Amazing Indie Games With Huge Campaigns

Indie games are (somewhat unfairly) known for being short experiences with as much content as is necessary and not much more, but there are plenty of games out there with hours upon hours of content that would take you several days and a ton of time to finish. These games aren’t super prevalent, but there’s plenty out there, and some are great.

While many of the longest games of all time are taken up by the big triple-A RPGs and whatnot, plenty of indies can give you hundreds of hours of content for a fifth of the price. I’ll be going over each indie that I think has great, incredibly long campaigns, whether that be because of a great story or just a million fun collectibles.

Three Indie Games with Huge Campaigns I Can Strongly Recommend

Plenty of indies will last you for quite a while, but my top three are Terraria, The Binding of Isaac, and Factorio.

Selection Criteria: How Did I Choose These Games?

First and foremost, these will all be games I think are great, and they also have campaigns that will likely take you at least 10 hours to finish. Those are pretty much a given with the title of this article, though, so there are a few other qualities that make the entries on this list:

  • Active Gameplay means I’m excluding games that primarily have you grinding repetitive tasks or doing literally nothing, namely MMOs, Idle games, and most Mobile games. We want to be playing the game while playing the game, so while Cookie Clicker technically has 1000+ hours of content, most of that isn’t even looking at the game.
  • An Ending is pretty simple; I’m only considering games that end at some point. You can technically play Lethal Company forever, but there’s no ending, so I can’t exactly say it has 100 hours of content or just 20, so I’m only going with finished games that you can say you’ve completed at some point.
  • 100% Matters because we’re considering the maximum time you could get out of these games. I considered any% or true ending instead, but 100% felt more fair since you’re just getting more and more content, and every Roguelike would be out of contention if I didn’t consider 100%.
  • One Genre Per Entry is mainly to make this list not entirely populated by simulators and farming games, but also because I enjoy some variety, and giving you ten games in different genres that are pretty dang long helps make this list quite a bit more interesting.

Celeste

Celeste Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 50 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 92
  • Genre: Platformer

First up on this list, I wanted to include Celeste because it’s a $20 platformer that feels like a bottomless barrel of incredible content, even though you’ll likely spend 50ish hours on it if you’re just really good at video games. I spent longer, dying to spikes, bottomless pits, blocks that make weird noises, and the most demanding screen I’ve ever seen in a real video game.

Sure, Kaizo Mario and whatnot have more complex levels that can keep you busy for longer, but Celeste feels intense, like a challenge of every bit of platforming prowess you’d developed, while also being an entirely fair, even forgiving game. You can easily squeeze a hundred hours out of this game by dying to everything, and even longer if you want to speedrun it.

This game’s replay value shouldn’t be understated, either. You can watch a speedrun and see all the insane things they’re pulling off, looking like they’re playing a completely different game from you, but if you know what you’re doing, you can speed through as soon as you start the game. It’s lovely, It’s long, and you can spend an endless amount of time with it.

The Longing

The Longing Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 55 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 79
  • Genre: Adventure/Exploration

This game is literally called The Longing, and it really does earn that title. It’s a mix of a typical adventure and exploration game and an idle game, but it always gives you something you can do to make that timer a little bit shorter, even though it starts with making you wait an entire year to finish the game.

This game doesn’t disallow the strategy of waiting for 365 days, but if you explore the caves you find yourself trapped in, you can quickly find items that make that timer tick down quite a bit slower. There’s almost always something you can do other than wait around for your King to wake up.

This is more of an artsy, beautiful story-based adventure, admittedly, with most of the gameplay consisting of slowly walking around these massive caverns to try and help your King regain some of his power and finally wake up. It’s an excellent concept, though, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the game built around the idea of taking a long time.

FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster than Light Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 112 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 84
  • Genre: Strategy

If you ever wanted a massive space exploration simulator where you have to strategically manage your resources and keep your big spaceship afloat for over a hundred hours, then FTL: Faster than Light is probably that game. It could be a bit boring to some, but if you want to get really into something that feels in-depth, this is a great option.

You mostly fly around, take on enemy ships, strategize, and manage everything efficiently while you run your ship. It’s sort of a roguelike open-world as well, but it’s mostly going to come down to how smart you are about captaining your vessel, not taking on enemies that will kill you, and diving into the hundreds of hours of content.

Given that quite a bit of this game is randomly generated, and you could potentially spend thousands of hours on a single playthrough, this is a pretty beefy game that can rival MMO RPGs in playtime once you get really into it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re into strategy games, you’ll have a good time for a long time.

Hollow Knight

Kingdom's Edge Grubs Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 124 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 90
  • Genre: Metroidvania

Hollow Knight is part of the incredibly prolific genre of Metroidvanias, but similar to Celeste, the 100% run of it will take quite a bit longer if you experience a skill issue. It’s a challenging game, taking great spacing, awareness, and reaction times to beat every boss, especially as you try to achieve 112% completion.

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.

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

There are a ton of collectibles to find, bosses to fight, upgrades to grab, and areas to explore in this beautiful hand-drawn game, and I’m sure you’ve heard of it, or at least heard of the lack of its sequel. It’s excellent and will keep you busy for a long time, especially considering the Pantheons added by the free DLC, which are massive, grueling gauntlets.

You might have played it already, and that’s okay cause there are two challenge modes you could use for the entire game, and if you have the game on PC, you can mod it with a randomizer to play through the game with everything swapped around into random locations. It’s fun, and playing it over and over again never gets boring.

No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 142 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 71
  • Genre: Open World

No Man’s Sky is a rather infamously low-quality title, but after years and years of content updates, it’s become a banger game. It’s a massive, procedurally generated space game where you explore planets, do quests, create bases, play with friends, and take a ton of time figuring out the mildly overwhelming UI.

You have to survive by living off the land on the alien planets you’ll find, using your high-tech futuristic instruments to do so as you slowly figure out the story. There is a massive amount of content in this game, both randomly generated and hand-crafted, with it feeling impossible not to get distracted and do eight other things in the middle of the story.

This is a massive, expansive game that’s pretty great nowadays. If you gave up on it because of the buggy, blatantly unfinished game it released as, it might be time to give it a second chance and dive into a few quintillion worlds for a few hundred hours of content and quite a bit of crafting fuel and waiting.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 161 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 89
  • Genre: Farming

Stardew Valley is one of those games you don’t think too hard about being really long, but once you’re caught up in the struggle for Perfection, you quickly rack up over a hundred hours without even thinking about it. Completing this game can take longer than completing most AAA JRPGs, and that’s funny.

There’s an absolute boatload of farming, fishing, foraging, fighting, and finding to do. While you could wrap everything up after finishing the Community Center, there’s an entire island filled with brand-new content to discover and a fun list of how you achieve “Perfection,” a list of tasks that take forever but give you the credits by the end.

Every step of the way, you’ll go through some fantastic, high-quality content, great vibes, and Roguelite mines because why not? It’s easily the most engaging farming game out there. You have probably already played it for a few hundred hours, and it’s easily a big recommendation if you somehow haven’t.

My Time at Sandrock

My Time at Sandrock
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 165 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 81
  • Genre: RPG

My Time at Sandrock is part open-world RPG, part farming simulator, and part social simulator, with an absolute boatload of content to dive into. It’s a sequel to My Time at Portia, and while that game was also considerably dense with content, this one will easily keep you busy for a hundred hours before you reach the end of the story.

It’s a slow-going, somewhat grindy game, but that’s most RPGs. It has a lot more combat and social focus than something like Stardew Valley, with a linear story you’ll be going through as you create the farm of your dreams, find someone to date, and dive deeper into the mines to uncover some materials and craft 20 copper sheets.

It’s going to take a long time before you uncover everything in this game, and while it’s going to be a bit of a grind, it’ll usually keep you entertained with new things to find and new characters to talk to. There are also quite a few new areas you can discover, plus they’re constantly adding new content, so you’ve got quite the mine to dig through.

Terraria

Terraria Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 214 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 81
  • Genre: Sandbox

As a Terraria speedrunner, I was shocked to see a 214-hour time for 100% on HowLongToBeat, but I guess it makes sense, even though I could probably manage it in under 30. Regardless, Terraria is a game you could beat in 30 minutes or 300 hours; similar to Minecraft, you can take your time building or rushing through it, and the game is very open to both ways of playing.

You’ll fight many bosses, collect thousands of items, and spend too long purifying the entire world on your Terraria 100% Journey. This can be done in Journey to make it easier, but the real ones play on Expert (because Master sucks). It’s got insane replay value, too, leading to my current 2000 hours in the game.

Plus, on top of it taking a ton of time to beat normally, there’s a bottomless gold mine of mods you can play with the free TModLoader DLC. You can play with as many friends as you want, leading to an endless experience where you can keep on trucking for thousands of hours as soon as you figure out how to play it.

Factorio

Factorio Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 222 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 90
  • Genre: Base Building

Some gaming genres naturally lead to hundreds of hours of gameplay, and the Base Builder is one of those, with Factorio being a prime example of a great one. It’ll have you building massive automated machinery, combining different bits and pieces in various ways across an ever-expanding, endless world.

It has a ton of different structures, machines, buildings, and items you can unlock that all combine and interact with each other in complex ways. If you’ve ever gotten into Minecraft Redstone, it’s like that, but turned up to 11, with an extra tinge of resource management on top, constantly making you protect yourself as you innovate and expend your supplies.

This leads to a gameplay loop of exploring, expanding, and surviving, with it going on for hundreds of hours before you finish. There’s a ton to do in this game, and even though HowLongToBeat states a 222-hour long time to 100%, you can go for way longer by trying to min-max, making everything as efficient and automated as possible.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Campaigns
  • HowLongToBeat 100%: 1633 Hours
  • Metacritic Score: 88
  • Genre: Roguelike

Finally, we have our Roguelike for this list, and while pretty much any Roguelike would probably break 300 hours for completion time, I chose Binding of Isaac for being one of the OG’s; it’s also gotten updated pretty frequently in the past decade, having four DLC packs and hundreds of hours of content, namely due to its randomly generated nature.

You get to dive through a randomly generated dungeon, with just about everything changing between runs, with 547 items to find, 34 characters to play, 102 bosses to fight, and 188 trinkets to collect, most referencing other games. There’s a tremendous amount of content here, and if you want to see it all, you’ll be putting in hundreds of hours.

Most roguelikes would leave you satisfied there, but if you’ve somehow put in the time to see everything, you can grab a few mods from the Steam Workshop, letting you change up and add whatever your heart desires. There is a bottomless well of content here, and while a single run might only take about 5 hours, you could easily do that 200 times over.

Questions and Answers

Question: What’s the longest indie game out there?

Answer: While every answer is subjective and based on people’s personal playtime, The Binding of Isaac is a solid contender with over a thousand hours of content.

Question: What’s the best Video Game Genre for game length?

Answer: Roguelikes will likely give you the most content if you’re out to 100%, but for a normal playthrough of the campaign, Farming games, Base Builders, Simulators, and RPGs will probably give you the best bang for your buck.

Question: What is the best idle game for playtime?

Answer: Most idle games will have you going for at least an entire year before you’ve finished them, but in terms of the raw amount of content, Melvor Idle is up there.

Conclusion

While I’m not one to care too much about the length of my games (unless they’re obscenely overpriced), it is still impressive to look at all the games that give you many options, collectibles, and adventures to go on. Especially with indies, since they tend to cost less, seeing a game last you thousands of hours is impressive.

While the Binding of Isaac is easily one of the best games for total playtime enjoyers, there are still plenty of other options to consider. If you thought that triple-A RPGs were the only way you could get your playtime in the hundreds, think again cause that quirky little indie game that costs $10 could last you for a lifetime and a half.

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.

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

Continue reading

The Finals Best Maps Ranked

How to Purify the World in Terraria

Celeste All Strawberries Guide

Latest posts by Monica Phillips (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top