BEST GAME ENGINES FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT IN 2021

You need a game engine to create a game, period. It doesn’t really matter if you’ll choose one of the existing solutions or prepare your own but picking the right option can make or break the experience and even kill the entire project.

A game engine should give you the ability to perform various development tasks with reduced effort and allow you to easily forge your ideas into masterpieces.

In this post, we’ll show you three best game engines for game development, according to our poll conducted recently on Twitter. We asked the community: “Which game engine do you use for game development? And why this one?”. Here are the results:

A little later we prepared one more round, more precise, to check if Godot really got so popular and it seems that it beat Unreal?!: 

To cross check pool results we also checked out some stats on itch.io and it tells a similar story, especially if you look at the number of games added each week:

Best game engines for games development - game engines comparison on itch.io.

TOP3 GAME ENGINES FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT IN 2021

UNITY

“The leading platform for creating interactive, real-time content. Build 2D, 3D and VR games and apps at speed. From artist tools to LiveOps – everything you need to bring your vision to life today.” – Unity

Unity was originally launched in 2005 as a Mac OS X exclusive game engine. Since then the engine has been gradually extended to support a variety of desktop, mobile, console and virtual reality platforms:

Platforms supported by Unity

Game examples #madewithunity: Monument Valley, Pokemon Go, Cuphead, Call of Duty: Mobile, Mario Kart Tour, Her Story, Pillars of Eternity, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, Genshin Impact 

Language used: C#

Community: https://forum.unity.com/ 

Asset Store: https://assetstore.unity.com/ 

Learn: https://learn.unity.com/ 

Documentation: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/index.html 

Price: Free for personal use; condition: earnings less than $100K in the last 12 months. Paid plans start at $399 per year. 


GODOT

“Godot provides a huge set of common tools, so you can just focus on making your game without reinventing the wheel. Godot is completely free and open-source under the very permissive MIT license. No strings attached, no royalties, nothing. Your game is yours, down to the last line of engine code.” – Godot

Godot has been around since 2014. It’s free to use and it’s open-source through the MIT license. It’s designed to create both 2D and 3D games targeting PC, mobile, web and virtual/extended reality platforms. One of the downsides is that there aren’t as many resources as for other engines.

Godot Engine - website main page

Game examples #madewithgodot: TailQuest, Resolutiion, Precipice, City Game Studio: a tycoon about game dev, Kingdoms of the Dump, Fist of the Forgotten

Language used: GDScript, Visual Scripting, C#, and C++

Community: https://godotengine.org/community 

AssetsLibrary: https://godotengine.org/asset-library/asset 

Learn: https://docs.godotengine.org/en/stable/ 

Documentation: https://docs.godotengine.org/en/stable/index.html 

Price: Free 


UNREAL ENGINE

“The world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool. With Unreal Engine, you can bring amazing real-time experiences to life using the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool. From first projects to the most demanding challenges, our free and accessible resources and inspirational community empower everyone to realize their ambitions.” – Unreal 

Unreal is a game engine developed by Epic Games, first showcased in the 1998 game Unreal. Initially it was developed for PC first-person shooters, but now it supports a wide range of desktop, mobile, console and virtual reality platforms:

Supported platforms by Unreal

It’s a game multi-platform engine designed for businesses of all sizes that helps use real-time technology to transform ideas into engaging visual content. In addition to 3D games, Unreal Engine can create 2D games but isn’t necessarily best suited for that task.

It’s said that Unreal Engine is better for larger projects and it’s not the best option for simple or solo projects. What is also worth to mention, the engine is heavy on the graphics end and it requires more powerful computers but it offers great visuals in the final product. 

Game examples #madewithunreal: Fortnite, Yoshi’s Crafted World, Life Is Strange, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mass Effect series, Gears of War series, Batman: Arkham series, Dragon Quest XI

Language used: C++

Community: https://forums.unrealengine.com/ 

Marketplace: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/en-US/store 

Learn: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/learn 

Documentation: https://docs.unrealengine.com/4.26/en-US/ 

Price: Free to use with 5% royalty when published product exceeds $1,000,000 lifetime gross revenue. Paid, custom options are also available.  


Other game engines used by Twitter users:


There is also one more possibility: create your own engine. Apparently, there are lots of large companies and even indie teams that choose this path. Creating game engines is definitely not an easy task but sometimes necessary. Especially if the game is different enough that no existing engines will fit the task well.

Whatever engine you’ll choose, we can’t wait to see the games you create with it. 🙂 


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