As popular as vampires are—or were a decade ago, anyway—it is somewhat surprising that there aren’t more video games that let you play as one. It seems like a perfect match. Video games are about escapism and fun are they not? Vampires are supernatural beings with a laundry list of fantastic abilities and a need for feeding on the living, which would presumably give numerous options for a plot. Plus, vampires are kind of cool... at least that’s how they are traditionally portrayed, anyway. Perhaps it is the dark theme that is included with anything involving vampires that keep game developers from making more games featuring them.
The games on this list are the best vampire games available. Not every game in this list lets you play out the life of a vampire completely; some of these games don’t involve elements of vampirism such as feeding on the living. Every game in this list does, however, let the player play as a vampire in at least some form.
Darkwatch was an underrated first-person shooter released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by High Moon Studios and Capcom in 2005. In Darkwatch, you play as criminal-turned-vampire Jericho Cross as he battles evil supernatural forces in the late 19th century. It’s sort of a steampunk Red Dead Revolver meets Castlevania. Darkwatch was a great concept; people like cowboys and vampires, and, with this game, you get both!
The graphics are well done and still look okay by today’s standards. The control is smooth and responsive which is good, because the action is nearly non-stop. This game was good enough that it should have been given an HD remake for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
9 The Blood Omen/Soul Reaver Series
The Blood Omen/Soul Reaver series spans five titles that were released for numerous systems, though mainly on the PlayStation 1 and 2. In these games, you either control the vampires Kain or Raziel. In the Blood Omen titled games you control Kain, and in the Soul Reaver titled games you play as Raziel.
The final game in the series lets the player control both Kain and Raziel. The first game in the franchise was an overhead adventure game similar in play-style to The Legend of Zelda. Future titles in the series would change the playstyle to a third-person perspective set in a 3D world.
8 The BloodRayne Series
Let’s be clear about something; the BloodRayne games are not that great. They are fun, but the gameplay gets repetitive very quickly. In this series, you play as Rayne, the offspring of a human and a vampire which, like the Marvel character Blade, makes her stronger than the average vampire. Rayne is recruited into the vampire-hunting Brimstone society, but her true goal is to find her vampire father.
This game does have one claim to fame though; it is the only game that lets the player fight Nazi soldiers as a vampire. That’s a very unique gaming experience. The graphics and gameplay improve in later titles, but never enough to make them “must play” games.
7 Infamous 2: Festival Of Blood
The two Infamous games for the PlayStation 3 were exceptionally fun games. Seriously, if you never played Infamous 1 and 2, get your PS3 out of the closet and track down copies of both (they can be purchased cheap).
Fans were understandably excited when Sucker Punch Productions and Sony announced a DLC expansion for Infamous 2 where the main character, Cole MacGrath, becomes a vampire. In "Festival of Blood", Cole MacGrath is turned into a vampire during a ceremony to revive a long-dead vampire named Bloody Mary. The expansion also gives the player new powers to experiment with and new enemies to fight. This expansion has gotten a little criticism for being too short, but that doesn't diminish the fun to be had.
6 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
This entry in the Castlevania series of games was released for the original PlayStation by Konami in 1997. Instead of playing as a member of the Belmont family (the player is led to believe, anyway) in Symphony of the Night, the player controls the vampire and son of Dracula named Alucard. Like the previous games in the series, Symphony of the Night is a side-scrolling action/platformer.
Unlike previous Castlevania games at the time, Symphony of the Night gives the freedom to revisit previously played areas, often to find new areas that are made reachable with a new weapon or item. This is the game, along with Metroid, that led to the term “Metroidvania” becoming part of the gaming lexicon.
5 The Sims 3: Supernatural
Although being a vampire in The Sims franchise has been around since The Sims 2 expansion Night Life, the option to begin a new sim as a vampire began in Supernatural. The Sims of course adds the humor often found in the series to the grim reality of being a vampire. In Night Life the character initially walks around covering their face with their arm like early film portrayals of vampires.
This is actually a very good vampire sim after you start exploring your supernatural options. Some of these abilities are the power to make people think about you, and never getting fatigued while exercising. Fortunately for fans of vampire characters in The Sims, EA/Maxis decided to continue giving this option in future Sims games.
4 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
The first Lords of Shadow was the better of the two, but the main character of the series, Gabriel Belmont, does not become a vampire—Dracula, to be more specific—until the second game. In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the player controls Dracula after he has awoken in the future. Gameplay elements long present in the Castlevania series since Symphony of the Night, such as being able to revisit already explored areas, are present in Lords of Shadow 2.
The graphics and music are well done, but the convoluted story is filled with uninteresting characters. The combat system is well done and definitely has the feel of playing God of War. The two Lords of Shadow games are probably the best 3D Castlevania games available.
3 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard
Skyrim was an incredible game. It allowed players to travel across the vast realm of Skyrim and make their own decisions regarding how the player interacted with the world. The Dawnguard expansion allowed players to become a werewolf or a vampire if they chose.
The story-line of the expansion revolves around a clan of vampires trying to fulfill a prophecy that ends with the sun being permanently blocked by shadow. The player can choose to help this prophecy come true or join the vampire-hunting organization called the Dawnguard in their fight to prevent it. The choice of playing as a vampire in Skyrim added a lot to a game that was already bursting at the seams.
The most recent game on the list, Vampyr was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018. Vampyr is played in the typical third-person behind the back view and takes place in London a few years after World War I. The player controls Jonathan Reid, a medical doctor who has recently become a vampire, as he fights supernatural creatures and attempts to eradicate the vampire presence in London.
Making the main character a doctor who has taken an oath to do no harm into a creature that must kill to survive is an interesting twist. The player is given an enormous amount of freedom in Vampyr; they can choose to limit Dr. Reid’s “feeding” to maintain his humanity, but this is done at the expense of gaining new skills. The combat system could have been improved, but, overall, Vampyr is a great vampire game on a current-generation console.
1 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Vampire: The Masquerade, by White Wolf Publishing, began as a table-top pencil and paper game in 1991. Its popularity rose to the point that a video game based on the Vampire: The Masquerade franchise was inevitable. When Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines initially released, it was not scored well by reviewers due to the numerous bugs plaguing the game.
Over time most of these bugs were fixed with patches with many of the patches being written by fans of the game. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is now considered one of the best PC games of all time. The freedom given to the player in this cult classic is nearly overwhelming at times. The game also features numerous different endings that will keep players coming back again and again.