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Best Permadeath Games to Play Right Now (2024)

Permadeath in video games is a mechanic that brings an extra layer of tension and excitement. It's the concept where a character's death is permanent, often resetting progress and forcing the player to start over. This mechanic adds a significant challenge and makes every decision crucial. Here are some of the best permadeath games available right now, each offering a unique twist on this thrilling gameplay aspect.


1. Lethal Company

Lethal Company Gameplay (2023)

Lethal Company is a title that has taken Steam by storm in the past couple of months. Developed by Zeekers, this title has already accumulated over 48 thousand positive reviews on Steam and has an all-time concurrent user peak of 123,117. For those not yet familiar with the game, it fits in the cooperative horror genre and tasks players to scavenge abandoned moons with the goal of selling those items to the “Company”. The real horror comes at night when you have to communicate effectively with your crew in order to safely transfer your valuables to the ship before things get too dangerous. This is a perfect title for fans of permadeath games and cooperative horror.

Lethal Company Gameplay (2023)

2. Hades

Hades Gameplay (2023)

Hades, developed by Supergiant Games, is a critically acclaimed rogue-like that beautifully integrates permadeath into its narrative. Players control Zagreus, the son of Hades, attempting to escape the Underworld. Each death sends Zagreus back to the start, but with opportunities to upgrade abilities and unlock new story elements. The game's blend of fast-paced combat, stunning art, and compelling storytelling makes each run feel unique and rewarding. The way Hades weaves its permadeath mechanic into both gameplay and narrative is a masterclass in game design, offering a fresh and exciting experience with each attempt.

Hades Gameplay (2023)

3. Roboquest

Roboquest Gameplay (2023)

Roboquest is a fast-paced, action-packed FPS with a distinct permadeath element. Set in a vibrant, futuristic world, players control a robot and battle through hordes of enemies. The game emphasizes speed and agility, with a variety of weapons and upgrades available. Permadeath in Roboquest means that every playthrough is a race against the clock, pushing players to refine their skills and strategies. The game's procedurally generated levels ensure that no two runs are the same, providing endless replayability and challenge.

Roboquest Gameplay (2023)

4. Noita

Noita Gameplay (2023)

Noita stands out in the permadeath genre with its unique pixel-based physics system. Players control a wizard in a world where every pixel is simulated, leading to unpredictable and often chaotic interactions. The game combines rogue-like elements with intense spellcasting, where players can craft and modify spells in endless ways. Permadeath adds a high level of challenge, as each run requires players to navigate a world where even the environment can be deadly. Noita’s innovative design and challenging gameplay make it a must-play for fans of the genre.

Noita Gameplay (2023)

5. Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon Gameplay (2023)

Darkest Dungeon is a game that exemplifies the brutal nature of permadeath. This RPG features a Lovecraftian horror setting, where players manage a team of heroes exploring treacherous dungeons. The game’s stress mechanic, along with its permadeath feature, means that heroes can be lost to not only physical harm but also mental breakdowns. The dark, gothic art style and narrative add to the game's oppressive atmosphere, making each expedition fraught with tension. Darkest Dungeon's approach to permadeath is merciless, making it a deeply challenging and rewarding experience.

Darkest Dungeon Gameplay (2023)

6. Don't Starve

Don't Starve Gameplay (2023)

Don't Starve is a survival game with a distinct art style and a strong emphasis on exploration and resource management. Players are dropped into a mysterious, procedurally generated world and must find a way to survive. The game’s permadeath mechanic makes every choice significant, from gathering resources to crafting items. The world of Don't Starve is unforgiving, with a variety of monsters and environmental hazards posing a constant threat. This, combined with the permadeath feature, creates a tense and immersive survival experience.

Don't Starve Gameplay (2023)

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