Hades is a special game for many reasons, but one of its big accomplishments is introducing a brand new crop of people to roguelikes.
We won’t get into what roguelikes are or the specific terminology of it and roguelites, but for our purposes this genre of game is built around playing similar content many times because dying resets you to the beginning of the game, and there’s a lot of randomisation in what players will see each time they start again.
This genre also includes some kind of meta aspect where you become better between runs, aside from your own natural inclination to learn the systems and improve yourself.
If you’re part of that rare crop of people who has played and loved Hades you may now find yourself wanting to play more games like this. You may then also find that the market is swamped with titles billing themselves as roguelikes and not sure where to go next.
That’s where we come in. Strap in as we cover our top recommended roguelikes that we love so much.
We’ve also included some video from other creators about our suggestions and you can find even more in the linked stories.
Enter the Gungeon
This is a top down twin stick shooter bullet hell that is incredibly difficult to master but rewards you with some of the most enjoyable combat we’ve ever experienced. There’s a reason we 100% this game twice (once on PC and once on Switch) and have clocked in more than a thousand hours.
If you can endure the brutal nature of this game, tougher than many other roguelikes, it may turn out to be one of the best titles you’ve ever played.
- Enter the Gungeon: A 2019 re-review
- Exit the Gungeon: A post Farewell to Arms interview with Dodge Roll
- Exit the Gungeon devs address comparisons to their old game
Synthetik Legion Rising / Ultimate / Arena
Firstly the video above contains strong language and jokes many will find offensive. Click play at your own risk.
Secondly let’s address the name. Synthetik is the original name here with the “Legion Rising” subtitle added later after many free updates and expansions were added. This fell away and will be replaced by “Enhanced” when it receives another expansion and comes to console. Synthetik: Arena is a free standalone mode which you can play as a demo of sorts.
Synthetik in all its forms is a robot-focused roguelike where you juggle semi-realistic weaponry in a near future setting. Think of it as RoboCop but, when playing as RoboCop, you can load yourself up with an anti aircraft rifle and use it to to cut through swathes of enemy robots, mechs, tanks and jets. Sublime.
Just remember to tweak the difficulty as you like. We turned off the need to manually eject and reload as we found it a bit fiddly.
- Robo roguelike Synthetik gets free arena-based standalone
- Bombastic roguelike Synthetik comes to console on 16th December
The Binding of Isaac
Many consider this game to be the grandfather of the modern roguelike genre. It’s also a top down shooter like Gungeon but it’s a slower, more reserved game that counts on you amassing upgrades instead of picking up ridiculous firearms.
its latest version, Rebirth, will be updated with its biggest and final expansion Repentance very soon, if it’s now out by the time you’re reading this.
- Finally, some new details about The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
- Enter the Gungeon: does it scratch that Binding of Isaac itch?
- When a single game becomes its own hobby
Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 is special on this list as it’s a direct sequel and, despite the fact that the first game was a side scrolling shooter, this new one is a third person shooter.
The combat in Risk of Rain 2 is sublime and the shooting is varied between the multiple playable characters. As with other games on this list you’re encouraged to go buck wild until you’re an overpowered wrecking ball threatening to crash the game with the sheer amount of firepower you have.
It’s also special here for having online co-op for those who like to play with others.
- Risk of Rain 2 In 2021
- Here’s the new intro cinematic for Risk of Rain 2
- Recreate Risk of Rain 2 on the tabletop with these 3D prints
If Risk of Rain 2 is a fun but challenging jaunt out with friends Darkest Dungeon is the complete opposite: a depressing crawl through a cursed world filled with unspeakable monsters that you will need to defeat to save yourself and your disgraced house. Fun!
Gameplay in Darkest Dungeon takes place in two distinct phases: start off by upgrading and managing your resources in the hamlet, and then gather your strength to explore dungeons to earn resources in turn-based combat. If you live return to the hamlet with your spoils and do it all again.
A sequel is also in the works and it may be out by the time you properly finish this game as it’s a long slog. Oh and the video above is a bit of a meme. This is a difficult game.
- Darkest Dungeon is the most depressing game I’ve ever played, and I love it
- Details emerge for Darkest Dungeon’s free PvP DLC
- Like Hades, Darkest Dungeon 2 will be in Early Access on Epic