Updated: The 21 best indie games on PC and consoles


Introduction

POLLEN

Update: We’ve updated our list with yet another gem, and oldie but a goodie, Aquaria. Straight in at number 15, Aquaria is a excellent merging of classic inspirations like Metroid and Ecco the Dolphin in a modern package. Check it out!

No one can agree on exactly what the definition of an indie game is. Some combination of a small studio, a weird idea and no publisher is the nearest we can get to agreement. But – to paraphrase Potter Stewart – you know one when you see it, and we’ve picked out the best indie games, plus a few that we’re eagerly anticipating.

We admit this is a somewhat foolhardy exercise, as so many great indie games are released each day – and each game’s community is so rabidly aggressive that to pick out highlights is like dipping a hand with a cut pinky into a shark tank and waiting.

So, to be clear: we don’t expect that you agree with this list, and we admit it’s purely subjective. If you want to evangelize on what you think are the best indie games, you can share your favorites in the comments section below.

Joe Osborne and Kane Fulton have also contributed to this article

Indie games on our radar

P.O.L.L.E.N

Best indie games POLLEN

Format: PC

Due to the immersive nature of VR, it’s likely that tons of games like Pollen get released in 2016. Pollen sees you explore an abandoned spaceship to discover its mysterious past, taking advantage of the how virtual reality allows you to observe more of the environment and interact with objects.

Developed by Finland-based indie studio MindField games, Pollen has been designed from the ground up for the Oculus Rift. It’s hugely immersive and almost entirely interactive, meaning you can pick up, spin round and (probably) sniff any objects you come into contact with.