If you love Hadesas much as we do, you’ve already probably run through Hell and back again enough times to have seen most of what the game has to offer. This being said, if you’re still looking for some roguelike goodness, we’ve compiled a list of games perfect for scratching that post-Hades itch:
Darkest Dungeon – Red Hook Studios Platforms: Switch, Vita, PS4, PS5 (via Backwards Compatibility), Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X (via Backwards Compatibility), PC, Mac, Linux, iOS Developer: Red Hook Studios
First off there’s Darkest Dungeon which, like Hades, is a dungeon crawler roguelike. Unlike Hades, however, Darkest Dungeon plays like a strategy-RPG so it is vitally important that your 4-person party is well selected and well-equipped. And we mean vitally important quite literally, as this game will wipe a feeble party with great ease. This all being said, despite how difficult it is and how oppressive it may feel at times, at the core of Darkest Dungeon is an infectious gameplay loop that will surely have you obsess about load-outs, classes, party positions and how to best manage resources. Final note: don’t get too discouraged when your favourite heroes perish – rebounding from devastating losses is part of the experience.
Rogue Legacy – Cellar Door Games Platforms: Switch, Vita, PS3, PS4, PS5 (via Backwards Compatibility), Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X via (Backwards Compatibility), PC, Mac, Linux, iOS Developer: Cellar Door Games
If turn-based strategy does not work for you, a great roguelike to try out is the Metroidvania-inspired Rogue Legacy. The main “gimmick” of this title is that all of the playable characters share the same genealogy and, as such, every knight takes after their predecessor in terms of individual quirks (such as Gigantism or Dyslexia) and in terms of upgrades to the handful of vendors helping you on the way. This means that almost no failed attempt is in vain as even the worst load-outs might, somehow or in some way, set you up for eventually achieving the family’s goal of freeing a castle overrun by evil. It’s addictive, it’s infuriatingly hard – it’s an impeccable roguelike alright. And with Rogue Legacy 2 being still quite a ways off from release, it’s available right now in Early Access, what better time than now to give the original a whirl?
Speaking of sequels, then, the most recent entry on this list, Spelunky 2, manages to refine and make the right changes to the original’s almost impeccable wining formula. And whereas it is true that there’s nothing revolutionary about this continuation, Spelunky 2 replaces the original as one of the best roguelike platformers you can play today. In terms of what makes it different from other platformers of the like, such as the aforementioned Rogue Legacy, Spelunky 2 places a greater emphasis on exploration and is focused more about making the experience bizarrely unpredictable rather than throw-your-controller-at-the-wall difficult.
Dead Cells – Motion Twin / Evil Empire Platforms: Switch, PS4, PS5 (via Backwards Compatibility), Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S (via Backwards Compatibility), PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android Developer: Motion Twin / Evil Empire
Whereas, yes, at first sight Dead Cells looks like nothing more than a ‘2D Souls-like’, you can rest assured with knowing that this title stands tall and mighty on its own. As an action title, this entry differs from others in this list due to the fact that it exchanges being more methodical with high-speed intensity. What we mean by this is that even if, fundamentally, the risk vs. reward decisions are the same in Dead Cells as in Spelunky 2, for example, these decisions need to be made in the heat of the moment, which in turn, leads to either exhilarating victories or bitter defeats.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth – Edmund McMillen / Florian Himsl / Nicalis Platforms: 3DS, Wii U, Switch, Vita, PS4, PS5 (via Backwards Compatibility), Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S (via Backwards Compatibility), PC, Mac, Linux Developer: Edmund McMillen / Florian Himsl
Topping off this list is The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the grandfather of the entire roguelike genre and the one game that popularised randomly generated dungeons. Who could have predicted that an unholy combination between the biblical plot, the dungeon design of the first Zelda and the gameplay mechanics of a twin stick shooter like Ikaruga would lead to something so special, so attention-grabbing and so “hauntingly beautiful“?
Now, of course, there are a handful of other incredible titles that we didn’t mention this time, but this is where you can come in: feel free to drop your own suggestions/lists below!