The Top 19 Indie Gaming Companies

thatgamecompany / StudioMDHR / Supergiant Games / ONE37pm

Do you remember where you were during the very first Xbox Live Summer of Arcade in 2008? For those of you who poured some digital cash into that carefully curated list of Xbox 360 games, we just know you all played the likes of Braid and Castle Crashers. With those two games in place, the rise of indie gaming started to take shape and lead to the creation of even more top-quality projects that shined the spotlight on smaller development teams with lofty dreams. Some of the highest-rated games released across previous console generations, such as Journey, Among Us, Shovel Knight, and more have been delivered by indie gaming companies that have gone on to create even more exceptional titles that have raised their stock tenfold. Now with all that being said, let's celebrate 19 of the very best indie gaming companies and take note of their titles that made them popular entities among today's gamers.

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1. Supergiant Games

Company Logo Supergiant Games
Supergiant Games

Based Out Of: San Francisco, California

If you're old enough to remember just how monumental of a release Bastion was when it first hit the Xbox 360 back in 2011, then this indie gaming development studio is clearly one of your favorites. Supergiant Games deservedly gets a first mention here on our list of the top indie gaming companies thanks to its story library of games that have gotten a ton of adoration from both critics and fans alike. The aforementioned Bastion, the follow-up action RPG project Transistor, the action/sports hybrid title Pyre, and the smash-hit roguelike top-down dungeon crawler called Hades have all been bred by the talented developers housed at Supergiant Games.

2. Sloclap

Company Logo Sloclap

Based Out Of: Paris, France

When Sloclap first came onto the scene, it showcased its love for martial arts-based gameplay with the action RPG, Absolver. While that release didn't garner a ton of acclaim, it certainly had its fans and gave them hope for what could be done in the future with the game's well-tuned melee mechanics. Those hopes ended up being well founded when the studio arrived with their next project called Sifu, which adapted and even bettered the hand-to-hand combat mechanics featured in the studio's initial release. Sloclap's two titles have now caused fans to mention the studio whenever dream projects for the beat 'em up genre come to mind.

3. Yacht Club Games

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Yacht Club Games

Based Out Of: Los Angeles, California

Yacht Club Games developed one retro-stylized platformer, took note of its massive success, and managed to turn that one game into a major IP that's been used to create a long line of incredible side projects that are just as good as the main game that inspired them. The game we're speaking of here is Shovel Knight, of course. And thanks to the hugely positive response to that throwback project, Yacht Club Games has evolved into one of the most acclaimed indie gaming companies. The long line of Shovel Knight spinoffs and the upcoming Mina the Hollower are all proof positive of this studio's love for 16-bit goodness.

4. Team Reptile

Team Reptile

Based Out Of: Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands

The one thing that instantly comes to mind when Team Reptile is brought up is just how stylish its games truly are. Megabyte Punch, Lethal League, and Lethal League Blaze point to that sentiment being entirely true - all these titles sport gorgeous cel-shaded art styles that wouldn't look out of place on a random wall as a piece of graffiti. The studio's next release will not only stick to that art style, but it'll also pay homage and play the part of spiritual successor to Sega's Jet Set Radio - Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

5. Cardboard Computer

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Cardboard Computer

Based Out Of: Unknown

Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt are the three supremely gifted game developers that linked up to give birth to Cardboard Computer. This humble game development trio ended up releasing one of the finest works to have ever come out of the point-and-click adventure game genre, Kentucky Route Zero. That release has gained a wide swath of support due to its distinctive art style, strong character work, and effective storytelling.

6. Mobius Digital

Mobius Digital

Based Out Of: Los Angeles, California

The tagline for Mobius Digital, which is "makers of games wild and wonderful," is quite fitting when you consider the project that the studio is most known for. Outer Wilds, which is a trippy and incredibly atmospheric first-person space exploration experience, points to Mobius Digital's love for journeying through the galaxy and getting to the bottom of the mysteries behind it. Previous games from the studio include Beacon 38 and Terra Chroma - both of those mobile game releases (which are now sadly unavailable...) are early signs of this studio's immense creativity.

7. StudioMDHR

chad and jared moldenhauer
Studio MDHR

Based Out Of: Oakville, Canada

Cuphead and its accompanying DLC The Delicious Last Course equally delighted and infuriated everyone that gave it a try. That punishingly difficult side-scrolling shoot 'em up blew everyone's minds thanks to its "rubber hose animation" stylings, 1930s aesthetics, and big band jazz soundtrack. Studio MDHR, which is made up of the brotherly duo of brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, is owed all your adoration (and possibly hate mail!) for its fine development work on the phenomenon known as Cuphead (which even got its own animated series on Netflix!).


Company Logo Askiisoft Inits

Based Out Of: Unknown

For this next pick on our list of the top indie gaming companies, we're ready to give a bouquet of flowers to the great ASKIISOFT. They certainly deserve it thanks to its ode to the super tough side-scrolling action games of old such as Ninja Gaiden. That game is Katana ZERO, an indie gaming darling that looks, plays, and sounds like a long-lost 16-bit era gem. ASKIISOFT's cherished work on that game and its first release Tower of Heaven point to the studio's expertise in producing love letters to the good old days of 90s gaming.

9. Extremely OK Games, Ltd.

Extremely OK Games, Ltd.

Based Out Of: Vancouver, Canada

Don't let the name of this next indie gaming company fool you - Extremely OK Games, Ltd.'s games are far from okay...CAUSE THEY'RE ACTUALLY PRETTY AMAZING! Want proof? Here you go - this studio is the one behind the highly addictive and extremely charming titles TowerFall and Celeste. Now all eyes are on Extremely OK Games, Ltd.'s Earthblade, which looks to be another outstanding action platformer with a likable 16-bit pixelated art style.

10. Heart Machine

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Heart Machine

Based Out Of: Culver City, California

Hyper Light Drifter marked another high point for the 8-bit and 16-bit indie gaming trend - the best parts of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Diablo got pretty much got thrown into a pot to produce a wonderful ode to retro games of its ilk. If you loved every minute of that game, then you owe your love and appreciation to Heart Machine, the indie development studio behind that highly celebrated release. The studio's track record for putting out great games continued with the release of 2021's Solar Ash. And it looks like that strong record will remain intact with the upcoming launch of Hyper Light Breaker.

11. InnerSloth

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Based Out Of: Redmond, Washington

InnerSloth has a certain 2D animated art style that's prevalent within their games. Just take one look at their biggest hit to date Among Us and you'll get a good idea of how this indie gaming studio chooses to present its playful projects. That game sent InnerSloth into the stratosphere within the gaming community, but that's not all the studio has delivered thus far - Among Us VR, Dig 2 China, and The Henry Chicman Collection are also quality projects that have come out of the InnerSloth house.

12. Mega Crit Games

Mega Crit Games

Based Out Of: Seattle, Washington

Mega Crit Games mashed up the genres of roguelikes and deckbuilding games to gift the gaming world with Slay the Spire, which has gained plenty of fans and a very warm response from everyone that has decided to dive into it. The studio's first game has built plenty of excitement for whatever it might work on next - here's hoping Mega Crit Games takes another stab at either the roguelike or collectible card game genres once again!

13. Mossmouth

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Based Out Of: Unknown

"My name is Derek Yu. Mossmouth is my personal studio where I can collaborate with cool people to make exciting, dense games full of surprises." That playful description of this studio is very apt as it led to the creation of one of the greatest 2D platformers anyone has ever played (and possibly been highly frustrated by...), Spelunky. To no one's surprise, Spelunky 2 emerged as a worthy follow-up to its predecessor. Plus Mossmouth's contribution to the UFO 50 compilation further solidifies the studio's high level of creativity.

14. Night School Studio

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Night School Studio

Based Out Of: Glendale, California

Sean Krankel and his cousin Adam Hines, who are respectively former Telltale Games and Disney Interactive Studios developers, pooled their talents together to create another honored indie gaming studio cleverly named Night School Studio. The biggest game that has come out of that camp is Oxenfree, a graphic adventure game that offers a fun foray through the worlds of supernatural mystery and horror. The sequel Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is on its way, plus the studio has previously launched two mobile games (Mr. Robot and Next Stop Nowhere) and another great adventure game called Afterparty.

15. Subset Games

Subset Games

Based Out Of: Shanghai, China

The nerve-wracking yet highly rewarding real-time strategy roguelike FTL: Faster Than Light came from the indie video game development/publishing house known as Subset Games. That real-time strategy roguelike release worked like a charm and that statement certainly applies to the studio's turn-based strategy follow-up, Into the Breach. Now all eyes are on this studio to see if it's preparing another strategy-based game for the world to enjoy.

16. Thatgamecompany

thatgamecompany logo rectangle

Based Out Of: Santa Monica, California

In 2006, University of Southern California students Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago founded one of the best indie gaming companies gamers have ever come across. The company we're set to speak of for this entry is thatgamecompany, which is best known for three artsy and incredibly mystifying games in the form of Flow, Flower, and Journey for the PlayStation consoles and PC platform. Its latest release, Sky: Children of Light, is another wholly original project that brings the studio's high creativity to light.

17. Young Horses Games

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Young Horses Games

Based Out Of: Chicago, Illinois

Some of the quirkiest and most outlandish games that have graced today's gaming platforms have been delivered by Young Horses Games. Just take a look at the studio's track record to see the type of strange yet endearing games it's known for producing - Octodad: Dadliest Catch, The Antbassador, Snakedate, and Bugsnax (which is surprisingly one of the biggest reasons to own a PS5!).

18. Team Cherry

Team cherry Logo Red
Team Cherry

Based Out Of: Adelaide, South Australia

We're placing a whole lot of money on this bet we're about to make - we're convinced that the lot of you reading this right now endured and enjoyed the side-scrolling action/adventure classic Hollow Knight! If that statement rings true, then go ahead and shower Team Cherry with all your praise and adoration. This small indie games studio is hard at work on its next project Hollow Knight: Silksong, which is sure to bring in the same massive appreciative audience the first game has.

19. Motion Twin

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Motion Twin

Based Out Of: Bordeaux, France

Motion Twin is the studio that's held up as one of the very best indie gaming companies simply for putting out the roguelike-"Metroidvania" classic, Dead Cells. That game ended up being so great that the studio earned the attention of Konami, which birthed the Castlevania crossover DLC expansion Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania. The rest of Motion Twin Studio's games library includes Hammerfest, My Brute, Mush, Die2Nite, AlphaBounce, and Twinoid.

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