As indie games have grown over the past decade, one of the best annual award ceremonies to pay attention to has been the Independent Games Festival. Set on the show floor of the massive Game Developer Conference, IGF is made up of some of the best minds in the indie game industry. Each year the panel of IGF judges compiles a list of the most exceptional indie games of the past year, divided into seven categories. These lists are essentially the must-plays for people that consider themselves to be active members of the indie scene. Later on in the year a winner is chosen for each category, though readers will find a wider range of games in the finalists list.
Last year was an amazing year for the more mainstream and bigger-budget games, and clearly the same can be said for indie games after seeing the recently released list of finalists. Some of the games even managed to snag places in multiple categories. For example, Mini Metro is nominated for Excellence in Visual Design, Excellence in Design, Excellence in Audio, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
You can view the IGF finalists list on the official Independent Games Festival website.