Itch.io is the flourishing plane of games that always has unique experiences on the cards for you to delve into. Due to the vast number of games on the platform, it can be a bit difficult at times to dig through all of the games and work out what ones you genuinely want to spend time playing through. Thankfully, this article will have you covered as we round up our top picks for the best games on Itch.io. These are going to be ranked from ten to one with the final choice being considered the best in terms of this list. However, that does not mean other games are not worth your time, these games all excel in offering a brilliant time to players.
10. We Become What We Behold
When having a browse through the storefront of Itch.io we stumbled across this gem that had wonderful ratings attached. Starting up the game is when players are met with a content warning about what will be within the game. After passing the main menu, you will be taken to a view of a TV on a stand. You can left-click with your mouse or touchpad to take a snapshot when you will observe a banner appear along the bottom which is a news headline.
That’s where the genius of We Become What We Behold shows itself. Created by Nicky Case, this game has an art style reminiscent of some of the old-school flash games that were on the go in the early 2000s. It is endearing to see this style once again and within the game, you will be taking snapshots of anything that looks to be interesting with red news headlines indicating when you have done just that moving you onto the next part of the game for you to snapshot.
We Become What We Behold looks at the influence of media through the lens of gameplay and it is an excellent experience to go through. The game descends into (deliberate) chaos quite quickly, but it is a game to be remembered for a long time including the important message to be taken away from it.
9. Exhibit of Sorrows
Once again at first glance, the art style and setting of this game are what capture the attention and make us go forwards into a playthrough. Exhibit of Sorrows is classed in the ‘Simulation’ genre with one of the tags being ‘Psychological Horror’ so from the get-go you can get an understanding of what may await you within this specific game. You will be switching between rooms and solving puzzles as you go along.
The 2D style with the clown/carnival-themed atmosphere is an excellent mix and draws you into the experience with every click you make on an item. Everything is normal at first but as you progress there will be a sudden twist that grasps your heart in the roots of fear as you maneuver around the specific areas with a flashlight when moving your mouse/trackpad. It is a great little experience to try out and we highly recommend it for a playthrough.
8. Tanuki Sunset Classic
Some of the games on this list eventually had Steam releases and rightly so, this is one of these games. However, you can go back to the game’s roots on Itch.io and play through the game in what is akin to a demo/Alpha version. It still is one of the most highly rated games on Itch.io to this day. Tanuki Sunset Classic is all about skateboarding as a raccoon, a premise that in itself will be enough to cause many of us to immediately go and check it out on the storefront.
From the gorgeous synth-wave soundtrack to the almost Horizon Chase Turbo graphics, it is an amazing combination of great elements all merged into one. The gameplay itself is furthermore extremely enjoyable, there truly is something exhilarating about drifting around a road with a raccoon and this game will allow you to do just that.
Back in the day, Scary Maze Game had quickly risen to internet fame due to its known jumpscare that had people on the edge of their seats — and falling off their seats — when the scare had occurred. When first stumbling upon this specific game named Dreader, I was immediately reminded of the classic game. This puts a twist on it all though however as your mouse position and cursor will be the ones controlling where you are within the maze.
You can’t touch the sides too often and have to be extremely careful navigating through the maze with your mouse. The atmosphere gets tense as the camera slowly zooms out and reveals more of your surroundings including the swaying dead trees outside almost seeming to invite you to dance in the rain with them. Another nice little feature is that you will be able to view the actual in-game mouse moving in a very similar fashion to how you will be controlling the mouse in real life. Moreover, the game also has a layer of difficulty to it, as the game goes on, the mazes get a lot tougher to complete and it is a joy to work through. If you’re looking for a game with a tense atmosphere to play on a rainy night, this is the game for you.
6. Platformer Toolkit
A lot of aspiring games industry joiners will likely be familiar with Game Makers Toolkit, known more commonly as GMTK. They make a wide variety of videos based on game design and even create game jams where thousands of people enter with their own games to upload on Itch.io. The creator of the channel made the Platformer Toolkit game on Itch.io to showcase different aspects of a platformer character and highlight game feel variables that truly make a difference.
Anyone who wants to play through a game where you can tweak and change parts of the game itself will be pleased when they find this game. It is a brilliant gem of an experience that is worth the half an hour or so that it takes to complete the experience.
This game was mentioned in another Itch.io article we have on the site and it has made its way into this specific list due to just how incredible the mechanics, concept, and overall atmosphere are. LIDAR.EXE intertwines exquisite level design with a mechanic that truly is genius. You will be scanning and revealing the environment around you as you go onwards. There will be puzzles that you also have to work out with the scanner such as finding door codes.
This game has a lot of potential and it has been one of the most memorable experiences that we have played through on the platform. This is something that has to be played through or watched in order to understand the extent of its brilliant design.
4. The Mortuary Assistant
Another top pick for the best Itch.io games on the platform as of the moment is The Mortuary Assistant. Mentioned in our top horror games article for Itch.io, this game solidifies its place as one of the best games you can experience on the platform. Although it now has a Steam version, that doesn’t make the Itch.io version any less exhilarating.
Playing as a Mortuary Assistant, you will be completing the regular tasks in a way that a game hasn’t captured the true essence of before quite like this specific title. There are many moments of horror atmosphere that tie into the role you play and if you are looking for a game that you can find yourself wanting to constantly replay to get the shock factor again, this is a title that will be sure to do that.
3. Project Kat
Rpg Horror Games on Itch.io are quite common but Project Kat is one of the most interesting to venture through. It is a game that has you constantly wanting to replay it due to how successfully the creators captured the atmosphere they were aiming to achieve. The characters are greatly fleshed out and the handcrafted aesthetic shines through to a beautiful degree while experiencing the game.
The full game is actually a prologue to another game in development by the creator’s named Paper Lily and it has sparked a fury of excitement because of how excellent Project Kat is to go through. There are moments when you will be exploring the meticulously crafted world, times for reading through wonderful narratives, and even moments of interesting puzzle solving for you to work out in-game.
We highly recommend checking out this title on Itch.io and experiencing a brilliant prologue. Whether you are taken in by the characters you’ll be learning about, or simply have been awe-struck by the style flowing throughout the veins of the game. Project Kat will be staying in your mind for a while.
2. If On a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers
Everyone tends to enjoy a great point-and-click adventure and If On a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers is a perfect example of what merging point-and-click gameplay with brilliant narrative can result in. There is a masked ball happening on a train in the 1920s and you will be tasked with finding out four particular characters and their story.
You will find yourself enjoying every bit of information you get and happily viewing the art style of the experience. The train cinematic at the start is also a wonderful addition, moreover, the atmosphere created throughout is beautiful and brings the full game together into one highly worthwhile to play adventure. This is a brilliant game to sink your teeth into when going through the many uploads on Itch.io.
The reflection staring back at you when you look into the mirror in the morning can be a painting of symphonic varying emotions. The mind and how it works is still one of the most unknown elements of human life itself. We all have emotions, feelings, and ways that we control our own thoughts. Every mind is beautiful — but at times, personal thoughts about the mind may alter at any given moment and thoughts can bring us down into a dark ravaging pit. We work through it and we get stronger, but there are times when our thoughts race more than usual.
Reflection is an experience that focuses on a Masters student who is studying the occult and also folklore and takes its grasp as our top pick for games on the platform as of the moment. There is a certain vibe about Reflection that had me hooked to it in every sense of the word. A visual novel that wraps its arms around you while bringing you into the mind of our protagonist, Ivy. The writing is stellar; every thought is gorgeously expressed and in a similar way to even The Last of Us Part II, the themes and moments dealt with in this title are blood stunningly powerful.
Even the system design of the game, with easy-to-access save areas and ways to load your game are brilliant for an experience that has been uploaded to the platform. Including a ‘History’ option that lets you read all of the past dialogue at your own pace as you can scroll through it. These seconds while writing this, the flood of memories of the enrapturing narrative return and fully cement the game in the number one spot. The art style, design, gameplay, and essence are something to cherish for a long time.
It truly is a game that left me feeling a lot of emotions at the end of it and it is intricately and exquisitely crafted at every second. However, before playing through this experience if you plan to, please ensure you are 18 or over (as it is intended for those audiences) and read through the trigger warnings in the description before you do so and you can work out if it’s a game you still want to go through.
All of the games mentioned within this article can be downloaded and played on Itch.io at this very moment.