- Roguelikes offer high replay value and meta progression, making them fun and rewarding across different genres like bullet hell shooters, deck building, and puzzle games.
- The best roguelike games on Steam stand out with their impressive art, presentation, and creative touches that enhance the gameplay experience.
- Each recommended roguelike game, such as Crypt of the Necrodancer, Nuclear Throne, and Hand of Fate 2, has unique features that make it worth playing, from rhythm-based dungeon crawling to apocalyptic bullet hell and living board game mechanics.
Roguelikes have been steadily growing in popularity in the last decade. The replay value that comes with this genre, combined with the overarching meta progression encompassing each run, is truly fun and rewarding. Roguelikes have seeped into other genres, too, whether it be bullet hell shooters, deck building, or puzzle games.
While each roguelike has something to offer, some have, without a doubt, made a bigger impact on the gaming sphere. All of these roguelikes on Steam are sure to keep you playing for hours upon hours and still have you feeling like the game is fresh and new.
Updated on October 18, 2023 by Doruk Kaptan: Roguelike games are some of the most satisfying and easy to get into genres in modern gaming. Due to their relative simplicity in concepts, tons of people have lost themselves for hours in such games. Another cool thing about roguelikes is how they’re mainly developed by smaller companies, so it gives them an opportunity to be seen.
The best roguelike games are interesting to look at. Since the gameplay loop and scope is generally similar between games, the art, presentation, and smaller creative touches are usually what makes these games stand out. With an ever-evolving landscape, here are the best roguelikes you can find on Steam.
20 Crypt Of The Necrodancer — Dungeon Crawl To The Rhythm
In recent years, more and more examples of rhythm games that refuse to be just that have come out. Nowadays, you get to do other stuff when you get a rhythm going and not just rack up cheers and applause.
Crypt of the Necrodancer is a roguelike that came out in 2015 and has had an incredible hand in this. The game is an absolute vibe as you move through the dungeon, moving with the rhythm and killing monsters. It’s a great dungeon crawler, rhythm game, and roguelike at the same time, and it’s absolutely worth your time.
19 Nuclear Throne — A Well-Polished Apocalyptic Bullet Hell
Nuclear Throne is a very pure bullet hell roguelike. While it may feel barebones after some of the more mold-breaking and experimental games on this list, it’s still among the best roguelike games of all time. In Nuclear Throne, you collect items, kill monsters, and try to survive levels, the tried and true.
One thing that sets Nuclear Throne apart is how consistent and amazing the designs are. The playable characters, creatures, bosses, and UI are very well put together, transporting you into a nuclear wasteland right away. It also has one of the best soundtracks in its genre, making it a perfect introductory roguelike for those wanting to dip their toes.
18 Hand Of Fate 2 — Take Your Fate Into Your Hands
Speaking of experimental games, Hand of Fate 2 is a very unique game. The main gameplay loop is twofold in Hand Of Fate 2, a living board game and straight-up action. You make your way through a set of locations set up from a deck of cards, and you get to play through the action if combat ensues.
Hand of Fate was already a great game, and the sequel gives you more of what worked in the first game, more polished and better integrated. The meta board game and the hands-on action mix beautifully and keep the game fresh at all times. It’s one of the best roguelikes to play, for sure, if you want something out of the box.
17 Dead Cells — Heart Pumping Action With Amazing Art
- PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Android, iOS
- May 17, 2017
- Motion Twin
If you’re even remotely interested in roguelikes, you’ve probably heard of Dead Cells. The game came out in 2018 and has been praised to no end since then, and for good reason. This action platformer Metroidvania is a perfect example of how fluid gameplay and action can make a game by itself.
Not to disregard the amazing visuals, strong design, and amazing soundtrack, but Dead Cells shines best through its gameplay. The game gives you enough tools to play as you wish, whether that be smashing through enemies or zoning them out with ranged weapons. Dead Cells is the perfect roguelike for you if you want some gameplay that makes you feel absolutely badass.
16 Into The Breach — Best Roguelike Puzzle Game Out There
Into the Breach is the second game of Subset Games, the developers of the classic roguelike Faster Than Light. Into the Breach, unfortunately, never reached the heights of FTL, which is a shame because it’s likely the best puzzle roguelike you can play on Steam.
The game revolves around stopping aliens from destroying cities, using the mechs at your disposal, all of which have unique properties. It’s incredibly intuitive and extremely rewarding once you see the perfect line to kill several enemies at once. Into the Breach is less action and more chess, for sure, but if that interests you, you’ll definitely sink hours into this game.
15 The Binding Of Isaac — Incredible If You Can Stomach It
The Binding of Isaac
- September 28, 2011
- Edmund McMillen, Florian Himsl
The Binding of Isaac, and especially its Rebirth remake, are both extremely influential games in the roguelike sphere. First launched back in 2011 as a Flash game, The Binding of Isaac is one of the older games on this list. However, with endless patches, remakes, remixes, and DLCs, it still feels brand new.
While the art style, visual language, and the implications of its content may be disturbing to some, the synergies between items and the gameplay loop are truly impeccable. If you can stomach the visuals, for sure, give Isaac a shot.
14 Slay The Spire — A Slick, Smooth Deck-Builder
Slay the Spire
- Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
- November 14, 2017
- Mega Crit Games
Slay The Spire is an extremely polished game. This deck-builder presents itself as nothing more than what it is —and it is all that’s needed.
With several characters, who all have unique gameplay loops, and tons of relics to spice up any run, the game is infinitely replayable. Add to that the intricate ways in which you can adjust your deck and the difficulty bumps you can impose yourself in the Ascension game mode, and the game is sure to keep you entertained for a long time.
13 Enter The Gungeon — One Of The Best-Designed Bullet Hells
Enter the Gungeon
- PC, PS4, Xbox One
- April 5, 2016
- Dodge Roll
Enter The Gungeon is all about the theme. You are thrown into a Gungeon, and you must use guns on gun-themed enemies in order to kill your past. Yeah… The attention to detail in this game is just incredible, with the enemy designs, items, weapons, and visuals all on point with the theme.
Furthermore, the gunplay and the smooth gameplay loop are among the best in the business. You will truly feel like an action star, sliding over tables, dodging bullets, and raining hell on enemies. The unique item synergies and alternate paths just add to what is already a pretty flawless game.
12 FTL: Faster Than Light — Micro-Manage A Spaceship And Try To Survive
Also, one of the older entries on the list, FTL: Faster Than Light, is truly a classic by this point. First launched in 2012, this game allows you to captain and micromanage a ship that’s escaping from a galactic enemy faction. You can choose which systems to control, which to upgrade, and which to discard throughout a run.
With some text-based encounters scattered about, and unique enemies to fight, Faster Than Light is sure to immerse you in this galaxy-wide conflict. The simple visual language and intuitive controls all help this game become a classic roguelike.
11 Rogue Legacy 1&2 — Creating Actual Legacy In Each Run
Rogue Legacy takes the roguelike format and does something very creative with it. In this game, you play the genetic successor of your last character from your last run. It really is about legacy.
With each generation, you’ll see defects, unique properties, and other surprises occur in your character, making each run completely unique. The overall progression of the dungeon and the fun gameplay loop makes this game a must-play.
10 Hades — Amazing Visuals With Smooth Gameplay
- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Switch, PC
- September 17, 2020
- Supergiant Games
Hades is a more recent roguelike but has already carved out a spot in the Mount Rushmore of roguelikes for itself. It first became the center of attention due to its amazingly designed anime-like character models. Seeing members of the Greek pantheon as badass anime protagonists is fun for sure, but that’s hardly all there is to Hades.
The gameplay feels extremely smooth and runs great, despite the sometimes grueling difficulty. The upgrades you get from other deities and the option to choose a weapon before each run makes every attempt to beat the game feel truly special. Hades is sure to be remembered as one of the greats for a long time to come.
9 Spelunky 1&2 — Classics With Hidden Secrets And Exploration
- PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, Xbox 360
- October 21, 2008
Spelunky is another example of doing what you’re supposed to do to near perfection, just like Enter the Gungeon. Spelunky provides a great gameplay loop, tons of secrets to uncover, and a solid feel of flow that keeps it up there with other classics.
The theme of an adventurers’ expedition to explore ruins, akin to Indiana Jones, also helps increase the charm of the game. You can’t go wrong with either the original or the sequel alike.
8 Darkest Dungeon 1&2 — Grim Yet Intriguing
- PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS
- January 19, 2016
- Red Hook Studios
In Darkest Dungeon, you run a group of flawed adventurers who are all prone to stress and trauma. While both are great games in their own right, this entry almost feels like two-in-one due to the differences in gameplay. However, what both games excel at is the atmosphere.
Part of the unique fun of playing Darkest Dungeon is trying to manage the psyche and composure of your characters, which creates a tense and high-stakes feel from beginning to end.
7 Risk Of Rain 1&2 — Great Games Both In 2D And 3D
This is yet again an entry that encompasses two pretty different games. Both Risk of Rain 2 and its predecessor are quite unlike each other, with the sequel even jumping to 3D. While both games are full of fun items, weapons, and characters, one thing that Risk of Rain does to become special is to equate time to difficulty.
The longer your run takes, the harder the game becomes, so there is a real incentive to not waste much time. The online co-op mode is also very well implemented and will be a great time with the right group.
- PC, PS4, PS5
- October 19, 2021
- Daniel Mullins Games
Inscryption is a unique game in this list. While it’s a more recent launch than some others included here, it has made an impact like few other indie games could have. The eerie feeling of the game instantly immerses you in what’s happening.
While the aesthetic of the game might imply a deck-building roguelike, that goes all out of the window once your cards begin talking to you and you begin exploring the area in which the card game is taking place. It is such a unique but well-crafted game and is surely worth your time.
5 Dome Keeper – Tower Defense Mixed With Roguelike
Roguelike games usually occupy the genres of deckbuilders and action platformers. However, Dome Keeper breaks that mold by combining the characteristics of a roguelike with tower defense, and does so beautifully.
In Dome Keeper, you’ll be mining and gathering resources, building defences, and try and survive wave after wave of monsters seeking your demise. The game is visually and narratively simple, but makes up for that in mechanics and an engaging gameplay loop.
4 Gunfire Reborn – Charming FPS To Enjoy With Friends
Standing on topic with roguelikes combined with unique genres, Gunfire Reborn is an absolutely charming FPS with roguelike mechanics. You’ll be mowing down enemies and trying to survive procedurally generated dungeons.
You get a selection of characters and can play online multiplayer with your friends. The game has a killer soundtrack, and an immensely charming cell-shaded visual flair. Combine that with tons of whimsical enemies and weapons, and you have an instant classic.
3 Vampire Survivors – When Simplicity Is Done To Perfection
- PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Mobile
- December 17, 2021
- Luca Galante
Vampire Survivors is as simple as a roguelike gets. You are thrown into an arena where hordes of night creatures are rushing at you with the sole purpose of achieving your end. It’s a simple premise with simple pixel graphics, yet it works perfectly.
Vampire Survivors is a pixel vomit in the best way possible. It’s not like other iconic roguelikes of today, where every enemy is somewhat worth your attention. Instead, you’ll be mowing down enemies in the thousands. It might seem like such a concept is deserving of ’90s arcades, but it works just as well today.
2 Rogue Lords – Evil Is Fun And You Get To Cheat
You are thrown in the shoes of a hero in many roguelikes, and in many games of any genre for that matter. Rogue Lords breaks that mold and lets you live out your fantasies, and it appears that evil can be absolute fun!
Rogue Lords has an amazing soundtrack and memorable art style that’s similar to anime. However, the one thing that makes Rogue Lords stand out is that it lets you cheat. Using Devil Essense, you can manipulate enemy HP, status and more without being limited by the games regular mechanics and turns.
1 Moonlighter – A Mix Of Dungeon Delving And Small Business Ownership
Moonlighter is a criminally underrated roguelike where you play as Will, an adventurer/merchant with big aspirations. Wshile a simple dungeon crawler with Moonlighter’s mechanics could absolutely work, the developers put so much more into the game.
As Will, you also get to run a shop, in which you can sell items you’ve looted during your adventures. The town is very lively and will evolve throughout your playthrough. The economics are also quite intricate, and will take into account supply, demand and oversaturation of the market. Moonlighter may not be the best in a single area, but it’s great in all aspects for sure.
Next: The Best Roguelike Shooters