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The best indie games in 2024

Here are some of our picks for the best indie games featuring thoughtful plots, stunning visuals, loveable characters, and unique gameplay.

best indie games - Zagreus, Stella, Celeste, and an Ooblet on a purple background

There’s something truly special about indie games. Every year sees brilliant additions to the Switch and mobile platforms, full of stunning artwork, thoughtful stories, moving characters, and boundary-pushing gameplay. These games not only prove that you don’t need a big label attached to you to show your worth whether you’re a green-thumbed witch or a possessed lamb.

We’ve got a whole host of game recommendations if you’re looking for something new. Take a peep at our picks of the best gacha games, games like Minecraft, and free Switch games for affordable fun.

Let’s take a look at the very best indie games on Switch:

best indie games - A screenshot of a town area in Chants of Sennaar painted in pink and green

Chants of Sennaar

One of the most creative and thought-provoking games of 2023 is Chants of Sennaar, a game all about deciphering lost languages as you climb through a mysterious tower. You know no words and must figure out the meanings of symbols in order to communicate and find your way through the world.

Though you may not be reading conversations immediately, the bright and immersive world with its lovely soundtrack will sweep you away into the game, and you’ll be chatting with the locals before you know it.

best indie games - a screenshot of Night in the Woods showing characters at night, in the woods

Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods is an excellent sidescrolling story game by Infinite Fall. You follow Mae Borowski as she returns to her hometown and finds her childhood friends while working to get to grips with adult life – but there’s something wrong, and something strange is happening.

I, personally, really love the art style of this game, and the humor in the writing is what makes it a truly excellent experience. The characters are loveable, and it’s a nice, chill time with no strenuous combat or puzzle-solving.

best indie games - Three enemies in Cult of the Lamb standing on a pentagram

Cult of the Lamb

Dubbed affectionately by James Stephanie Sterling as ‘a world of sh*t’, Cult of the Lamb is an adorably monstrous roguelike slash colony sim. You take the role of the cutest little possessed lamb in town, who was saved from annihilation by an ominous stranger. It’s now up to you to repay the debt by building a loyal following in his name – that’s right, you start your own cult, venture out into mysterious and monstrous regions, and build a loyal community of woodland worshippers as you spread your Word in pursuit of becoming the one true cult.

Build your (very literal) flock, destroy the non-believers, and get your colony working like a well-oiled, poop-fuelled machine. Delightful! Check out our full thoughts in our Cult of the Lamb review.

best indie games - A small boat sailing across the sea in Dredge

Dredge

Fishing games are great, and Dredge is a fishing game, which makes it great. But it’s not any old reel-em-in game – it’s also got a sanity meter and spooky goings-on in the background for you to discover as you catch a fresh haul, sell it, upgrade your boat, and head back out to more islands. It’s a gripping gameplay loop wrapped in a pleasing art style, with plenty of fish to discover in both reefs and rivers.

Read our Dredge review here for a deeper look into this seafaring adventure, and our feature on the wonder of the deep blue in games.

best indie games - A screenshot of text in Hades, showing Zagreus speaking

Hades

Sorry, every entry on this list is just raving about the games but, hey, that’s what a best-of list is for. Now we move on to Hades. The soundtrack? Excellent. The character design? Superb. Setting? Divine and mystical. Gameplay? Phenomenal.

You are Zagreus, the son of Hades, and you want out. But to get out, you need to fight through a lot of mythical monsters and uh, gods. BOSS and BOSS are just two of the recognizable names from Greek mythology that you encounter in Hades’ halls of hell. You have a pet – Cerberus – that you can pat, friends you can talk to, and weapons you can upgrade. And it’s all bundled together with a really nicely drawn art style that perfectly captures each personality.

best indie games - A dance battle in Ooblets showing a movement card and a team of Ooblets

Ooblets

Ooblets is a delightful farming, creature collection, and life sim game that offers oodles of joy, all year round. With its vibrant colors, stylized art, silly-sounding words, and epic critter dance battles, it’s a truly wholesome, light-hearted experience that offers a whole heap of fun for anyone looking for some chill vibes after a hectic day.

Ooble over to our Ooblets review to find out more.

best indie games - The tavern in Potion Permit with characters dotted around

Potion Permit

Permit yourself to enjoy a perfectly potent brew in Potion Permit, a brilliant blend of old-school JRPG topped with a sprinkling of intriguing puzzles and minigames to keep it fresh. Grab your briefcase as you move to Moonbury to take the role of their new chemist, tending to the townsfolk and nursing them back to health.

In our Potion Permit review we describe it as carrying a ‘surprisingly poignant message about discrimination, generalization, and fear of change’ despite its cute and cozy exterior.

best indie games - Stella fishing off her boat in Spiritfarer against a sunset

Spiritfarer

Adorable as it is emotional, Spiritfarer takes you on a journey of love, loss, and friendship through Stella and her cat Daffodil. You become Stella, the Ferrier of souls across the sea to the Everdoor, where they make their last goodbyes. As you sail, you need to fulfill their last desires and get to know them before they pass. There’s Uncle Atul, the big blue frog, Alice the hedgehog, and plenty more animal-shaped spirits that embody those you knew during their human lives.

Now, this game can will make you sad – so be warned – but there is plenty of joy to be found here, too as you build up your ship with farms, machines, and amenities. Take a look at our Spiritfarer review for a deeper look at this charming game.

best indie games - A bustling farm layout in Stardew Valley with pumpkins, chickens, and scarecrows

Stardew Valley

If you’re not aware of how great this game is, I implore you to read our reflective Stardew Valley review as it sums it up all nicely. If you’re in a hurry then let me give you an even quicker recap.

Stardew Valley is perhaps the best farming game turned life simulator out there. It has a friendship system, a plethora of potential romance partners, fishing, crafting, decorating, mining, and of course – a robust catalog of seeds, trees, and bushes for every season to make sure you’re busy all the time. Thanks to different farm types and layouts there’s plenty of replayability here too, though there’s so much to do that you’re guaranteed to be busy for hours and hours and hours anyway.

best indie games - A screenshot from Undertale showing Frisk looking in a mirror

Undertale

Undertale, the weird, wonderful, emotional journey that it is, absolutely captured players’ hearts as soon as it released. Creator Toby Fox brought it to Switch in 2018, just three years after its release, to open it up to a broader audience.

How to even describe the story and setting of Undertale… you’re a pixelated young child who fell into the underground and must work through puzzles, traps, and battles to reach the way out back to your home. You can be good and avoid combat, you can do the opposite and murderize everything, or you can do a bit of both. Whatever you do, look for secrets and pay attention to the dialogue – that and the soundtrack are what brings Undertale to life with its humorous and wacky characters.

Indie games - a screenshot of We Are OFK showing the characters sat on a sofa talking

We Are OFK

A musical origin and interactive E.P., We Are OFK is a unique and experimental title about four friends dreaming, dating, and trying to scrape together enough to pay rent in Los Angeles.

Describing itself as ‘a story of making art, what we risk, and what thrives for it’, We Are OFK is a visually beautiful, heartfelt, and relatable experience grounded in real life, and revolving around a truly loveable queer cast.

Indie games - a screenshot of Wylde Flowers, showing Tara approaching a werewolf on a boat

Wylde Flowers

Wylde Flowers is a wonderfully witchy farming and life sim full of charismatic characters, chill vibes, and magic at every turn. You take the role of Tara, who moves to the countryside to help her grandma manage the farm in her old age. But grandma has some secrets that affect you too – you guessed it, you’re a witch!

Tend to crops and animals, build friendships with the townsfolk, and cultivate your magic in this enchanting experience. To find out more, check out our Wylde Flowers interview and Wylde Flowers review.

If these fantastic indies aren’t enough for you, then check out our list of the best Switch games, or the best mobile games for more of our top picks from the last 12 months.