Top 10 Best Game Engines for Beginners in 2021

When a person starts to hit the game development journey they have this particular question in their mind “What game engine is best for beginners?”

To solve this particular query we have collected a list of the top 10 game engines in 2021.

Below you can find a little bit of intro about game engines.

What are game engines?

What is the purpose of using a game engine?

The definition of a game engine is that it is an architecture that creators use to design a game. An average game engine gives creators the ability to add things such as physics, scripting, artificial intelligence, input, collision detection, rendering, and other programs.

Game engines are renewable elements that creators use to develop the system of the game. It provides the developers more time to concentrate on the distinct components such as models of characters, the interaction of objects, textures, etc.

The Best Game Engines for You – Top 10

In this article, we have mentioned the top 10 best game engines for a beginner that meet various criteria like budget-friendly, great tutorials, and licensing-friendly. Let’s have a look at them.

1. Unity 3D

Unity 3D Game Engine

Unity 3D is an all-inclusive platform for game development. It has received great recognition from the community of game developers with its unusual attributes, affordable rates, and sturdy abilities. With its capability to perform as a multi-platform game development mechanism, it saves the time of the developers that would have been spent in creating games for discrete platforms. Also, it lets the developers create interactive 3D content easily.

Many developers use Unity 3D for its tremendous benefits, quality content, and it can be used for almost all types of games. Its best thing is that it is the Personal Edition which is free to download.

Unity 3D’s programming language is C#, and all the creation is performed at the discretion of the developer. The other selections of languages are Boo, Javascript, and Python. However, the user has to learn the Unity scripting API, no matter whatever programming language has been selected.

Best for:

  • 3D action games

  • 2D space games

Notable titles:

  • Lara Croft Go

  • Pillars of Eternity

  • Her Story

  • Kerbal Space Program

Full 3D / 2D SupportMonthly fees of the professional edition
Easy to useThe 32-bit engine which occurs loss in memory
Efficient supportLow-quality movie textures
Excellent visual platform

2. Construct 2

  • Construct 2 is a strong engine that is created especially for 2D-based HTML5 games. It uses a WYSIWYG drag-drop interface for the development of the game. It has various plug-ins, special effects, and other tools for creating a game in a few hours.

Construct 2 provides a free trial at first but its license can also be bought; however, revenue cannot be earned from a free license. With a distinct license for $129.99, anyone can earn around $5,000 as revenue from the development even before subscribing to a professional license that costs around $429.99.

The event system of Construct 2 lets you have a deep and detailed control on all the areas of the game. Events can be put in an order with sheets, groups, loops, functions, and sub-events to make the coding area of the game more efficient.

Best for:

  • 2D games

  • Mobile devices

  • Mac- Linux- Windows

Notable titles:

  • The Next Penelope

  • Airscape: The Fall of Gravity

  • Cosmochoria

  • CoinOp Story

  • Mortar Melon

  • Super Ubie Land Remix

  • Hungry Hal


Built-in physics systemWindows editing
Community supportHTML depends on the browser’s performance
Requires little knowledge for programmingLimited free version support
One-time costRegular crashes
Easy animationsUnreliable access to resources
Free version available
Runs well on the mobile device
Rapid creation
Support of Cordova

3. Unreal Engine

Unreal engine by Epic Games is one of the most famous and commonly used game engines. Its first version was released in 1988, and after 17 years, it still is being used for some of the extensive games each year.

Every feature of the Unreal Engine’s set of tools is created to make content creation easy, qualifying artists and creators to develop everything through photorealistic sets to highly presented content, all in a special effect environment. It also gives developers a highly interchangeable, sizeable, and considerable system that involves full source access to codes.

Unreal Engine consists of numerous set of APIs and tools created for developers to use physics and power NVIDIA PhysX. The engine has integrated multiplayer linking, animation tools, Sequencer editor, special effects, foliage and terrain editors, powerful scripting, and much more.

Best for:

  • PC

  • Console

  • VR and AR platforms

  • Mobile

Notable titles:

  • Gears of Wars series

  • Mass Effect series

  • Bioshock series

  • Batman: Arkham series


    Better characteristics for various graphicsA requirement of a licensed copy
    Numerous tools and functionalityNot for creating simple games
    Efficient and fasterUnsuitable for a single person
    Best optimization
    Visual debugging
    Easily Modifies

4. Cocos Creator

Cocos creator is a multi-platform that assists the API, the authentic structure, and lets users use scripting languages like JavaScript & CoffeeScript Developers can create games for Linux, Mac, and windows in addition to mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, and Windows phone, and static for example, Windows 8, Win32, Mac OS x, and Linux.

Cocos creator on JavaScript/HTML5 sets graphics API OpenGL ES which improves the output of the application on the device.

Among its various benefits, one is that users do not have to spend money on the licensed version because it is completely free of charge. It has multi-platform functioning with the MIT license and is assisted by the community of users. This is why developers can access their games at any time.

Best for:

  • 2D adventure game

  • 2D MMO strategy

  • 2D casino

  • 2D social network game

Notable titles:

  • Badland (Cocos2d-x)

  • Castle Clash

  • Big Fish Casino

  • Dragon City Mobile


    Completely FreeLack of ability to make 3D games
    Supports Facebook Instant GamesIneffective platform support
    Supports Google Play Instant
    Cross Platform
    Supports HTML5 games

5. BuildBox

BuildBox is simple for creating games thanks to its instinctive design and attributes like drag-and-drop assets and assigning properties in the game. These features make it one of the fastest tools for games available.

In actual, the game David Reichelt’s Colour Switch that owns about 200 million downloads on mobile phones was created just in a week using BuildBox. The engine requires basic conditions to operate and can be run on Windows 7 with only 1 GB of RAM. So, you won’t need expensive software to start designing amazing games.

The engine has various licensing alternatives such as BuildBox Plus for $15 a month. The games made with the software are not entailing, so you can make as many games as you want with a single license. It even lets users export the game to various platforms; however, that depends on the license used.

Best for:

  • 3D equipment and skills

  • 2D action game

  • 2D survival horror

Notable titles:

  • Shadow maze

  • Blast breaker

  • Stairs


    Easy to learnExpensive
    Drag-drop editorSubscription model
    Various game templatesRestricted by limitations
    Support for adsBalancing problems
    Publish on all platforms

6. Stencyl

With Stencyl, you easily get the hang of the coding where you can utilize a drop-drag interface and build game logic within a few hours. In this engine, creating worlds and designing characters is simpler if users have knowledge of image editors like Photoshop. Photoshop lets users design complex worlds in an easy way.

The designers of this software have made it a public domain recently which makes it possible to fix issues and perform improvements. Stencyl continuously gets upgraded to enhance the level of compatibility.

The starter pack of Stencyl is completely free but the most expensive license is available for $199 a year. It is regarded as the best choice for cost-conscious developers.

Best for:

  • 3D Action

  • 3D wrestling

  • 3D dance

Notable titles:

  • Super Dangerous Dungeons


  • Duke Dashington

  • Impossible Pixel


Editing supportedLimited potentially
Cross PlatformComplex Actions


Gamesalad is a free and drag-drop game developing engine for the creation of iPhone, HTML5, Android, and iPad games. The engine is also functioned by a complicated structure library to authorize creative liberty for game developers.

Gamesalad’s one of the most used attributes is its tool of testing and the built-in previewer that can be used to test the game logic and sets of behaviour. Its web issuing framework lets for fast and simple multi-platform publishing to assisted targets that include iPhone, Nook, Mac desktop, iPad, Kindle, and Windows. Additionally, creators can also publish games to HTML5-powered Gamesalad Arcade.

Best for:

  • 3D Puzzle video game

  • 3D racing video game

  • 2D/3D Survival horror game

Notable titles:

  • Bumps

  • Running wild

  • Zombie drop

  • ProsCons
    Multi-platformThe poor performance of the editor
    No-code editorNo Scripting language
    Various publishing platformsExpensive
    Powerful functions and editor
    Easy publishing
    Drag-drop editor

8. GameMaker Studio 2

GameMaker Studio 2 is one of the great software for beginners with a tiered licensing scheme. It uses its own programming language that is called as Game Maker Language, and it is the same as writing Python.

The disadvantage is that the prices of tiers are not as affordable as other game engines. It offers premium features under $100 license, and you can only develop games for Windows/ Ubuntu/ Mac platforms.

It has both good and bad features, depending on the users. The good attributes are special effects studio, built-in editing of graphics, models, levels, etc. If the developer wants to make everything from the start without third-party tools, it is a perfect choice. However, for scripting support, the language is not fast like C++ but it is easy to grasp.

Best for:

  • 2D Platformer

  • 3D Shoot ‘em up

  • 2D Adventure game

Notable titles:

  • Spelunky

  • Hotline Miami

  • Super Crate Box

  • Hyper Light Drifter


    Fast prototypingBad scripting language
    Easy interfaceHTML5 is buggy
    Optimized engineExpensive
    Much more tutorialsUnstable
    CustomizableSmall development team
    Huge community

9. RPG Maker

RPG Maker is a 2D creative game engine oriented toward action games and some other genres as well. This platform has released several games over a period of 10 years and has basically used Ruby as the code source for scripting.

The recent version of RPG Maker changed the core script code to JavaScript to lower the needs to give out the RTP with finalized examples and delivered native transportation across a huge set of systems to incorporate iOS, OSX, and Android.

The game engine is created to let users design a complete game from scratch even if they don’t have any idea about programming. The RPG series let users personalize each aspect of the game with a simple interface, thereby making it ideal for beginners.

Best for:

  • 2D adventure games

  • 2D visual novel

  • 2D action adventure

Notable titles:

  • Venaitura

  • Villnoire

  • Towards the stars

  • Notes from province

  • Moondust

  • What’s left

    Intuitive WYSIWYG editorManual coding
    Active communityNo hardware accelerate
    Provides depth to developersNo 3D support
    Cheap licenseInconsistent visual assets
    Wide map layers
    HTML5 export

10. AppGameKit

App Game Kit is a multi-platform game engine that is capable of creating games for iOS, Windows, Android, Blackberry, and Mac devices with smart usage of Windows or Mac development environments. This game engine costs about $79.99 and comes with several useful tools such as a visual editor.

It is a mobile friendly, 2D/3D game engine. It is programmed basically using AGK script that is a primary dialect with a few C++ style attributes. This search engine is the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign and is a result of the game creators, who formerly created 2D game maker and dark basic.

App Game Kit is also an easy-to-learn game creator engine which is ideal for beginners. It focuses on fast coding, creating apps, and sharing them on various platforms.

Best for:

  • 2D action

  • 2D/3D adventure

Notable titles:

  • Echoes III

  • Rush to adventure

  • Eduguru English

  • Eduguru Maths

  • Spellr

Testing on various devicesNot so good Scripting language
HTML5 supportiveBad editor code completion
Multi-PlatformCan be expensive
Basic programmingNo add-on game tools
Fast compilation
Easy development
Powerful scripting language
Integrated Development Environment
High performance and excellent documentation

Getting started with game development engines is easy with any of the above-mentioned game engines as it only requires a little time and effort. With various options of game engines available in the market, you get a lot of resources that will help you to come up with the desired outcome.

While writing this article, we came across the best functions those game engines give us. However, conclusively, Unity 3D is the best platform for developing 2D/3D games and it is surely worth giving a try. Do not forget to pour in your experiences though!