Console: Super Nintendo
Castlevania had already made a name for itself as one of gaming’s premier franchises on the NES. When the series made the jump to 16-bit, the Metroidvania genre that we all know and love today hadn’t yet been established, so Konami opted for a bigger, better version of the NES games. This was a Castlevania that was super in every conceivable way, with detailed graphics, a haunting soundtrack, and much smoother controls than the slightly clunky NES entries.
While Castlevania IV has been surpassed by many of its sequels that have opted for more exploration and RPG mechanics, there’s still an argument to be made that it’s the very best of the original sidescrolling titles.