Top 10 Best Indie Games of 2011 – Indie Game Reviewer’s Favorite Game Picks of the Year

top-ten-indie-games-of-2011

3. Terraria

(Re-Logic)

We wondered whether Terraria would be in conflict with Minecraft as the representative for all that is Dwarf Fortress, sandbox adventure, open-world, procedurally-generated, Castlevania-esque, sim, RPG, Miner Dig Deep, and so on, but ultimately such comparisons were quickly chided and we had to chalk it down to the fact that all things stem from somewhere, but whereas infidels borrow, artists steal, and Terraria grabbed all of the above and made something completely its own. As our writer HappyWulf puts it:

“Terraria has by far outdone itself for generous, continued development after it’s release. The amount of content added to this sandbox adventure, for free no less, is absolutely staggering. For the amount of game, fun, and creativity possible in Terraria, it gets my pick for the year.” – – HappyWulf

At first blush, a solo player entering the 16-bit world of Terraria may feel confused, even frustrated. But once the basics are in place (and they are deceptively simple controls) and moreover, once someone has set up a server for some multiplayer action, this game quickly reveals its addictive nature. The sheer amount of variety, unpredicitability and yet seamlessness that is maintained throughout is excellent in every way. What is startling about Terraria, is the sense that, by virtue of its elaborately randomly generated landscape, you are legitimately a pioneer establishing a foothold in a new frontier. This is truly a standout game design and it deserves a place in every gamer’s virtual catalog.

Top 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. HM1 HM2 HM3 MA

 

17 comments on “Top 10 Best Indie Games of 2011 – Indie Game Reviewer’s Favorite Game Picks of the Year

    1. Thank you for posting 🙂 Not sure that Unepic is anything like a AAA title in the contemporary sense, but it sure it as worthy of attention and your money 😉

  1. Wow! This is an incredibly comprehensive list. Though I may not agree fully with the top 10, you’ve done a wonderful job mentioning all these fantastic indie games (some of which I haven’t heard of). I’ll definitely go through this list later to check out any awesome indie game I may have missed. Thanks for putting this list together.

    1. Thank you for your kind acknowledgement. It was a spectacular year and it sure kept us very busy. 🙂 2012 will not slow this trend down one bit.

  2. Man, the Binding of Issac, to me, was the game of the year. I pumped more hours into that game than any other indie game I’ve ever played (we’re talking 40+ here). Plus, I don’t know if you guys heard this, but they’re working on DLC for it that is said to “nearly double the size of the game”, to which my free time responds “Ah crap….”

  3. Thanks for compiling such an extensive list! I missed out on quite a few of these games, unfortunately, but at least now I have a great reference point. One game I am very happy to see included is Rock of Ages. I don’t think that title got nearly enough press, considering how much fun it was.

  4. Great article, and nice to see some titles get acknowledged that didn’t get the press deserved in 2011 by the mainstream media 🙂 Couple of other titles to watch for in 2012 are StarDrive, Kenshi and Airmech, all look really nice, and we have to plug our own title Star Prospector that will be released very soon!

  5. “When we saw the first trailer for Hawken, we thought it was an April Fool’s joke. There was no way the gameplay could look as good as what we were seeing. And yet as further gameplay clips emerge, it seems to hold to its promise. With a fast growing user base who play the beta, it seems it is more than just smoke and mirrors”

    What beta ? Does hawken have a beta running ?

  6. what no machinarium? it’s a great game and deserves to be here! i couldn’t help but not to fall in love in that game and i usually don’t like puzzle games and it was a lot better than tiny bang story

    1. Thanks for commenting. We loved it too. Machinarium, however, was release Friday 16 October 2009…

  7. At first I was disappointed with your list. Especially when I saw Bastion as number one. An average game with a good voiceover seems to have stunned everyone…

    But the rest of your list and the sheer number of Honourable Mentions has really made this a great reference for anyone casually looking around the indie scene. Great range from things like Spacechem and Solar 2 through to odd little gems like To the Moon. Great list, thanks for the (no doubt) many hours that must have gone into putting this together.

    1. It’s always interesting when, in disagreeing with a carefully thought-out and presented opinion, one’s only argument is “no way.”

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