Best Indie Games of 2023 Ranked

2023 has arguably been the best year for Indie games EVER! I have found myself falling in love with multiple hidden gems each month. But which are my best of the year, my indie game of the years. Well, I intend to tell you. The only requirements being that they released fully this year (no early access) and are made by indie developers. So, without further ado here are the Best Indie Games of 2023 Ranked…

Best Indie #10 – Renfield

Save 30% on Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood on Steam
Image Source: Steam

Another rogue lite bullet hell game, Renfield is based on the 2023 movie with the same name. The pixel art aesthetic works for the game and makes it feel like an arcade cabinet almost. Which only adds to the atmosphere whilst playing. The bright colorful effects, bugs (game’s XP), and power ups really compliment the dark tones of the cast and locations. Graphics pop vibrantly on the Steam Decks screen; battery life isn’t too good for a small indie game. It’s weird even saying small indie as it’s a licensed property.

Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood på Steam
Image Source: Steam

But Renfield is clearly made by fans who love the movie and rogue likes. Nothing but love is seen in the whole game. And trust me when I say you’ll have plenty of time to look as you struggle to pull yourself away from the game. Just one more rescue to unlock another character. Ooh you just unlocked a new weapon/ability, why not do one more run and check it out? The game gives you countless excuses to keep playing, and I promise you I took most of them!

Best Indie #9 – Punch Club 2: Fast Forward

Save 35% on Punch Club 2: Fast Forward on Steam
Image Source: Steam

Punch Club 2: Fast Forward sees the player take control of the previous game’s protagonist’s son. Hoping to uncover what happened to his dad, he must first break free of his mothers overzealous parenting. And finally leave the garage. Upon doing so you are quickly shown the ropes of the new world. Signed up for boxing tournaments and even given a job at a Noodle Bar. You must fix up the old gym, become champion in multiple leagues, and more as you try to uncover what happened to your father!

Best Indie #8 – Mad Games Tycoon 2

How to make a BEST SELLING GAME in MAD GAMES TYCOON 2 - YouTube
Image Source: YouTube (SeniacTWO)

After the massive success of Game Dev Tycoon lots of game development games started to be released. One of the more unique ones was Mad Games Tycoon. A game that saw the potential and quality in Game Dev Tycoon and wished to expand upon it. Allowing much more creative freedom in building rooms, offices, and so much more. MGT was a love letter to GMT whilst improving on it. The sequel Mad Games Tycoon 2 is no different. Expanding on the game even further adding more topics, research, mod support. The game is an amazing improvement on an already addictively fun to play management simulator. After all who doesn’t want to run their own game studio?

Best Indie #7 – Endgame of Devil

Endgame of Devil - SteamSpy - All the data and stats about Steam games
Image Source: SteamSpy

A few games released recently using the same gameplay mechanic- a slot machine. Luck Be a Landlord is probably the most popular, but it isn’t my preferred of the genre. Mine is Endgame of Devil. An exciting twist on the Landlord gameplay is that adventures swarm your slot machine each wave. With the stuff you’re putting into the slot machine being monsters to defend you. Each roll will see your monsters whittle away the health of the adventures. Utilizing synergies and great bonuses and artifacts you can see yourself getting really impressively high combos. The game blew me away with its simplicity but kept me hooked because of how simple it was. I just kept pressing a button and watch all the monsters roll into focus.

Best Indie #6 – Roboquest

Buy Roboquest | Xbox
Image Source: Xbox.com

Donning a Borderlands style that really pops of the screen, is Roboquest. An indie rogue like shooter which has been in Early Access for a couple of years has finally released. After a couple of delays that game released to great reception. I for one loved the gunplay. Each weapon felt different to shoot, reload. It really made me feel I had a wide variety of ways to take on each challenge. Several classes give you even more variety. Giving the player different bonuses, stats, skills, and abilities. Classes are greatly designed and are diverse enough so that they complement each other in co-op.

Best Indie #5 – Brotato

Brotato | Nintendo Switch download software | Games | Nintendo
Image Source: Nintendo

Brotato released in Early Access in 2022 and quickly blew fans away. I myself, found myself playing Brotato a lot on the Steam Deck. It’s still one of few games I still play occasionally on the Deck. The perfectly simple yet addictive gameplay will see you going wave after wave, run after run. Developers have expanded on their game as well over Early Access. Adding more weapons, more enemies, an endless mode, and more characters. It’s the perfect little rogue lite, rivalling Vampire Survivors for the best on the go! If for some reason you haven’t checked out Brotato yet, do so now! Trust me you won’t regret it!

Best Indie #4 – Patch Quest

Patch Quest review: roguelikes, Metroidvanias, and Pokémon-likes converge -  Polygon
Image Source: Polygon

Patch Quest is another creature collector, yet one with a more artsy crafty aesthetic. With the game world being made up of all these different patches. The player will utilize their lasso to tame creatures they come across. All containing their own unique attacks and abilities. Players can even bring them home and populate their own little patch garden with various things from their adventures.

Best Indie #3 – Cassette Beasts

Cassette Beasts - IGN
Image Source: IGN

Set in the Wirral and filled with tons of Scouse slang, Cassette Beasts is a Pokémon like game released early this year. The charming aesthetic is gorgeous on the Steam Deck. Colors and the effects of attacks pop vibrantly. It truly is a work of art filled with the creatively designed CBs. Cassette Beasts features more of an open dynamic compared to early linear Pokémon games. Allowing the player to venture forth and complete various side quests and multiple ongoing main missions. In any order they wish, depending on some variables. As like most Pokémon esque games some of the world is blocked of to you until you unlock certain abilities, CBs, etc.

Cassette Beasts - Review 2023 - PCMag Australia
Image Source: PCMag Australia

Featuring unique mechanics such as 2on 2 battles and  allowing the player to fuse their two active CBs. This feature in particular is a massive selling point of the game. With tons of combinations, you will find yourself sinking countless hours into seeing which fusions are best. Or just to see what whacky fusions you can create.

Best Indie #2 – Dredge

25% DREDGE on GOG.com
Image Source: GOG.com

A love letter to Lovecraft, Dredge is a Lovecraftian inspired fishing game. Which somehow manages to be as relaxing as a nice warm bath, and as tense as a piranha then entering said bath. You will find yourself exploring the vast ocean in the day and fishing till you can’t haul anymore fish. However, when night falls you will be haunted by something that seemingly glows in the distance… floating eyes, wandering tentacles that reach out from the deep depths to grab your boat.

Dredge review: spooky ocean thrills that reel you in for more | Rock Paper  Shotgun
Image Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

The world of Dredge is filled with Lovecraftian inspired monsters that create obstacles for you to overcome. Most monsters have a way to defeat them, or at least temporary make them dormant. All of which can be done by completing the quests for each section of the map.

Best Indie # 1 – Dave the Diver

Where to find White Trevally in Dave the Diver | VG247
Image Source: VG247

Dave the Diver was hands down my best gaming experience, I loved how vast this little game was. Having essentially three different games within it, a RPG, an underwater fishing game, and a restaurant/cooking simulator. I loved every second of it. I eagerly kept jumping back into Dave the Diver wherever I was. Something my Steam Deck made very easy. I purchased it in Early Access early this year and fell in love with the limited build. Little did I know the game was going to explode in content and even quality and deliver one of the best gaming experiences of all time!

Dave the Diver review – an irresistible deep-sea adventure | Games | The  Guardian
Image Source: The Guardian

The sheer enthralling charm of the world and its characters will entice you to keep coming back to Bancho Sushi. Few games rival the sheer depth of Dave the Diver and its even priced lower than most sitting at around £17. If you haven’t for some reason played it yet, such as living in a bunker all year, YOU NEED TO! Dave the Diver is hand’s down my game of the year for 2023.

Summary

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So those were my Best Indies of 2023 Ranked. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below and I may just cover them in a future review.

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