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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

* The above information is subject to change without prior notice.

* This game/content may not be available in some countries and regions and in some languages.