The vampire has captured our imagination for centuries, popularised with the iconic 1897 ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker. Considered to be monsters ruled by bloodlust and the never-ending desire to feed, vampires are usually portrayed as the antagonists of the story.
However, recent depictions – such as in Witcher 3 and Vampyr – shed new light on these immortal, blood-driven creatures. It shows that the best vampires aren’t always bloodthirsty villains, but can be charismatic, intelligent and worldly beings, even capable of compassion. Of course, that makes them no less intimidating than their villainous comrades as showcased in these vampire games.
10 Count Dracula
None are more infamous than Count Dracula from the Castlevania series. With more than twenty sequels and spin-offs since Castlevania first launched in 1986, Dracula is regularly depicted as the main boss and antagonist.
However, in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Dracula is instead portrayed as Gabriel Belmont, a knight undergoing a sacred mission to save the world from the forces of evil. The successful Netflix adaptation of Castlevania serves to further enhance Dracula’s legacy in popular culture.
Serana from Skyrim‘s Dawnguard DLC has proven to be an unforgettable character, as well as one of the best followers in the game. Technically a vampire princess, the Dragonborn awakens Serana after her centuries-long slumber in a tomb.
The level-headed Daughter of Coldharbour is willing to fight her own kin to save Tamriel from annihilation. If you choose to go down the Dawnguard Path, Serana even volunteers information about her father’s plan to blot out the sun to the vampire hunters. She has nerves of steel and an unparalleled loyalty to the Dragonborn, fighting at their side to bring down Lord Harkon.
8 Dr Jonathan Reid
Vampyr’s Jonathan Reid sees the wartime doctor reborn as a young Ekon (or vampire) in 1918’s London. Jonathan is confronted with the desire to harm others for food, but his Hippocratic Oath as a doctor proves a point of conflict for the newborn vampire.
Depending on the choices you make, Jonathan could become a bloodthirsty, psychopathic murderer or a warm-hearted doctor with a strong sense of morality. Vampyr also gives an interesting perspective on the vulnerability of newborn vampires and their near-paranoid desire to survive.
7 Lady Dimitrescu
This gargantuan vampire lady with Wolverine-like claws is certainly in a league of her own, and totally unlike the other vampires in the previous entries. Resident Evil Village‘s Lady Dimitrescu has fully committed to the stereotypical bloodthirsty vampire life, killing senselessly and without remorse.
One of the Four Lords of the village, Lady Dimitrescu and her three daughters went on a full-on murder spree. However, their cat-and-mouse chase of the protagonist, Ethan Winters, ultimately ended in their deaths. But the sheer terror of being pursued by this enormous, bloodthirsty vampire woman is an adrenaline rush unlike any other!
Emiel Regis Rohellec Terzieff-Godefroy – or Regis for short – is Geralt of Rivia’s Higher Vampire friend. Featured heavily in Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine DLC, Regis meets Geralt when he interrupts a fight between the witcher and his fellow vampire, Detlaff.
Throughout the DLC, Regis shows his extreme intelligence and a vast well of knowledge. The Higher Vampire is kind-hearted as well as polite and well-spoken. He is caught between two friends – Detlaff and Geralt – but ultimately sides with the witcher once he believes Detlaff has gone too far.
5 Cole MacGrath
Infamous: Festival of Blood DLC sees main protagonist Cole MacGrath’s transition into a vampire after being bitten by one called Bloody Mary. Desperate to cure himself, Cole also discovers a sinister plot by the vampires to bomb the city.
With the help of his friend Zeke, they steal the bombs and plan to turn against Bloody Mary and her vampires. Cole battles Bloody Mary with his new vampiric powers, escaping and setting off the bombs to destroy her and her lackeys.
Although Cole’s stint as a vampire was brief, he still made it as memorable a journey as the main game’s.
4 Jericho Cross
Darkwatch’s Jericho Cross is a criminal-turned-vampire, infected with vampirism during a train robbery gone wrong. In the process, he accidentally released the Vampire King, Lazarus Malkoth, into the world.
On a journey of redemption, Jericho Cross joins the Darkwatch, a secret order sworn to hunt down supernatural creatures. Jericho is blunt and intimidating, but doesn’t like to speak unless he needs to. Like Vampyr, a series of choices can decide Jericho’s character and what sort of vampire he will become.
A human-vampire hybrid from BloodRayne, Rayne is a beautiful, yet morally grey dhampir with a severe grudge against her evil vampire father. Filled with anger and hate over her twisted childhood, she made it her mission to kill her father and any of his blood, which happens in Bloodrayne 2.
Despite being cruel to her enemies, Rayne does not like killing without just cause. She has the tendency to be bloodthirsty, but knows when to rein it in when necessary.
The vampire Kain serves as the main character of the Legacy of Kain series, but eventually becomes the main villain in the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. More of an antihero than your archetypal protagonist with high morals, his initial assassination and vampire transition merely jaded him further.
From being a vampire fledgling caring for nothing but revenge to the Emperor of Nosgoth, Kain’s journey as a vampire has brought him farther than thought possible. Kain’s revival as an antagonist sees him turn into a tyrant and dabble with time to change his decisions.
1 Demitri Maximoff
First featured in Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, the vampire Demitri Maximoff is not only a main protagonist, but a villainous one, too. Aside from being a suave lady-killer (literally), Demitri desires power above anything else.
He challenged the ruler of Makai for power, only to fail miserably. Demitri returns after many years to Makai, planning to challenge Morrigan Aensland for supremacy.
NEXT: Vampyr: The Best Weapons, Ranked
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About The Author
Charlene Maria Teressa (14 Articles Published)
Charlene Teressa is an Indonesian-based writer and a final year Ancient World student at UCL. She has had experience writing in various fields, from skincare to tourism. She particularly enjoys reading fantasy books and playing RPG games. Charlene is also an aspiring fantasy writer and is currently working to finish her first book.