In roguelike games, players go rogue or go home. Seriously though, roguelikes take lots of stamina – to constantly die, on repeat up until you find the key that breaks the chain. All across procedurally generated dungeons and turn or grid-based combat reminiscent of the arcade era, roguelike games are becoming more popular and tougher than ever before.
The best roguelike games will have you drained at the near point of begging for mercy right before a victorious win comes knocking at your door. And yet returning for another grueling on-repeat death is a no-brainer, as players once again challenge themselves in a seemingly new, fresher way to hype up those boring Saturday nights.
These five best roguelike games in 2022 hold roguelike games in high regard. They are the best roguelike games to play right now. Dig in.
5. Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain was first released in 2013 as a two-dimensional action platformer. The goal? To stay alive for as long as you can, fighting on a mysterious alien planet crawling with monsters and deadly bosses. But it’s the 2019 sequel, Risk of Rain 2, which took the platformer up a notch with a three-dimensional third-person shooter, and more than a dozen locales to explore. At each stage, enemies are deadlier and out for blood. Surviving is winning, whether by yourself or tagging three friends along in online and local co-op multiplayer modes.
Risk of Rain 2 feels so good to play. The combat is as fluid as ever, the gameplay’s loop is oddly satisfying. It’s not as much progressing through levels as stacking up loot and resources along the way. Ultimately, the game is so engaging that you’re almost always on your controller or keypad, fighting off hundreds of monsters. Thankfully, there are plenty of skill sets to unlock and endless amounts of worthwhile gameplay to put in before any ounce of boredom creeps in.
4. The Binding of Isaac
On the flip side, you may want to check out The Binding of Isaac, an indie roguelike with an intense dark story loosely based on Isaac’s biblical story. Isaac flees from his insane mother. Seeking refuge in their basement, he faces vicious monsters in single-player top-down dungeon crawler modes.
While the storyline is pretty dark and intense, there’s immense potential to spend countless hours exploring nine levels, crafting weapons, and preparing for the final boss fight at the end of the game. Keep in mind that dying over and over again comes with the territory. But with practice and patience, you’ll soon get better at craving for that one more loop. Just one more is all you need to defeat enemies and survive Isaac’s psychotic mother.
3. Darkest Dungeons 2
Quite literal in its name, Darkest Dungeons is a gothic, turn-based RPG full of adventure. You can expect hardcore, nightmarish visuals, but beyond its griminess, this game focuses on team building and the psychological stresses of losing your virtual brotherhood.
Tactical gameplay comes in handy. Team planning and resource allocation also help get through the day. Ultimately, we’re here for the brutally intense dungeon crawling experiences, and Darkest Dungeons 2 delivers on its promises.
So if you’re a fan of hellish dungeons and turn-based RPG elements, this game is for you. Here, you’ll find plenty of ways to show off special skills, challenging combat modes made more complex with mental strains like fear and irrationality, and of course, environments lurking with monsters and psychological horrors for the hardcore gamers.
For players looking for modern art styles and roguelike interpretations of the 21st century, you may want to check out Hades. There’s plenty to applaud in this game, from excellent fast-paced combat to action-packed content and great voiceovers; players are in for a wild ride on this one.
Taking place in Greek’s Hades, popularly known as the Underworld, players take on hack and slash combat through procedurally generated floors. With each level, players earn advanced skills and weapons, adding to Hades’ variability and replayability aspects. So much so that coming back to hell feels just right.
Perhaps the best part of the game is the intriguing story that builds up with each step. Ever wanted to escape the underworld against your father’s will? Here, you’ll find thrilling adventures dropping into hell and upgrading combat skills to defeat the lost souls in hell trying to send you back to stage one. Don’t worry if you don’t reach the surface, as you’ll experience a new adventure with each run through the Underworld. Overall, many critics deem Hades a near-flawless game. It’s definitely well worth checking out.
1. Dead Cells
The best of both worlds, get yourself an intense roguelike and Metroidvania experience. In Dead Cells, adrenaline runs high as players fight to stay alive while exploring what seems like endless interconnected levels of a larger, sprawling world.
With 13 uniquely designed levels and four bosses to fight, players must search for blueprints to craft gear and try not to die. If you do, you’re sent back to where you started, and it’s stage 1 once again. It’s thrilling, though, seeing how far you can go, so going back to risk dying again doesn’t seem as crazy as it sounds.
Certainly, the variety available to players takes away any sense of repetitiveness, with each session feeling newly fresh to play. There are over 90 weapons, items, and passives to fight off tons of vicious monsters. Plus, tons of ways to upgrade your skills and strengthen your power, so each gaming session feels different from the last. With beautifully detailed designs and fast, fluid combat mechanics, playing Dead Cells feels gratifying to play and sticks to players’ hearts in the long run.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five best roguelike games in 2022? Which games would you have recommended in our place? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.