Game over and over: a guide to the best Roguelikes on PS4 and PS5

Discover a genre where failure is both the end and a new beginning. Welcome to the world of Roguelikes.

Game over and over: a guide to the best Roguelikes on PS4 and PS5

Discover a genre where failure is both the end and a new beginning. Welcome to the world of Roguelikes.

Spelunky 2 | Mossmouth

The sequel to the one of the most beloved Roguelikes of all time takes the next generation of explorers to the Moon. Spelunky 2 changes little but adds lots, including online play for up to four adventurers.

Until You Fall | Schell Games

An original combination of sword-swinging Rogue-lite fantasy and synthwave-inspired fluorescence designed for PS VR. Slay magical monsters and learn from your mistakes on your path to saving Rokar.

Enter the Gungeon | Dodge Roll

With a style and an attitude all its own, Enter the Gungeon’s quirky admixture of tight gunplay, off-the-wall humour and bullet hell showdowns has fast made it a pillar of the genre. Wearing its title with aplomb this is truly the most gun-loaded game on the list.

Returnal | Housemarque

The masters of modern arcade-style gaming use Roguelike elements to tell a psychological cosmic horror story. A stranded space explorer is trapped in a living, ever-changing nightmare where death is only an impediment.

What is a Roguelike?

Roguelikes are games characterised by levels that are procedurally generated - that is, created by clever algorithms rather than manually designed - meaning that no two playthroughs are ever the same. Level layouts, enemy placements and the weapons or upgrades you encounter change every time you restart, creating an irresistible challenge that demands hundreds, if not thousands of replays.

Curse of the Dead Gods | Focus Home Interactive

The promise of riches and eternal life awaits within the walls of a cursed, shapeshifting temple. This striking dungeon crawler blends action with light RPG elements.

The Persistence | Firesprite

In this Rogue-lite sci-fi horror for PS VR, you’re a re-printable clone brought to life by the sole survivor on a starship overrun by mutated, murderous former crewmates. A terrifying stealth experience.

Slay the Spire | Mega Crit Games

Fusing the deck-building elements of collectible card games with Roguelike elements proves to be a winning formula. Scale the Spire and use your cards to defeat bizarre monsters in this fast-paced tactical treasure.

DEATHLOOP | Arkane Lyon

Assassin Colt is stuck in an endless cycle. Only by killing eight targets can he break free. Unfortunately for Colt, a rival assassin has him in her sights. A stylish, seamless blend of solo and multiplayer action.

Where does Roguelike come from?

The name pays tribute to Rogue, an early dungeon crawler from 1980. The game used procedural generation to create an entirely new dungeon for every playthrough, meaning players could never anticipate the dangers ahead. Through this, Rogue also introduced the enduring concept of ‘permadeath’.

Risk of Rain 2 | Hopoo Games

All the unique elements that made Risk of Rain an almost instant classic with Roguelike fans is translated almost note-perfect from 2D to 3D in their ambitious sequel. Expect a huge roster of enemies, crazy power-ups and ever-escalating odds. 

Atomicrops | Bird Bath Games 

Looking like the mutant offspring of Stardew Valley and Enter The Gungeon, Atomicrops is post-apocalyptic farming sim one moment, frantic 2D shooter the next. What else needs to be said?

Dungeon of the Endless| Amplitude

Dungeon of the Endless is the award-winning Rogue-Like Dungeon-Defense game, in which you and your team of heroes must protect the generator of your crashed ship while exploring an ever-expanding dungeon and facing down waves of monsters.

Hades | Supergiant Games

Wield the powers and mythic weapons of Olympus to break free from the clutches of the god of the dead himself, while growing stronger and unravelling more of the story with each unique escape attempt.

What's the difference between Roguelike and Rogue-lite?

There’s a lot of debate on this. Purists argue that a Roguelike must mirror Rogue’s turn-based, dungeon crawler RPG approach to qualify. 

Another school of thought is that a Roguelike can refer to any game with procedural elements that will reset your progress completely after each playthrough, whereas a Rogue-lite retains some elements of character progression, such as upgraded stats or unlocked weapons and abilities. Because of this, some consider that a Roguelike is about the journey, whereas a Rogue-lite is about the destination.

SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete | SUPERHOT Team 

This Rogue-lite take on SUPERHOT maintains the premise that time only moves when you do - it however introduces randomisation to keep the combat scenarios fresh and the replay value high.

Dead Cells | Motion Twin

Good news: you are immortal. Bad news: you’re an immortal green blob who must possess fragile, headless bodies. This precise, punishing 2D action Rogue-lite boasts a wealth of weapons, enemies and secrets to discover.

Void Bastards | Blue Manchu

A strategic shooter that stands out with its comic book-influenced graphics and extremely British sense of humour. You’ll chew through a procession of expendable inmates as you attempt to repair a gigantic space jail.

Rogue's gallery

Let’s hear it for the classic games that introduced many PlayStation players to the world of Roguelikes.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

In this remake of a truly iconic Roguelike, a boy’s descent into a disturbing, disgusting underworld sets the stage for an unforgettable action RPG shooter. 

Darkest Dungeon

What effect does dungeon crawling have on the minds of adventurers? Find out in this turn-based RPG with a psychological twist.

Nuclear Throne

Mutants battle monsters in a post-apocalyptic wasteland as they vie to sit upon the Nuclear Throne. This no-nonsense shooter features over 100 weapons.

Rogue Legacy

A “genealogical Rogue-lite” where death means playing as the next generation of adventurer, all of whom have a random, gameplay-affecting quirk.

Risk of Rain

This unflinchingly tough action treasure challenges you to survive on a hostile alien planet that grows more dangerous as time ticks.