Top 15 Best Bullet Heaven Games

Bullet Heaven games have soared in popularity since the release of Vampire Survivors. Games of this style have a ton of potential, and many developers are experimenting with clever ideas.

The issue is these games are hard to find. At the time of writing, ‘Bullet Heaven’ isn’t even a search term on Steam, and unless you already know what you’re looking for, you can easily miss some of the best in this new, emerging genre.

I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to, and if you’re looking for some great Bullet Heavens to add to your collection, I’ve got you covered.

Bottom Line Up Front

There’s a ton of variety in the Bullet Heaven space, even if the core concepts remain the same. If you can’t get enough of Vampire Survivors, Holocure – Save the Fans or Nordic Ashes will be great additions to your library.

If you want a Bullet Heaven you can sink hours into, Soulstone Survivors or Army of Ruin are great picks. Bullet Heavens may be in their infancy, but there’s already enough variety to be very picky with what you want.

Enter the Dark World of Blasphemous 2 | GOG

Blasphemous 2 continues the dark and atmospheric journey of its predecessor, inviting players to delve deeper into a macabre world filled with grotesque enemies and haunting landscapes. With its stunning pixel art and challenging gameplay, prepare to test your skills and uncover the secrets hidden within this twisted realm.

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Selection Criteria

Being ‘good’ is purely subjective, but for a game to make the cut, it must adhere to the following:

  • Metacritic Rating must be 70 or higher
  • The title can be in Early Access but must be ‘complete.’
  • Auto targeting must be an option.

Metacritic Rating isn’t perfect, but gives a valuable insight into how games are scored on a general scale. Bullet Heaven games are typically a niche affair, so we don’t have data for all of them, but I’ve included it where possible.

As many Bullet Heaven games are labors of love by small teams, it’s common for them to be released under the ‘Early Access’ moniker. Every title on this list is ‘finished’ and not just a proof of concept or demo.

Finally, this may be a controversial point, but I think it’s important for auto-targeting to at least be an option. Vampire Survivors is the first Bullet Heaven many have played, and auto-targeting is a big part of that game. It may sound like a restrictive requirement, but most Bullet Heavens embrace this control style.

Welcome to Bullet Heaven

The titles here are in no particular order, and I’ve included a Steam link for each. I’m a massive fan of the genre, but I’ve not played every Bullet Heaven out there. I have experience with every game on this list and recommend them for different reasons. If your favorite isn’t listed, don’t take it personally, as I’ve likely not played it.

#1 – Vampire Survivors

vampire survivors overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Poncle
  • Metacritic Score: 87
  • Steam Page

Putting Vampire Survivors on this list may be a moot point, but this title deserves all the praise it gets. Many Bullet Heavens exist because fans of Vampire Survivors want more. Some even share naming tropes.

Vampire Survivors offers slow but steady meta progression and a ton of different characters and stages. There’s also a generous helping of cryptic puzzles along with DLC and Co-op.

I doubt Vampire Survivor’s was the first of its kind, but it put the genre on the map and is one of the rare Bullet Heavens to appear on multiple platforms. The simple graphics allow the screen to be absolutely flooded with enemies, and mowing them down with crazy overpowered abilities is what makes the genre so alluring.

One of Vampire Survivor’s bold design choices was making the title playable with just a control stick or direction keys. Everything else is automated, and that’s something many other Bullet Heaven titles have changed.

There’s not much else to say. Vampire Survivors is the OG; if you’ve not played, you owe it to yourself to change that. If you’ve not played before, check out our getting started guide to start your journey on the right foot.

#2 – Army of Ruin

army of ruin overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Milkstone Studios
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 80)
  • Steam Link

Army of Ruin is arguably the prettiest game on this list, tied with Soulstone Survivors, and has the gameplay to stand among the best.

While the gameplay isn’t massively different from Vampire Survivors, it doesn’t need to be. Movement and combat feel wonderfully refined, with clear differences between heroes. Fans of the genre will feel immediately at home, and the level of polish is refreshing.

One thing I rarely get to praise in Bullet Heaven games is attention to detail. While enemies are still cannon fodder in Army of Ruin, each enemy type is unique and appropriate for the level. The levels are full of structures and decorations, and these little flourishes add to the experience.

There’s an almost overwhelming amount of content in Army of Ruin, including over 500 challenges. Many of these are filler, but ones like the ‘no movement’ challenges force you to mix things up.

If you’re looking for a Bullet Heaven that doesn’t do anything particularly new but refines many aspects of the genre, I wholeheartedly recommend Army of Ruin.

#3 – Soulstone Survivors

soulstone survivors overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Game Smithing Limited
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 80)
  • Steam Page

As I mentioned Soulstone Survivors in the previous entry, let me show you why this beautiful title earns a spot on the list.

Soulstone Survivors has an almost overwhelming amount of content, so fans of the genre are sure to get their money’s worth. At its core, Soulstone Survivors is a simple Bullet Heaven that plays it safe and does little to stir up the formula fans love.

Just like Army of Ruin, the visuals are impressive and prove you can have flashy graphics and still have the screen overflowing with enemies. Naturally, pretty visuals come at a premium, and low-end PCs may struggle to keep up.

My only gripe with Soulstone Survivors is there can be too much going on. As impressive as the chaos is, I often die suddenly without even seeing what dealt the killing blow. Still, this is a minor annoyance and doesn’t detract from the shopping list of things Soulstone Survivor’s does right.

#4 – Halls of Torment

halls of torment overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Chasing Carrots
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

Halls of Torment offers a gritty and challenging take on the Bullet Heaven genre and is heavily inspired by Diablo 2.

Unlike other bullet heavens, Halls of Torment is slow, which forces a more careful tactical playstyle. This slower speed means Halls of Torment often gets very tense, as one false step will have you swallowed by the sea of monsters.

On top of the usual grind for permanent stats, Halls of Torment has an armor system. You can find armor, but if you want to wear it on future adventures, you must find an area in the dungeon to return it to your settlement.

If you fail, it’s lost forever. The fear of losing gear makes Halls of Torment very tense, and that’s not a feeling you’ll find in many other Bullet Heaven games.

As I mentioned earlier, Halls of Torment is challenging, but if you’re ready to be tested, this brutal gothic adventure is worth the price of admission. Bullet Heavens often slip under the mainstream radar, but popular content creator Asmongold played the title on Stream and put the title on the map for his audience.

Oftentimes, small titles like Halls of Torment just need a little push into the spotlight. Shortly after Asmongold’s Stream, the title reached over 20,000 concurrent players on Steam.

#5 – Brotato

brotato overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Blobfish
  • Metacritic Score: 76
  • Steam Page

Brotato is a Bullet Heaven that many have heard of and offers a unique take on the genre that theory crafting aficionados will fall in love with.

Brotato is all about constructing a build on the fly. Most items boost stats while penalizing others, so each decision really matters. Brotato is also very light on meta-progression.

Besides character and equipment unlocks, nothing makes the core gameplay loop ‘easier.’ Similar to games like Slay the Spire, your progression comes from mastery of the mechanics and knowledge you’ll acquire through trial and error.

The lack of popular Bullet Heaven tropes like ‘Evos’ and permanent upgrades may put some players off, but once you start to ‘get’ Brotato, you won’t want to put it down.

As a side note, the soundtrack slaps, and although the visuals are nothing special, they make gameplay easy to follow.

#6 – Bounty of One

bounty of one overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: OptizOnion
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

While not my favorite game on the list, Bounty of One is a solid bullet heaven, and the Wild West theme offers a welcome refuge from the typical fantasy setting.

There’s a modest selection of upgrades and characters to unlock, and one thing I appreciate is the powerups you find on the field. You feel every upgrade’s strength, as they all make a substantial difference. Bounty of One doesn’t deal in half measures and feels rewarding because of it.

My main gripe with this title is you can’t move and shoot simultaneously, although it does make the gameplay tense. Boss battles are fun and become a balancing act of dodging attacks while trying to stand still long enough to deal damage.

Just because Bounty of One isn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it won’t be yours, and the 90% positive rating on Steam says I’m in the minority.

#7 – 20 Minutes Till Dawn

20 minutes till dawn overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Flanne
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 75)
  • Steam Page

Don’t let the drab screenshot fool you, as there’s more to 20 Minutes Till Dawn than meets the eye.

20 Minutes Till Dawn straddles the line between ‘Bullet Heaven’ and ‘Twin Stick Shooter.’ I’ll explain how in a moment, but many tropes you expect from the genre are present. There are enemies galore and light meta-progression to explore between rounds.

Health is hard to come by, so your reflexes and dodging will be tested, but the challenge is firm and fair. The title also boasts a gritty, dark synth-wave musical score, which is a perfect fit.

Synergies and abilities are simple, and there’s an emphasis on skill with your primary weapon. By default, 20 Minutes Till Dawn has twin-stick shooter controls, but auto-targeting is an option. Some bosses are far easier to beat with manual aiming, which is something to consider.

One common complaint about the more ‘flashy’ Bullet Heaven games is that they are hard to follow. Stylish visuals can make it hard to keep track of the action. If that’s ever been a problem for you, 20 Minutes Till Dawn’s more muted visuals will be right up your alley.

#8 – Holocure – Save the fans

holocure – save the fans overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: KayAnimate
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 80)
  • Steam Page

Have you ever felt like a game is such good value that you should pay more for your experience? It doesn’t happen often, but Holocure is available for the mighty price of free and offers a mountain of unlockables and side content. All of this comes from a superb, well-balanced Bullet Heaven created by a solo developer.

If you enjoy Vampire Survivors, you’ll adore Holocure. It has stylish synergies, dozens of weapons, and even ‘Evos.’ On top of that, every character has a unique kit and a special move.

Combine that with Holocure’s catchy music, formidable bosses, and cute aesthetic, and you have something exceptional. Meta progression includes your standard stat boosts, but there’s also an addictive gatcha system to win new characters.

There’s even a random fishing minigame that plays like DDR if that’s your jam!

#9 – Nordic Ashes

nordic ashes overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Noxfall Studios
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

Nordic Ashes doesn’t do much to shake up the bullet heaven formula, but it plays well, looks beautiful, and has a superb soundtrack.

As the name suggests, Nordic Ashes is inspired by Norse mythology and offers plenty of characters and meta-progression to keep you busy.

One way Nordic Ashes breaks the mold is with its leveling system. In Bullet Heavens, you usually have little say in what powerups you get when you level up. In Nordic Ashes, you earn points to spend on a skill tree. Your weapon determines where you start on the tree, meaning you can enter battle with a plan beforehand.

Nordic Ashes has been supported by several free updates since its launch. These content drops show no sign of slowing down and even dip into seasonal events like the Halloween Pumpkins in the image above.

#10 – Crafty Survivors

crafty survivors best bullet heaven games
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Flannel Bear Games
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

Thanks to the unimaginative title, I initially wrote off Crafty Survivors as a cheap cash grab. Don’t make the same silly mistake I did, as the game has a lot to offer both fans of the genre and newcomers alike.

Instead of grinding for currency or gems for stats like usual, you’re hunting for resources, and you use these to rebuild a dilapidated village. It’s a creative way to add depth to activities outside of runs and gives some direction when picking stages.

Crafty Survivors goes all out with unique weapon designs. If you’re bored of generic lasers and fire attacks, how about dropping a fridge on your opponents? Top that off with vibrant visuals and detailed characters, and you’ve got a superb Bullet Heaven at a bargain bin price.

#11 – Boneraiser Minions

boneraiser minions overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Caiysware
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 90)
  • Steam Page

Boneraiser Minions stands out as it does something completely different with combat. You play as a feeble necromancer and rely on your minions to do the heavy lifting. Being dependent on your buddies flips the script on the genre and forces you to rethink your approach to positioning.

The old-school graphics style won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there’s a welcome sprinkle of humor and many unlockables. I have to mention the accessibility features in Boneraiser Minions, too, as it has some of the most in-depth visual options around.

If you struggle to see what’s happening in Bullet Heaven games, I can assure you that won’t happen here.

I return to Boneraiser Minions the most out of every game on this list. There’s so much to see and do; it’s no wonder this game manages to hold a 97% positive review score on Steam.

#12 – Time Wasters

time wasters overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Proton Studio
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

Time Wasters shares many Bullet Heaven tropes you know and love from other titles, but its space setting makes it feel fresh and new. This title is much faster-paced than many other bullet heavens, which can take a while to get used to.

The void of space is full of planets you can visit for rewards, and planning your route around the map while avoiding huge crowds of enemy spacecraft is addictive but challenging. Each pilot has their own ship, and you can upgrade your favorites alongside general unlocks that make future runs easier.

Time Wasters barely squeezes onto this list because of the targeting. Aiming is automatic by default, but you need to aim with the other stick for the best results. Still, if that’s not a problem for you, the space theme and planet-hopping make this a Bullet Heaven you won’t want to miss out on.

#13 – God of Weapons

god of weapons overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Archmage Labs
  • Metacritic Score: TBD (Review Average 84)
  • Steam Page

God of Weapons is a strange blend of Bullet Heaven and Inventory Management. Even reading that sentence makes me yawn, but it works far better than it should. Combat is the standard affair, set in a 3D environment. The combat part of the game is serviceable but nothing special on its own.

Where God of Weapons shines is its unique backpack system. Instead of earning stats, you earn bag space. Your backpack uses a grid system; if you can fit a weapon in there, you can take it into the dungeon. It’s a simple system that min-maxers will love, and when set bonuses and positional items come into play, there’s a lot to think about.

If you ever wondered what a Bullet Heaven with Escape from Tarkov’s inventory system would be like, it resembles God of Weapons. At the time of writing, this title just got its 1.0 release. It’s a little light on content but a fun take on the genre nonetheless.

#14 – Spellbook Demonslayers

spellbook demonslayers overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Xendra
  • Metacritic Score: TBD
  • Steam Page

Of every title on this list, Spellbook Demonslayers plays the most like Vampire Survivors. There are guns and a fantastic metal soundtrack, but little to differentiate the gameplay otherwise.

The similarities aren’t necessarily bad, as Vampire Survivors is phenomenally successful, and if that’s what you’re after, there’s a lot to love. Build crafters will have a field day with an insane amount of different stats, and there’s mountains of meta-progression to work through.

Spellbook Demonslayers came out shortly after Vampire Survivors and feels a little dated compared to many titles on this list. That said, if you’re into Bullet Heaven games, you’ll find plenty to enjoy.

#15 – Yet Another Zombie Survivors

yet another zombie survivors overview
Image by Anthony
  • Developer: Awesome Games Studio
  • Metacritic: TBD
  • Steam Page

To finish off, let me leave you with a Bullet Heaven with a contemporary setting. Gameplay-wise, you know the drill. Collect drops from dead enemies to power up your character; in this case, a zombie apocalypse survivor.

In Yet Another Zombie Survivors, one of your objectives is to rescue other survivors on the map. You can send them back to your camp for currency or recruit them. This mechanic means you can control a small group of survivors at once instead of just one. I’ve not seen this done before, and it’s awesome commanding a squad and finding synergies between their abilities.

The contemporary weapons and abilities like “grenades” are a refreshing change from magic and swords, and the game feels different yet familiar.

Yet Another Zombie Survivors also looks and sounds the part. If you’re bored of pixelated graphics and fantasy soundtracks, you may prefer the 3D art style and heavy metal music.

Honorable Mentions

These titles are worth considering if you want to fill your Bullet Heaven collection but break one or more of the Selection Criteria:

  • Witchcraft Survivors
  • Ghost Nirvana
  • Rogue: Genesia

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What’s the Difference Between Bullet Heaven and Bullet Hell?

Answer: The most common trait of Bullet Hell games is how they fill the screen with bullets to avoid. In Bullet Heaven games, the reverse is true, and you’re filling the screen with gunfire instead. I’ve seen the term ‘reverse bullet hell’ used to describe these sorts of games, and that’s a great fit, too, but ‘Bullet Heaven’ is more poignant and seems to be the agreed-upon name.

Question: What does ‘Meta Progression’ Mean?

Answer: Meta Progression refers to how much content there is outside the main gameplay loop. In Vampire Survivors, for example, the Meta Progression is the grind to reach full power on the powerup screen and unlock everything.
Most Bullet Heaven titles have this to some extent, but some have far more to do than others. Some players love the grind, and others hate it. Fortunately, there are titles that appeal to both.

Question: I’m Brand New to Bullet Heaven Games; what Should I Play First?

Answer: Vampire Survivors is the obvious choice, but I recommend Holocure – Save the Fans.. Holocure is less punishing at the start than many other Bullet Heavens, and everything is well explained. There’s plenty of side content and simple but rewarding meta-progression. Holocure is also free, so if you decide it’s not for you, you’re not out of pocket.

Enter the Dark World of Blasphemous 2 | GOG

Blasphemous 2 continues the dark and atmospheric journey of its predecessor, inviting players to delve deeper into a macabre world filled with grotesque enemies and haunting landscapes. With its stunning pixel art and challenging gameplay, prepare to test your skills and uncover the secrets hidden within this twisted realm.

Check Price Buy at Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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