Starting from scratch and becoming overpowered as you progress is why some people love roguelike games and roguelites. It’s another level of satisfaction when you pull off that no-hit run you so desperately wanted to for the past dozen hours, and oh boy are there a lot of games that offer the opportunity now. With there being so many amazing picks to choose from, today we’ll be diving nose-deep into the best roguelike games which you should die and die over again in next.
Best Roguelike Games, Ranked
Before we move on to check where the Supergiant entry everyone so passionately loves ranked on this list, let’s just say all the mentioned titles are placed based on personal death tolls. You might be happy with this list of the best roguelikes of all time or might hate it just as much as you do dying on the final boss fights of said video games.
In any case, if you’d like to voice a different opinion, feel at home to mention in the comments which games you would have ranked higher, especially the amazing ones that are missing!
10. Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2’s 3D roguelike-shooter approach is a massive change in direction compared to the original which was a platformer. However, Hopoo Games turned up the heat in all the right ways and made Risk of Rain 2 an amazing, and incredibly tough, follow-up.
This time around, you’re dropped into a giant sandbox with enemies spawning left and right, but that’s not a problem since there are plenty of chests and weapons spread throughout. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, jump into online multiplayer with your friends. Risk of Rain 2 is a solid roguelike with hundreds of unique items to keep you hooked, and despite the departure from its 2D platforming base, it’s one of the best roguelike games that quite easily manages to captivate both new and veteran players.
Slay the Spire is a roguelike deck-building game where you are dropped into procedurally-generated levels. As you play, you’ll be fighting enemies, acquiring new cards, and deciding where to spend your resources. There’s a lot of strategy involved in Slay the Spire and you’re constantly thinking about which battles to fight and which ones to avoid.
It can easily get really overwhelming at times because of the pressure of losing and being sent back to the start. However, the addictive gameplay loop always keeps you guessing which stack of cards you’ll end up with. It’s this moment-to-moment action and decision-making that keeps you pedaling forward nonstop and makes Slay the Spire one of the best roguelike games of the past decade.
8. The Binding of Isaac
With a creepy story and even creepier dungeon crawling, The Binding of Isaac is a cult classic that every gamer looking for the best roguelike games should play. The Binding of Isaac is essentially a top-down shooter, but to spice things up, bombs and power-ups are thrown into the pot.
The procedurally generated levels, item variety, and innovative encounters driven by uncanny underlying story themes work flawlessly together, and all in all, The Binding of Isaac stands as a strong entry in the genre.
Dead Cells is what you call when a Metroidvania meets a roguelike action game. You take control of The Prisoner, an unnatural being trapped on an island, so the only thing that makes sense is to escape, albeit that’s easier said than done.
Hack and slash your way through countless enemies in spectacular fashion by using hundreds of unique armaments. Dead Cells is brimming with weapon variety and innovative level design. It knows when to reward you with lore and when to entrap you with your worst nightmares. For fans of both, it’s the ultimate dungeon-crawling adventure.
Spelunky was among the earliest and best roguelike games to grace devices, and Spelunky 2 is a stellar follow-up to the hard-hitting puzzle platformer. Enemies always spawn in new places each time you die, so the world is constantly evolving.
The added humor of Mario’s reminiscent gameplay just makes Spelunky 2 one of the top roguelike games ever made. Its uncanny approach to the platforming genre, the wholesome overarching storyline, and the daunting encounters are hallmarks of a great game, so no wonder it makes the cut.
There aren’t many good turned-based RPGs in the roguelike genre, but from those that do exist, Darkest Dungeon is an all-time favorite of many hardcore gamers. There are loads of great characters and tough enemies in-game, but what’s astonishing is that they react to the changes that happen during gameplay. Your characters might have a heart attack, or others might disobey orders. The procedural generation in Darkest Dungeon is so good that you’ll think it’s unreal. Well, until you try it yourself.
4. Vampire Survivors
While developing his roguelike shoot ’em up video game Vampire Survivors, Luca Galante was sure to pour in the years of experience he had in the gambling industry. Vampire Survivor’s is so addicting, you start a game and next thing you know, it’s three hours past your bedtime.
The minute-to-minute upgrades and constant weapon transformations keep you glued to the screen. Vampire Survivors is endlessly engaging, and hilariously difficult at times. It’s the perfect roguelike game whether you’re in the mood for a quick flick to pass the time or an insanely difficult challenge.
Unlike other entries in this best roguelike games list, Returnal is a massive 3D shooter. While it most definitely is brutal and full of action, it feels more like a survival horror title because of the horrifying enemy models and creepy vibe of the open world.
It easily ranks among the best roguelike games of all time. The gameplay is unforgiving, ruthless, and straight-up unfair at times. Out of all the mentioned best roguelike games, Returnal is the one that you will rage quit the hardest on.
Up until a few years ago when Sifu came out, beat ’em up roguelikes were very underrepresented. Sifu changed all that with its stunning martial arts and killer graphics that demand to be appreciated.
There are over 100 unique kung fu and weapon attack variations you can learn in Sifu. It’s an epic fighting game that deserves your attention, so don’t forget to bookmark it. But beware that Sifu is perhaps the most difficult beat ’em up roguelike out there.
If you’ve played Hades before, you’re probably not surprised it ranks in first place. Supergiant’s Hades is the epitome of how fantastic roguelikes can be. The encounter designs, the gameplay, the art, the voice acting, everything about Hades oozes class.
Hades puts you through Hell – quite literally – and if that wasn’t enough torture, you need to beat the game 10 times to unlock the true ending, so good luck chilling down there with Zagreus. It’s an epic journey from start to finish and makes you treasure every moment, scratching that adventure itch over and over again. It’s the best roguelike and roguelite game in everything it does. If you need your mind blown, this is it.
Do you agree with this list, or are there other best roguelike games you’d like to see featured?