KEY POINTS

  • Roguelikes are great for short gaming sessions
  • Many games in the genre are notorious for being extremely difficult
  • Many roguelike games use 2D pixel art styles

Roguelike games are excellent for gamers who’re looking for short but intense gaming sessions that can easily translate into a fun and satisfying time. Though many titles in this genre tend to have the same kind of feel and features, there are a few that offer completely unique experiences despite appearances.

Here are four roguelikes gamers definitely have to try.

“Risk of Rain 2”

This list kicks off with one of the best and most chaotic third-person roguelikes available. “Risk of Rain 2” builds upon the foundations of the first game with more enemies, more playable characters and one extra dimension. Instead of the old 2D pixel art style, the sequel is now in full 3D.

Shoot, slice and blast through never-ending hordes of weird creatures in a search and rescue mission in the mysterious planet of Petrichor V. Be careful though, as every second that passes makes the game increasingly difficult.

Risk of Rain 2 gameplay Risk of Rain 2 gameplay Photo: Risk of Rain 2

“The Binding of Isaac”

Another modern classic, “The Binding of Isaac” is set inside the depths of the titular character’s basement as he tries to avoid becoming a religious sacrifice at the hands of his delusional mother. The game is as macabre as the premise suggests, and its cute-yet-creepy pixel art style doubles down on this fact.

Fend off Isaac’s lost siblings with a variety of weird powers and dive deeper into the basement to put an end to Mother’s plans before all is lost.

The Binding of Isaac Rebirth The Binding of Isaac Rebirth Photo: Nicalis Inc.

“Skul: The Hero Slayer”

Play as a small skeleton on a quest to rescue the young demon lord from the heroes of humanity in this beautiful pixel-graphic 2D action roguelike. “Skul” mixes platforming with fast-paced combat in a world filled with monsters and magic.

Harness the power of the demon army’s fallen heroes by equipping their lost skulls and carve a warpath across the empire.

Skul The Hero Slayer Skul The Hero Slayer Photo: SouthPAW Games

“Blade Assault”

Visit a desolate sci-fi world and bring down the corrupt Esperanza military as a member of the Undercity’s resistance fighters in “Blade Assault,” a new 2D action-roguelike with a penchant for melee combat.

Find the perfect playstyle with three different characters and countless weapon and item combos across seven chapters filled with a wide variety of enemies and boss fights.

Blade Assault Blade Assault Photo: TeamSuneat