We’re a PlayStation site, so no, Hades did not make this (or any) list. The good news is that means it qualifies next year, should Supergiant Games grace us with its presence. However, that gives room to a number of other great indie experiences this year that we loved. (And as much as I wanted to consider Destiny 2 indie, I left it off this list to give attention to these smaller games.) Independent studios are given the freedom to make games without creative limitation while also creatively working around the constraints that are placed on small teams with limited budgets. These studios need to fend for themselves without the help of a publisher or outside owner, but they also get to create without oversight. Some of these experiences become the most unique and memorable in gaming. Here are the PlayStation LifeStyle nominations for Best Indie Game in 2020.
Best Indie Game 2020 Winner
First released three years ago as an Xbox exclusive, the idea that Cuphead would ever make its way to a PlayStation platform seemed impossible. In a surprising release, the classic cartoon-inspired boss shooter did finally drop on PS4 at the end of this year, and it’s still just as good as it was three years ago. While it’s notoriously difficult, Cuphead teaches players throughout, never feeling entirely unfair while staying learnable and conquerable. This balance of quick yet deadly boss encounters makes Cuphead a thrill to try again and again until you can finally overcome the challenges within, perfectly held within its phenomenal art style and brilliant soundtrack.
Reader’s Choice Winner
Our readers agreed, difficulty be damned, Cuphead’s PS4 release was the best indie game of the year. It may have taken three years to get to PlayStation, but our first experiences with Cuphead and Mugman were every bit as special as when it first came out. We’renot sure what kind of deal with the devil was made to get it into our hands, but we’re too busy dying and trying again and again to ask any questions.
Don’t miss our full lineup of nominees for the PlayStation LifeStyle Game of the Year awards. We’ll be revealing more winners all throughout the week, leading up to the Game of the Year on Friday January 1.