Roguelikes have been steadily growing in popularity over the last decade. The replay value that comes with this genre, combined with the overall meta progression that each run encompasses, is really fun and rewarding. Roguelikes have also seeped into other genres, be they bullet shooters, deck-building, or puzzle games.
While each roguelike has something to offer, some have certainly made a bigger impact in the gaming sphere. All these roguelikes on Steam are sure to keep you playing for hours and still make you feel like the game is new and fresh.
10 The Binding Of Isaac — Unbelievable if you can digest it
The Binding Of Isaac, and especially its new version Rebirth, are extremely influential games in the roguelike sphere. First released in 2011 as a Flash game, The Binding Of Isaac is one of the oldest games on this list. However, with endless patches, remakes, remixes, and DLC, it still feels brand new.
While the art style, visual language, and content implications may be disturbing to some, the synergies between items and gameplay are truly seamless. If you can handle the visuals, you’re sure to give Isaac a try.
9 Slay The Spire: A Sleek, Smooth Deck Builder
Slay The Spire is an extremely polished game. This deck builder is presented as nothing more than what it is, and it is all that is needed.
With multiple characters, all with unique gameplay loops, and tons of relics to spice up any run, the game is endlessly replayable. Add to that the intricate ways you can tweak your deck and the difficulty boosts you can impose in the Ascension game mode, and the game is sure to keep you entertained for a long time to come.
8 Enter The Gungeon: One of the best designed bullet hells
Enter the Gungeon is all about the theme. You are thrown into a dungeon and must use weapons against weapon-themed enemies to kill your past. Yeah… The attention to detail in this game is just amazing, with the enemy skins, items, weapons and visuals all in keeping with the theme.
Additionally, the gunplay and smooth gameplay loop are among the best in the business. You’ll truly feel like an action star, sliding on tables, dodging bullets, and raining hell on enemies. Unique item synergies and alternate paths add to what is already a pretty flawless game.
7 FTL: Faster Than Light — Micromanage a spaceship and try to survive
Also one of the oldest entries on the list, FTL: Faster Than Light is truly a classic at this point. First released in 2012, this game allows you to captain and micromanage a ship escaping from an enemy galactic faction. You can choose which systems to monitor, which to update, and which to drop during a run.
With some scattered text-based encounters and unique enemies to fight, Faster Than Light is sure to immerse you in this galaxy-spanning conflict. Simple visual language and intuitive controls help make this game a classic roguelike.
6 Rogue Legacy 1&2 — Creating a Royal Legacy with Every Run
Rogue Legacy takes the roguelite format and does something very creative with it. In this game, you are the genetic successor to your last character from your last run. It really is about legacy.
With each generation you will see flaws, unique properties and other surprises in your character, making each run completely unique. The overall dungeon progression and fun gameplay loop make this game a must have.
5 Hades – Stunning visuals with smooth gameplay
Hades is a more recent roguelike, but it’s already earned a place on the Mount Rushmore of roguelikes. He first came into the spotlight due to his amazingly designed anime-style character models. Seeing members of the Greek pantheon as badass anime leads was fun, but that’s not all there is to Hades.
The game feels extremely smooth and works very well, despite the sometimes exhausting difficulty. The upgrades you get from other deities and the option to choose a weapon before each run make every attempt to win the game feel really special. Hades will surely be remembered as one of the greats, for a long time.
4 Spelunky 1&2 — Classics with hidden secrets and exploration
Spelunky is another example of doing what you’re supposed to do almost perfectly, like Enter the Gungeon. Spelunky offers an excellent gameplay loop, tons of secrets to discover, and a solid sense of flow that keeps it up there with other classics.
The theme of an adventurer’s expedition to explore ruins, similar to Indiana Jones, also helps add to the game’s charm. You can’t go wrong with either the original or the sequel.
3 Darkest Dungeon 1 and 2: Gloomy but intriguing
In Darkest Dungeon, you lead a group of flawed adventurers who are 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. What both games excel at, though, is atmosphere.
Part of the unique fun of playing Darkest Dungeon is trying to manage the psyche and composure of your characters, which creates a sense of tension and high stakes from start to finish.
two Risk Of Rain 1&2 — Great games in both 2D and 3D
This is once again an entry that covers two quite different games. Both Risk of Rain 2 and its predecessor are quite different from one another, with the sequel even jumping into 3D. While both games are packed with fun items, weapons, and characters, one thing that Risk of Rain does to make itself special is equating time with difficulty.
The longer you take to run, the more difficult the game becomes, so there’s a real incentive not to waste too much time. Online co-op is also very well implemented and will be a great time with the right group.
Inscryption is a unique game on this list. While it’s a more recent release than the others included here, it has made an impact like few other indie games. The creepy feel of the game instantly immerses you in what is happening.
While the aesthetic of the game may imply a deck-building roguelike, that goes away once your cards start talking to you and you start exploring the area in which the card game takes place. It’s such a unique yet well-designed game, and surely worth your time.
Next: The Best Roguelike Shooters