Did you see the trailer for Hades 2? We’ll probably see it on Early Access by mid-2023, and while we wait, let’s look at other games like Hades to try out.
We’ve compiled a list of titles offering hours of replayability because of their fun, smooth, evolving, and varied combat mechanics. These may or may not be rogue-like games, as long as the action feels similar to Zagreus’ adventure.
At the same time, we recognize Hades’s success introduced many fans to the rogue-like genre. So, we’re sharing rogue-like games as well, by which we mean dungeon-crawling, fast-paced action, randomly-generated maps, and permadeath mechanics.
Curse of the Dead Gods
- Developer: Passtech Games
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
- Release Date: February 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Curse of the Dead Gods feels, looks, and behaves like Hades, but it has some key differences. First, understand that this is an isometric rogue-like dungeon-crawler with a WASD controller scheme.
Its unique element is the “Corruption” system. Different elements in the instances allow you to heal, upgrade, or buy weapons in exchange for corruption or gold. If it is corruption, you may get a random debuff (a “Curse”) in return.
Lastly, you can dodge roll, slash, aim and shoot ranged skills, and loot weapons. The maps also have traps, bosses, and opportunities to loot permanent upgrades.
Risk of Rain 2
- Developer: Hopoo Games
- Publisher: Gearbox Software
- Release Date: August 2020
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Risk of Rain 2 is a dungeon-crawler rogue-like game with third-person directional shooting mechanics. It’s a sequel to one of the most popular entries in the genre, and it’s currently a top-seller game on Steam.
You play as a “survivor” on an alien planet. Surviving requires exploring linear instances to slay monsters, open chests, and pick up upgrades for your character. As you’d expect, the difficulty rises as you go deeper into the run, and you lose your upgrades and gear on death.
The runs are procedurally generated, and you can go with any of the characters you have unlocked. As you progress the runs, you get XP and gold you can use to upgrade gear and powers. The goal is to defeat the final boss, and you can do so in co-op (up to 4 players).
- Developer: Acid Nerve
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Release Date: July 2021
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
Death’s Door is an action-adventure game. Its combat feels like a hybrid between Hades (isometric and fast) and Dark Souls games (skill-based combat). The story also tells a charming but dark story, as you play as a reaper of souls uncovering a conspiracy at Death’s Door.
Combat relies on WASD movement and clicks for attacks, like Hades. However, you have to time blocks and dodges, and you have a standard character progression system.
The gameplay happens in 3D, with isometric detail. You can launch projectiles, attack, dodge, and use tools like a grappling hook. Then, Sword strikes create combos and reward ammo for your bow. Finally, you can use a wide array of swords, ranged skills, and magic skills.
- Developer: Housemarque
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: August 2021
- Platform: PS5
Returnal is a third-person rogue-lite title. We include the word “lite” as it includes big permanent upgrades. The gameplay features familiar third-person shooting, psychological horror elements, a fair arsenal of firearms, melee weapons, and permanent suit upgrades.
You play as Selene Vassos, a space pilot from the “Astra” program. She is exploring an alien planet to find the source of a strange signal, the “White Shadow.” Her discovery takes her to a time loop she must escape.
The journey takes you to six “biomes,” each with several randomized instances. However, the game has two parts, and each part has three biomes. If you die, you’re sent back to the beginning of the half you’re playing.
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Publisher: Supergiant Games
- Release Date: May 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, tvOS, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Transistor is an action-RPG by Hades’ creators. It uses a similar graphical and map design and delivers the story through an isometric point of view.
You play as Red traveling through a futuristic city to find out the truth about the sentient sword you’re carrying, “Transistor.” Like in Hades, the story comes through dialogue and action.
For combat, you fight in real-time with slashes, dashes, and skills. Additionally, you can “pause” battles to plan attacks via the “Turn()” mechanic. You can also improve your character by unlocking “Functions” and by customizing Transistor.
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: July 2011
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, PS4, PSVita, Nintendo Switch
Bastion is another action RPG by Supermassive games. Here, you play as “the Kid,” a silent protagonist moving through floating 2D fantasy scenarios. A narrator will guide and react to your actions as you play the story,
You play with an isometric camera through hand-painted scenarios. The combat offers a vast arsenal of weapons, character progression, and upgrades. In essence, you travel with two weapons you select from your arsenal, and special attacks you can unlock.
Lastly, you find collectibles and currency you can use to upgrade weapons, special attacks, and HP. To that end, there’s a hub area where you can visit various structures for different upgrade types, or enable extra difficulty settings (like Hades’ “Pact of Punishment” challenges).
Hyper Light Drifter
- Developer: Heart Machine, Abylight Studios
- Publisher: Heart Machine, Abylight Studios
- Release Date: March 2016
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS
You play as the Drifter, a player with access to long-forgotten technology. You explore a post-apocalyptic open-word to find a cure for mysterious diseases affecting survivors.
For combat, you can slash with your energy sword. Across the world, you’ll find upgrade modules to modify the weapon and add abilities to your arsenal. It makes the combat evolve with area attacks, long-range attacks, melee skills, and boss battles.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
- Developer: Nicalis
- Publisher: Nicalis
- Release Date: November 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, PS5 PSVita, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, New Nintendo, Nintendi Wii U, 3DS, iOS
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a remake of a beloved indie roguelike game. There’re three expansions available for the title. Each offers about 5 hours of playtime for 20H of rogue-lite shooting – and it’s either solo or local co-op.
The story follows Isaac in a grim take on the biblical Isaac character. You control the protagonist on a journey to escape her mother’s demonic grasp. The journey takes you to randomized instances with 16-bit graphics.
You play with 2D multidirectional shooting mechanics. You can modify your looks, abilities, and attributes with many combinations. Similarly, you find a special currency to buy permanent upgrades, but you lose temporary upgrades and gear on death.
Nobody Saves the World
- Developer: DrinkBox Studios
- Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
- Release Date: January 2022
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5
“Nobody Saves the World ” is a 2D action dungeon-crawling RPG with rogue-lite elements and a top-down perspective. The main character, “Nobody,” is a shapeshifter, and there’re 18 shapes to unlock.
Each shape offers different abilities, perks, and bonuses, and you can also mix and match one shape with the skills of the next. So, the gameplay is about swapping between these shapes on the fly to defeat enemies and bypass environmental challenges and puzzles.
Lastly, the map has an overworld that connects the different areas and procedurally generated dungeons. Here’s where we find the rogue-lite element: you have to complete a dungeon on a single run. If you die in dungeons, you have to start it from scratch -unless you already found the boss.
Streets of Rogue
- Developer: Matt Dabrowski
- Publisher: tinyBuild
- Release Date: July 2019
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Linux
Streets of Rogue is a roguelike title focusing on decisions, fun mechanics, and chaotic results. Unlike other titles in the genre, it also has stealth and a toolbar. That said, it’s a top-down 16-bit graphics game with point-and-click mechanics and tons of interactive NPcs.
You play through various randomly generated floors in a city. Progressing the journey means completing specific missions on each floor using character skills. Story-wise, you’re fighting against a tyrannical major as part of the resistance.
Combat is about selecting items on your inventory and clicking enemies on the screen, or sneaking past enemies. In any case, the goal is to complete the game’s six stages, and you can do it in co-op (2 players).
- Developer: Motion Twin, Evil Empire
- Publisher: Motion Twin, Playdigious
- Release Date: August 2018
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Steam OS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android
Dead Cells is a rogue-like game with Metroidvania features and souls-lite combat in 2D. The developers call it “Roguevania,” and it focuses entirely on its combat.
You play as an amorphous humanoid puppeteering a corpse through a dungeon. The dungeon is randomized on each run, and it has a Metroidvania-type map. It means all areas are connected and available at the beginning. However, you need to find weapons, learn skills, or find items to unlock these areas.
As you explore the dungeons, you’ll fight monsters and gain cells. These purchase permanent upgrades for your characters and some items. You will lose all of your cells if you die, but not your updates. You also collect weapons, skins, abilities, and power-ups during your runs.
- Developer: Duoyi Games
- Publisher: Duoyi Games
- Release Date: November 2021
- Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One , Android
Gunfire Reborn is an adventure FPS with rogue-lite and RPG elements. You choose a hero, play through various levels, and do a run solo or as part of a 4-player party.
Each hero has unique abilities. Then, the game’s system procedurally generates the levels and the loot, but some checkpoints allow you to save some progress.
You play in a first-person perspective with stylized visuals. You shoot, run, and upgrade your characters in many ways. Each run gives you multiple options to customize your characters and skills. Lastly, there’s also a Game+ mode with new mechanics and challenges.
- Developer: Nolla Games
- Publisher: Nolla Games
- Release Date: October 2020
- Platform: Windows
Noita is a rogue-lite action-adventure game. You play as a sorcerer who fights against creatures from Finnish mythologies. In particular, it’s lighter on the rogue-like features, and thus the combat is not as challenging.
The game features stylized 2D visuals and a procedurally generated world. The system generates and simulates every pixel, so the result feels very advanced and fresh. Here, your journey is about exploring, melting, burning, and freezing your way out of 7 “layers.”
Your journey is about exploring, melting, burning, and freezing your way out of 7 “layers.” As a unique mechanic, you create the spells yourself by mixing a variety of spells. Magic can manipulate the environment and defeat elements, but you will lose the spells you learned or crafted on death.
- Developer: Stunlock Studios
- Publisher: Stunlock Studios
- Release Date: March 2022 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
V-Rising is a survival/crafting game focusing on WASD isometric action. Particularly, the action and visuals are similar to Hades: to dash, slash, aim and shoot skills, and customize your character.
These systems work with a night and day cycle. You’re a vampire, and you’re building a castle. So, during the day, you can stay under a roof as you build, upgrade, and craft. At night, you explore an open-world for resources and loot.
Also, the game features bosses you can defeat for the best weapons. Combat-wise, you can customize your character with skills, armor, and weapons. You can do so solo, co-op, or on servers with up to 12 players.
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: May 2012
- Platform: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Lastly, Diablo III is the latest main entry in the hack & slash action-RPG. You create a character by picking one of the seven classes and go through a 4-Act story to defeat Diablo. Also, it supports a 4-player co-op (locally or online).
The game doesn’t have WASD movement, but it has controller support. On PC, though, you move and aim your skills with a click and use the skills on your action bar for combat. The action is flashy, fiery, isometric, and familiar for rogue-like fans.
Then, characters progress through an endless cycle of looting gear, leveling up, and unlocking skills. Each character may unlock and customize all skills, but you have limited slots on the action bar. That said, you may try and test as many skills as you’d like.