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

What was the best indie game of the decade?


  • Total voters
    1,062

Clay

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,352

signal

Member
Oct 28, 2017
21,906
Risk of Rain maybe. Fun & replayability are extreme high.

God I hate Hollow Knight.
 

V has come to

Member
Dec 4, 2019
380
Hollow Knight pretty easily for me, although I could see Disco Elysium topping it when I actually get around to playing it
 

The Argus

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,098
Does Cities Skylines count? If not then I pick Planet Coaster.

I guess technically Minecraft was indie at first, and that would be the true king of this gen.
 

SweetBellic

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,841
Of the poll options, Disco Elysium, with Hollow Knight a somewhat distant second. I'd be inclined to put No Man's Sky over Hollow Knight though.

Surprised to see Cuphead unrepresented here as I thought it was pretty popular with this community.
 

smocaine

Member
Oct 30, 2019
265
Fuck, seeing that poll just really hammers it in that indies ruled me this decade. Also, are Cuphead and Ori not indies? Really surprised to not see any mentions about those two.

Inside is straight up one of my games of the decade but I’d like to talk about Rain World. This game implicates you within an ecosystem, and that is its incredible achievement. Instead of opting for the traditional path of progressing by completing a bunch of objectives, it demands that you really be a part of the world, at once the danger you have to navigate around and your home, the space in which you exist. Traversing is actually scary, and by actually I don’t mean it just generates it for thematic or stylistic purposes or narrative, but that the gameplay never relents on making you understand that you’re prey in a world of predators. One of the most rewarding, most unique, most thrilling, and most enlightening (especially in terms of game design but also ecological examinations) experiences I’ve had this decade.


I searched the thread, and this is the only other Rain World post :(
 

The-JUV

Member
Oct 25, 2017
195
Steam world Dig 2 for me. Golf Story and Axiom Verge are pretty high up there for me too, and just haven’t been able to get into Hollow Knight unfortunately
 
Feb 10, 2018
17,018
Not intending to argue but I'm curious why people think hollow Knight is better then inside?

Inside is one of the best games I played this gen let alone indie. It has a fascinating story, unique gameplay using physics and a great visual style.
Hollow Knight must be doing something very special to do these things
 

Frunkalicious

Member
Oct 28, 2017
174
Too many to choose from but Jamestown was the first game I thought of.

Slain and Valfaris are strong contenders aswell.

And as Im currently addicted to Risk of Rain 2, either of one those games would make a good pick.

But for real, in 10 years Ive played 100s, I wouldnt even be able to decide on a top 50 without excluding games I really like. Picking one? Nope
 

Kazaam

Member
Oct 26, 2017
452
London
Such amazing offerings from indie developers. Three of my personal top 5 games of this entire generation are games made by small independent teams: Hollow Knight, The Witness and Night in the Woods. But there has been so much excellence this decade from Super Meat Boy to Fez, from Gone Home to Gorogoa, from Talos Principle to What Remains of Edith Finch, Papers Please, Kentucky Route Zero, Limbo, Return of the Obra Dinn, The Swapper, Thumper, The Stanley Parable, Celeste, Into the Breach, etc. The list goes on and on and on and in my book all these games are better than most big video game releases.
 

Odeko

The Fallen
Mar 22, 2018
10,072
Midwestern America
Not intending to argue but I'm curious why people think hollow Knight is better then inside?

Inside is one of the best games I played this gen let alone indie. It has a fascinating story, unique gameplay using physics and a great visual style.
Hollow Knight must be doing something very special to do these things
They're totally different types of games, other than the surface level of both being 2D platformers. Hollow Knight is the best metroidvania ever made and is noteworthy for how open and exploration-focused it is, even compared to others in that genre. Hollow Knight is the kind of game where your first playthrough can end with you seeing less than half of the bosses and missing multiple entire areas because the world is so big and you have so much agency.

Inside is kind of the opposite approach, where there's not a single second in that game where you can take a single step off the developer's intended path. That's not necessarily a negative (although it's not generally my preference), just two different design philosophies.

Both are definitely very well crafted (I prefer HK's aesthetic but Inside's is obviously also well done). I'd also say both have great stories, especially if you like soulslike storytelling which HK excels at.
 

maGs

Member
Oct 27, 2017
129
Haven’t read every post but I’m sure everyone has been saying Slay the Spire and Binding of Isaac..... right?
 

eseqko

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,275
My favorite indie this decade has been Shovel Knight. But I must add I recognize I think Undertale is probably the most important indie this decade.
 

sheaaaa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,096
how is spelunky not mentioned lmao. not only is it one of the best games of all time, it's easily the most influential indie game of the decade, and i don't even think the latter point is debatable.
 
Feb 10, 2018
17,018
They're totally different types of games, other than the surface level of both being 2D platformers. Hollow Knight is the best metroidvania ever made and is noteworthy for how open and exploration-focused it is, even compared to others in that genre. Hollow Knight is the kind of game where your first playthrough can end with you seeing less than half of the bosses and missing multiple entire areas because the world is so big and you have so much agency.

Inside is kind of the opposite approach, where there's not a single second in that game where you can take a single step off the developer's intended path. That's not necessarily a negative (although it's not generally my preference), just two different design philosophies.

Both are definitely very well crafted (I prefer HK's aesthetic but Inside's is obviously also well done). I'd also say both have great stories, especially if you like soulslike storytelling which HK excels at.
Arhh, thanks for this.
I guess it's just a matter of there's more ppl on era with thos different taste.
Hollow Knight looks more like a fast pasta platformer, where inside is a newer concept.
 

Orfax

Member
Oct 27, 2017
137
Australia
I voted Hollow Knight (and I am ok with that vote), but there were so many great indies. My absolute best are Fez, The Binding of Isaac, The Witness, Factorio. Does Minecraft count? It was a 2009 title right, but not "released" until 2011. I absolutely *loved* all these titles. And I'm sure I'm missing others.
 

H2intensity

Member
Oct 27, 2017
304
Hollow Knight, I think it's one of the indie game that doesn't look and feels like indie game. It feels like one of those big studio production with great graphic, music, impressive vast map and really impressive gameplay.
For me it's the only metroidvania that have the same quality with Super Metroid. It such a masterpiece game.
 

m_dorian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,117
Athens, Greece
Can't really tell. There are so many great indies this decade so i don't want to rule one or three as best.

Adding Subnautica, Factorio and Banished to the big happy list of games we were fortunate to experience.
 

Odeko

The Fallen
Mar 22, 2018
10,072
Midwestern America
Honorary mention to Kentucky Route Zero, winner of the "making a decade look like not enough time for a game to come out" award
I really thought we were gonna make it, I thought TV Edition would be at today's Nindies show for sure. I mean it was slated for 2018 originally and the devs have been actually talking about it being nearly done for a while now on Twitter, so sure now is the time to finally see it?

lol nope
 

LordofPwn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,990
Terrible poll choices. Minecraft and Rocket League were so good and big they got bought. Shovel Knight keeps churning out content. The Witness is one of the best puzzle games out there. Gone Home revived the point and click adventure genre. Atleast OP included Undertale.

Nothing wrong with the games in the poll just some huge omissions.
 

Feep

Lead Designer, Iridium Studios
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,013
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
Yoooooo this is my answer.

Also, the Witness!
 

SeriousApes

Member
Oct 26, 2017
186
I'm gonna throw in a(nother) mention for Hyper Light Drifter, one of my indie favorites.
 
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Piston

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,911
I said Celeste but it's a tough split between Celeste, Cuphead, and Ori. I would have Stardew and Dead Cells to round out the Top 5.
 

TripOpt55

Member
Oct 25, 2017
323
Celeste is my choice. My favorite of these sort of hardcore, single-screen platformers from a gameplay standpoint, but it also told a story that really resonated with me which is pretty rare among 2D platformers. I really related to Celeste the character. Throw in some fantastic pixel-art graphics and a lovely soundtrack, and this was a near-perfect game for me.