Best Roguelike Games 2022

Are you a fan of roguelike games? So are we here at GamingScan! Here are the best roguelike games out there to play now.

There is an age-old debate amongst gamers concerning what separates roguelikes from roguelites.

Generally speaking, roguelikes/roguelites are both subgenres of RPGs and place a greater emphasis on death mechanics than other types of games.

In roguelikes, player progression is typically reset upon dying, whereas roguelites will allow players to keep some progress or rewards between runs.

While the distinctions run deeper than this, we would much rather spend our time sharing with you the best roguelike/roguelites available on PC and current-generation consoles.

Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this list in the future with new entries.

If you would like to receive more gaming recommendations, consider checking out our other curated lists:

Related:Best Dungeon Crawlers 2022Best RPGs 2022Best PC Games 2022

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Flinthook is an action roguelite that chronicles the many adventures of a pistol-wielding space pirate searching for an extraordinary treasure. You control the main protagonist Flinthook as he plunders randomly assembled space pirate ships, defeats enemies using his blasma pistol, and alters the flow of time with slow-motion abilities.

However, the real highlight is our hero’s versatile hookshot, which helps Flinthook traverse tricky platforming environments and build up the necessary speed for dodging hazards and incoming fire. The game’s roguelite structure allows you to level up your character and unlock new equippable perks in addition to permanent upgrades.

You won’t find many RPGs with as large a cult following as Spelunky, an indie 2D roguelike action platformer in which players journey deep underground and explore randomized, fully destructible levels filled with traps, treasure and enemies. To aid you on your quest, you have a plethora of game-altering weapons, items and gadgets, ranging from jetpacks to sacrificial pugs. 

In Spelunky, death is not only unavoidable but a necessary evil for improving your skills and learning more about enemies and obstacles. The game includes a surprising number of different ways to die, a majority of which are grisly but presented comically.

Heat Signature is a top-down, 2D action roguelike created by Suspicious Developments, the makers of the widely praised stealth puzzle game Gunpoint. The game carries over the tactical-based gameplay Suspicious is known for, while also introducing a new space-themed setting along with the ability to freeze time.

In it, you control a series of randomly generated characters tasked with liberating space stations from the empires that control them.

Your quest for freedom sees you planning and executing intergalactic heists in randomized spaceships where you’re severely outnumbered. Luckily for you, you’ve been given the ability to slow down and even pause time whenever you want, giving you all the time in the world to plan your next move. Additional abilities build upon this by allowing you to swap positions with enemies and hack their turrets.

Slay the Spire is a roguelite card-strategy game that takes an interesting approach to the dungeon crawler formula. At the beginning of every run, players are asked to select from one of three predetermined characters. Each of these have a unique playstyle and starting conditions that affect how much health and gold, and how many cards the player has.

From there, players choose which path they’d like to take and begin ascending the Spire, an endless dungeon with a myriad of enemies to encounter and secrets to discover. Battles are turn-based and see you expending energy to perform attacks, activate buffs, inflict debuffs, and generally just make your enemy’s life a living nightmare.

Rogue Legacy is the cream of the crop when it comes to roguelites and somewhat of an indie darling. The 2D action platformer features a genealogical character creator, in which each of your heroes belongs to the same family tree and has the chance to inherit distinct traits, including deficiencies like colorblindness or dyslexia.

These serve as more than just clever/slightly disturbing backstories — they have a direct impact on gameplay, making each hero and playthrough feel truly unique. To this point, the game features nine different character classes, each with their own skill tree to explore, and over 60 enemy types to battle in a sprawling, ever-changing castle.

Wrack: Exoverse is an interesting blend of first-person shooter, tower-defense and roguelite game mechanics, presented in stunning cel-shaded graphics. Each run sees you constructing maze-like defenses with turrets and walls to slow down the incoming enemies and prevent them from reaching your beacon before you can be extracted.

Once your defenses are in place, the game switches from a top-down perspective to first-person, where you’ll be tasked with holding off waves of enemies using different class-based weapons, including pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles and alien blasters. If you manage to come out the other end alive, you’ll be rewarded with money that can be spent on new defenses and upgrades for your character.

The Binding of Isaac is an indie roguelike that comes from the mind of Super Meat Boy designer Edmund McMillen. The game was initially created for a week-long jam, but was later expanded into a full-fledged flash title that would be improved and rereleased as The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

Loosely inspired by the biblical story of the same name, Rebirth sees players controlling Isaac, a child forced to flee to his house’s basement upon learning that his mother has gone insane, believing to have spoken to a religious spirit. Although its dark tone and graphic imagery may be too much for some players, the game’s top-down perspective and compact dungeons reminiscent of the classic The Legend of Zelda titles make it worth checking out.

Enter the Gungeon is a bullet-hell roguelite that sees players controlling one of four protagonists as they descend into “The Gungeon,” a sprawling procedurally generated labyrinth brimming with fierce foes, environmental hazards and valuable loot. As players progress, the game takes note of their achievements by ramping up the difficulty and introducing even more traps and enemies.

Flexibility is at the heart of Enter the Gungeon’s gameplay, with each character introducing a unique modifier to spice things up, such as the ability to lock-pick chests, reduced reload time and an extended dodge. This is further complemented by an arsenal of bizarre weaponry that ranges from handguns with bouncing bullets to cactus-powered rifles and target-seeking beehives.

Dead Cells is a 2D-roguelite with Souls-inspired combat that revolves around exploring procedurally generated dungeons in search of blueprints that allow players to craft better gear. However, finding these schematics is no easy task, thanks to mobs of tough-as-nails enemies that can be found wandering the dungeon’s numerous levels. 

Following each death, the game returns the players right back to the start, only this time with slightly more resources than their previous run. This is at the core of the game’s formula and leads to an addictive gameplay loop that will see you risking it all just to see how far you can make it without dying. 

Dead Cells features a wide selection of different weapon types and perks to unlock, which adds to its replayability and prevents it from ever feeling too repetitive. 

Wizard of Legend takes the Soulslike formula in new directions by placing you in the shoes, or rather, the cloak, of a spell-chaining wizard with access to a wide selection of interesting magical abilities. Set in the Kingdom of Lanova, the game sees you participating in the Chaos Trials, a gauntlet of magical challenges in which contestants attempt to defeat the wizard council’s strongest members.

These increasingly difficult challenges will put players’ spell-casting abilities to the ultimate test and require precise timing as mobs of enemies send devastating attacks in their direction. However, death is not the end, as players are able to retain any spells they’ve collected during a run and use them at the start of their next attempt.

Not many games manage to blend Lovecraftian horror with dungeon crawling as masterfully as Darkest Dungeon. This is a turn-based RPG that tasks players with recruiting and training a team of heroes as they traverse hellish environments littered with both physical and psychological dangers. Featuring hand-drawn, gothic crowquill visuals, the game presents a disturbing world filled with supernatural horrors.

Each of the 16+ character classes included come equipped with special skills and flaws that can be combined in interesting ways and often lead to devastating outcomes for both party members and enemies.

Challenging turn-based battles are made more intense thanks to features like permadeath and an affliction system that assigns characters mental debuffs such as paranoia, masochism, fear and irrationality.

Wally and the Fantastic Predators is a high-speed indie roguelite that’s equal parts The Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog. This seems fitting given the game’s main protagonist is an adorable, sword-wielding fox named Wally. The game sees you exploring randomly generated dungeons that introduce new gameplay rules between each floor.

One floor may remove your ability to see around corners and make it harder to spot enemies, while another may see you constantly bombarded with giant Indiana Jones-style boulders.  A similar design can be found in the game’s weapon and upgrade systems, with players able to unlock a myriad of game-changing abilities, including an upgrade that turns your stamina bar into a projectile-firing ally.

Risk of Rain 2 is an Early Access Steam title that’s been making big waves due to its shift from a side-scrolling 2D platformer to a fully 3D third-person shooter. However, the sequel has maintained the series’ energetic combat as well as its Roguelike mechanics, which sees you attempting to survive as long as possible while enemies become increasingly difficult.

The game rewards you for fighting through hordes of alien monsters with better gear to augment your character’s abilities. Currently, Risk of Rain 2 has six different character classes, which developer Hopoo Games plans to add to in the future.

Into the Breach is a strategy game developed and published by Subset Games, and the second title to come from the studio, their first being 2012’s FTL: Faster Than Light. The game is set in a far future where humanity is fighting against an army of monsters known collectively as the Vek. 

The gameplay has you engaging in turn-based battles through the use of soldier-operated mechs that can be equipped with a variety of weapons and armor. Similar to FTL, the game is split up into sequences that take place across a number of islands, each with their own procedurally generated mission scenarios. 

Haque is a fantasy roguelike with a glitchcore aesthetic that may lead you to believe it was released sometime in the ‘90s, or at least not as recently as 2017. The game tasks you with getting rid of all monsters on the land as you navigate through procedurally generated forests, deserts and dungeons in search of the ultimate evil.

This challenging turn-based combat sees you trying to outsmart and outmaneuver surrounding enemies using a wide selection of weapons, armor and power-enhancement items. At the end of each level, randomized characters are granted new quirks that affect the way you play. Upon death, heroes are immortalized by in-memoriam screens which detail their epic deeds.

Rashlander is an arcade-inspired 2D roguelite that sees you attempting to safely dock a lunar lander in hazardous space environments brimming with interstellar debris, enemy drones and warp pads.

There are no patterns to memorize since each level is randomly generated, resulting in a skill-based gameplay experience that’s further enhanced by a myriad of game-changing upgrades that often come with a unique tradeoff.

This is all complemented by highly stylized visuals, including retro-inspired pixel art, vibrant color palettes and more modern effects, such as dynamic lighting. Additionally, leaderboards and daily challenges add some replayability to Rashlander’s simple yet addictive gameplay.

Invisible, Inc. is a turn-based tactical roguelike developed by Canadian studio Klei Entertainment. In the game, you play as a remote operator for an espionage agency that has come under attack. The operator’s role is to direct agents on stealth missions, acquiring resources and support that can be used to save the agency within a limited window.

On each playthrough, players are given three days to prepare for their final mission. This is done by completing missions across the globe, retrieving information, valuables and equipment, while factoring in time constraints. Mission details and map layouts are procedurally generated and vary in each run, offering a lot of variety in terms of challenge.

Noita is a 2D action roguelike in which every pixel on screen is physically simulated, resulting in dynamic interactions with both environments and enemies.

In it, you control a magic-wielding witch with the power to burn, explode or melt anything that crosses your path by crafting and casting new spells while exploring procedurally generated dungeons ranging from dark coal mines to freezing-cold wastelands.

Progressing further through dungeons opens up new kinds of environments and reveals more secrets about the game’s world. While death is a constantly looming threat that will see you transported to the start, you’ll be able to apply everything you’ve learned for the next run and hopefully make it even further.

Streets of Rogue combines the best parts of top-down roguelites with the emergent gameplay found in RPGs and sandbox games. It delivers a fast-paced action that rewards player experimentation at every turn.

The game shakes up the all-too-predictable dungeon-crawling formula by swapping out damp and dreary locales for fully functioning cities that are procedurally generated and packed with secrets to uncover.

Progression is made by completing a variety of mission goals, which can be accomplished in any way the player sees fit. This is done while controlling one of over 20 different character classes that range from soldier and ninja to hyper-intelligent gorilla and flesh-eating zombie.

Streets of Rogue’s flexibility goes beyond special character traits — equally ridiculous power-ups like shrink rays and hypnotizing boomboxes create yet more opportunities to cause mayhem.

Monolith is a top-down shoot-em-up with roguelike elements like procedurally generated maps and permadeath. You control a combat spaceship tasked with exploring an abandoned facility brimming with deadly enemies, powerful new weapons and ability-enhancing upgrades.

Seven weapon types and 40+ unique modifiers allow you to mix and match different playstyles to find your ideal setup while learning the many ins and outs of enemy attack patterns, map layouts and various traps. Complimenting Monolith’s retro 2D visuals is a hyper-energetic chiptune soundtrack that perfectly meshes with the action on the screen.  

Straimium Immortaly is an indie shoot-em-up roguelike that sees you dungeon-crawling through the procedurally generated world of Cubicus, a vibrant dimension packed with challenging foes and trippy visuals. Your quest, should you decide to accept it, is to eradicate the Queeni Emperess and her legion of beastly bosses.

Aside from looking like a video game representation of an acid trip, Straimium Immortaly manages to stand out and keep things interesting by constantly throwing loot at the player, including new upgrades for weapons and items. Additionally, the game features unlockable character classes, in-game modifiers and cheats and alternative game modes, such as Boss Rush.

Flamebreak leans heavily into the pick-up-and-play design typically associated with roguelikes by blending simple, twin-stick controls with addictive MOBA-inspired combat, which supports a variety of different playstyles. At the start of each run, you’re presented with a new hero belonging to one of 10 unlockable races, each with exclusive abilities and stats.

In addition to your hero’s race, the weapon and skills you decide to bring into battle will determine how encounters play out. With 8 weapon types, 20+ skills to master and 100+ powerful items to collect, Flamebreak offers a seemingly infinite number of ways to experiment and find the approach that works best for you.

You may already be familiar with Downwell, a 2D indie action platformer developed by Moppin and published by Devolver Digital. The game sees you delving deeper and deeper into an endless well brimming with dangerous creatures, your only protection being a pair of deadly gunboots that kill enemies and momentarily slow down your fall.

As you descend, your character will collect red gems that can be used to purchase an array of useful items and upgrades which can be stacked for more powerful effects. The game has an extensive history of praise from critics and fans who admire its pixel graphics and addictive gameplay loop in which no two runs are the same.

Don’t Starve is a tough-as-nails survival game with roguelike elements. In it, you play as Wilson, a brilliant scientist who is targeted by a demon and ends up getting transported to a mysterious and uncompromising forest. Stranded with no supplies, Wilson is forced to learn how to live off the land and defend himself from the local wildlife until he can find a way home.

The game sees you venturing further and further into randomly generated environments that offer resources to ensure your survival and clues to progress the story. Don’t Starve has been critically acclaimed for its unique 2D hand-drawn animations and art as well as its unforgiving survival mechanics.

Imagine Stardew Valley, except it’s an action roguelike and takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland; that’s Atomicrops in a nutshell. The 2D farming sim sees you trying to grow enough crops to sustain human life following a nuclear disaster, all the while defending your farm from a variety of mutated pests.

You can recruit pigs, cows, and chickens to help automate farm tasks and travel to new biomes to find useful tools and unlock upgrades for your farming equipment. What’s more, the game even has a marriage system that sees your spouse accompanying you in battle, proving it’s still possible to find love even during a nuclear apocalypse. 

Nuclear Throne is another apocalyptic roguelike, only much further in the future, when mankind will have completely disappeared and only mutated creatures remain. Played from a top-down perspective, the game sees you fighting your way through randomly generated wastelands using an array of weaponry and radiation-powered abilities.

As you collect more and more radiation, your character acquires new mutations which can affect gameplay and often turn you into a monster-crushing machine. Complimenting these abilities is an arsenal of shotguns, rocket launchers, machine guns and lasers, all rendered in vibrant 2D pixel graphics.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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