Every year sees the release of hundreds of indie games on PlayStation 5 and PS4, but there are always some true standouts. Of course, 2021 has been no different, with many excellent smaller titles hitting both consoles.
The below are our picks for the best indie games of the year, with the Push Square editorial team selecting their favourites from the last 12 months.
Bronze Trophy: Death's Door
Death's Door doesn't do anything truly unique, but it's an incredibly well-produced isometric action game nonetheless. The simple combat and thoughtful puzzle design are great, and presented in an intriguing world that only gets better as the game goes on. Add to this charming characters, some excellent boss fights, and subtly beautiful presentation, and you have one extremely solid indie.
You can read our full Death's Door PS5 review here.
Silver Trophy: Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Colouring in a black-and-white world has been done before, but none with such style and charm as Chicory: A Colorful Tale. Using a magic paintbrush, you can bring life back to the environment in any way you see fit, giving a sense of freedom to the adventure. Of course, there's more to it than that, with imaginative missions to complete, bosses to defeat, and characters to talk to. It's all delivered with real heart, too — something few other games have matched in 2021.
You can read our full Chicory: A Colorful Tale PS5 review here.
Gold Trophy: Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Disco Elysium is an outstanding role-playing title — and when we say that, we mean that it's a proper RPG. An RPG where your actions have consequences not just for the narrative, but for your own character. Not many games would put you in the (initially misplaced) shoes of a middle-aged, mutton-chopped cop with a hangover so bad that it's given him amnesia, but Disco Elysium is packed with unique and interesting ideas that form a truly memorable whole.
You can read our full Disco Elysium: The Final Cut PS5 review here.
Platinum Trophy: Hades
It might have taken nearly a year to arrive on PS5 and PS4, but Hades really is as good as everyone claimed. Supergiant Games put its own spin on the rogue-like, adding engaging characters and a gameplay-driven narrative to the fold, and it works out brilliantly. Attempts to escape the Underworld are fun every time with all the randomly generated rewards and perks, while the hub has just as much to offer, slowly building up the story and characters after each death. It's just so well constructed, deeply addictive, and cohesive in its design and presentation that we had to put it atop this list.
You can read our full Hades PS5 review here.
- A Short Hike
- Cyber Shadow
- Dodgeball Academia
- F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch
- The Pedestrian
Narrowing down the best indie games is always a tough call, but what do you think? What have been your favourite indie titles of 2021? Vote in our poll, and voice your thoughts in the comments section below.