The 25 best Roguelike games to play today

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

The best roguelikes can have this funny way of circumventing classification. The genre encompasses a wide range of gameplay styles and settings, but there are some elements at its core: death, and an irresistible urge to try and succeed all over again. Admittedly, that's a little broad, but that's what you get with a list which tries to wrap up the best roguelike games and the best roguelites. 

What you're find here are some of the best action games around right now, with fantastic combat and progression systems meeting exceptionally challenging structures. Expect incremental progress, expect a degree of procedural-generation, and expect to lose a lot of your stuff when you die... oh, and you should expect to have a bloody good time while you're doing it to. So keep reading to find out pick of the 25 best Roguelike games that you should play today. 

25. Heroes of Hammerwatch

(Image credit: Surefire Games)

It's worth mentioning straight away, Heroes of Hammerwatch is a very grindy game but that grinding comes with rewards. As one of a few main classes, you are placed in a town and just sort of let loose. Upon talking to villagers, you find out the town is in disarray and the best way to start its reparation is by clearing out the well. You can use gold and ores found in there to upgrade your character, your gear and your town alongside your heroes level. Whilst you lose all your loot if you die in the well, if you make it out or send them back, you can put them to use. This makes the progression systems feel practically endless with hundreds of hours of content to make your way through over multiple level types and biomes. Every part of Heroes of Hammerwatch can be changed to some extent making the base experience, rewarding, challenging, and damn addicting. It helps that you can bring a friend or three. 

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

24. Neon Abyss

(Image credit: Team17)

One of the more recent releases in this list, Neon Abyss isn’t necessarily groundbreaking but it pulls off every element with ease. One part rogue-lite, one part platformer, and one part run ‘n’ gun come together to make the cocktail that is Neon Abyss. With its futuristic themed visuals and nightclub setting, it has more than enough to stand out. Not since The Binding of Isaac have I seen such an array of weird weapons, rooms and ideas. One room might hold a secret new weapon where another contains a huge piano you must play in time to win. Sometimes, you side with chaos at a price and sometimes your patience is rewarded. These tiny but long lasting decisions come together to make each run strange, chaotic and overall just very refreshing. Drink up.

Available on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC

23. Children of Morta 

(Image credit: Dead Mage)

Children of Morta has a lot to love. From its implementation of rogue-lite staples to its wonderful sound design, it has so much innate charm that becomes obvious from the first few minutes. You are tasked with controlling and helping the Bergson family as they traverse multiple randomly generated dungeons in the depths of the caverns of Mount Morta. Each character can be upgraded and all of them have their own unique flair and style. This is what makes Children of Morta stand out. Characters have their own personality, encompassed with flaws and strengths and the story is really great and surprisingly deep for a game of its calibre. Every inch of Children of Morta feels like its trying to tell you a story and its a story worth being told.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch 

22. Undermine

(Image credit: Thorium)

Fitting somewhere between The Binding of Isaac and Minecraft is Undermine, a roguelite mine exploration game about killing bosses and mining resources. You play one of thousands of expendable adventurers sent into a mineshaft in search of loot. Upon death, you keep a portion of gold earned that can be spent on permanent upgrades or bonuses for the next run. It has a bit more permanent progress than most but that helps to solidify its own personality in great ways. If you're looking for something casual with a decent amount of progression, this is a gold mine.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

21. Moonlighter

(Image credit: 11 Bit Studios)

Moonlighter does a very interesting thing. The main game is split up into two modes. One feels traditionally more like a rogue-lite with randomly generated dungeons and gear that is lost upon death. The other mode has you run a shop and sell the items you managed to salvage throughout your run. It throws you into a dungeon headfirst and hopes you find your way out and then slows that right down as you talk to townsfolk, sell items for way too much and just soak up the great music. You frantically hop around rooms fighting enemies that are too strong for you and then the brevity of everyday life relaxes you like a massage at the end of a long day. It might not be quite as replayable as some of the other titles in this list due to its defined progression but it by far one of the most playable. 

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

20. World of Horror

(Image credit: TinyBuild Games)

Bridging the gap between classic point and click, roguelites and Junji Ito is World of Horror. This love letter to the giants of horror is as fascinating as it is terrifying. You get event cards that shape the story throughout each run and turn-based combat is how you make your way out of it. In true survival horror fashion, you spend the entirety of your playtime on the verge of encountering something much darker than anything you’ve seen thus far but its sheer intrigue keeps you going. Your events can offer you a brief respite from the darkness or pull you ever closer.  As a steam review says on the page “World of Horror is like a hole in the side of a mountain - I feel compelled to spend all my time in it".

19. Streets of Rogue

(Image credit: TinyBuild Games)

Its name being a witty portmanteau of Streets of Rage and Rogue gives a surprisingly ok expression of what exactly Streets of Rogue gives you: the opportunity to punch bad guys whilst also giving you the freedom of a large top-down map. This being said, what makes Streets of Rogue so good is the way it blends so many systems together so efficiently. Like Noita above it, Streets of Rogue has a rather wonderful responsiveness to each action. You steal from a bin, maybe someone reports that and security becomes higher in the area making your main mission a little harder. You decide to break a window to distract a guard but it instead alarms everyone around meaning you can’t poison the air system. You are given a task and must complete it in any way you see fit but the most genius thing about Streets of Rogue is that you have to live with those decisions. Each dumb decision makes you a little smarter, makes your situation a little harder and your game much funner.

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch 

18. Nuclear Throne

(Image credit: Vlambeer)

Twin-stick shooters could probably get a little more love in this list and boy do we love Nuclear Throne. It is a post-apocalyptic top-down shooter with pixel-art graphics and a real sense of wackiness. You can play as one of twelve characters, all with different styles of play to take on different run types and hone your skills in different ways. What further pushes it away from the rogue-lites on this list is its sense of progression. Incremental progression doesn’t exist to the extent it does in most titles. There are small ways to keep permanent upgrades but they don’t matter in the long run (or short run if you’re as bad as me) as each run relies almost entirely on itself. This has the added bonus of giving a real sense of achievement after every gruelling run. Its goofiness and pick up and play nature should keep you playing even when you feel you’re done. Just one more go. 

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

17. Wizard of Legend

(Image credit: Humble Bundle Games)

WIzard of Legend does something very good for a roguelike. It just lets you play. It’s rather straightforward and more or less just lets you get on with it. You play a wizard trying to overcome the Chaos Trials in order to become the next Wizard of Legend. As such, you must travel through floors defeating enemies in the chance of defeating the final boss. It plays top-down and utilises a variety of spells to make you feel like the badass wizard you always knew you could be. As well as some great timed spells, it features nice swift movement mechanics and some great enemy design that can be manipulated and fought around in interesting ways. As you understand each enemy more, your style will change and so will your wizard. Get in there and start casting.

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

16. Monster Train

(Image credit: Shiny Shoe)

Since the rise of titles like Hand of Fate and Slay the Spire, roguelike deck builders have become a strange staple on steam. Monster Train manages to fit into this mould whilst also giving some great new insights into the genre. Monster Train has you fight off hordes of monsters over multiple vertical layers on the way to hell. As you can guess from this premise, it’s pretty goofy and all the better for it. This goofiness goes hand in hand with tons of content and a huge variety of cards to play from. As you attempt to protect the burning pyre of hell from the forces of heaven, you start to really pick up on the subtle little bits of storytelling Monster Train really gives you as it passes you by. With different mutators and a bunch of free DLC, It has proven it’s worth its spot in your steam library.

Available on PC

15. Crypt of the NecroDancer 

(Image credit: Brace Yourself Games)

Crypt of the Necrodancer is an incredibly interesting game. It takes the cliches of the genre through its enemies and general level design and then flips that on its head with its mechanics. The entire stage works as a musical level and all actions are done on the beat. If you fail to move on time, you don’t move. The same is not the case with enemies who are relentless and consistent. Basically, you get good or you get dead. The formula of die, get used to the music, get better is made much more appealing through the charming art and wonderfully catchy music, a must for a game of this calibre. Fortunately, it nails it.

Available on PC, PS4, PSVita, iOS, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch 

14. Noita 

(Image credit: Nolla Games)

Noita is a fantastic little roguelike “where every pixel is physically simulated”. This essentially means the entire world is incredibly malleable, cracking under the pressure of various elements and attacks. These attacks take the form of spells you create yourself to tackle each part uniquely. These systems make Noita one of the most reactive games out there and well worth your time if you’re looking for something new.

Available on PC

13. Dead Cells 

(Image credit: Motion Twin)

Dead Cells takes some of the main points of Metroidvanias, Rogue-lites and even Souls-likes and manages to create a totally fresh experience. You play a mass of cells that inhabits a body. You can then take that body to fight your way through each area in a vain attempt to kill the boss at the centre and make your way out. You will die in Dead Cells. You will probably die a lot but that’s what makes it so rewarding. There’s something very cyclical about the combat system; learning how weapons work and how to slowly upgrade them for subsequent runs gives a clear sense of progression that feels not only rewarding but earned. Every moment in Dead Cells is earned and that what makes it so damn entertaining. 

Available in Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch, iOS, Android 

12. Enter The Gungeon 

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Enter the Gungeon has a wonderfully consistent tone and world which might lead you to believe it’s a gimmick. It is so much more than that. It combines bullet-hell combat with twin-stick shooting and a rogue-lite progression system to keep you coming back. Almost everything in the world of Enter the Gungeon, from its enemies to its items, is a bullet or bullet themed. You, a lone gungeoneer, go into the gungeon in search of loot, purpose or something even greater. To do so, you must roll through hundreds of bullets and fire a few thousand back in their place. From its roll to pushing furniture, almost every mechanic feels synergetic to the base combat system. You might, upon entering a room, push over a chair for some cover on the go or you might rush your enemies in the hope of taking them down quickly. This moment to moment gameplay is so wickedly addictive, after each death, you will reload, cover and hop back in to fight another day. 

Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

11. Darkest Dungeon

(Image credit: Red Hook Studios)

It’s debatable whether or not Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike. It certainly has elements but whether the package comes together to form that is still to be debated. Regardless, it is so phenomenal it wouldn’t feel right to not include it. To put it simply, you manage a group of interchangeable heroes who must investigate the everchanging dungeon below a manor. Putting it simply doesn’t do justice to its unique stress mechanics, dark gothic graphics and brutal difficulty. It utilises this difficulty to really reward you for each successful battle. You might come for its style but you will stay for its expansive customization, haunting story and brutal design. “Ruin has come to our family” and only you will find out why

Available on Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Vita, iOS

10. Risk of Rain 2

(Image credit: Hopoo Games)

Risk of Rain 2 offered a surprising yet brilliant departure from the style set in the previous one six years prior. Instead of the side-scrolling shooter before it, it is now a fully 3D over the shoulder action game. Oh and its roguelike. You are stranded on an alien planet and are challenged with finding the teleporter to get to the next one. It can be played entirely in co-op and each level finish is topped off with a nice standoff against progressively harder aliens charging right at you. It just feels and looks great with plenty to do, plenty to unlock and plenty to kill. 

Available on PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4 

9. Into the Breach

(Image credit: Subset Games)

Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game and more importantly, the excellent follow up to Faster Than Light. It is a rogue-lite placing you in the eyes, or should I say suit, of a mech fighting back against a group of monsters known as the vek. In a similar vein to strategy titles like XCom, you are placed on a grid and get an aerial view of the combat. You have to fight any enemies you find and keep moving in an attempt to save the world. Each attempt is met with new randomly generated worlds making each run slightly different. What makes Into the Breach so distinctive is the way it blends these styles so well. Its art style is cutesy but effective showing off everything on the battlefield with crisp retro visuals. Its sound and general game design are top-notch offering not only a polished experience but a wonderfully replayable one.

Available on PC, Switch

8. Prey: Mooncrash  

(Image credit: Bethesda)

If you think we stretched what Roguelike means, this one stretches what we mean by “game”. Prey: Mooncrash is a roguelike DLC to the original (and fantastic) Prey from 2017. In this, you must make your way through the moonbase but enemies, hazards, and loot change every time you die. There are also five main playable characters all with different base stats and abilities. Characters are unlocked through runs and can be used for subsequent runs. Your starting loadout can also be customized with sim points which are shared throughout. This means you may want to save for later runs to get everyone out or use them straight away to make your first run easier. This offers a new way to experience the horror of the typhoon and makes the experience of Prey infinitely replayable ... or should I say repreyable? 

Available on Xbox One, PS4, PC

7. Spelunky

(Image credit: Mossmouth)

Spelunky is very impressive given it was first released way back in 2008 and still manages to outclass the roguelikes of the current day. This is truly a testament to how timeless Derek Yu’s game design is. Spelunky is a tough platformer drawing artistically on titles such as Rick Dangerous and La-Mulana. This willingness to acknowledge and even celebrate its inspirations is part of what makes Spelunky so likeable. You control a spelunker making his way through a cave system looting, killing and jumping his way through. Each moment is loaded with tight controls, heartwarming references and often brutal difficulty. This difficulty is only made slightly easier through subsequent runs as you figure out how enemies work, what each item activates and what that ghost that comes in after a particularly long level can really do to you. Spoiler alert, it kills you indiscriminately. Have fun.

Available on Xbox 360. PS3, PS Vita, PS4, PC

6. FTL: Faster than Light

(Image credit: Subset Games)

With graphics and gameplay inspired by classic board game titles, it’s hard not to love FTL: Faster Than Light. It has you control a ship in a grid-based system as you make decisions and cower in fear of what decisions might have you do. You must use terminals to jump to other parts of the galaxy in an attempt to make your way through the eight sectors available to you. You can start off with different ships and crew members making each run responsive and unique and forcing you to truly adapt to the circumstances in front of you. Feeling somewhere between Reigns, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and its own unique flair, FTL offers plenty of difficulty, challenge and replayability. 

Available on PC, iOS

5. Rogue Legacy

(Image credit: Cellar Door Games)

As cheesy as it sounds Rogue Legacy has made a legacy for itself in the Rogue-lite genre. It features some staples of that category like runs with differing progressions and preserved upgrade systems but manages to make a name in its own right. What makes it so fascinating is its character systems. Every run in Rogue Legacy has you control the heir of your previous character complete with different humanising traits such as IBS or coprolalia, the propensity to involuntarily curse. Each run is held together with upgrades you have purchased throughout previous runs but the random element of each individual character makes every single run a little bit different. When you combine this with a procedurally generated castle, you’re in for hundreds of hours of looting, whacking and cursing. All in great fun, of course.

Available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

4. Dicey Dungeons

(Image credit: Terry Cavanagh)

One look through Terry Cavanagh’s work should show you the slew of cult classics he’s found himself creating. From the smart VVVVV to the minimalistic Super Hexagon and finally Dicey Dungeons. Like Slay the Spire before it, Dicey Dungeons is a roguelike deck builder but it's imbued with so much personality that comparing the two feels asinine. The entirety of Dicey Dungeons takes place in a weird meta game show where cards are played and decided by dice rolls you make. This makes it a little less strategic than Slay the Spire but a whole lot more interesting. Roll on over to Steam and have a look for yourself

Available on PC

3. Slay The Spire

(Image credit: Mega Crit Games)

Slay the Spire is one of the most wonderfully unique games you’ll have the pleasure of playing. It's a roguelike (obviously enough) deck-building card game. You play one of four central characters, all with different builds and card types and must make your way to the top of the spire to defeat the boss at its core. Each battle gives you new cards to choose and more gold to spend on your current run. You must debate between buying potions to survive the next battle or buying a relic for the future. You might want to take on an optional boss to get better gear in return for weakening you. These small decisions often snowball in great ways forcing you to change your playstyle going into the future. Somehow, it manages to express interesting ideas, has great combat and generally engages you through the whole experience with nothing but a deck of cards. 

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

2. Hades

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Hades is a rogue-like dungeon crawler and with titles behind them such as Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre, it’s hard to imagine SuperGiant Games wouldn’t knock this out of the park. Luckily for us, they totally did. Taking a little bit from each of their titles, Hades offers an interesting story, great soundtrack and smooth gameplay. You play as Zagreus, the immortal son of Hades and must take the quest to escape from the underworld. Like Rogue Legacy previously in this list, Hades offers a great in-universe reason for its run structure and makes that a part of the base experience in interesting ways. Death isn’t the end, just a mechanic. Get dying!

Available on Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

1. The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Repentance

(Image credit: Edmund McMillen / Nicalis)

From the brains behind Super Meat Boy and uhh Gish came The Binding of Isaac, a wonderfully dark roguelike centred around a young boy locked in a basement fighting his way through it with tears. Yeah, it’s a bit of a weird game. This overt weirdness embodies practically every second of Isaac having you fight biblical monsters, moving faeces and even your own mother. It plays a clever role in analysing the dogma of extremism and rather personally talks about Edmund Mcmillen’s own struggles with religion. This personality, charm and connection to Edmund as a creator keep us coming back almost a decade after its initial release. 

Available on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch 

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