Top 10 Indie Video Games

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Top 10 Indie Video Games

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup

In the realm of gaming, there's no shortage of fine independent works to celebrate. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Indie Video Games.

For this list we're diving into the diverse realm of independent game development, finding those titles that most enchant, intrigue, and entertain us. We're avoiding any indie games that started out being published or funded by a major company – for example, while the 2012 game “Journey” isn't lacking for excellence, its publisher being Sony Computer Entertainment excludes it from this list.

Special Thanks to our users "Tristan Brown" "Jack Morris" "David Garcia Vazquez" "Jaime Lopez" "mac121mr0" "iamnotarobot" "Kapteinis Reinis" "Applesmart" "Kaylog26" and many others for suggesting this Topic on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Indie Video Games


In the realm of gaming, there's no shortage of fine independent works to celebrate. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Indie Video Games.

For this list we're diving into the diverse realm of independent game development, finding those titles that most enchant, intrigue, and entertain us. We're avoiding any indie games that started out being published or funded by a major company – for example, while the 2012 game “Journey” isn't lacking for excellence, its publisher being Sony Computer Entertainment excludes it from this list.

#10: "Bastion" (2011)

A finer tale of calamities and heroes, there may not be. This 2011 action role-playing game puts players in the role of The Kid, one of the few survivors of a city-shattering apocalypse. However, as the story progresses, The Kid's quest shifts from survival to rebuilding his city of Caledonia. That strong premise leads into an effective story about loss and sacrifice, further bolstered by tight combat and a deep-voiced narrator constantly following the action. It's at once bittersweet and charming.

#9: "Cave Story" (2004)

When classic and modern game design combine, this is the wonderful result. At first glance, “Cave Story” seems like a typical action-platformer concerning an amnesiac hero's journey through dangerous... well, caves. Yet all is not as it seems; the plot focuses on a struggle between a mad Doctor and persecuted bunny people, with a magical artifact caught in the middle and our hero being more than meets the eye. This blend of an increasingly intricate narrative with classic gameplay may seem odd, but we feel it works.

#8: "The Stanley Parable" (2011)

Simple but effective, in a nutshell. Developed as a means of questioning video game limitations, “The Stanley Parable” puts players in the role of Stanley, an office worker whose task is to repeatedly push buttons based on his boss' orders – until one day, the orders don't come. From there, it's a surreal dive into the nature of choice, as you follow or disobey the commands of an all-seeing narrator. Equal parts funny and thought-provoking, it's quite the interesting game.

#7: "Hotline Miami" (2012)

Hallucinations, brutal violence, and animal masks – that's just the tip of the iceberg. Dennaton Games' subversive title “Hotline Miami” is something of an odd beast, split between being a psychedelic thriller and a gruelling top-down action game. Its premise is simple: you are a lone hitman sent from location to location with the task of killing everyone in sight. What makes the game special, in spite of the basic setup, is the bold combination of challenging no-bars-held combat, neon-coloured visuals, and a piecemeal story that rewards one's effort with intriguing ideas.

#6: "Limbo" (2010)

From the Denmark-based developer Playdead comes this offbeat and restrained, yet compelling indie game. “Limbo” tells the tale of a young boy searching for his sister, in a land populated by hostile foes and deadly traps. What takes this puzzle-platformer from simple to surprising territory is its grim and foreboding atmosphere, compounded by a monochromatic art style and unexpectedly brutal death animations. It doesn't hold back in many ways, and it keeps a steady pace on the way to its fittingly ambiguous conclusion.

#5: "FEZ" (2012)

It's the little details that can distinguish a game, and such is the case here. “FEZ” is designed as a blend of environmental puzzles and careful level traversal, appearing at first glance to be an old-fashioned platformer. Yet beneath its astounding pixelated visuals lies a thoroughly modern game, based around deep thought and reasoning. From its puzzles that ask the player to question their situation, to a rotation mechanic that shows 2D views of a 3D world, it's daring players to not only enjoy themselves but to think deeper about their enjoyment.

#4: "Shovel Knight" (2014)

Who needs swords and shields when you've got a shovel? “Shovel Knight” puts players in the role of the titular hero, a knight who embarks on a quest to find his lost partner Shield Knight. From there, it's a full-fledged throwback to the era of challenging side-scrollers; the bosses are colorful and varied, the levels are deliberately presented with 8-bit visuals, and the moment-to-moment shovel-based combat is as tough as it is rewarding. In short, it's a sincere snapshot of gaming's past... and we couldn't be happier.

#3: "Braid" (2008)

One part symbolic fable, one part puzzling platform game – and entirely compelling. Developer Jonathan Blow's three-year project “Braid” starts in the mould of a classic game story: players take on the role of Tim, a man on a quest to save a kidnapped princess. However, throughout the game's six worlds, there lay variations on time manipulation puzzles to overcome... as well as hints that Tim is not necessarily a hero. Add in an art style not unlike impressionist paintings, and you have a beautiful and constantly engaging game that keeps you guessing to the very end.

#2: "Super Meat Boy" (2010)

A hero made of meat, a villain that's a fetus, and over 300 levels of unadulterated madness. That's what the platformer “Super Meat Boy” has to offer, for those who venture into its stylized depths. Though its sheer level of difficulty can seem monumental, the game's charm makes it a worthwhile endeavour – from the prominence of its classic game references, to the surprising cuteness of the character designs, to the variety of levels and deadly traps on display. There's no shortage of challenges to overcome and things to appreciate.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

"Mark Of The Ninja" (2012)
"Papers, Please" (2013)
"FTL: Faster Than Light" (2012)
"Five Nights at Freddy's" (2014)
"Rogue Legacy" (2013)

#1: "Minecraft" (2011)

With a simple premise and fascinating mechanics, this is one for the history books. “Minecraft” is first and foremost a sandbox game, in which players are dropped into a randomly generated world to explore and act as they see fit. This openness, combined with the depths of the game's mining and item crafting, has permitted gamers to build and create as they see fit – resulting in everything from recreations of pop culture icons, to wholly original landmarks. And with its pixelated art style and its origins as an independent endeavor by Markus "Notch" Persson, “Minecraft” more than earns its place here.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite indie game? For more distinguished Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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Goat Simulator
Hat kid: jerks
I'm honestly surprised Binding of Isaac wasn't on here, although Edmund's other big game, SMB was on here. I also think Cave story deserved a higher place as it had quite a few different endings.
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