We are a few days away from the end of 2022 and this year has been an excellent one for the roguelite genre. We have a ton of awesome releases, games that transitioned from early access to being fully released, and even new DLCs and updates being released to well-established roguelites years after being released. Of course, don’t forget that our website started this year as well.
We have been blessed to have played and reviewed games that were released this year, and I thought what a great way to end 2022 than a good ol’ fashioned list of top roguelite games that were released this year.
I initially planned on just having a top 10 list, but as I was going through my backlog of games, I realized that there were so many amazing roguelites that were released this year that not putting the other games would be an injustice to those games, so I’ve extended the list to 25 instead.
Before we begin, please keep in mind the following:
- In order to be considered, the game has to be released in 2022, whether as an early access game, a full release, or a console or PC port.
- This list is based on my opinion. If there are games that you think should belong here that aren’t on the list, then, by all means, please let us know in the comment section which game it is and why it should belong on the top 25.
While we’re able to come up with a list of 25 of the best roguelites this year, we also have other worthy contenders that, while great in their own right, just didn’t make the cut. Still, they deserve some recognition as they stand out among hundreds of roguelite games that were released in 2022.
Here is the list of roguelite honorable mentions for this year:
This week, we’ll be listing the games that are ranked 11 to 25, and the top 10 will be featured next week. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start things off with…
Growing up watching He-Man, Thundercats, Visionaries, etc., I was psyched to hear about the release of MythForce as it hits me right in my childhood. One of the most visually-pleasing roguelites to be released this year, the game has the aesthetics of 80s cartoons while having the gameplay performance of current-gen titles.
Sure, the combat is a bit clunky and the music isn’t what I was expecting, but I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives. For example, having four main characters be incredibly different from one another gives players variety in how they play, and it overlooks the fact that, well, you only have four players to choose from.
MythForce is also one of those games that promote multiplayer as you’ll immediately realize that your character has glaring weaknesses when you play solo, which I think is a good thing balance-wise. Besides, whacking randos with friends is always a fun time!
24. Gunfire Reborn
Let me start by saying I love Gunfire Reborn. I love the gunplay so much because even though I’m a terrible shot when it comes to FPS games, the game makes me feel like John Wick. The bosses are so well-made, it’s always so satisfying whenever you get to beat them especially as soon as items pop out of them like candy off a piñata. It also has a ton of different weapons to choose from and characters that are as cute as they are deadly. I mean the starting character is a cat. It doesn’t get any cuter than that!
I guess you’re wondering: if I love this game so much and have been praising it to high heavens, then why does it only sit in the number 24 spot? Well sadly, that’s where the positives end. One of the main cons of this game is the fact that the levels aren’t procedurally generated which has been a staple of roguelite games for quite some time. The weapon balance isn’t also the best, and most of the time, you’ll be sticking to 2 or 3 weapons that you know are really good. There are a lot of unlockables and meta-progression, but both seem to require a lot of effort, making the game incredibly grindy. Oh yeah, you also occasionally die out of nowhere given the right (or wrong) circumstances.
Nevertheless, once you’ve accepted the game’s flaws, Gunfire Reborn is still a very fun game mainly due to the satisfying gunplay and boss fights, thus, it earns a spot on our top 25 roguelites of the year.
23. Soulstone Survivors
Since Vampire Survivors exploded on the scene creating an entirely new subgenre, the number of Bullet Heavens that was released increased drastically. Some were good and most were bad.
One of the earlier ones that came out was Soulstone Survivors, and at first glance, you can tell that it wasn’t just a quick cash grab. The most obvious difference from VS is that it is graphically better, but there’s more to the game than meets the eye.
I love the look of the UI in this game especially the cooldown tab at the bottom of the screen so you can strategize your next move if your skills are on cooldown. The combat is also very fluid, and the character variety is excellent, that’s why this game earns a spot on the list.
22. Alina of the Arena
True to what is advertised on their Steam page, Alina of the Arena is what you get if Slay the Spire and Into the Breach had a baby. It may not specialize in both, but the combination of the two subgenres makes up for one exciting game.
The main hook of the game is its ability for you to pull off amazing combos like you’re actually the gladiator competing in the arena, and it’s just amazing when you manage to kill your first target and move out of the way in time to avoid enemy backlash.
The only gripe I have with Alina is that some varieties are a lot stronger than others it’s pointless to explore another build when the better one is presented to you unless you want a challenge. Still, the strategic depth of the game will keep you coming back for more.
21. Vault of the Void
Vault of the Void has got to be one of the most ambitious roguelite deckbuilders out there, attempting to take the genre to new heights with innovative mechanics, and while others did the same (I see you, Dark Ill), the difference lay in execution.
Firstly, instead of adding new cards to a player’s deck every victory, players have the option to switch new cards for existing ones in the deck and the card count stays at 20. Damage is also handled differently in such a way that instead of receiving damage outright, you have a chance to mitigate said damage next turn. There’s also the “Purge” mechanic where you can earn more energy by discarding cards, “Void Stones” that are used to improve your cards, the ability to change your deck right before a match, etc.
All these interesting mechanics and more make up for one incredibly strategic roguelite deckbuilder, one that makes you go for another run.
20. Cursed to Golf
Okay, so I haven’t played golf in real life yet, but really, how different is it from Cursed to Golf? You have your clubs, your shots to par, and of course, your soul being subjected to eternal damnation if you didn’t manage to finish the hole in enough shots.
Some of the things I just said aren’t true, but the game is really fun. You have your surprisingly good golf mechanics, mix that up with some really good level design, and top it all off with Ace Cards to give the game the unpredictability, and OP-ness, that makes players yearn for more. Truly, it is a wonderfully-made golf-based roguelite.
My only knock on the game is that it’s more of a golf game that happens to have roguelite elements to it rather than a balance between the two, and sadly, it is for this reason that the game isn’t higher on the list. But make no mistake, you’ll still have a blast playing Cursed to Golf regardless.
19. Army of Ruin
Oh boy, Goat Force would love this!
Quite possibly the most visually-pleasing bullet heaven roguelite out right now, Army of Ruin is just a very gorgeous-looking game. From the character sprites, the UI, the effects, and the levels. Everything you see is just an absolute feast for the eyes.
The gameplay, though very cookie-cutter and a bit slower for Bullet Heaven standards, is not that bad either. There are a ton of weapons to choose from as well as trinkets that change how your character plays. Speaking of characters, the game has a lot of them, and each one has a different ultimate that makes or breaks your run.
We just wish the game adds more levels and make everything a tad faster, but I feel optimistic about Army of Ruin as it still is in its very Early Access phase.
18. BPM: Bullets Per Minute
Most people refer to this game as “DOOM meets Guitar Hero”, but I beg to differ. For me, BPM: Bullets Per Minute more resembles “Serious Sam meets Crypt of the Necrodancer”. Subtle differences, but differences nonetheless. Regardless of which combination of games you compare it to, the game can be summed up in one word: fun.
The core gameplay of doing actions to the beat is done in a way that it’s enjoyable and not a hindrance at all. Also, the music being good is a gimme in games like this, so I’m not surprised that it is so, but what caught me off guard though in a good way are the character and the weapon variety, which blends well with the core gameplay.
The game has its share of flaws though. The monochromatic levels are a turn-off for me, and the enemy AI leaves much to be desired. These two things prevented me from putting the game in the top 10, but still good enough to crack the top 25.
17. Backpack Hero
If there’s one game on this list that embodies the saying “Don’t judge the book by its cover”, it’s definitely Backpack Hero. On the surface, it looks like a lazy attempt at a game with its pixel art graphics, automatic dungeon exploration, and emphasis on inventory management like it was a puzzle, but the game is the exact opposite of lazy. In fact, it’s one of the more detailed roguelites out there in terms of depth and mechanics!
I mean, the pixel art, auto dungeon exploration, and emphasis on inventory management are all true, but it goes much deeper than that! The pixel art is superb and adds charm to the game, the dungeon exploration is just a precursor to the random battles, and managing your inventory properly is what makes players come back for more as any and every item can be the winning combination if arranged properly.
Despite only having 3 characters in the game right now, each of them has a completely different playstyle that you’ll be a fool not to try out at least once. The sound is also not that bad!
16. Despot’s Game
Being called a “puny human” and liking it was never on my bingo card, but that’s exactly what happened when I was introduced to Despot’s Game.
As with most successful roguelite games, Despot is very easy to learn. You go from room to room, position your army, press “Fight” and watch your army beat the crap out of the enemy (or vice versa), then use the coins you gain to either get more manpower for your army or buy better weapons for them. Rinse. Repeat.
Once you get the hang of the basics, then you get to discover and appreciate the deeper mechanics and strategy. How many people should you recruit? What weapons are more suited for your army? Is your food supply plenty enough to prevent hunger? Those are just the questions you will be asking yourself a lot as the runs go deeper, and we haven’t even mentioned the “Mutations” which are the game’s skill tree.
The game kept insulting me for the puny human that I am in every run I failed, and I don’t know why, but my masochistic self kept coming back for more!
If you ask someone to give you another FPS roguelite other than Risk of Rain 2, chances are that person will say Roboquest. Well, I’ll recommend the same thing if you ask me! Roboquest has been, for the longest time, the most popular alternative for those who want to play an FPS game with roguelite elements other than RoR2.
The gunplay is top-notch, as well as the weapon variety in the game. The enemy minions are actually kinda meh, but the main attraction of this game is the different drops those minions give you. The skills you choose from upon leveling up also vary depending on your character class, of which there are a ton of them, giving the game a ton of replayability. The amount of things to do after your run is over also breathes more life into this game.
You may ask, why is this game ranked higher than Gunfire Reborn? Well, the most glaring answer to that is that the former uses procedurally generated levels while the latter doesn’t. Aside from that, I feel like Roboquest is better at basically everything else than Gunfire Reborn, but that take is subjective.
14. 20 Minutes Till Dawn
We have another bullet heaven on the list. Graphically, 20 Minutes Till Dawn doesn’t hold up compared to our 2 previous entries, but for the record, the game does NOT have bad graphics. Far from it actually. But the game more than makes up for it with astonishing mechanics and weapon variety.
Firstly, you have a selection of 11 characters, each wielding different weapons and possessing different upgrade paths. Speaking of weapons, the game acts like a pseudo-twin stick shooter as your main weapon actually has to be aimed with your cursor. And now that we spoke of aiming, your character slows down as they fire their weapon so you don’t actually just fire away like a madman, you have to carefully think about when to fire and when to reload and regroup.
It’s due to this strategic mechanic, as well as upgrade synergies that set 20 Minutes Till Dawn apart from all the other bullet heavens out there.
No, it’s not Overcooked turned into a roguelite.
Now that’s out of the way, I completely understand why people would say so, but that is just scratching the surface of the game’s capabilities. Sure, you walk around getting people’s orders, prepare the ingredients, chop them up, cook them, put them on a plate, then serve the meal to your customer and do it all over again for the next one, but that’s where the similarities end.
You see, in PlateUp!, you only have one restaurant to take care of (yours), and each day for up to 15 days, you’ll be in charge of managing the said restaurant either through adding new items to the menu or maybe change how your kitchen is laid out for more efficiency. What also surprised me about this game is that it actually leans on the realistic side of restaurant management minus the wackiness, of course.
As of this writing, PlateUp! still manages to have more or less 5,000 players online and, for weeks, was one of the top 10 games watched on Twitch. I’m not surprised one bit. The game is mad fun, and infinitely better when played with friends!
I have to be honest: when I covered Peglin back in April in one of our “Upcoming Roguelite Games” videos, I didn’t expect it to blow up as big as it is right now, but that’s exactly what happened, and I, for one, am pleasantly surprised.
The game will always be tied with Peggle, something the developer Red Nexus Games is fine with. In fact, they even acknowledged that the game is inspired by it, as well as Slay the Spire, but just because a game was inspired by two other games doesn’t mean it’s a complete copycat of both.
Peglin is pretty relaxing for the most part (until the enemies are right in your face, that is), but also fun because of the roguelite elements that are included in it. Also, the devs continue to pump out updates almost twice a week so you’ll definitely get tons of replay value with the game.
11. Wally and the FANTASTIC PREDATORS
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Wally and the FANTASTIC PREDATORS is truly one of the most underrated roguelite games of all time! It’s colorful in a very eye-pleasing way, the sound is great, and the actual core gameplay is fast-paced yet incredibly smooth.
What endears me, however, is the amount of detail developer Oscar “BOONDev” Gonzalez put into the game. Examples of this are the grass being lit if a fire weapon touches it, the game snapping to the last enemy that was eliminated within the room indicating that all enemies in the room have been destroyed, the in-between dialogues, and even the sudden close-up to Wally when he levels up. All these things, while completely inconsequential, add that layer of appeal to the game.
All of that said, I honestly have no idea why the game isn’t as popular as it should be. Maybe it isn’t marketed as well as it should have or it’s probably a timing issue, but whatever it is, I sure hope its release on the Xbox and PC Game Pass a few days ago puts more eyes on it. This game truly deserves it.
And that concludes part one of the list of our top 25 best roguelite games of 2022. Part two, which covers the top 10, will be released next week. Did we leave a game out of the top 25 that you think should be included? Which game do you think will be included in the top 10? Let us know in the comments section.