There have been tons of great independent titles released in the video game industry since 2005. Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network and the increasing popularity of the Steam platform have paved the way for indie developers to get their carefully crafted games out to the public and to established gaming communities. Later during the generation, Wii Ware, Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter were used to help boost interest in indie games and the later two allowed gamers to choose to support only the games they believed would be great early during their development period. As we move closer to the next generation of video games, we'd like to take a look back at the 10 Best Indie Games of this Generation.
Limbo is a unique platform title that challenges players to conquer complex puzzles with simple controls. The game follows a young boy on a quest to save his sister and features one of the best endings of any game on the list. The game features excellent design that includes a stunningly beautiful graphical design that brings the eerie atmosphere to life and helps create some really gruesome deaths. Limbo is a great game that all gamers need to experience for themselves before moving on to a new console.
Braid was a surprise hit for indie developer Jonathan Blow when it launched exclusively for Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008. What appeared at first glance as a Super Mario Bros. clone hid a complex series of puzzles that are brilliantly designed and incorporates a new game mechanic in each new world to solve similar problems and progress through the game. The game also tells one of the best stories of any game ever with another ending that gamers need to see to believe. Braid's one drawback may be that the complexity of game's puzzles being too difficult to appeal to all gamers, but needless to say, we're still extremely excited to see what Blow does with his PlayStation 4 exclusive The Witness.
No matter what gamers think of developer Phil Fish, it's impossible to deny Fez was created by a truly gifted video game mind. The game imagines a world that lives in two dimensions but is explored by the game's protagonist in three dimensions using a magical fez hat. The game can be played and completed in just a few hours, but to see all of the game's secrets, fans will have to decipher complex puzzles, read hidden treasure maps and find and use carefully placed instructions. Fez is a truly unique title and one that we're still holding out hope to see a sequel to.
7) Rogue Legacy
Rogue Legacy is the best example of a game using the Kickstarter community to create an all-time great game. The title forces players to grind out levels and additional cash to gain new abilities that go into future generations of characters. Each character in the heritage has a different character class and traits that add additional benefits or negative effects to the character. Randomly generated dungeons and an always increasingly difficulty spike make the game a tough challenge and a rewarding experience for gamers that pick up this release.
6) The Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac can give players an infinite amount of replayability thanks to randomly generated dungeons and items that make each run through the game completely different. There are over 100 secret items included in the game when played with its expansion, Wrath of the Lamb, and there are also optional bosses, areas and plenty of other variants that keeps each playthrough fresh. A few glitches and what should be a definitive remake of the game that is currently in development keeps the game in its current form from placing higher on the list, but The Binding of Isaac still provides one of the most entertaining games players can purchase at such a low price.
Minecraft is widely regarded as the best indie game ever released, and the sales statistics help make the case for the game to be considered the best around. Players are thrown into an open world sandbox with no items in their inventory, but eventually, a player can have tons of great items, a city built from the ground up or even a portal to another world. The game is constantly updated with plenty of great new content that makes the game even better. Games such as Terraria and Don't Starve almost do "Minecraft" better than Minecraft manages or the game may have placed higher on the list.
4) Castle Crashers
Undoubtedly, Castle Crashers has been the biggest success for developer The Behemoth and one of the most highly successful games on Xbox LIVE Arcade. The title allows up to four players to team up together and bash their way through a fantasy world and save the princesses of the kingdom while preventing an evil wizard from taking over the world. Animal familiars, a large arsenal of melee weapons and plenty of unlockable characters keep players interested in the game long after completing it for the first time, and a humorous storyline weaves an interesting tale for gamers to laugh at again and again.
3) Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is really difficult yet incredibly fun. The platformer is regarded as one of the most challenging games that has ever released, and the game becomes even more difficult upon completion and unlock of the merciless Cotton Alley and the Dark World version of the original game. Super Meat Boy features additional DLC maps for free from The Internets world for even more content than included in the original release. The game also includes plenty of unlockable characters and tons of secrets that keeps players playing and dying countless times over.
A cool voiceover narrator that would give Morgan Freeman a run for his money and unbeatable action gameplay make Bastion a must play game for this generation. All of the action in the game is narrated for gamers, and a major plot twist later in the game gives the game a truly memorable storyline. Colorful worlds and characters make Bastion one of the best looking games, and unlockable items, buildings and skills make this a fun game to pursue 100% completion on. Bastion is a great game that is widely regarded one of the best indie games ever and for good reason.
Spelunky has it all; colorful environments and fun character and enemy design brings the game to life, but a tough difficulty, tons of secrets and randomly generated levels make this a game that can be played forever. Spelunky challenges players to find as many pieces of gold and gems and beat only sixteen levels to complete the game, but many players will likely have to play the games hundreds of times just to see the game's ending once. Unlockable characters, secret levels and daily leaderboards makes the game worth investing time in constantly, and players can even team up for local cooperative play or versus multiplayer that are underrated features in the game. Spelunky is one of the best games we've ever played and the best indie game of the current console generation!