The Best Konami Games, Ranked (2024)

By Daniel Kurland

Konami is a revered video game developer who is responsible for many iconic franchises, yet some of their releases rank higher than others!

The Best Konami Games, Ranked (1)

The video game industry is full of bold changes and trends, but there are certain names that are omnipresent and regarded as consistent signs of quality. Konami is a standout video game developer that's been fundamental in each era of gaming and their origins go all the way back to the early '80s with arcade classics like Frogger.

Konami has taken bigger swings over time, some of which have been responses to other video game success stories, while others have helped blaze new trails for the industry. Konami has established some prolific video game franchises over the past 40 years, which become even more impressive when they're distilled down to their greatest hits.

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10 The Simpsons Arcade Game

Release Date

March 4, 1991; February 3, 2012 (Xbox Live Arcade)


PlayStation 3, Commodore 64, Arcade game, Xbox 360, DOS, MS-DOS

The Simpsons is an evergreen piece of pop culture that feels as if it will always be on television and its ongoing success has led to dozens of video game adaptations over time. An early Simpsons release that made waves in arcades during the early ‘90s was Konami’s sidescroller four-player beat-’em-up, The Simpsons Arcade Game. Built upon the same engine as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, The Simpsons Arcade Game was a coveted cult classic for decades.

Players control Bart, Homer, Marge, and Lisa through eight levels across Springfield that are both comical and challenging. There’s been such a demand for this Konami retro arcade classic that an HD online port was released in 2012. It’s still one of the best uses of The Simpsons license.

9 Dance Dance Revolution

Release Date

September 26, 1998


Arcade, Bemani Pocket, Dreamcast, DVD game, Game Boy Color, GameCube, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360

Rhythm and music games that get the player up on their feet and moving to the beat have become increasingly common in more recent gaming generations, but Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series is largely responsible for popularizing this active gaming genre. Dozens of Dance Dance Revolution games exist that have branched out to include Disney tunes, Super Mario music, and more.

There are even handheld versions that give the players’ fingers a workout. Fans may differ on what qualifies as the franchise’s best game, but Dance Dance Revolution’s collective impact cannot be underestimated and it remains one of the most popular titles in any given arcade. Other music and dance games have expanded upon Dance Dance Revolution’s formula, but there’s still no beating the original.

8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

Release Date

March 1991; August 5, 2009 (Turtles In Time Re-Shelled)


SNES, Arcade game

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a healthy life in video games and some of their greatest adventures are their sidescrolling beat-'em-up exploits from the '90s. Turtles in Time was first released in arcades before being ported over to the Super Nintendo alongside the Sega Genesis' The Hyperstone Heist. Konami's work on Turtles in Time is among their best, and they really nail the Ninja Turtles formula with diverse levels, enemies, and boss battles. Turtles in Time is far from Konami's final Ninja Turtles title, but it's still regarded as one of the decade’s breakthrough sidescrollers.

The '90s original holds up incredibly well, but Ubisoft's 3D remake, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled from 2009 is also an exceptional modern update that's faithful to the original, albeit with contemporary gaming perks like online cooperative play. Turtles in Time is action bliss, regardless of which version is played, and it reaches even greater heights if a full team of four players gets in on the excitement.

7 Contra

Release Date

February 20, 1987


Arcade, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, DOS, NES, MSX2

The action-based run-and-gun genre is a fast-paced companion to beat-'em-up sidescrollers that wouldn't be where they are today without the innovation of Konami's Contra. There are now more than a dozen Contra games in the series, but the arcade and NES original from '87 hits the ground running with a sterling foundation that's been hard for the franchise to top.

Contra can be played both solo or with a second player in an exaggerated world where courageous commandos battle against evil extraterrestrial forces. Contra overwhelms the player when it comes to the walls of bullets that must be avoided, but this makes victory all the more satisfying. For a game that’s more than 35 years old, there are still secrets being discovered in Contra.

6 Policenauts

Release Date

July 29, 1994


PlayStation, PC-9800 series, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega Saturn, DOS

Hideo Kojima has gone on to form his own game development studio, Kojima Productions, but before this shift, he was one of Konami's greatest assets and a true visionary in the industry. Kojima is best known for his groundbreaking work on Metal Gear Solid, but Policenauts is a hard sci-fi crime noir that's cut from the same cloth, but only found a fraction of the audience because it never received an official English translation outside of Japan.

Policenauts is a graphic adventure game with point-and-click elements akin to a visual novel, but Kojima's trademark meta impulses and subversive nature are still omnipresent. Policenauts follows an astronaut-turned-detective who embarks on an illegal organ trafficking ring that could have dire consequences for the entire galaxy. Policenauts is strongest when it comes to its world-building and methodical storytelling. It's not for everyone, but it's an early example of just how different a video game can be when it comes to gameplay and narrative.

5 Suikoden II

Release Date

December 17, 1998


PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows

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Konami has developed many RPGs with strategy elements, but none are as ambitious as Suikoden and its sequel. Released towards the end of the '90s, Suikoden II features 108 characters who can be recruited to the player's party, 40 of which can be used in combat. This is a drastic evolution of what was previously seen in the other leading JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Breath of Fire. Suikoden II doesn't compromise when it comes to its intricate story and presentation elements, either.

Suikoden II firmly stands the test of time, but audiences who are more accustomed to modern quality-of-life perks will be pleased to learn that a remastered next-gen port is on the way. Suikoden I & II HD Remaster: Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars had to delay its 2023 release date, but is still on the way and guaranteed to blow the minds of Suikoden newcomers. It’s one of Konami’s greatest triumphs in terms of the depth and scope of an RPG.

4 Silent Hill 3

Release Date

May 23, 2003


PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows

Konami has struggled with its psychological survival horror series, Silent Hill, after Team Silent's work on the original four games in the franchise. Silent Hill 2 is rightfully heralded as the series' masterpiece, but Silent Hill 3 is close behind it and still markedly better than the majority of survival horror games. Silent Hill 3 is a direct sequel to the franchise's first game. Players control Heather Mason, a teenage girl who wants to find her missing father, both of whom have eerie connections to the titular town.

Silent Hill 3 draws inspiration from Jacob's Ladder, Twin Peaks, and Stephen King, which elevates the game's nihilistic narrative. Some of the scariest sequences from the entire franchise occur in Silent Hill 3, like the blood room and mannequin scares. Silent Hill 3's abandoned amusem*nt park setting even feels like an inspiration for Five Nights at Freddy's. The only reason that Silent Hill 3 isn't at the top of the list is because Silent Hill 2's story hits greater emotional heights.

3 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night

Release Date

March 20, 1997


PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Xbox 360, PSP, PlayStation 4, Android, iOS

Konami’s Castlevania is in the middle of a Renaissance period thanks to the success of Netflix’s animated adaptation and spin-off series that’s introduced the gothic action series to new audiences. Castlevania has always been one of Konami’s biggest properties and there are dozens of games that push the series down unique paths, some of which are more successful than others. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is an important turning point that’s a substantial evolution over its 16-bit predecessors.

Symphony of the Night brings the series’ signature labyrinthine-level design and non-linear gameplay to the forefront. Players control Richter Belmont, Maria Renard, and Alucard in Symphony of the Night in a grueling quest to take down Dracula and other formidable monsters. Symphony of the Night pushes the franchise to an exciting climax where engaging gameplay, diverse play styles, and challenging boss battles result in something truly special.

Release Date

November 17, 2004


PlayStation 2

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid franchise helped elevate Konami to unprecedented heights. The stealth-action hybrid benefits from Kojima’s curious and ambitious interests, many of which redefine what’s possible in a video game. Kojima aims for his audience to engage in a conversation with the given medium at hand. Each Metal Gear Solid game under Kojima’s direction pushes these buttons and subverts expectations. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater explores Naked Snake in a prequel story that’s set before the original Metal Gear. This sequel plays like a cinematic evolution to what’s come before it.

Metal Gear Solid 3 reinvents the franchise, and the stealth genre, in exciting ways, especially when it comes to its creative boss battles, which can be completed through multiple strategies. The recent announcement of Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater, a modern remake without Kojima’s involvement, has fans cautiously optimistic, and as long as it sticks to the original’s framework then it will still amount to an AAA-status game.

1 Silent Hill 2

Release Date

September 25, 2001


PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox

Konami's Silent Hill may not be as consistent or have the same staying power as Capcom's Resident Evil survival horror series, but Silent Hill 2 is still far above even the greatest Resident Evil game. The original Silent Hill is a flawed masterpiece that's successful when it comes to atmosphere. Silent Hill 2 is a substantial sequel that improves upon its predecessor's clunkier components while also incorporating a deep psychological factor that feeds into alternate endings that are based more on emotion and actions rather than ability.

Silent Hill 2 is one of gaming's greatest examinations of grief, loss, and denial, all while Silent Hill's foreboding monsters act as living embodiments of the characters' guilt. If nothing else, Silent Hill 2 introduces Pyramid Head to the franchise, who is pure nightmare fuel in every regard.

The Best Konami Games, Ranked (2024)
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