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:
#20 — Thimbleweed Park
Thimbleweed Park is an retro-style point-and-click adventure game from the mind of Ron Gilbert, the director of adventure classics Maniac Mansion and the first two Monkey Island games. In this bizarre and comedic Twin Peaks-inspired mystery, five strange individuals converge in the small town of Thimbleweed Park. One of them is a clown, even. The game features a grid of verbs to use on the environment, just like really old point-and-clicks. Critics praised it for its humour, puzzles and for being an homage to classic adventure games.
Get it if: You think adventure games lost their way in the 1990s by dropping the obtuse verb-based puzzles.
#19 — Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a psychological action-adventure game in which a Celtic warrior is on a journey to fight for the soul of her dead lover. Along the way, she must deal with both the psychosis in her mind and the Viking myths that battle her. Critics praised it for its believable exploration of mental illness and its production values.
Get it if: You want a more nuanced take on mental illness than what’s usually on offer in video games.
#18 — Battlerite
Battlerite is a frantic arena brawler featuring 2v2 and 3v3 multiplayer match-ups. You take charge of one of many choosable Champions, each with their unique skills and team up with your buddies in the arena. Critics praised it for its competitive arena action and for improving on the MOBA genre.
Get it if: You want to get into arena games, but aren’t interested in the big shots.
#17 — Pyre
Pyre is a party-based RPG from the creators of Bastion and Transistor. Described as a cross between a sports game and The Oregon Trail, it has you controlling a band of exiles in a purgatory where you must compete in ancient competitions to ascend to glory. In an interesting twist, the game and story continue even if you happen to lose. Critics praised it for its worldbuilding, audiovisual presentation, storytelling and battle system.
Get it if: You’re not really sure what the term ‘fantasy sport’ means.
#16 — Bleed 2
Bleed 2 is an arcade action game that has you playing as Wryn, the only hero left in the world. Features lots of shooting, lots of boss battles, lots of air-dodging and even lots of bullet-reflecting. Critics praised it for its run-and-gun arcade gameplay.
Get it if: You’re convinced that physics is all a sham made to stop you from quadruple jumping.
Check out Page 2 for #15 — #11!