Being a collection of many mini-metroidvanias, you can either play something easier and more focused on powering up to win, or you can challenge yourself with one of its numerous in-game achievements. Even in the more difficult games you can mess with unlockable mutations and trivialize what was giving you trouble. It’s wholly customizable and addictive. The best part of this as a choice for relaxation is that its games are all bite-sized and easy to fit in to a single night of play.

7. Steamworld Dig

Metroidvania Fit: Low Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, GOG, Epic Store), Linux, MacOS, 3DS, Wii U, Switch, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One
Steamworld Dig the perfect kind of game for kicking back and chipping away at your troubles. Its loop of digging, looting, selling, and digging some more is enough to put anyone in a good mood. Powering up, buying new equipment, and developing your town is also very satisfying.

6. SteamWorld Dig 2

Metroidvania Fit: High Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, GOG), Linux, MacOS, 3DS, Switch, PS4, PSVita
We couldn’t possibly put the first game on this list without including the second. It’s technically more challenging, but the key elements that made the first game so relaxing are still here. Some of the late game ability upgrades you get are also positively liberating, and you’ve got an even bigger town of quirky NPCs to draw you into its world, which is why I put this slightly ahead of its predecessor even though it has some more difficult parts.

5. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Metroidvania Fit: High Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, GOG), Switch, PS4
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom isn’t by any means a cakewalk of a game, but it’s also never frustrating. The primary reason it makes this list though is its caramelized-nostalgia coated presentation. There is so much detail crammed into every scene of this game, and it’s all so colorful and inviting that it just feels like a place you want to hang out for a long time. And, if residing in its world for a long time is something you want to do, there are a ludicrous number of treasure chests and secrets to uncover, keeping you busy for a long while. Each one also makes you all that more powerful to tear down any challenges you have to face.

4. Grizzland

Metroidvania Fit: Medium Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam)
Grizzland is a slower-paced and wholly exploration focused game. There are boss fights that can get pretty challenging, but swinging your sword is meticulous and fluid, and the hardest encounter can even be avoided. Most of your game time will be spent searching every nook and cranny of each of the game’s levels looking for clues to solve the overall mystery. There’s basically only one track to the game’s musical score, but combined with the monochromatic presentation it does its job to create a dreamy atmosphere.

3. Treasure Adventure World

Metroidvania Fit: Medium Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam, GOG)
Treasure Adventure World is like having a good friend over and just shooting the breeze. To me it embodies all of the feelings of summer vacation as a youth. It hearkens back to an age where holding fire or wind in jar was a possibility, so long as imagination was the only governing factor. Its Zelda-like puzzles, adventurous exploration, and the way you interact with its various characters all work together to make it truly feel like a world. It’s a great virtual vacation spot.

2. Yoku’s Island Express

Metroidvania Fit: Medium Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam), Switch, PS4, Xbox One
In speaking of great virtual vacation spots, Yoku’s Island Express also provides a tropical getaway, but this time with a little rhythm mixed in. I don’t think I can ever get over the fact we live in a reality where Pinball and Metroidvania fits together so perfectly, but I’m glad that we do. Getting into the flow of hitting that ball just right to progress further through the Island’s depths and into its skies will thoroughly wisk you away from your cares, if you allow it to do so.

1. Wuppo

Metroidvania Fit: Low Fit
Platforms: PC (Steam), Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Wuppo has several difficulty modes, and on its higher settings it can totally be a controller cracking affair. Take a step away from those optionally challenging boss fights though and you’ll notice that more than half of what Wuppo has to offer is completely optional. Very early on you can participate in a carnival, or swim out to sea and blow bubbles with a random soul on an island. Later areas are just as rich with small little details to discover. Even when you’re focused on the game’s primary objectives you’re always given at least three ways to go about doing it, letting you accomplish the tasks in your own way and at your own pace. If you’re trying to avoid anything but what you’re “supposed to do”, you’ll still run into memorable characters that make it really difficult not to get sucked in. If you want a game to escape with, you could do a lot worse than Wuppo.

And that’s our list! We hope that we’ve helped to give you a head start on planning a little Game Vacation. Of course, we haven’t played every Metroidvania game yet so maybe you’ve played something that should be on this list. Or, maybe we have played something that you think deserves a slot instead. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Discord!