Every week, it seems there are a ton of new games being released to a variety of different platforms; honestly it can be hard to keep up. Now, we’re not complaining because wow, what an exciting time to be a gamer! But with that being said, it’s easy for some titles to get lost in all the excitement of big-budget games being released. And yet, there are still plenty of indie games that find a way to outshine some of the biggest blockbuster releases and are able to captivate the world. These games may not have the biggest budget or a high-profile launch and yet they still offer plenty of excitement and fun. So let’s take a look at some of the best 10 indie video games (so far).
1.) Heave Ho | 9/10 on Steam
One of the best things about indie games is their ability to be silly and Heave Ho is a perfect example of this. Here’s the deal, you’re tasked (or you and up to four players) with one goal – “don’t fall to your death!” Players have two hands (and very long arms) then with the help of the outstretched grip of friends must make it across a variety of levels without dying. Get ready to laugh and have some fun with this one.
Available on: Nintendo Switch & macOS
2.) The Colonists | 9/10 on Steam
At a period when big-budget games like Minecraft and Animal Crossing have ruled the gaming industry, The Colonists makes its way onto gaming consoles at a perfect time. This settlement building game is inspired by classic titles like The Settlers and the Anno series, however, the twist is the player takes control of self-replicating robots who have escaped from Earth and are now searching for a new home with one dream: to be human. The Colonists makes this list for the ability to be relaxing yet also engaging and if you love PC games like Civilization, then you’ll also love The Colonists.
Available on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, & PC
3.) Human: Fall Flat | 9/10 on Steam
Another silly but super fun game to make this list is Human: Fall Flat! This game is all about physics where you play as a human aka “Bob” who must grab objects and climb up ledges using both his arms and his head. This open-ended game contains unique puzzles and it’s up to you and Bob to find the solution. Keep in mind, that Bob has no superpowers, which is why remembering physics is important. And invite some friends along to play with you for even more comedic challenges.
Available on: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, macOS, PC, & mobile
4.) Rocket League | 86% on Metacritic
While some could argue that Rocket League isn’t an indie game anymore, the fact is it started out that way. Originally developed and published by Psyonix this game became an overnight sensation and is now one of the most popular titles in the gaming industry. Imagine playing soccer but as a car (which is the most simple way to describe this game) and you’ve got Rocket League. You can even customize your cars with skins plus Rocket League is free to play. Play by yourself or with friends or online but be warned – the more cars who are in the match – the more chaotic it can get. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Available on: PlayStation, Xbox, & Nintendo Switch
5.) Hades | 10/10 on Steam
Hades is a roguelike action game where the player takes on the role of Zagreus, the prince of the Underworld. Zagreus is trying to escape the realm to get away from his father Hades, getting help from Mount Olympus along the way. The video game came onto the scene in September of 2020 and was immediately a commercial and critical success. It has sold over one million copies and even won the game of the year from several award ceremonies and media publications. So, yeah, it’s a big deal and makes this list for its amazing gameplay as well as just being an all-around fantastic video game.
Available on: macOS, PC, & Nintendo Switch
6.) Stranded Deep | 94% on Google Reviews
Imagine you’re alone without any help after a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean; you must do what you can to survive in Stranded Deep. In this game, you’ll need to do everything you can to survive on your own as you learn to hunt, build weapons and make a shelter. If you love a challenge, then this game is right up your alley, plus the graphics are amazing and the world in which you must survive is surprisingly huge! While there may be a bit of a learning curve since you are literally stranded without any instructions on what to do – that challenge actually makes the game more rewarding.
Available on: Playstation, PC, macOS, & Xbox
7.) What the Golf? | 10/10 on Steam
If you love golf, then this game is not for you! This hilarious game takes on the “silly physics-based golf parody where every golf course is a new surprising type of golf”. And yeah, it’s amazing, we’re talking like horses playing golf, and even playing soccer on a golf course. It’s absurd and that’s why it’s awesome. If you’re looking for a game that has no point to it and you need to blow off some steam, we can’t recommend this one enough.
Available on: Nintendo Switch
8.) Sayonara Wild Hearts | 10/10 on Steam
Who wouldn’t want to play a “pop album video game”? Sayonara Wild Hearts is a music-based action game, which follows the story of a young woman who is recently heartbroken. Take on 23 levels, in each one, the player controls the main character as you navigate through a surreal landscape collecting hearts to earn points and avoid obstacles. And while this plot may sound “corny” the visuals and music for this video game are out of this world and Sayonara Wild Hearts has been nominated for several year-end awards. So we say, don’t judge a book by its cover and give this one a chance, it will surprise you!
Available on: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, & Xbox
9.) Inside | 10/10 on Steam
Another puzzle game to make our list is Inside. This surreal video game uses monochromatic colors to create a dark aesthetic in addition to a mostly silent soundtrack with the occasional musical cues. Your task is to explore a dark sci-fi environment and escape strange figures by jumping platforms and completing puzzles without dying. Inside makes this list because it has received critical acclaim for its art direction and gameplay. Not to mention it has already won several independent and technical awards including game of the year.
Available on: PlayStation, Xbox, & Nintendo Switch
10.) Cuphead | 10/10 on Steam
Imagine a video game that is heavily focused on boss battles and then throw in classic Disney-inspired animation and you’ve got Cuphead. Cuphead makes our favorites list because the visuals in it are outstanding and the game has been praised for its art style as well as gameplay and soundtrack. It has already won several awards and is even getting an animated series based on the game on Netflix. But don’t let its cute visuals fool you, this is a very difficult game and the bosses show no mercy. So if you’re up for a “boss” challenge then you definitely need to check out this game.
Available on: PlayStation, Xbox, & Nintedo Switch
There you have it, 10 of our favorite indie video games that prove that you don’t have to have a big cooperation behind you to make a lasting impression in the gaming industry! Did your favorite indie video game make the list?