Another year, another massive wave of video games all screaming for your hard-earned money. While gamers obsess over The Witcher 3, Halo 5 and Batman: Arkham Knight, there are dozens of smaller budget games that are equally deserving of your attention.
These games may not have huge marketing teams or live-action trailers to back them up, but who needs all that when you have some of the most creative minds in the industry crafting games the like of which we've never seen before?
The indie game scene has only continued to grow in recent years, and 2015 is looking to be one of the biggest years yet. Not all of these promising titles below are guaranteed to release this year, but each one looks to be worth getting excited about in their own way. Some of these titles even have the backing of Sony and Microsoft themselves. So why not take a peek at some of the games set to release this year that may have flown under your radar. Just don't tell your wallet.
Adrift (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
A first person adventure set in orbit above the Earth, Adrift looks to be the game industry's very own version of Gravity. You play as an astronaut who suddenly wakes to find their space station destroyed, with no memory of what happened. The brief announcement trailer we've seen for the game looks to be both a beautiful and intense experience.
Firewatch (PC, Mac, Linux)
The Wyoming wilderness sure can get lonely. That's where Firewatch, a first person adventure title, takes place. You play as Henry, a man who has left his messy life behind for the simplicity of the great outdoors as a fire lookout. Keeping you company on the other side of a radio is Delilah, who talks to you from the outside world as you investigate disturbances across a vast national forest. Along the way, the choices you make will have a direct impact on the relationship between the two characters, making Firewatch one of the leading indie games to be on the lookout for this year.
Cuphead (PC, Xbox One)
Watch the trailer above. Believe it or not, that isn't a cartoon from 1930 — it's a tough-as-nails action platformer coming exclusively to the Xbox One. If Cuphead's gameplay can match its absolutely breathtaking visuals, expect this game to make a huge splash when it releases later this year.
Hyper Light Drifter (PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, Vita, Wii U)
A game described as Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past meets Diablo, all with a gorgeous 16-bit retro art style? Sign us up. The game's combat looks to be fast and fluid, and when combined with a stellar soundtrack from "Disasterpeace," Hyper Light Drifter looks to be one of the year's most exciting indie titles.
Inside (Xbox One)
Not much is known about the next game from the creators of Limbo, but from this one trailer, Inside looks to be every bit as moody and mysterious as its predecessor.
Galak-Z: The Dimensional (PC, PS4, Vita)
If you turned 1980s anime like Robotech and Gundam into a fast-paced shooter, Galak-Z: The Dimensional would be the result. It's a stylish 2D roguelike game that has players strapping into the cockpit of a fast and nimble spacecraft, as you explore the cosmos and blast baddies along the way.
The Witness (PC, PS4, iOS)
We don't envy Jonathan Blow; following up the massive success of Braid is no small task. Perhaps that's the reason his next game looks to be something completely different. It has been compared to the classic PC series Myst, as players explore an uninhabited island filled with mysterious structures and ancient puzzles. But The Witness is a truly unique experience all it's own, and one we are eager to get our hands on in 2015.
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture (PS4)
First-person exploration titles are quickly becoming a popular genre for the indie crowd, and the developers at The Chinese Room are definitely no strangers to it. They helped pave the way for the genre's breakaway success with their last game, Dear Esther, and now will be taking players to the apocalypse in Everybody's Gone To The Rapture. The game will feature six characters with their own personal stories to discover, each linked together by the various landmarks that can be found throughout the abandoned village of Shropshire. Color us intrigued.
No Man's Sky (PC, PS4)
The indie title that needs no introduction, No Man's Sky, has been a highlight of multiple PlayStation 4 press conferences, wowing attendees and those watching at home with its scope. Promising a near endless galaxy for players to explore, this PS4 console exclusive is shaping up to be one of the biggest games of the year, period.
From the creators of the colorful "Metroidvania" title Guacamelee comes Severed, a dungeon crawler all about slicing up your enemies with deadly precision. But this game isn't a gore-filled mess. Just like Guacamelee, Drinkbox Studio's brings an impressive visual style to this Vita exclusive action game, making it all the more refreshing.
Below (PC, Xbox One)
Gamers have grown attached to the punishing yet rewarding gameplay style of titles like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Below looks to carry on that tradition from a 2D overhead view. Players will explore the vast depths of a mysterious randomly generated island, along the way battling fearsome foes all while the threat of permanent death looms overhead.
This PlayStation 4 exclusive adventure looks to take plenty of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with its open-world island setting and cel-shaded art style. That's not a bad thing, but Rime has a personality all its own as players embark on a journey to escape an ancient curse, solve puzzles and explore the gorgeously rendered world around them along the way.
Did we miss any? What indie games are you most excited to play this year? Let us know in the comments below.