AAA video games have become remarkably similar to each other in the last generation, with publishers less and less willing to bet on creative and unique ideas as they focus on established franchises. Independent or indie games, i.e. those created by independent developers without the backing of a major corporate publisher, do not have this problem.
INDIE GAMES FOR ANDROID
In recent years, many independent games have outperformed their AAA competition in terms of quality, and the notion that independent games are somehow “minor” because of their smaller budget is not accurate. In fact, if you ignore independent games, you’re missing out on some of the best video games of all time.
THE BEST INDIE GAMES FOR ANDROID
This is our ranking with the best indie games for Android that you shouldn’t miss as they will keep you hooked for hours:
1. LIMBO: A black-and-white puzzle adventure, it puts players in the role of a child who travels through a spooky and treacherous world in an attempt to discover his sister’s destiny. Our number 1.
2. CAVE STORY: First published as a PC freeware by Japanese designer Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya in 2004, after five years of 100% solo development, Cave Story precedes in a few years the recent rebirth of indie. Because of when and how it was first released, it is often forgotten in discussions about independent games.
But this classic deserves to be on the list of the best for its loving homage to the classic action platform games of the Super Nintendo era, its incredible music and its incredibly vibrant world.
3. STARDEW VALLEY: An addictive agricultural simulator that sees you interact with the villagers to the point where you can literally marry them.
4. TERRARIA: Gives you the chance to be an action gamer, a master builder, a collector and even an explorer. It’s not a rip-off of Minecraft 2D, it’s an addictive quest for perfection that entertains…
5. SPELUNKY: An ostensibly mischievous platform game with a definite end, it’s hard, varied and highly randomized. What makes Spelunky so great is its random generation and its environmental interactions. Every time you play, the level design changes, and it’s not uncommon for you to die from a completely different chain of events than you’ve had before. Spelunky has great controls, a lot of secrets and an excellent soundtrack.
FREE INDIE GAMES FOR ANDROID
Although it seems impossible, there are free indie games for Android and exceptional like these:
- PUBG MOBILE: Great adaptation to the smartphone of the mythical battle royale.
- ALTO’S ODYSSEY: Sensational experience, exceptional art, perfect continuation. The High Odyssey deserves a series of superlatives, but it all comes down to one fact: it is currently the best endless runner that brings true catharsis.
- I LOVE HUE: The most zen puzzle game on the market. Suitable for all types of artists, who love the beauty of color in harmony.
- UNDERWORLD SOCCER MANAGER 2018: It is a game application that offers to build a football empire and a football club. It features Trampas, Bribe and Scheme modes throughout the game to be a football tycoon.
- OLD MAN’S JOURNEY: A memorable adventure game with some puzzles that makes you take control of an old man and experience an emotional story.
INDIE GAMES FOR IPHONE
Now that we’re closing the year, we want to compile a list of all-time favourite indie games on iOS: Some are no doubt familiar to you, while others may be a little darker, but we recommend you try them all.
THE BEST INDIE GAMES FOR IPHONE
The truth is that lovers of indie games that are iOS devices are in luck because, since the appearance of Monument Valley, we find real jewelry, such as FEZ, Life is Strange or INSIDE. But here is the top 5 with the best indie games for iPhone:
1. MONUMENT VALLEY 1 & 2: Monument Valley offers a variety of 3D maps to conquer, all while transporting you to a strange world of crows, block creatures and Escher-style landscapes.
2. MINECRAFT: You don’t have to tell anything else, just remember (because we forget) that it’s an indie game.
3. ALTO’S ADVENTURES: Magnificent backgrounds and meditative music, but it’s the sweet and ingenious premise of the game – a shepherd turned snowboarder who flies through the Alps while rounding up local elders and flames – combined with a great system of challenges and a variety of charming unlockable characters, make it one of our favorite iOS games.
4. NIGHT IN THE WOODS: Can be compared to visual novels and exploration games. With an emphasis on the stories we tell, the first game from independent studio Finji ends up telling one of the deepest, most storyable video game narratives we’ve played in years. Surely this is a title we’ll be talking about for a long time to come, including why it was rejected at The Game Awards.
5. THE ROOM: Finally, we can’t make a list of the best independent games without including the mysterious (and creepy as Hell) puzzle game The Room.
INDIE GAMES FOR FREE IPHONE
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INDIE GAMES FOR PS4
The PS4 is the platform for some of the best blockbuster exclusives. Only this year brought us such outstanding hits as God of War, Far Cry, Read Dead, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout Shelter… While big-budget games like these offer amazing production value and almost supernatural effects, sometimes you feel like something different.
That’s where independent video games come in. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of excellent indies to get into, and if you don’t know where to start, take a look at this list of the best indie games for PS4, below.
BEST INDIE GAMES FOR PS4
Here’s our top 5 with the best indie games for PlayStation4:
1. DIABLO 3: Devil III gathers history twenty years after the events of Devil II. Mephistopheles, Devil and Baal have been defeated, but the World Stone, which once protected the inhabitants of the world from the Sanctuary of the forces of the High Heavens and the Burning Infernos, has been destroyed, and evil is once again shaken in Tristram…
Diablo III features a custom 3D graphics engine to render exuberant interior and exterior areas of Sanctuary with a high level of detail and vivid special effects. The physical environments of the game are interactive and destructible, offering traps and obstacles that create added danger for players and monsters alike.
2. PYRE: Half visual novel, half action-RPG, part… Basketball? This strange combination is the essence of Pyre, and somehow it works – incredibly well. Pyre is installed as the best effort of Supergiant Games – a difficult task, considering that the studio created both Bastion and Transistor.
3. THE BINDING OF ISAAC: REBIRTH: With dozens of bizzare objects to collect, endless levels generated by the procedure, and tons of secrets, the game is a very dark view of the exploratory model established by Spelunky.
4. DEAD CELLS: It has such a satisfying combat and such a detailed and interesting world to explore. If you’re a Metroidvanias fan who isn’t afraid of an uphill battle, Dead Cells is one of the best PS4 indie games in both genres.
5. ALIENATION: Excellent shooting mechanics, a satisfying role-playing loop and a wonderfully crafted science fiction environment make Alienation a safe delight for anyone who wants to live a Devil-like experience.
INDIE GAMES FOR FREE PS4
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INDIE GAMES FOR XBOX
SUPERHOT, THIS WAR OF MINE, CUPHEAD, INSIDE, RIME, DON’T STARVE, THE BANNER SAGA, LITTLE NUGHTMARES, THE BINDING OF ISAAC: REBIRTH; BATTLEBLOCK THEATER, SPELUNKY, SHOVEL KNIGHT, STARDEW VALLEY, CRAWL, BRAID, OUTLAST, PRISON ARCHITECT…
INDIE GAMES XBOX ONE
Here’s our top 5 with the best games for indie Xbox One:
1. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUND (PUBG): The shooter drops 100 players from an airplane onto a large map. You can go solo or in teams of up to four, and the last player or team standing wins. The direct premise of the title leads to a variety of techniques. You can choose between waiting for the player’s score to decrease, or being the force that causes the player’s score to decrease. It maintains an even balance by giving players a random starting weapon, which often dictates how one is going to survive.
2. DAY Z: The open-world indie survival sandbox that defines the genre, full of exciting moments, emerging gameplay and dramatic interactions between players.
3. CUPHEAD: Cuphead is more than just its beautiful graphics: it’s a series of 19 challenging and engaging bosses, with bits of platform interspersed between them. It was already one of the best indie games, but Studio MDHR has announced Cuphead: the Delicious Last Course DLC, scheduled for 2019, with a new island to explore, new bosses to conquer and, most importantly, a new character to master.
4. KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM: You’ll find yourself following NASA in building multi-stage rockets, space stations and exploring the strange Kerbal universe in EVAs, before bringing your discoveries back to research on the planet Kerbal – if you can get off the ground. It’s a huge, complex, challenging and fun game that’s smart without being a preacher.
5. UNRAVEL: A fun game. It is made with so much detail that aesthetically it almost blurs the fine line between the game and the art, which together with the sound design is quite therapeutic to play.
5. CRAWL: A fantastic dungeons & dragons experience, whether you play alone or with a group of friends. With a unique game hook, we bet you’ll be wandering around this dungeon for weeks.
INDIE GAMES FOR XBOX 360
Indie games are becoming increasingly important to the success of a console over the last generations. The Xbox 360 has an extensive and diverse library of titles to choose from. Industries may cost far less than their big bestseller, publisher-driven counterparts, and they may not take long to complete, but they are the breeding ground for innovation and experimentation. In fact, indies are proving much more influential in the future direction of games than big brands like Call of Duty, Halo or Gears of War.
THE BEST INDIE FOR XBOX 360
The Indie Games section of the Xbox Live Marketplace is overshadowed by the XBLA and the rest of Xbox Live, but sometimes it has some really great games that you can get at very low prices…
With very little (if any) marketing expenditure, unfortunately, finding great indies (apart from MINECRAFT) can be difficult. Luckily for you, we have a very useful list with the 10 printable titles for XBOX 360:
- MORTAL KOMBAT
- I MADE A GAME WITH ZOMBIES
- PERFECT DARK
- CRYSIS 2
INDIE GAMES FOR NINTENDO SWITCH
Among the indie games for Switch, we can mention Stardew Valley; Terraria; Dead Cells; Noght in the Woods; Cave Story; Hollow Knight; Owlboy; Undertale, The Messenger…
And of course, the ineffable Minecraft. Obviously, Minecraft would have to be again in our ranking as number 1, however, this time, we are going to give prominence to the most modest games that deserve to make a name.
THE BEST INDIE GAMES FOR NINTENDO SWITCH
These are the best indie games for Nintendo Switch:
1. GOLF STORY: A tribute to Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color developed by Sidebar Games. As this is the first title for the Nintendo Switch, you may have overlooked Golf Story, as it came out on the same day as Stardew Valley, but here’s what you need to know.
2. NIGHT IN THE WOODS: With a story largely based on dialogue options and mini-games that turn mundane tasks around, such as climbing boxes up stairs and eating perogies, Night in the Woods is a timeless tale of maturity. Not only will you experience the American middle class through the eyes of a personified cat, but virtually every interaction in the game will make you laugh out loud. And now that the Nintendo Switch arrives on February 1, you can take it everywhere.
3. DEAD CELLS: Every time you play this game, it’ll be different. And while you’ll lose some progress every time you die – and die a lot – the game will become more and more rewarding as the complex and fluid combat becomes natural. In the final version of the game, you’ll have access to more than 90 weapons and skills that will allow you to customise your game as you wish.
If you’re looking for a game that’s as relentless as it is fun, look no further than Dead Cells. To create a unique action game that will test your limits, you need inspiration from many places, from roguelikes to MetroidVania to even a pinch of Dark Souls.
4. HOLLOW KNIGHT: If you’re a fan of the huge Dark Souls saga, you’ll love Hollow Knight. Take control of the Knight Hollow, and guide him through the seemingly adorable landscape to face bosses and other difficult challenges. Like the Dark Souls, it’s not immediately clear what’s supposed to be done, as the narration is intentionally obtuse. Hollow Knight takes lessons from Dark Souls and injects them into a MetroidVania, with all the sideways scrolling and upgrades you might want.
5. PRISON ARCHITECT: A game in which you build, care for, equip and manage a maximum security prison. With smart prisoners who are willing to do anything to escape, you’ll fight to keep them all inside – or keep them from rioting – and make a profit.
INDIE GAMES FOR PC
INTO THE BREACH; FROSTPUNK; CELESTE; DON’T STARVE; RAIN WORLD; DEVIL DAGGERS, OWLBOY; THE STANLEY PARABLE; PAPERS PLEASE…!
With so much high level in indie PC games, we almost break our brains (like WhatsApp’s nice emoji) when ranking top picks.
INDIE GAMES FOR FREE PC
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THE BEST INDIE GAMES FOR PC
This is our top 5 of the best indie games for Pc:
1. MACHINARIUM: An independent puzzle and adventure game developed by the creators of the popular web games Samorost and Samorost2. A small robot that has been thrown into the junkyard behind the city must go back and face the Black Cap Brotherhood to save his robot friend. Perhaps the most sublime game to play on Pc.
2. DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN: Catch the traditional fantasy quest structure and add a series of mind-blowing skills to fill multiple control bars, secondary missions that feel like tonal breaks in history, but also seem to matter for themselves, and a degree of characterization that we expect from big-budget RPGs.
3. SUBNAUTICA: Depending on how you feel about diving, Subnautica can be a wonderful opportunity to explore an alien aquarium or a horror show. A tense survival game that consists of turning it day by day into a hostile alien ocean and a way of wandering around the sea finding strange sea creatures (and eating them).
4. FROSTPUNK: It’s both dark and beautiful, a mix of survival and crisis management that leaves you facing difficult, sometimes unthinkable decisions as you try to build a city that will protect your residents from a frozen world. Rarely is there a moment free from tension and worry, and rarely is there a choice that is not questioned.
5. INSIDE: Like LIMBO, Inside creates an atmosphere that is both chilling and hypnotic. Play once to marvel at the ingenious puzzles, but play it again to realize all the details of the story you missed the first time.
INDIE GAMES FOR PC OF FEW REQUIREMENTS
Just take a look at some of the best indie games in recent years, such as Cuphead, and you’ll realise that the best laptops can be great, without having to rely on complicated graphics. In addition, there are classic titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic that may seem old-fashioned, but are still maintained with stellar stories and gameplay, even if that particular game is no longer a canon in the Star Wars universe.
So we’ve selected the best games for Pc few requirements to play and…hook up!
- CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64
- X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher
- RAM: 2 GB
- GPU: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB
You may be discouraged by the intimidating number of challenges it poses, but we assure you that Cuphead deserves its weight in gold. If you still don’t find its colourful and whimsical art style attractive, then you might be convinced by the story of how it was designed.
2. STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC
- CPU: Intel Pentium 3 1Ghz or AMD Athlon 1GHz
- RAM: 256
- GPU: 32 MB with T&L Hardware
We can affirm that it is the best Star Wars game ever created (yes, even better than Dark Forces II and Rogue Squadron), KOTOR proved that the most recognizable tradition in history can once again be cool and exciting off the big screen.
3.NIGHT IN THE WOODS
- CPU: Intel i5 Quad-Core
- RAM: 4 GB
- GPU: Intel HD 4000
A modern point-and-click adventure game, it relies heavily on narrative, with very few game hooks that will catch your attention. If you like Telltale Games or Life is Strange, we think you’ll love Night in the Woods.
4. PAPERS, PLEASE
- CPU: 1.5 GHz Core2Duo
- RAM: 2 GB
- GPU: OpenGL 1.4 or better
If someone told you that a game about working in a border control office would be one of the most addictive of all time, wouldn’t it? The game is designed to test your attention to detail, but also the strength of your moral compass. As an immigration inspector, you’ll sometimes have to decide whether certain friendly characters should be granted asylum, even if it’s against the rules. Among the multitudes of immigrants and job-seeking visitors are hidden smugglers, spies and terrorists.
5. STARDEW VALLEY
- CPU: 2 Ghz
- RAM: 2 GB
- GPU: 256 mb video memory, shader model 3.0+
If you like agricultural sims, then few games will make you jump for agricultural joy more than the bewitching and busy work of Stardew Valley.