RPGs come in many shapes and sizes. Over the years, we’ve gotten some amazing titles from huge developers but that should be expected seeing as how larger companies have the resources to undertake huge challenges in creating new age RPG titles. However, in equal measure there are plenty of smaller developers out there who create some awesome RPGs. That’s why we here at Honey’s Anime took on the challenge of making this new list for you beautiful souls out there reading this at the moment. Today we look at the Top 10 Indie RPGs.
The indie RPG scene has been expanding more and more as time goes on. Small groups—sometimes less than 20 people—either get a Kickstarter going or use their own funds in hopes of making successful games. From the tenth spot to the first, all the titles below will definitely appeal to gamers even those who are very critical of their RPG titles. Honey’s Anime know you’ll find a game down below and get lost in RPGs that have epic stories or addictive gameplay and or mixture of both. Alright, we won’t make you wait any longer, let’s get right into this list of indie rpgs.
10. Pocket Mirror
- System/Platform: PC
- Developer: AstralShift
- Publisher: AstralShift
- Release Date: Jul 16, 2016
Most small teams or even individual groups still rely on RPG MAKER games to build awesome titles. Developer AstralShift used one of the later versions of RPG MAKER—in this case VX ACE—to create Pocket Mirror. Our story focuses on a young girl who wakes up with amnesia. The only item on her person is a small pocket mirror that may hold the key to those lost memories. Now you must escape this odd place as well as rediscover your memories in Pocket Mirror.
RPG MAKER games are usually a dime a dozen and very few can be considered excellent. Pocket Mirror, however, is the big exception thanks to how much work was clearly put into this title. Voice acting, original art and smart puzzles make Pocket Mirror a great place to start our list. Honestly, if you no one told us Pocket Mirror was made using RPG MAKER VX ACE, we’d think this was an original RPG made with a large budget and team. That is why we can fully recommend Pocket Mirror to anyone who wants a solid indie RPG straight from the world of RPG MAKER.
- System/Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
- Publisher: Microsoft Studios, Number None
- Developer: Number None
- Release Date: Aug 6, 2008
Tim needs to hurry and fast. A princess has been kidnapped and Tim needs to save her to tell her what mistakes he made. What did Tim do so wrong to her and why does he need to save her? Tim is about to undergo a journey that will show realities can easily be shattered. In Braid, are you the hero or are you something else entirely?
Braid was made by Jonathon Blow and a few more members over the course of three years. What came from this was a game that is considered one of the best indie rpg titles ever released. Players take control of Tim and will have to solve puzzles using Tim’s time control powers. While Braid is a simple game the beautiful art and amazing narrative really make this such a great RPG. Our Top 10 Indie RPGs list wouldn’t be truly a top 10 without Braid.
8. Don’t Starve
- System/Platform: PS4, Android, Xbox One, iOS, PS3, PC, PS Vita, Wii U
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment, 505 Games
- Release Date: Apr 23, 2010
Wilson is a struggling chemist and is utterly stumped. As Wilson is about to give up, he hears a voice speak over the radio claiming it has the knowledge he needs. With the knowledge gained, Wilson is able to create a truly remarkable machine but Wilson feels there’s something off about it. Regardless, the radio voice claims all he needs to do is turn the machine on and because Wilson is a chemist with a curious mind he obeys. Suddenly giant arms take Wilson into a strange world that now Wilson must try to escape from, all while surviving in this harsh land.
Don’t Starve is a mixture of games like Minecraft and The Forest. Players must build shelters and weapons all while trying to live in this strange place filled with deadly beasts. We here at Honey’s Anime have poured hours into this amazing indie RPG thanks to its addictive gameplay and roguelike elements. While Don’t Starve can be sometimes unforgiving—like any roguelike game—the ability to learn from your mistakes and do better next playthrough is fun and challenging. With so many updates and newer editions, Don’t Starve will be an indie RPG you can pour hundreds of hours into and not even realize it.
7. Hyper Light Drifter
- System/Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Developer: Heart Machine
- Publisher: Heart Machine
- Release Date: Mar 31, 2016
The Drifter is traveling the world in search of a cure. Time is not on The Drifter’s side as an illness seeks to claim his life eventually. Regardless though The Drifter continues exploring a land filled with deathly beings and other oddities. With his trusty sword at his side, The Drifter isn’t defenseless and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to find the cure he seeks. It’s time for you to take up the mantle of The Drifter and help him on his quest in Hyper Light Drifter.
Heart Machine clearly has played a lot of older games like Zelda for example. Hyper Light Drifter tasks players with exploring a large map all while using various weapons to kill various enemies and bosses. Hyper Light Drifter plays fast and requires quick movements to truly win any situation. With retro graphics, tight gameplay and plenty of homages to older gaming titles, Hyper Light Drifter is a fun indie RPG that we know you’ll love.
6. Darkest Dungeon
- System/Platform: PS4, PS Vita, PC
- Developer: Red Hook Studios
- Publisher: Red Hook Studios
- Release Date: Jan 19, 2016
In Darkest Dungeon, the player gains a home from a relative. However, the home has become anything but homely thanks to the relative creating portals in the catacombs under the home. Those portals now have monsters spewing out and they are releasing out into the world. It’s up to you and a team to kill these beasts to make up for your relative’s folly. With dark dungeons and dangers abound, this feat won’t be an easy one to accomplish. Sometimes gaining wealth from relatives is a hassle indeed.
Darkest Dungeon, made by Red Hook Studios, is one of the most interesting and mature indie RPGs we’ve ever played. Players explore a dungeon that’s randomly generated and battles take place in a turn based fashion. However, one of the most unique ideas implemented by the developers such as heroes dying during combat equates to permadeath and the affliction system which makes party members sometimes unwilling to fight or scared to thanks to witnessing others dying or scary areas. Darkest Dungeon is truly a cool indie RPG that really has a lot of ideas we wish bigger developers would take notice. If you wanted a dungeon explore indie RPG don’t hesitate and try Darkest Dungeon as soon as possible.
5. Punch Club
- System/Platform: PC, Android, iOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS
- Developer: Lazy Bear Games
- Publisher: tinyBuild Games
- Release Date: Jan 8, 2016
Punch Club lets players experience what it would be like to become an underground fighter. You play as a young man who has had a tragic past. One day, as he is searching for a job, he gets into a street fight and loses. An elderly man named Mick tells the young man that he sees potential in him and decides to train him at his local gym. Now you must rise up to either get the rights to fight in a professional setting or fight for a shady mob boss who wishes to make money off you.
Punch Club is a wickedly cool indie RPG experience that is simple but tons of fun. Players don’t actually fight in Punch Club but train their boxer in various ways to raise their stats giving them a higher chance at winning. The game was handled by a three person team who wanted to create a game full of references from older games and movies—like Fight Club which clearly inspired the game’s name—that would allow the players to feel like they were the trainer of their very own boxing legend in progress. One part RPG and one part simulation title, we loved our time with Punch Club and know you’ll like it just as much.
- System/Platform: PC, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, iOS
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Release Date: Jul 20, 2011
The world of Bastion has just suffered a terrible event known as the Calamity. Buildings and continents were shattered leaving people in a void of existence. Luckily the world wasn’t completely destroyed as some lands ended up floating in the sky and our story takes place on a small piece of land where a young boy slumbers. The Kid—his name in the game—is tasked with venturing forth to rebuild the lives of others. He may be small but The Kid’s adventure is gigantic.
Bastion needs very little introduction seeing as how it’s been released on so many systems since its release in 2011. In this third person RPG, players control The Kid as they beat on enemies and find various items in various locations to help rebuild a destroyed world. This huge game looks and feels as if hundreds of designers and programmers worked on it but was made by only seven very capable hands making it a shining example of an indie RPG. Join the millions who have played and loved Bastion by doing the same and see what all the fuss is about. Let us not forget that Bastion also has an incredible soundtrack and one of the coolest narrators of any game ever, solid perks if we do say so ourselves.
- System/Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Developer: Superhot Team
- Publisher: Superhot Team, IMGN.PRO (retail)
- Release Date: Feb 25, 2016
Did you ever want to stop time during a gunfight and plan your movements? Have the ability to see the trajectory the bullet plans on taking and somehow avoid it? Superhot gives you that ability. You play as a nameless gamer who gets a message on his PC from a friend claiming he has a super cool new game. That game happens to be Superhot and this game isn’t an ordinary one by any measure.
Superhot is one of the most unique FPS titles we’ve ever played all while having elements of a RPG making a worthy title to our Top 10 Indie RPG list. The reason we consider this a RPG is thanks to the strategic motions players can take to avoid bullets and plan out attacks. The game’s movement depends on the player and only when a step is taken does the enemie’s gunfire or movement align meaning careful consideration is necessary to survive. Also within Superhot is an odd story that will leave you in utter awe once the credits roll. Superhot can also be played with VR Headsets—which we suggest if you can handle using one or have one—but a good old fashioned controller works just as well for full enjoyment.
2. Stardew Valley
- System/Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Eric Barone
- Publisher: Eric Barone
- Release Date: Feb 26, 2016
Stardew Valley plays very similar to the Harvest Moon Series but we aren’t complaining about that. Players take the role of a farmer as they attempt to make their lands thrive and prosper. Also akin to Harvest Moon is the ability to get married and even explore randomized dungeons for a change of pace. Stardew Valley gives players 4 months—28 days per month—to do the most they can and have the game deem their success based on various goals that the player should achieve. With fun and simple gameplay, Stardew Valley is an indie RPG title for those who just need a simple game to rest and unwind with.
First let’s give a round of applause to Eric Barone. Eric made Stardew Valley completely by himself and that task we could only imagine was a monumental one to accomplish. While Stardew Valley shares a lot with Harvest Moon—Eric claims this was his intention from the onset—that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own qualities that make it very different. The way you can choose a land size and the gorgeous old school graphics make Stardew Valley feel like an older title with modern-day systems. Eric isn’t done with Stardew Valley, with new updates planned—such as cooperative play—we can’t wait to see what he has in store for this already great title.
- System/Platform: PC, PS4
- Publisher: Toby Fox
- Developer: Toby Fox
- Release Date: Sept 15, 2015
Mount Ebott has become an infamous place. They say anyone who climbs it disappears completely. One day a boy ascends the mountain and falls into an abyss. While the boy should have died he ends up waking up in a strange landscape. What is this strange place, find out in Undertale.
We end our list on what many consider the best indie RPG to come out in the last few years. Undertale takes inspiration from RPGs like Earthbound to give players a truly amazing game. Undertale may have random battles and exploration akin to Final Fantasy but the difference is the execution of all those themes. Battles are never the same—seriously sometimes they can be quirky little minigames—and it’s never a necessary thing to have to fight to the death, you can choose to always keep the enemy alive which alters the players ending path. Undertale was a game made by only so many people and was largely funded by Kickstarter thanks to a few thousand backers showing that even a small group can indeed make a game worthy of high praise. Even Sony saw Toby Fox’s dream and realized this game had to be released on their systems—something occurring in 2017—showing that Undertale is worthy of being released on a large console. If you miss out on Undertale you’re missing out on the game we consider to be the quintessential title worthy of the top spot on our indie RPG list.
The small teams above have proven something very important. Whether they have almost no members or barely any funds, with enough perseverance and dedication even the smallest group can make titles that even surpass bigger RPGs. We all need to learn that even the smallest can accomplish the biggest tasks and that is what we proved today. With that though everyone our Top 10 Indie RPG list now has concluded and we hope you enjoyed it. If you did, make sure to comment down below and keep hitting that refresh button for newer articles on our amazing website.