2017 was a strong year for indie games, and we’re highlighting 50 of the best games to come out this year. Here’s the definitive IND13 list for 2017.
2017 was the year indie games found a new home: the Nintendo Switch, the home console-portable hybrid that has broken all expectations. 2017 was also a year marked by many controversies in the video games industry, but indie games paddled forth past the exploding battleships. Some of the finest experiences this year came from the indie quarter, and we’re celebrating the diversity and ingenuity of indie games with this mega-list. Over this week, find out the 50 Best Indie Games that released this year.
We’ve ranked the games loosely according to their OpenCritic scores, which should give you a good idea of what critics thought of the game. We’ve also steered clear of re-releases and ports, focusing on original content.
Here’s the rest of the list:
#10 — Nex Machina
Nex Machina is a twin-stick shooter from Resogun developer Housemarque, and it’s set in a future where robots have surpassed human intelligence and have risen up to destroy all human life. This meta-heavy shooter features over a hundred levels, local co-op multiplayer, and a deep scoring system to challenge your friends with. Critics praised it for it shooting gameplay, design and visuals.
Get it if: You need to practice for when the great robocalypse happens, and you won’t settle for a lower score than your friends when it happens.
#9 — Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is a standalone campaign for hit indie action platformer Shovel Knight. A prequel to the original game, Specter of Torment has you playing as Specter Knight. You get to take advantage of his high agility to traverse levels in new ways, and of course, you get a pretty sick scythe. Critics praised it for its gameplay innovations from the original game, and for its level design.
Get it if: You’ve always wanted to play as the reaper, and not in a 90s point-and-click adventure.
#8 — Far From Noise
Far From Noise is a narrative game that follows a conversation and leaves the dialogue choices up to you. Your car is balanced at the edge of a cliff, and all you can seemingly do is talk to your companion and watch the sun set. The game changes per playthrough, and has multiple endings that depend on the dialogue choices you make in the game. Critics praised it for its narrative.
Get it if: You want to have a contemplative conversation about life and death while hoping that damn elk doesn’t ram your car.
#7 — SteamWorld Dig 2
Steamworld Dig 2 is a dig-happy Metroidvania that serves as a sequel to the original Steamworld Dig, and retains much of the same gameplay. You play as a steam-powered robot named Dorothy who’s looking for her lost friend (hint: it’s Rusty!). The game features an increased focus on platforming as Dorothy’s adventure takes her into a dangerous underworld. Critics praised it for its improvements over the original, and for its polished gameplay and design.
Get it if: You never gave much credence to the saying “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”.
#6 — Cuphead
Cuphead is a side-scrolling action game with brutal difficulty and an unmistakeable art style. You play as Cuphead (or Mugman, if you choose to go the co-op way), who is trying to pay back a debt made to the Devil. The game is heavily focused around boss battles and features a jazz soundtrack that hearkens back to the 1930s cartoons the game pays homage to. Critics praised it for its art design and intense challenge.
Get it if: You watched very old cartoons and the first thing you thought was “I wish Dark Souls was like this”.
Check out Page 2 for the #5 — #1 indie games!