Roguelike games are a unique branch of gaming characterized by high-risk, high-reward mechanics. These games test the player’s skills and encourage him to constantly improve and overcome all obstacles. They often exhibit dying consequences, including permadeath and inventory loss. Here are the 15 best roguelike games of all time.
The 15 best roguelike games
Dead Cells is a classic roguelike known for its lack of checkpoints and grueling difficulty. The game offers randomly generated worlds and crisp combat mechanics and is constantly updated by the developers. Dead Cells also offers three DLC packs, all of which have very positive reviews on Steam. This game redefined the roguelike genre and demonstrated that games don’t have to be challenging or fun. With passionate developers and a razor-sharp feel, Dead Cells is the pinnacle of roguelike gaming.
Hades is a game that will keep you coming back for more. Did you die for the same boss for the fifth time? There is always another weapon that can be more effective. Did you have an overwhelming set of blessings on the last run? In this run, you will also be overwhelmed, but with entirely different blessings. The game constantly equips you with abilities that put you on par with your enemies.
Hades does a great job of making every run feel fair. When you die, you know why and you learn how to avoid dying in the future. This knowledge hones your skills and prepares you for the next threat. With an art style that brings down triple-A games and a soundtrack that’s definitely on our playlist, Hades is a must-play love letter to roguelikes.
A step from Eden
One Step From Eden is a roguelike that moves at breakneck speed, requiring quick thinking and even faster input. The game is difficult in a way that feels satisfying, and dodging projectiles moving at Mach 20 is an addictive feeling. One Step From Eden also offers nine unlockable characters with very different playstyles. This game is perfect for short sessions as each run typically lasts around 30 minutes to an hour. Although One Step From Eden is quite a niche game, its mechanics are responsive and feel great.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Crypt of the NecroDancer is a roguelike rhythm game in which you have to move to the beat of the music while fighting creatures and exploring randomly generated dungeons. Experimenting with this game is bold, especially since it was developed by a small indie company, but the game took off when the community recognized this diamond in the rough. When games like Crypt of the NecroDancer are mastered, they are fascinating to watch from the outside perspective due to the game’s challenging and fast-paced mechanics.
Related: The Difference Between Roguelike and Roguelite Games (With Examples)
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
This game is widely recognized as one of the best roguelikes to be released. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has a dark and macabre atmosphere along with randomly generated rooms. Although the game is difficult and RNG dependent, this game leaves you wanting more. The art style works well with the game’s narrative tone, making for a gritty experience that’s also quite fun.
Darkest Dungeon is a punishing but exciting character permadeath game. The game’s design was heavily influenced by Gothic and Lovecraftian media, as evidenced by both the character and enemy designs. Darkest Dungeon forces you to make difficult decisions on behalf of your characters, taking advantage of your mistakes when you least expect it. The game keeps you constantly on your toes, but grants moments of calm when they’re needed most.
Sunless Sea is a roguelike RPG with elements of survival and exploration. The game puts you in a ship on a vast and pristine sea and lets you discover the horrors for yourself. This game’s art style is distinctive and beautiful, enhancing the majesty of the ancient horrors right under the water. If you’re not afraid of the ocean, this game can change that. However, the game is so beautiful that you may happily develop thalassophobia.
Danger of rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 is a roguelike third-person shooter game where you fight alien monsters in randomized levels. The game is highly regarded in the community for its online co-op mode, where you can recruit three friends and wreak havoc on a planet that isn’t your own. With 11 characters to unlock and random items, Risk of Rain 2 is an experience that will spawn multiple stories in your friend group.
into the breach
Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game with roguelike features. The game was developed by Subset Games, best known for their publication FTL: Faster Than Light. These developers have released two major updates to the game, each with enough content to match typical paid DLC, all for free. The game itself is brilliant and makes you feel like a genius when executing a strategy correctly. With randomized levels and developers who genuinely care about their community, Into the Breach is an unforgettable roguelike experience.
Returnal is best known for being an excruciatingly difficult game as it is a highly punishing Bullet Hell roguelike. Though deaths are common, everyone develops your sense of mastery. To complete Returnal, you must be willing to learn and adapt, even when the odds are against you. The game features hyper-realistic style due to the capabilities of the PS5 hardware, and while Returnal can keep killing you, it looks good doing it. Although Returnal isn’t for everyone, the game rewards those who complete the challenges of the alien world and follow the same path as the protagonist.
Caves of Qud
Caves of Qud is a sci-fi roguelike game influenced by traditional text-based adventures. Although the game is difficult to learn, mastering it is satisfying. The game’s story is compelling and delightfully absurd, with a crab faction, a sentient cave bear that can change the world, and walls that can be eaten. The game is currently in Early Access due to the high ambitions of the developers and the epic proportions of the world.
Kill the tower
Slay the Spire is a legend in the deck building roguelike community as it set the stage for several games that came after it. The game has simple yet fun gameplay, along with a light-hearted art style. The game is easy to learn but difficult to complete due to its addictive mechanics. Slay the Spire features unique events and combat encounters, and over 350 maps to choose from. If you’re a fan of roguelikes and deck builders, Slay the Spire is definitely the game for you.
Related: The 7 best games like Inscryption
dive bar 2
Spelunky 2 is a hardcore roguelike with randomized levels. The game’s art style may seem light-hearted and fun, but don’t be fooled. Spelunky 2 is a brutal game with multiple methods to get killed instantly. Despite this, the game is incredibly fun. Deaths in Spelunky 2 often lead to hilarious stories as the community recognizes the dangers of goblins and poorly aimed bombs.
FTL: Faster than light
FTL: Faster Than Light is a roguelike game in which you control a spaceship, meet the needs of your crew and explore a randomly generated galaxy. The game features permadeath and difficult choices, similar to Darkest Dungeon. Although the game requires intense strategy, you can pause the game mid-fight to take a break or plan your next action. From the same developers as Into the Breach, Faster Than Light is a fantastic game with developers that genuinely care about their fan base.
Last but not least, Inscryption is a deck-building roguelike that oozes atmosphere. The game’s horror elements aren’t direct, but eat away at your comfort over time. Inscryption’s narrative is compelling and its mechanics are satisfying to master. Because of the opponent’s powerful cards, you can never let up in a fight, even if it’s not the boss fight. Inscryption is a beautiful game that makes you feel invincible and then quickly reminds you of your fragility.
For more lists, check out The Best Soulslike Games To Play After Elden Ring, here at Pro Game Guides.
https://progameguides.com/lists/best-roguelike-games-of-all-time/ 15 Best Roguelike Games of All Time (Updated 2022)