Best Roguelike Games 2019 – The Ultimate List

There is an age old debate amongst gamers concerning what separates roguelikes from roguelites, which we’ll try our best to simplify. Generally speaking, roguelikes/roguelites are both subgenres of RPGs and place a greater emphasis on death mechanics than other kinds 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 much deeper than what we’ve already discussed, we would much rather spend our time sharing with you the best roguelike/roguelites available on PC and current gen 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 reading through our other curated lists:

Flinthook

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

Flinthook is an action roguelite which chronicles the many adventures of a pistol-wielding space pirate searching for extraordinary treasure. In it, you control the titular 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 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.

Spelunky

Platform: PS4 / PC

You won’t find many roguelikes with as large of a cult following as Spelunky, an indie 2D 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 are 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

Platform: PC

Heat Signature is an action roguelike created by Suspicious Developments, the makers of widely-praised stealth puzzle game Gunpoint. The top-down 2D title carries over the tactical-based gameplay Suspicious is known for while 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 swap positions with enemies and hack their turrets.

Slay the Spire

Platform: PS4 / Switch / PC

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 with a unique playstyle and starting conditions that affect how many/how much health, gold, and 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 in order to perform attacks, activate buffs, inflict debuffs, and generally just make your enemy’s life a living nightmare.

Rogue Legacy

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC / iOS

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 belong to the same family tree and have the chance to inherit distinct traits including deficiencies like colorblindness or dyslexia.

These serve as more than just clever/slightly disturbing backstories and 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

Platform: PC

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 in order to slow 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 a 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 some money which can be spent to purchase new defenses and upgrades for your character.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC / 3DS / iOS

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 game jam but was later expanded into a full-fledged flash title that would late 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 his mother has gone insane, believing to have spoken to a religious spirit. Although it’s dark tone and graphic imagery may be too much for some players, the game’s top-down perspective and compact dungeons reminiscent of classic Legend of Zelda titles make it worth checking out.

Enter the Gungeon

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

Enter the Gungeon is a bullet-hell roguelite which 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 granting the ability to lock-pick chests, reduced reload time, and an extended dodge. This is further complimented by an arsenal of bizarre weaponry that ranges from handguns with bouncing bullets to cactus-powered rifles and target-seeking bee hives.

Dead Cells

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC / iOS / Android

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 transports 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

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

Wizard of Legend takes the Soulslike formula in new directions by placing you in the shoes, or rather 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, with players able to retaining any spells they’ve collected during a run and use them at the start of their next attempt.

Darkest Dungeon

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC / iOS

Not many games manage to blend Lovecraftian horror with dungeon crawling as masterfully as Darkest Dungeon, 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 which assigns characters psychological debuffs such as paranoia, masochism, fear, and irrationality.

Wally and the Fantastic Predators

Platform: PC

Wally and the Fantastic Predators is a high-speed indie roguelite that’s equal parts Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog, which 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 sees 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 projectile-firing ally.

Risk of Rain 2

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

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

Platform: Switch / PC

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. 

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

Platform: PC

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

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

Platform: PC

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.

Platform: PS4 / PC / iOS

Invisible, Inc. is a turn-based tactical roguelike developed by Canadian studio Klei Entertainment. The game has 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, equipment, all while factoring in time constraints. Mission details and map layouts are procedurally generated and vary each run, offering a lot of variety in terms of challenge.

Noita

Platform: PC

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

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC

Streets of Rogue combines the best parts of top-down roguelites with the emergent gameplay found in RPGs and sandbox games to deliver fast-paced action which rewards player experimentation at every turn. The game shakes up the all-too-predictable dungeon-crawling formula by swapping out damp and dreary locales with fully functioning cities which are procedurally-generated and packed with secrets to uncover.

Progression is done by completing a variety of mission goals which can be accomplished in any way the player sees fit while controlling one of over 20 different character classes which range from soldier and ninja to hyper-intelligent gorilla and flesh-eating zombie. Streets of Rogue’s flexibility goes beyond special character traits as equally ridiculous power-ups like shrink rays and hypnotizing boomboxes create more opportunities to cause mayhem.

Monolith

Platform: PC

Monolith is a top-down shoot-em-up with roguelike elements such as procedurally-generated maps and permadeath. In it, 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 in order to find your ideal set-up 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 which perfectly meshes with the action on screen.  

Straimium Immortaly

Platform: PC

Straimium Immortaly is an indie shoot-em-up roguelike which 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

Platform: PC

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 included 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.

Downwell

Platform: PS4 / Switch / PC / iOS / Android

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

As you descend your character will collect red gems which 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

Platform: PS4 / Xbox One / Switch / PC / iOS / Android

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 which 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.

Atomicrops

Platform: PC

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.

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

Nuclear Throne

Platform: PS4 / Switch / PC

Nuclear Throne is another roguelike with an apocalyptic setting, only much further in the future when mankind has 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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