With some pretty good games from first-party studios, the PlayStation 4 ended last year and then Sony’s PlayStation 5 kicked off a new generation with another batch of major titles. Great stuff from the AAA scene, but what independent developers are bringing out alongside the bigger studios is still worth taking a look at. And they’re much better than any full-price release often. There have been some amazing indie games to marvel at on both the PS5 and PS4 in 2020, but in our view, these are the best of the year.
The Bronze Trophy: Running Hotshot
The one indie game that select scribes will come back to is Hotshot Racing again and again.
The arcade racer owes its life to SEGA’s glory days, as it imitates, and magnificently does, the likes of Virtua Racing and Daytona USA. The car handling is perfectly perfect, as is the soundtrack and the lovely low-poly art style, but it could use a little more material. Hotshot Racing is fast rising to the top in a generation where there aren’t many truly excellent racing games. Please, just one more race?
Check out our Hotshot Racing PS4 analysis for more detail.
The Silver Trophy: The Unpathed
One of the few independent teams to have a title up their sleeve for the PS5 launch was Giant Squid, but boy, is it a nice one.
The Pathless casts out an open-world experience’s traditional mechanics and leaves it more up to interpretation.
Totems can be shot to get faster around the world, there is no map, and more of the world is unlocked by various plateaus to make navigation easier. For those who don’t like open worlds, it is more of an open-world game.
Connect some fun puzzles to that, and you have concept master classes. Yeah, with a nice HDR implementation, it looks pretty incredible too. What is it about The Pathless not to love?
Check out our The Pathless PS5 analysis for more detail.
Trophy of Gold: Arms
There’s a fair chance that you’ve never heard of the Creaks, and it’s a shame.
The follow-up to Machinarium by Amanita Design is an addictive 2D puzzler with an eerie atmosphere and an appropriate soundtrack, packed with fascinating puzzle design that continues to incorporate fresh mechanics to keep you on your toes. To fit, with interesting character designs and imaginative backgrounds, there is a lovely and elegant graphic style that reveals more details about the world of Creaks.
There is another universe hiding under the bedroom of this special kid, and missing the chance to expose its true content would be a huge mistake. All an indie game might dream of is Creaks.
Check out our Creaks PS4 review for more detail.
Trophy Platinum: Dropping Guys
The comic phenomenon Fall Guys is at the top of our 2020 list, having delivered one joy after another during this year’s summer months and beyond.
This free PlayStation Plus title made the battle royale genre interesting to those who typically don’t get into it, and it created a broad player base and enjoyable moments for everyone from day one. Whether it was a wild sprint in “The Whirlygig” for the final qualifier or a thrilling standoff with another Fall Guy in “Jump Showdown,” Mediatonic provided all ages with humorous entertainment.
Fall Guys is an absolute blast, whether for an entire evening or just a couple of rounds.
Check out our Fall Guys PS4 review for more detail.
Do they balance our picks with your own thoughts? What indie games do you think were the best of 2020 for PS5 and PS4? In our poll, cast your vote and share your ideas in the comments below.
What was your dream indie game for 2020 on PS5 and PS4?
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