The Rise of Indie Games & Genres: Our Top Picks

The Rise of Indie Games & Genres: Our Top Picks

Looking for some indie games to play?

Over the last couple of years, people have shown more love to indie games. More and more gamers are supporting smaller, independent game developers for unique and thrilling gaming experiences.

Whether you’re looking for the best indie video games to play or are interested in discovering new indie games in 2023, there’s no shortage of great indie games out there worth checking out.

In this article, we’ll explore the rise of indie games and genres and share our top picks of the most successful, must-play indie games of all time!

What is an Indie Game?

What are indie games, and why have they become so popular among gamers in recent years?

We have an in-depth article about indie games here. You can find the answer to what an indie game is and more insights about indie game development, as well as the cost to develop one.

In conclusion, developing indie games requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it also allows for more freedom and creativity than working on larger, more commercial games.

Are there Multiplayer Indie Games?

While many may associate indie games with single-player experiences, there’s a growing trend towards indie multiplayer games (Fall Guys, for example) that offer a unique and engaging experience.

Actually, some of the most enjoyable indie games of recent years have been multiplayer-focused, creating new and thrilling opportunities for individuals to engage with one another. From cooperative puzzle multiplayer indie games to competitive arena brawlers, indie developers are crafting multiplayer experiences that are both fun and challenging.

A gamer playing games while hanging with gaming communities

So, if you’re on the hunt for the best indie multiplayer games, look no further than the thriving indie gaming community. With developers constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in gaming, there’s never been a better time to dive into the world of indie gaming and discover the next big thing in multiplayer experiences!

Top Indie Games & Genres in 2023

Over time, the gaming landscape has undergone remarkable changes, with indie games emerging as a vibrant and formidable force.

Whether you’re looking for indie co-op games to play with friends or new indie games in 2023, read on!

1. Casual

Casual games are designed for players who want to have fun and unwind without worrying about complex gameplay mechanics. Usually, these games have basic visuals, controls that are easy to use, and gameplay that isn’t stressful, making them likable to all.

Indie developers have been particularly active in this genre, creating both exciting 2D indie games and 3D indie games. Here are a few cool indie games you’ll love – Stardew Valley, Limbo, and Braid.

2. Racing

Gamers have enjoyed racing games since the early days of console gaming, and now indie developers have added their own personal twist to this genre. Indie racing games often feature unique gameplay mechanics, customizations, and unlockable content.

Games like Distance and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed offer engaging experiences that keep gamers coming back for more.

3. Sports

Sports games simulate various aspects of real-life sports, including team management, player statistics, and competitive play. Several indie developers have ventured into this genre, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative gameplay mechanics to the fore.

Popular indie games in this genre include Golf With Your Friends, Cursed to Golf, Rocket League, and Franchise Hockey Manager.

4. Action

Many people enjoy action games for their fast-paced, intense combat sequences which give an adrenaline rush.

Indie developers have taken this genre to new heights by creating innovative games, covering subgenres like Metroidvania, indie platformers (including 2D platformers and 3D platformers), and indie shooter games. Some of the most popular indie action games include Hades, Hollow Knight, and Celeste.

5. Adventure

For gamers seeking a blend of action-packed excitement and exploration, adventure games combine the best of both worlds. In indie development, this genre has seen a lot of creativity, resulting in games that take players to strange, imaginative landscapes and otherworldly creatures.

Some popular indie games in this action-adventure genre include Journey, The Red Strings Club, The Forgotten City, Oxenfree, and Firewatch.

6. Strategy

Strategy games task players with making informed decisions to manage resources, achieve objectives, and ultimately lead their faction to victory. Indie games have revolutionized the genre by introducing innovative mechanics and unique aesthetics.

Turn-based strategy games, such as Civilization, require players to alternate moves on a map comprised of grids. Real-time strategy games, like StarCraft, happen in real-time and require players to multitask and react quickly to their opponent’s moves. On the other hand, deckbuilding games, like Slay the Spire, challenge players to build a custom deck of cards that will carry them through the game’s challenges.

Popular indie strategy games include Into the Breach, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Oxygen Not Included.

7. Simulation

Simulation games aim to replicate real-life scenarios, from managing a city to farming crops. Indie simulation games have diversified the genre with unique themes, mechanics, and art styles.

The subgenres of simulation games vary from building management, dating simulators, and farming simulators to life simulators.

Cosy games, like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or Stardew Valley, simulate a peaceful, low-stress life on an idyllic island. Other popular indie simulation games include RimWorld, Prison Architect, and Papers Please.

8. RPG

Role-playing games enable players to embody a character and venture into a vibrant, immersive world. Indie RPGs offer a broad range of gameplay styles that allow players to delve into turn-based combat or open-world exploration.

Rogue, roguelike, and roguelite games, like Dead Cells, offer challenging, randomized dungeons and permadeath. Open-world indie games, like Hollow Knight, provide expansive, non-linear worlds to explore. Best indie RPGs, like Undertale and Disco Elysium, offer compelling storylines and memorable characters.

For those who prefer the freedom of an open world, many other great indie open-world games exist to explore!

9. Incremental Games (Clicker Games/Idle Games)

Clicker games, also known as tap games, require players to simply click, tap or wait for progress to accrue. Players can watch numbers go up and purchase upgrades to increase their gains. While some may find these games repetitive, they offer a unique type of meditative gameplay.

Indie game developers have fully embraced this genre, creating an endless variety of unique and addictive titles. One notable indie game publisher in this space is Playsaurus, the creator of the hugely successful Clicker Heroes.

Some other popular clicking games include Cookie Clicker, Realm Grinder, Grindcraft, and Mr. Mine.

10. Puzzle

Puzzle games require players to use logic, creativity, and problem-solving skills to progress through levels. Indie puzzle games have reimagined the genre by introducing narrative elements, unique gameplay mechanics, and experimental art styles.

Some popular indie puzzle games include Strange Horticulture, Hidden Folks, Wilmot’s Warehouse, and Inside.


So, in conclusion, it’s pretty clear that indie games and genres have absolutely blown up the gaming industry! Not only do these popular indie games offer gamers a variety of unique experiences, but they are also often much cheaper than AAA games and are incredibly easy to access.

A cute game character saying bye to you

With their increasingly diverse range of genres and ever-growing commercial success, there is no limit to what good indie games can achieve in this rapidly growing market. From small games on Steam to the most successful indie games of all time, the world of indie gaming is full of innovative and engaging titles that are well worth checking out.

So what are you waiting for? Get playing and discover your next favorite indie game today!

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