One of the most satisfying parts of playing video games is progressing through the levels and getting more powerful as you play. Usually, this happens over the course of many hours, but roguelikes allow you to repeatedly experience that in shorter play sessions.
I do want to clarify that a lot of these games are in-fact rogue lite games, I’m just going to classify a roguelike as one that has permadeath and procedurally generated levels.
I felt like I needed to clarify that before tons of people flip out telling me that these aren’t true roguelikes.
Recently I’ve realized that I become addicted to roguelikes extremely easily, and part of that is because this genre is somewhat like gambling. You become addicted to trying just one more run, and you always think the next run will be the time where you succeed.
10. Paint the Town Red: Beneath
Paint the Town Red is a game that I’ve enjoyed playing for a long time, but the Beneath gamemode that’s more recently added is an incredibly solid roguelike. It takes the violent voxel based combat and applies it in a Doom-like setting.
You start by choosing one of the several available classes, each having their own abilities and strengths. You then start the game by entering the elevator that takes you to Beneath, a hellish environment with tons of monsters.
You’ll soon realize that the game is surprisingly difficult. Many of the monsters can one shot you and others take a while to defeat. As you proceed to the next level, you’ll find optional trials, bosses to fight, and a shop to purchase new items or use points to permanently upgrade your character.
If you find the exit too quickly you can wait for the door timer to be up or you can pay to enter it early. Every 3 stages there’s a new environment with harder enemies and different bosses to fight.
For a game that never was meant to be a roguelike, Beneath is an insanely fun gamemode that’s worth the price of the full game.
9. Gunfire Reborn
Gunfire Reborn is an FPS roguelike with gunplay very similar to the Borderlands series. Every level is filled with various monsters that increase with difficulty each level. After every stage, you can find a chest that allows you to upgrade your character.
During the stages you can take alternate routes that offer greater challenges but provide you with greater rewards. Over time you can unlock different classes to help you get further in the game. Everytime you complete a run or die, you’ll be able to permanently level your character with the points collected in-game.
I’ve been interested in this roguelike for a while, and after I bought it I wasn’t disappointed. The gunplay is awesome and the gameplay is insanely fun, so I definitely recommend buying it.
8. Dead Cells
Dead Cells is a metroidvania inspired rogelike where you play as a small, slimy creature that takes control of a corpse. You and this corpse must fight your way out of a dungeon while gaining weapons and collecting the ingame currency of cells.
These cells allow you to unlock new items or obtain permanent upgrades to your character. Dead Cells has some really cool pixel graphics, as well as as an awesome 8-bit soundtrack.
It’s a very hard game with no checkpoints and a lot of learning involved, but it got overwhelmingly positive reviews. The environments are beautifully done and the game has a ton of replayability.
Dead Cells describes itself as having Souls-lite combat, meaning it’s very hard and you’ll die a lot. But, the rewards you get for progressing are definitely worth it. If you enjoy games like this then I definitely recommend checking out Dead Cells.
7. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The Binding of Isaac Rebirth is a roguelike with a pretty unique story behind it. You play as a child named Isaac, who’s insane religious mother believes that God wants her to sacrifice Isaac to prove her faith.
In an attempt to escape, Isaac flees into a monster filled basement and is forced to fight his way out. Since Isaac is a small, defenseless child, the only weapon he has are his own tears. The cool part of the game is that it’s based around a child’s point of view, and Isaac projects his own fears into the monsters.
As you play through the game, Isaac overcomes his fears and becomes more powerful. The gameplay style is very similar to the original Legend of Zelda games, but with a very creepy feel and roguelike gameplay.
The game encourages tons of replayability, and it’s developed a huge following over the years. If you’re into roguelikes that also have an interesting story, The Binding of Isaac is a good one to pick up.
6. Don’t Starve
Don’t Starve isn’t a game that you’d typically think of as a roguelike, but it definitely is one at its core. The goal of the game is to learn to survive in the insanely harsh world, while also keeping your sanity high and fighting off monsters.
There’s an extremely high learning curve that turns off a lot of players, but the ones who push through are rewarded with a very deep and content filled game.
Every in-game season there are new challenges that await the player, such as surviving the cold or being invaded by massive creatures. Resources grow and are replenished, and you only have one life. You’re able to discover touch stones that give you another chance at life, but if you die again it’s a permadeath.
What’s different about Don’t Starve is that a single run could take you dozens of hours. It’s not a game where you get on and play a couple rounds, but rather one where you constantly improve your character and spend a long time getting established.
5. Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is a bullet-hell dungeon crawler where your goal is to find the treasure at the end of the Gungeon.
This game is extremely hard, and you progress by learning the enemies attack patterns and dying a lot. There are so many different weapons to use that it’s actually insane, and they’re all fun to use.
At first a lot of the attack patterns will seem impossible, but eventually you’ll realize there’s a trick to it, and that’s a really satisfying feeling. The frustration of constantly dying is offset by the satisfaction of progressing, which motivates you to play more so you can get further.
Enter the Gungeon has some really cool mechanics such as flipping tables over to use as cover. The game also has a really cute art style to offset some of the frustration of dying constantly.
If you enjoy hard but rewarding games, Enter the Gungeon is an awesome game to get.
4. Spelunky 2
The first Spelunky is one of the most famous roguelikes of all time, and I’m a huge fan of it. Spelunky 2 is the newer edition to the series, and it adds lots of new content while retaining the core gameplay of the first game.
It changes things just enough to make them feel new, while keeping the parts that everyone loved about the first game.
You play as the daughter of the explorer from Spelunky 1, and set off to explore an alien planet in search of your parents. The developer purposely tried to keep everything as true to the first game as possible, and most players love it.
Another awesome feature of Spelunky 2 is online multiplayer, meaning you can play with your friends while being in separate locations. This let’s you create some awesome experiences with friends.
I’m a huge fan of the first game, and I recommend the second game just as highly.
Hades has one of the coolest art styles I’ve ever seen in a game. The premise of the game is that you play as the son of Hades, and you’re forced to fight your way out of the Greek Underworld.
The game is a dungeon crawler based on Greek mythology, which is extremely interesting to me. The environments are extremely well done, as well as the enemies and weapons. As you battle your way through the underworld, you’ll find new weapons that you can upgrade and new abilities from other Greek gods.
It’s based very much on the story, so you’ll feel like there’s a reason to keep pushing through and completing more runs. The game also gives you more reasons to continue playing, making you want to keep going to see what’s next.
Hades is one of the best games of the year, and one of the best roguelikes ever created.
I’ve put Noita in other videos before simply because I love it so much. In this game you play as a wizard who uses spells to fight enemies. The big feature of Noita is the fully simulated physics and completely destructible world.
Every single pixel can be destroyed, and there are dangers everywhere you turn. Elemental creatures attack you which destroys the environment and created more hazards for you. Between each stage, you gain new abilities and can create wands with different powers.
The spellcrafting mechanics allow you to create some insanely powerful wands to help you fight creatures and navigate through the harsh terrain. Noita has so much depth packed into it that I’ve watched countless videos about it and still don’t understand all the mechanics.
The game also contains secrets and lore, many of which haven’t been discovered yet. It’s such a content and secret rich game that I recommend it to anyone who likes pixel games like this.
1. Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 is one of the most unique games I’ve ever played. From the music to the art style, everything about it draws you in and gets you addicted to it.
The story of the game is that you are stuck on an alien planet and are forced to fight your way to your ship. As you defeat enemies, you gain coins to unlock chests and buy items from the multishops.
One of the reasons I love Risk of Rain 2 is that it lets you become as overpowered as you want. Sometimes you have runs where you literally become unbeatable, and you can end the run whenever you want.
The unlockable artifacts also give the game new dimensions of replayability, and allow you to cater runs to your personal playstyle.
Risk of Rain 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, and I definitely think that anyone who loves roguelikes should try it out.
And that’s gonna be it for my list of top 10 roguelikes on Steam. What did everyone think of these titles? If I missed any good ones, I’d love for some people to let me know in the comments.
Thanks for watching Cubold Gaming, we’ll see you in the next video.