The Best Xbox One Indie Games

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Xbox One Indie Games
Latest additions: Despot’s Game, Little Orpheus, Isonzo
Most divisive: Layers of Fear

When it comes to good indie games for Xbox One, there is a pretty good amount of variety. For that reason, we're ranking the best Xbox One indie games, with the help of your votes. 

One of the newest Xbox One games made by a smaller developer is We Happy Few. Released in 2018, this out of the ordinary take on reality is sure to keep you wanting more. If you've never played No Man's Sky, it's a must-play indie game for any Xbox One owner. Other awesome indie games for Xbox include Graveyard Keeper, Phantom Doctrine, and Cuphead.

Not every indie game on this list is an Xbox One original - take ARK: Survival Evolved for example, which came out in 2015. However, all these indie games are currently available on the Xbox Marketplace, regardless of release date.

Vote up your favorite indie game for Xbox One, or simply use this list as a recommendation guide if you're looking for more titles to play.

Ranked by
    • Developer: Moon Studios
    • Genres (Video game): Platform
    Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform-adventure Metroidvania video game developed by Moon Studios and published by Microsoft Studios. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One on March 2015. In the game, players assume control of Ori, a white guardian spirit, and Sein, the "light and eyes" of the Forest's Spirit Tree. To progress in the game, players are tasked to move between platforms and solve puzzles. The game features a system called "soul links", which allows players to save at will, and an upgrade system that gives players the ability to strengthen Ori's skills. Ori and the Blind Forest is a 2D platform game, the player controls Ori, a white guardian spirit & Sein, who is the light and eyes of the Spirit Tree. They have the ability to jump and climb and many other abilities. Sein can shoot Spirit Flames to combat enemies or obstacles. Ori is required to interact with their environment as they jump from platforms and solve puzzles. Ori is faced with enemies while making their way to restoring the forest. The player helps Ori collect health shards, energy shards, new abilities, and upgrades. The game world unfolds to the player in the fashion of a Metroidvania, with new abilities allowing the player to access previously inaccessible areas.
  • Cuphead
    43 votes
    • Developer: StudioMDHR
    • Genres (Video game): Run and gun
    Cuphead is a run and gun video game developed and published by StudioMDHR. Announced in 2013, the game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in September 2017, for macOS in October 2018, and for Nintendo Switch in April 2019. The game was inspired by the rubber hose style of animation used in cartoons of the 1930s, such as the work of studios Fleischer and Walt Disney Animation, and seeks to emulate their subversive and surrealist qualities. Cuphead features one or two players taking control of animated characters Cuphead and his brother Mugman to fight through several levels that culminate in boss fights as to repay their debt to the devil. The game was praised for its art style and noted for its challenging difficulty. It was both a critical and commercial success, winning several awards and selling over four million copies by July 2019. An animated series based on the game is in production by Netflix.
  • Night in the Woods
    16 votes
    • Developer: Infinite Fall, Secret Lab, 22nd Century Toys
    • Genres (Video game): Adventure
    Night in the Woods is a 2017 single-player adventure game developed by Infinite Fall. It is a story-focused exploration game in which players control an anthropomorphic cat named Mae, who recently dropped out of college and has returned to her hometown to find unexpected changes. As Mae, players run, jump, and learn other mechanics that allow them to explore Possum Springs. Benson described the key actions for the player as "explore, converse, see and touch", while Holowka described their approach as "narrative-focused" rather than "gameplay-first". Players make decisions that affect the course of the story. Night in the Woods was announced on October 22, 2013, on Kickstarter. Holowka and Benson set a US$50,000 funding goal, which was reached in only 26 hours. The project eventually earned over US$200,000 in crowdfunding.
  • Little Nightmares
    27 votes
    • Developer: Tarsier Studios
    • Genres (Video game): Platformer, Survival Horror
    Little Nightmares is a puzzle-platformer horror adventure game developed by Tarsier Studios and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The game received positive reviews upon release with critics praising the atmosphere, graphics, and sound, but criticism was aimed at the game's checkpoint system, and short length. A trio of DLC levels that offer a "different perspective on Six’s adventures" were planned.
  • No Man's Sky
    37 votes
    • Developer: Hello Games
    • Genres (Video game): Action-adventure, survival
    No Man's Sky is an action-adventure survival video game developed and published by the indie studio Hello Games. It was released worldwide in August 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows, while an Xbox One version is scheduled for release in mid-2018. The game is built around four pillars: exploration, survival, combat, and trading. Players are free to perform within the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 quintillion planets. Through the game's procedural generation system, planets have their own ecosystems with unique forms of flora and fauna, and various sentient alien species may engage the player in combat or trade within planetary systems. Players advance in the game by mining for resources to power and improve their spacecraft, tools, and spacesuit for survival, buying and selling resources using credits earned by documenting flora and fauna, and otherwise seeking out the mystery around the Atlas, an entity at the center of the universe.
  • Dead Cells
    24 votes
    • Developer: Motion Twin
    • Genres (Video game): Rougelike, Metroidvania
    Dead Cells is a roguelike-metroidvania hybrid video game developed and published by Motion Twin. Following about a year in early access, Dead Cells was released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on August 7, 2018. In the game, the player takes the role of a body of cells that take control of a corpse in a dungeon, through which they must fight their way out. The player gains various weapons, treasure and other tools through exploration of the procedurally-generated levels to fight undead creatures within it. At times, the player may gain "cells", a type of in-game currency that can be used to purchase permanent upgrades for the player if they reach a vendor near the end of each level. If they fail to reach this vendor before dying, they lose all the cells they gained and must start again. Motion Twin was inspired by The Binding of Isaac in developing the game.