[Top 15] Best Indie Games for PC

Best Indie Games for PC
Covering the best indie games, for PC and beyond!

What's your favorite indie game? 

Indie games are the hidden gems of the video game world. They are made by smaller companies or individuals, without financial or technical support that is usually available to larger companies. Still, these developers often make memorable games that leave a lasting impact on millions of gamers and rival the success of the big companies.

Here I will list my top 15 indie games for PC. The following games left an impact on myself as a gamer, and have a huge following of their own. If you haven’t played these games, you are in for an experience! 

15. Tabletop Simulator (PC)

Tabletop Simulator Gameplay

Have you ever wished you could play a board game with friends, but your friends are hundreds of miles away? I have, after moving away from my hometown. This is where Tabletop Simulator comes to the rescue. With Tabletop Simulator, you can create your own board game or download one of the thousands of community-made mods on Steam and play with anyone, anywhere. It is also VR compatible, which makes it way cooler. 

Finally, you can play Cards Against Humanity, Dungeons and Dragons, or import your own picture and make a jigsaw puzzle to play with the people you care about. Create your own elaborate RPG dungeons, or just relax with a simple classic  game like Dominoes or Chess...whatever you’re in the mood for. 

This game is only number 15 on my list because it isn’t a game that has a story or characters, but it is still meaningful to staying close to your friends especially in the times we are living in. Break away from the stress of 2020 and spend some quality time just having fun with your friends. 

Game night is saved, no matter how far apart you are! 

Game Night: Dungeons and...Chess?
 

14. Baba is You (PC/Nintendo Switch)

Baba is You Gameplay

In Baba is You, you primarily control Baba, an adorable sheep. Baba is You is a puzzle game, where you must follow the rules present as blocks on the screen. The interesting thing is you can move these blocks, which in turn, change the rules! 

Changing the rules leads to interesting interactions, and are necessary to finish the puzzle and advance to the next level. I found myself laughing triumphantly, smiling with delight, and growing frustrated as I tried to figure out how to complete each level. Sometimes, the answer was so obvious, and I easily missed it! 

This game is only 14 on my list because of personal preference. I am not a big fan of puzzle games, however, Baba is You was so cute and clever, I had to give it a go. If you enjoy puzzles, this lighthearted game is just right for you! 

Help Baba change the rules and win the level!
 

13. Into the Breach (PC/Nintendo Switch)

Into the Breach Gameplay

Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy RPG. You control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge!

As a big fan of Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem, I was really excited to play this game. Although I am not usually fond of anything mecha, I was interested in the turn-based strategy aspect of the game. This game is certainly challenging, which is why it is number 13. Often, you are torn between defending the city buildings, keeping your mecha pilots alive, and defeating the alien threats. Sometimes it’s impossible to do all three and you are forced to either start over or take a partial victory. If you win, you are rewarded with a randomly selected set of upgrades you can buy with resources you collected. If one of your pilots happens to die, they are gone forever and you will have to just deal with a replacement AI that will not gain experience or level up. 

This game does have high replay value, due to each level being random and will never be the same each playthrough. If you are craving a good puzzle and enjoy strategy, you will want to give Into the Breach a go...again and again! 

We are not alone: Defeat the alien threats and save the world!
 

12. Enter the Gungeon (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4)

Enter the Gungeon Gameplay

Do you like guns? Great. Enter the Gungeon is a bullet hell dungeon crawler following an odd band of misfits seeking to shoot, loot, doge-roll and table flip their way to a personal pardon by reaching the legendary Gungeon’s ultimate treasure: a gun that can kill the past. 

You get to choose your “gungeoneer” which is who you will play as. Each character has special abilities, items, different stats and starting weapons. My favorite is the Hunter, mostly because she has a little corgi buddy that will bark at mimics and may dig up items! Who wouldn’t love having a little doggy friend in the cold, dark Gungeon? 

I normally don’t play shooter games, they are out of my realm of interests. However, after seeing Enter the Gungeon, it looked fun and I had to give it a try...and I’m really glad I did. Everything is a gun pun (hehe, gun pun…). Each floor of the Gungeon is made up of a random configuration of handcrafted rooms, making every playthrough a little different. The game also rewards you with secret characters, which I’m sure any die-hard fan will already know about. 

This game’s fun and variety will keep you coming back for more, even if you’re like me and not interested in shooting games. It also has a co-op mode, so you don’t have to play alone. 

Bullet hell: Find awesome guns and blow stuff up. 
 

11. Limbo (PC/Xbox 360/PS4/PS3/XBOne/PSVita/Switch/Mobile)

Limbo Gameplay

Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enters Limbo. This is the single detail provided about the game before you play. Limbo is a puzzle platformer game, with lots of horror elements that will leave you cringing as you struggle to overcome the puzzles.This is a 2-D game that is completely in black and white. 

Limbo stars a little boy, waking up in a barren forest. The game gives you no indication of who you are, how you got there, or where you’re going. In this forest, as you advance, you come across puzzles, and if you aren’t careful, you will die (a lot) in horrifying ways. For example, being decapitated by a bear trap! 

A lot of trial and error goes into solving the puzzles, the developers describe it as “trial and death” to figure out each obstacle. If you make a wrong choice or don’t pay attention, you get to watch your player die in shockingly gruesome ways, almost instantly. Thankfully, this is not a roguelike game, and you get to start over before the obstacle that killed you rather than start from the beginning of the game. 

The game advancement is very interesting, in the first half, you encounter bizarre monsters and other children who try to attack you, however, in the second half, there are no other life forms to be seen, and the puzzles get harder to overcome. (It’s lonely in here!)

The horror element may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I will admit I don’t usually like the horror genre. What drew me to Limbo is the mystery surrounding the game’s story, and the limit to information given about it. This is a game you should play yourself so you get to experience all the mystery as you unravel the story. 

Arachnophobia: Oh great, I get to run from a giant spider.
 

10. Crypt of the Necrodancer (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4/PSVita)

Crypt of the Necrodancer Gameplay

Crypt of the Necrodancer is an award-winning roguelike rhythm game. Move to the music and deliver beatdowns with the solid beats! You can groove to the amazing Danny Baranowsky soundtrack, or select songs from your own MP3 collection. 

In the game, you control a girl named Cadence, the daughter of a famous treasure hunter who has gone missing. In her search, she falls into a crypt controlled by the Necrodancer, who steals Cadence’s heart and makes her challenge his minions to retrieve it. 

This is a rhythm game, which has you dancing to one side of the dungeon floor to the other as you tango with enemies, avoiding their movements while attacking until one of you dies. You are attacking to the beat, parrying to the beat, collecting items and gold to the beat...this is not just following button prompts like most normal rhythm games. The really fun thing about this game is you can play with a keyboard...or a dance pad if you wanted. I have not tried using a dance pad, but I bet it would be awesome and burn some calories. 

There are also a ton of ways to play this game. Different characters, a practice mode, new game plus mode, challenge mode, local co-op, and a level editor to build your own levels. This game offers you more than enough options to bulk up replayability and keep you coming back to jam again. 

Dance or Die: Conga line of zombies, anyone? 
 

9. Rakuen (PC)

Rakuen Gameplay

Rakuen is an adorable game. A hospitalized boy comes to terms with his own story as he travels with his mom to a gorgeous fantasy world, ultimately helping his fellow patients find closure by walking a mile in their shoes. 

Warning: This game will make a grown man cry. I am obviously not a man, but I’ve seen men freely admit they have cried over this game. Rakuen is just an emotional masterpiece. It has a beautiful, heartwarming story, amazing music, and moments that pull at your heartstrings. 

In Rakuen, a young boy and his mother travel to a fantasy world, which is linked to the real world. In order to have the forest guardian grant the boy one wish, he must first help five souls, which correspond to five other patients in the very same hospital. To do this, the boy must interact with the physical bodies of these patients as well as their fantasy characters in the other world. Uncovering their backstories and helping them find closure is how you advance through the game. You can grow attached to some of these characters after spending so much time getting to know them and their stories. That was the best part of the game for me, I love character development! 

The gameplay features multiple fetch quests, as you have to find certain specific items to do specific things in order to advance. You will have to solve puzzles or crack the code on a lock to open a door. The game certainly is challenging at times, but thankfully, Steam offers a walkthrough if you ever get stuck! 

Despite a few lapses in logic, such as why only the boy and his mom can go to the fantasy world, this is a fun, imaginative game that will make you laugh and cry. The beautiful music and vivid graphics of the fantasy world will draw you in. 

Fantasy vs. Reality: The player crosses a bridge, guided by his mom.
 

8. A Hat in Time (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4)

A Hat in Time Gameplay

A Hat in Time is an adorable 3D platformer featuring a little girl who stitches hats for wicked powers. You freely explore bright and beautiful worlds to recover Time Pieces to travel to new heights! This game may remind you of the Nintendo 64 glory days, reminiscent of classics like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. 

In a Hat in Time, you play as a girl called Hat Kid. She is trying to return to her home world via spaceship, but while travelling over a planet, a member of the planet’s mafia comes to collect a toll for the Mafia Town Government. When Hat Kid refuses to pay, the Mafia man busts the door open, causing Hat Kid and all of her Time Pieces (magical hourglasses that power her ship) to fall to the planet below. The game is based around trying to recover these Time Pieces so Hat Kid can go home. 

The levels are fun and imaginative, with their own treasures to collect and different obstacles to overcome. Each new level may feel like you’re playing an entirely different game, and that keeps it interesting from start to finish. 

In this game, you must collect yarn to stitch new hats that grant Hat Kid special powers. Hat Kid can also use the bubbles she collects as currency to buy badges that grant her special abilities. This gives you a reason to revisit past levels, as certain hats and abilities will allow you to access areas that were previously inaccessible to fully complete them. I am somewhat of a completionist, so going back to complete a level is a must for me! 

This is a silly and charming game you will enjoy if 3D platformers are your thing. I grew up with the classics such as Mario and Banjo, so I enjoyed A Hat in Time. If you give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

New Heights: Hat Kid searches for the missing Time Pieces.

7. Terraria (PC)

Terraria Gameplay

Dig, fight, explore, build. Nothing is impossible in this action-packed adventure game! If you are familiar with Minecraft, then Terraria will look similar to you. The game begins with a create a character feature, and a create a world feature. In each new game you are given three basic tools, the sword, pickaxe and axe. You must use these tools to gain resources and protect yourself from enemies as you explore the world. 

At its core, in Terraria, you have to manipulate your environment to get around. You may have to dig through a wall, or build a platform to get across gaps. You do have goals in the game, the first one being to build a house. Of course, you have to go around and gather wood and resources necessary to accomplish this. The house is for protection, because at night, similar to Minecraft, tough enemies come out. 

A cool thing about Terraria is, the more houses you build, the more NPCs and shop vendors will move into your little settlement, making it into a real town! 

You may ask, what is the point of Terraria? Well, it's for treasure hunting...and building. You go explore, find cool stuff, and either get killed, kill yourself, or teleport home and put all the cool stuff you got in your settlement or use it to craft items...then do it all over again! It’s an open-ended sandbox adventure!

Terraria doesn’t sound like much, but once you play you will be sucked in to accomplishing your goals to survive and building the best settlement ever. There are endless areas of the world to explore and hidden secrets to find. Adventure awaits!

Defend the Homestead: Fight Cthulhu's eye! 
 

6. Papers, Please (PC/PSVita)

Congratulations. The October labor lottery is complete, and your name was chosen. For immediate placement, report to the Ministry of Admission at Grestin Border Checkpoint. An apartment will be provided to you and your family in East Grestin. Expect a Class-8 dwelling. 

Iin Papers, Please, you work as a border inspector at the checkpoint of the fictional communist country of Arstotzka. It is up to you to decide who you let into the country, and who you keep out or detain. Obviously, you will check any documents they have to verify their reason and identity for wishing to gain access into the country including passports, work visas, and the like. You may end up violating a few of their rights as you strip search them if they appear particularly suspicious! That’s the core of the game, you are a paper pusher working at a desk! All in a day’s work, right? 

“What’s to love then?”, you might ask. The game just feels good. It has a sense of reward and punishment that makes you want to win. You may find yourself trying time and time again just to survive. As the game goes on, the nation’s rules, regulations and policies change. You have to keep the paperwork on your desk organized as more and more documents are added in addition to pushing immigrants through. You still have to be careful though, if you let through the wrong person, you may just change the course of history. 

Your decisions in the game carry a lot of weight as you catch glimpses of the people’s lives, and you may be responsible for breaking up families of war refugees or allowing terrorists and spies into the country! You are only allowed two mistakes before your supervisor begins docking your pay. 

So what’s the big deal with that? Well, you’re a family man. You have a family to care for and provide food, medicine and heat in your shabby little “free” apartment. Getting your pay docked is certainly not something you want, as caring for all your family’s needs is pretty costly. If you don’t bring home enough bacon, your family may have to sleep in the cold or just deal with being hungry or sick for another day. Naturally, if not fed or given medicine, your family members will die. 

As the game goes on, your decisions, mistakes, and who you let through and how fast you push the paperwork determines which ending you get. There are 20 in all, giving you reasons to come back and play again to see what the outcome will be. 

This game is number 6 on my list due to its uniqueness, and historical value. I’m a sucker for history, and this game fascinates me to no end. It is not like the light-hearted, cutesy games listed elsewhere on this countdown, but it has a certain charm and intriguing factor. I have not yet uncovered all the endings, but I keep coming back for more to see what the outcome will be. 

 Glory to Arstotzka: Trust no one. 
 

5. Slime Rancher (PC/PS4/XBOne)

In Slime Rancher, you play as Beatrix LaBeau, a young rancher who sets out for a life a thousand light-years away from Earth on the “Far, Far Range”, where she has chosen to take up the difficult and unusual job of wranging slimes. 

After getting all depressed reading about Papers, Please, this game will give you back that cutesy, lighthearted feeling you should be familiar with in this countdown. As a fan of Harvest Moon, I just had to give Slime Rancher a go. This game is pretty much what it sounds like, you explore the Far, Far range, collecting the adorable slime creatures, which you raise on your farm. If you feed and properly care for them, they reward you with plorts (their poop) which can be traded to get rewards and upgrades to your gear. 

How do you collect these slimes? Well, Beatrix has a special gun and backpack she uses to vacuum the little guys up and packs them all into the backpack. She then carries them back home, where you can reverse the suction to pop them back out. 

Of course, you have to purchase pens to keep them in to prevent escape. You also have to feed them or you may find they have escaped and are feasting on your crops! The game requires you to get creative, as you may need to discover different kinds of pens to contain different species of slime. For example, flying slimes need a roof or they will easily fly away! In addition to the right pen, each slime has a distinct diet. Some slimes are carnivores and want to eat chickens, called hen-hens. Others like veggies or fruit. 

As you progress, Beatrix will discover new, rarer slimes the further she travels into the wilderness. Some slimes are friendly and wouldn’t hurt a fly...and some will try to kill you. Hybrid slimes can also be created by feeding the plorts of one slime to a different species. I love trying this to find all the wacky combinations I can make!

In Slime Rancher, there is a lot to do. Exploring the alien planet, collecting slimes, building a ranch, feeding slimes and collecting plorts, buying upgrades, trading items...all in a day’s work in the Far, Far, Range.  There’s always something to discover and a puzzle to figure out using the help of these adorable, squishy slimes. Slime Rancher is number 5 due to it’s interesting and quirky concept. 

 Tending Slimes: These Boom slimes have an “explosive” temper!
  

4. Untitled Goose Game (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4/XBOne)

Untitled Goose Game Gameplay

It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose. This game showcases what people like least about this avian creature. They are dreadful, evil birds who exist to terrorize the human race. This is exactly what you get in Untitled Goose Game.

You take on the role of a regular goose, who sets out to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting villagers just trying to live their lives in peace. You can steal from them, mess with their stuff, and annoy them to no end as you try to complete your objectives, by way of a “To-Do” list. They won’t make it easy, as they naturally will try to get their stuff back and scare you away. 

Untitled Goose Game is silly and charming. After you complete the initial goals, the game offers you more stuff to do to challenge yourself. I loved this game the moment I started it up, (mostly just playing it for the meme) and even though it can get infuriatingly difficult (I’m looking at you, outdoor shopkeeper lady) you are driven to complete your objectives to see what happens next. From locking a small boy in a phone booth to stowing away in a produce box to gain access to a pub, Untitled Goose Game will have you laughing and enjoying spending a day in the life of a goose! Honk, honk…

Double Trouble: With co-op multiplayer, two geese can terrorize the gardener!

 

3. Hollow Knight (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4/XBOne)

Hollow Knight Gameplay

Forge your own path in Hollow Knight, an epic action adventure through a vast ruined kingdom of insects and heroes. Explore twisting caverns, battle tainted creatures, and befriend bizarre bugs in a classic, hand-drawn 2D style.

In Hollow Knight, you play as a nameless knight, travelling through the Hollownest, a kingdom inhabited by various types of insects. To advance, you will battle other insects who are overtaken by “The Infection”, fight bosses, and unlock new abilities to progress, all while exploring the mysteries of the kingdom.

This game has a lot of charming little buggy friends you meet and get to know, talking to everyone you meet offers an explanation about the history of the kingdom and the origin of “The Infection” itself. This game sounds upbeat on the surface, however, if the art style is any indication, the game is somber and gets rather dark the deeper you get into the story. 

This game is number 3 on my list, because of how great it is. Several people have never heard of it, but it has been called “the best metroidvania you have never heard of”, and they aren’t lying. The story draws you in and you form emotional connections with these bugs as you help your knight solve the mysteries of Hollownest. 

 Showdown: Hollow Knight fights a boss. 
 

2. Undertale (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4/PSVita)

Undertale Gameplay

Undertale is the RPG where nobody has to die...unless you want them to. Okay, who hasn’t heard of Undertale by now? This was an amazing indie game that gripped me from the start. 

In Undertale, you play as a child, who becomes the first human to fall into the Underground, a world full of monsters. Humans from the world above and monsters from the world below have been at war, and the Underground was sealed off, having a single entry point from the world above. 

You will meet many monsters on your journey to get back to the surface, and some will engage you in a fight. You can also opt to pacify or subdue the monsters, in order to spare their lives instead of killing them. Your choices affect the game, the dialogue, characters, and outcome of the story. 

The story itself is silly, the characters are fun and quirky, with a few serious or sad moments thrown in. This game held my interest all the way through as I battled with choices and what was the “right” or “humane” thing to do. This game will really put your morals to the test! The soundtrack of this game is amazing, I found myself humming along to the iconic songs. 

I’m sure I don’t have to go into so much detail here, everyone and their mother knows about the amazing masterpiece that is Undertale. If you don’t, you have had to have been living under a rock! If you haven’t tried it yet, don’t let the fanbase scare you away, play it now! 

  You try to cheer up Napstablook. 
 

1.Stardew Valley (PC/Nintendo Switch/PS4/XBOne/PSVita/Mobile)

Stardew Valley Gameplay

You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with some hand-me-down tools and mere few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It’s all up to you! Starting out, you get to create your character any way you would like and choose a farm plot to call home. 

Stardew Valley is often called the “only spiritual successor to Harvest Moon” and it plays a lot like Harvest Moon, but dare I say, it’s better. Yes, it’s the same old song and dance: clear the fields, raise livestock, grow crops, mine, fish and befriend the villagers...even fall in love and start a family. However, there are many more intricate details planted in Stardew Valley that take the idea of Harvest Moon and grow it. (Plant puns, haha).

Stardew Valley does have a story to uncover, but the game is what the player makes of it. You can choose to restore the town to the way it used to be (before corporate giant Joja Mart took over) or join forces with the Joja Corporation. There are also an impressive 12 bachelors or bachelorettes to choose from, and yes, you can marry the same or opposite gender of your choice. 

The cooking and crafting options are also impressive. You can create objects to earn more coins and make farm life easier that just aren’t present in Harvest Moon, like a scarecrow or sprinkler; and cook foods to restore your stamina or even boost your skills on those long mining journeys through the game’s huge caves. 

There are so many secrets to uncover and backstories to learn about your fellow neighbors. Not all is as light-hearted and idyllic as it seems, some characters struggle with real, grown-up problems and dark pasts that Harvest Moon would never dare to venture. I feel like this game is a grown-up Harvest Moon, and if you know me, you know how much I love a good farming simulator with the freedom to choose a story and build a life of your choosing. If you have not yet tried Stardew Valley, what are you waiting for? 

 

Farming Fantasy: The player keeps a watchful eye over his birds and bunnies.

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From running a farming empire to managing a city of tiny animals, Alli loves the playful side of gaming. With a story to tell, she can't wait to make people read her (very strong) opinions.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Sims 4, Papers, Please, Gone Home
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