Indie games are some of the most interesting and unique games the market has to offer. They’re smaller games that don’t have a major publisher backing them — as a result, they tend to deliver tighter-packed, hand-crafted experiences at half the price of your usual triple-A game.
One of the best types of indie games is indie RPGs. With so many big-name RPGs on the market — Fallout, Mass Effect, Elden Ring, etc. — it’s a nice change of pace to play something smaller and more unique. Today, we’ll be listing our top ten picks for the best indie RPGs for PC (2022).
Best Indie Games for PC, Ranked from Good to Best
Without any further delay, let’s jump right into the ranking!
- Release Date: September 17th, 2020
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- File Size: 15 GB
- Link: Steam
First up on our list for the top ten indie RPGs for PC (2022), we have the 2020 game Hades. This is a game that has become very popular among the rogue-like crowd, and it’s no surprise why. You play as Zagreus, the prince of the Underworld, on a journey to escape from his home dimension and his father, Hades.
The game is an isometric action-RPG, which fans of hack-and-slash are sure to love. Hades uses procedural generation to construct its levels, which makes every run completely different from the last. Gameplay is fast and intense, and with all of the different weapons upgrades and items you can earn from clearing a room, progression is satisfying and always keeps you invested.
The story is heavily inspired by Greek mythology, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which classes you took in high school. It’s an engaging story with well-written characters and interesting dialogue, so it has my recommendation.
FTL: Faster Than Light
- Release Date: September 14th, 2012
- Developer: Subset Games
- File Size: 175 MB
- Link: Steam
Here’s a game some of you may recognize. Coming in at spot number nine, we have the hit-classic FTL: Faster Than Light! This was one of the first PC games I ever owned, and I still love playing it to this day. You take on the role of a spaceship captain tasked with delivering a valuable message that could help end the galaxy-wide war and turn the tide in your favor.
At the start of the game, you can choose from a wide variety of different ships (though only one is available at first). There’s a huge variety of starcrafts with different weapons, parts, and crewmembers, which gives each of them their own unique playstyle. The game features several different alien races for you to befriend, each with its own special abilities.
The big selling point here is the progression system. As you explore the stars, you’ll come across new weapons and gadgets that can be fitted to your ship. Using scrap metal, you can upgrade your vessel’s shields, weapons, etc. As you progress further, you can even get special upgrades, such as a teleportation device that allows you to board enemy crafts, or a cloaking device that turns you invisible!
The story is fairly straightforward, but the overarching plot isn’t the focus here. What’s really impressive are all the side missions you can complete and the ways you can complete them. There are dialogue choices, multiple ways to complete objectives, and special ways to solve missions that depend on your crew makeup and your ship’s upgrades! There’s a load of replayability here, and the game is incredibly impressive.
Lisa: The Painful
- Release Date: December 15th, 2014
- Developer: Dingaling Productions
- File Size: 800 MB
- Link: Steam
Next up, we have the 2D adventure game, Lisa: The Painful. This is a gritty and dark post-apocalyptic RPG set in a world where women are now seemingly non-existent, and only men remain. It reminds me a lot of the classic Fallout games in the sense that it combines a grim, apocalyptic setting with dark humor and pop-culture references.
It’s a turn-based tactical RPG with similarities to classic games like Chronotrigger and Earthbound/Mother. You can attack, guard, use items, or use your character’s skills to win fights. You have a roster of party members who you can use in a variety of different ways. Outside of combat, you spend a lot of time exploring the wasteland, talking with interesting characters, and making small choices that can have big impacts on your adventure.
The story is incredibly sad, and deals with issues of drug abuse and domestic violence. The story follows a broken man attempting to rescue his adopted daughter — believed to be the last woman on Earth —who is kidnapped early on in the game. It’s not something I recommend letting your kids play.
I also don’t recommend getting too attached to any characters you meet, as the game often forces you to make difficult decisions that can permanently alter your party members for the worse. You may have to sacrifice an arm and a leg — literally — in order to survive. If you love choice and consequence in RPGs, this game has my full recommendation.
- Release Date: February 26th, 2016
- Developer: ConcernedApe
- File Size: 500 MB
- Link: Steam
Now for one of the more unique games on this list, it’s everyone’s favorite farming simulator, Stardew Valley! You play as a city-dweller who recently inherited your grandfather’s run-down farm. You’ll have to work hard to turn a dusty old plot of land into a prosperous farm, all the while socializing with the many inhabitants of the nearby town.
You’ll spend a great deal of time planting, watering, and harvesting crops so they can be sold for money. You can use this money to upgrade your farm (investing in animals, new gear, upgrading your house, etc). The game features combat as well, and you can go mining deep underground for special minerals.
The story is very simplistic, and its main purpose is to drive your gameplay forward. It introduces you to new NPCs, new game mechanics, and overall teaches you how to get better at the game. The real enjoyment comes from managing your reputations with the various folks in town, forming friendships and romantic relationships. It’s a very wholesome and laidback game that everyone should at least try.
Buddy Simulator: 1984
- Release Date: February 18th, 2021
- Developer: Not a Sailor Studios
- File Size: 400 MB
- Link: Steam
Up next at spot number six, we have a personal favorite of mine. I’m talking about Buddy Simulator: 1984 by Not a Sailor Studios. This is an incredibly well-done game that breaks the fourth wall in unique and interesting ways.
In the game, the player has downloaded software that allows them to play and interact with a “buddy,” a virtual AI that quickly begins to stray more and more from its intended purpose.
Gameplay-wise, this one is nowhere near as in-depth as some of the other games on this list. The combat is turn-based, but it doesn’t become a part of the gameplay loop until later in the story. You’ll get to choose between a cast of unique characters, and attacks are mostly cast by pressing a random button prompt when it appears on the screen. The main reason you should play this game is its story.
Throughout the course of your adventure, you’ll find yourself conversing with and getting attached to your own buddy AI. It’s a very well-written game with both humorous and scary moments. Of all the games I’ve played, this one has got to be one of the most depressing ones. The ending felt like a punch to the gut, and it’s best if you play the game entirely blind.
- Release Date: January 18th, 2016
- Developer: Red Hook Studios
- File Size: 2 GB
- Link: Steam
Halfway down our list for the top ten best indie RPGs for PC (2022), we have Red Hook Studio’s Darkest Dungeon. This is a very intense and brutal RPG experience that casual gamers may have some difficulty getting into. The story and tone is arguably the darkest out of all the games on this list.
Darkest Dungeon is a tactical party-based RPG. There are a wide variety of different classes that you can combine to make your party, but the big selling point is how you use them. It’s a very intense rogue-like game where you’ll have to manage your party’s sanity to ward off debuffs like hopelessness and insomnia. The game is very frustrating at times, but also very rewarding if you play your cards right.
The story is a grimdark fantasy that takes place after a dark curse unleashes itself upon the land. You live in a small hamlet that survived the curse and must hire a band of mercenaries in order to help you defend this fragile bastion of civilization from the monster-infested world.
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
- Release Date: November 20th, 2019
- Developer: Moonsprout Games
- File Size: 300 MB
- Link: Steam
Let’s take a look at another personal favorite of mine. Coming in at number four, we have Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling! This is a tactical RPG that takes heavy inspiration from the Paper Mario series. I would argue that, in some respects, this game is better than Paper Mario, as it takes many of the game’s best aspects and refines them.
You are given control of three different characters and need to combine their abilities in unique ways. You have a melee-focused character named Kabbu, a ranged character named Vee, and an ice mage named Lief. Certain enemies can only be effectively killed by certain characters, so battles are tactical and engaging.
There is a wide variety of different upgrades you can equip for your characters. Combine this system with the dozens of different items in the game, and you have a rich and rewarding progression system that only gets better as you keep playing!
Story-wise, you’re tasked with finding and collecting the Everlasting Sapling, the key to immortality. It’s not the most original plot there is, but the focus here is on the characters and the unique setting. You’ll need to explore Bugaria, a fictional land of sentient bugs and monsters! It’s populated by a huge cast of memorable characters, including our lovable three protagonists, who each have their own arc they undergo throughout the game.
- Release Date: October 31st, 2018
- Developer: Toby Fox
- File Size: 200 MB
- Link: Steam
For spot number three on our ranking, we have Toby Fox’s latest game, Deltarune! It might not be entirely fair to put this game on the list, since only the first two chapters of it have been released as of 2022. But if the quality of the rest of the game matches the first two chapters, then Deltarune is surely set to be a masterpiece.
The gameplay is improved from its predecessor, Undertale, in many different ways. The ability to have multiple characters in your party now — each with their own abilities and playstyles — makes combat much more engaging and enjoyable. There are several improved quality of life features as well, such as the ability to avoid some enemy encounters instead of being forced into a fight like in Undertale.
Where Deltarune really shines, however, is in its story. The first chapter does an excellent job of introducing our heroes — Kris, Susie, and Ralsei — and setting them up for future adventures. Susie has a great arc that makes her one of the most likable characters in the game. When you combine that with Toby’s great sense of humor and excellent writing, it’s hard to put the game down without finishing it.
- Release Date: October 15th, 2019
- Developer: ZA/UM
- File Size: 20 GB
- Link: Steam
Next up on our list for spot number two, we have Disco Elysium! You play as a detective on a hunt to solve a murder case in a lawless, chaotic city. The man suffers from a form of amnesia, and along his journey, he begins to remember more and more about his past.
The game offers a very unique way to play. Unlike most RPGs, this is not a combat-focused game, and the majority of your time will be spent reading texts and engaging with NPCs. You have a wide variety of different skills to unlock, giving you interesting ways to interact with the world at large. You can be intimidating, persuasive, flirtatious, or anything else you can think of.
The writing and characters are all very well-written in Disco Elysium, and it’s no wonder this game has become so popular in the years since its release. If you love old-school isometric RPGs or are tired of all the combat-oriented games out there, you’ll be right at home with Disco Elysium.
- Release Date: June 15th, 2021
- Developer: WorldWalker Games LLC
- File Size: 2 GB
- Link: Steam
For our top spot on our list of best indie RPGs for PC (2022), we have Wildermyth! This is a party-based tactical RPG released back in June of last year. Many RPGs try to emulate Dungeons & Dragons in their story-telling and how they try to facilitate roleplaying a character. No game on the market does it better than Wildermyth.
The gameplay is tactical and very robust, with plenty of different ways to build your character and plenty of ways to engage in combat. One of the things I really love about this game is how often the game forces you to make tactical decisions that can permanently alter your character. In one game, I had to sacrifice one of my own heroes in order to save the rest of my party from death!
What makes this indie RPG so special is the way that it handles character progression and storytelling. There is a huge variety of choices to be made in this game, and many of these choices will have consequences that can last beyond your character’s life cycle. Heroes can retire in their old age, and some can become famous adventures known throughout the land. With procedural generation, every playthrough is different, and you’ll always have new stories to experience.
This is probably one of the closest things we’ll ever get to good ol’ Dungeon’s & Dragons. It’s a procedural role-playing sandbox that can even be played with friends. If you haven’t already, download Wildermyth today!
Join the High Ground
That’s the end of our ranking for the top ten best indie RPGs for PC (2022)! Tell us about your favorite pick in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter! We offer regular content on all the latest games, including more rankings just like this one.