The best roguelikes on Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and more – Polygon
Although roguelikes’ surge in popularity is still a recent phenomenon, their history dates back more than 40 years — since 1980, to be exact, which is when Rogue put the “rogue” in roguelike. That’s a lot of rogues.
Still, it’s only in the last decade or so that roguelikes entered the mainstream. They have become so trendy, in fact, that aspects of their makeup are now often visible in behemoth AAA efforts, from mechanics like permadeath to the incorporation of randomness, procedurally generated dungeons, and build variety in their design ethos. Hell, one of 2021’s best games was a roguelike from a PlayStation first-party studio. This has led to somewhat of a saturation in the market, where it can often be difficult to know which game among hundreds is the one for you. That’s where we come in.
From ruthless rampages through the depths of Tartarus to dicey encounters with legendary Irish heroes to spine-tingling scout-runs through a mysterious moon base, here are the best roguelikes you can play right now.
Image: Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon
We kind of spoiled Returnal’s inclusion on this list already, so we might as well use it to kick things off. Previously known for games like Resogun and Nex Machina, Housemarque has always been a studio with a cult following, but it hasn’t necessarily been a household name. That all changed with Returnal.
Set on the planet Atropos, Returnal places you in the space boots of astronaut Selene Vassos, who has found herself locked in a strange time loop that prevents her from staying dead. It’s a brutally challenging third-person shooter that leans heavily into the difficult side of roguelike design, so it’s not for the uninitiated. If the element of roguelikes you’re most interested in is their high skill ceiling, Returnal should shoot its way to the top of your list. If not, it’s probably best to give Atropos a miss.
Returnal is available on PlayStation 5.
Rogue Legacy 2
Image: Cellar Door Games
While Rogue Legacy has been popular in roguelike circles for almost a decade, its widely lauded sequel catapulted the series to new heights when it launched …….