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The 10 Best Games Like Cuphead

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The Best Games Like Cuphead

What are the best games like Cuphead?

There are a billion reasons to love Cuphead, so finding games that match that flavor can be a bit tricky.

Fans come for the retro appeal and stay for the punishing difficulty level, badass music, and downright satisfying feeling they get from destroying an epic boss.

If you’re aching for more games like Cuphead, then stick around to see what these ten other games have to offer.


The 10 Best Games Like Cuphead

From bullet hell games to titles with unique art, Cuphead fans are hungry for experiences similar to this blockbuster success.

You’re going to find a list of games here with innovative RPG elements, memorable boss fight mechanics, beautiful pixel art, and more.

To pick the best games, we looked for titles that used boss fight mechanics in innovative ways, and we paid special attention to challenging games.

We also kept an eye out for games with truly special art, from retro aesthetics to graphics unlike anything else.

So, without further ado, we bring you the ten best games like Cuphead:


10. Shovel Knight

Best Games Like Cuphead Shovel Knight

Many games on this list will have a classic or retro feel to their overall style, and Shovel Knight is no exception.

Released for just about everything in 2014, this gem of an 8-bit game is a 2-D, side-scrolling platformer that’s more fun than it should be.

What started out as a joke conversation among developers turned out to be one of the best games ever created, according to several critical reviews.

It’s hard to pin down one thing that makes Shovel Knight so magical, as every detail in this game adds to the overwhelming sweetness.

From memorable characters to quirky scenarios, from sentimental art to innovative gameplay, this is a title that deserves the accolades it picked up.

The awards it earned are numerous, by the way, including Best Independent Game, Game of the Year, Best Music, and more.

If you love Cuphead for its offbeat style and a healthy dose of nostalgia, then you’re in for a real treat with Shovel Knight.


9. Bendy And The Ink Machine

Best Games Like Cuphead Bendy and the Ink Machine

Cuphead fans will come to Bendy & the Ink Machine for its vintage cartoon art style, but they’ll stay for the horror puzzle madness.

The first installment of this episodic survival game came out in early 2017, and the story concluded at the end of the following year.

It’s since gathered something of a cult following, as more and more players grew to love the aesthetic and gameplay.

Told in a first-person point of view, the five-plus-chapter series also comes in a complete edition for fans who want to play it all at once.

The story is about a retired animator forced to battle demonic ink creatures who have come to life in his old workshop.  

And if that’s not enough to make you need to pick this creepy game up immediately, we don’t know what else to say.

You might want to check out the 15 best horror games of all time to get a dose of the truly terrifying.


8. Furi

Best Games Like Cuphead Furi

If action, hack, and slash, shoot ‘em up, and chaos are the descriptions you love most about Cuphead, then it’s time to play Furi.

Consisting entirely of boss fights, Furi takes players through a game with increasingly punishing levels and three possible endings.

There’s a lot to love here, from the challenging bosses to the art, to the lore that unfolds brilliantly as the player progresses.

The story follows The Stranger, also known as Rider, who is trapped in an elaborate prison system of ten floating islands and tries to find an escape.

It’s all told through a colorful and mysterious science-fiction aesthetic that is reminiscent of many vintage comic book worlds you’ve likely seen before.

Several musical artists also lent their talents to the game, providing a soundtrack of fresh tracks to keep gamers’ hearts pumping.

By the way, if you can’t get enough boss fights in your life, check out the most difficult Cuphead DLC bosses ever released.


7. Enter The Gungeon

Best Games Like Cuphead Enter the Gungeon

Single-player and multiplayer modes are available for Enter the Gungeon, which is a bullet hell roguelike with anxiety-inducing permadeath.

Your goal is to reach the bottom of the dungeon – excuse us, the Gungeon to find a rare gun that will supposedly kill your past.

Taking on the role of a Gungeoneer, players choose from Marine, Hunter, Convict, or Pilot and blast their way through level after level.

Everything about this game is over the top and silly, with adorable enemies and gun-themed everything, which is why players love it so much.

Instead of facing off against zombies, you’re fighting the Gundead – bullet-shaped enemies who have to be killed with hilarious guns and attacks.

There isn’t much story here, though NPCs and the setting provide interesting clues along the way about why the player is taking on the Gungeon.

Still, it’s one of the best roguelike games out there, and it’s well worth your time – especially if you enter the Gungeon with friends.


6. Rayman Legends

Best Games Like Cuphead Rayman Legends

The fifth installment in the amazing Rayman series is a continuation of the story and gameplay mechanics fans loved in Rayman Origins.

Cuphead fans will enjoy this because of the challenge that increases as players up their “awesomeness” ratings throughout over a hundred levels.

It’s available on several platforms, so you can choose your favorite, and it’s known as one of the best Nintendo Wii U games ever made.   

There’s also a fun set of weekly and daily challenges for players who like to check in regularly to keep their ratings high on the leaderboard.

The sheer amount of content and variety of play styles in this game have literally been enough to keep gamers entertained for years.

Originally released in 2013, Rayman Legends enjoys continued success, as its ever-green mechanics entertained fans through the pandemic and beyond.

IGN noted that the levels “look like ‘90s music videos,” which is undoubtedly another reason the discerning Cuphead gamer will love this game.


5. Ori And The Blind Forest

Best Games Like Cuphead Ori and the Blind Forest

Taking a break from bullet hells and boss fights, Ori and the Blind Forest brings us a heartwarming story about bringing nature back to life.

It’s a Metroidvania-style platformer with a gentle, moonlight aesthetic that looks like it belongs in a painting you’d hang on your wall.

The focus here is adventure and creative exploration rather than the boss-fighting chaos that most of these games provide.

In Ori and the Blind Forest, players work to collect energy cells as they move through the breathtaking landscapes and advance the story.

There is, of course, some combat with enemies, though most players will admit the story is much more important than the battle system.

Take note: This game appears on the list of the saddest video games of all time, so you’ll want to get some tissues handy before you get started.

For Cuphead gamers who yearn for more titles with unique art and powerful emotions, this beautiful experience is well worth a try.


4. Contra

Best Games Like Cuphead Contra

Friends, if you are looking for some OG action in the run-and-gun platformer genre, look no further than the arcade hit, Contra.

This has become a successful series, with its first release instantly popular in 1987, and new versions continuing to come out through recent years.

The original Contra came out on the Nintendo Entertainment System a year after it was released, solving the problem of long lines at the arcade.

Though the art style was appropriate for its time, now it is pleasantly locked in the 1980s and has a fun, nostalgic feel that’s right at home on this list.

As for the gameplay, it’s as solid as ever, with eight possible directions for shooting while you traverse the side-scrolling map, running, jumping, and trying not to die.

Though many people assumed the game was named for a real-life conflict at the time, the story takes place in the distant future.

You can play this solo or with a friend, and we recommend multiplayer because the adventure is even more fun this way – just like the old arcade days of yore. 


3. The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth

Best Games Like Cuphead The Binding of Isaac Rebirth

Sure, Cuphead is easily one of the best Nintendo Switch games, but if you haven’t tried The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, then you’re missing out.

This is a remake of a Flash game that was about to die in obscurity with the changing technology, so the developers brought us Rebirth.

Inspired by a Biblical story from Genesis, players go through a weirdly horrific roguelike adventure with tears for bullets and permadeath rules.

In the game, it’s Isaac’s mother – not his father – who believes she has to sacrifice her own son to prove her faith in God, and she prepares to do exactly that.

The player, Isaac, has to run for his life to an unknown area where many dangers lurk until he finally faces off against his mother.

This game is weird, it’s hard, it’s dark, and it’s unforgettable, which is why it led to several popular sequels that get even darker and weirder.

One of the major improvements from the original Flash version is that Rebirth has a multiplayer option, so grab a friend and suffer together!


2. Dead Cells

Best Games Like Cuphead Dead Cells

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed a pattern of permadeath, great art, and high difficulties being top recommendations for Cuphead gamers.

Dead Cells delivers on all fronts – this beautiful roguelike, Metroidvania-style game has a challenge level that’s been compared to Dark Souls.

Anyone who wants a game that will punish them, but in a pretty way, should quit wasting their time and pick this up right away.

The plot follows a character known as the Prisoner who has the power to possess dead bodies and uses it to attempt an escape from an island prison.

There’s not much more to the story, but what Dead Cells lacks in narrative development it makes up for in visual beauty and innovative mechanics.

Gamers who always choose to go with hard mode will want to experience the thrill of conquering this devilishly difficult indie game.

And, now that it’s out on pretty much every platform you could want – complete with fantastic DLC – there’s no excuse to miss out.


1. Hollow Knight

Best Games Like Cuphead Hollow Knight

When the number one game is also one of the best games like Elden Ring, you know you have something special on your hands.

To clarify, this game is not a sequel to number 10 on this list, though the titles are sometimes confused for each other.

Hollow Knight is another Metroidvania-style side scroller with high-quality art and music, and it’s the number 1 recommendation for best games like Cuphead.

Released in 2017, this game is also frequently cited as difficult, with one reviewer even saying it’s “occasionally unfair.”

That’s not a problem for Hollow Knight’s fans, though, because the gameplay and story, paired with the visual and audio aesthetics, make it a must-play.

Several endings are possible in this haunting and memorable story about a knight trying to find the source of a mysterious infection.

There are also several expansions available for players who want more challenging Hollow Knight excitement after the final credits have rolled.



As you can see, there’s a lot to love about Cuphead, and the variety of games on this list demonstrates exactly that.

No one can deny that Cuphead took the world by storm with its innovative style, art, and music – but most of all, its difficulty levels.

Whatever your reason for loving the game, we hope you’ve found a few more titles to enjoy for hours to come.  

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best games like Cuphead:

  1. Hollow Knight
  2. Dead Cells
  3. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
  4. Contra
  5. Ori and the Blind Forest
  6. Rayman Legends
  7. Enter the Gungeon
  8. Furi
  9. Bendy and the Ink Machine
  10. Shovel Knight

What do you love most about Cuphead? Leave a comment below.

Shawna Schofield is a professional freelance writer and part-time YouTuber. When not writing or recording she spends her time playing Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and Dragon Age.

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