Video games are hard to make. Every year, there are dozens upon dozens of games put out that required the combined efforts of hundreds of people and millions of dollars to see through to completion and making all those moving parts work together is a herculean feat that demands respect. It’s a much different story in the indie space, where the rise of crowdfunding resources and proliferation of readily available development software has also made it easier than ever for a small team of talented developers to get together and make the game of their dreams (though it’s still a very difficult task!).
Like any creative medium, working on a game is a labor of love and even though it typically takes at least a few people to actually see a game through to completion, there have been some notable cases where only a single person has worked on a title from beginning to end. While not cinematic experiences in the vein of Uncharted or Call of Duty, it’s still beyond impressive that the following games were the brainchild of only one individual and not a whole team of people.
10. Cave Story
Originally released in 2004, Cave Story predates the indie boom by a few years but it’s a game that’s proven to have serious legs, having just been ported over to the Nintendo Switch earlier this year. Metroidvania games are a dime a dozen these days, but Cave Story predates many of them and the fact that it’s still arguably one of the best is quite impressive given its age … and the fact that it was created by just one person.
Daisuke Amaya spent five years working on Cave Story as a hobby and since there weren’t as many avenues for indie developers to release their games in 2004 as there are now, he initially self-published it on PC. The game went on to amass a considerable cult following, which led to Indie developer Nicalis stepping in and working with Amaya to port Cave Story to the Nintendo Wii and DS in 2010, where it gained even more popularity. Nowadays, Cave Story is considered a bona fide classic and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the very retro classics that inspired one dedicated gamer to make it in the first place!