The Binding of Isaac set the tone for a new era of roguelike dungeon crawlers, and few games have been able to replicate its mastery in the genre since it was first released.
That’s not to say there aren’t other similar great games out there, though. In fact, there are plenty. Here are 5 of the best games like The Binding of Isaac to get you started.
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What are the Best Games Like The Binding of Isaac?
5. Rogue Legacy
If you liked TBOI, there’s a strong likelihood you may also have a good time with Rogue Legacy. It’s built on the same run progression mindset as TBOI, has cutesy and simple graphics, and has ultra addictive gameplay.
It’s true that Rogue Legacy isn’t quite as varied as Isaac (in terms of synergies, characters, and enemies), but it in many ways it has a more tangible sense of progression, and you can feel the levelling up process from run to run.
Rogue Legacy 2 is also a good option if you end up liking the first instalment, but it doesn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor, in my opinion.
4. Nuclear Throne
Nuclear Throne is a top-down dungeon crawler much like The Binding of Isaac, and there are a number of different characters to choose from, too.
Nuclear Throne is a less forgiving game and it could be argued that more skill is required to beat a run. Where it differs mainly is that you have the potential to change weapons on each level in Nuclear Throne, and mutations allow for permanent buffs to your chosen character.
In general, NT has a faster pace than Isaac, and it can get pretty frantic at times. That being said, I think fans of the roguelike genre should definitely give Nuclear Throne a try, it’s definitely up there with the best games like Isaac.
3. Dead Cells
At first glance, Dead Cells might not seem so similar to Isaac. Dead Cells is a side-scrolling platform game inspired by Castelvania, which challenges players with exploring an ever-changing castle to reach the ultimate boss.
If you look past the visuals, though, the games are quite similar. Both provide an ever-increasing challenging playthrough, in which you progress through levels in order to take on the final boss. Dying means that you start the game again. Both games also rely heavily on luck, consumables, and items.
There is more action in Dead Cells, and it is faster paced with a heavier focus on combat, yet both Dead Cells and Isaac have that same captivating replay value that keeps one wanting to come back and try new ways of winning a run.
For many, Hades is the best rogue lite to have ever been released, and it’s hard to argue against that.
Just like Isaac, Hades has one of the most addictive gameplay loops in the world of rogue lites, it’s fast and addictive, and there are a multitude of items and power ups to be found along the way.
The story in Hades is where the game moves to another level than Isaac. Having an engaging dialogue and a well-written narrative goes a long way to making Hades stand out from the rogue lite crowd.
In a similar fashion to Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy, you start off very weak in Hades, and it is highly unlikely that you’ll win a run early on. The more you play, though, the stronger you get, and this is where its level of addictiveness goes off the chain.
In truth Hades is one of the best games to have been released in the past decade, let alone one of the best games like The Binding of Isaac.
1. Enter the Gungeon
The closest thing to The Binding of Isaac that you’re gonna find is Enter the Gungeon, no question. They are similar in so many ways. Gungeon has keys, shops, multiple characters, a similar perspective, passive and active items, and a progression system that allows you to slowly level up the game the more items you unlock.
It’s probably true that EtG requires a bit more skill than BoI, and relies less on the randomness of items and weapons that are given to you on a run. But only slightly less. EtG still requires the RNG gods to provide you with guns capable of defeating Advanced Dragun and other similarly difficult bosses.
Simply put, if you like BoI and haven’t tried Enter the Gungeon yet, you must. Out of all the games like The Binding of Isaac out there, this is the most similar.
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For another look at some great roguelike games, check out the great rundown by IGN Games on YouTube below.