Indie Game of the Year Awards 2020

Indie Game of the Year Awards 2020

14 fabulous indies

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on

After enjoying hundreds of indies this year, we've picked the very best in each genre so here are 2020's indie game awards! Enjoy.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Metroidvania of the Year

Although I loved Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps completely blew me away earlier this year with its fine-tuned gameplay, gorgeous sights and sounds, and huge game world that's filled with secrets to discover. It's truly amazing when game developers create sequels that are this great, especially considering the fact that its predecessor is incredible, too.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review Award image →
Ori and the Will of the Wisps screenshot
Someone should give that giant toad an award so he can stop looking so glum

Hades Roguelike of the Year

Of course, Hades is our roguelike of the year. Zipping through enemy-filled rooms while unleashing a barrage of magical, ranged, and physical attacks makes for one intense formula and the beautiful artwork and catchy music tie everything together brilliantly. If you still haven't played this gem of an indie yet then do yourself a favour and see if you have what it takes to escape the underworld.

Hades Review Award image →
Hades screenshot
Yes, you can pet the 3-headed dog

The Pathless Action-adventure Game of the Year

Some indies release and completely surprise me with how immersive and enjoyable they are. It took a while for The Pathless to grow on me but once it did, I found it hard to put it down. Soaring through vast and stylish environments while taking down monstrous bosses and solving intricate puzzles adds up to one memorable and captivating campaign. It's a must-have for any indie fan.

The Pathless Review Award image →
The Pathless screenshot
Soaring through a game world has never felt so exhilarating

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Competitive Game of the Year

Out of all the competitive indie games this year, none took the gaming world by storm as much as Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Even though it's a highly competitive online game show, failure rarely feels frustrating as you can simply dive back in and give it another go without thinking twice. Once you manage to make it to the final round and perhaps claim a crown, it's super-rewarding stuff.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review Award image →
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout screenshot
Now I want some jellybeans...

Overcooked! All You Can Eat Co-op Game of the Year

Overcooked! has been a wonderful franchise since its debut back in 2016 and this All You Can Eat compilation combines both games and all of their DLC to create one huge fun-filled romp that you can spend dozens of hours mastering with a friend or 2. It's frantic co-op action at its best so the fact that you can now enjoy it on your brand new next-gen console of choice is an absolute treat.

Overcooked! All You Can Eat Review Award image →
Overcooked! All You Can Eat screenshot
Do you have to stay away from the ovens if you're the snowman?

Sayonara Wild Hearts Rhythm Game of the Year

Although it debuted last year, Sayonara Wild Hearts finally released for Xbox One in 2020 and it marked my first time playing it. The combination of arcade-style reflex-testing gameplay and rhythm mechanics make it one challenging and highly enjoyable score-chaser and its bubbly pop soundtrack is one of the best that I've ever heard in an indie game. Congrats, Sayonara Wild Hearts!

Sayonara Wild Hearts Review Award image →
Sayonara Wild Hearts screenshot
That's a winning pose!

Summer in Mara Casual Game of the Year

Summer in Mara is simply one of the best casual games ever to grace a console. With its huge list of quests to complete and its laidback game world that's filled with delightful and quirky characters, exploring while checking off tasks makes for one supremely satisfying laidback experience that's perfect for winding down with after a long day. Oh, and did I mention that it's incredibly cute?

Summer in Mara Review Award image →
Summer in Mara screenshot
Where can I get that octopus backpack?

Railway Empire - Complete Collection Simulation Game of the Year

I love me some Railway Empire so when the Complete Collection dropped earlier this year featuring countless hours of additional content that spans the globe, I knew I was in for a treat. There are so many ways to play it and oodles of options to configure so whether you're a hardcore sim game aficionado or a casual fan, you're bound to have a blast connecting real-world cities through history.

Railway Empire - Complete Collection Review Award image →
Railway Empire - Complete Collection screenshot
Simpler times, am I right?

Streets Of Rage 4 Beat 'em Up of the Year

Without a doubt, Streets Of Rage 4 is the best beat 'em up of 2020 with its stunning artwork and tight gameplay that's even more fun while playing with a friend. Plus, the killer soundtrack makes pummeling all sorts of hoodlums even more gratifying.

Streets Of Rage 4 Review Award image →
Streets Of Rage 4 screenshot
Blaze is about to rip off someone's gold chain

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 2D Action Game of the Year

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was an excellent retro-style tie-in game for Ritual of the Night and this sequel managed to offer an even more impressive experience. Being able to swap between 4 distinct characters as you traverse the campaign's many grueling stages is a blast and the old-school presentation is implemented perfectly. On top of that, it all changes when you play through it again.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 Review Award image →
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 screenshot
Dominique basks in the glow of her new award

Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! Genre-blender of the Year

One type of indie that always excites me is genre-blenders that take existing formulas and combine them to create a unique gameplay experience. Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! is essentially a management game where you make meals out of sinners in order to appease the underworld's gods yet its gameplay is super-frantic and arcade-like. Oh, and it's perhaps the funniest game ever made.

Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! Review Award image →
Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! screenshot
It's true; A.J. Mashipotato is the best cook in the underworld

Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead Crossover of the Year

Making 1 game out of 2 existing franchises can't possibly be easy and Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead mixes the classic Bridge Constructor gameplay with The Walking Dead universe ingeniously. Tweaking your solutions in order to escape from and kill as many zombies as possible while staying under budget is incredibly rewarding stuff so if you have the patience, definitely give this a go.

Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead Review Award image →
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead screenshot
Methinks those zombies are about to be flattened

Levelhead 2D Platformer of the Year

Levelhead is a game where you can create and share your own platforming levels and its intuitive yet comprehensive tools allow you to make some truly intricate stages. Also, simply playing whatever other folks made is enjoyable on its own so whether you prefer crafting your own creations or seeing what other people made, you're bound to have an excellent time with this indie treasure.

Levelhead Review Award image →
Levelhead screenshot
It takes a while but making a level sure is satisfying

Touhou Luna Nights Indie Game of the Year

Out of all the hundreds of indie games that we've enjoyed this year, Touhou Luna Nights takes top prize as the absolute best with its jaw-dropping blend of exploration, intense combat, and intricate puzzles. Few indies do any of those gameplay elements as masterfully as this does yet Touhou Luna Nights combines all 3 into one challenging and impressive Metroidvania world. Excellent stuff!

Touhou Luna Nights Review Award image →
Touhou Luna Nights screenshot
Yes, I'm having quite a lot of fun, thank you
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Gameplay video playlist for Indie Game of the Year Awards 2020 129:44
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