Housemarque’s new title Returnal is the latest rogue-like to cause waves within the industry, so this week’s Editor’s Choice is the top five rogue-likes from the genre you need to play.
The addictive gameplay, high-intense action and the eternal pull of “just one more run” are all key factors into what makes an excellent rogue-like. It has become an increasingly popular genre in recent years, now it feels like there are more rogue-likes than can be handled. If you’re curious about Returnal but have no experience with the genre, loved Returnal and want something more or are an old hat with rogue-likes, these five games are absolute gems, and any rogue-like fan owes it to themselves to check them out. So without further ado, here’s our top five rogue-likes in no particular order.
Hades is one of the more recent titles to release on this list, but its one that will forever continue to be a staple in discussions of “best rogue-likes”. Developer Supergiant’s critical and commercial hit Hades evolved rogue-likes with its interwoven narrative, and hooked players with its challenging and addictive gameplay. A must-play for any fan of the genre and an incredible introduction for newcomers.
Enter The Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is a rogue-like that has stood the test of time, and is widely considered to be one of the best in the genre with its high challenge and bullet hell gameplay. Enter the Gungeon‘s popularity comes just as much from its charm as it does its gameplay, with an inventive and unique cast of characters and weaponry.
Spelunky is the eldest of the rogue-likes on this list and as such as stood the test of time better than any of them. This intrepid adventure spelunking through caves and avoiding death at every turn sparked an instant classic beloved by fans. Recently, Spelunky received a sequel in Spelunky 2, which was nominated for Best Indie Game at last year’s game awards.
The Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac is arguably one of, if not the most influential game on this list, which is saying something considering every game on this list had a massive impact on the industry. The Binding of Isaac stands as one of the earlier indie games that helped bring indie titles more into the light than before, and is an absolute must-play for those who haven’t experienced it. Fair warning, it is a tad darker than the rest of the titles on the list, so be prepared for an intense experience.
Dead Cells took the industry by storm similarly to Hades during its release year. Since 2017 the game has grown with more expansions and a wide community kept alive partly because of the games heavy speed-running element that keeps you going back long after rolled credits.
So that’s our top five rogue-likes as inspired by Returnal. What are your favourites from the genre? What would you have changed about this list? Comment below to let us know.