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Indie Games That Take A Long Time To Beat (& How Long They Take)

GameRant logo GameRant 7/2/2022 Nathan Sharp
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This decade saw a substantial rise in independent video games. That was in large part due to the rise of the internet, the accessibility of purchasing games online, and the ease of publishing through independent channels. This isn't to imply that publishing a video game is easy. Far from it! But the internet does allow for more creative freedom than trying to find a conventional publisher. Just look at something like Undertale, having been completely self-published by Toby Fox through Steam and GOG.

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And it's not like these indie games are short, mindless affairs. Far from it.

This list will cover some of the best examples of massive indies that can eat up tons of hours. Main campaigns with be the primary focus - though the hours required for absorbing the bulk of the extra content and unlockables will also be factored in.

Updated June 28th, 2022 by Russ Boswell: The world of Indie gaming continues to grow exponentially with each passing year, as more and more developers jump into the fray to try their hands at designing and releasing a game. Each new quarter brings a slew of exciting games a long with it, with many of them offering up bite-sized adventures or quick playthroughs. That said, there are some Indie games out there that are downright lengthy, with some exceeding that of AAA releases. To better showcase and celebrate some of the longest Indie games out there, the following list has been updated and now has additional entries.

Hades (22-96 Hours)

Those craving a procedurally-generated roguelike with a bit more substance should check out Hades. The Greek Mythology-inspired Indie release from Supergiant Games has tons of substance, with hidden details and hours upon hours of dialogue for players to sift through. Although the main premise of the game is the "escape from the clutches of Hades," players will have to do it numerous times if they want to truly unlock and experience all of Zagreus' tragic tale.

Hades is visually stunning, a blast to play, and features some of the most enthralling and engaging voice acting seen in an Indie game. It's truly something every Indie and roguelike fan needs to experience at least once.

Disco Elysium (22-44 Hours)

If a story-driven narrative is on the menu, Disco Elysium should be at the top of the order. Players will find themselves in the shoes of a detective with a unique set of abilities that must make his way through a city full of interesting and unique characters. Disco Elysium is more than just a "choose your own adventure," it's a Role-Playing game in its purest form. Players are forced through the narrative as a detective but are free to mold the character as they see fit.

There are multiple dialogue options, tons of skills, and a lot of depth when it comes to making decisions and solving problems. Pair this with tons of voice acting and some truly entertaining gameplay elements and it's easy to see why players take hours upon hours to finish the release.

The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth (5.5-271 Hours)

Another Roguelike, The Binding of Isaac is a seemingly simple game that features so much depth and additional content that it will take most players well over 100 hours just to see and experience it all. Thanks to consistent updates from the developer and some seriously challenging bosses, all mixed together with the "luck of finding the right items in a given run," The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth can keep players entertained for months.

The "main story" will take only a handful of hours to complete, but those that want to see every ending, collect every character, and do everything possible in the Indie release will need to spend copious amounts of time slashing through enemies, finding the right items, and unlocking some truly painful levels.

Undertale (6-20 Hours)

Well, since Undertale has already received a mention here, it makes sense to go into more detail about the game. Undertale was a runaway success when it was self-published in 2015. It made Toby Fox a gaming legend, it received unanimously positive reviews, and it quickly became one of the most discussed video games of the year (maybe even the decade).

Undertale is no slouch in the longevity department. An average playthrough will take about six hours, but completionists should expect to spend upwards of 20 odd hours on the game. It's a beast.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (8-10 Hours)

Amnesia ferried in the age of the independent horror game. It was released to critical acclaim back in 2010, and it singlehandedly changed the way that horror games were made. It was developed and published by Frictional Games, a small Swedish development team that had previously published the Penumbra series for PC. Amnesia's main story can be completed in about eight hours, although it's certainly not unheard of to spend upwards of ten hours on the game. Ten hours of pure, unfiltered horror. What's not to love?

Axiom Verge (15 Hours)

Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania title developed and self-published by Thomas Happ. Happ has worked for Petroglyph Games and has helped engineer the likes of NFL Street and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Axiom Verge is certainly something... a little different for the independent developer.

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Luckily, it was a complete success. Axiom Verge received highly positive reviews, and a sequel is currently in development. It's also quite hefty, taking upwards of fifteen hours to fully complete. That's longer than some AAA games!

Bastion (5-20 Hours)

Bastion is an action RPG released back in 2011 by Supergiant Games. Supergiant was founded by two men - Amir Rao and Gavin Simon. Both had previously worked for EA, but they decided to venture out on their own in the name of creative freedom. They worked alongside freelancers to create Bastion, a fantasy RPG that eventually sold over three million copies. Bastion is not quite as long as Axiom Verge, but it still punches above its weight class.

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The main story will take between five and six hours, but completing all the bonus and side content can take well over twenty.

Celeste (8-35 Hours)

Celeste is often considered to be one of the greatest independent games of all time. Yeah, it was only released in 2018, so it could be too early to tell. But this thing was showered with praise and accolades, and the reception was unlike seen in the indie market for a long time.

It was developed and published by Matt Makes Games and was programmed by Matt Thorson (yes, that Matt) and Noel Berry. The main story will take about eight hours to complete, but according to howlongtobeat.com, completionists should expect to spend upwards of 35 hours on the game!

Cuphead (10-20 Hours)

Cuphead was one of THE gaming events of 2017, for two big reasons - the art and the difficulty. A lot of work went into the game's visuals, as it takes on the look of old rubber hose animation of the 1930s. It is positively beautiful. And the difficulty was widely talked about and often compared to the likes of Dark Souls. Cuphead was independently developed by two brothers, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer.

The main story of Cuphead will take up to ten hours to complete (even longer for those who can't deal with its grueling difficulty). This is essentially doubled for those seeking a completionist run.

FNaF World (20-50 Hours)

FNaF World was certainly ambitious. Perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good. This is the first spin-off of the iconic Five Nights at Freddy's series. But instead of isolated and claustrophobic horror, FNaF World is an expansive RPG.

It was perhaps too much for Scott Cawthon to take on, as the game was released in a horribly ugly and unfinished state. Regardless, the game is an absolute behemoth. Howlongtobeat pegs the main story at an ambitious twenty hours, and the completionist runs at fifty! This thing is no slouch.

Hollow Knight (25-50 Hours)

And speaking of no slouch, let's talk Hollow Knight! Hollow Knight is another great indie title, released back in 2017 to unbelievable critical acclaim. The game was developed and published by Team Cherry, and Ari Gibson served as both the designer and artist of the game.

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Hollow Knight was partially funded through Kickstarter, and it remains one of the (very) few Kickstarter titles to actually deliver on its promises. Beating the main story alone can take upwards of twenty-five hours, and a completionist run clocks in around fifty. This thing is the Assassin's Creed of the indie market.

Hotline Miami (15-20 Hours)

Hotline Miami wasn't quite as big as Hollow Knight, but it still found immense success. Most of its success can be attributed to its visual style and music, as the game wonderfully inhabits the neon-soaked, synth-searing tone of the drug-fueled '80s. This isn't to imply the game is solely responsible for the '80s nostalgia of the 2010s, but it certainly played a part! While the main story only clocks in at about five hours, players can easily spend fifteen to twenty hours with the game.

Has-Been Heroes (17-60 Hours)

Games stressing grinding and roguelike brutality tend to be offputting for some, which may partly explain why Frozenbyte's action strategy romp was so overlooked.

After all, the game all-but guarantees countless deaths, as players are tasked with fighting through a slew of randomly generated paths and clashing with super-tough foes. Has-Been Heroes combines tactical micromanaging with fast-paced brawling - and there's little room for error.

The game pummels players with a variety of colorful baddies, satisfying abilities, and rewarding items. While a (rare) successful completion runs 17 hours, getting each unlockable character and discoverable item can take well over 300.

Terraria (50 Hours)

Described as a Minecraft-esque epic fused with a retro Metroidvania, Terraria provides a vast pixelated wilderness and countless hours for those who seek to get lost in its colorful world.

In another parallel to Notch's sandbox phenom, Re-Logic offers fairly loose restrictions, allowing players to experience Terraria the way they want to. The game can be enjoyed entirely with friends or as a lone wanderer; as primarily a warrior, builder, collector, or explorer.

Still, even those who stay focused on the various bosses and reaching the Underworld will find a journey of at least 48 hours awaiting them. This is roughly doubled for those looking to absorb most of the content and gather all available goodies. And this doesn't even factor in the more grueling Hardmode.

Stardew Valley (50 Hours)

Often described as a more epic, social gaming twist on the Harvest Moon formula, this delightful RPG sim can easily consume dozens of hours. Designer Eric Barone, aka ConcernedApe, tasks players with everything from planting, fishing, and farm management to monster-slaying and mining. Stardew Valley really blossoms when it comes to its social element, which adds even more depth and enjoyment to this diverse simulation.

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Finishing the main story can easily be a 50-hour endeavor, which is nearly tripled for dedicated farmers seeking a completionist run.

The Long Dark (20-50 Hours)

Finishing this list is The Long Dark, a really...long game. More like The Long Game, right? The game is largely the brainchild of Raphael van Lierop, an ex-employee of Relic Entertainment who left to start his own company and create his own games.

The result is The Long Dark, a game about being stranded in the Canadian wilderness. As mentioned, The Long Dark is a REALLY long game, and to see and do everything within it - expect to play for 147 hours! Heck, the story alone will take about twenty.

Minecraft (75 Hours)

Given its massive success since its 2011 launch, many tend to forget that this epic sandbox romp remains a Java-based indie from humble beginnings. Even before additions such as the ominous Nether and the Ender Dragon, this open-world journey could basically go on indefinitely. And with some hugely rewarding, deceptively deep gameplay, it's easy to get lost in these blocky, randomly-generated worlds for months on end.

The various tweaks and add-ons over the years gave Minecraft a slightly more focused, streamlined experience for those who sought it. And yet, following this more linear path and reaching the relative "end game" could still take a whopping 75 hours, as players will need to spend ample time finding and assembling materials to make them sufficiently strong.

Starbound (24-151 Hours)

Take the already huge locales of Terraria and expand them to various unique planets, while adding a sci-fi twist, and the result might be Starbound.

This interplanetary odyssey from Chucklefish brings an epic, Star Trek vibe coupled with open-world gameplay and arcade-style combat. The hodgepodge of monster-riddled biomes are tied together by a traversable space shuttle, which acts as the player's main hub.

The bulk of this adventure can take close to 24 hours, though completionists will find this number skyrocket to a whopping 151 hours.

NEXT: 15 Open-World Games That Take The Longest To Beat

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