Top 5 best roguelike games that you should play if you like The Binding of Isaac

01 October 2023


Published: 1st October 8:52PM

Roguelike games have very quickly become a giant genre in recent years, but the genre was coined back in 1980, by the video game Rouge. Right now, one of the biggest in the Roguelike genre is The Binding of Isaac, and here are the 5 best games to play as an alternative if you’ve completed it, or if you fancy a new challenge.

Our list of Roguelike games includes some interesting games that hold the game values as The Binding of Isaac, but some are quite different, but go into it with an open mind! You may just find your next favourite Rougelike in the place that you least expect.

Our 5 favourite Roguelikes similar to The Binding of Isaac

Hotline Miami – a gory semi-3d shooter

Hotline Miami is a fast-paced, gory and unforgiving shooter that sees you work through buildings, eliminating each and every last occupant. Similar to the Binding of Isaac, the gory and unforgiving strategic game is a hit with fans, and it’s neon-light design makes it a blast to playthrough.

Miami hotline banner with chicken and human

While exceptionally designed in many regards, Hotline Miami is not without its flaws. The game can be punishingly difficult at times, with unseen enemies able to inflict instant death through attacks that seem to come from nowhere.

There is no single foolproof strategy for tackling each level, as the game adapts to and thwarts both stealthy approaches focused on silently eliminating foes one-by-one and reckless shooting sprees alike. Whether you sneak through levels with melee weapons or charge in guns blazing, Hotline Miami always manages to upend your plans in unexpected ways.

The game demands flexibility and forces you to constantly rethink your tactics, making for an exhilarating but often frustrating experience.


Returnal screenshot from the video game

Returnal is a frantic, dazzling third-person shooter that fully utilizes the PS5’s capabilities. With thousands of imaginative bullets and glorious particle effects, Housemarque delivers their signature over-the-top action. But this is also their most ambitious title yet.

Returnal combines that exhilarating combat with enthralling exploration across an alien world that evokes the rich atmospheres of Dead Space and Metroid Prime. The roguelike structure, where runs last a bit too long, ensures the action stays fresh with each replay. Looping timelines cleverly justify the repetitive runs while gradually revealing an enigmatic story. Selene’s discoveries of logs from her former selves peel back the mystery haunting the planet Atropos. Chilling first-person segments add psychological thrills. Returnal rewards players who commit to its lengthy runs with an experience that shows off the PS5’s power through both its technical impressiveness and brilliant design. Housemarque has created a shooter where exhilaration and intrigue combine to make pushing through repeated deaths worthwhile.

Enter The Gungeon

Enter the Gungeon has cemented itself as a roguelike classic thanks to its marriage of intense bullet-hell shooting and procedural generation. This fast-paced, frenetic title offers immense build variety through hundreds of discoverable weapons and multiple playable characters. Mastery is no easy task, but experimentation is highly rewarding.

Enter the Gungeon game image

The premise seems simple – battle through the perilous Gungeon, defeating foes and gathering loot as each run grows progressively more difficult. However, in practice, this formula provides a brutal, yet captivating challenge. With each failed attempt, knowledge is gained and skills are honed. Every step deeper into the Gungeon tests your reflexes and resourcefulness. But the promise of new gear and unlockable secrets beckon you to try again. Enter the Gungeon elegantly blends arcade-style shooter action with the addictive loop of a roguelike to create an experience where overcoming difficulty is as meaningful as it is fun.

FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light fulfills the fantasy of commanding a starship bridge like Captain Picard or Mal Reynolds, albeit in retro 2D form. This roguelike is far more concerned with issuing orders, making tough choices, and managing ship systems than directly controlling weapons. Randomly generated encounters capture the spirit of classic roguelikes while seamlessly adapting the genre to a sci-fi setting.

FTL game screenshot of spaceships fighting

Don’t expect flashy graphics or a sweeping orchestral score – just pure starship strategy with pixel crews and pulsing electronica beats straight out of the 80s. Yet despite the old-school presentation, FTL feels boldly innovative. By focusing on broader command decisions over direct combat, it captures the essence of being a starship captain. The tension of guiding a damaged ship to safety or making an impossible moral call trumps firing virtual torpedoes. With gameplay that compels you to think like a true leader, FTL’s simplicity reveals sophistication. It proves you don’t need a big budget to deliver an experience that feels genuinely fresh and inspired within the starship simulation genre.

Slay The Spire

Slay the Spire seamlessly fuses deckbuilding gameplay with roguelike dungeon crawling, creating a genre mashup that’s uniquely thrilling. This isn’t a collectible card game like Hearthstone; instead, you choose one of three distinct characters with tailored card pools. Your starting deck is barebones, but defeating enemies earns new cards that gradually transform your weaknesses into strengths. The randomized options ensure that no two runs unfold the same way.

Slay the spire image

With each attempt up the Spire, surprising card combinations emerge that make every run feel fresh and exciting. I often found myself giggling at my desk from the exhilaration of pulling off an improbable combo destined never to be seen again. Win or lose, these fleeting moments of overpowered chaos and improvised strategy are an absolute joy. Slay the Spire celebrates the unpredictable fun that arises when genres collide. With randomized cards fueling wildly variable runs up the Spire, it delivers endless laughs and thrills through emergent card synergies that may never recur. Each attempt is a new adventure in deckbuilding.



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