Released In: 1988
Simon Belmont defeated Dracula in the original Castlevania, but his victory came at a price. During the battle, Simon was poisoned by Dracula's touch. To free himself from this curse, Simon must travel the Transylvania countryside and find Dracula's five remaining body parts. If he brings the Count's pieces back to the ruins of Castlevania and burn them, Simon will be free from his grip. Just don't expect Dracula to go without a fight.
Syd Lexia: I loved this game. Out of all three NES Castlevanias, this one was easily the most creepy and atmospheric. I played the hell of this game and I got all three endings, although at the time I didn't know for sure that I earned every possible ending. While it lacks the intense action of Castlevania and Castlevania III, this is still a very cool game. The only real problem is the boss battles suck. The Grim Reaper, Vampira, and even Drac himself are all pathetically easy to beat. You can even make it to Dracula WHILE INVINCIBLE.
Rycona: I think I rented this once or twice as a kid, but didn't remember it when I played it again recently. It was neat to see a Castlevania from the old days that was more like the modern ones. I'm looking forward to playing through it sometime.
greeneyedzeke: Castlevania II is so awesome that Uwe Boll stole its entire plot for his cinematic abortion Bloodrayne. The day/night system and hints of an RPG base made for an intriguing gameplay experience and helped shape the future of the franchise. Without this installment, Symphony of the Night and all those Game Boy and DS titles may not have happened. For that alone, I demand that everyone worship this game.
Dr. Jeebus: This was my least favorite Castlevania game. That says a lot about the franchise, however, because it was still very good. It was also the first game that I remember having a distinction between night and day (first action game anyway) which was very cool. I actually found it pretty annoying back then, but I definitely appreciate it now.