What was the best indie game of the decade? And why?

What was the best indie game of the decade?


  • Total voters
    1,061
Jul 28, 2019
3,665
All of this, and I am not even accounting for Shovel Knight, Dead Cells, Untitled Goose Game, Axiom Verge, Salt and Sanctuary, Hyper Light Drifter, Golf Story, Night in the Woods, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Steamworld Dig, No Man's Sky, Transistor, Bastion... I can go on and on and on, the avalanche of indie games has been the best thing about this decade, and watching Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox alike embrace them and promote them has been heartening to see.

So, at the end of this decade, here we are: so many amazing indie games, but which one reigns supreme? And why?
 

Lost Knight

Member
Mar 17, 2019
194
Out of all of these, Undertale takes the cake, it's a phenomenon like no other. Also, INSIDE isn't really all that good, neither is Celeste. Stardrew Valley is a game I really enjoy, but not as much as Undertale. Hollow Knight is good, but I thought the map was too big for its own good. Didn't play Disco Elysium yet.
 

Matsukaze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,601
There were so many good ones, but I will (unsurprisingly) cast my vote for Undertale. That game was magic.
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,329
CrossCode is my #1 action RPG of all times. The fighting is top-notch, the story is cool, the puzzles are cool, the enemy design is great, the sidequests are varied, the encounter design is THE BEST, and it's full of cool optional bosses.

Undertale and Deltarune are cool too
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,094
UK
Poll is missing Spelunky.

I'm between Hollow Knight and Stardew. Stardew is fulfilling my need for farming life simulators but Hollow Knight ended up being the greatest video game experience I've had in recent years. Undertale is cool but it isn't Lisa the Painful by any means for me.

But I mean, Spelunky 2 is coming. Shame it got delayed, that probably would be the best indie of the decade.
 

LazyLain

Member
Jan 17, 2019
1,845
My nod goes to Golf Story. Absolutely fantastic, hilarious, and doesn't get its praises sung loud enough IMO.
 

NKnight7

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,998
I still haven’t played Undertale, so I’ll go with Hollow Knight. A truly great experience from its start to its end, and the sequel looks amazing.
 

Master Chuuster

GamingBolt.com
Verified
Dec 14, 2017
2,068
Hollow Knight, because other than a couple of instances of frustratingly placed benches, that game is literally perfect.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,610
Canada
Kentucky Route Zero should be up discussion too.

Anyways, I'd probably have to go with Night in the Woods. For me it's the most meaningful indie game of the decade. Love the very well realized town, the charming and relatable characters and gorgeous art and the game's political themes.

Return of the Obra Dinn and Outer Wilds deserve a nod too.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
2,386
For me it was probably Fez.


That initial period where everyone was playing it and solving puzzles and its different endings (thematically) were fantastic. I will never not be completely gutted that we won't be getting a sequel.
 
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Mugman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
603
Spelunky HD for me and it's not even close. I still think it's the best game I've ever played period, and it's probably the single player game I've put the most time into in my life. In terms of impact, of the ones you listed it's Undertale.

All that said, Hypnospace Outlaw is probably my favorite non-Spelunky indie game from this decade, and I'll keep shouting it from the rooftops.
 

Parmenide

Member
Dec 8, 2017
586
Axiom Verge. Absolutely great art style, neat pixel art, amazing music, fantastic upgrades, intriguing story, wonderful level design, lacks a bit in the boss fights department, the boss designs are great but only one was really a challenge for me.
 

Zassimick

Member
Nov 6, 2017
383
Hollow Knight is probably the best, but I was enamored with Ghost of a Tale. I'm going to have a hard time deciding between those two.

Undertale would also be a contender that I had not expected in the first couple hours of playing. So glad my first run was a pacifist run of the game. Should go back through and do the genocide run.
 

NotLiquid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,894
Hotline Miami.

The game put Devolver on the map as one of the most prolific indie publishers and ushered a wave of indie games that both directly and indirectly took influence from it. It also was a massive driving force in synthwave's resurging popularity. It might not be "the" best but it's by far one of the most significant titles to have come out of the indie sphere in recent history.

 

Creamium

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,998
Belgium
I love Hollow Knight, Undertale and Celeste with all my heart, but I went with my gut choice INSIDE. That game is a masterclass in restraint, pacing and videogame narrative without exposition or dialogue. The bigger games these days are stretched out and filled with padding, often providing a bloated experience. INSIDE however cuts the fat and goes from one idea to the next without ever repeating itself. It's what it'd be like if games had editors like movies or books, and everything that isn't essential is cut.

If The Witness counts and was in this poll, I would've picked that though. That goes beyond generation and is one of the best games I've played.
 

Kcannon

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,068
It should be Minecraft.

At least in terms of making waves. If it doesn't count due to it being "early access" in 2009, then Undertale.
 
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Akumatica

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,539
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom-
An excellent 2D game with great controls, art and music. It's a lot of fun.

 
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Sojiro

Member
Jun 24, 2018
194
Voted "Other", I personally think Enter the Gungeon is the best indie of the last decade. I adore EtG so much.
 

Couscous

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,098
Tilburg
Hollow Knight, because it gives us more quality content than almost any AAA game out there whilst having good combat and exploration.
 

Big G

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,133
The Witness. It's the only indie game on my all-time Top 10 games list. It's a remarkable game in every single respect and I cannot praise it enough.

Outer Wilds, Hollow Knight, What Remains of Edith Finch and SOMA would be my runners-up.
 

Pirate Bae

Sexy Chess Afficionado
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
4,461
??
Celeste.

A challenging platformer that not only forces you to get creative with how you play and maneuver through levels, but encourages player growth through constantly dying. The story is incredible, the themes are relatable, and the level design is fantastic. Pair that with a memorable soundtrack and a lot of post game challenges and you have yourself the best indie game of the decade.
 
OP
OP
The One Who Knocks
Jul 28, 2019
3,665
Notable indie games I had forgotten about:
  • Hotline Miami
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • The Witness
  • Moss
  • Outer Wilds
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • SOMA
  • The Banner Saga
  • Return of the Obra Dinn
Whew, what a great decade for indies.
 

SmashN'Grab

Member
Oct 27, 2017
460
Trials HD just misses the cut I think, coming out in Aug 2009. It'd be that for me! Instead I'll go with SteamWorld Dig 2. Or Limbo. Or Inside. Or Hollow Knight. Or Fez. Or..........
 

Van Bur3n

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
16,439
Transistor. Solid gameplay, soundtrack, art direction and story. Mostly the soundtrack that carries the experience. And the art. And the gameplay. And the story. But mostly the soundtrack. And the art.