The Top 10 Indie Games That You Need to Play

The Top 10 Indie Games That You Need to Play

Indie games are making a big splash in the gaming industry. These independently developed titles are often created by smaller teams and sometimes even just a single person. While they may not have the budget of a AAA game, they more than makeup for it in creativity and originality.

What’s more, indie games are often more experimental than big-budget releases. They’re not afraid to take risks and try new things, which can lead to some truly unique gaming experiences.

If you’re looking for something different to play, then you should check out some indie games. There are many great indie games out there, and it was tough to narrow it down to just 10. But here are top 10 indie games that we think are worth your time. 

See Also: Top 10 Retro Ninja Games | Top 20 Best PlayStation 2 Games of All Time | Top 10 Super Nintendo Games of All Time

Top 10 Indie Games That You Need to Play

1. Super Meat Boy
2. Spelunky
3. Cave Story
4. Braid
5. Desktop Dungeons
6. FEZ
7. The Binding of Isaac
8. Don't Starve
9. FTL: Faster Than Light
10. Papers, Please

Super Meat Boy - Indie Games

1. Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is a platformer video game designed by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes of Team Meat. The game was released on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in October 2020 and was later released on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, and iOS in November 2020. In the game, players control the titular character, Super Meat Boy, as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the game's antagonist, Dr. Fetus.

The game is a sequel to McMillen and Jonathan McEntee's 2010 game, Meat Boy, which was originally released as a free Flash game. Like its predecessor, Super Meat Boy is a tough, precision-based platformer where players must navigate through precarious environments, avoiding obstacles and enemies, to reach the end of each level. The game features over 300 levels, as well as secret levels and unlockable characters.

Super Meat Boy was generally well-received upon release, with critics praising the game's challenging gameplay, tight controls, and retro-inspired graphics and sound. The game was a commercial success, selling over 1 million copies within two weeks of its release. 
Spelunky - Indie Games

2. Spelunky

Spelunky is a platformer video game with roguelike elements, created by Derek Yu and released as freeware for Microsoft Windows in 2008. Spelunky is a 2D platformer set in a randomly generated series of caverns filled with traps, enemies, and treasures. The objective of the game is to collect as much treasure as possible while avoiding death.

Spelunky was one of the first roguelike games to gain popularity, and it has been highly influential in the development of the genre. The game was well-received by critics and won several awards.

The player can find weapons and items in the caves which can help them survive and defeat enemies. The player can also find ropes and bombs which can be used to access new areas. The game is challenging, and death is permanent.

Spelunky is an excellent example of a roguelike game. It features procedurally generated levels, permadeath, and a high degree of challenge. It is also a very replayable game, as the player can try to improve their score by collecting more treasure or by trying to beat the game in a faster time.

Cave Story - Indie Games

3. Cave Story

Cave Story is a platformer and action-adventure game originally released as a freeware title for the PC. The game was created by Japanese developer Daisuke Amaya in his free time for over five years. Cave Story was later ported to several other platforms, including the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Switch.

The game is set on the fictional island of Mimiga, where the player controls a robot named Quote who awakens with no memories. Quote explores the island, meets its inhabitants, and gradually uncovers the island's secrets. The game features Metroidvania-style exploration and side-scrolling platforming gameplay, and its central plot revolves around the conflict between the Mimiga and the Doctor.

Cave Story has been widely praised for its engaging story, characters, and gameplay. It is often cited as an example of an excellent freeware game and has been credited with popularizing the Metroidvania genre.

Braid - Indie Games

4. Braid

Braid is a puzzle-platformer video game developed by Jonathan Blow and published by Number None. It was released on August 6, 2008, for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade service and on August 11, 2009, for Microsoft Windows. The game was later ported to OS X by Brianna Wu and to Linux by Ryan C. Gordon. Braid is a platform and puzzle game in which the player manipulates the flow of time to solve puzzles. It has been described as a "puzzle-platformer" by the developers.

The game's protagonist, Tim, is trying to rescue a princess from a monster. To do so, he must use his ability to manipulate time. Tim can rewind time, pause it, and even travel forwards and backward through time. This allows him to solve puzzles and reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.

The time manipulation mechanic is central to the game's puzzles. For example, Tim might need to use his time powers to reach a high platform, or to avoid enemy attacks. The puzzles become increasingly difficult as the game progresses, and often require the use of all of Tim's time powers to be solved.

Braid is a visually stunning game, with hand-painted artwork and lush background scenery. The music is also very well done and fits the game's atmosphere perfectly.

Overall, Braid is an excellent puzzle-platformer that is sure to please gamers who enjoy a challenge. The time manipulation mechanic is unique and interesting, and the puzzles are well-designed. The game's visuals and audio are also top-notch. If you're looking for a game that will give your brain a workout, Braid is worth checking out.

Desktop Dungeons - Indie Games

5. Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons is an indie game that was initially released in 2010. The game was designed by South African game developer, QCF Design, and released on Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms.

Desktop Dungeons is a roguelike video game with dungeon crawling and deck-building elements. The player's goal is to navigate through a small, self-contained dungeon, fighting monsters and collecting loot while trying to reach the dungeon's exit. The game is turn-based, with the player and monsters taking turns to move and attack.

The player begins the game with a basic set of equipment and abilities and can find or buy new equipment and abilities as they progress through the dungeon. The player can also find or buy scrolls which can be used to cast spells.

The dungeon is procedurally generated, meaning that each time the player starts a new game, the layout of the dungeon, and the types and locations of monsters and loot, will be different.

Desktop Dungeons is a challenging and rewarding game that is perfect for quick, bite-sized sessions. The procedurally generated dungeons keep the game fresh, and the deck-building element adds an extra layer of strategy. The game is also very portable, making it perfect for gaming on the go.

If you're looking for a new roguelike to sink your teeth into, or if you're simply a fan of dungeon crawlers, then Desktop Dungeons is worth checking out.

FEZ - Indie Games

6. FEZ

Fez is an indie puzzle-platform video game developed by Polytron Corporation and published by Trapdoor. The game was released on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, and Linux platforms in May 2012 and on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 platforms in March 2014.

The player-character in Fez is Gomez, a 2D creature who lives in a 2D world. One day, a strange artifact called the Hexahedron appears and shatters Gomez's world into a third dimension, causing him to gain the ability to perceive and manipulate three-dimensional space. The player must help Gomez navigate his world and collect the broken pieces of the Hexahedron to restore Gomez's world and save the day.

Fez is a 2D platformer game that uses 3D graphics to give the illusion of depth and height. The player-character, Gomez, can jump and climb to reach different platforms and can use his newfound ability to rotate the world around him to reach previously inaccessible areas. The game is heavily based on exploration, and the player is encouraged to take their time and explore the game world to find its many secrets.

The game world of Fez is made up of a series of interconnected 2D planes that the player can move between. Gomez can move between these planes by rotating the world around him, and this mechanic is used to solve many of the game's puzzles. The game world is also filled with a variety of collectibles, including cubes and cube fragments, which are used to unlock new areas of the game world.

Fez was developed over five years by a team of four people. The game was heavily inspired by the work of Swedish artist Simon StÃ¥lenhag, and the game's art style is heavily influenced by his work. Fez was released to critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Game Developers Choice Award for Best Indie Game. 

The Binding of Isaac - Indie Games

7. The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac is an indie roguelike video game designed by Edmund McMillen and developed and published by Nicalis. The game's title and plot reference the Biblical story of the Binding of Isaac. In the game, Isaac's mother receives a message from God telling her to sacrifice her son, Isaac, to prove her faith. Isaac flees from his mother into a basement, where he encounters monstrous enemies and bosses and ultimately must confront his mother.

The Binding of Isaac is considered a "roguelike-like" because it features randomly generated levels, items, and enemies and incorporates elements of roguelike games such as permadeath. The Binding of Isaac has been well-received by critics, with an aggregate score of 87% on Metacritic.

Critics praised The Binding of Isaac for its replay value, dark humor, and compelling gameplay. The game's randomly generated nature was praised for providing a unique experience each time the game is played. The Binding of Isaac was also praised for its tight controls and challenging difficulty.

Some reviewers noted that The Binding of Isaac's dark themes and graphic images may not be suitable for all players. However, others praised the game for its handling of these themes and noted that the game's dark humor helps to offset the game's more graphic moments.

Overall, The Binding of Isaac is a highly praised indie game that offers hours of replay value and challenging gameplay. The game's dark humor and graphic imagery may not be suitable for all players, but its tight controls and unique gameplay experience make it a must-play for fans of roguelike games.

Don't Starve - Indie Games

8. Don't Starve

Don't Starve is a game about survival, exploration, and creativity. You play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must use his scientific knowledge to survive the harsh environment, solve the puzzles of the world, and find a way back home.

The game is played from a top-down perspective, and the player must gather resources to survive. There are no tutorials or hints, and the player must figure out the game mechanics through trial and error. The player must also watch out for hunger, sanity, and health, as these can all lead to death.

The world of Don't Starve is procedurally generated, meaning that each time you play, the world is different. This provides for a unique and replayable experience, as you never know what you'll encounter next.

Don't Starve is a unique and challenging game that will keep you coming back for more. If you're looking for a game that will test your survival skills, then Don't Starve is the game for you.

FTL: Faster Than Light - Indie Games

9. FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light is a top-down space simulation video game developed by indie studio Subset Games. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms in September 2012 and iOS devices in May 2014. The game's soundtrack was composed by Ben Prunty.

In FTL, the player controls a spacecraft that can travel faster than light. The goal of the game is to reach the end of a randomly generated galaxy while avoiding hostile forces and making choices that affect the ship and its crew. The game features roguelike elements, such as permanent death and procedurally generated levels.

FTL was generally well-received by critics. Reviewers praised the game's roguelike elements and its soundtrack but criticized its steep learning curve and lack of documentation.

FTL is set in a fictional galaxy that is divided into sectors. Each sector is procedurally generated and contains systems with planets, space stations, and nebula clouds. The player controls a spacecraft and must navigate through the galaxy to reach the end of the game. The player can choose to take on missions from NPCs or explore the galaxy freely.

If the player's ship is destroyed, the game is over, and the player must start again from the beginning. The player can save the game at any time, but only one save file is allowed.

The player can upgrade the ship and its systems using credits that are earned by completing missions or selling items. The ship has four systems: weapons, engines, shields, and oxygen. Each system can be upgraded multiple times. Upgrades provide various benefits, such as increased damage for weapons or faster cooldowns for shields.

The player can also recruit crew members to join the ship. Each crew member has unique stats and abilities and can be assigned to a specific system. Crew members can be trained to increase their stats and can be killed in combat.

The game features several hostile forces, such as pirates, rebels, and aliens. These forces can be encountered while exploring the galaxy or during missions. Combat is turn-based and takes place on a grid. The player and the enemy take turns attacking each other and can use a variety of weapons and abilities.

If the player defeats an enemy ship, they can choose to take it over and add it to their fleet. The player can then control multiple ships simultaneously and can switch between them at any time.

FTL is a challenging game that requires careful planning and strategic thinking. The player must make difficult choices that affect the ship and its crew. The game is suitable for gamers who enjoy roguelike elements and who are looking for a challenge.

Papers, Please - Indie Games

10. Papers, Please

Papers, Please is an independent video game developed and published by Lucas Pope, released on August 8, 2013. The game puts the player in the role of a border control agent in the fictional country of Arstotzka in the early 1980s. The player must examine documents and use other tools to determine whether the people attempting to cross the border are permitted to do so and if so, stamp their passports.

The game was well-received by critics, with many praising its attention to detail, unique premise, and thought-provoking themes. Some noted that the game could be seen as a commentary on real-world immigration issues.

Papers, Please has been compared to the classic 1983 video game, SimCity. Both games involve managing a complex system with many variables, and both can be seen as metaphors for real-world systems. However, Papers, Please is much more focused on human interactions, while SimCity is more about managing infrastructure.

Papers, Please has also been compared to the TV show 24. Both involve managing a complex system with many variables, and both require quick thinking and split-second decisions. However, Papers, Please is more about human interactions, while 24 is more about action and suspense.  

Final Thoughts

There are many great indie games out there, but these are our top 10 favorites. These games are all unique and interesting in their own ways, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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