The 50 Best Indie Games of All Time

If we look back through the annals of gaming’s history, it, for the most part, has been dominated by games produced by AAA gaming studios. Back when games were primarily sold on shop floors, and the digital age of gaming was a farfetched pipe dream, there was no such thing as an indie game.

However, thanks to the dawn of the digital age, the platforms like Itch.Io and Steam Greenlight that shine a spotlight on up-and-coming projects, and the number of self-starter developers.

We are now blessed with a huge library of Indie Games, which not only provide a new, innovative wave of gaming mechanics, stories, and innovative features, but also serve as direct competition to the AAA studios out there.

Below, we have compiled a detailed rundown of the best Indie games ever produced. Therefore cutting down your research time and maximizing the time spent getting acquainted with these indie gems. But enough talk, here are our picks for the best indie games of all time.

Interesting Read: Best Indie Games to Add On Your List for 2023.

Interesting Read: 50 Most Iconic Indie Gaming Moments

Selection Criteria

Before we jump into it, we better set some ground rules. We need to assess what defines an indie game, what makes them applicable for the best games of all time list, and how we have come to our decision. So check out our selection criteria:

  • The game must have received a Metacritic score of at least 75%
  • The game must have been developed and published by a small team or individual without major financial backing
  • The game must offer a unique set of features not seen within AAA gaming before release
  • The game must have achieved reasonable financial success. Or, at the very least, cult status.
Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

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The 50 Best Indie Games of All Time

#1- Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley
  • Genre: Farming Simulator
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, IOS
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Concerned Ape, Chucklefish

Let’s kick off proceedings with an indie game that breaks the mold in so many respects. While you may think that this game is a simple Harvest Moon clone, it’s so much more.

This game is a dungeon crawler, an opportunity for cathartic exploration, a teller of surprisingly dark and poignant stories, and most importantly, a game that is infinitely playable due to a brilliant, addictive gameplay loop.

This game created by the wonderful Eric Barone has found success on just about every gaming platform available, has captivated audiences worldwide, and continues to receive regular updates, all free of charge for the player base, which is a rarity in the world of modern gaming.

Stardew Valley is just about one of the most relaxing, engaging, charming, and rewarding games on the market, and it was all created through one man. It’s remarkable, and it’s well worth your time.

Stardew Valley: Harvesting Happiness | GOG

Experience the joy of farming and building your own virtual paradise with Oizumi Amuzio's Stardew Valley for Nintendo Switch, the beloved Japanese version now available on Amazon. Immerse yourself in this charming world filled with endless possibilities and cultivate your dreams today!

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#2 – Undertale

  • Genre: RPG
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Playstation Vita, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 92%
  • Developer/Publisher: Toby Fox

There are some games that come along and do something completely fresh and new. However, we can’t think of any other game quite as brave as Undertale in that regard.

Undertale is an RPG title, modeled artistically on games like the Earthbound series, and decides to tell a unique story that satirizes the world of gaming, teaching you to play differently by popular throwing gaming tropes right out the window.

The game will teach you to befriend your enemies, to turn combat into comradery, and all the while; you’ll get to witness a killer soundtrack and some of the most innovative solutions that see this title compete with the best games of the era, on just a $40,000 budget.

We honestly can’t do justice to this quirky gem without placing a controller in your hands. So do us a favor and pick up a pad and play this one.

Undertale (Nintendo Switch) | Amazon

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the underground with Undertale for Nintendo Switch, now available in standard physical edition on Amazon. Dive into this captivating tale filled with quirky characters, clever puzzles, and moral choices that will leave a lasting impact on your gaming experience.

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03/24/2024 08:18 am GMT

#3 – Celeste


  • Genre: Platformer
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 92%
  • Developer/Publisher: Matt Makes Games Inc.

Since the glory days of the 2000’s era for platform games, the examples of standout platformers in the gaming sphere have been few and far between.

However, there have been some games that bucked this trend, and one of those was the incredible Celeste. This game has some of the tightest platforming mechanics, caters to speedrunners, offers a challenging experience, and has a fast, addictive gameplay loop—all the while keeping a minimalist, pixelated presentation that you can’t help but love.

Then just when you think this game is all about the gameplay, the game captivates you with its wonderful, touching story, which does a lot to raise awareness for depression and mental health, which is not something often seen within the medium of gaming.

Once again, you can’t help but love and admire that choice. Celeste is both a retro and a modern platformer, and it’s a game that you must check out.

Celeste (PlayStation 4) | Amazon

Embark on an emotional journey of self-discovery with Celeste Limited Run #207 for PlayStation 4, now on Amazon. Dive into this critically acclaimed platformer that combines challenging gameplay with a touching narrative, and experience a game that resonates with players worldwide.

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02/18/2024 09:19 am GMT

#4 – Gone Home

Gone Home
  • Genre: Walking Simulator
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 86%
  • Developer/Publisher: The Fullbright Company

Walking Simulators have become one of the most popular sub-genres of indie games, and this is down to a number of games that blazed the trail for others.

Gone Home is one such game that did that over a decade ago. This game sees you return to your empty family home, and in the Greenbriar Estate, you must find the clues which will shed some light on what happened in your absence.

The game is ominous at times, but for the most part, it is a charming encounter that has plenty of emotional moments, joyous highs, depressing lows, and everything in between.

Through environmental clues and exploration, this game tells a nuanced and touching story that was years ahead of its time, with a progressive and heartfelt ending. So if you want to see a game that paved the way for other walking sims, check this one out.

Gone Home (Nintendo Switch) | Amazon

Discover the emotional journey of exploration and self-discovery with Gone Home for Nintendo Switch, available in a captivating physical edition on Amazon. Dive into the immersive narrative, uncovering secrets and piecing together the mystery of a family's past in this critically acclaimed indie game.

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03/24/2024 08:21 am GMT

#5 – Dead Cells

Dead Cells
  • Genre: Roguelike/Action Platformer
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Motion Twin

Before the likes of Returnal and Hades, there were games in the trenches, fighting to make Roguelike games the popular sub-genre it is today. 

Before the hype and the mainstream acceptance of this gaming sub-genre, Dead Cells was the game doing a lot of the heavy lifting and offering a replayable and addictive title that indie fans took to like a duck to water.

Dead Cells is much like Rogue Legacy in that it marries Roguelike and Metroidvania elements together. All in the hope of creating an infinitely explorable world.

However, thanks to much more refined mechanics, visuals that are a joy to behold, and a procedural generation system that offers so much variety in level design, so much so that you never feel bored or like you have seen the same thing twice. We have to say that this is the game that truly got the gaming industry talking about Roguelikes.

Dead Cells (PlayStation 4) | Amazon

Dead cells puts you in control of a failed alchemic experiment trying to figure out what's happening on a sprawling, ever-changing and seemingly Cursed island. 

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03/24/2024 08:29 am GMT

#6 – Pathologic

Pathologic 2
  • Genre: RPG/Survival
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 69%
  • Developer/Publisher: Ice-Pick Lodge, Tiny Build

Okay, so this is the only game that doesn’t fit into our criteria. However, I have always been a supporter of this game, and once again, it seems that it is time to fight its corner once again.

Pathologic 2 is a remake of the 2005 classic title Pathologic. In this title, you play Artemy Burakh, who has returned to his hometown after news that his father has died. However, when he returns home, he gets wrapped up in a tightly woven story filled with distrust, warring factions, and a plague that is sweeping through the town.

So here is the thing, Pathologic is not a fun game, which makes it hard to recommend to players. However, this is intentional, as the game is designed to make the player struggle, feel defenseless, have to compromise their morals to survive, and ultimately make some very hard choices.

The game is an incredible, bleak experience that, we admit, won’t appeal to everyone; however, if you can appreciate this game as a work of art as well as a brutal survival experience. Then you might just see what I see.

#7 – Fez

  • Genre: Puzzle Platformer
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Polytron Corp, BLLT Works

If you have ever seen Indie Game: The Movie, then you should be familiar with Fez. This game sees you play as Gomez, a little guy with a fez who has the power to alter the planes of reality.

Which for the player means that you can only see a 2D display, but you have the power to rotate the 3D rendered world to open new pathways, reveal new secrets, and ultimately progress through this beautifully realized pixellated world.

The game is one of the most intricately designed puzzle platformers in existence, and it’s all the more impressive when you realize that this was mostly made by one man, Phil Fish. So if you are looking for something that takes the ideas made famous in Super Paper Mario and tweaks them to great effect, you should check out Fez.

FEZ: Standard (Nintendo Switch) | Amazon

When the existence of a mysterious 3rd dimension is revealed to him, Gomez is sent out on a journey that will take him to the very end of time and space. Use your ability to navigate 3D structures from 4 distinct classic 2D perspectives. 

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02/18/2024 09:24 am GMT

#8 – Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy was another project that was featured heavily in Indie Game: The Movie, and of the two, this one is by far the more financially and commercially successful. Super Meat Boy is a hardcore platformer that sees you traverse through increasingly difficult stages, all in the hope of freeing your one true love, ‘Meat Girl,’ from the clutches of Dr. Fetus.

Picture it like a typical setup in the Super Mario title; only instead of getting hurt by Goombas, there are sawblades, lava pits, evil monsters, and many other hazards placed in your way, all hoping to stop you from getting to the end of the stage.

This game was the blueprint for fellow entry on this list, Celeste, and has the same relentlessly quick, die, and play again loop, which makes the game so damn addictive.

This game is the dream ticket for any indie lover that wants something that will challenge them and train them in the art of precision and timing. If this sounds right up your alley, you need to play this one.

Super Meat Boy (Xbox 360) | Amazon

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02/18/2024 09:27 am GMT

#9 – The Binding of Issac

The Binding of Issac
  • Genre: Dungeon Crawler
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, IOS, Android
  • Metacritic Score: 88%
  • Developer/Publisher: Nicallis

From the outside looking in, The Binding of Issac may seem like a very simple game that lacks the depth and challenge to be something that grabs the player’s attention. However, you couldn’t be more wrong, as The Binding of Issac succeeds due to its accessibility and its simplicity.

In this game, you play as Issac, a child born into a very strict religious family, and due to horrific treatment by his mother, who considers him a demon child, he aims to make his escape, delving deeper into the basement and into more and more dangerous territory.

To stay alive, the player must use their tears as a weapon, acquire power-ups and perks and eventually, take on their very own mother to secure their freedom. It’s basically a dungeon crawler meets bullet hell game, but an excellent one with lots of charm and dark themes.

Plus, the game is so arcade-like and replayable that you can play this one on repeat for hours on end, and it never gets old. This one is an indie gaming gem that you must experience for yourself.

The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth (PlayStation4) | Amazon

Indulge in the adrenaline-fueled platforming madness of Super Meat Boy with this exclusive Limited Run Games release, available now on Amazon. Dive into a challenging adventure filled with precision jumps, razor-sharp obstacles, and quirky characters, and add this collector's item to your gaming library today!

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03/24/2024 08:37 am GMT

#10 – Limbo


Games like Little Nightmares, Inside, 7th Sector, and Among the Sleep. Did you think that they just sprung up out of nowhere? Well, we hate to break it to you, but none of those great games would exist without the creation of Limbo. Limbo is a dark puzzle-platformer that sees the player traverse a silhouette-style world as a vulnerable and fragile child.

Meaning that if you want to survive, you will have to use all the tools around you and your intellect to overcome hulking monsters. The game has an incredibly ominous atmosphere and dark tone that always keeps the player on their toes.

Then, in addition, the game manages to tell a compelling story without ever using a word of dialogue. Something that, at the time within the gaming world, was completely unheard of.

Limbo is a fine example of brilliant environmental storytelling, incredible puzzle platform design, and stunning minimalist art direction using a monochrome approach for a less is more effect that really pays off. So if you want to play the game that basically created an entire indie sub-genre on its own, be sure to check out Limbo.

LIMBO (Nintendo Switch) | Amazon

Experience the mesmerizing journey through the eerie and atmospheric world of LIMBO on Nintendo Switch with this digital code available on Amazon. Dive into the captivating puzzles and haunting visuals of this acclaimed indie game, and experience a surreal adventure like never before.

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#11 – Braid

  • Genre: Action Platformer
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 93%
  • Developer/Publisher: Hothead Games, Number None Inc

Braid is a game that would probably be considered one of, if not the first ‘Indie game’ to break the mold and receive critical acclaim without any huge publisher backing. This game takes place in a cute and whimsical land where you play the role of Tim, a man who is attempting to save a princess from a monster.

Seem familiar? Well, don’t be fooled, as over the course of this game, the developer intricately weaves exposition and subtle clues, outlining the true motivations of the player character, leading to a dramatic ending that really turns the theme of the game on its head and will leave some player’s with a sour taste in their mouth, in a strangely philosophical and satisfying way, if that’s possible.

Alongside its interesting narrative, Braid offers a wonderful art direction, puzzle platforming that is challenging but not to the point of frustration, and employs some fun mechanics like time manipulation to help the player progress through each stage.

This game was released around the same time as the above entry, Limbo, and in truth, this one represents the more whimsical and vibrant of the two. However, both of them are quintessential puzzle platformers, and if you somehow missed this one, you have to get playing.

Braid ( PC) | Amazon

Unleash your imagination and embark on a mesmerizing journey through time and space with Braid for PC, a critically acclaimed indie puzzle-platformer. Dive into a richly crafted world where time manipulation mechanics intertwine with a captivating narrative, offering a truly unique and unforgettable gaming experience.

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#12 – Hades

  • Genre: Roguelike
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 93%
  • Developer/Publisher: Supergiant Games

Hades is one of those rare examples where an indie game has so much depth and quality that it defies the odds and gets crowned many publications’ Game of the Year, a feat normally reserved for projects from studios with deep pockets.

However, when all the cogs begin to turn, and everyone in the team pulls in the right direction, special things can happen in the world of game development.

That was very much the case for Hades, a roguelike game that sees the player play as Zagreus, son of Hades, as he tries to battle his way out of the underworld to link up with his relatives in Olympus. However, it’s not as easy as simply ordering a taxi.

This game offers some of the most incredible, fast-paced combat you are likely to find in any hack and slash title. The writing is superb, taking Greek Mythology and offering a witty and often humorous story, much like Immortals: Fenyx Rising done in the same year.

Plus, the game’s core loop is so addictive that you’ll find yourself battling your way out of the underworld long after your first escape. Not to mention, this game looks outstanding with an art style similar to titles like Bastion, Pyre, Transistor, and other Supergiant entities. So if you want to experience what is perhaps the best roguelike game ever, get into this one.

Related: Hades also found itself on our complete list of the Best Indie PS5 Games.

Hades (Xbox) | Amazon

Explore a thrilling odyssey through the underworld in Hades for Xbox One X, now available on Amazon. Dive into a captivating narrative and engage in fast-paced combat as you strive to escape the clutches of the god of the dead.

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02/18/2024 09:41 am GMT

#13 – Papers, Please

Papers, Please
  • Genre: Puzzle Simulation
  • Platforms: PS4, PC, IOS, Playstation Vita
  • Metacritic Score: 85%
  • Developer/Publisher: Lucas Pope, 3909

There are some games that present concepts that, on the surface, seem so mundane that you couldn’t possibly be successful. However, in spite of this, some games provide experiences that are so realistic, so satisfying, or so unique in their approach that they take a mundane activity and make it incredibly fun.

Games like Lawn Mowing Simulator, Unpacking, and Euro Truck Simulator are great examples of this. However, none have the nuance of Papers, Please.

In this game, you play as a border control officer, and all you do is stamp passports and personal reports to accept or deny access to the Country.

However, as the situation within the region changes, the game makes things incredibly difficult to manage, the decisions you need to make become much more difficult, and suddenly, the weight on your shoulders feels like a heavy burden. Who knew that a job in a kiosk could be so engaging?

Papers, Please (Playstation Vita) | Amazon

Experience the gripping tension of border control in "Papers, Please" on PlayStation Vita, where every decision shapes the fate of individuals seeking entry. Immerse yourself in a morally complex narrative and test your judgment in this critically acclaimed indie sensation.

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03/24/2024 08:43 am GMT

#14 – Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami

There are lots of things that were great about the 1980s. The music was great, the fashion was interesting, to say the least, and everyone was super into neon.

Well, all of these things are present in Hotline Miami, a game that really leans into the Miami Vice theme and offers a fast-paced mission format where the player must move fast, taking out targets in a variety of creative ways.

This is a top-down shooter title with a killer soundtrack, incredible level design, a wide variety of different combat options, and play styles. Plus, it’s super accessible but challenging to master, which is exactly what you want. So if you want to embrace the eighties in the goriest way possible, Hotline Miami is your dream ticket.

Hot Line Miami Collected Edition (Playstation Vita) | Amazon

Unleash your inner vigilante in the adrenaline-fueled chaos of "Hotline Miami" on PlayStation Vita, where fast-paced action and retro aesthetics collide. Dive into a neon-soaked underworld and master the art of ruthless strategy to survive in this cult classic indie gem.

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#15 – Minecraft


It may be hard for younger generations to ever believe that Minecraft was anything less than the global phenomenon that it is today. However, I myself remember the days when Mojang was taking subscriptions from players to play Minecraft via a web browser extension.

However, from humble beginnings, this game continued to grow, and with the acquisition by Microsoft, Minecraft became one of the most profitable projects in gaming history.

This game is not just an incredible sandbox for both survival gamers and creative gamers. It has also become a hub for creative developers to create games within projects like Hypixel.

It has become an educational resource that is now used to teach kids coding, and quite frankly, we are excited to see where Minecraft goes next. We know one thing for sure, though. The game’s trajectory is still on the up, and we see no reason to believe that will change any time soon.

Minecraft (Xbox One) | Amazon

Embark on limitless adventures and unleash your creativity in the boundless world of "Minecraft" on Xbox. Build, explore, and conquer alongside friends in this iconic sandbox game that offers endless possibilities and endless fun.

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#16 – The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Platforms: PC
  • Metacritic Score: 88%
  • Developer/Publisher: Davey Wreden

Speaking of games that blossomed from a small seed. The Stanley Parable was merely a mod for the popular title, Half-Life 2.

However, this metagame would become so popular that it would justify a mainstream release on Steam, allowing the gaming community at large to experience this incredible, strange, and unique brand of storytelling and design based on freedom and player choice.

This title sees you play as office droid Stanley who wants to break free from the monotony of his simple, boring office job. However, how this decision pans out will depend on what decisions you make, your playstyle, how keen you are to explore, and your ability to think outside the box.

This game, much like Undertale, is a satirical game that pokes fun at the gaming industry at large and does so with aplomb. It’s not a ‘game’ per se. However, it’s an experience that will stay with you long after you step away from this one. So if you want to break free from the confines of traditional gaming tropes, this is the one for you.

#17 – Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium
  • Genre: Isometric RPG
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, IOS, Stadia
  • Metacritic Score: 91%
  • Developer/Publisher: Za/Um

Where do we begin with this one? Disco Elysium is an isometric RPG that sees you play as a detective that has drunk himself into a stupor, has amnesia, and must piece together who he is, while simultaneously trying to solve a murder case that he has been assigned.

As you can imagine, hilarity ensues, but once you get a feel for the world and the people around you, this game really opens up and shows you the scope of this project.

Disco Elysium is a traditional RPG done differently. You have complex builds, player choice, dice rolls, side quests, tough decisions, and all the usual DND-Esque tropes. Yet, this is presented in a realistic context with no combat to speak of.

Plus, the richness of the lore, the setting, the writing, and the voice acting in the Final Cut edition of this game is second to none. Then to top it all off, this game has a renaissance painting style art direction that is unlike anything out there.

In short, I have no problem stating that this is the best traditional, modern RPG for over a decade, and if you haven’t played this, you won’t regret doing so.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (PlayStation 4) | Amazon

Embark on a captivating journey through the intricate narrative and richly detailed world of "Disco Elysium" on PS4. Delve into a groundbreaking blend of role-playing and detective gameplay, where every choice shapes your character and the fate of the city.

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03/24/2024 08:46 am GMT

#18 – Cave Story

Cave Story
  • Genre: Action Platformer
  • Platforms: PC, 3DS, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 93%
  • Developer/Publisher: Studio Pixel

We stated that Braid was perhaps the first indie game to break the mold. However, we would argue that Cave Story is perhaps the first-ever indie game produced. Or at least the first one that has ever been referred to as an Indie game.

Cave Story is a Japanese indie game produced way back in 2004 which took aspects of Metroidvania titles and adapted this tried and tested format to offer a new combat system allowing players to change playstyles on the fly.

It may seem primitive in the light of 2023. However, without this game blazing a trail, we would likely not have similar games of this nature. Games like Hollow Knight and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, to name a few. So if you want a history lesson on how the first seeds of Indie Gaming were sown, check out Cave Story.

Cave Story (Nintendo Switch) | Amazon

Experience the timeless charm and challenging gameplay of "Cave Story" on Nintendo platforms. Dive into a captivating adventure filled with exploration, platforming, and epic boss battles, all wrapped in a beautifully crafted pixel-art world.

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03/24/2024 08:48 am GMT

Related: Best Indie Games Released in 2021.

#19 – FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light
  • Genre: Action Simulator
  • Platforms: PC, IOS
  • Metacritic Score: 84%
  • Developer/Publisher: Subset Games

Next up, we have a game that sees you break out of the earth’s atmosphere and travel into the deepest recesses of space in search of galactical treasure and adventure. FTL: Faster Than Light is a game that hands you a little spaceship, a ragtag crew of star explorers, and nudges you in the right direction, but each journey that you set off on will be different from the last.

You see, this game presents the player with a procedurally generated path through space, and the player’s job is to manage their crew, strategize how to deal with threats like space pirates, plan their route through deep space, and manage resources accordingly so that you can upgrade your ship and see as much of the final frontier as you possibly can.

I’m making this pixellated simulator sounds a little grandiose, but in truth, it does give the illusion of depth and infinite possibilities by design. The player never knows how their run will go, what challenges will await them, and therefore, one run will need a player to think differently and strategies accordingly when compared to the last.

Some may complain that your success is primarily ruled by RNG, but we say leave your cynicism at the door just this once and check out this pocket-sized space opera for yourself.

#20 – Journey

  • Genre: Walking Simulator, Adventure
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, IOS
  • Metacritic Score: 92%
  • Developer/Publisher: That Game Company

If there was one game that personally opened my eyes, not only to the value of indie games as a collective within the gaming industry but also that games could and should be considered works of art. Then Journey as that one. This game burst onto the scene in 2012 and blew critics and gamers away with its incredible presentation and art style.

It’s rare that the developer can have gameplay take a backseat and not suffer as a result, but with Journey, the sheer pageantry of the overall experience is enough to keep players thoroughly engaged for the short run of this game.

This title has countless awards for its incredible art style, its enthralling soundtrack, its dialogue-free storytelling ability, and it also garnered praise for its subtle multiplayer aspects.  Then throw in incredible set pieces like the intense slide through the ruins against a sun-soaked backdrop, or the dark depths immediately after with monsters waiting in the shadows, and you have a finished product that more than justifies its Game of the Year status. 

This game only takes about two hours to see through from start to finish. However, when you finish this one, you will feel like you have just completed a monumental adventure, and the experience will stay with you long after the credits roll.

This game has lived rent-free in my head for the best part of a decade now, and I doubt it will ever get its orders to vacate. So consider that an endorsement and play this one as soon as you can.

Journey: Collector’s Edition (PlayStation 4) | Amazon

Embark on a mesmerizing odyssey through vast deserts and ancient ruins in "Journey" on PS4. Discover the beauty of this unique adventure as you glide, soar, and collaborate with fellow travelers in a wordless yet deeply emotional experience.

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02/19/2024 12:40 am GMT

#21 – Rocket League

Rocket League

It’s hard to believe that Psyonix, the creators of Rocket League, were once struggling indie game developers.

Especially since Rocket League has gone on to become a staple of the Esports community and has attracted millions of players since its launch in 2015; however, before Rocket League, there was ‘Super Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars,’ which is a mouthful, and I would wager contributed to the poor commercial success the first time around.

However, at the second time of asking, Rocket League was born and has continued to provide players with one of the most innovative and chaotic sports games on the market. Who would have thought that combining soccer and RC cars would have worked so well?

This game has continued to grow in popularity as time goes on, with the RLCS competition series offering huge prizes and eternal glory for the teams who compete and win. Plus, for the casual player, the game is constantly receiving updates, new modes, new maps, new content, and cosmetic items.

Rocket League is a stellar multiplayer experience and single-handedly galvanized the sporting game genre at a time when Madden, FIFA, PES, NBA 2K, and other entities were running out of ideas. Psyonix seized their opportunity, and now that Rocket League is a free-to-play game, you should too.

Rocket League Collector’s Edition (Xbox One)
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02/18/2024 02:14 am GMT

#22 – The Forest

The Forest
  • Genre: Survival
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 83%
  • Developer/Publisher: SKS Games

I’ll be honest, this one may feel a little out of place amongst the indie gaming juggernauts in this list, but bias be damned, I’m slotting it in here anyway, because, in my opinion, this is the best indie survival game ever made, and yes, I include Valheim in that statement so get over it.

The Forest is a game that sees the player crash land on a mysterious island with their son Timmy and against all odds, you survive the crash, waking to see a man doused in blood kidnapping your boy.

So, your overarching goal here is to get your son back and get off the island. However, before you can do that, you’ll need to gather yourself, get the lay of the land, and try to survive in spite of the ravenous, cannibal inhabitants of the island.

The Forest has a map that is jam-packed with little details, areas of interest, fun weapons, and crafting components and clues that help you understand your surroundings a lot better.

So much so that you may be building an extravagant base, locating the passengers of the crash dotted around the map, and embracing the cannibal culture so much that you forget that you have a son to save.

Don’t feel bad; we all neglected little Timmy to build a stellar HQ on the island. Now is a great time to get into this one, as Sons of the Forest, the direct sequel, is set to arrive in 2023. So do yourself a favor and check out this indie survival gem.

#23 – Among Us

Among Us

You may remember this game coming along and keeping everyone sane and entertained throughout that horrible global lockdown period in 2020. However, what many don’t know, is that Among Us was a game that had existed for the best part of two years at that point.

The social deduction game had received modest reviews and success upon release. However, up until mid-2020, this game averaged about 300 players a day. Then when we were all assigned to our homes, this game suddenly became a beacon of sunshine in an otherwise drab and bleak day-to-day routine.

Since then, this game has never looked back and remains one of the most popular multiplayer gaming experiences around.

This game places you on a spaceship and asks you to complete a series of mundane and rudimentary tasks to fix the ship. Do so, and you win the game. However, within your crew, a select amount of players will be assigned the role of an imposter who is gradually killing off the crew one by one.

So equally, it is your job to catch the killer and boot them off the ship before they whittle you all down to nothing. This game is a hoot to play with friends and really brings out the detectives and compulsive liars within the group. Be sure to check this one out when you next have a social gaming night planned. 

Among Us: Impostor Edition (PS4) | Amazon

Gather your friends and prepare for suspicion, betrayal, and deception in "Among Us" on PS4. Navigate the intricate social dynamics of a spaceship as you work together to uncover impostors or cleverly deceive your crewmates to emerge victorious.

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02/19/2024 12:44 am GMT

#24 – Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game
  • Genre: Puzzle Adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 81%
  • Developer/Publisher: House House, Panic Inc

Some may feel that this is the equivalent of sticking Goat Simulator into a list of indie gaming’s most prestigious games. However, we would argue that when it comes to pure unadulterated fun that is accessible to all, there are few games that can match the sheer joy and silliness packed into Untitled Goose Game.

This title sees you play the role of the titular goose as you run around a quaint little village, honking at the top of your lungs and causing general mayhem. Each area represents a new challenge and a new checklist of tasks you need to complete to cause havoc and upset the population of this tranquil little English Village. 

The game itself is a very simple one, as are the mechanics and the puzzles within. However, it’s the humor, the unbridled joy, and the freedom to play your own way that makes Untitled Goose Game so appealing.

That and the fact that it is one of those games that you could show to your non-gaming friends and family, and they could instantly get involved in the action. The overall experience is short but sweet, so if you want a quick and quirky indie that is well worth the price of admission, then this is certainly one to consider.

Untitled Goose Game (PlayStation 4) | Amazon

Embrace your inner mischief-maker and wreak havoc as a mischievous goose in "Untitled Goose Game" on PS4. Experience hilarious puzzles, charming art style, and endless opportunities for chaos as you honk your way through a picturesque village.

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02/19/2024 12:46 am GMT

#25 – What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Genre: Walking Simulator
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, IOS
  • Metacritic Score: 92%
  • Developer/Publisher: Giant Sparrow

Now, we have what is arguably the most quirky and beloved walking simulator within the medium of gaming, What Remains of Edith Finch. In this game, you return to the Finch residence to get some answers about the tragic past of each family member and try to understand if there really has been a curse placed on the family.

As you travel through this marvel of architecture, you’ll get an in-depth look into the life and eventual fate of each family member, presented through incredible stories that offer unique gameplay mechanics, making each snippet of this title feel like a new game within a game. Game-ception. 

The writing within this title is superb; the art style and environmental storytelling are top-notch, as you would expect from a modern walking sim. Plus, while some of the mechanics are wonky, to say the least, the variety they offer throughout this journey keeps the player thoroughly engaged and never lets the game feel stale.

The game is excellently paced, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and offers some of the most jovial and heartbreaking moments within gaming in equal measure. It’s high praise, but it’s very much warranted. So please, check out this phenomenal game. 

What Remains of Edith Finch (Xbox One) | Amazon

Immerse yourself in the captivating and emotional journey of "What Remains of Edith Finch" on Xbox. Explore a mysterious family home and uncover the secrets of the Finch family through a series of poignant and interactive stories that will stay with you long after the game ends.

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03/24/2024 08:53 am GMT

#26 – Norco

  • Genre: Text-Based
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Geography For Robots

I have always had a soft spot for a text-based adventure or a point-and-click romp. Even with modern games achieving mechanical and visual excellence, I still have a lot of love for games like Day of the Tentacle, or Grim Fandango.

This is why when something like Norco rolls around, I jump at the chance to read oodles of text, and immerse myself in a wonderful fictional world. Norco offers a surreal sci-fi setting based loosely on the real-world town of Norco in Louisiana, US.

You play as Kay, a character returning home to a town where they no longer belong, who is tasked with retracing her mother’s steps in the days before they passed, leading to encounters with extremely colorful characters, wonderfully thought-provoking conversations about religion, socio-economic structures, and the existence of giant sewer birds that shoot lasers from their eyes.

Kooky, right? That’s probably the best way to describe this game. It’s about as close to Disco Elysium in terms of text-based quality writing and storytelling as we are ever going to get, and if that’s not a reason to play, I don’t know what is!

#27 – Neon White

  • Genre: FPS/Platformer
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Ben Esposito

Speaking of kooky games, Ben Esposito is no stranger to developing odd indie outings. In fact, Donut County remains one of the most amusing bite-sized Indies I have played. However, if you would have told me that he would follow that up with an anime-inspired speedrunning platformer set in heaven, I would have laughed you out of the room.

Yet, despite this sounding like a strange and ambitious blend of genres and styles, Ben pulls it off with aplomb, creating one of the most engaging, addictive, and satisfying modern takes on the platforming genre.

I often try to sell this game to others as ‘ a game that allows you to speedrun speedrunning.’ It creates bite-sized courses where you will need to optimize movement, master both FPS and speed-based mechanics, and find the shortest path from A to B possible, in order to Ace each stage.

Then to top it all off, it’s written in a hilarious irreverent style, and offers tonnes of replayability due to online leaderboard functionality. No words I use will do it justice better than the pure poetry in motion that is Neon White’s core gameplay loop, so get out there and slay some demons!

#28 – Inscryption

  • Genre: Deck-Builder Roguelike
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 87%
  • Developer/Publisher: Daniel Mullin Games

Next up, we have a spooky deck builder that will keep you on your toes throughout, and make you squirm with its gritty, dark overtones. Inscryption is a card-builder that places you right in the middle of a dark, surreal cabin in the woods setting, and to escape this living nightmare, you’ll be forced to play a life-or-death procedurally generated DND style board game, not unlike Slay The Spire.

With just a handful of basic cards, you will have to take down your captor’s many masked aliases, all the while looking for a way to escape in between turns.

It’s a game that disguises itself as a simple card game, when in reality it is also an escape room puzzle game, it’s an FMV-style mystery epic, and it’s a top-down Zelda-like RPG in the latter stages too. It’s a pseudo-horror game that always keeps you guessing, never lets you get comfortable, and is chocked full of surprises. So if you want a card game with a bit of an edge. Then Inscryption is the game for you.

#29 – Tinykin

  • Genre: Platformer
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 86%
  • Developer/Publisher: Splashteam

I often lament the days when good mascot platformers were a dime a dozen. They were, and probably still are, my comfort game of choice, but very rarely do you see a competent modern platformer hit the digital shelves.

Well, there are a handful of exceptions, and one of those is Tinykin, a colorful little adventure that has Milo travel to a suburban home in 1991 in search of Tinykin, little alien dudes that look like Pikmin, and have specific powers that can help you on your quest.

It really brought me back to the good old days when Toy Story: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue was all the rage. Thanks to Milo’s miniature size, these typical household environments feel like bustling metropolises, ripe for exploration.

The movement is slick, the art style is novel, the puzzles and quests are fun and varied, and, best of all, the game knows when to wrap things up before everything starts to feel stale and repetitive. It’s easily the best traditional platformer of the modern era, and well worth a play if you want a healthy dose of nostalgia.

#30 – Outer Wilds

outer wilds
  • Genre: Open World Puzzler
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 85%
  • Developer/Publisher: Mobius Digital

On the Indie Game Culture Podcast, we recently discussed games that you should absolutely only play once, because nothing will ever compare to that first encounter, and for me, Outer Wilds is the epitome of a one-and-done game.

Outer Wilds places the player in an infinite time loop, and your goal is simple. Work out how to break the loop. In theory, it’s simple, and if you know the solution, you can actually do it in about 15 minutes if you hustle. However, most players will take tens of hours, as you will need to explore an entire mini-solar system to uncover the secrets of each planet.

The game offers no quest markers or hints. It simply provides a spaceship and sends you on your merry way. Then you must discover old records, work out how each biome behaves, take note of all the recurring events during the time loop, and when you exceed 21 minutes, the loop starts all over again.

It’s the freedom to explore at your own leisure, and the amount of natural Aha moments that Outer Wilds provides that makes it one of the best Indies of all time, and one that I only wish I could wipe my memory of to play again with a fresh mind. I suppose I will just have to live vicariously through all of you.

#31 – Return of the Obra Dinn

  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 89%
  • Developer/Publisher: Lucas Pope

There have been a few games that have tried to put the player in the shoes of a detective, and each has had varying degrees of success. Heavy Rain, L.A Noire, and the aforementioned Disco Elysium are all great examples. However, for me, none quite hit the mark like Return of the Obra Dinn, which sees the player try and piece together the fates of the doomed Obra Dinn crew for insurance purposes.

With a grainy monochromatic visual style, a 1920s movies reel of tableaus to exhibit each set of clues, and absolutely no hand-holding whatsoever, this game asks you to do all the groundwork, use logic and reason, and even some educated guesswork to work out what happened to this unfortunate bunch.

The beauty of this game is that the story is so well-written and compelling that even though you can get the gist of the narrative by breezing through the story at speed. I would wager that most players will vehemently refuse to walk away from the ship without understanding the outcome of each minute thread of each story beat.

It’s another masterful bureaucratic task turned epic adventure from Lucas Pope, and a game that I would highly recommend to all those in need of a cerebral experience.

#32 – Citizen Sleeper

  • Genre: Text-Based
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Metacritic Score: 85%
  • Developer/Publisher: Jump Over The Age

We have another 2022 Text-based adventure, and while I think Norco is probably the stringer of the two, it’s way closer than one might think. Citizen Sleeper is a Sci-fi epic that seems lifted straight out of the mind of Issac Asimov himself, which has you play as a Sleeper.

An android in a stolen body that will have to fight tooth and nail to survive in a body that is constantly trying to reject them, and that’s before you consider battling hunger, getting to know the vast Space Station known as The Eye, and making enough cash to afford basic amenities.

It’s a wonderful take on the traditional-survival game format, amalgamating it with a DND style dice-based mechanic to force careful planning, hard-decisions, and ultimately, will have you constantly asking, is it right to stick around, or to get out a dodge and leave all those you have met behind.

I will concede that this one is a real slow burn, and some of the systems take a minute to get your head around, but if given the chance, Citizen Sleeper may just become your new favorite sci-fi adventure.

#33 – Sifu

  • Genre: Beat-em-up
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 86%
  • Developer/Publisher: Sloclap

I have seen a lot of old formats reinvent themselves in the form of modern indie games, but one genre that always seemed to stick with the tried and true methods was Beat-em-up titles. When you hold old titles like Streets of Rage, and modern titles like TMNT Shredder’s Revenge side by side, they feel like they could be from the same era.

However, Sloclap saw the potential of throwing a curveball and developing a beat-em-up that had all the trimmings of a traditional beat-em-up, but with the benefit of modern visuals, and complex combat mechanics.

Sifu is a roguelike title that sees you aim to master the art of kung-fu and track down the five assailants who murdered your father. A simple, almost cliche premise, I know. However, through meticulously crafted combat, the game succeeds purely on the strength of its gameplay.

It’s almost Souls-like in its approach of having players become masters of their craft just to progress through each stage, and although the game is much easier with the introduction of Student mode, the game is still a very hard but rewarding fighter well worth checking out.

#34 – Dredge

  • Genre: Adventure/Resource Management Sim
  • Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 85%
  • Game Developer/Publisher: Black Salt Games

Up until very recently, I was always on the fence about Team 17 as a publisher/studio. As a publisher, you are meant to be a taste-maker, often with a portfolio with a certain level of cohesion so players almost know what to expect before the game is even announced.

Up until recently, I thought they were throwing a lot of things at the wall to see what stuck, leading to some hits, and some misfires in 2022, but 2023 has been a real coming-of-age year for the studio, and Dredge is the game that kick-started that change.

Dredge is a nautical adventure game where you will play the role of a fisherman who must sell fish to upgrade their boat to upgrade their ship, and with said upgrades, you can sail further, catch bigger fish, and make more improvements.

This aspect of the game is great, but what makes it stand out from other games with fishing mechanics is the inclusion of mind-bending eldritch horror, surreal events, a compelling day-night-cycle-based risk and reward system, and a wealth of additional content if you are willing to seek it out. In my opinion, it does tail off toward the end, but even with this in mind, Dredge is an absolute gem and well worth setting sail for.

#35 – Rollerdrome

  • Genre: Arcade Shooter/Sports
  • Platforms: PS4/5, PC
  • Metacritic Score: 81%
  • Game Developer/Publisher: Roll7

Then lastly, from the same folks that brought you the OlliOlli series comes Rollerdrome, a battle-royale style arcade shooter which has a lot in common with the critically acclaimed THPS series. In this title, you play as a new combatant named Kara Hassan, and must use your aptitude both for killing and for rollerblading to take down a bunch of trained assassins and mechs to rise through the ranks and become the champion of the Rollerdrome.

It’s a title that is easy to pick up, but quite tricky to master, as the game will force you to chain combos and multipliers, rack up crazy scores, marry tricks and kills together seamlessly, and complete a series of tough bonus objectives just to unlock new levels.

It’s a game that pulls no punches, but in my opinion, that’s the beauty of it. It’s pure arcade bliss, and if this was around in arcade machine form in the 1980’s, I can only imagine the amount of quarters this machine would have eaten.

#36 – Dave The Diver

Genre: Casual/Resource Management 

Platform: PC/Switch

Metacritic Score: 90%


Next, we have a game that has a two-pronged approach to delivering a hearty dose of fun to players. 

Dave The Diver is a relaxing and humorous adventure that sees you explore the underwater world by day, catching fish for your sushi restaurant, and then by night, you run a successful Sushi dinner service where you’ll need to run around like a headless chicken to make sure everyone leaves feeling full and satisfied. 

The gameplay loop is one of the most addictive and engaging ones you’ll find in any video game, period. Plus, the game has cute pixel visuals, wacky mini-games and storylines, and loads of added extras to keep you busy after the credits roll. 

It’s the perfect cozy game for those who have a penchant for sushi and fancy a swim. So dive into Dave The Diver real soon! 

#37 – Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Genre: Sports/Platforming

Platform: PS4/5, PC, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch

Metacritic Score: 75%

Developer: Reptile Studios

If you were around in the ill-fated days of the Dreamcast, you’d know that while that console wasn’t the success Sega wanted it to be, there were some absolute bangers released on that system. 

One of which was Jet Set Radio, an urban-themed extreme-sports and parkour title like no other. Well, until now, as Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is the spiritual successor we have all been waiting for. 

This title sees you BMX, Rollerblade, and Skate around the new-age city of New Amsterdam, as you aim to team up with your band of misfits to become the most prominent street gang in the city, take down the evil DJ Cyber, and find out what happened to the former owner of your decapitated head, Faux. 

It’s zany as hell, and the game feels so smooth to play, allowing you to perform sick combos and lines right out of the gate. The combat is a little frustrating, but overall, Bomb Rush is an amazing game that Dreamcast fans need to check out! 

#38 – Sea of Stars

Genre: JRPG

Platform: PS4/5, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Metacritic Score: 87%

Developer: Sabotage Studios

Ah, what can I say about Sea of Stars that I haven’t already said lovingly in my review? Well, at the risk of repeating myself, Sea of Stars is a retro-inspired JRPG, offering visuals and gameplay that are reminiscent of games like Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Final Fantasy. However, Sea of Stars is far from a glorified remaster. It’s a masterpiece. 

Sea of Stars offers a unique JRPG storyline with plenty of moments that will have you smiling from ear to ear. It has modern visuals that balance the retro-nostalgia and the high-fidelity expected in this gaming generation expertly. Plus, the game makes a huge effort to make just about every aspect of the gameplay interactive and satisfying, whether that be platforming, combat, exploration, or minigames like Wheels. 

It’s rare that I can ever say that a game has next to no flaws, but in the case of Sea of Stars, that is very much the case. So consider that an endorsement of the highest order, and go play this love letter to the golden era of JRPGS today! 

#39 – COCOON

Genre: Puzzle

Platform: PS4/5, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Metacritic Score: 88%

Developer: Geometric Interactive 

If you’re looking for a modern puzzle game that can genuinely be talked about in the same breath as Portal, The Talos Principle, and Baba Is You in terms of quality, then you’ve just found one in the form of COCOON. 

COCOON is a super-stylized and cerebral puzzle game from some of the major figureheads at PLAYDEAD, hence all the capital letters in the game’s title. The good news is that even with this leap from 2D side-scrolling platformer to puzzle game, the team really stuck the landing, offering a truly wonderful puzzle experience. 

This game will have you leaping through portals using orbs to hop from one reality to the other, using each environment to affect the other. Honestly, if you love Portal, this is undoubtedly different, yet strangely familiar. 

So, if you need something new to prove how clever you are, COCOON is a superb option. 

#40 – Venba

Genre: Narrative-Driven 

Platform: PS4/5, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Metacritic Score: 79%

Developer: Visai Games

If you’re looking for a game that you can finish in a single sitting but also want a game that will stay with you long after the credits roll, then you can’t do much better than Venba, a narrative-driven Sourthen-Asian story that will undoubtedly pull at your heartstrings. 

Venba tells the story of a family that move to Canada from India in a bid to build a better life for themselves and their children. However, this story shows the side of immigration that many of us do not see, with the difficulty acclimatizing to the culture, the prejudices against foreigners, and the need to compromise on your own culture and traditions to ‘fit in.’ 

It’s a deeply affecting and personal story which, even if you can’t directly relate to, you will adore nonetheless. Not the mention, a lot of the story is told through yummy-looking Indian food and cooking mini-games. It’s not quite as frantic as Cooking Mama, but it’s wonderful in a different way. 

So for those looking for a game with impact, Venba is that, and then some! 

#41 – Lies of P

Genre: Soulsborne

Platform: PS4/5, Xbox X/S, PC

Metacritic Score: 80%

Developer: Round8 

For the longest time, Souls games that aren’t under the From Software umbrella have had a tough time catching the lightning in a bottle and offering a gritty and difficult Souls game worth playing.

That was the case until Lies of P, a Pinnochio-themed Souls game of all things, cut through the sea of Souls clones to offer something that is as close to a Bloodborne remaster as we may ever get. 

The game offers some of the most engaging and brutal boss battles that I have ever encountered in a game of this nature, the city of Krat is beautifully bleak, and the combat is free-flowing and dynamic, unlike other Souls games spent cowering behind a shield. 

It’s not a perfect Souls game by any means, but considering FromSoft had nothing to do with this one, it’s bloody impressive and well worth playing! 

#42 – Laika: Aged Through Blood

Genre: Metroidvania

Platform: PS4/5/Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Metacritic Score: 83%

Developer: Brainwash Gang

If you’re someone who loved those old flash games where you would need to drive a motorcycle from A to B, and you’re a fan of Metroidvania games, then boy, do I have a game for you. 

Branding itself as a ‘Motorvania’, Laika: Aged Through Blood is an artistically accomplished and mechanically interesting game that has you traverse the world on a Motorbike, while using bullet time powers to take out enemies as you go.

All the while delivering an intense and mature story that hooks the player right from the get-go. 

It’s a tough game, so fair warning, and the mechanics do take a lot of getting used to. However, when you get the hang of things, there are few things more satisfying than blasting a bunch of enemies while traveling at top speed in this excellent Metroidvania epic. 

I don’t even like Metroidvanias myself, but this one is an exception to the rule, and one you need to check out for yourself! 

#43 – Jusant 

Genre: Adventure/Platformer

Platform: PS4/5, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Metacritic Score: 80%

Developer: Dont Nod

There have been a number of games that have become synonymous with climbing mechanics. 

Whether that be Uncharted and its set pieces that see you climbing to safety, Horizon’s yellow chalk on cliff faces indicating ‘ You can climb here’ or Celeste urging players to simply climb to the top of the mountain through intricate platforming. 

Well, we reckon that Jusant has them all beat, and the way this game manages that is through incredible, true-to-life mountaineering mechanics that will see players use Carabiners to hook on and then set off up the cliff face. 

You control each limb and need to choose your path with care and precision, and you’ll need to make use of the environment and the elements if you want to get to the summit. 

It’s a great game with an interesting silent narrative and stunning visuals. So if you fancy a long and arduous climb up a mountain, Jusant is a brilliant option

#44 – In Stars and Time

Genre: RPG, Adventure

Platform: PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox X/S

Metacritic Score: 85%

Developer: Insert Disc 5

I’d forgive you if you missed this one when winding down for the holidays in 2023, as this one was a game that was released after the Game Awards were over, and everyone had accepted that no more big hitters were coming. But there was one game that was well worth checking out during that period, and that was In Stars and Time. 

This is a game that throws players into a time loop, and with the help of your four companions Bonnie, Odile, Isabeau, and Mirabelle, you will need to explore The Castle, uncover the secrets of the time loop, and find a way to free Vaugarde from this frozen state.

It’s a very meta game with excellent writing, loops that change the narrative practically every time, interesting combat, and a cast of genuinely wonderful characters. 

Much like another time loop game, Outer Wilds, In Stars and Time urges players to loop time and time again, with the thrill of discovery being the ultimate reward. So, if you want a game that arguably offers the most intriguing time loop format ever, this is the one for you.  

#45 – Pizza Tower

Genre: Platformer

Platform: PC

Metacritic Score: 89%

Developer: Tour De Pizza

If you are someone who grew up playing Warioland games, then Pizza Tower will look and feel very familiar to you indeed, as this game aims to bring the magic of these old titles into the modern era of gaming, and we must say, it manages this with aplomb. 

This game sees you play as Peppino Spaggetti, an Italian restaurant owner who must climb Pizza Tower and destroy everything and anything in his path to ensure the legacy and the longevity of his own traditional Italian eatery. 

In a nutshell, Pizza Tower is platforming chaos in the best way possible. It’s high energy from start to end, and it’s insanely addictive, as the Warioland games were back in their heyday. 

So, if you want a little blast from the past, polished up to meet modern standards, then Pizza Tower is a must-play. 

#46 – Hollow Knight

🔞The moon and the spade♤🌛 on X:

Genre: Metroidvania

Platform: PC,PS4/5,XBOX Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Metacritic Score: 90%

Developer: Team Cherry

As someone that generally loathes Metroidvanias, I thought it would be nailed on that I would despise Hollow Knight, but against my better judgment, I gave this one a chance, and I’m so glad that I did because this isn’t just a Metroidvania, it’s a goddamn masterpiece.

Team Cherry does an incredible job of creating a world that feels alive and interesting from the moment you land in King’s Pass, with fun characters and tough bosses to meet along the way.

The gameplay is simple and easy to pick up, but it soon becomes an intense test of skill, as you need to master every fiber of the game’s mechanics to succeed. And that soundtrack, Chris Larkin, you outdid yourself. Bravo.

It’s one of the most refined, atmospheric, and well-paced games I have ever played, and it offers a sense of freedom that I have never witnessed in a Metroidvania before. I guess I like Metroidvanias now. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but I sure do love me some Hollow Knight.

#47 – Pacific Drive

Genre: Survival

Platform: PC/Xbox Series X/S, PS4/5

Metacritic Score: 81%

Developer: Ironworks Studios

Survival gaming has become a pretty formulaic genre. You start with nothing; find some wood and stone, make a workbench, and build a base. Then, the world unfolds from there. This format has been pretty much milked for all it’s worth at this point, and this is something that the developers of Pacific Drive knew all too well, as they decided to shake things up.

Pacific Drive sees you transported to a strange abandoned area of Northwest America known as the Olympic Penninsula, and your only means of survival is by roleplaying as a mechanic to kit out your station wagon into a machine capable of surviving the elements and battering through all the barricades that this hostile zone has to offer.

It’s a unique take on the survival gaming format, which offers all the staples like exploring, scavenging, and resource management, but with the unique twist of putting you behind the wheel. So, if you’re looking for a new weird narrative or a new take on survival gaming, this is just the ticket.

#48 – Balatro

Genre: Deck Builder/Roguelike

Platform: PC, PS4/5, Nintendo Switch

Metacritic Score: 90%

Developer: LocalThunk

Roguelike Deckbuilders are dangerous for me. Whether it be Slay The Spire, Inscryption, or the new Kid on the Block, Balatro. I say this because these titles are so damn addictive, and I honestly think that Balatro may be the most gripping of them all, despite its rather simple premise.

This title riffs on old video poker machines that you might find in the corner of a dive bar collecting dust, and tweaks the formula to create a deckbuilder where poker hands are how you score points, and Jokers with unique abilities, Tarot Cards, Planet Cards and more are how you get the most out of each hand.

It’s so simple to pick up, provided you know a Flush from a Straight, but before long, you’ll realize that to become a seasoned Balatro pro, you’ll need to become quite the strategist indeed.

It’s a breakout hit that I know I will be playing over and over for a very long time, so consider that a warning before you say goodbye to all fo your free time.

#49 – Terraria

After a few hours I finally finished my base : r/Terraria

Genre: Action Adventure

Platform: PC, PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, IOS, Android

Metacritic Score: 81%

Developer: ReLogic

It would be criminal to end this list without mentioning Terraria, a game that began its life with the reputation as a 2D Minecraft Clone, but it didn’t take long for the game to shed this reputation and earn the accolade of one of the most accomplished indies of all time.

Terraria is a game that can be played casually with friends to build a base and explore. Or it can be played in a more hardcore way as you set off as an adventurer to unearth the secrets of the world, battle terrifying monsters, and become the master of all you survey.

But whatever you choose, Terraria offers a rich and fun experience for all player types. Not to mention that, much like Eric Barone and Stardew Valley, Re-Logic is constantly updating this game due to their love and passion for the title, meaning there is always something new and exciting to play around with every time you return to this one.

It’s a classic for a reason, so I would urge you to hop into this one and find out why for yourself.


Video Game Review: 'Superhot' - Daily Bruin

Genre: FPS/Time Manipulation

Platform: PS4/5, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S

Metacritic Score: 82%

Developer: Team SUPERHOT

Then, lastly, on this list, we have SUPERHOT, a game that, even today, I still think is the last FPS game to truly push the genre forward. SUPERHOT is a game that mixes traditional FPS gameplay with time manipulation, meaning that time only moves when you do.

This essentially makes each of SUPERHOT’s hand-crafted stages into pseudo-puzzles where players will need to plan out every single move carefully, execute with care, and do their best impression of Neo from The Matrix to succeed.

The core gameplay is very short, but the game really comes into its own when you take on the various end-game challenges on offer, which effectively act like thematic speedruns and challenge runs of the various levels, where you might need to punch your way through every section, or complete every stage without dying once.

It’s a game that forces you to become a master marksman, and a master of time management, taking the art of bullet-time to all new extremes. If this sounds like something you think you could do, then grab a pistol and get going.    

Honorable Mentions

This was a tough list to put together, as there is so much quality within the indie gaming landscape. However, it’s a great problem to have, so don’t mistake this for a complaint. It did mean that I missed out on some special titles, though. So allow me to at least give them a brief mention below:

  • Cuphead 
  • The Witness
  • Spelunky 
  • Shovel Knight
  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Carrion
  • Firewatch
  • Oxenfree
  • Nidhogg
  • Night in the Woods
  • Don’t Starve
  • Furi 
  • DUSK
  • Unpacking
  • Tunic
  • Minit
  • Don’t Starve
  • Stray
  • Toem
  • Death’s Door
  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Weird West
  • Tchia
  • Tacoma
  • Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout 
  • Axiom Verge
  • OlliOlli World
  • Salt and Sanctuary
  • Viewfinder
  • The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood
  • Mineko’s Night Market
  • Coral Island
  • The Talos Principle 2
  • Goodbye Volcano High
  • Killer Frequency
  • Bramble: The Mountain King
  • Season: A Letter To The Future
  • The Pale Beyond

An Indie Invasion!

Night in the Woods

As you can see from the list above, there are so many indie experiences out there that defy the odds, offering the most compelling gaming experiences ever, despite their limited budgets and resources.

While only twenty-five entries only scratch the surface in terms of the masses of great indie games currently on the market, we feel that this is the cream of the crop and gives you a great foundation from which to branch off and find your own tastes within the niche of Indie gaming.

We hope that this list serves you well, and if you have any games that you feel should have made it into our all-time top 25, let us know in the comments below!

FAQs Section

Question: What Indies Have Been Nominated for GOTY?

Answer: As we mentioned above, occasionally, games do exceed expectations and get nominated for the overall game of the year, jostling with the biggest names within the industry for the coveted award. However, you may be wondering what games have been given that honor. Well, wonder no more. Here is a quick list down below:
• Journey – 2012
• Telltale’s: The Walking Dead – 2012
• Inside – 2016
• What Remains of Edith Finch 2017
• PUBG – 2017
• Celeste – 2018
• Outer Wilds – 2019
• Untitled Goose game – 2019
• Hades – 2020

Question: Where is the Best Place to Find Up and Coming Indie Games?

Answer: While most of the best indie games will be marketed front and center on digital storefronts for all to see, there are lots of games either still in early access or still trying to find an audience that deserves your love too. However, you may not know where to find them.
Well, you should check out Steam Greenlight and Itch.Io, as these platforms cast a spotlight on the most promising indie projects out there. 

Question: What is the Best Indie Game Ever?

Answer: Well, as this is a subjective question, I can only offer my personal opinion. This happens to be that Journey by That Game Company is the best indie game ever made and, in my opinion, a game that played a huge role in validating the phenomenon of indie gaming and carving a path for other developers to create their own projects.

Journey is a special game that looks the part, offers fun and relaxing gameplay, incredible set pieces, cute and touching moments, a way to share a profound two-hour gaming experience with a complete stranger, and does all of this without a single word of dialogue. It’s incredible, and I cannot recommend it enough. 

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

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4 thoughts on “The 50 Best Indie Games of All Time”

      1. I think they mentioned it because It’s always on top shelf when talking about video games…
        They wanted to bring others to light but
        Still list is not professionally done.

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