Top 10 Dungeon Crawlers This Decade
From roguelikes to hack and slash, dungeon crawlers have been a staple in gaming for years.
With such a wide range of games to choose from, and in such a varied category- where to start when it comes to dungeon crawlers? We have condensed it down to our top 10 dungeon crawlers of this decade. Have you tried them all?
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series has established itself as a firm favourite amongst fans of the classic dungeon crawlers thanks to it’s immense dungeons, awesome soundtrack and great colorful visuals. Although notoriously difficult, Etrian Odyssey IV saw a more accessible version of the game when it introduced a ‘casual mode’. This simplified character classes and allowed Etrian Odyssey IV to be enjoyed by both newcomers and veterans alike.
Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition
Thirteen years after its initial release, Beamdog breathed a new lease of life into this notable isometric icon; refining the Infinity Engine and developing widescreen and iPad compatible new content whilst still utilising the 2nd edition Advanced D&D ruleset. A seamless mix of narrative and sandbox action; the characters, voice acting and hours of gameplay make Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition a title that still holds up well today.
Legend of Grimrock II
Originally intended as DLC for the first title, Legend of Grimrock II is a refreshing take on the 3D grid-based subgenre of action RPGs; introducing a vast and interconnected non-linear adventure with multi-level dungeons, clever variety of puzzles, and challenging real time combat as you attempt to escape from the island of Nex and its nefarious Island Master. With your fully customisable party of four and a mysterious ‘dungeon master’ pulling the strings, this game is a no brainer for D&D and dungeon crawler fans alike.
Enter the Gungeon
Like bullet hells? Like roguelikes? Then you’re gonna love Enter the Gungeon. This brilliantly charming and unique indie title is all about guns and gun related puns wrapped in a 16-bit inspired package. An action packed dungeon crawler with a diverse array of enemies and memorable bosses that will literally fill the screen with bullets; the main attraction of Enter the Gungeon is in its colossal choice of weapons and gadgets, ranging from a duelling pistol, to a proton backpack, to a shotgun full of love, there’s hours of fun to be had with this gun mad game.
A Kickstarter success story that exceeded its target in less than a week and its backers were not disappointed. Taking heavy influence from the Diablo series in its action RPG style, Grim Dawn is a, well, much grimmer alternative that sees you battling for survival in a loot ridden doomed world that is both beautiful and broad in its high octane hack-and-slash combat and sprawling Gothic London / Wild West themed environments.
Indie title Hammerwatch was one of the most anticipated games of 2013, appealing to retro gamers with its pixel aesthetic and winning fans over with its refreshingly simple gameplay that’s easy to learn but difficult to master. Hammerwatch follows the usual tropes you’d expect from a dungeon crawler but where it really shines is in multiplayer mode, so get your friends on board and prepare to be extremely addicted to this Gauntlet inspired gem!
Another game heavily influenced by the Diablo series, Torchlight II won’t win any points for originality, but the reason why it makes this list is because it takes the classic tropes we know and love, builds on them, and pretty much runs away with them. Beautiful visuals, a great soundtrack and impeccable game design are just some of the attributes that shine through in Torchlight II; the result being a refined, rewarding and modern take on the classic genre.
Dark Souls III
The last in the Dark Souls series exceeded all expectation and cemented itself as the AAA title of dungeon crawlers. Stunning environments, a detailed weapon system, memorable bosses, and a sense of immersion made this the best Dark Souls yet. Boss battles were intense, stressful and, well, awesome. Hardened fans will always compare this game to Bloodbourne, but we chose Dark Souls based on it’s slightly more epic vibe and the legendary reputation of the whole Dark Souls series.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
There is nothing quite like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. The game takes religious tones and adds them to grotesque characters, grim surroundings and an eerie, almost fable-like story. And in amongst all this, you play as a naked and often disfigured child. A classic Zelda inspired top-down roguelike that’s as challenging as it is disturbing; The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has achieved a cult following thanks to it’s uniqueness, extensive gameplay and the ample array of collectibles and enemies you’ll encounter. You can also play with a friend for even more fun!
Diablo III made its name as the fastest selling PC game of 2012, selling over 3 million copies in its first day and 12 million copies that year. As in previous Diablo games there was an emphasis on the action element and it became a hit with gamers instantly. Diablo III took the best parts of the Diablo series and made it more accessible, adding new rune/loot systems and an intuitive interface without losing it’s Diablo-esque charm. Mentioned several times throughout this list already, Diablo set the bar and paved the way for the many games that it inspired, and as such this sublime swan song firmly deserves its spot at number one in our countdown.