Top 100 Games of All-Time: #79

Enter The Gungeon

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Platform Played On: PS4

2018 Placement: #62 (-17)


What It Is:

Take bullet hell, smash it together with a roguelite, and slap a humorous, gun pun-filled coat of paint over top of it and you’ve got yourself Enter the Gungeon. You’re given four characters to choose from, each with their own gun-running abilities to help you navigate the Gungeon. Armed with a gun and a dodge roll, you aim to tackle all five floors and beat the final boss so you can acquire the Gun That Can Kill The Past. From the Fightsaber to the Gunbow, from the Origuni to the Excaliber – you are given an endless variety of guns and gun-related pop culture references that can make or break any given run.

It’s fast-paced and requires you to keep track of enemies and their attacks coming from all directions. The bosses get extremely complicated and crank up the reflex testing to 11. And yet because it’s a roguelite, each time you make it a little further you can add more guns and items to your arsenal, making the next run a little bit easier and a little bit smoother. And once you’ve gotten down the patterns of all the enemy and boss attacks, the game becomes a fun little dance as you navigate the treacherous Gungeon.

Just don’t ask me, I never got good at it.

Why It’s Important To Me:

Enter the Gungeon was the game that finally got the roguelike genre to click for me. I’d previously played other games – Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy as examples – but I still never really got the genre. But Gungeon bridged the gap for me and helped me understand how incremental progress was a feature in roguelites, not a bug. I’m not even a bullet hell type of person to begin with – it was just the game’s artstyle and gun humor that got me addicted in the first place.

It also has an extremely chaotic but fun co-op mode that I’ve played multiple times with friends. We aren’t very good and it usually ends up with us failing hilariously but it was great to experience nonetheless. A lot of roguelites focus on the single-player experience so this was nice to be able to jump into with a buddy. I also bought a copy of the Ammonomicon (the game’s in-game codex turned into an actual physical book) and have a little Bulletkin plushy on my shelf in my office. Sometimes you just fall in love with a game’s style even if it’s not normally your cup of tea, and Enter the Gungeon was like that for me.

My Strongest Memory:

I wish I could say beating it for the first time or some success story like that was my strongest memory. But I haven’t even beaten this game once (I should go back and try again sometime). I have gotten to the last world, but still have yet to reach the final boss. That doesn’t make me enjoy the trials of the game any less, though.

No, my strongest memory has to be the time I co-op’d this with HarveyZ. It was actually the first Let’s Play I ever published on my YouTube channel: see here. (You can also see proof in this video of how Not-A-Gamer Harvey was before I got to him. Also years of audio editing makes these videos hurt my ears.) It’s a nice memory because it was my start into attempting to create Let’s Plays and content for the internet – even though it wasn’t successful it led to a year of encapsulating wonderful memories playing games with all my friends.

Why It’s #79:

This game is unique because I haven’t beaten it but it still is important to me and I consider it a great game. I wish I was better at it and need to hone my skills, but it doesn’t take away from the magic of the game. It’s also great to watch runs by streamers online who are better at it than me. So Enter The Gungeon has earned itself a decent spot on my list but it can’t compete with greats that I have actually completed.