Best Game Engines for Game Development in 2024


Games have become increasingly sophisticated and complex over the years. Game developers need more than just a great idea to create an engaging and successful title – they also need powerful tools at their disposal. The advancing game engines are the foundation of these new-age video games. Today we have 2D as well as 3D game engines that let developers render highly realistic game graphics and physics.

Game engines are essential tools, allowing game development companies to quickly build the gamescape and populate them with objects, characters, environments, levels, and gameplay mechanics. In this blog post, we will explore the best game engine for beginners in 2024.

Let’s get started.

What is a Game Engine?

A game engine is a software framework to create and develop video games. Game engines typically have several components that handle different aspects of the development process, such as graphics, audio, materials, networking, and physics. Game engines are essentially tools that help to reduce cost, complexity, and time-to-market video game development.

The best game engine for beginners gives developers access to the same tools used by professional game developers and makes creating complex titles much faster and easier than without them. There are pre-built functionality that let developers focus on writing the gameplay code. The key advantage is solo developers need not start the game development from scratch when using the top game engines. For those looking for top game engines, there are plenty of great options available.

Emerging Technologies in game development

Emerging technologies and trends in game development can indeed have a significant impact on the choice of a game engine. Here are some key considerations for how these trends may influence the selection of a game engine:

Ray Tracing:

  • Ray tracing is a rendering technique that can greatly enhance the visual realism of games by simulating how light interacts with objects in the virtual world.
  • Game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity are actively incorporating ray-tracing capabilities into their toolsets.
  • When choosing a game engine, developers interested in leveraging ray tracing should prioritize engines that offer robust support for this technology.

Machine Learning:

  • Machine learning is being used in various aspects of game development, including AI behavior, procedural content generation, and player analytics.
  • Game engines that provide integration with machine learning libraries and tools can offer an advantage for developers looking to implement AI-driven gameplay or personalized experiences.
  • Developers interested in utilizing machine learning should consider game engines that facilitate such integrations.

New Hardware Platforms:

  • As new gaming hardware platforms and consoles are introduced, game engines need to adapt to support these platforms.
  • Developers should choose a game engine that has announced or demonstrated compatibility with the hardware platforms they intend to target, whether it’s the latest gaming consoles, VR/AR devices, or cloud gaming platforms.
  • Cross-platform capabilities become increasingly important in a rapidly evolving hardware landscape.

Real-time Collaboration and Remote Work:

  • In a world where remote game development is more common, game engines with strong collaboration and remote work features are crucial.
  • Features like real-time collaboration, cloud-based asset management, and remote debugging can streamline development for distributed teams.
  • Developers considering remote work setups should evaluate game engines that prioritize these collaboration aspects.

Accessibility and Inclusivity:

  • The gaming industry is paying more attention to accessibility and inclusivity in game design.
  • Game engines that provide tools and features for designing games that are accessible to players with disabilities can be beneficial.
  • Developers interested in creating inclusive gaming experiences should assess the accessibility features of the game engine they choose.

Environmental Sustainability:

  • Sustainability in game development, including energy-efficient rendering and reducing the carbon footprint of games, is gaining importance.
  • Game engines that offer tools to optimize for energy efficiency and environmental impact can align with this trend.
  • Developers focused on sustainability can look for game engines that support such initiatives.

Overall, the choice of a game engine should not only consider current capabilities but also its adaptability to emerging technologies and trends. Developers should assess how well a game engine aligns with their long-term goals and the evolving landscape of game development.

Importance of Top Game Engines

Game engines are used by both programmers and developers to produce high-quality games in a shorter period. The best game engines for beginners will depend on the type of game they intend to develop, as some engines are better suited for certain genres than others.

When choosing the top game engines, you should consider factors such as graphics quality, scalability, budget, and complexity. In 2024, many top game engines will be available that provide excellent performance and flexibility for a game development company.
Several factors make game engines a crucial part of the development process:

Pre-built features

Top game engines include numerous pre-built features that reduce the overall time and effort required in building the basic game foundation. These features include tools for graphics rendering, calculating physics, animation and sound tools, code compilation, and so on. These pre-built features minimize manual labor extensively. However, it depends largely on the game engine chosen by the developer. The pre-built features vary slightly from one game engine to another.

Enable quicker rendering

Earlier, much of the game coding and rendering had to be done manually. It took a lot of time and effort to create the tiniest assets, environment, and props of the game before. With the help of pre-built features, and quicker integration with other tools, game developers can reduce the tedium of game development significantly. Lighting calculation, animation, and repetitive codes are a few things that top game engines can create faster.

Community support

A major advantage of game engines is the community of game developers and their contribution to tutorials, and materials relevant to game development. Good game engines like Unity, Unreal, Godot, and more have extensive tutorials, discussions, and forums to help new game developers learn about the tools on these engines. Community support is a great help for developers in case they get stuck anywhere in the development process.

Cross-platform development

The game engines have a mechanism for game code that is not restricted to a single platform. This means the code is not constrained and the engine does not assume the computer architecture. The developer can specify the platform they are using. Whether you want to publish the game for PC, mobile, or console, the code can be tweaked slightly as per platform requirements without much effort.



Start Your Gaming Journey Today!

The Best Game Engine for Beginners in 2024

The following are some of the popular game engines used by beginners as well as expert game developers to create different types of games:

1. Unity:

Developed by Unity Technologies, Unity is one of the world’s most popular game engines and has been used to create some of the biggest titles in gaming. The game engine gets periodically updated with major features. It is suitable for 2D as well as 3D game development. Not only that, the Unity engine is also suitable for creating virtual reality games and AR development.

This is made possible by convenient SDKs developed by various companies for the engine. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools, making it ideal for both beginners and veterans. It also supports multiple platforms, such as Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Some of the features that make Unity a popular choice for a wide variety of game development:

  • An active asset store that has free as well as paid assets for the development process.
  • It is free for developers earning less than $100K/year.
  • A wide variety of tools are particularly popular among indie game developers.

Advantages associated with the Unity game engine:

  • Free for beginners in the game industry
  • Particularly suitable for developing 2D and 3D games
  • Superior mobile game development support
  • Availability of VR and AR SDK
  • Numerous free assets available in the asset store

Disadvantages of Unity game engine:

  • Licensing is costly for professionals
  • Superior hardware specification is required for smooth running
  • Frequent UI changes make it difficult to find old tools

Some of the top games developed using the Unity game engine include Genshin Impact, Hollow Knight, and Osiris: New Dawn.

2. Unreal Engine:

Another popular game engine is Unreal. This powerful engine offers stunning graphics and various features such as dynamic lighting, physics-based particle effects, real-time global illumination, and advanced post-processing effects. Unreal game development is also cross-platform compatible and supports Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and multiple consoles.

It is the name behind many notable AAA games as well as others. The engine is specifically created to handle complex tasks more efficiently. It is an open-source engine with a huge community constantly improving it. The visual blueprinting system simplifies the development process enough for non-programmers too. The game engine is powerful enough to create any type of game including VR games.

Some of the major features of the Unreal engine include:

It has a “marketplace” similar to the asset store by Unity engine where you can find free and paid pre-designed assets.
Unreal engine is more suited for larger projects and has ample tools and integration that are suitable for developers working as a team.
Extensive community support and open-source platform which is periodically improved by the expert users as well.

Advantages associated with the Unreal engine:

  • Particularly suitable for creating high-end and hyperrealistic graphics.
  • Streamlined performance compared to other game engines.
  • A top choice among game developers for creating VR games.
  • Easy enough to use for non-programmers with the help of visual blueprinting.
  • Noteworthy marketplace that has free assets too.

Disadvantages associated with the game engine:

  • Difficult to manage for solo developers.
  • Requires extremely powerful hardware.
  • More suitable for 3D games than 2D development.

Noteworthy examples of video games developed using the Unreal game engine include Gears 5, Soulcalibur IV, and Dragon Quest XI.

3. GameMaker:

Game Maker from YoYo Games is a great game engine for beginners. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface with built-in physics, animation tools, and scripting language support. GameMaker also has various tutorials to help you get started quickly. This is one of the popular game engines that was introduced in 1999 under many different names. The game engine has evolved over the years and the latest version is GameMaker Studio created in 2017. The game engine can build various games built for different platforms, including Nintendo Switch.

The game engine is particularly suitable for beginners as you do not need coding experience, courtesy of the drag-and-drop visual scripting language unique to the platform. Hence, irrespective of the skill level, developers can create the games easily using this game engine. However, the GameMaker engine is proprietary and hence not a fitting choice if you are looking for a budget option. Like Phaser, the engine is more suitable for 2D game development.

Advantages of GameMaker engine:

  • Multiplatform support
  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop development process
  • Beginner-friendly- coding knowledge or experience is not essential

Disadvantages of the GameMaker engine:

  • Expensive to obtain
  • Very limited 3D game development features

Some of the top examples of games designed using GameMaker include UNDERTALE, Forager, and Hyper Light Drifter.

4. CryEngine:

CryEngine is from Crytek. This advanced yet easy-to-use engine features powerful graphical capabilities such as real-time lighting and shading, particle effects, and global illumination. It also comes with extensive documentation and sample projects to help you get up to speed quickly.

The game engine is particularly suitable to create extensive maps and environments in the game. It is a multiplatform game engine that is frequently updated, making it one of the best game engines available today.

Features of CryEngine game engine:

  • CryEngine comes with a Flow Graph tool that is used to manage different events and game logic in the game levels.
  • Create prototype functions and layer-specific logic without complex code using the tools of CryEngine.
  • The sandbox game editor of CryEngine lets you do edits in real time and you need not load the game repeatedly.
  • The game engine is free but has a 5% royalty payment model when the game becomes profitable, making it suitable for indie developers and small-scale developers.

Advantages of CryEngine game engine:

  • CryEngine helps to create high-fidelity stunning graphics.
  • It has a set of comprehensive toolsets that help to create environments, characters, and animations easily.
  • The game engine works well for creating cross-platform games as well.
  • There is an active community of game developers who can share resources and knowledge that are helpful to newcomers.

Disadvantages of CryEngine game engine:

  • The steep learning curve of the game engine.
  • Comparatively limited official documents, making it difficult to navigate the tools.
  • For commercial purposes, a licensing agreement must be done with Crytek which is expensive.
  • Some of the best-known games using CryEngine include Crysis, Ryse: Son of Rome, Far Cry, and more.

5. Phaser:

Phaser is an open-source HTML5 game engine that is extremely popular among indie developers. The latest version is Phaser 3 which was introduced in 2018. It works on all modern browsers, making it a great choice for developing cross-platform games.

Phaser offers a wide range of features, such as advanced physics systems, animation support, and simplified asset loading. The game engine is particularly popular for mobile and browser-based game development.

There is an active community that provides extensive tutorials and help with plugins available to extend the capabilities of this robust framework. For those new to game development, Phaser is the best game engine for beginners to learn quickly due to its friendly learning curve. Phaser is one of the top game engines for creating amazing 2D browser-based games without spending too much money. However, its features are limited to 3D game development.

Advantages of Phaser game engine:

  • It is best suited for browser and mobile games.
  • Very stable and user-friendly game engine.
  • Easy to expand with web technologies.

Disadvantages of the Phaser game engine:

  • More suitable for 2D games
  • Comparatively more limitations than other engines

Pickem’s Tiny Adventure, Magikmon, and Gems ‘n Ropes are some of the top games developed using the Phaser game engine.

6. Godot:

Godot is a free and open-source game engine designed specifically for developers new to game development. Though it has been around since 2014, it is only recently that the game engine gained immense popularity.

It’s excellent for beginners as it comes with an easy-to-use editor, powerful scripting capabilities, and a helpful community of users. Godot supports multiple platforms for deployment, including Windows, Linux, macOS, HTML5, Android, iOS, and more.

The game engine supports 2D and 3D game design. Its unique approach to nodes and scene architecture to represent specific game functions, set apart Godot game engine from others. Game developers can use this feature to reach a wider audience across different operating systems without additional coding. Additionally, Godot has an extensive library of tools that help make the game development process easier and faster.

However, resources to learn the functioning of the game engine are limited as the game engine is not as well known yet.

Advantages associated with the Godot game engine:

  • Godot works for 2D as well as 3D game development.
  • Free and open-source game engine, even for commercial projects.
  • Unique architecture that simplifies the development process.

Disadvantages associated with Godot game engine:

  • Works on GDScript which may take time to master.
  • Limited resources compared to other game engines.

Notable video games developed with the Godot engine are Gun-Toting Cats and ProtoCorgi.

The Bottom Line

There are several great game engines for beginners to choose from in 2024. Each engine has different features like Unity 3D game development services that can help make the game development process easier or faster.

All these engines provide a supportive community which can be incredibly helpful for developers who are just starting. Game developers should take their time to research each engine before making a decision about which one is best for them and their project.

With careful consideration, any beginner developer can find the perfect game engine for their next project in 2024.

About Juego Studios

Juego Studios is a leading provider of Unity 3D as well as Unreal game development services. As one of the best game engines for beginners, Unity 3D makes it easy for developers to create rich and immersive gaming experiences. Apart from both these game engines, the studio also provides services for PixiJS, COCOS2D-X, Phaser, and more.

At Juego Studios, they specialize in helping you bring your vision to life. Besides, they provide all the resources needed to develop top-tier Unity3D games from concept to launch.

Unity, Unreal Engine, GameMaker, CryEngine, Phaser, and Godot are among the popular game engines.

Unity stands out with its versatility, support for 2D and 3D development, an active asset store, and suitability for VR/AR. Unreal Engine offers high-end graphics and is great for AAA projects but can be challenging for solo developers. GameMaker is beginner-friendly with a drag-and-drop interface. CryEngine excels in graphics and map creation but has a steep learning curve. Phaser is ideal for 2D browser and mobile games, while Godot is open-source and user-friendly for beginners. Choose based on your project’s requirements and your skill level.


Related Posts

Request A Quote
Message Us
Request A Quote