The independent gaming scene continues growing each year, which means more amazing titles for us to enjoy.
Below are 10 of the best and most successful titles that released in 2015:
Released: March 31 (PS4), May 14 (Linux / Window / OS X)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (605 reviews), 84 Metascore (PS4), 80 Metascore (PC)
Axiom Verge was made by one developer by the name of Tom Happ over the course of 5 years.
Heavily inspired by Metroid and other classic games, this side-scroller action-adventure title wowed critics and players alike with its engaging gameplay, captivating world, and more than 60 power-ups and items to collect.
Also praised is its challenging difficulty that always feels rewarding and never frustrating.
Released: September 15 (Window / OS X)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (15,418 reviews), 94 Metascore
Undertale is the surprise RPG hit that managed to rack up more than 350,000 Steam downloads in only two short months.
While it uses many traditional RPG mechanics, the most unique thing about Undertale is that it is possible to complete it without killing a single monster. Clever and captivating, it is also being hailed as the best-written indie game of the year.
Undertale was nominated for three Game Awards 2015 categories: Best Independent Game, Best Role-Playing Game, and Games For Change.
Released: July 7 (Windows / PS4)
Reception: Very Positive on Steam (27, 242 reviews), 85 Metascore (PS4), 86 Metascore (PC)
Who would have thought that combining cars and soccer would be such a hit? Rocket League is a physics-based vehicle soccer game that has been downloaded more than 5 million times for its fun, competitive multiplayer modes.
While it’s easy to pick up and play, the physics and controls offer depth that allows players to get better and better.
Rocket League was nominated for three Game Awards 2015 categories: Best Independent Game, Best Sports/Racing Game, and Best Multiplayer
Ori & The Blind Forest
Released: March 11 (Windows / Xbox One)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (10,069 reviews), 88 Metascore (PC / Xbox One)
This platform adventure title proved a critical success upon release for its excellent visuals, gameplay, and story. Also praised is its charming environmental design and Metroid-esque emphasis on exploration. This game became profitable within seven days of launching.
Released: September 22 (Windows / OS X / Linux / PS4)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam, 84 Metascore (PS4), 80 Metascore (PC)
This science fiction survival horror title sold nearly 100,000 copies within 10 days of release alone.
Between the intriguing storytelling, chilling atmosphere, and superb voice acting, SOMA is considered one of the best games ever released for this growingly-popular genre.
Released: October 15 ( iOS / Windows)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (509 reviews), 85 Metascore (PC), 91 Metascore (iOS)
Downwell is a vertical scrolling shooter developed by Japanese developer Moppin. It has been well-received across the globe for its engaging game design concept and roguelike elements that make each world’s levels unique and fun to complete.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Released: March 10 (Windows / OS X / Linux / PS3 / PS4 / PS Vita)
Reception: Very Positive on Steam (8,210 reviews), 77 Metascore (PS4), 74 Metascore (PC)
This top-down action shooter has gained plenty of positive reviews for its addicting gameplay, captivating visuals, and intuitive controls.
It’s a long story, including tons of characters to play and locations to explore, has also been praised. Hotline Miami 2 can be enjoyed on a number of platforms.
Released: June 24 (Windows / OS X / iOS)
Reception: Very Positive on Steam (1,239 reviews), 86 Metascore (PC), 91 Metascore (iOS)
Despite leaning closer to an interactive movie than a game, Her Story’s fantastic acting and atmospheric storytelling have earned it plenty of praise. It was Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Game of the Month for 2015 and has sold more than 100,000 copies.
Anyone who enjoys crime thrillers will want to check out this innovative title.
Kerbal Space Program
Released: April 27 (Windows / OS X / Linux / PS4 / Xbox One / Wii U)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (25,448 reviews), 88 Metascore (PC)
Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulator that instantly became one of the best-selling games on Steam within hours of release. Its representation of orbital mechanics and addicting spacecraft construction elements have made it popular among players and even members of the space community.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Released: April 23 (Windows)
Reception: Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam (4,245 reviews), 87 Metascore (PC)
This award-winning title combines roguelike dungeon and rhythm elements to create an experience unlike any other. It has received near-perfect scores from major publications like Destructoid, IGN, and Game Informer for its great soundtrack and addicting gameplay.
Written by Dustin Tyler [Updated July 8, 2022]
Initially focused on web dev, Dustin was introduced to game design by a friend after college and was immediately attracted to the combination of technical skill and creativity required to make an awesome game.
While not a professional game developer himself, he’s utilized his web dev skills and desire to help others by creating a resource where expert game designers can share what they’ve learned with the next generation of aspiring game makers.