The Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022

The Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022
Trigger Happy Interactive | BlueTwelve Studio

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Published 

14th Nov 2022 13:21

In the current video game industry, it seems like every year is the year of indie games. While 2022 has been a remarkably slow year for AAA releases - with tonnes of anticipated titles being pushed back - the independent scene has continued to tick on as more and more developers create their dream projects.

It's a welcoming space that allows devs to experiment, push the boundaries, or just design the type of experience that's been forgotten in the current market.

There's no shortage of quality titles in the independent scene (much more than we could cover here), but if you want to know some of our favourites from the past year, check out our list of the top 10 indie games of 2022.

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Iron Lung (#10)

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David Szymanski

Would a list of the best indie games be complete without a short horror game? No, it wouldn't. So here is Iron Lung, one of the most frightening and tense games of the year.

Better yet, it's all packed in a tight 1-2 hour experience. You play a convict who is dropped into an ocean of blood while inside a cramped submarine and tasked with exploring anomalies deep within.

With no window to look out of, you will have to navigate with a grainy camera and incomplete map, all while the suffocating sense of dread becomes more palpable. It's a fantastic example of how to build tension. If that's not enough, the world-building will cause it to stick with you long after you've finished playing. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: TUNIC (#9)

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Finji

TUNIC feels like a call-back to the adventure games of the late 80s and early 90s, combining the wondrous exploration of that era of gaming with modern sensibilities that leave it feeling fresh and energetic, yet still familiar.

You play as a little fox, who is cast out to explore a seemingly ancient world by solving puzzles, fighting bosses, and collecting an instruction manual that illuminates more about the mysteries surrounding you.

TUNIC has a wonderful sense of pace that keeps it engaging throughout, and its adventurous spirit will leave you nostalgic for the games of old, whether you grew up playing them or not. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Bloodborne PSX (#8)

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FROM Software | LWMedia

Bloodborne PSX is the only game on this list which isn't a commercial project, as it's a free demake of the critically acclaimed Bloodborne by FromSoftware.

Essentially, it strips Bloodborne back graphically and mechanically to resemble a PlayStation 1 game, making for a one-of-a-kind transformation to the world of Yharnam and the soulsborne formula.

Despite the anachronistic control scheme that mimics the original Dualshock with its lack of thumbsticks, and the jagged, chunky pixel graphics, Bloodborne remains in all its gothic glory at the core of this experience

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: NORCO (#7)

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Geography of Robots

NORCO is the debut point-and-click adventure from a brand-new studio called Geography of Robots. With their first foray into games, the team manages to produce one of the most magnetic stories of the year.

It transports you into an alternative version of Norco, Louisiana as Kay, where your mother has just passed, leaving you to return and put together the pieces. 

Perhaps NORCO's biggest contribution to the indie gaming discourse of 2022 is that it has something to say, and does so with a biting and poetic fervour. Whether it is social commentary on environmental exploitation, or personal musings on identity and faith, NORCO feels important and relevant - making it an easy choice for our list. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Stray (#6)

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BlueTwelve Studio

Stray was among the most anticipated games of the year, as gamers couldn't wait to play a kitty in a cyberpunk city. It's fair to say it delivered and then some, meaning we enjoyed a remarkably human story about friendship and perseverance.

The game begins as you get separated from your pack of feline friends and fall into a mysterious underground city that seems lost to time. Before long, you'll be wandering around solving puzzles, outrunning mutated creatures, and living your best cat life with your robot pal.

Stray didn't revolutionise gaming, but it provided a fresh gameplay perspective, and sometimes that's all you need to make large waves. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Turbo Overkill (#5)

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Trigger Happy Interactive

The boomer shooter revival of recent years has been amazing for fans of FPS games from the 90s, and 2022 has been no different, with a particular highlight being Turbo Overkill.

It's the only game on this list currently in early access, but even two-thirds of Turbo Overkill is better than most games - trust me.  It's a fast-paced, blood-soaked, neon fuelled adventure through a cyberpunk city that's infected by a cyber virus, causing mutations of flesh and metal to ravage the streets.

Your job is to simply circle strafe around them and blow them into pieces with your high-tech arsenal of murder weaponry. Did I also mention you have a chainsaw for a leg?

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Metal: Hellsinger (#4)

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The Outsiders

Rhythm games and first-person shooters seem like such an obvious match, but it wasn't until Metal: Hellsinger came along earlier this year that we collectively recognised how brilliant such a combo could be.

Shooting things is obviously fun, but shooting things to the beat of a heavy metal track while score multipliers flare up is another level of thrilling. 

The soundtrack is an obviously key part of a game like this, and it also sticks the landing thanks to the devs recruiting legendary metal vocalists like Randy Blythe and Serj Tankian. Metal: Hellsinger is pure, unfiltered metal in interactive form, and you can't help but constantly grin as you experience it. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Vampire Survivors (#3)

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poncle

Vampire Survivors is THE surprise indie hit of the year, and despite its simple exterior, it's not hard to understand why this game has struck a chord with so many.

It's essentially a roguelike bullet hell where you choose a character and fight off hordes of monsters for as long as possible in endless, auto-generated stages. 

Vampire Survivors is like a drip feed of dopamine where the regulator has broken, and you're constantly overdosing. It's relentless and often overwhelming, but the simplicity of the gameplay will keep you coming back to try new characters and reach an even higher score. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: SIGNALIS (#2)

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rose-engine

SIGNALIS is a throwback to the classic survival horror of early Resident Evil and Silent Hill, focusing on the terror of exploring the unknown, careful resource management, and challenging puzzles.

It's a viscerally terrifying exploration of identity that's furthered by a despondent atmosphere and themes of cosmic horror, arguably making it the most effectively terrifying horror game of the year. 

If you crave the kind of horror experience prevalent in the early 2000s, then SIGNALIS will provide all the scares and brain-busting puzzles you could ask for. 

Top 10 Indie Games Of 2022: Neon White (#1)

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Angel Matrix

Neon White is a first-person platforming utopia, featuring a rich presentation, eccentric style, and solid gameplay that's enhanced by unique mechanics. At its core, it's about speedrunning through increasingly challenging levels, while carefully monitoring your deck of cards that is used to take out demons along the way. 

It's the perfect iterative experience, where each new run of a previously completed level gives you the chance to improve on your old time and stamp your claim on the top of the leaderboard.

It's what you want from games at the end of the day - tightly designed mechanics delivered with a bang, and that's why it stands at the apex of our list of the top 10 indie games of 2022. 

Don't forget to check out our Neon White review if you need more information on why we hold it with such high regard.  

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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