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

What was the best indie game of the decade?


  • Total voters
    1,061

Overflow

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,934
Wollongong
I don't know what the best is, but Hotline Miami is certainly my favourite. It's totally shaped the way I view a lot of media, formed a lot of my tastes in music and graphic design, made my heart pump and provided some incredible gaming highs. It also helped the synth/retrowave scene take off in no small part, and put Devolver on the map.
 

piratethingy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
533
Hollow Knight might be the game of the generation so for me it beats the others on this very very strong list pretty handily.
 

Morfeo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
550
FTL was the best one. I had never played anything like it - and never have since.

Rogue Legacy is my number 2.
 

Dealer A

Member
Jan 13, 2018
96
For real, where is Shovel Knight on this list? For me it's a tie between Shovel Knight and Hollow Knight.
 

CHC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,540
I don't know what the best is, but Hotline Miami is certainly my favourite. It's totally shaped the way I view a lot of media, formed a lot of my tastes in music and graphic design, made my heart pump and provided some incredible gaming highs. It also helped the synth/retrowave scene take off in no small part, and put Devolver on the map.
Good choice and good reasons, especially the last one about Devolver.

I sort of see Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Hotline Miami as a holy trinity of indie games that really blew up "indie" as a concept. Obviously others came before, and they didn't all launch simultaneously (2010 - 2012) but to me they are like the early indie game pantheon.
 
Oct 28, 2017
8,856
Shovel Knight was my GOTY and no other indie has been that for me.


However,


Its Minecraft by the largest margin that a thing can be in front of another thing.
 

JediLink

Member
Oct 17, 2018
143
There are a lot of good options, but I think Hollow Knight being arguably the best game of its genre ever made is a feat that none of the others can boast.
 

Jorgie

Member
Mar 28, 2018
332
Philadelphia
Most of these were amazing games but I'd probably go with Hollow Knight. I only played five hours of it but it instantly grabbed me and I want to buy the second one already.
 

Dimajjio

Member
Oct 13, 2019
557
Steamworld Dig 1 + 2.

Loved all the exploration and unlocks. Unlike Hollow Knight, these games didn't make me tear my hair out.
 

polynomial

Member
Oct 29, 2017
11
The Witness. An absolutely sublime experience to play through without prior knowledge. The way it subtly guides you through milestones of understanding in so many different ways, which in turn lead to perceptual revelations, was a joy to behold. I wish I could forget it, only so I could experience it again for the first time.
 

Dimajjio

Member
Oct 13, 2019
557
The Witness. An absolutely sublime experience to play through without prior knowledge. The way it subtly guides you through milestones of understanding in so many different ways, which in turn lead to perceptual revelations, was a joy to behold. I wish I could forget it, only so I could experience it again for the first time.
Did you manage to solve all the obelisks as well? That's something I never got round to doing.
 

15prints

Member
May 9, 2019
139
I literaly can't chose, all of them are great at something. Like how can you compare games so different like Undertale, Stardew Valley, Hollow knight and Celeste (the only ones I played in the list, but I guess it applies to all of them)? They are completely different, and they are aiming for different things. I can't find a way to compare all of them.
 

Tekku

Member
Jan 10, 2018
3,019
Umeå, Sweden
Undertale and Hollow Knight on a shared first place. They both define the high quality standards indie games can live up to when a lot of effort and thought are put into the work.
 

polynomial

Member
Oct 29, 2017
11
Did you manage to solve all the obelisks as well? That's something I never got round to doing.
Good question! Can you even "solve" the obelisks? I spent a lot of time exploring and drinking it all in once I'd finished the core puzzles, but I'm sure there are other parts I missed. The last thing I did before I uninstalled was the timed challenge (for the platinum trophy), and to be honest that took me so long it kind of burned me out. It might be time to pay another visit soon though, I'm sure it still has secrets to give up.
 

Fireblend

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,268
Costa Rica
I could've gone with Undertale or Hollow Knight. Both all-time greats.

Went with Hollow Knight because man I just fell in love with that masterpiece of a game.
 

MickZan

Member
Oct 28, 2017
941
Hollow Knight is not just the best indie game of the decade, it's probably the best game overal.
 

dstarMDA

Member
Dec 22, 2017
105
I sort of see Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Hotline Miami as a holy trinity of indie games that really blew up "indie" as a concept. Obviously others came before, and they didn't all launch simultaneously (2010 - 2012) but to me they are like the early indie game pantheon.
You're doing my boy wrong here.


Braid

It really exploded with this and World of Goo. Braid was even one of the very first games costing 1200MS points when this was a thing IIRC.
 

Herey

Member
Jan 10, 2019
958
Inside. One of the best ‘experiences’ I’ve ever played. I think of it often.

This thread reminds me that I need to play Undertale, everything I’ve read and watched of it makes it seem like something I’ll really like.
 

Alaxend0l

Member
Dec 6, 2017
135
Goddamn, indie games exploded this decade. Out of everything I've played, if Ori and the Blind Forest doesn't count, then it's FTL: Faster Than Light. Goddamn that game was and still is amazing. Risk of Rain 2 looks like it's going to be my favorite indie game of 2020 when it's released, Hotline Miami 1+2 are amazing games, and yeah, No Man's Sky is fantastic, too! There are just so goddamn many good indie games.

Have to say that I'm surprised Hollow Knight is winning, though. It's atmospheric, but I found it incredibly boring and stiff to control. Just my opinion, though.
 

Dimajjio

Member
Oct 13, 2019
557
Good question! Can you even "solve" the obelisks? I spent a lot of time exploring and drinking it all in once I'd finished the core puzzles, but I'm sure there are other parts I missed. The last thing I did before I uninstalled was the timed challenge (for the platinum trophy), and to be honest that took me so long it kind of burned me out. It might be time to pay another visit soon though, I'm sure it still has secrets to give up.
Yeah, you have to get all those little symbols lit up. I don't know what happens if you manage to do that. Drat. Now I'm going to have to install it and try it.
 

KKRT

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,150
Path of Exile.
It changed the genre and it grew almost to AA levels of budget while being a real threat for Blizzard, so its competing with AAA.
Second pick would be Warframe.
 

Phendrana

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,696
Sydney, Australia
Return of the Obra Dinn. It's the greatest detective game ever made. Plenty of other games try to include elements of investigation, but they often end up feeling very scripted and limited in how much freedom they can give you to come to the right conclusion. I never felt that way in Obra Dinn. There's so many ways that the game provides you with clues, and the 'aha!' moments come fast and often. I felt slightly depressed for days after beating it, because it's not a game you can enjoy in the same way on a replay.

Outer Wilds is right up there as well. I don't think any other game has given me the same kind of elation at making discoveries as this did. It's like an incredible combination of Metroid Prime, Majora's Mask and funnily enough Return of the Obra Dinn. It's pure magic. And just...everything about the setting and story speaks to me.

Then there's Into the Breach. As a big fan of strategy games, this is my freaking jam. Some of the roguelike elements irritate me at times, but overall it's probably the best combination of turn-based strategy mechanics I've ever seen. The way the systems play together is downright masterful - it almost plays more like a puzzle game.
 
Oct 31, 2017
5,786
tbh, I don't think this should have a poll because there were mannnnnnyyyy indie games, and I don't think one was the runaway favorite. For example, The Witness, Hellblade, Rocket League and Dead Cells were all celebrated but not on the poll because there's not enough room. Might as well not have a poll on that and just have a standard thread.

Just my two cents! I think this idea for a thread is a great one because it's really shown the really cool experiences small developers can make, and it's been heartening to see independent developers catch the eye of publishers and the enormous amount of them finding success digitally, finding success even in retail, and finding success on VR.

Dead Cells for me. It's become a Top Five of all time game personally.
I've never been a huge fan of roguelikes/lites. I played Binding of Isaac and a little Spelunky and Rogue Legacy and they were one and done.

For Dead Cells, because it looked cool and the combat looked fun, I bought the disc version of it and took a shot.

70 - 80 hours later after getting the true ending, I'm so glad I did. For anyone who's like me when it comes to roguelike games, this game might be the one that wins you over.
 

RonianAT

Member
Jul 23, 2019
49
Haven't played Hollow Knight and Undertale.

My favourites:

5. Steamworld Heist
4. Braid
3. Dead Cells
2. Path of Exile
1. Super Meat Boy

I don't understand why Ori is not an Indie game? I thought Microsoft only does the publishing, not the funding? It is from a small Developer from my Country (Moon Studios/ Austria).
 
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Cess007

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,590
Mexicali, Mexico
My top would be:

0. Journey (According to OP, is not an Indie):
A once in a life experience about life and companionship

1. Rocket League:
Incredible game. It's probably my most played game of all time, and I don't think I would ever get tired of it.

2. Guacamelee 1 & 2:
Fun and entertaining, the difficult is exactly what it needs to be both fun and a challenge.

3. Inside:
I still don't know what I was playing, but I loved the visuals and the environmental puzzles.

4. Hollow Knight:
Probably the best metroidvania I've played in my life, and one of the few games I remember in which exploring the unknown is actually scary.

5. The Messenger:
The shopkeeper alone make this game. That it's an excellent and fun game certainly helps.

Also, I am using this thread to make a list of all this games I need to play lol
 
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cyba89

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,958
FEZ
I bought and completed this game on every platform I owned. The initial X360 release period when the community tried to unravel its secrets was something special.

Still holding out for that sequel... or at least a Switch version. :o
 

NediarPT88

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,089
Haven't played Hollow Knight and Undertale.

My favourites:

5. Steamworld Heist
4. Braid
3. Dead Cells
2. Path of Exile
1. Super Meat Boy

I don't understand why Ori is not an Indie game? I thought Microsoft only does the publishing, not the funding? It is from a small Developer from my Country (Moon Studios/ Austria).
Microsoft owns the IP so I assume they did the funding or part of it at least.

Also SteamWorld Heist is really awesome indeed.
 

Johnnybarra

Member
Nov 1, 2018
67
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.
As someone who loves Celeste and easily thinks it's my favorite game of the last few years, I'm curious as to what it is that you don't like about it.
 

Johnnybarra

Member
Nov 1, 2018
67
Sometimes the question 'what game would you like to erase from your memory to experience for the first time' pops up, and The Witness is always the first game that comes to mind. The Witness was released 3 years ago and nothing I've played in that time comes close to it.
The Witness truly was something special.
It organically taught you a new language. It was something beautiful.
 

Asylum Warden

Member
Jun 1, 2018
16
2010: Limbo
2011: To the Moon
2012: Journey
2013: Papers, Please
2014: Shovel Knight
2015: Her Story
2016: The Witness
2017: Opus Magnum
2018: Into the Breach
2019: Baba is You
 
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