Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Symphony of the Night presents exquisite design, extraordinary scope, aesthetic coherence and transcendent elegance mostly unmatched elsewhere on Xbox Live Arcade, or anywhere else for that matter.
  2. A true classic in its own right - even with the minor enhancements and downgrades, but its port to XBLA may prove to be more important than the game itself.
  3. Gameplay on the 360 is almost perfect, but for the mushy d-pad on the wireless controller. Precise jumping (of which there isn't all that much, thankfully) or very quick direction changes aren’t always easy. You definitely have to want to look past some of the issues this creates. But when the core game is this great, that’s pretty easy to do.
  4. 90
    One of the nicest things about the game is how aurally pleasing it is. The soundtrack is masterfully constructed and each distinct area has its own background music.
  5. 100
    If I’ve said it once, I have said it a thousand times; this is the greatest game ever. There is really nothing wrong with this game whatsoever. If you enjoy old school side scrolling, or you just want a really good adventure game to play on your 360. Look no further than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, you won’t be disappointed at all!
  6. With a mixture of open-ended gameplay elements, more advanced controls, and a gripping story, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is the epitome of the side-scrolling genre.
  7. The future of Xbox Live Arcade starts here and today with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  8. 90
    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is easily one of the greatest games of all time, this is a pretty solid version minus a few oddities and a piss-poor d-pad (if Konami brought the game, the least Microsoft could do is give us a decent pad for it now), and at the price of $10 it's a steal.
  9. Symphony of the Night is a momentous addition to the Xbox Live Arcade family, both because of its incredible depth and the fact that it is the first game allowed to break the 50 MB size restrictions.
  10. While this version of Symphony of the Night may not be as original, innovative, or graphically modern as the original version was back in the day, it’s still a very solid game, with great enhancements and a price that you just can’t beat.
  11. It was, and still is, a gaming masterpiece. The term ‘Must Buy’ was created for games like this.
  12. Symphony of the Night is full of imaginative gameplay, great level designs, outstanding music, and some of the greatest action you've ever seen.
  13. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night packs a lot of value into its relatively small package. It has multiple endings, a second inverted and more difficult castle to unlock, as well as the ability to play as Richter Belmont once the game has been fully cleared.
  14. The game holds up better than the majority of games even half its age, and provides a rich gaming experience that will have 360 owners drooling in anticipation of the next great retro release on Arcade.
  15. While Symphony of the Night was served up in the nineties, it's still welcomed with open arms today by XBLA enthusiasts.
  16. Symphony of the Night was an amazing adventure back in 1997, and even after 10 years, it's still most definitely worth playing.
  17. 85
    If you've been hankering for a good 2D Action RPG that lets you dash around as a half-vampire in a massive dungeon, maybe it's time you go back and check out the game that really started the modern Castlevania phenomenon.
  18. As a 360 game, Symphony is weird. The Achievements are insanely easy and seem to have been chosen at random. None of them require any real thought to accomplish, either. Symphony is the easiest two hundred Achievement points you will ever earn.
  19. Beautifully paced and with the sort of gothic visuals that would scare Marilyn Manson. [Issue 19, p.116]
  20. Simply the best example of a retro game on Live Arcade. It's flawless in its design and outstanding as a game, even ten years on. [Issue 25, p.67]
  21. If you've never set foot in the whip-cracking universe of the marvelously long and storied Castlevania series, Symphony is the best possible way to get your meet-and-greet on. [Mayt 2007, p.76]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Oct 8, 2010
    Game is awesome. i still have the psx version of the game and have it on Arcade now. (i have no ps2 :( )
    still playing it now years later and
    love still finding out new things about the game Full Review »
  2. Feb 20, 2014
    Esse é o Melhor Castlevania de todos,trilha sonora,gráficos,jogabilidade.esse jogo merece versão até para o PS4 E XBOX ONE Esse jogo merece a Nota 10/10 É um grande classico do PS1. Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2013
    What can I say about this game that hasn't already been said? Having never played the game previously when it was originally released on the Playstation it was something of a treat to play through for the first time in 2013.

    The first game I ever played was on the SNEZ and happened to be Castlevania IV which I still think is an excellent game to this day so I had a declared interest in playing SOTN. When I discovered it was available on xbox live for £6 I bought it immediately and have not been disappointed! I love the 2D graphics and the atmosphere. It works so much better than a lot of the 2.5D games that are coming out at the moment because the creature animations have a certain eerie or grotesque quality about them that only seems to be achievable in this sort of 2D. I just cant see Beezlebub or the Legion boss being as unsettling when rendered in 3D because I don't think the artistry would be there.

    The game does actually take some getting into and I wasn't initially all that blown away. I think this was largely to do with a significant lack of a back story and being left with little to no sense of direction when attempting to tackle the huge castle map. This is a by product of modern gaming's frequent bouts of 'hand holding' however and once I slipped back into the mindset of the good old days of the more cryptic secret filled era of gaming I was more than happy. I will say I had to consult a walkthrough on numerous occasions, particularly in order to get going but since I've gotten into the swing of things I feel this directionless style of gameplay really suits as it allows for replay value and surprises.

    All in all I feel this is a gem of a game however I feel it won't be appreciated be all gamers, particularly the younger generation who haven't grown up with some of the balls out cryptic ridiculousness that the earlier consoles offered. One down side however is the inability to swing your weapon upwards or diagonally upward, I don't know why this was present in Castlevania IV all those years ago but has since been removed.
    Full Review »