Here's a list of 100 indie games that I've enjoyed. This list includes freeware games, shareware games, Japanese indie import games, mods, and works in progress (WIP). It does not include browser games. I've tried to spread different genres more evenly around in the list so take the order as more of a general idea of how they rank than an absolute win/lose situation. This is not an exhaustive list and I encourage anyone with games that I forgot to post them in the forum.
#49 - #25!
#49 Jets 'n Guns Gold (Shareware)
Horizontal shmup where killing enemies earns you money to spend on weapons and upgrades for your ship. Graphics are fantastic, the music is totally sweet, the setting is brutal and hilarious, about the only place the game lacks... is gameplay. But hell, if there's ever a game where style wins over substance it's this one.
#48 Battleships Forever (WIP)
Takes the concept of modular vector-drawn bosses from Warning Forever and turns it into a real-time tactical combat game.
#47 N (Freeware)
Play a Ninja dodging nimbly through platform mazes and avoiding deadly robots in your quest for gold and escape. Kinda like a physics-based Lode Runner. It's getting ported to the DS, PSP, and XBLA.
#46 Break Quest (Shareware)
The best arkanoid clone on the net. The sheer variety of levels keeps things from getting boring, and the "increase gravity" button avoids a million end-game-near-miss headaches.
#45 Parsec 47 (Freeware)
A never-ending abstract vertical shmup by Kenta Cho. Take your pick of a charge-shot or tracking laser ship and fight waves upon endless waves of randomly generated enemies, bosses, and bullet patterns.
#44 Mutant Storm (Shareware)
Just a really well-made Robotron-alike. It has good graphics, a large assortment of enemies, and lots and lots of replay value.
#43 Hamsterball (Shareware)
A well-made Marble Madness-alike with none of its progenitor's quarter-snatching bullshit. This game is reason enough to get a trackball mouse.
#42 Shoot the Bullet No Demo (Import)
A bullet Hell game where instead of shooting back at bosses, the object is to take pictures of them with as many bullets in the shot as possible. This is NOT a game for people new to Bullet Hell.
#41 Noitu Love (Freeware)
It's like Mega Man, but with more of an emphasis on ass-kicking.
#40 Every Extend (Freeware)
"One day suddenly,you receive 12 UCHU- guided bombs. What do you do?" Puzzle shmup where you position and detonate yourself to create the lergest chain explosions you can. This was later ported to the PSP and XBox.
#39 The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil Direct Link (Import)
The first Shanghai Alice Bullet Hell Shmup released on the PC. While it's the weakest of the bunch in terms of graphics and music, it's got it where it counts: SHITLOADS OF BULLETS COMING RIGHT FOR YOU!
#38 Katakijin (WIP)
Promising WIP that takes the Ninja Gaiden Black combat system and recreates it in a 2D platformer.
#37 Sonic Ironstorm: Fatal Attack (Freeware)
Awesome and intense Bullet Hell shmup with Darius-Style branching missions and a graphic style reminiscent of Raiden. The twist is, the whole game takes only 3 minutes to play, so there's no dead time and no bosses that overstay their welcome.
#36 fRaBs Dos Game (Freeware)
Abuse was an atmospheric and frantic run and gun platformer where you moved with the keyboard and aimed your weapons with the mouse. The Free Abuse Project was a fan-made expansion that starts you out at a hub level filled with teleporters that connect to fan-made levels and chunks of the original levels. Do NOT turn on the background music.
#35 End Effector (Freeware)
Near-professional quality horizontal shmup.
#34 Determinance (Shareware)
Fantastic multiplayer sword combat game that maps sword movements to mouse movements ala. "Die by the Sword." You also fly like superman. This would have scored much higher on the list, but the servers are nearly deserted and the bots are pretty dumb.
#33 rRootage (Freeware)
Abstract Bullet Hell game by Kenta Cho. It has 4 different play styles, each with different bullet patterns, (Panic Bombing Normal mode, Bullet Scratching Psyviar mode, Color Changing Ikaruga mode, and Shield Charging Giga-Wing mode), and 10 levels of difficulty (in A, B, and C patterns plus random combintations of the 3) ranging from child's play to lunatic. If you ever wanted to get into Bullet Hell but felt you needed a game to ease yourself into it, this is it.
#32 Future Pinball (Freeware)
Beautiful engine for the creation of Pinball tables. Besides Fussbett's Caltrops Pinball table, 3 Angels, Dead Hunters, and Road Girls Revisited come highly recommended.
#31 Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden (Freeware)
Zseni said, "Bro and I played it through. The term "life-changing" was bandied about, not inappropriately."
#30 Clean Asia Scroll Down (Freeware)
Totally fucking weird and intentionally so. Telling you anything about this shmup would ruin half the experience, but I will tell you that Ship #1 is the real player's choice.
#29 Echoes (Freeware)
Geometry Wars meets Asteroids. It even has achievements (called zoots) and an unlockable minigame.
#28 Zombie Smashers X2 (Shareware)
A great remake of River City Ransom with a punk theme, gratuitous gore, and 2-player co-op. This is probably the only videogame I've ever played that takes the time to explain the difference between working class ska skinheads and nazi skinheads. If you're trying the demo, choose Hiro, he starts with the kung-fu tatoo (tatoos add new moves) and the game doesn't really open up until you have the kung fu tatoo.
#27 Seizure Dome (Freeware)
Robotron meets sumo wrestling with awesome results.
#26 Cho Ren Sha 68K (Freeware)
Ain't nothin' here but a damn well made shmup.
#25 Land of Legends (Shareware)
A really tiny but well made fantasy version of Advance Wars. This is probably the only fantasy strategy game I've played where zombies are not only useful, they're actually really fun to use.