With the increase in powerful tech at fairly accessible prices and developer toolkits and online courses, it's never been easier nor better to get into independent video game development.
The rise of the indie dev has seen countless amazing titles hit storefronts across the world, and for those who feel like the ever-rotating slop chute of Triple-A homogeneity is getting bland, these can provide some of the most unique and thoroughly satisfying gaming experiences going.
What makes things truly special though, is that these middle fingers to the big publishers can sometimes come from the minds and tireless hands of just one individual, making for an auteur experience that even Hideo Kojima would be jealous of.
Some of these solo projects rise to the top of the pack in both critical and commercial senses and act as a beautiful statement that sometimes you don't need Scrooge McDuck levels of money, you just need a vision and the commitment to make it happen.
Here's to the visionaries, especially if they're carrying an entire project on their own back.
We all knew this was going to be on the list so let's just get it out of the way early. Toby Fox's smash hit Undertale is a force that you really can't deny, and while its fanbase might be a little too passionate for its own good, it doesn't detract from what is a thoroughly brilliant experience.
There are almost too many facets of Undertale to praise in my opinion. From its beautiful lo-fi visuals that hark back to the early days of gaming, to the incredible wit of the central cast, all the way to its approach to upending player expectations, there are so many reasons to not just play through the title once, but multiple times in order to net every ending and experience every ludicrous battle.
Plus that soundtrack? Toby, please leave some talent in the tank for the rest of us as we're getting thirsty!
Undertale is a passion project that hit the market like a black hole, pulling in critical praise and commercial success at such a rate that it was all people could talk about for a long old while.
The fact that fans are still pulling apart the game to this day to uncover new meaning within just goes to show how loved Undertale is by some.