Today the Indie Ranger Team would like to give a Merry Christmas to everyone that supports the site, and to everyone who loves indie games. And what better way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to end this decade off, than to share our Top Ten Indie Games of the Decade.
10. Hollow Knight (2017, Team Cherry)
Starting you out in the awe-inspiring Gothic word of Hollownest, Hollow Knight is the quintessential Metroidvania. A 2D visual masterpiece, It surpasses many of the games it was inspired by simply by focusing on tight gameplay and strong world design. Everything in Hollow Knight is a joy to discover, and Hollow Knight is made even better by its high replay value. It was big package made on a small budget.
9. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (Developed by White Owls Inc. and published by Arc System Works)
Made with the phrase “This game was made with the belief that nobody is wrong for being what they are.” The Missing offers bold story telling through unrestrained creative freedom. Every aspect of The Missing‘s gameplay, puzzle design, environments and enemies hold purpose in telling its story. The game has flaws, sure, but no indie game or otherwise has quite painted the struggle to be comfortable with who you are better than The Missing.
8. The Beginner’s Guide (2015, Developed and published by Everything Unlimited Ltd.)
Try to imagine who a person is without ever having met them, all you have is their work. Are they happy, lonely, what do they believe? What can you learn from the pieces left behind of someone else’s life?
The Beginner’s Guide was built on the same ‘deconstructive’ formula as The Stanley Parable, however it expands upon the former’s success in such a unique way. The strange mix of comedic and disturbing revelations about the in-game Developer leads the player on the adventure of a lifetime. And though The Beginner’s Guide may not be gameplay heavy, the in-game context and story justifies that more than other walking simulator.
7. Hotline Miami (2012, Developed by Dennaton Games and published by Devolver Digital)
Hotline Miami is a brilliant example of what you can do with a top down camera, aesthetic mastery, and a little ultraviolence. The player strides through a manic, drug-filled version of the late 80’s while indirectly learning about the cold story throughout this brutal experience.
The hyper violence mixed with the synth soundtrack is a match made in heaven. And with endless replayability through masks, weapons, challenges, and play style Hotline Miami is a must have.
6. Five Nights at Freddy’s (2014, Developed and Published by Scott Cawthon)
What kind of a Top Ten indie Games of the Decade list would this be if we didn’t include Five Nights at Freddy’s. With its deceptively simple appearance FNAF spawned a cult following across its 9 games, and still today the game and it’s storyline bring about complex discussion and debate. With apparel in every department store, Game Stop, and supermarket, FNAF is one of the main titles on this list that helped bring indie gaming into the mainstream.
5. Kerbal Space Program (2015, Developed by Squad and published by Private Division)
Perhaps the most technically complex game on this list, Kerbal Space Program created a cult following with its technical complexity, real world applications, and difficulty. Being such a highly viewed space program sim, NASA even collaborated for over a year with the developers to implement Kerbal Space Program‘s Asteroid Redirect Mission in the game.
4. Night in the Woods (2017, Developed by Infinite Fall and published by Finji)
Night in the Woods is a game that strikes a cord with many aimless 20 something-year-old’s with its strand of Coming-of-Age. A game where a lapsed college student returns home to her small town, it tackles topics relevant to the current generation of young adults. The art is striking yet simple and the music is a delight. If you have wondered about where you are in life, look no further for an experience that is sure to stick with you.
3. Minecraft (2010, Mojang)
You’d be damned if you walked into a clothing chain store and didn’t see a t-shirt with some sort of Minecraft branding boldly printed across the front. Does Minecraft need to be explained? It is baffling how much of an impact Minecraft has left on the games industry and pop culture as a whole.
What started as a simple game created by one man has evolved into something of astronomical proportions. In the last decade, Minecraft saw a buyout from Microsoft, created spin-off titles, launched on all major gaming platforms and is now an advocate for cross-platform play; this is the game that brought Xbox Live functionality to the Playstation 4. The impact of this game can’t be ignored.
Oh right, and it’s fun and caters to lots of different play styles.
2. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (2014, Developed and published by Nicalis)
Indie and roguelike are two words that are synonymous nowadays. The Binding of Isaac originally released in 2011, showing indie developers how roguelike genre elements bring replayability and engagement to a game. What really set the roguelike genre into a frenzy was 2014’s The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, a definitive re-release that reworked the game and made an already Classic game into an even greater Masterpiece.
1. Undertale (2017, Developed and published by Toby Fox)
A challenger in its cultural impact and longevity, Undertale brings a heartwarming and at times bloodcurdling tale to audiences of all backgrounds.
The large, underground world full of puzzles, towns, and NPC’s brings hours upon hours of content to go through, mysteries to solve, and areas to explore. Fox’s role-playing game became an instant classic with its pacifist and Genocidal twists, in which the player can radically change the direction of the narrative by choosing to spare the lives of enemies or by choosing to hunt down every last living being. Heartwarming and Bloodcurdling if you choose to make the game either, Undertale may appear to be a linear game like many, however, once you delve deeper, you’ll find access to the greater story of Undertale.
Finally, we here at Indie Ranger would like to ask our readers for a special favor this Holiday season, go out and consider supporting some of the many indie developers that go unnoticed. Many indie developers make breathtaking games for free because they love gaming, and many will go without the attention that they deserve. We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas, and we work every day to help bring those many indie developers that go unnoticed to the forefront.