The 25 Best Roguelike Games for PS5
It’s a bit tricky to spell out what defines a “rogue-like” game. The first thing that we can agree on is that the title was drawn from the development of games that are similar in nature to the original Rogue title of the 1980s.
So, to understand what Roguelike games are about, one way to go is to refer to the gameplay and concept of Rogue. It was a turn-based dungeon crawler game where the player had to fight through various levels of a dungeon, battling enemies and collecting items along the way.
Back then, game graphics were a lot simpler, so Rogue‘s graphics were pretty limited in terms of variation in characters, locations, and items. That has changed in more recent times, but the general idea behind the gameplay of the genre remains.
The roguelike genre has grown massively in popularity among gamers over the years, and there are so many titles to choose from that it can be overwhelming before you find one that you truly like. On that note, I’ve compiled this list of the 25 best roguelike games on PS5 to make things easier.
Roguelikes vs. Roguelites
For the purpose of this article, I should clarify that while the idea behind roguelike is as described above, there is another variation of “roguelike-like” games that still fits within the description of the gaming experience that roguelike gamers are looking for.
This genre is called “Roguelite”, and an example of a roguelite is Spelunky (one of the best PS5 roguelike games ever). It has roguelike traits such as discovery, collection of items, permanent death, and restarts, all fitted into a 2D platformer.
The key difference between roguelikes and roguelites is that the latter has further expanded the genre by including roguelike-style gameplay in genres that are not action or adventure. It’s a nice change of pace from the older dungeon-crawling, archaic-graphics roguelikes.
Slay the Spire, for instance, is a deck-building game with roguelike gameplay. It also made this list of the best roguelike games for PS5, as you’ll see in the full collection detailed below.
Best Roguelike Games For PS5
Nuclear Throne, a post-apocalyptic roguelike with similarities to Spelunky was first published by Vlambeer on May 12, 2015.
Your job is to fight and shoot your way through the wastelands that are the game’s setting, collecting powerful power-ups that boost the efficiency of your weaponry or the health of your warriors.
Be warned, clicking the default “menu” option that pops up on your screen when you pause the game takes you right back to the main menu, completely wiping out your progress.
Streets of Rogue
Streets of Rogue, a throwback type of roguelike that is reminiscent of Sega’s Streets of Rage was published by tinyBuild GAMES on July 12, 2019.
Your task is to complete the objectives that you’re given at each level – all with varying degrees of difficulty and violence. Each level has three rooms, two of which have a clearly stated mission, while the third is a sort of bonus option for you to figure out if you complete the other two.
These missions are usually pretty straightforward, more often than not a case of killing an enemy or stealing an item.
Unlock new characters as you progress, each with its own set of traits. The gameplay is a bit one-dimensional, but it gets better the longer you persevere.
Invisible, Inc is a turn-based strategy game set in the latter years of the 21st century, and it was published by Klei Entertainment Inc. on April 19, 2016.
You’re part of a collection of assassins and spies operating under Invisible, Inc., and your job is to find the people that attacked your camp and stole your AI.
This mission will see you raiding various facilities across the globe and accumulating money, new agents, and equipment while you search for the AI (named Incognita). You have only 72 hours.
Deathloop (PS5 only)
DeathLoop was published by Bethesda Softworks on September 14, 2021. As the name suggests, you’re stuck in a time-loop in this PS5-only roguelike.
Your character is given eight targets to eliminate and will continue to re-live the same day over and over until you break the loop by eliminating said targets.
You control a gunslinging character named Colt, and every time he wakes up after a loop, he has no idea what’s happened previously or how long the loop has been going for.
Seems straightforward enough, but the level of detail and potential complications that will arise as you progress run very deep.
20XX was published by Fire Hose Games on July 10, 2018. The premise of the game is set in the future, at a time when a robotic uprising has just happened. It is up to you and your partner to destroy the robots while trying to figure out the sequence of events that led to the uprising, and the character behind it.
You can play as either one of the two protagonists, Nina or Ace, both of whom use different weapons. The randomly generated levels offer variety in terms of the types of challenges that you face, and it’s also nice that you can choose to go solo or play with a friend.
Downwell was published by Devolver Digital on May 24, 2016, and the premise of the game is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Your character is falling endlessly into a well, but you will encounter enemies along the way that try to attack you even in that state. Thankfully, the boots on your feet double as weapons, and you can use them to kill those enemies.
Each time you land on an enemy, your “gun-boots” reload. You can also unlock upgrades and per-ups as you fall, but you lose all of them after each run.
The trickiest part of the game is knowing when to shoot, land on, or completely dodge the enemy.
Atomicrops is a colorful, addictive roguelike that was published by Raw Fury on May 28, 2020. It’s a farming simulation game, sort of a one-of-a-kind when it comes to the best PS5 roguelike games.
The backstory is that your character has inherited a farm from their late uncle and must now run it with no prior experience.
Sounds basic, but the twist comes in when the character finds a bomb shelter near the barn house and an atomic bomb destroys every living creature in the area.
Your job is to cultivate the now-toxic land against all odds with the help of friendly mutants that also survived the blast.
On Star Renegades, you command a team of intergalactic space soldiers with the aim of eliminating armies across the galaxy. The game was published by Raw Fury on March 10, 2021, and has been the subject of critical acclaim since then.
Each of the soldiers on your team has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you must use these as efficiently as possible to complete your mission.
The roguelike twist is introduced with turn-based RPG combat with a ton of possible actions and attack options. You must try to keep as many soldiers as possible alive as you’ll need them to fight a new troop of enemy soldiers waiting for you each time you reach a new segment of the map.
Curse of the Dead Gods
Curse of the Dead Gods was published by Focus Home Interactive on February 23, 2021.
The plot of the game suggests that your character, in search of wealth and power, is led to an accursed temple where evil deities, deadly traps, and monsters live in abundance.
Fight your way across various procedurally generated levels that get more difficult as you progress. Conquer temples that have various traps to evade, bosses, to defeat, and enemies to kill while collecting new weapons and boosts along the way.
There are three different temples to conquer, but you’re eased into the game by dealing with a few floors first. If you think it’s easy at first, you just wait.
The graphics on Rogue Legacy are pixelated, but it takes nothing away from the sheer depth of its gameplay. The game was published by Cellar Door Games on July 14, 2014, and it can be a slow burn in terms of player immersion so you need to be patient.
The plot seems basic at first – a knight goes into a castle containing monsters with the aim of defeating them and proving his bravery. However, there are so many layers and things to discover that you should expect extended hours of play to become the norm.
The fact that you get a randomized character with different traits from the last one each time you die also adds some extra variety to the game. Unlike many other roguelikes, you do not lose the gold earned during your last run, so it’s that much easier to unlock new classes and perks.
On the surface, Flinthook appears to be a very simplistic take on the execution of roguelike gameplay with its 16-bit rooms and straightforward progression of shooting enemies to collect money and power-ups.
The game was published by Tribute Games Inc. on April 18, 2017, and it looks set to stand the test of time.
What truly makes Flinthook stand out are the tiny little details, such as a tool that lets you swing across rooms, or a power-up that lets you slow time down. You can even unlock a one-time immunity to death!
Over time, some of these fun little additions may become redundant, so this is not the type of game that you’re likely to go back to multiple times without getting jaded. The randomness of the levels, which is a key part of the best roguelike games, is not consistent enough for it.
Wizard of Legend
Do you like magic? If you do, then you’ll love Wizard of Legend. The game was published by Humble Games on May 15, 2018, and it is set in a fantasy world called the Kingdom of Lenova.
In this kingdom, wizards are immortalized in an interactive museum that is frequented by some guests.
Your character starts off as one of those guests, but during your visit to the museum, you get drawn into the timeline of the Wizards that you’re so fascinated by. You become one of them, and your task is to undertake the “Chaos Trial” to earn the “Wizard of Legend” title.
Neon Abyss was published by Team17 Software Ltd. on July 14, 2020. It is, to some extent, a merger of three other games from this best PS5 roguelikes list – Downwell, The Binding of Isaac, and Enter The Gungeon.
It is a pixelated platformer in which your character is falling into a seemingly endless abyss while shooting lasers, beams, and bullets at enemies. They’re not just going to stand there either, so you have to dodge projectiles thrown at you.
Seems straightforward enough, but the real fun is in the upgrades, character selections, and levels.
Children of Morta
Children of Morta is closer to the original idea of roguelikes than many others on this list. The game was published by 11 Bit Studios S.A. on October 15, 2019, and it is a classic dungeon crawler with various levels and increasingly difficult bosses to defeat.
The premise of the game is that your character belongs to the Bergson family. You can play as any one of six members of the family, as they consist of warriors, inventors, and mages with serious skillsets that work together to keep evil forces at bay.
This goal is achieved by traveling through dungeons and portals in search of three spirits that can guard against what is called “The Corruption”.
In many ways, the premise of Moonlighter is something we’ve seen many times. Dungeon-crawling, pixel-art, RPG. However, the manner in which developers Digital Sun have mixed it all together is unique in itself.
The game was published by 11 Bit Studios S.A. on May 29, 2018, and it is set in a village called Rynoka.
There, your character (named Will) leads a double life of defeating dungeon monsters by night and selling the valuables retrieved from those dungeons at his shop by day.
The dungeons are generated randomly, so you cannot master a layout and expect to return to meet it the same way. The one constant is in the fact that there are three levels to explore every time, and then a boss to defeat after completing those levels.
Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 is a 2D sidescrolling shooter from Gearbox Publishing with incredibly diverse and intense gameplay.
The original was released back in 2013, but developers spent a lot of time fine-tuning this second iteration, so it was not too surprising how good it turned out to be when it was released on August 30, 2019. In fact, it is also one of the best Indie games on Nintendo Switch.
As you would in many other games of this nature, you start off with a severely underpowered and underequipped character. Your character lands on a mysterious planet in a pod, and from that point on, you’re rushing through multiple worlds and fighting off enemies and bosses that come at you on land and in the air.
Slowly, you develop the character by killing these alien enemies and winning currency. It starts off easy, but the procedurally generated levels get harder the more you play.
The selection of weapons is great, ranging from bows and arrows to poisons and guns. Basically, your enemies have a thousand and one ways to finish you off.
Currency earned can be spent on several boosts all over the map, and the value of each boost depends on how much you pay for it. It’s all pretty standard, but it’s executed to near perfection and can be very addictive.
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
Since the release of the original The Binding Of Isaac in 2011, a couple of iterations have been developed and published to varying levels of success. Nicalis published this edition on November 4, 2021.
The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth was also a solid release and could easily have made it into this list as well, but Repentance just pips it because it feels like an upgrade – however slight – on the older title.
There are loads of enemies, bosses, new ending, challenges, and room designs to keep you engaged for as long you can go without sleep. It’s not just the quantity of the content though, it’s the fact that almost every bit of it is well thought out and best represents what I believe should be seen in modern PS5 roguelikes.
Slay the Spire
Slay the Spire is another deck-building take on roguelike, this time from the stables of Humble Games who published the game on May 21, 2019.
The game engages you in a series of battles where you gather a collection of cards that are used for your combat actions.
You can use these cards to attack, defend against, or nerf the enemy. They’re not free and the cost of each one varies depending on how much damage you can do with it. Their uses also vary from straightforward to complex, so you may need some practice.
Whenever you have to start all over again, whether by choice or by failure, you’re faced with a new, randomized set of encounters to keep the experience unique.
Crypt of the Necrodancer
COTN, released by Brace Yourself Games on February 2, 2016, takes a similar route to Rogue Legacy and Risk of Rain – two other options for the best roguelike PS5 game on this list. However, it comes with its own twist, so brace yourselves.
The plot is that your character, a young girl named Cadence, has her heart stolen by the Necrodancer who then sets up challenges for her to complete to win her heart back.
The twist to the story is that there is a rhythm and beat that plays through the crypt that Cadence is in, and she can only cast spells, move, and attack when the beat is playing.
There are four zones in the crypt, each one has three areas and each area has its own boss to defeat at the end of it. The bosses and the crypts are randomly generated, so If you die at any point, you’re sent back to the beginning of the zone you were playing in.
Hades set the bar high for many other games in its genre when it was published by Supergiant Games, LLC on August 13, 2021. A long wait followed its announcement, and gamers were not disappointed with the end result.
If you like the idea of ancient gods and Greek mythology, you’ll love Hades.
Your task is simple – escape the depths of hell with your character, Prince Zagreus. As you progress in these tasks, you will meet and interact with gods in the underworld and on Mount Olympus.
The depth of each character is so impressive in the way that they connect to the entire premise of the game as a whole that I can imagine most of them in their own separate franchises. The dialogue is great too!
As far as building a fantasy world goes, few do it better than Supergiant Games have with Hades. It also helps that the game takes full advantage of the 4k visual support on the PS5 – it looks fantastic.
Returnal (PS5 Only)
Returnal is a roguelike release from Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game was published on April 30, 2021, five months after the release of the PS5, and it takes full advantage of the console’s DualSense controller and Tempest Engine to support enhanced haptic feedback and 3D spatial audio.
These features are not available on the PS4, and I imagine that it is a major reason why the game was not released on that platform.
It has the best graphics of this list of best PS5 roguelike games, and a really interesting premise to boot. Considering the fact that the game is published by giants Sony, it’s really no surprise. It’s a big-budget title, and it looks and feels like it.
Your character is Selene, an astronaut that has crash-landed on the planet Atropos. She is stuck in a time loop and must unravel the mystery of the hostile planet before she dies and has to restart the process time and again.
Darkest Dungeon is a 2D fantasy-based strategy game that took RPGs to new heights when it was first released by Red Hook Studios Inc. on September 27, 2016. It is not only one of the best roguelike PS5 games, it is also one of the best turn-based RPG Switch games.
The plot reveals that your character has inherited a property from a late relative. In the process of cultivating the farm and bringing it back into good order, it is discovered that the property served as home to many terrible horrors unleashed by the dead relative.
It is your duty to defeat the growing evil and set things straight with the help of mercenaries who are also in it for their own selfish gains.
Enter the Gungeon
Enter The Gungeon was developed by Dodge Roll and published by Devolver Digital on April 5, 2016.
This gunfight dungeon crawler has the right amount of action and assortment of weapons to excite any player looking for the best roguelike game on PS5.
Your weapons range from basic to impressive to outrightly ridiculous. I mean, there is a gun that shoots rainbows, and that’s not even the most ridiculous one!
In Enter The Gungeon, your task is to travel the depths of a fortress, combing through each floor in search of an “ultimate” weapon – a gun that can shoot the past. As you complete each floor, you have to defeat a new boss before you can proceed.
Open up treasure chests and boost your weaponry as you go, you’re definitely going to need them to stay alive.
There’s not a lot to the background story of Dead Cells, and pretty much all the information you have is that your character is a blob that possesses a series of corpses. The game was published by Motion Twin SARL on August 7, 2018.
As the plot goes, you’re stuck in a prison cell and you have to try to escape, killing everything in your path as you do so. Typical of roguelikes, each time you die, you have to restart from the prison cell. Then, the path ahead of you is also randomly regenerated.
As you progress, you will face different types of enemies with different skill levels, and you also have to be careful not to fall into any of the traps set along the course of your path.
You can upgrade your character and unlock new weapons to make the attempts easier, but you lose almost everything each time you die.
Spelunky is one of the most popular roguelikes out there, and it has been one of the best in the business since the release of the original sometime in 2008. This version was published by Mossmouth, LLC on September 15, 2020.
Originally a pixelated PC game, Spelunky evolved in 2012 with a nicer-looking version titled Spelunky HD. Then, when Spelunky 2 was released in 2020, it pretty much reminded the roguelike gaming world that the game is still good enough to compete with anyone else.
Despite the title, this iteration is quite different from the original, so it is a remake more than it is a sequel. However, it begins in a similar manner with a cave full of crawling and flying animals and insects before introducing new twists and turns.
Like many other roguelikes, you lose your progress every time you die. Considering the fact that Spelunky 2 has introduced deeper levels and sights to discover, your chances of progression over the first few tries are extremely slim.
However, most of the fun is in the journey and the excitement of discovering new things – even if they lead to your demise.
If you’re a huge fan of roguelikes looking for your next conquest, or you’re completely new to the scene and you’re trying to decide where to start from, then this list is as exhaustive as it gets for the best PS5 roguelike games.
Twenty-five might still be a big number to choose from for some, so I’ll leave a small suggestion to start from Spelunky 2 and work your way up the list.
If you’ve already played one or more of the games here, leave a comment and let me know what your opinion is. Enjoy!