The 11 best programs to create video games
In this article, we show you 11 of the best programs that exist to create games in an easy and practical way. We include free and paid programs, as well as engines compatible with PC, Android, and iOS, and some even allow you to create games for web pages. There are programs with more features than others, but they all deserve a chance. Discover them!
RPG Maker is one of the best-known classic programs when it comes to creating games. As its name suggests, it focuses on creating 2D RPGs and has countless tools and resources for that genre. It is a specialized program in this area, although, with a bit of creativity, it allows you to create games of other styles.
RPG Maker has a very intuitive interface and does not require programming knowledge. Of course, it allows the most advanced users to program all kinds of codes. As a game creation program, it is suitable for PC, web browsers, and Android.
- Very intuitive interface.
- Simplified codes, allowing, in turn, more advanced programming.
- Huge and active community.
- It has trial versions and extensive content with additional resources.
- Somewhat limited compatibility for games.
- It is not very suitable for beginners in creating games.
- Limitations in game genres.
- Expensive program unless you know how to create your own resources.
Godot is one of the most powerful free tools that exist today for those who want to create video games. It has everything you need to make a video game in 2D and 3D, with a good renderer for the second case. A useful feature that is integrated into the program is being able to animate absolutely everything. It is appreciated!
Apart from having a visual and intuitive interface, Godot lets you create your own tools to optimize your work. If you know programming languages, it has support for some like C# or C++, but it also integrates Visual Scripting. This allows you to program without having much programming knowledge.
- Powerful editor with a visual and intuitive interface.
- Constantly updated.
- Excellent community.
- It allows exporting games to PC, mobile, and web (HTML5) versions.
- Poor physics when creating 2D games.
- Somewhat confusing program terminology.
Construct 3 is another program focused on 2D games and does not require any programming knowledge. It's great for beginners as you can easily drag and drop icons to create commands. It is one of the easiest software to master and perfect for creating arcade, platform, puzzle, or racing games.
One of the best aspects of Construct 3 is the forums where you have access to a lot of content shared by the community. Examples of this are the tools and sprites that you can implement in your games. The program works directly in the browser but, unfortunately, it is paid.
- Extremely easy to use.
- Contains a trial period.
- Active community that shares resources.
- Constant updates.
- Subscription payment.
- Limited compatibility: works only on PC.
Scratch is a video game creation platform that teaches programming to children. The basic concepts of programming languages are present but in a well-explanatory and easy-to-understand way. Simply drag and drop icons to assign commands, which are also easy to edit.
Scratch is perfect for creating educational games, as well as animations and stories that contain dialogue, decision making, explanatory images, and sounds, etc. The program also has a large and active community where you can share and compare your games with other people.
- Children's interface focused on the younger audience.
- Very educational.
- Limited in mechanics and variety of games.
Stencyl is a happy medium between Scratch and Construct 3. The program also has an educational aspect focused on teaching programming basics but allows for a much greater variety of games and tools than Scratch.
Stencyl is perfect for Flash games. In fact, quite a few of the games created on Stencyl can be found on sites like ArmorGames, Kongregate, and Newgrounds. It is a very good program for creating platform games, tower defense, arcade, and 2D RPGs.
- Good compatibility with Flash, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and HTML5.
- Teaches basic programming concepts.
- It is possible to get sponsors for the games.
- Free version for personal use and that allows you to create Flash games.
- You need to pay an annual subscription to take advantage of all the features and remove the watermark.
- He doesn't have as many tools.
- Although compatible, it is not ideal for creating mobile games.
Clickteam Fusion 2.5
Clickteam Fusion is one of the oldest software when it comes to creating games. The program was launched in 1994 and has given rise to games like The Escapists or Five Nights at Freddy's. It allows you to create 2D and 3D video games without programming. Despite being handled in a simple way, it is necessary to dedicate time to the program to master it.
For creating arcade and platform games, Clickteam Fusion is ideal. As for 3D games, the engine is more limited but satisfactory if you are not looking to create video games with incredible graphics.
- The free version, in addition to the paid ones.
- Large, active, and passionate community.
- The games are compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, HTML5, and Flash.
- Few updates.
- Outdated interface.
- The program is only compatible with Windows and Mac versions from 10.9 to 10.14.
GameMaker Studio 2
GameMaker Studio 2 is responsible for the creation of games like Undertale or Hotline Miami. The engine is not simple compared to other programs on the list, but it is very complete and allows the creation of 2D and 3D games.
Its main feature is to allow the creation of elements in the program itself without the need to import them. In this way, it is possible to visualize the results quickly. In addition, GameMaker Studio 2 offers everything you need to develop an indie game, with the freedom to make video games of different genres.
- Advanced tools.
- Very good tutorials are integrated into the program.
- Relatively simple to learn.
- Suitable for creating games for many platforms: Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, tvOS, fireTV, Android TV, Microsoft UWP, HTML5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
- of payment. Depending on the licenses you need, it can be very expensive.
- Requires some basic programming knowledge.
- Use your own language.
Roblox Studio, as you might already imagine, is the program used to create games in Roblox. It offers all the necessary tools to create 3D games with amazing speed and simplicity. It has different functionalities and models ready to drag and drop at your will.
Games created in Roblox Studio follow the same classic Roblox mechanics. Even so, you have complete control in the creation of the scenario and game rules.
- Create games easily and fully in 3D.
- Lots of content and a powerful community, always active.
- Very low compatibility, as the games only work on Roblox.
- The program only runs on Windows and Mac.
GDevelop is one of the game creation programs that have the greatest compatibility for different platforms. We want to highlight its powerful event system, which allows you to determine many aspects of the game very simply and without having to fight with codes.
It's totally free and, although it has less documentation and activity than other programs, GDevelop is a good software if you want to create a simple 2D game.
- It is open-source, which allows high customization.
- Powerful event system.
- Games compatible with multiple PC, mobile, and web platforms.
- Not very active community and insufficient documentation.
Advanced: Unreal Engine and Unity 3D
Both Unreal Engine and Unity 3D are very popular programs in terms of video game creation. You can create any high-quality game in 2D and 3D, with all the playable mechanics you can imagine. However, these two programs are only for advanced users with knowledge of programming and 3D modeling.
Both programs are free to use but require payment plans or rights depending on what you earn from selling games. They have a powerful community and endless resources, as well as tutorials that will help you understand all the features of the program step by step.