21 Best Roguelikes On The Nintendo Switch According To Metacriticc

With a rise in the number of indie games released over the years, there has also been a rise in the number of roguelikes, particularly on the Nintendo Switch where indie games have managed to find a good home. Though there is some debate on roguelikes vs. roguelites, the mechanics are similar enough for our purposes.

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The gameplay of a roguelike is simple and broad, meaning it can take advantage of many different genres while still retaining its roguelike status. In many cases, roguelikes often don’t look or play anything like one another, something that isn’t common among any other video game genre. These are the very best ones available, according to Metacritic.

Updated September 22, 2023 by Jacob Whaling: New roguelikes are being released all the time by smaller indie developers, and the Switch is still the perfect home for them. We’ve updated this list with a few of the best new roguelikes to play, on the go or at home.

21 Nowhere Prophet

Nowhere Prophet gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    81

  • User Score:
    65

Nowhere Prophet blurs the lines between roguelike and card game, not unlike games such as Slay the Spire. However, where Slay the Spire takes place in a somewhat amusing fantasy world, Nowhere Prophet tells the tale of survivors in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world who must make their way to salvation by any means necessary.

Something unique about this game is that the combat’s main focus is on the positioning of units in battle, as units placed in front of one another will protect them from the majority of attacks, though this also means that those units at the rear will be unable to attack ahead of them.

20 Going Under

Going Under - Catching Jackie Fiasco Mid Rolling Animation

  • Meta Score:
    81

  • User Score:
    72

What was once a record-breaking hit song by Evanescence, Going Under is now a comedic action roguelike with a bright and colorful art style that stands out among other games in the genre.

While similar dungeon crawlers will have a somewhat serious story, Going Under sees the player character, Jackie, dive into the cursed ruins of failed tech startups, wielding various pieces of office rubbish as weapons to defend herself.

19 Crawl

Crawl gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    82

  • User Score:
    82

Crawl is a rare case where the critics and the users on Metacritic seem to agree! It might be because this game is special: it’s built for multiplayer specifically because, while one player controls the hero, their friends will control the monsters.

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The dungeons are still procedurally generated, but the additional players use the monsters that spawn to try and take out the player. If one of them manages it, their reward is being able to become the hero themselves.

18 Crown Trick

Crown Trick

  • Meta Score:
    83

  • User Score:
    75

Crown Trick is a turn-based roguelike dungeon crawler with deep, strategic combat. Enemies move after you do, which means you have all the time you need to analyze each situation and proceed along the best course of action. With tons of different weapons and relics to experiment with, you’ll definitely need the time to strategize.

Crown Trick’s flashy art style sets itself apart from similar roguelikes. While it isn’t as difficult as others in the genre, there’s definitely a good deal of challenge here to keep you invested for a while.

17 Moonlighter

A screenshot showing the shop in Moonlighter

  • Meta Score:
    83

  • User Score:
    79

In Moonlighter, you play as a man with a double life. By day, Will operates a shop in Rynoka Village. This is no mere cutscene – you can decide what to sell and set the prices, plus hire your assistants and expand your operation. By night, Will follows his dreams of becoming an adventurer, investigating the local dungeons to find new things for the shop.

The adorable art style in this game is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy on your travels, including crafting, enchanting, and befriending the locals.

16 UnderMine

UnderMine gameplay screenshot

  • Meta Score:
    83

  • User Score:
    75

This pixel-art roguelike looks more like it has been pulled straight out of Stardew Valley, as both games have a very similar art style and color pallet. However, UnderMine’s dungeon crawling combat is closer to The Binding of Issac or Moonlighter than a methodical farming simulation.

UnderMine attracts players and has managed to grab attention in all the best ways. Combined with RPG mechanics that allow players to customize their loadouts even further, UnderMine isn’t a game that should be ignored by roguelike fans.

15 Crypt of the Necrodancer: Cadence of Hyrule

Cadence Of Hyrule Crypt Of The NecroDancer Link Attack

Cadence Of Hyrule Crypt Of The NecroDancer

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    80

A spin-off that few saw coming, Cadence of Hyrule takes the fantastic gameplay of the original Crypt of the Necrodancer and puts a Legend of Zelda twist on the entire spectacle.

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Not only can players take control of Link and Zelda, but updates also allow the player to control Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask and Impa, the recurring nursemaid of Princess Zeldawith her own score to settle with Ganon’s monsters. Topped off with some great remixes of classic Zelda tracks, it’s very easy to pick up, and love this game despite its crushing difficulty at times.

14 Slay The Spire

Slay The Spire gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    83

Taking a roguelike and injecting deck-building mechanics into it seems strange at first, but it works far better in Slay the Spire than anyone could have anticipated. Standard gameplay sees the player choose one of four characters, three of which need to be unlocked through subsequent runs, with each one’s deck playing differently enough to feel unique.

Even though each run is randomized,the actual card mechanics are solid enough to make sure players always have a fighting chance no matter which deck they choose to start with, though some have an easier time late in the run than others.

13 The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+

The Binding Of Isaac Afterbirth+ - gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    83

The Binding of Isaac may be one of the first games that come to mind when it comes to modern roguelikes, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best one out there, at least not according to Metacritic. Taking roguelike gameplay into a dungeon crawling environment ripped straight out of classic The Legend of Zelda games, it’s hard to not love this indie gem.

The graphics and gameplay are both very simple, but that is more than enough to grab anyone who is a fan of the genre.The story is also very strange compared to many other roguelikes, as players follow Isaac as he escapes from his religiously insane mother while she tries to kill him.

12 Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon 2 Ghoul in battle

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    80

One of the more well-known roguelike dungeon crawlers in recent years, Darkest Dungeon is notorious for not only being incredibly fun but also incredibly hard. Taking a turn-based RPG that focuses on positioning and adding elements such as insanity, perma-death, and survival mechanics, Darkest Dungeon turned what could have been an overly simple experience into one of the best indie games available on the Switch.

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While it is a great title, Darkest Dungeon does suffer from not being as accessible to players who aren’t familiar with games that have similar mechanics. Still, if you’re willing to invest the time to learn the game’s intricacies, you’re in for a treat.

11 Neurovoider

Neurovoider a wide isometric shot of a large group of robots firing projectiles at the small player character in a grungy green environment

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    80

Neurovoider is a bullet-hell roguelike game that takes place in a high-tech futuristic world full of enemies who just love to shoot you. You’ll take on the role of a little robot struggling against the big, big world.

This game has excellent multiplayer, is meant to be played repeatedly, and allows you to affect the way the procedurally generated levels are made.Be warned: it’s tough, especially if you’re not familiar with bullet hells and/or rougelikes, but don’t give up too quickly. We believe in you!

10 Risk Of Rain 2

Risk Of Rain 2 Title Art

  • Meta Score:
    85

  • User Score:
    84

Risk of Rain 2 is the action-packed sequel to the original Risk of Rain. In Risk of Rain 2, you will battle through the harsh environments of Petrichor V as several different survivors, gathering items to help you escape the planet. Each survivor has different skills to choose from, and they all have unique and interesting playstyles.

Where Risk of Rain 2 truly shines is the endless possibilities of item combinations. When you get deep into a run, you’ll have so many different item effects activating at once that you’ll feel like an unstoppable ball of death. If you’re looking for a roguelike that lets you lean all the way into the power fantasy of destroying hordes of enemies, Risk of Rain 2 definitely delivers.

9 Crypt of the Necrodancer

Cadence watches a big band play in a gray room

  • Meta Score:
    86

  • User Score:
    71

Easily one of the strangest games on the Switch in terms of concept, Crypt of the Necrodancer takes a standard dungeon-crawling roguelike and adds a rhythm mechanic to the mix. To successfully make your way through each dungeon, you’ll need to time your movements and attacks to the beat of the music.

The masterminds behind this title could have easily used pre-existing music, but instead, they created one of the best soundtracks and some of the best music in a video game to date.

8 Enter the Gungeon

Enter The Gungeon Cadence And Ox Acquisitions Department Pilot

  • Meta Score:
    87

  • User Score:
    80

Enter the Gungeon could have easily become a generic roguelike dungeon crawler, but Dodge Roll decided to go all-in on the ridiculous premise and make some truly engaging and hilarious gameplay.

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As the title suggests, players have to enter the titular “Gungeon,” a dungeon full of references to firearms and ammunition of every variety, while wielding weapons that wouldn’t be out of place in a Worms game, such as bananas and pea-shooters that fire actual peas.

7 Rogue Legacy 2

Rogue Legacy 2 Title Art

  • Meta Score:
    88

  • User Score:
    77

Rogue Legacy 2 takes everything the first game did well, and does it even better. In almost every way, Rogue Legacy 2 improves upon the original’s formula, giving you more monsters, more dungeons, and new classes.

What sets Rogue Legacy 2 apart from other roguelikes is the succession system. Each time you die, you will choose one of your children to succeed you and attempt to do what you could not. However, each new child has their own quirks and abilities, like colorblindness or chronic fatigue syndrome. These traits ensure no two runs are the same.

6 Dicey Dungeons

dicey dungeons jester gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    88

  • User Score:
    77

On paper, Dicey Dungeons shouldn’t work anywhere near as well as it does, combining text-heavy combat reminiscent of tabletop RPGs and a combat system that is remarkably similar to card-based titles.

However,Dicey Dungeons manages to pull it off with comedy,a charming cartoony art style that is found in similarly drawn games like Night In The Woods, and surprisingly deep and enjoyable gameplay that is a breath of fresh air in a bloated genre.

5 Downwell

  • Meta Score:
    88

  • User Score:
    73

Downwell is probably the most minimalistic roguelike game on the Switch, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less good than its competition. Having similar firearm-based gameplay to Enter the Gungeon, Downwell’s players must shoot their way through levels while falling down an endless well, trying to make their way to the bottom.

This game has been out for quite a while compared to others, only coming to the Switch in 2019 after being first released in 2015, but that doesn’t mean Downwell hasn’t obtained a handful of new fans.

4 Dead Cells

Mac Games Dead Cells gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    89

  • User Score:
    84

Many people would rightly assume that Dead Cells is the pinnacle of roguelike games on the Switch, but Metacritic thinks otherwise. Taking the procedurally generated Metroidvania worlds that made Risk of Rain so popular and adding a much more colorful universe to explore, Dead Cells is considered not only one of the best roguelike games on the Switch, but one of the best roguelike games of all time.

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Dead Cells is also nearly impossible to complete, asthe developers are constantly adding more content to keep the gameplay feeling fresh even after hundreds of hours of dying.

3 Into the Breach

Mac Games Into The Breach gameplay

  • Meta Score:
    89

  • User Score:
    79

From the developers of FTL: Faster Than Light, which is unfortunately not on the Switch, comes a roguelike tactical RPG in a similar vein to the likes of X-Com or Fire Emblem. In this case, however, Into The Breach goes for a more sci-fi setting, where the player controls giant mechs in combat against monsters called Vek, which will stop at nothing to destroy humanity.

What sets this game apart from other tactical RPGs is how it telegraphs an enemy’s attacks, adding a layer of strategy that isn’t seen in similar titles. Battles play out similarly to solving puzzles, meaning the only thing keeping you from victory is your ability to solve these puzzles.

2 Spelunky 2

spelunky 2 dropping down on a mini boss

  • Meta Score:
    92

  • User Score:
    81

Spelunky started as a free, open-source game that eventually became so popular that it was fully fleshed out and sold – and then it even got a sequel! That sequel comes highly recommended by fans and critics alike.

In Spelunky,you are a treasure hunter traversing procedurally generated caves. They’re full of obstacles and enemies – but there’s loot to grab, too. Get a hold of as much as you can!

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