Update: From the developer of Aquaria comes a totally different side-scrolling adventure game about a cat who drops out of college. If that description doesn’t sound indie enough on its own, continue on to number 13 on our list to find out more about Night in the Woods!
In 2017, it’s no longer the case that the biggest budgets make the best games. While major, triple-A game publishers tend to sell hype on recycled ideas, indie developers maintain the “retro” design strategy of crafting new, frankly innovative experiences.
Indie games tend to be distributed digitally, whether via game-specific marketplaces such as Steam, Origin and PSN or through third-party key sellers like Amazon and Gamestop. Even Microsoft is making huge leaps to heighten indie game availability on Xbox.
By leveraging standout art styles – some cel-shaded, others 8- or 16-bit – indie games can strike distinct visual appeal without straining your hardware. This, in turn, makes them more approachable to those sporting less powerful hardware who still want unique and diverse interactive experiences.
For this list, we’ve carefully sifted through our favorite indie games of the past few years while supplying a lone anticipated entry. Since we’re sure to miss a few, don’t hesitate to shout out recommendations in the comments section below for future additions to our list of the best indie games to play on PC and console.
Joe Osborne, Kane Fulton and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article