Best Roguelikes & Roguelites in 2021

Best Rougelikes List

Are you looking for the best roguelikes and roguelites to play in 2021? We’ve got a list below that has a little bit of everything so everyone has something to enjoy. For those that don’t know what a roguelike is, it’s a usually game inspired by Rogue made in 1980. Roguelikes may have procedurally generated maps, turn-based movement, permanent death, and high difficulty to play. While roguelites often have some form of progression like upgrades to make the challenge easier.

This list of roguelikes and roguelites is in no particular order and will be updated over time. Prices are based on PC. Be sure to let us know in the comments below what your favorite is and if we should add any to the list.

Spelunky

Spelunky Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date August 8, 2013
Developer Mossmouth
Price $14.99
Platforms PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita

Spelunky is an extremely enjoyable roguelite that you’ll find yourself consistently frustrated with. Learning all the little tricks and ways the developer has snuck in that you’ll die is the biggest reward. It’s a good thing you can get right back into the action quickly after dying, because the replay value is significant in Spelunky. And once you’re ready for more, you can jump into the sequel that recently released, Spelunky 2 here. But if you want to start with the original, you can find Spelunky on Steam here and a variety of other platforms too.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date August 6, 2018
Developer Motion Twin
Price $24.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Dead Cells is a roguelite metroidvania with a beautiful universe. This is another great multi-platform game worth picking up. It’s a 2D action-platformer where the combat feels smooth once everything starts to click. Dodging through enemies, slicing at their back, tossing grenades, and slamming down on enemies below you. With over 90 weapons and skills on release, Dead Cells is loaded with content for creating strong builds.

Similar to a few roguelites mentioned in this list, Dead Cells has a form of meta progression that benefits players struggling. While not every upgrade gives you a starting advantage, having an extra health potion is definitely useful. Check out Dead Cells on Steam here.

Noita

Noita Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date October 15, 2020
Developer Nolla Games
Price $19.99
Platforms PC

Noita is an excellent roguelite that’s carved its own niche in the roguelike genre with a unique emphasis on physics. Explore deep beneath the surface through a system of caves while using spells to stay alive. With randomly generated levels, your experience is constantly new and exciting as a roguelite should be. Noita nails the terrifying fear of reaching a new area and having no idea how each enemy works. Prepare for a thrill while learning neat tricks to manipulate the different liquids and chemicals throughout this world. Check out Noita on Steam here.

Hades

Hades Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date September 17, 2020
Developer Supergiant Games
Price $24.99
Platforms PC, Nintendo Switch

Hades is a roguelite that centers around fast-paced action and greek mythology. As someone who hasn’t played it, I can’t say too much. But I’ll let the overwhelmingly positive 60,000 reviews on Steam speak for themselves. The developer explains it as a dungeon crawler with larger-than-life characters and a strong emphasis on replay value. While Hades became available early on the Epic Games Store first, it hit full release on Steam in September 2020.

Gunfire Reborn

Gunfire Reborn Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date May 22, 2020 (Steam Early Access)
Developer Duoyi (Hong Kong) Interactive Entertainment Limited
Price $11.99
Platforms PC

Gunfire Reborn is an FPS roguelite which isn’t a common find in this genre. There are so many different elements of Gunfire Reborn that already make it a great early access game on Steam. You can play it with up to four people total, there are unique characters, tough bosses, and major potential for creating your own buildings. While it still has the randomness and procedural generation of the roguelike genre, creating powerful builds is extremely satisfying. Don’t sleep on a great roguelite that’s also cheap.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Roguelike

Release Date November 4, 2014
Developer Nicalis, Inc.
Price $14.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, New Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, iOS

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the sequel to the original back in 2011. If you’ve ever played a Binding of Isaac game or seen it, you know it has an extremely strange vibe. Take control of a child facing all sorts of horrors and nightmares in his basement, while trying to not be sacrificed by his mother. Every Binding of Isaac game continues to be a pleasure with its uniquely gross bosses, randomness, and replay value. I put more time into Rebirth than I’d like to admit when I used to stream on Twitch full-time. Check it out on Steam here and if you’re looking for more content, the DLC Repentance is on the way.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date January 23, 2019
Developer Mega Crit Games
Price $24.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Slay the Spire is a great example of how well the roguelite genre can work with card game mechanics. As someone who rarely if ever plays card games, I loved the heck out of Slay the Spire, because it’s still easy to pick up. You can appreciate the deck building alongside unique characters that change up each run. And by far, it’s definitely a tough roguelite that takes some time to learn the tricks as any roguelike does. Check it out Slay the Spire on Steam here.

FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL Faster Than Light Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date September 14, 2012
Developer Subset Games
Price $9.99
Platforms PC, iOS

FTL: Faster Than Light is a phenomenal roguelite that takes place in space. Every combat scenario in FTL is exhilarating whether it’s a ship battle or people ambushing their way onto your ship. The amount of strategy that goes into deciding which parts of your ship are vital and controlling oxygen adds to the experience. It’s impossible to describe how in-depth the tactical side of FTL is. Sometimes you’ll want to open your ship doors to extinguish a fire or drain oxygen from a room where an enemy is. Or deciding what part of an enemy ship to destroy such as their oxygen, weapons, shields, or engines to prevent them from warping.

There’s a significant amount of replay value in FTL as you unlock new ships and simply make it further learning more about the game. FTL’s roguelike features include permadeath, randomly generated maps, no meta progression, and a tough experience with difficulty settings. And as a side note, it has a wonderful soundtrack by composer Ben Prunty. Check out FTL on Steam here.

Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date June 27, 2013
Developer Cellar Door Games
Price $14.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, iOS

Rogue Legacy is one of my favorite examples when explaining meta progression in roguelite games. I like to think Rogue Legacy set a good trend for making roguelikes more accessible to a wider audience by giving you a chance to get better each run. Despite roguelikes relying on knowledge and skill, Rogue Legacy gives you a chance to up your attack or health for example. This makes it more accessible and still enjoyable as a silly game with all sorts of diseases and handicaps. You might be colorblind, dyslexic, have irritable bowel syndrome, and more.

If you’re looking for something more up to date, Rogue Legacy 2 is currently on Steam Early Access as of August 18, 2020. Otherwise, check out Rogue Legacy on Steam here.

Nuclear Throne

Nuclear Throne Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date December 5, 2015
Developer Vlambeer
Price $11.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita,

Nuclear Throne is a fast-paced roguelite from one of my favorite indie developers, Vlambeer. Aside from loving the action and secrets lurking, I can’t get over the soundtrack. This is a game I’d convince you to buy for the soundtrack alone. That aside, Nuclear Throne is a post-apocalyptic top-down shooter with 15 different characters that each have their own unique playstyle. My favorite character is the Chicken that comes back to life after death if they find health while running around headless. Roguelike features in Nuclear Throne include permadeath, randomly generated maps, no meta progression, and per usual, a high but satisfying challenge.

Despite Vlambeer shutting down in September 2020, they’re easily still a great developer worth supporting. Check out Nuclear Throne on Steam here.

Risk of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2 Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date August 11, 2020
Developer Hopoo Games
Price $24.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Risk of Rain 2 is an excellent sequel where the developer transitioned from 2D graphics to a completely 3D world. It may have seemed like an odd move at first, but they completely nailed the feel of the original while building on top of it. Risk of Rain has always had an interesting way of handling their difficulty by making it become more challenging over time. It doesn’t matter if you have a great build or spent an hour in the first zone, the difficulty will catch up to you with time.

Similar to other roguelikes/lites, as you hone your skills learning the game, you get quicker and better at knowing what to do. This is especially important in the case of Risk of Rain 2 where you’re fighting the clock and looking for a shrine to teleport to the next area. But there’s always a challenge waiting at each shrine with a boss teleporting in. Risk of Rain 2 is a great action game and roguelite worth playing with friends regardless of your platform. Check it out on Steam here.

Caves of Qud

Caves of Qud Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date July 15, 2015 (Steam Early Access)
Developer Freehold Games
Price $14.99
Platforms PC

Caves of Qud is a traditional roguelike on Steam Early Access that has one hell of a tough universe. While it may take a little bit to get your bearings, you can easily lose yourself in this universe. As someone with only 20 hours and permadeath on, I recommend playing without it. The Caves of Qud world is so massive that you’re unlikely to ever experience all of it, especially if you’re still learning how the game works and its struggles. As it’s been years since I’ve played, I don’t want to describe it poorly. Here’s the developer’s description:

“Caves of Qud is a science fantasy roguelike epic steeped in retrofuturism, deep simulation, and swathes of sentient plants. Come inhabit an exotic world and chisel through layers of thousand-year-old civilizations. Decide: is it a dying earth, or is it on the verge of rebirth?” Check it out on Steam here.

Streets of Rogue

Streets of Rogue Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date July 12, 2019
Developer Matt Dabrowski
Price $19.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch,

Streets of Rogue is a ridiculous roguelite where every class adds to this silly world. With 35 different classes and an option to create your own, every class has its own specific missions per floor. If you’re a zombie, this may include infecting others. While if you’re a firefighter, there’s an arsonist on the loose setting fires that you need to put out. Streets of Rogue is an excellent roguelite across multiple platforms worth grabbing to play with friends. Check out Streets of Rogue on Steam here.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date January 19, 2016
Developer Red Hook Studios
Price $24.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, iOS

Darkest Dungeon is a gritty roguelike that revolves around a stress mechanic where your adventurers are often on edge. As I have limited experience with Darkest Dungeon, Steam’s 70,000+ reviews are very positive. The developer describes it as a gothic roguelike where the stresses of paranoia, fear, irrationality, and all sorts of other quirks are a problem alongside combat. Roguelike features include turn-based combat, character permadeath, and randomly generated dungeons. Check it out on Steam here.

Neon Abyss

Neon Abyss Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date July 14, 2020
Developer Veewo Games
Price $19.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Neon Abyss is a roguelite platformer bullet hell with silly bosses. This world constantly infuses vibrant colors to create its neon theme. Neon Abyss has a fun little mechanic where you can get eggs that follow you around and over time may hatch into useful pets. For anyone that’s played The Binding of Isaac a good amount, this is another example of a game where you can end up with a massive amount of followers. While they can die in Neon Abyss, it’s still extremely enjoyable to watch a horde of mini pets following you from level to level. Check it out on Steam here. It’s also available on the Xbox Game Pass at the time of publishing this list.

Stoneshard

Stoneshard Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date February 6, 2020 (Steam Early Access)
Developer Ink Stains Games
Price $19.99
Platforms PC

Stoneshard is a challenging roguelike and RPG with a story worth playing. Personally, I love the art style alongside a variety of classes for unique play styles. The fact that this roguelike is turn-based like few others in this list, you really have to plan out your moves and play tactically to survive. I remember playing this back in February and getting destroyed by bandit ambushes where I was significantly outnumbered. Learning how to manipulate your enemies and still win your fights is rewarding.

Check out Stoneshard on Steam Early Access here, and if you do, be sure to use our guide for help.

Jupiter Hell

Jupiter Hell Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date August 1, 2019 (Steam Early Access)
Developer ChaosForge
Price $24.99
Platforms PC

Jupiter Hell is a Doom inspired turn-based shooter from the developer who made DoomRL back in 2002. Make your way through hordes of zombies and demons at whatever pace you like. Speaking from personal experience, the action is just as enjoyable fast-paced as planning your moves too. With three unique classes to pick, there’s a little bit of flexibility in how you play each run. However, the varying paths between different zones allows you to create your own run. This rogue-like features turn-based movement, permadeath, and randomly generated maps. Check out Jupiter Hell on Steam here.

Void Bastards

Void Bastards Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date May 28, 2019
Developer Blue Manchu
Price $29.99
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Void Bastards is an FPS roguelite with a comic book aesthetic throwing onomatopoeias around like kboom and bang. Explore your way through space dealing with all sorts of enemies while scavenging ships for supplies to survive. Your character is one of many endless prisoners that may have their own positive or negative traits making life a little tougher. You might want to cross your fingers you don’t get someone with a smoker’s cough, because it’s a heck of a lot tougher to sneak around. Aside from fighting odd creatures on ships, you’ll need to gather food and fuel to keep on going, similar to FTL in our roguelike list. Check out Void Bastards on Steam here.

Realm of the Mad God Exalt

Realm of the Mad God Exalt Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date June 20, 2011
Developer Wild Shadow Studios, Deca Games
Price Free to Play
Platforms PC

Realm of the Mad God is an interesting roguelite in this list that primarily meets the permadeath and randomly generated maps features. It’s such an interesting concept for a free to play MMORPG combined with permadeath to create a chaotic bullet-hell mass of people. I remember playing Realm of the Mad God years ago and enjoying this massive train of people running along a road killing monsters. People did this in large groups because you’d run quicker along the road and this essentially created a form of power leveling.

With over 15 different classes to unlock and a bunch of simple kill quests, there are a variety of ways to play. Check out Realm of the Mad God Exalt on Steam here.

Dicey Dungeons

Dicey Dungeons Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date August 13, 2019
Developer Terry Cavanagh
Price $14.99
Platforms PC, iOS, Android

Dicey Dungeons is a unique roguelike that revolves around card-based combat, but also dice rolls to use your cards. This leads to consistently interesting runs and even a light story going on in the background. Each of the six characters in Dicey Dungeons has their own playstyle and abilities that deliver a fun experience. Not to mention, progressing the story for each character relies on playing runs with unique rules. This creates a tough challenge while trying to build the best deck without having to completely rely on your luck. Check it out on Steam here.

Rogue

Rogue Screenshot Roguelike

Release Date 1980 originally, October 20, 2020, on Steam
Developer A.I. Design
Price $2.99
Platforms PC

Why not finish off our roguelike list here at Slyther Games with the original Rogue itself? The roguelike/lite genre wouldn’t exist without it being made sometime back in 1980. And somehow, the timing of publishing this list lines right up with Rogue releasing on Steam on October 20, 2020. The developer invites you to explore the Dungeons of Doom in search of the Amulet of Yendor while encountering monsters, traps, and more.

Check it out on Steam here. Also, the store page mentions that this is the Epyx Rogue v1.49 version.

Quick Honorable Mentions

Throwing out a few other great roguelikes/lites that weren’t covered above. I’d kick myself for not mentioning a few that I didn’t have time to write yet.

  • Crypt of the NecroDancer
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • UnderMine
  • Moonlighter
  • Dungeon of the Endless
  • Downwell

Be sure to let us know what your favorite roguelike or roguelite is in the comments below the article. Is there a game that deserves to be on this list?

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments