Gone are the days when every indie game is a platformer with pixel graphics. That is not to say that those are inherently bad games, in fact, one of the best indie games on the PlayStation 5 is Celeste, ranked number 2 in this list. But it is nice to have a little bit of variety, since indie games always break the mold, and go for risky directions.
Are you looking for some fresh indie games for the PS5? Read on as we hand-pick our top choices in different genres.
1. Disco Elysium – The Final Cut
Disco Elysium is not just the best indie game now, a decade prior, or two decades prior, it is also the best role-playing game. This game is the game of the generation, and if you are not an RPG fan, you still need to play this game.
This unique and captivating RPG is set in a gritty, noir-inspired world and is one of the purest RPG experiences you’ll ever play, reminiscent of classics like Planescape: Torment. The story is its strongest point, as it is rich and complex, featuring a variety of characters with their own unique stories and motivations.
The writing is top-notch, and the dialogue is both witty and thought-provoking. The game’s setting and characters are expertly crafted, and the player is given the freedom to interact with the world in any way they choose. The gameplay is also solid and well-designed, with a complex branching narrative that rewards player choice and exploration.
Celeste is a critically acclaimed indie darling that quickly gained a reputation as a must-play game. The game follows Madeline, a young woman who sets out to climb Celeste Mountain and confront her own inner demons.
The gameplay is a challenging and precise 2D platformer, with tight controls and a variety of levels that increase in difficulty as the game progresses.
What sets Celeste apart from other indie platformers is its heartwarming and emotional story. The game deals with themes of mental health, self-discovery, and personal growth in a way that is both relatable and meaningful.
3. Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a charming and unique indie game that combines elements of puzzle-solving and adventure. The game tells the story of a young girl named Chicory who is on a journey to bring color back to her monochromatic world.
The game’s art style is beautifully hand-drawn and the use of color is striking, making for a visually pleasing experience. The gameplay is a mix of point-and-click adventure and puzzle-solving, as players must explore the world and interact with various objects and characters to progress the story.
One of the standout features of Chicory is its use of painting as a central gameplay mechanic. Players must collect different colors and use them to paint the world around them, solving puzzles and uncovering new areas to explore. This adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay and makes it feel unique compared to other games in the genre.
4. OlliOlli World
OlliOlli World is a fantastic indie game that brings a new twist to the skateboarding genre. The game combines elements of platforming and skateboarding to create a unique and engaging experience. The levels are visually interesting and the controls are simple and easy to learn, allowing players to focus on the gameplay itself.
One of the major draws of OlliOlli World is the challenges. These challenges are what make the game truly shine, requiring players to come back and replay levels multiple times in order to beat them. These challenges also add replay value to the game, making it a great choice for those looking for a game with a lot of content.
If you’re a fan of skateboarding or platforming games, OlliOlli World is definitely worth checking out. The game is available with an expansion pass, which adds even more levels to play, providing hours of entertainment. The game is a great choice for anyone looking for a new and unique indie game to play.
Hades is a top-down action-roguelike that takes place in the Greek underworld. The game is developed and published by Supergiant Games, known for its critically acclaimed titles like Bastion and Transistor. In Hades, players take on the role of Zagreus, the prince of the underworld, as he attempts to escape the clutches of his father, the god of death, Hades.
The gameplay in Hades is fast-paced and intense, with a mix of hack-and-slash combat, roguelike elements, and a unique narrative structure. The game features a variety of weapons and abilities that players can unlock and upgrade as they progress through the game.
Roguelike, as a genre, is not for everybody as usually, these are games with higher difficulty levels. This is not to say that Hades is easier, but it is more welcoming compared to other roguelike titles.
6. Death’s Door
Death’s Door is a unique blend of classic Zelda-like adventure and Dark Souls-inspired gameplay. The combat is simple but executed exceptionally well, featuring a variety of melee and ranged attacks, as well as special moves like deflecting projectiles and performing special hits. The game’s sound, light effects, and DualSense haptics make for immersive and satisfying gameplay feedback. The player must advance through limited health and unlock shortcuts back to checkpoints, similar to a Souls game. However, Death’s Door is not unforgiving and offers a welcoming appeal to players of all skill levels. The game’s visuals, characters, and plot are also noteworthy, making it a true indie treasure. It’s a great pick for fans of action RPGs on the PS5.
7. The Forgotten City
The Forgotten City is a game that truly stands out in the time loop genre. It masterfully blends elements of mythology and history to create a unique and captivating story. The game explores themes of love, loss, morality, and the human condition, making for a thought-provoking and emotional journey. The gameplay is solid and the graphics are beautiful, making for an immersive experience.
The ending, which can only be fully unlocked by exploring all the different paths and choices, is truly satisfying and makes the entire journey worth it. The game is a must-play for anyone looking for an epic and memorable gaming experience.
Bugsnax is a quirky and colorful adventure game that takes you on a journey to the island of Snaktooth where you’ll meet a diverse cast of characters and creatures. The game’s art style is charming and whimsical, and the music is catchy and fitting. The island of Snaktooth is a vibrant and lively place, and exploring it is a joy.
The gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, and bug-catching. You play as a journalist who’s been sent to Snaktooth to investigate the strange creatures called Bugsnax and their connection to the island’s inhabitants.
As you explore the island, you’ll come across different Bugsnax that you’ll need to capture using a variety of tools and gadgets. The bug-catching mechanics are intuitive and fun, and the game does a great job of introducing new Bugsnax and mechanics as you progress.
9. The Pathless
The Pathless is a beautiful and immersive action-adventure game that takes players on a journey through a mystical and magical world. The game’s art style is stunning, with a focus on natural landscapes and colorful environments.
The gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, and fast-paced action, as players take on the role of an archer, using a bow and arrow to defeat enemies and uncover secrets.
Stray is a must-play game for anyone looking for a fun and unique puzzle platformer set in a dystopian city with a cute and cuddly protagonist.
The game’s art direction is exceptional, with vibrant colors and interesting character designs that make the world feel alive and rich with detail.
The game’s puzzles are well thought out and interesting, while the robot characters have emotional stories that add depth to the game. The synth-focused soundtrack is a great addition that enhances the game’s atmosphere and makes it hard to put down.
11. Overcooked: All You Can Eat
Overcooked: All You Can Eat is a remastered bundle of the popular indie game series Overcooked. This bundle includes both Overcooked and Overcooked 2, as well as new levels, chefs, and features. The gameplay is fast-paced and requires players to work together to efficiently cook and serve dishes in a busy kitchen. The level design is creative and challenging, with new obstacles and hazards added to each level.
The remastered version of Overcooked brings a fresh look and feel to the game, incorporating elements from Overcooked 2. The levels load quickly and the graphics are sharp with 4K/60FPS gameplay. The game also features a quick, no-fuss menu and includes all DLC stages. The gameplay is responsive and the difficulty curve is more natural. The online multiplayer feature is a welcome addition as the cross-platform multiplayer. The DualSense integration is subtle but works well, though the gamepad volume may need to be adjusted
The graphics and art style are colorful and whimsical, fitting in perfectly with the lighthearted and humorous tone of the game. The controls are easy to pick up, but mastering the timing and coordination required to be a top chef takes practice. The game also includes online and local multiplayer, making it a great option for parties and game nights with friends.
12. Among Us
Among Us is a popular and highly engaging social deduction game that is simple to understand but offers a lot of depth and replayability.
It’s a great game for both casual and serious players, and its ability to bring out the best and worst in people has earned it a reputation for causing tension and conflict among friends and groups.
Players are randomly assigned roles of either crewmates or imposters, with the imposters tasked with eliminating the crewmates without being caught. The game is easy to understand but hard to master,
13. Mortal Shell
Mortal Shell is a challenging and rewarding action RPG that combines deep combat mechanics with a mysterious and atmospheric world. The game’s unique shell system, which allows players to inhabit the bodies of fallen warriors, adds an extra layer of strategy and customization to battles.
The level design is excellent, with a variety of environments to explore and secrets to uncover. The game’s difficulty can be tough at times, but it’s also fair and satisfying when you finally overcome a tough enemy or obstacle.
14. The Pedestrian
The Pedestrian is an innovative and visually striking puzzle-platformer that seamlessly blends 2D and 3D elements to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. The level design is clever and well thought out, providing players with challenging but not overly frustrating puzzles.
The game’s minimalist story and setting, while simple, is thought-provoking and add depth to the overall experience, making it a memorable and enjoyable indie game.
One of the standout features of The Pedestrian is its creative presentation of the main character. The way it interacts with the foreground and background of the world is truly impressive and adds to the overall visual appeal of the game.
The puzzles are challenging and require players to think creatively in order to solve them, making for a more engaging and satisfying gameplay experience.
15. Cyber Shadow
Cyber Shadow is a fantastic platformer that offers a challenging and enjoyable experience. The fact that it’s been developed by just one person makes it even more impressive. The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is simple yet becomes more complex as you progress.
The game is mostly linear, but you can revisit previous areas later on to acquire more HP and SP upgrades for Shadow. However, it’s not quite a Metroidvania game.
The story is intriguing and well-written, although it can be a bit cryptic at first. You begin with an explosion, and Shadow, the protagonist, wakes up with cybernetic enhancements and sets out to rescue the rest of his clan from the mad Dr. Progen. As you progress, you learn more about the characters and their motivations.