There are thousands of indie games released every year and not all of them get the attention they richly deserve. We don’t like that – there are so many brilliant games that should be shouted about from the rooftops. That’s why we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to tell us about the indie games they think deserve more from the world and let us know about the most underrated indie games out there.
We got a ton of responses so here’s our top picks for the most underrated indie games (that definitely deserve a lot more attention).
If solving Zelda-esque puzzle dungeons is your thing along with expansive 16-bit era RPGs, then CrossCode might well be the game for you. A stunning graphical style combined with an RPG that takes brilliant elements and remixes them into something new? CrossCode is definitely one of the most underrated indie games out there.
Sometimes you have to end the rule of the gods. In Gods Will Fall that’s precisely what you’ll be doing, as you take on colossal foes in your quest to bring down the gods themselves. Inspired by Celtic legends, this is an action RPG brimming with brutal combat in a world you won’t forget.
An all-star cast, a story about the depths of imagination, and one of the best soundtracks in gaming? The Artful Escape may have won many plaudits but it’s still a game that deserves far, far more attention than it received. If you want a brilliant experience wrapped in some of the best presentation you’ve ever seen – The Artful Escape may be the one for you.
Song of the Deep
What if a metroidvania was underwater? Song of the Deep is set in a vast ocean where you play as a girl trying to find her missing father. Of course, you have a submarine, which helps considerably. With a great narrative and many hours of exploration and puzzle solving ahead of you, it’s no wonder that Song of the Deep is one of the most underrated indie games.
The Beginner’s Guide
It’s hard to talk about The Beginner’s Guide without giving it away. Part museum, part personal narrative, part exploration of game mechanics. We really can’t say much more than that other than it’s a story and an experience that will sit with you for many hours after playing, if not the rest of your life.
Iconoclasts was a long time coming but now it’s here it has completely lived up to expectations. This action platformer has a stunning art style but it doesn’t just rely on that, you’ll have fiendishly difficult bosses to fight and tons of action in your way. Play as Robin as you try to restore the world, as any good mechanic does, and enjoy one of the finest platformers ever made.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Indie games are renowned for experimentation with form and with graphical style, and Chicory: A Colorful Tale does all that and more. This adventure game sees you explore a colouring book as you make friends and solve puzzles by drawing on the world itself – and everything else. Chicory isn’t just a wonderful and joyful game, it’s a wonderful and joyful experience and one that deserves to be yelled about from the tops of very tall buildings.
World of Goo was one of the first really big indie games that exploded onto the scene, their follow-up is Little Inferno and it couldn’t be more different. It’s cold outside and you’re the owner of a Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace. To keep warm you toss everything in, including your toys, burning them to unlock new things to burn. There’s more to this than it sounds, giving you a rich and compelling experience that you’ll itch to replay.
ZeroRanger is a vertical scrolling shoot’em up that is an absolute love-letter to the shmups of the past. But it’s more than that. Much more. ZeroRanger has a brilliant story full of heroism and this story is interwoven with the action in a truly unique and wonderful way. Again, like many other underrated indie games, we can’t say much more other than to recommend it – heartily.
Vlambeer has parted ways but they’ve left us with such a brilliant legacy. Their high point is undoubtedly Nuclear Throne, a roguelike shooter that has the absolute best screen-shake in the business. If you don’t think that’s worthy of mention then you haven’t played it. The screen-shake is just one of the elements that make this a blast to play, with every shot feeling impactful and powerful. Nuclear Throne is great and a worthy inclusion in any list of underrated indie games.
Horace is a platformer that will surprise you in many ways. You could be forgiven for discounting it on first look but we implore you – look deeper. What you’ll find is a rich narrative told in an incredibly competent and emotional way, filled with references to classic eras of gaming that’ll put a smile on your face. Horace is an intensely brilliant game, one that deserves every plaudit it gets – and then some.
Like some of the other games on this list we can’t talk much about The Outer Wilds. We’ll just keep it simple, you’re a new recruit in the Outer Wilds Ventures, a space programme set up to explore this alien solar system. From there the adventure is your own and we’ll spoil it no further except to say this is one of those games that comes along once in a decade. It’s impeccable, densely layered, and one of the best games of all time. Play it and then when you’re done, play it again.
Now you know our picks of most underrated indie games, why not let us know yours? Head over to our Discord server and have your say – we’d love to hear from you.