Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon: Which is Better?

If you’re a fan of roguelites and dungeon crawlers, you’ve probably come across these two great games. Or perhaps you’re looking to get into the genre and you’ve heard about these two as a possible introduction. 

Both Nuclear Throne and Enter the Gungeon are phenomenal games that both have their pluses and minuses. Here, we’ll go through some of them and try and answer the commonly asked question – Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon: Which is better?


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Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon

Nuclear Throne Pros

Nuclear Throne is often compared to Binding of Isaac and Gungeon
Nuclear Throne is often compared to Binding of Isaac and Gungeon

To answer which game is better we thought it’d be a good idea to first briefly outline the pros and cons of each game. So let’s start with the Nuclear Throne pros. 

Well, to start with, Nuclear Throne is an insanely fun game with a really cool aesthetic that allows you to shoot robotic gorillas, giant maggots, and radioactive rhinos, to name a few. 

It’s a difficult game, but skill is rewarded and there are different playstyles to choose from if you like to vary your approach. In fact, that’s one of the main pros. Every character feels unique, and you’ll have a completely different run if you’re playing with Fish, Robot, or Horror, for example. 

There is a charming pixel art style, a wonderful sound design, and an incredible and fast-paced level design that makes each run truly feel different from the last. 

On top of everything, Nuclear Throne has incredible replay value and I’ve often found myself in that good-old roguelite loop of “just one more run”

Nuclear Throne Cons

Nuclear Throne boasts a cool Co-op mode
Nuclear Throne boasts a cool Co-op mode

As much as I love Nuclear Throne, no game is without its drawbacks. Perhaps the most common accusation thrown at the game is that it takes too long to unlock everything, and I can kind of see the justification of that point. Quite simply, the game is huge in terms of unlocks and the length it can sometimes take in order to complete a run. 

Another common criticism is that Nuclear Throne is too hard. Yes, it’s true that you may not win as many runs as you would in the Binding of Isaac (no disrespect to BOI, though, it’s one of my favorites). For me, though, the challenge of Nuclear Throne is one of the main contributing factors of its replay value. 

Enter the Gungeon Pros

Enter the Gungeon gameplay
Enter the Gungeon gameplay

Moving on to Enter the Gungeon, let’s start with the pros, or which there are many. 

It has a smooth and crisp aesthetic with unique chambers. It doesn’t suffer from item bloat, like so many roguelites do. You’ll find yourself humming the soundtrack hours after you’ve stopped playing. And the game gets increasingly better the more items you unlock. 

What’s more, every floor (or Chamber) feels unique, including the hidden floors, such as the Oubliette. One of the best things about Enter the Gungeon, though, is the boss fights. Each boss feels like a special event that you must plan the entire chamber around. If you enter that boss room underprepared, you can be sure that your run is not going to end as well as you’d have liked it to. 

Perhaps the biggest positive for Enter the Gungeon, though, is its humor. The game doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and is all about having fun. For me, that is just what a roguelite needs to do. 

Enter the Gungeon Cons

Galting Gull is a tricky early game Gungeon boss
Galting Gull is a tricky early game Gungeon boss

There’s no denying that Enter the Gungeon is an incredibly difficult game, and this is perhaps the most heard criticism of it. Money, items, and guns, can be sparse if you’re on a particularly difficult run, and I’d even go as far as to say that one will lose more runs than they win. 

A lot of the upgrades can seem lacklustre, too, only becoming good when you synergise an item with a different one. Finding good Gungeon synergies can be extremely rare, too, and there are some combinations that I’ve only ever seen once in the game. 

And finally, the grinding in Enter the Gungeon can take a long, long time. For example, you may be required to defeat an incredibly rare enemy 30 times to unlock an item, this just seems unfair!

So, weighed up the pros and cons in this Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon debate. Now on to the verdict!


Enter the Gungeon Combat
Enter the Gungeon Combat

Well, let’s start by saying that it’s perfectly okay to like both games equally (I know, mind blowing!). That being said, if I had to choose one, I’d go for Enter the Gungeon.  

Gungeon has it all – the catchy soundtrack, the rewarding boss kills, the creative synergies. You need a lot of skill to play Gungeon, and it gets progressively challenging and interesting the more you unlock. 

That being said, it’s easy to see why people prefer Nuclear Throne. It has a unique vibe within the top down roguelike dungeon crawlers, and it has a distinct aesthetic that sets it apart from the rest. Your skill level also matters right from the minute you start the game, as opposed to Enter the Gungeon which is far more punishing until you’ve done some grinding. 

I can’t place my finger on exactly why, but I always returned to Enter the Gungeon before Nuclear Throne, and for that reason I have to choose it as the better game.     

In truth, though, the two games aren’t that similar, so it’s hard to choose a winner when considering Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and if you’re new to the roguelite genre, you can’t do worse than trying them both.

Get in Touch

Which game do you think is better in the Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon debate? Do you agree with us? Let us know in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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For another take on Nuclear Throne vs Enter the Gungeon, check out the great video below by Arcade Zap on YouTube.

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