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Top 10 Roguelike or Roguelite Games

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Apr 15, 2021• Proven solutions

Although roguelikes aren't very gameplay intense or the prettiest games, this genre has never faded away since it was invented, and we have seen a lot of titles that became fan favorites in no time. It is true that these games are not very graphically intense and can't compete for the AAA titles, but it won't be fair to compare them with those heavy and graphics-intensive games. Played repeatedly, these games continue to keep players interested even after they are released for years. But who cares that much if you're just looking for some good rogue game to play.

What is a roguelike game? What is a roguelite game?

Gamers have been debating whether roguelikes are different from roguelites for years.  If you study them in general, you will find that both roguelikes and roguelites are the RPGs subgenres. In general, roguelikes and roguelites place more emphasis on death than other kinds of video games do.

You might have a question in your mind that what is a roguelike game? It is a convoluted category of games, but it had a clear beginning. It all started with an early dungeon crawling game, "Rogue" in 1980. At that time, computers were very limited in their speed and memory capabilities.

You have to give credit to the computer programmers because instead of taking the low memory capacity of computers as a limitation at that time, they developed a game and introduced the concept of "procedural generation to save the memory space." If you have ever played a game that has randomly generated level systems and each time gives you a unique experience, then you have already tried a roguelike game or a  roguelite game.

In roguelikes, players' progress is usually lost if they die, while in roguelites, rewards or progression are usually saved between runs. This is the main difference between roguelikes and roguelites. Although there are many other differences, let's focus on discussing the best roguelike games and roguelite games present today.

Want a more detailed explanation? Check this out: Differences Explained With Game Examples


Best Roguelike or Roguelite Games in 2021 

After careful analysis and in-depth research, we have prepared a list for you in which we will tell you which roguelikes are currently the most favorite in the market these days.

  1. Darkest Dungeon
  2. Downwell
  3. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
  4. Hades
  5. Into the Breach
  6. Slay the Spire
  7. Crypt of the Necrodancer
  8. Dead Cells
  9. The Binding of Isaac
  10. Otherworld legends

We will discuss every game one by one in detail to give you an idea about their gameplay, platforms, and price. So, let's get started without wasting any time.


1.Darkest Dungeon

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS

Price: US$ 24.99.

In Darkest Dungeon, your misery is manifest all around you. The oppressive visuals, brutal difficulty, and extreme bleakness make the game feel so oppressive in the extreme. With its dungeons and scavenger hunts, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, looking for treasure and gold.

darkest-dungeon

It's one thing to defeat each dungeon's horrifying inhabitants in turn-based combat, but your party members should also be more than meat shields. Your expeditions will inevitably take a toll on your body and mind, and this is the main reason that makes Darkest Dungeon so challenging.

Your tactical instincts will be put to the test when it comes to teamwork and resource allocation. This is undoubtedly one of the best roguelikes to be found.

2.Downwell 

Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC, iOS, Android

Price: US$ 2.99.

Only a couple of minutes to complete each run, this roguelike takes us on an adventure on the inside. As you dive deeper into an endless well filled with dangerous creatures, you are only protected by a pair of deadly gumboots that kill enemies, slowing down your fall for a moment.

downwell

Don't let its retro look fool you. This 2015 title is fast and intense, with a good amount of power-ups that boost your survivability. It is immediately enjoyable with its fast-paced downward action, but gaining mastery of its combat is no simple feat. Downwell is one of the best roguelikes out there, despite its intense difficulty. Its concise levels, satisfying combo system, and creative boss are among the roguelikes' best features.

3. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Platforms: Android, Web browser

Price: Free To Play

The successor to the 1997's roguelike Liney's Dungeon Crawl, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is another best roguelike game. Although there is a considerable saturation in the roguelike titles these days, we had to include this classic title in the best roguelike games list because it deserves a spot.

dungeon-crawl-stone-soup

Each item, class, spell, and trait in this community-developed game has hundreds of hidden interactions that just heighten your enjoyment every time you play. Each floor increases the game's difficulty, and as you go deeper, it becomes harder to decide whether to fight or flee.

4. Hades

Platforms:  Nintendo Switch, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems

Price: US$ 8.49.

Hades is a masterpiece when it comes to dungeon crawling and roguelike games. Your character is Hades' son, Zagreus, trying to escape from the Underworld and make his way to Mount Olympus. Hades' cyclical narrative is presented through its procedural runs and a compelling story and evocative cast of characters.

hades

Many blessings have been given to you by the gods of Olympus, but your quest is not an easy one. A game like this will enthrall you and entice you to keep playing until you get some better stuff for your characters. After each failure, you are resurrected in your own house, the House of Hades, where your friends and family await your following conversation. It is one of the best roguelike titles out there.  

5. Into the Breach

Platforms: Switch, PC

Price: US$ 6.99

This is the second title developed and published by Subset Games. Their first title was  FTL: Faster Than Light in 2012. FTL could have taken this spot, but Into the Breach's design and hidden depth make it stand out among the competition. It's a game of turn-based tactics where your team is faced with an army of monsters known as the Vek.

into-the-breach

There's only one way to hold off their attack, and that is to enlist some giant mechs. But you'll have to agonize over every decision if you intend to keep your team intact. The more you progress through the game's islands, the more advanced equipment you'll find, so you can turn the tide of war and save humankind.

This is one of the most accessible strategy games out there, and its straightforward combat won't offend novices, but you should expect something more challenging, though rewarding, from Into the Breach.

6. Slay the Spire

Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC

Price: US$ 8.49.

It foregoes combat mechanics solely in favor of strategy and premonition in a deck-building roguelike. You have no choice but to battle your way up the tower, which is also home to many monsters.  This is an ideal entry point to the single-player card battler genre as it does away with the pre-battle faff. It's also a surprising roguelike that blends options from your adventures to create an instantaneous action experience.

slay-the-spire

The game, released in 2017, has gained massive audience recognition thanks to its 10/10 Steam rating and over 60,00 reviews despite its simplistic art and simplistic interface. It is considered the best deck-builder roguelike in the market, so if you haven't tried it already, you miss out a lot.

7. Crypt of the Necrodancer

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Classic Mac OS, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One

Price: US$ 14.99.

This rhythm-based roguelike game hits a sweet spot combining two niche genres. This game was released in 2015, featuring catchy soundtracks and groovy boss fights — a distinct title for gamers looking for a new challenge. While you're running out of time before your next move, Crypt of the Necrodancer will have you tapping your foot and dripping with sweat as you keep ongoing.

This game deviates from roguelike conventions, forcing players to arrive at snappy judgments quickly. While quick decision-making and foresight are required in the genre, the escalating rhythm forces players to maintain a higher tempo to maintain a strong combo, and all you know is, you can't lose the combo. If you haven't tried this game yet, then it's worth your time and money.

8. Dead Cells

Platforms: Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android

Price: US$ 8.49.

Dead Cells is a 2D and Souls-inspired roguelike game. You revolve around procedurally generated dungeon exploration in search of blueprints for better gear. The dungeon hosts a multitude of tough-as-nails enemies, which make finding these schematics no easy task.

deadcells-poster

Various upgrades can be carried over between runs, generating a constant sense of progression. Because of this, starting a new run after a particularly messy boss fight doesn't sting quite as much as many other roguelike games might be. There are many different weapon types and perks to unlock in Dead Cells, making it more replayable and keeps it from being monotonous.

9. The Binding of Isaac

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, 3DS, iOS

Price: US$ 2.99.

An indie roguelike developed by Super Meat Boy creator Edmund McMillen, The Binding of Isaac is an action-packed adventure game. With its action-adventure elements fused with shooters, the game is an outright sick action-adventure with an acquired taste that has become cult.

binding-of-issac

In addition to some captivating gameplay, the game contains some compelling storytelling, with Biblical references providing a nice hint of lore. Although decisions are essential in roguelikes, you may also need to be quick with your reaction times with some bullet hell-style bosses.

10. Otherworld Legends

Platforms: Android, iOS

Price: Free

Otherworld Legends is a mystery roguelite where you explore a mysterious and dangerous realm while discovering the mystery hidden within it. This requires equal measures of skill and perseverance.

the-other-world-legends

As you journey through various dungeon rooms in this game, you defeat all enemies you encounter. This is similar to the binding of Isaac series of games and Elemental Dungeon. Some relics are also found or bought from time to time. These items give you powerful advantages in combat, which can be the difference between victory and defeat.

The main character of this game is Quan Huying, but there are several other characters you can choose from. You need to buy additional characters, though. They differ in cost, and some are $1.99 while others can be upwards of $2.99. It's not expensive for me, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily ideal.

The Otherworld Legends game is incredibly entertaining to play with beautiful graphics, and enjoyable setting, and a cast of interesting characters. If you're looking for entertaining games to pass the time, the Otherworld Legends games are an excellent choice.

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Ollie Mattison
Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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