Okay, we get it. By now you probably have purchased a brand new PS5 and your ‘old’ PS4 is probably in your garage somewhere. Here us out though—even if you have already upgraded your console, you can still play PS4 games through backward compatibility. So now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a minute to talk about the importance of indie video games. Indie games are sometimes underrated due to ‘big releases’ commanding the most attention, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible games worthy of your time and money. That said, we have put together a list of 30 different PS4 indie games that you can try out on either your PS4 or PS5.
Release Date: May 28th, 2019
Developer: Blue Manchu
Praised for its comic-book aesthetics, dark humor, and mechanics, players have to survive in the treacherous Sargasso Nebula through battling enemies and swiping life-sustaining objects from spaceships. The camera-cuts combined with the overall visual style of this game make Void Bastards a solid first-person shooting adventure.
Release Date: December 14th, 2017
Developer: Dodge Roll
Described as being a ‘bullet hell roguelike video game,’ Enter The Gungeon is a platform action game in which players follow the story of four explorers as they ‘enter the gungeon’ with the mission of finding a gun strong enough to defeat their past. The fast-paced nature combined with retro pixel visuals makes this a unique title to try out.
Release Date: September 20th, 2018
Developer: Radical Fish Games
Speaking of old-school style games, CrossCode combines 16-bit NES graphics and intricate puzzles reminiscent of Castlevania and perhaps Zelda. A long-form MMORPG, players control the main character, Lea, as she explores and fights her way through the ‘Crossworlds’ to regain control of her memories. The combat style is excellent in this one, and along the way, players are able to connect with a diverse cast of characters. A great game for the PS4/PS5.
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Developer: Gears of Breakfast
Open world environments are always a refreshing gaming experience, and A Hat in Time brings mystery and enjoyment with its third-person perspective. The game contains four open levels with no time limits or restraints, and the overall object is to collect 54 timepieces within the game to unlock additional levels. A cute relaxed game that is also perfect for the kids, A Hat in Time is a great pick-up for those lazy days when you want something to play that is fun but not too challenging.
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Developer: Ninja Theory
Senua’s Sacrifice has the storyline of a horror movie. A dark fantasy action-adventure game, the gameplay is enthralling, with unexpected twists and turns awaiting you at every corner. Playing as Senua, you have to hack and slash your way through hell-fire while battling psychosis conditions as you attempt to retrieve the soul of Senua’s partner. A literal mind-boggling experience, you won’t be disappointed with this pick-up.
Release Date: June 29th, 2016
Speaking of horror games, if you like creepy adventures, then you might want to give Inside a shot. Centered around a frightening world, players operate as a young boy looking to solve various environmental puzzles in the attempt to avoid death. The 2D monochromatic features add to the spooky environment, and you have to rely on visual cues to solve these puzzles. A solid PS4 game that can occupy your time nicely.
Release Date: March 31st, 2016
Developer: Heart Machine
A challenging action game, Hyper Light Drifter, is modeled after The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, with pixel visuals and intense combat. You can use your energy sword to destroy enemies while exploring the many different worlds and environments. Hyper Light Drifter is very similar to many SNES classics and could be a great throwback for those that enjoyed those games.
Release Date: February 26th, 2016
Developer: Eric Barone
Most of us won’t get the chance to be farmers in real life, so the second-best option is to play a farming game. Taking on the role of a character who has inherited their deceased grandfather’s farm, there is a lot of work to be done in Stardew Valley. This is one of those ‘chill’ games that you play on a Sunday afternoon, and it isn’t too complex either. Stardew Valley remains one of the more distinctive games on this list, and one of the best RPG’s out there.
Release Date: January 26th, 2016
Developer: Jonathan Blow
Another puzzle game, The Witness is an exploration journey taking place on an island, with players having eleven regions at their disposal. Puzzles are scattered around the island, and depending on which mode you select, you can either choose to solve them, or walk around the island. The choice is up to you.
Release Date: September 7th, 2012
Developer: Klei Entertainment
If you are looking to put your stealth skills to the test, Mark of the Ninja is right up your alley. The objective is just like any other stealth game: sneak through environments, avoid being detected, and silently take out enemies. The 2D platforming makes spotting enemies and objects a little more difficult, so you will be kept on your toes at all times.
Release Date: January 28th, 2020
Developer: Cardboard Computer
Deviating from the other puzzle games on this list, Kentucky Route Zero is a truck driving adventure road trip game where you will come across many escapades and eccentric characters. The game is divided into five acts, and each act has its own set of missions. Kentucky Route Zero is considered one of the best road trip games ever created.
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Developer: The Gentlebros
Perfect for cat lovers, Cat Quest follows the journey of a cat looking to rescue his kidnapped sister. Players will have to complete a series of battles with real-time combat. Cat Quest is loaded with cat references, and is pretty neat for both kids and adults.
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Developer: The Gentlebros
Rocket League is such a huge force in esports that it’s hard to believe it originally started as an indie game. A traditional game played in an untraditional way, players use cars instead of soccer players to hit soccer balls into the opposing team’s goal areas. Many of you have probably already played Rocket League, but for those that haven’t, this is a great game to try out.
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Developer: Devolver General
As Will Smith once said—‘Welcome to Miami.’ Except you aren’t in Miami to have fun, you are there to do some dirty work. Playing as ‘Jacket,’ you have to take down members of the Russian Mafia all by yourself while also deciphering cryptic phone calls. Definitely an amusing game to play if you have time.
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Developer: Matt Makes Games
Towerfall Ascension is a combat arena game where players kill one another by flinging arrows. While the plot sounds boring, the actual gameplay isn’t. Players are constantly challenged, and the layouts change provide different scenery and challenges. Towerfall is a powerful game worth your time and attention.
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
An action ‘shoot em-up’ game from FuturLab, Velocity 2X follows Lt. Kai Tana as she suddenly finds herself in the Vokh Empire. A platform shooting game, players have to fight enemies and use Kai Tana’s teleporting skills in order to successfully escape. This platformer is totally worth the investment.
Release Date: June 13th, 2013
Developer: Cellar Door Games
Rogue Legacy is probably one of the most punishing indie games on the market. Incredibly challenging, the goal is to explore a dangerous dungeon while defeating four bosses located in different parts of the dungeon. If you die, the control gets transferred to an heir of the deceased. You can explore castles, upgrade your equipment, and so much more. Fun right?
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Developer: Toby Fox
Another RPG, Undertale is a fun adventure in which players operate as a child who has fallen underground. While Undertale sounds like a relatively calm game, it’s actually the exact opposite. You have to dodge bullets and fight monsters as you try to climb your way back to the surface. The game has various different outcomes depending on which path you choose, meaning you can play more than once if desired.
Release Date: June 26th, 2014
Developer: Yacht Club Games
Taking it back to the retro 8-bit graphic style. Shovel Knight is a platform game where players try to collect treasure and fight against the ‘Order of No Quarter.’ Shovel Knight is a vibrant game with an interesting storyline and characters. A good throwback if you were a fan of the SNES/NES era.
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Developer: D-Pad Studio
From the makers of D-Pad Studio, OwlBoy is a platform-adventure game that follows the journey of Otus, an owl looking for a way to help save his village from evil pirates. Players can fly and pick up random objects along the way that can be used as weapons. A simple yet addicting game, you won’t be able to step away from.
Release Date: January 25th, 2018
Developer: Matt Makes Games
A single-player platform game, ‘Celeste’ is a unique game in which players control a young girl by the name of Madeline as she tries to climb up a treacherous mountain full of lethal objects. As the game progresses, the task becomes harder, so players are provided with enhanced mechanics. Celeste is a compelling game that won’t take up too much of your time either.
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Developer: Dennaton Games
If you are going to play the first one, then you might as well play the sequel right? This game finds the protagonist, Jacket, in prison after killing off the leadership of the Russian Mobs, and his actions have since ‘inspired’ a group called The Fans to continue his tradition of mass killings. Death and violence is literally everywhere in this one, so you’ll have to be on your toes at all times.
Release Date: November 15th, 2013
Resogun is another ‘shoot em up’ game where players have to battle enemies and rescue trapped humans. The graphics on this are incredible, and so is the gameplay. Resogun is divided into three different levels with the primary goal being to eliminate the enemies while saving those individuals that are trapped for bonus points. A nice ‘throwback’ experience if you are into retro-style video games.
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Developer: Motion Twin
Developed by Motion Twin, Dead Cells is a roguelike action platformer in which players take on the role of a slime creature that has taken control of a dungeon corpse that they have to fight their way off. You have to unlock weapons, battle enemies, use your assets to explore, find treasure, and more in this crazy adventure. The combat is excellent, making a great game that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Developers: Team 17 and Ghost Town Games
It’s been a while since we’ve had a great cooking game, and Overcooked 2 provides the ultimate MasterChef vibes while players prepare meals in an ‘eccentric’ kitchen. Players also have to season and chop food, serve dishes, and clean their workspace all in a timely manner. While it sounds easy, the task can get quite challenging, so you have to be ready to rock and roll at all times.
Release Date: August 4th, 2020
Yes Fall Guys is an indie game. A highly addictive 60-player Battle Royale jamboree that involves a lot of never-ending jumping, ducking, and dodging. Fall Guys became one of the most popular games of 2020, so it’s likely that you have already played. If you haven’t though, it is not too late to get in on the action.
Release Date: February 27th, 2018
We know some of you are still a little hesitant to try out VR gaming, but Moss is definitely a good introduction to the system. Moss is an exploration puzzle game complete with exceptional graphics, and the ability to play in the game in both first-person and third-person modes. While Moss is certainly an enjoyable game, it’s not too taxing, so you won’t be overwhelmed if you are new to VR. A solid game, and one of the best on the PS4.
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Developers: Beat Games
You can choose to play Beat Saber in either a regular format or VR. The objective of this game is to destroy the beat blasting objects that are viciously flying in your direction. The mechanics of this game have drawn comparisons to other musical games such as Guitar Hero, and the graphics are sick (especially in VR). This has slowly become a fan favorite, and probably one of the best games on this list.
Release Date: August 28th, 2020
Developers: inXile Entertainment
Released this past August, Wasteland 3 is a wintery apocalyptic mission straight from the bowels of hell. The third installment of this popular series, Wasteland 3 is set in the post-apocalyptic 22nd Century, with players battling some pretty intense stuff including a drug operation, a dangerous dictator, and a cult worshipping group called the Grippers. The game is dynamic with plenty of twists and turns along the way. You’ll have your hands full with this one.
Release Date: May 15th, 2020
Developers: Neat Corporation
This game is absolutely sick in VR mode. A virtual reality stealth game, Budget Cuts was developed by Neat Corporation as a fun way to put your ‘sneaky’ ninja skills to the test. During the game, players have to escape an office while avoiding lethal robots in the process. The VR component makes you feel like you are actually in the office battling enemies, making it a worthy mention.
That is going to do it for today. Whether you own a PS4 or a PS5, we hope you that you give these games a chance.