The 20 Best Indie Games for PS5
If you’re looking to play some exciting indie games on your new PS5, you’ve come to the right place. Although they might not be the best-looking or most fleshed-out products of all time, indie games tend to have something special that brings attention to them.
In order to compete in a market with triple-A games, indie developers think outside the box, reinvent genres, and make the most out of what they have. The love and creativity in those games usually produce remarkable and innovative titles that sometimes transform small teams into world-renowned studios.
That being said, there are many indie games out there, and sometimes it can be difficult to sit through the sheer number of them and find the ones worth playing. Indie games have been flooding the market since they are much cheaper to make.
Considering all that, I decided to put together a list here to save the day with the 20 best indie games for PS5. You might disagree with part of the list, but I hope you’ll find something here that sparks your interest here.
I was certain that a game about cooking could not possibly be fun, but I’m glad I was wrong. When I first heard about Overcooked, it was hard for me to imagine how managing a kitchen could be the gimmick of a videogame. I guess I’m not as imaginative and creative as the individuals behind this brilliant indie game.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most enjoyable cooperative games I’ve ever played. There’s something about Overcooked that makes you want to serve all dishes in a timely manner, but something always gets in the way. If you don’t want to argue over who should have washed the dishes while your pans are on fire, make sure to play this game by yourself.
You must be able to function in many chaotic settings, including restaurants with varying menus and architectural styles. Imagine that you depend on someone else to have all that done in time, and the cooperative tension is formed. After all, you can’t delay the orders. On top of that, you have to manage the limited number of plates, prepare the ingredients, and cook. Things get out of hand quickly, and it’s pretty funny when that happens.
Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is one of the few games I turn to when I want quick action without thinking too much about it. Since this game is a rogue-lite, you can gain something from a run even if you didn’t get far. Enter the Gungeon makes you go through the same dungeon over and over, each time providing a slightly different experience.
The basic idea of this game is pretty simple. In Enter the Gungeon, you try to stay alive and shoot everything that moves. Besides those fundamental aspects, you might sometimes be able to find or buy new guns that completely change the way you go about a dungeon floor. This game is enjoyable, and the pixelated graphics are incredibly endearing. It’s also very deceiving. The first area is relatively easy, but things escalate quickly.
Additionally, you can pick from a variety of characters, each of whom has unique abilities and weapons that can help you during the first areas of this adventure. Enter the Gungeon is among the best Bullet Hell games I’ve ever played. It’s undoubtedly one of the best indie games for PS5.
Due to their intricate mechanics and complex motion inputs, fighting games can be intimidating to new players. These issues probably inspired the Fantasy Strike’s developers to come up with this game and its simple inputs. It features 1v1 combat between characters with unique abilities, but it does things in its own unique way.
Fantasy Strike is, to some extent, a traditional fighting game. However, the game succeeds in making newcomers understand what fighting games are really about without making them learn the many functions of each button and the special attacks of multiple characters.
Despite the fact that it is not a complex fighter, it is one of the best indie games for the PS5. It’s also a great game for teaching new players how to enjoy fighting games. The best part about Fantasy Strike is that it is free-to-play online against others. Unfortunately, in order to play against friends, you must purchase the full version.
If you want a game that can be both a calming experience and a platforming challenge, Celeste is the one for you. Celeste is a somewhat challenging game; you will die a lot when playing it. However, you have unlimited lives, and new mechanics will be gradually introduced as the plot is revealed. This means you will have time to learn each new aspect of the game and won’t have to worry if you commit a mistake since the game lets you just try again.
Celeste can be demanding, but the game won’t be that difficult for those who are used to hard platformer games. Knowing this, the developers added optional collectibles to the game. These are pretty hard to get and work as an additional challenge to hardcore players.
You probably won’t get through Celeste without dying a lot, but don’t let that demotivate you. There’s a lot to get used to before you can quickly dash through each stage and reach the exit of each area. Gradually but surely, you will become accustomed to the game’s mechanics.
Rogue Legacy is an indie game that mixes elements of platform games, RPGs, and rogue-likes. It’s an excellent game for those who enjoy challenging gameplay as it encourages you to replay the game multiple times in order to unlock new characters and beat the different bosses.
Rogue Legacy has a lot of rogue-like characteristics with its procedurally generated levels, perma-death, and upgrades that are lost if you die.
The game is set in a castle where the player must battle their way through many rooms until they manage to defeat all the bosses in the castle. This means that every time you play through the game, it will be different than before. However, since it is a rogue-lite, not a rogue-like, Rogue Legacy allows you to keep some of the progress made in the form of upgrades.
Every time your character dies in this game, you play as one of that character’s descendants. You get to choose between a few characters; each will have different strengths and weaknesses. They might also have different classes, which significantly changes the gameplay.
The idea is that it takes many generations to defeat evil, and many sacrifices are made to ensure that the next attempt will have a better chance. When exploring the castle, the game isn’t too original. It can feel like a diluted Castlevania game, but it is fun nonetheless.
The mystical Mexican-themed world of Guacamelee is the setting for an action platformer in the Metroidvania style. There’s a reason this game is so acclaimed. Guacamelee goes beyond the traditional Metroidvania-style elements and delivers something remarkable. This game stands out by incorporating a combo-based combat system and an innovative dimension-swap mechanic. On top of that, Guacamelee has a shared screen co-op mode.
The story of the game is very straightforward. El Presidente’s Daughter has been abducted by Carlos Calaca, and he intends to sacrifice her so that the World of the Living and the World of the Dead can be merged. In order to halt this, Juan Aguacate, an agave farmer who discovers a legendary luchador mask, must muster the bravery and strength to fulfill his lifelong ambition of becoming a hero.
This game is fun, intuitive, and easy to pick up and play. However, it has enough depth and options to make it challenging for those who enjoy that kind of experience. Guacamelee doesn’t take itself seriously, and the story is only an excuse for the game to be there. Immerse yourself in this magical world, get new powers, combo your enemies, and have fun.
Platformers are the most common genre seen in indie games. The most likely explanation is that this genre is much easier to develop. It’s also easier for players to learn and quickly start playing. Although they are very common, most indie platformers include a twist that makes them stand out. Although many games have creative and unique mechanics, Fez seems to have reached a mind-blowing way to stand out.
Just as in any standard platformer, you can only move horizontally or vertically. In other words, you traverse the map in two dimensions. However, the world can rotate, which is Fez’s gimmick, opening up many new possibilities. In Fez, the introduction of a 3D artifact in this 2D world alters the way it behaves. The result is a 3D world that you can navigate in a 2D platformer style. I know it sounds weird, and that’s why navigation is the game’s puzzle. Finding out how to traverse the world is pretty much what this game is about.
Competition forces people to think outside the box and make miracles happen. Besides that, one of the best things about indie games is how they push the limits by striving for uniqueness to compensate for the lack of budget. Fez is the ideal illustration of how imagination can make a game stand out in a market overflowing with Triple-A games. You’d never get this experience from larger companies, which is why indie games should be celebrated.
Since there was no RPG in which you solve the challenges without violence, Toby Fox decided to make his own. That is how he ended up producing the 2015 2D role-playing game Undertale, which takes place in a world filled with monsters.
The Underground, the world of monsters, is a sizable, isolated area beneath the surface of the Earth that is divided by a magical barrier. The player assumes control of a young child who has fallen into it.
Undertale evokes a range of feelings in the player, from annoyance to affection for some characters. The game makes you feel like you are truly friends with each character. This is clearly a passion project, and one can tell from the many dialogue options and multiple endings. Depending on how you play, you may find out that you are the real monster in the story.
Although the game might not be the most impressive pixel art in the genre, there is an odd charm to it that you end up appreciating. However, the visuals’ simplicity highly contrasts the complex storylines and masterfully crafted soundtrack, which might be intentional.
Undertale is an unusual game that breaks the fourth wall to provide a unique experience. It remembers the player’s choices and often grants valuable lessons that are still relevant long after the game’s release date. This is proof that a good game doesn’t require the best graphics, multiplayer, or fast-paced action to be excellent.
The Metroid series is undoubtedly an influence on Axiom Verge. The 8-bits are charming and make you feel lost in alien territory. In this game, you take on the role of Trace Eschenbrenner, a character who suddenly wakes up in an alien-looking environment. Now, Trace must find a way to escape. Please note that although Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania, it is undeniably much more like Metroid than Castlevania.
In order to survive this alien land, you find new armaments that let you eliminate everything in your way. It does take away some of the horror elements from the setting. However, having many different weapons at your disposal is also pretty fun.
Eventually, Trace will become a Rambo-like powerhouse with many different guns at his disposal. It all comes down to selecting the best tool for the task with various weaponry and upgrades at your disposal. One may say that this game isn’t the most memorable. The game’s rooms and the world weren’t really impressive. Nevertheless, it is a good Metroidvania game with sci-fi and horror elements.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
If there is a game that grabs your attention by appealing to your nostalgia, it is Shovel Knight. The game borrows so much from Mario, Zelda, and many other games of the 8-bit era that it is hard not to feel like the game is familiar when you first play it. It’s not a bad thing, though. The game catches your attention by looking similar to retro games. Yet, it keeps you playing by presenting solid rules, fun mechanics, and excellent stages that keep the game interesting till the end.
The entire Shovel Knight series of five games is included in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. In this fantasy universe inspired by the best 8-bit platformers, you can dig, blast, cut, and smash anything that gets in your way. The action-adventure gameplay is phenomenal, and the characters are funny and unforgettable.
This collection includes Plague of Shadows, Specter of Torment, and King of Cards, in addition to Shovel Knight’s original adventure. In other words, you also get to play as Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight. Each character has unique movements that make them very different from Shovel Knight. On top of that, some stages are very different when you play as one of them.
Slay the Spire
Unquestionably, Slay the Spire is one of the many inventive independent games you can find for the PS5. This game combines card game concepts with turn-based combat and rogue-like elements. In Slay the Spire, you will build a deck and use it to combat the creatures you come across while fighting your way through the Spire and looking for artifacts of immense power.
The Spire will always have a different layout because it is a rogue-like game. Therefore, you can never be absolutely sure of what you will find next. It’s not for nothing, though. You unlock new items and cards in each run, possibly making the next one easier. However, you still must find those cards and add them to your deck each time you start over.
It might not sound fun when you read about it, and believe me, I didn’t think it would be fun either. Yet I couldn’t stop playing this game until I finished it with all the characters. There are four different characters for you to play as, and each has unique cards, abilities, and strategies. There are also special modes that significantly change the rules of the game, adding a lot of replayability to this title.
People should stop talking and play Journey before claiming that video games aren’t a form of art. Your character in this game is a robe-wearing, faceless figure who you don’t know much about. You are dropped in a vast desert, and your only means of progress is to navigate the area using visual cues. In Journey, there are no words. The gameplay consists of basically just moving and jumping.
There’s an unusually interesting feature in this game regarding cooperative gameplay. Sometimes, you will see someone on their own Journey. They will be in the same area where you are, but they’ll be doing their own thing. You can help them, accept help, or maybe you can both each other advance through the game. Interestingly, you will never know who that person was.
It is impossible not to appreciate the unmatched beauty of Journey’s art. The effort put into how the game works can be easily perceived by anyone who sees it. The idealization of the desert is truly magnificent, with minimalist touches in its shapes and brilliant and warm hues. With each dune we climbed, walking on the sands became a novel experience, opening up a range of structures for players to explore. As the game’s name clearly points out, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
The Murkoff Corporation’s “research and charity” division recently reopened the long-abandoned mental hospital, which has been operating in complete secrecy. However, this is about to end. This game will make you face the horrors awaiting inside Mount Massive Asylum in the isolated Colorado highlands. You play Miles Upshur, an independent journalist who decides to check the asylum after an anonymous tip.
After breaking into the place, he finds things that will make him doubt his sanity. Something terrible and unnatural is taking place there, and finding out the truth about it is the only way out. Now, you must hide, research, and understand what is going on while escaping the dangers of the asylum.
Outlast provides an authentic survival horror experience. In other words, you are not a fighter. If you want to survive the horrors of the asylum, you have to either run or hide. Since your intentions were to reveal what is happening inside the Asylum, Miles is carrying a camera with him. That item will be useful to see in the dark.
Outlast’s setting and characters are inspired by real asylums and cases of criminal insanity. If that kind of horror and stealth mechanics sound fun to you, I cannot recommend Outlast enough.
Cuphead is a classic shoot ’em up platformer with a strong emphasis on boss battles. The 1930s-style children’s animations, which inspired the game’s visuals and sound effects, were meticulously re-created using the same methods back in that decade. This is one of the reasons this game stands out so much visually.
Original jazz music, watercolor backgrounds, and hand-drawn illustrations are prominently featured in the game. Play as Cuphead or Mugman and explore bizarre locations while trying to pay back the debt you owe the devil. You’ll also pick up new weapons, master super techniques, and uncover hidden mysteries.
Cuphead is a weird but genius mix of brutal but fair boss fights, good platforming, and uniquely incredible aesthetics. Like in every run and gun game, you must avoid taking damage while shooting back. Although it is a hard game, the difficulty depends largely on how well you can utilize its fundamental features. If challenging games are something you are into, chances are you will enjoy Cuphead.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore
Skullgirls 2nd Encore is an excellent fighting game for both casual and competitive gamers. It features a fully narrated story mode, gorgeous animation, and Michiru Yamane’s music. In this stunning, frantic, and highly praised 2D fighting game, players take command of fearless warriors in a remarkable Dark Deco universe.
This game tries to be as friendly to newcomers as a fighting game realistically can. For instance, the game’s excellent beginner tutorial covers technical concepts not included in other games. Unfortunately, Skullgirls is now a game that is mostly played by veterans, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about getting it and going online. Still, there are a lot of resources and a passionate community behind this game, so it won’t be hard for you to learn everything you need about the game.
This game’s Outstanding rollback netcode makes it possible to play online without experiencing any serious issues. The art style, which consists of hand-drawn characters, stands out in the genre since there’s no other game like it. If you like tag fighters, great 2D animation, and crazy character concepts, Skullgirls has it all, and you should be giving it a shot. It’s not only a great indie game; it’s one of the best fighting games for PS5.
In Mortal Shell, you play as a wraith-like creature in a mysterious setting that makes you feel and greets you with many dangers. You have been summoned to serve the will of the mysterious Dark Father. Now, you must explore this devastated landscape in search of hidden sanctums of devout followers.
The main character in Mortal Shell is very enigmatic. It will emerge as an empty vessel into a fractured and distorted world where the last vestiges of humanity are left to perish and decay. Now, it is up to you to find the warriors’ hidden corpses that will serve as an instrument in your Journey. These Mortal Shells, as they are called, can be awakened, taken over, and will provide various fighting styles for you to choose from.
The setting and distinct playing mechanics in Mortal Shell make it one of the best souls-like games available for the PS5. It even has a unique mechanic, hardening, which is crucial in this game. It transforms the vessel, becoming like a stone for a second and shielding it from all harm caused by incoming attacks. You will also have a brief window of protection after being struck. When you master this one mechanic, the game becomes even more entertaining.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Senua, a Celtic fighter who lived during the great Viking invasions of the eighth century, is the game’s main character. She sets out on an arduous trip through Helheim to save the soul of her beloved Dillon, who was brutally slaughtered by Viking warriors. Hellblade’s captivating narrative is unquestionably its best feature. It succeeds in forging a connection between player and protagonist to the point that it effectively conveys all the suffering Senua experienced throughout her Journey.
The game’s mechanics are quite straightforward, yet they are in line with the game’s tone and proposal. It’s never entirely clear to players what Senua is actually doing. Still, one can be sure of her conviction and devotion to completing her objectives. When it comes to gameplay, the player will be solving puzzles that can be very trippy and occasionally fighting all kinds of warriors that often seem supernatural.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a double-A game. It isn’t the longest game and doesn’t have entirely different biomes or complex mechanics. Yet, the game looks fantastic for its time. Hellblade is a work of art that can be fun but is also haunting and thought-provoking. The game has won many awards and is frequently mentioned as an example of something that would not exist if it wasn’t an indie project first.
Hollow Knight is a sidescroller that lets you explore a wide map piece by piece as you gain strength and progress through the game. Since it’s a Metroidvania, you will be unable to reach certain areas until you find a new skill that lets you get to unreachable parts of the map. Those skills will most likely provide other uses besides traversing the map, increasing gameplay variety and improving the overall experience.
This game is very charming with a cute but haunting art style that is truly unique. Things in this game can go from funny to incredibly dark really fast, and it is incredible how much the art style adds to the entire experience. It’s hard not to be interested in this game when you first glance at it. To make it even better, the more time you spend with Hollow Knight, the better it gets.
Despite how hard it can sometimes get, Hollow Knight is a very fun game. Each area of the game is unique and has its own dangers, story, aesthetics, and enemies. Since exploration is equally as fun as combat, discovering a secret path that leads to an inaccessible region is as satisfying as defeating a hard boss. This is by far one of the best Metroidvanias for PS5, so make sure to try it out if you like the genre.
I don’t think you can go wrong with anything from Supergiant, and Hades is no exception. The people who came up with Bastion and Transistor made another fantastic game and used everything they learned in their previous titles. This game has combat that isn’t too complex. Still, it does have a tactical feel and has enough depth to incentivize experimentation.
In this game, you take the role of Zagreus, Hades’ immortal and rebellious son. He grew up feeling alienated and out of place from the other inhabitants of the underworld because he had spent the majority of his immortal existence suffering the wrath of his father Hades’ repressed fury. When he learns the truth about his origins, Zagreus decides to escape the realm of the dead in order to find his long-lost mother.
Like in most rogue-lite games, you will probably die a lot. However, at least most of the time, you’ll be the only one to blame. This game forces you to reflect on your own mistakes to improve your approach to the enemies in subsequent attempts to get out of the underworld. You won’t feel like you were wasting time because there are new things before each run, such as checking additional dialogue options or collected stuff to utilize.
Aside from spectacular boss fights and vicious fighting, Blasphemous also features non-linear exploration and customizable builds. All of these are things that traditional gamers enjoy. When you combine that with the immersive soundtrack, well-written world, and refined gameplay, you get a remarkable indie game.
Blasphemous can demand a methodical approach sometimes, but it can also be a frantic action platformer. This game is often perceived as punishing and harsh but also rewards dedicated players who learn its mechanics. You might need some time to become used to the combat in Blasphemous, but defeating your enemies in this game gives you a unique sense of success.
This game makes you take on the role of The Penitent One, the lone survivor of Silent Sorrow’s massacre. To prevent the impending disaster, you must journey through a perverse environment while imprisoned in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. There are really amazingly designed enemies, giant bosses, and interesting settings for you to see. This game feels like a passion project, and you can feel the developers’ dedication in each aspect of it.