The best indie games of 2021, from Splitgate to Garden Story

This year has turned out to be a very good year for games, whether it be for Xbox Game Pass, for PlayStation games or for indie games. In particular, we’ve seen a bunch of creative indie games coming out in 2021, from tight shooters like Splitgate to creative and healthy experiences like Garden story.

We’ve listed all of the best indie games of 2021.

The best indie games of 2021

Here are the top indie games that caught our attention in 2021. Note that while this list is dominated by indie games released in 2021, we’ve decided to include games released outside of this year as well. There are many older games that are worth your attention!

Encryption

Release Date: October 19, 2021

Best favorite of the game of the year. A brilliant mix of horror and card game mechanics. The less you know, the better. – David Smith, Kotaku Australia

Encryption is available on Linux, Mac and Windows computers.

Fall guys: ultimate knockout

Release Date: August 4, 2020

fall guys has remained one of my favorite games for the past year and a half. You would think there are only a limited number of times you can fall for it, but Mediatonic has kept the game fresh with new seasons, challenges, and costume collaborations, so I’m still not bored. with that ! – Lauren Rouse, LifeHacker Australia

Fall guys: ultimate knockout is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Splitgate

Release Date: August 25, 2021

Splitgate was one of my favorite multiplayer games of 2021 and absolutely my favorite indie game of the year. A low-stake mix between Halo and Portal, free to play with a competition philosophy that is easy to learn but more difficult to master, Splitgate involves multiplayer FPS matches between two teams, with objectives like deathmatch, capture of the flag, and free for all. It is Halo with movement turned up to 10. – Zachariah Kelly, Gizmodo Australia

Splitgate is available on Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Deltarune Chapter 2

Release Date: September 17, 2021

Deltarune Chapter 2 is yet another stellar addition to the Subtitle scenario. It really got me excited for every chapter to come out. Not only does it add more to the story to keep you engaged in the backstory of these characters, but it introduces new characters that are immediately amazing. Spamton and Queen are probably two of my favorite video game characters. – Ruby Innes, Kotaku Australia

Deltarune Chapter 2 is available on Nintendo Switch, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Kena: Bridge of Spirits rules absolutely. With its beautiful Pixar-like art style and easy-to-learn gameplay, Kena: Bridge of Spirits puts you in the shoes of Kena, a magical spirit guide, as she travels through a beautiful land, helping spirits enter the next life. Its gameplay dates back to the days of the PS2 platformer, as Jacques Where Ratchet and Clank. A simple treat that is a total joy. – Zachariah Kelly, Gizmodo Australia

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Windows computers

The forgotten city

Release Date: July 28, 2021

A time loop game set in ancient Rome, in a city where the violation of any law, even minor, triggers its destruction. If you fail, the city is destroyed and you restart your journey. You learn more about the city and its people with each race, allowing you to slowly push events in a way that helps you. An Australian game, made here in Melbourne at Modern Storyteller. Based on a mod for Skyrim of all things, now integrated into its own complete set. – David Smith, Kotaku Australia

The forgotten city is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Boomerang Fu

Release Date: August 13, 2020

Boomerang Fu is a delicious little co-op game from Australian studio Cranky Watermelon. Released in 2020, this is one of the funniest games I have ever had on a Nintendo Switch and the perfect game to play at a party you just brought your Switch to. The game is played between two and six players who fight over an array of colorful cards, playing like bite-sized food with deadly boomerangs. It’s a ton of fun. – Zachariah Kelly, Gizmodo Australia

Boomerang Fu is available on Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Garden story

Release Date: August 11, 2021

Garden story was an absolute treat of an independent release this year. A game in which you play as a small grape tasked with being the guardian of the four seasonally themed villages of your kingdom. The gameplay is smooth, the writing is a lot of fun, and everything you collect and achieve seems to spill over into your gameplay, so you are constantly being rewarded. Plus, you can collect hats for the little grape to wear! – Ruby Innes, Kotaku Australia

Garden story is available on Nintendo Switch, Mac and Windows computers.

Unpacking

Release date: November 1, 2021

A delightful little game from the Australian studio Witch Beam, Unpacking is a simple game about … unboxing! Going through some stages of life, this puzzle game is a story about growing up. You may be brought to tears, but overall it’s a very healthy experience. – Zachariah Kelly, Gizmodo Australia

Unpacking is available on Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.

Landscaper

Release Date: August 27, 2021

A lovely and cozy indie game under the Raw Fury label about building a cute little town. Great family game and it just got on Game Pass. – David Smith, Kotaku Australia

Landscaper is available on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Mac and Windows computers.

Other indie games worth mentioning

While these are the indie games that grabbed our attention in 2021, there are plenty of other games worth checking out! Sable, The door of death, to the east, Ascension, Little Nightmares II and Valheim all worth a visit if you are looking for your perfect game.

If your favorite is not on the list, let us know in the comments.

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About George H. McWhorter

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