11 great games you've probably missed in 2017 and can play for under $20/£20

As we hurtle towards the busiest period of the gaming year, when you’ve literally got Super Mario Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Wolfenstein 2 coming out on the same day, we wouldn’t blame your wallet if it was crying in a corner somewhere at the thought of all that money. But, thankfully, there’s another way to get a load of new games without totally breaking the bank. 

2017 has been ripe for utterly brilliant indie games that deliver plenty of fun for a fraction of the price of the biggest titles of this year. So with that in mind, here are 10 fantastic games that have probably slipped under your radar and can be snapped up for under $20/£20.

Cuphead

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • Xbox One: $19.99/£16.74

Don’t be fooled by Cuphead’s cutesy cartoon graphics. Underneath those adorable visuals, beats a thumb killing heart. In our review, we called Cuphead one of the best 2D shooters of all time, praising it for its splendid side-scroller action, sights, sounds and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment when you finally beat a level. This isn’t a game for impatient gamers. You’re going to need nerves of steel, great pattern recognition,  and raw twitch reflexes in order to delight yourself with Cuphead.

Night in the Woods

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • PS4: $19.99/£18.99

Another game with a adorable, hand-drawn appearance that disguises the more serious game at hand. Night in the Woods is a 2D adventure game that follows the life of a cat called May. But the fact that she’s a cat doesn’t really matter because it’s much more about her life post-college, exploring some of the darkness in her past and discovering the quirks of human relationships. The dialogue is brilliant, there are some mad mini-games, and although the platforming may occasionally be frustrating, it’s a genuinely brilliant game.

Tacoma

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • Xbox One: $19.99/£14.99

From the creators of the equally excellent Gone Home comes Tacoma. Yes, it’s another walking simulator that’s not very long, but the journey it takes you on as you get there makes this a must-play. The intertwined stories of six crew members unpack as you play, with the mechanics allowing you to pause, rewind and explore the recreations of the moments of their lives. Add the fact that this all happens on an atmospheric space station makes the entire experience even more powerful.

Nidhogg 2

  • PC: $14.99/£10.99
  • PS4: $14.99/£11.99

Nidhogg 2 is one of those games that’s much better with a pal. Like the original fencing with bonus monsters title, this isn’t really aimed at the single player audience. Instead if you’re looking for a co-op title that challenges you, Nidhogg 2 is hard to beat. Its manic 1v1 battles will keep you on your toes and if you played the first game, the new weapons and aesthetic will be quite the boon. Yes, it’s a little easier to pick up this time around, which no doubt will annoy the hardcore audience of the original, but it’s a great bout of gaming for an evening. 

Old Man’s Journey

  • PC: $7.99/£5.59
  • Android: $4.99/£4.59
  • iOS: $4.99/£4.99

Looking for something to kick you right in the feels? Old Man’s Journey is perfect. This puzzle-centric adventure game tells a story of life, loss and an oh-so faint glimmer of hope. What makes the experience hit harder though is the beauty of this journey. This is a masterpiece of environmental storytelling, whether you’re playing on PC or mobile. 

Strafe

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • PS4: $19.99/£14.99

Starting out life as a Kickstarter campaign, Strafe has slowly gained quite the following and it’s easy to see why. This is a game that’s a roguelike FPS absolutely stuffed with ‘90s references, pixelated gore and a generous helping of intense, fast-paced action. It’s definitely got a high skill ceiling that may put some people off, but there’s something bloody good that keeps you coming back to Strafe. 

Hidden Folks

  • PC: $7.99/£5.99
  • iOS: $3.99/£3.99

If you took Where’s Wally, stripped out all the colour, removed all the faces and made the graphics a little more simplistic - in the best possible way - you’re going to end up with something along the lines of Hidden Folks. For each level, you’re given a list of people and objects to find in the world. As you’d expect, the further you progress through the game, the harder the things on that list will be to find. Thankfully the game gives you clues as to their location, usually with a comedic slant to each little blurb, and it’s hard to get frustrated with a game this charming, (even if you have been looking for one pot plant for over an hour). Just don’t forget to turn the sound up so you can giggle at all the weird noises it makes. 

Little Nightmares

  • PC: $19.99/£15.99
  • PS4: $19.99/£15.99

It isn’t the only form of entertainment to feature a little one in a yellow raincoat this year. Little Nightmares got there first. This dark, almost whimsical, adventure game follows the adventures of Six, a tiny little kid facing some seriously disturbing sights. It’s the sort of game that makes you scared of things you didn’t even know you were scared of (leeches in my case), with grotesque characters, a twisted yet childlike soundscape, and the sort of monsters you never want to hear go bump in the night. It’s brilliantly nightmarish and perfect for anyone who loves games like Limbo or Inside. 

Pyre

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • PS4: $19.99/£15.99

Another brilliant game from the creators of Bastion and Transistor, Pyre transports you to a dark but magical world, where you’re putting together a kind of sports team to participate in a ritual known as The Trials. As you interact with the game’s cast of diverse party members and take on the equally interesting opponents, Pyre can regularly feel like a graphical novel, such is the stunning art style. It’s quite the emotional story too, so prepared to feel awed, a little exhausted and generally overwhelmed.

Hollow Knight

  • PC: $14.99/£10.99
  • Coming soon to Nintendo Switch

One of the most highly anticipated games for the Switch, Hollow Knight has already enjoyed incredible success on PC. This stunning hand-drawn game is a must for anyone who is a fan of Metroidvania titles or even the Dark Souls series. Not only is the gameplay challenging enough to put it in that league, but the level design is reminiscent of 2D Metroid games of old. It also manages to cram in more secrets and things to discover than other games in this genre, meaning you’re going to want to spend hour upon hour in its beautiful Burton-esque world. 

What Remains of Edith Finch

  • PC: $19.99/£14.99
  • PS4: $19.99/£15.99
  • Xbox One: $19.99/£15.99

One of the GamesRadar+'s teams GOTY contenders, What Remains of Edith Finch truly is one of the best gaming experiences we've ever had. It's an indie game that's not afraid to push boundaries, telling the story of a family from Edith's perspective and exploring the (regularly heartbreaking) tales of the individual family members piece by piece. Each one features unique art styles and game mechanics, and although it's only a few hours long, it's a game that'll stay with you for many moons to come.