Ever since the glory days of the Xbox Live Arcade on the Xbox 360, indie games have become a staple of any respectable game library. Independent games are made by smaller teams than the bigger AAA developers behind the Halo, Uncharted, or Call of Duty games. We’ve felt lasting impressions by these big indie-games but which ones are our favorites? Read on to see our top 3 independent games.
Of course, we had to mention Minecraft. This game is not just a big title for indie games but a giant gaming phenomenon regardless of where it came from. First released to the public on May 17, 2009, Minecraft was in a public beta of the game that let players try out an early build for free. After years of adding onto the title for free, the game had itself an official release on PC during November 18, 2011, and really began its mainstream ascent during May of 2012 when it was released on the Xbox 360.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Launch Trailer
The simplistic graphics, engrossing gameplay, and accessibility of Xbox 360 made Minecraft the success it is. With over 122 million sales, it’s one of the most successful pieces of entertainment ever even including media outside of video games. Every piece of content created will strive to be as important as the blocky world of Minecraft but few games, if any, will ever have as wide an impact.
A truly beautiful game about connectivity with minimal communication. Journey gives players the seemingly simple objective of crossing a desert to climb the top of a mountain. When playing the game online, which is the best way to experience the title, other players will join you along the way. Climbing a mountain is just a standard video game objective when you’re doing it by yourself but when you trudge through a snowstorm with a friend you’re not simply doing it to get through it but you’re sticking it out to be there for your ally.
Journey Launch Trailer
Journey’s one of the first games to truly leave an impression on me as a piece of art. The themes, visuals, and music of this game set a bar for video games as an art. Whenever people argue about the merit of gaming as an art form Journey will always be a tent pole piece of the argument.
Playdead popularized the indie game on consoles with Limbo for the XBLA but they perfected the genre of puzzle platformer with their follow-up game Inside. One of the eeriest titles I’ve ever played, Inside plays just as beautifully as it looks. A short and sweet game that presents a narrative uniquely told throughout gaming’s medium. Here’s what we had to say when the game first released.
“Inside is my favorite exclusive on the Xbox One and potentially the best game I’ve played this year. Its dark and brooding world is finished up in an expertly paced 3 hours. Inside doesn’t often overstay its welcome and consistently impressed me with its setting. If you have an Xbox One–and you’re of the appropriate age to play this game–you have to pick this up. You won’t find many games that are such a great use of your time. Play Inside.”
Have Your Say!
Which indie games stand out most to you? Do you have a favorite downloadable game? Share your comments below!