Top Indie Games of 2011 (According to the TIGSource Forums)

By: Paul Eres

On: January 12th, 2012

I asked people what their personal favorite indie game releases of 2011 were in the forums; this is a compiled list. Each mention got one vote per person. This is a sequel to last year’s list. There were a lot of ties, so don’t comment asking what’s up with the numbers, like everyone did last year. See the full list under the jump.

1. Bastion

2. The Binding of Isaac

3. Terraria

4. Spacechem

5. Jamestown

6. Frozen Synapse

6. Escape from Puppy Death Factory

6. English Country Tune

7. Gemini Rue

7. Forget Me Not

8. Viriax

8. Treasure Adventure Game

8. Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog

8. Hyper Princess Pitch

8. Don’t Take it Personally, Babe, it Just Ain’t Your Story

8. Balloon Diaspora

9. Voxatron

9. Trauma

9. Dungeons of Dredmor

9. Blocks that Matter

9. 0Space

10. [Honorable mentions]: The Iconoclasts, Stealth Bastard, Scoregasm, Running with Rifles, Rock of Ages, Proun, Nightsky, Koya Rift, Inside a Star-Filled Sky, Infested Planet, Impasse, Hydra Castle Labyrinth, Girp, E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy, Capsized, Ace of Spades, 100th

  • Theon

    Those are all fantastic games (most of them, anyway), but the order they’re placed in is quite baffling.
    I mean, Space Chem? Above Jamestown? Up there at all??

  • Anonymous

    my favorite trailer is hyper princess pitch; that’s how to make a trailer.

    it’s also good to see a year that isn’t dominated by platformers: the top two games are top-down action-rpgs, and only three or four games of the twenty-two games with video trailers can be called platformers.

  • Paul Hubans

    Terraria is the best on this list, followed by The Binding of Isaac. Voxatron was good but failed to live up to my excitement for it (the adventure mode was too insubstantial). I didn’t really enjoy Blocks That Matter; it felt too much of a handjob to Mojang, not that that’s a bad thing, but the gameplay itself left much more to be desired. 0Space is a great idea that people at the jams seem to love, but I found it difficult/clunky from an interface POV. EYE: Divine Cybermancy seemed really promising, had great atmosphere, but was ultimately broken and marred with UI issues. Other really good ones that I only played briefly were Viriax, Puppy Death Factory, and Hydra Castle Labyrinth.

  • Anonymous

    spacechem’s by far the best game on this list :p

  • Anonymous

    voxatron is still early in production, i think it’ll get more substantial when it’s finished

  • Ben McGraw (Grue)

    Of all the games on this list, Spacechem is the one my “non-gamer” friends are all addicted to.  It’s like software-engineer-nip.

    I still play Dredmor the most on this list… but I’m biased. ;)

    Also, a little surprised To The Moon wasn’t on here.

  • Anonymous

    it was a small sample size (about 40 people voting) so the absence of games is natural. to the moon got one vote, which was one vote away from an honorable mention (all of those just got two votes).

  • The Sauce

    you only had ten games on your list. Thats like asking whats the best indie game, you can  pick from FEZ, Bastion, and Spelunky.  NONE OF THOSE  Lame. TIgs has gotten so lame in the last month

  • Anonymous

    i’m not sure what you mean; there are 22 games with videos on this list, not ten. and with the honorable mentions, that makes it 35. there was also no list from people to pick from, people could have voted for any game. these are just the results of that vote


    Are you some kind of idiot savant?

    If so you have missed the savant part. You were not present for the vote and evidently assumed something which was not the case

    stop jumping to opinions

  • Christopher Weigle

    haha, 52.38% of those games were Linux compatible by the end of 2011! Coincidence? Maybe, but Ah love ’em :D (And yes, I’m including the flash game, and Bastion as it runs in Chrome Native Client, which runes on Linux as well)

  • The Sauce

    yes. i was confused. too tired. When I saw bastion and that stupid flash game binding my reaction is the same. Fuck these losers. fuck tigs. fuck those douchbags like fish who have made nothing but act like they are someone. In my circles no one has heard of ANY of those games, and my circle is actually acomplished people not punks on tigs. Im out. I no longer call myself indie cause I refuse to be labeled with all these fucking douchebags. PEACE LIL BOYS.

  • Luke Toomey

    SpaceChem’s definitely the best Programming An Application To Sort Your CDs simulator on the list.

  • J.Black

    Wow, you need to take your pills or grow up.

  • Kkxtrouble

    “Yeah fuck everyone, i can use the word “fuck” a lot! I’m a grown up now, my thoughts are always right and if someone disagrees they are retarded.”

    Yeah, you’re the douche here, grow up.


    perhaps you should take this post as a sign that games you haven’t heard of may also be good or worthwhile?
    i admit i don’t much care for binding of isaac but it didn’t cause me to suddenly swear angrily at passersby

    if you go to the movies and there’s a movie you haven’t heard of do you punch a child there?
    the principle is exactly the same


  • frank

    stop trollin us Phish

  • Noah

    This is a fucking fantastic list. Big ups to everyone who voted (you know who you are). You have excellent taste, my friends.

  • RenaudB

    WHAT A YEAR. Thanks to all devs involved.

  • gnome

    A most excellent selection and a seriously brilliant list. I have to bow in front of the collective wisdom of the TIGSource forumites.

    If I were to add two games, these would be Waves and Blackwell Deception.

  • Jeff

    Man, what a fantastic year in gaming, bring on 2012!

  • David Holmin

    Not a trace of Aban Hawkins and the 1,000 Spikes. A shame.

  • Daniel Chiles

    Honorable mention for Ace of Spades.  I wish it was a little higher on the list but i cant complain.

  • Amon26

    HELL YEAH HYPER PRINCESS PEACH AND ISSAC!! *pours champagne on my head* congrats everyone!!

  • Dan Carpenter Jesus Carepnte

    Glad to see Minecraft not make the list. It was released in 2011 after all. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited for a game and then so frustrated with a game. Notch said a lot of things but implemented only a fraction. I mean, seriously, how can you release your game for $30 and then not have AI for your NPCs. The only thing that gives Minecraft purpose right now are the mods so, in the end, I had hoped that notch would provide mod support with the full version like he said. But, alas, that and “adventure mode” both fell by the wayside and instead we get a terrible instanced dragon fight.

  • Evan Balster

    If anyone needs me, I’ll be sulking in my lighthouse beneath the full moon.  D<

  • Bobby

    I bought the binding of isaac… and it’s crap. 

  • Michael Bacon


  • Michael Bacon

    Very happy to see Bastion and Terraria at the top instead of Minecraft (not that it’s bad, it’s just not *as good*.) Too bad Dungeons of Dredmor is so low, but I guess it’s a little niche. Then again, so is SpaceChem…

    Good list overall, I need to try a few of these I haven’t got to yet!

  • Anonymous

    he should join up with this guy

  • Anonymous

    epic flounce bro

    P.S. if you actually stick the flounce (which you shouldn’t btw, that always makes it less epic) can I have your stuff

  • Dialock

    I played Spacechem then realized I was probably a special person.  I now have an assistant to make sure I  get across the street safely and don’t drown when I take baths.  There are many high-fives!

  • ithamore

    Treasure Adventure Game was one of my favorite games of 2011, and I’m glad it made it in the top 10.

  • Xbox Live Code

    hack a facebook account :

  • Kuujgghghf


  • Shaquille Stoutamire

    I saw Don’t Take it Personally, Babe, it Just Ain’t Your Story both here and somewhere else, so I decided to give it a try. I found out it was made by Christine Love. Awesome!

    I loved Digital: A Love Story and now I love this game. Sooooo goooood…

  • Resreaser

    dont steal my name :|

  • RenaudB


  • John Sandoval

    I absolutely despised every character in Don’t Take It Personally Babe. The internet speak so ingrained in their daily language was maddening. Which was a shame, because I loved Digital: A Love Story. :(

  • Anonymous

    Awesome list.

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  • Michaël Lievens

    There is only a few one I did not try (like Bastion), but at least most of the best are present which is pleasant to see !
    I must admit having gold fun with Terraria, a true sandbox game made by brillant people.
    I really hope to dev. something as great one day, only time (and money unfortunately) will tell :)

  • Sauceage Man

    Its good to see Binding of Isaac so high up on the list, although it belongs on the top.

  • Flisk The Mantis

    I’m just glad that terraria is on the list. Usually I play indie games for a short period then move on… but Terraria really got me hooked

  • Guest

    To The Moon should’ve been on that list. Hopefully other future Freebirdgames comes.