The ID@Xbox program has been an invaluable resource for small and independent developers around the globe, as it has enabled them to publish their games to Xbox One. As a result, there is a large variety of incredible indie games available to play within the Xbox One ecosystem. Here's a list of our favorites.
FAR: Lone Sails (opens in new tab)
★ Author's Choice
FAR: Lone Sails is a phenomenal adventure title that tasks you with constantly moving forward with your part-boat, part-train vehicle in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Though its concept is simple, the satisfying puzzle gameplay, stunning visuals, and excellent music make this vehicular odyssey a deep and nuanced experience.
INSIDE is a dark and unnerving puzzle-platformer that pulls you in with its intruiging premise of a lonely boy being drawn to a dark project. Once you start playing, though, you won't be able to stop.
This comical title is all about using goofy ragdoll-like physics to solve complex puzzles. It's fun on your own, but we think that Human Fall Flat is even better with a friend due to the wacky opportunities created by having two players working together.
Frostpunk is an intense and challenging strategy game where you have to help your colony survive in a cold, unforgiving wasteland. Every decision you make matters, and any mistakes could spell doom.
This mystery investigation title is centered around the Obra Dinn, a ship that went missing in 1802 only to mysteriously drift into port five years later without any sign of a crew. Armed with your wits, your job is to board the ship and try to piece together what happened on the vessel.
Alien sea exploration
After you crash on an alien planet, Subnautica tasks you with exploring its strange and vast oceans in order to survive. Massive, beautiful, and fascinating, the seas of Subnautica are as captivating as they are dangerous.
Fight for your life
If you're looking for a hardcore first-person survival game, look no further than The Long Dark. Set in the brutal Canadian wilderness in the aftermath of a curious natural disaster, The Long Dark will push even experienced players to their limits.
This intense XCOM-style tactics game follows a crew of mutants as they explore the remnants of the once-great human civilization. Their goal? To use their wits in order to survive and discover Eden, where they may learn the truth about the end of the world.
Dead Cells is a tough but fair platforming game set on a seemingly-cursed island where things never stay the same for long. You'll die a lot, but each time you come back you'll be a little stronger, and thus, more capable.
Top-down dungeon crawler
Children of Morta is a story-driven RPG with strong dungeon-crawling mechanics and a surprisingly excellent story, and it's a fantastic experience for casual and hardcore fans alike. Pair that with the title's superb visual style and music, and you have a game that everyone will love.
If we had to choose
All of these ID@Xbox titles are absolutely fantastic, but if I had to choose just one, it would be FAR: Lone Sails (opens in new tab). The combination of its unique premise, beautiful presentation, and satisfying gameplay has cemented it as one of my favorite indie games ever, and I think the title will leave anyone who plays it feeling the same way.
If you're looking for something on the hardcore side, The Long Dark's (opens in new tab) incredibly intense and unforgiving survival mechanics will be right up your alley. The game isn't unfair, but it doesn't hold back, either.
If you simply want to relax or play something fun with a friend, I highly recommend Human Fall Flat (opens in new tab). The puzzles are clever but they're never obnoxiously difficult, and the hilarious physics of the game ensure you'll always be laughing as you try to progress.