The exact definition of Best roguelike games is still a point of debate within the video gaming community and the term has become muddied and more confusing over time. So, the core points in any roguelike game are that- the game has practically generated levels and your character faces permadeath forcibly.
Permadeath means that every time you die in the game, you have to start afresh from a predetermined starting point. According to Wikipedia, rogue games are essentially subgenera of role-playing video games. They include dungeon crawl, turn-based gameplay, etc. where the permanent death of players occurs.
What is the Best Roguelike Game? 15 Best Games of All Time
They are also mostly on the basis of some high fantasy narrative which shows their origin usually inspires from some traditional game like the tabletop “dungeons and dragons”. This genre has originated from the 1980 play “Rogue” (also called Rogue: Exploring the dungeons of doom), developed by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman, hence the name.
1. The Binding of Isaac: After Birth(2011)
This game is said to be the best roguelike game in the market. It is by Edmund McMillan and released in 2011 for Windows, Mac and Linux. This is on the bases of the biblical story of Issac and Abraham. It has received widespread critical acclaim thanks to its unconventional graphics.
The game begins with Isaac’s mother locking him in the basement to sacrifice him as per god’s orders and progresses with Isaac’s escape adventure. You can play the game multiple times and still discover something new every time. It’s a good brain exercise.
2. Crypt of NecroDancer(2015)
This game released in 2015 and developed by Brace yourself games, promises mechanics that will rock your world. Then lead here is Candence, daughter of a famous treasure hunter who is intent on finding her missing father. After fending off many attacks, she reaches a sizeable underground dungeon only for her heart to be stolen by the NecroDancer!
To be alive and keep moving forward, she has to cross the dungeon while driving to the rhythm of her heartbeat. Failing is accessible in this game as one tries to match movement with beats. And that makes this all the more addictive!
Supergiant games created it. The game’s lead is Zagreus, a British teenager with an attitude problem and the son of Hades. His life’s mission is to escape hell and his father.
So, players meet and need to defeat countless demons that try to kill them on Hade’s orders. They do with little regenerative ability. Hades’s fast-paced animations and comics like graphics are sure to give you an adrenaline spike.
4. Darkest dungeon(2016)
This game was developed by Red hook studios in 2016 and is a surging adrenaline game where the player has to cleanse the dungeon of evil while managing a team. It is a challenging, gothic, roguelike role-playing game that was developed by Red hook studios in 2016.
It is one of the most nerve-wracking roguelike games that can make you come to your wit’s end. Besides, The psychological stress of building and leading a team of non-perfect fighters against horrible famines, unimaginable horrors and ever- engulfing darkness. There is a threat of imminent death at every turn, a rising sense of hopelessness among the crewmates and continually depleting energy sources. Play only if you dare!
5. Children of Morta(2019)
It was developed by 11 Bit Studio in 2019 and packed a fantastic storyline into a modern-day video game. In the game, you are one of the members of the Bergson family- the custodian guardians of Mount Morta.
Your job is to end the corruption in the mountain, which is leading it to its perish. Initially, you enter the game as either John or his daughter Linda. Still, as the game progresses and you clear its different levels, you can unlock four more members in the family.
6. Wizard of Legend(2018)
This game is by American studio contigent99 and Humble Bundle for various platforms worldwide. It is an action-packed game that focuses on the precision of movements and smart combination of spells which you acquire as the game progresses.
In the game, you have to finish the Chaos Trials, which is a 10- level procedurally generated dungeon which gets more challenging as they go. So, One has to rely on various spells that they have acquired to navigate and survive every step. In the end, you need to challenge and eliminate the four elemental bosses to become the Wizard Of Legend.
7. Dungeons of dredmor(2011)
It is said to be one of the most challenging roguelike games available. It is by Gaslamp and released in 2011 for Windows, Mac and Linux. Players descend into a steep dungeon and have to overcome numerous obstacles- invisible traps, monsters in halls etc.
To conclude, you reach the final chamber where you have to destroy Lord Dredmor to free the realm from his gruesome tyranny. It fills with many nasty surprises, and only the strongest shall triumph.
8. Dungeon crawl stone soup(2006)
It was developed in 2006 by DCSS Devteam as a single-player roguelike a videogame. It is continuously revised, the latest upgrade being done on June 12th, 2021.
The players have to survive a gruesome dungeon filled with monsters and traps to retrieve the “orb of zot”. To do so, players need 3 of the 15 “runes of zot” which are present at various dungeon branches in the strategic locations.
This game is by pirate rob in 2019 under the genre of action and roguelike. Besides, It is a simple game with no fancy graphics or deep storyline. In the game, you have to keep moving forward through the various levels, and if you die it’s back from the starting point again. So, Players get to choose from a list of 30 different races, species, and classes; each having their own unique set of abilities.
10. Risk of rain 2(2019)
It is a 3rd generation roguelike is by Hopoo games and launched in 2019 as a sequel to the risk of rain (2013). So, Players have the control of a lone survivor stranded on an alien planet. Besides, He has to navigate across various environments and kill monsters to survive and increase his capabilities.
He also needs to locate and capture various caskets that enhance his power. So, With each level, the game’s difficulty increases and you have to fend off more dangerous monsters.
11. Into the breach(2018)
Subset games developed this as a single-player, turn-based strategy game. However, The game is set in the future with humans fighting off an army of giant monsters called the ‘vex’. In the game, players have to coordinate the actions of their team in response to enemy moves.
Their objective is to protect three different mechs against the vex. To conclude, The gameplay is very similar to chess as it is mostly about maintaining position control and sacrificing units for a more mass effect.
12. Slay the spire(2017)
This game is by American studio megacrit and is a roguelike single-player deck-building game. In the game, the player tries to climb a spire of multiple floors via 1 of the four characters.
In addition, they have to collect enough cards by defeating monsters or other means to build a deck. This game has led to the building of other roguelike deck-building games. It the best possible outcome after you fuse card games and roguelike games- the best single-player deck builder.
13. Wrack: exoverse(2013)
It is an incredibly exciting game offering stunning graphics along with the first-person shooter, tower defense, and roguelike game mechanics all in one single experience. But, The player has to quickly construct maze-like defenses to prevent incoming enemies from reaching their beacon.
After the maze is in place, the view changes from the top-down perspective to the first person. So, Your job is to hold off enemies using different weapons. After emerging from the other side, you get money which you use to upgrade your character.
14. Neon abyss
This game is by Veewo games and was out in 2021 as a roguelike platform game. The game is unleashing of hell because it features one of the unique dungeon evolution systems ever! So, Every single one of your choices alters the ruleset, which means that every dungeon is different and unique.
But, As the lead navigates through the dungeon, random items will act as keys to help the process. The availability of such a wide variety of combinations makes sure every single run is unique. There is also the option to take a break in between by playing various mini-games offered.
15. Skul: the Hero Slayer(2021)
It is by Southpaw games and released for Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2021. Likewise, This game comes from the viral roguelike game dead cell. In the game, the collector, the games’ main character is in a quest to save the demon king- his majesty from the attack of humans.
If all the games above confuse you and cannot decide which one to start with, we recommend you to try Neon Abyss. It is recent, has good graphics, and is faster to learn from. It comes from another roguelike game dead cell.
However, if you are an experienced gamer, looking for a challenge and a storyline that keeps you addicted- the binding of Isaac: afterbirth is the one for you. So, The game is in the news for its similarity to the bible and even contains biblical monsters. It is a roguelike game on YouTube with most reviews and plays, many professional gamers struggling to reach the end.
Is Rogue Shutting Down?
Not precisely, Rogue Company faced a server error recently but has managed to avert the crisis for the time being. However, the developers had stated that there is going to be a forthcoming update about the game’s long term future.
Eleggible’s Final Words
Roguelike games have been in the community for decades, and developers add new upgrades to keep the players curious and engaged. In most of them, the game starts simple but gets progressively more challenging with each stage and with no checkpoint.
Though restarting from the beginning might sound frustrating, it’s not, because it lets the players continue their strategies and upgrade them. As players demand fresher content and more adrenaline spikes, roguelike games slowly but undoubtedly gaining more popularity among the recent generation of gamers.
It is evident by the multiple releases every year. In conclusion, The games mentioned above are the top 15 best roguelike games that will keep you focused on the storyline and always returning for more.