Roguelite games, which have blockbusters like Hades and Monster Train, are growing exponentially as the genre evolves. At present, there are more than hundreds of these titles available for purchase on Steam. If a gamer is a newbie to the genre, it can be challenging to select from such a massive list. Fortunately, several famous roguelite games are worth checking out (pun intended).
The key aspect of building a decent roguelite game is creating a universe that keeps people engaged in playing repeatedly. The best ones make each run fresh by launching novel products and challenges.
We have compiled a list of the best roguelites with well-designed procedurally-generated landscapes, engaging gameplay, and, occasionally, a fascinating plot. So, let’s venture in!
What Are Roguelite Games?
Before we describe what Roguelites are, we need to understand what Rougelike is.
Roguelikes are the best way of retaining the traditional dungeon-crawling era. Their distinguishing feature is brief runs and the taut grasp of imminent death until the player reaches the finish line.
Roguelites, as the name indicates, deviate from other basic roguelike features, such as those seen in the original Rogue (1980). It provides chances and flexibility that no other game genre can offer from the beginning. Yet, the distinction is only sometimes obvious.
The most widely recognized viewpoint is that roguelites avoid harsh roguelike gameplay traits. Roguelites may not have permadeath. They can also have meta-progression, in which the player gains strength over time.
In addition to pure randomness, roguelites can involve predefined occurrences or an established sequence that narrows the possible field. Whether a game follows or deviates from hardlines about what a rogue game is- is frequently the difference between roguelite and roguelike. Most roguelite games have some persistent, out-of-run progress, making it the most obvious marker!
As there are so many great roguelite and roguelike games to select from, we’ve compiled a list to help you pick your new favorite.
You will find a good mix of classics and newbies among our recommendations, and considering that developers continue to marry the genre with new audiences to create creative hybrids, you can expect to see some of the finest PC games in several genres.
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is an entirely authentic version of the open-source PC game of the same name, a 2013 release that forked out of an abandoned 2010 roguelike named Cataclysm.
It’s an open-world, post-apocalyptic roguelite that’s essentially Angband meets Fallout. You build your character down to the smallest detail before being thrown into an abandoned shelter in the heart of town with nothing but the clothing on your back and a knife in your pocket.
There is no bigger aim in the game than survival, which will be quite tough at first. It’s something you could immerse yourself in for months, if not years, and it’s completely free.
Developer – CleverRaven
Publisher – KorGgenT
Release Date – March 31, 2023
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
Caves of Qud
Caves of Qud is an old-school roguelike RPG with randomly generated material and, most notably, perma-death. It is a difficult game in which you will die as you learn to play. However, suppose you are willing to attempt again and again and utilize your experiences to enhance your gameplay, master the key bonds, and experiment with other character concepts.
In that case, the game becomes increasingly wonderful as you go. The setting is unique and rich. The vintage aesthetic is enjoyable and well-executed, and the soundtrack is excellent. This game is intended for fans of old-school-type games who want to play in a rich setting and aren’t frightened of a challenge!
Developer – Freehold Games
Publisher – Kitfox Games
Release Date – July 15, 2015
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
This rhythm-based roguelike game finds a happy medium by mixing two distinct genres. This 2015 release featured appealing songs and lively boss fights – a distinct title for players searching for a new challenge. Crypt of the Necrodancer will have you tapping your foot and pouring with sweat as you run out of time before your next move.
This game deviates from roguelike traditions by requiring players to make crisp decisions rapidly. While rapid decision-making and foresight are essential in the genre, the growing beat drives players to keep a greater pace to sustain a good combination, and all you know is that you can’t lose the combo. Apart from being one of the best roguelite games, it’s also one of the best rhythm games available today, especially if you’re into that particular genre!
Developer – Brace Yourself Games
Publisher – Blitworks
Release Date – April 23, 2015
Your misery is all around you in the Darkest Dungeon. The miserable sights, deadly difficulty, and extreme bleakness make the game seem oppressive. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with its dungeons and scavenger hunts searching for treasure and riches.
It’s one thing to battle each dungeon’s terrifying occupants in turn-based combat, but your party members should be more than just meat shields. Your adventures will undoubtedly take a toll on your body and psyche, making Darkest Dungeon difficult.
|Darkest Dungeon: Ancestral Edition – PlayStation 4||$28.15||Buy on Amazon|
When it comes to collaboration and allocation of resources, your tactical instincts will be tested. It is unquestionably one of the greatest roguelites, and one of the best RPG horror games out there!
Developer – Merge Games
Publisher – Red Hook Studios
Release Date – February 11, 2018
FTL: Faster Than Light
Is it fair to argue that FTL was one of the first games that made people sit up and take note of the indie sphere? While its RNG-heavy nature may drive some impeccably, it is a significant part of what has motivated so many people to return to FTL repeatedly.
They could express and implement proper things this time, or they will avoid stumbling into a microchip on steroids that uncovers all their efforts. If you need proof of how addicting FTL is, consider that it is still averaging 1000 players per day eleven years after its launch and with no updates in a long time.
Developer – Subset Games
Publisher – Subset Games
Release Date – September 14, 2012
➡️ Check it out on Steam.
Risk of Rain 2
Hopoo could have easily released another 2D Risk of Rain with a few new opponents and weapons, put a 2 on the box, and called it a day. Risk of Rain 2 is as far apart from its predecessor as Metal Gear Solid was from Metal Gear 2.
Travel to a dozen distinct locales, either alone or with pals, and essentially fire everything up in sight, gathering stuff and hoping to the gods that you’ll be able to scale with the adversaries as they become stronger and stronger.
Risk of Rain 2 is one of the finest indie sequels ever produced, with selectable characters that modify the way you play and various weapons, gear, and modifiers to unlock. It’s also an incredibly diabolical ride that will put you in danger of high blood pressure.
Developer – Hopoo Games
Publisher – Gearbox Publishing
Release Date – March 28, 2019
When it involves dungeon crawling and roguelite games, Hades is a masterpiece. Your character, Hades’ son Zagreus, is trying to escape the Underworld and reach Mount Olympus. The cyclical narrative of Hades is portrayed through procedural runs, a gripping plot, and a dynamic cast of characters.
The gods of Olympus have bestowed many benefits upon you, but your mission will be complex. A game like this will captivate you and tempt you to continue playing until you obtain better items for your characters. You are revived in your own house, the House of Hades, after each failure, where your friends and family await your next talk. It is one of the greatest roguelite games around.
Developer – Supergiant Games
Publisher – Supergiant Games
Release Date – December 6, 2018
Into the Breach
It is Subset Games’ second title. FTL: Faster Than Light was their debut release in 2012. FTL might have claimed this slot, but the design and hidden depth of Into the Breach set it apart from the competitors. It’s a turn-based strategy game in which your squad must battle an army of monsters known as the Vek.
There’s only one way to stop them: recruit some massive mechs. But, if you want to keep your team together, you’ll have to agonize over every move. As you move across the game’s islands, you’ll discover more modern equipment that will allow you to shift the tide of battle and save humanity.
It is one of the most basic strategy games available, and its easy gameplay will not upset newcomers, but you can expect something more tough but rewarding from Into the Breach.
Developer – Subset Games
Publisher – Subset Games
Release Date – February 27, 2018
Dead Cells is a 2D roguelike inspired by Souls. You explore procedurally generated dungeons in search of blueprints for better gear. The dungeon is filled with tough-as-nails opponents, making it difficult to uncover these schematics.
|Dead Cells – Action Game of The Year – Nintendo Switch||$27.98||Buy on Amazon|
Upgrades can be carried over from run to run, creating a continual sense of growth. As a result, restarting a run after a particularly sloppy boss fight doesn’t sting as much as it could in other roguelike games. Dead Cells has various weapon types and bonuses to obtain, making it more replayable and less repetitive.
Developer – Motion Twin
Publisher – Motion Twin
Release Date – August 7, 2018
Gunfire Reborn is a sleek FPS game with RPG and roguelite features created by Duoyi Games. The game can be played alone or with up to three additional people and features a range of distinct characters. Each death encourages you to try out a different hero and loadout, guaranteeing that no two playthroughs are the same.
Developer – Duoyi Games
Publisher – Duoyi Games
Release Date – November 18, 2021
Mastering Roguelite Gameplay – What Players Need?
Roguelites are only for some. People who can tolerate them, let alone appreciate them, are those who are willing to. Even after hundreds of runs and hours of lost progress, they hit play to begin again. The genre has dominated the independent games market for the past decade, catering to a group of players who no longer get the excitement of a challenge that most triple-A creators avoid.
The danger of permadeath and the unpredictable nature of RNG sometimes drove away gamers in hack-and-slashers, bullet hells, space combat simulations, and even card-based combat. However, more than the challenge should be needed to put off an average gamer. The player’s attitude to the game can turn an agonizing cycle of death and failure into an entertaining challenge.
For succeeding in a game, it is vital to recognize the game’s broader structure rather than addressing it room by room. Each run is more about growing sufficiently powerful to stand a fighting chance than reaching the final boss or level.
It’s all about resource management: keep your health up, increase your damage output, make wise room selections, and take appropriate risks. If losing progress every time seems undesirable, consider a more forgiving roguelite to ease into the genre!
Although roguelikes or roguelites aren’t the most visually appealing or gameplay-intensive games, the genre has remained popular since its inception, and several titles have quickly become fan favorites.
True, these games aren’t particularly graphically demanding and can’t compete with AAA titles, but comparing them to such hefty and graphics-intensive games isn’t fair. When played often, these games keep players engaged even after they have been out for years. But who cares if you’re searching for a fun rogue game? So, make the best of this list and have hours of fun!
If you want to play more games like these and own a PS4 console, you’re in luck. Check out our list of the best indie games on PS4 that will provide you with amazing experiences!