Everyone, even gamers, enjoys a good mystery, which is why there are so many mystery games available for players to put their investigative abilities to the test. While not every game requires a mystery to solve, some games take use of that structure by gradually revealing the unknown over time. Here are our recommendations for the top mystery games of all time to put your Sherlock Holmes skills to the test.
Our top 10 recommendations for the finest mystery games ever.
A good mystery must have a few crucial characteristics. It must gradually give information to the player over time, enabling them to discover the solutions on their own, and the question that the player is attempting to solve must be fascinating enough to move the story along on its own. Some mystery-themed games fail to deliver on these elements, resulting in an unpleasant or disappointing finale.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
A list of the finest mystery games would be incomplete without a game featuring the world’s most renowned detective. While it isn’t the most true interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes story available, it is undoubtedly one of the greatest games based on the character, sending players through intricate locations in search of clues. The interrogation sessions are very entertaining, and there are several fantastic times where the game challenges you to stay in character as Holmes and leave your morals at the door.
The Wolf Among Us
Telltale Games was able to give continuous riddles for players to solve, but The Wolf Among Us has the finest of them. In a precursor plot to the wildly renowned Fables comics, it followed none other than the Big Bad Wolf in a world where fairy tale characters had come to dwell in New York City. This game excels at the murder mystery format and employs a cel-shaded aesthetic to create interesting characters.
Beyond Two Souls
While Heavy Rain concentrated on the standard whodunit structure, Quantic Dream’s sequel, Beyond Two Souls, focused on a more focused, supernatural plot. In it, a young lady grows up with a creature following her around, guarding and looking over her from her childhood. The plot revolves around the mystery of who or what this creature is and how she and the mysterious government authorities in her life exploit it. The result is a surprising ending that feels deserved and provides an emotional climax that will stay with us for a long time.
Many horror games revolve on a mystery curse, but Until Dawn managed to keep us guessing throughout. A group of campers is drawn together in a dark cabin by an invitation from a friend, only to be pursued by a dangerous night monster. Few horror games are as theatrical as Until Dawn, and player decisions have a direct impact on the conclusion, determining which characters live and die long before the climactic climax.
L.A. Noire presents not one, but multiple mysteries to solve in 1940s Los Angeles. The game recreates the classic detective-noir genre as a police procedural plot, allowing players to question suspects and pick their technique to finding the truth. While the setting isn’t as broad and fascinating as in previous Rockstar games, the mystery tale is still a lot of fun to unravel.
What Remains of Edith Finch
This game tries to blur the borders between interactive fiction and video game in a beautiful yet unsettling way, touching on topics such as loss and mortality. What Remains of Edith Finch is a difficult game to get into, but if you’re looking for a mystery that won’t hold back and will have you thinking about it for days after you’ve played it, this is a terrific game to attempt.
While the gameplay is largely centered on reproducing the old Resident Evil formula, the plot of Signalis is focused on the mystery of what evil has taken over a deep-space mining station, as well as the link between Elster and Ariane. This game is shorter than most on this list, and it benefits from it, delivering its narrative in a neatly packed package that can be unwrapped in under 10 hours. If you loved Twin Peaks, you’ll appreciate Signalis’ bizarre atmosphere.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which casts players in the position of paranormal investigator Paul Prospero, immediately sets up a great mystery. This short game delivers a well timed investigation concerning a little boy’s disappearance as well as a succession of killings that have haunted a tiny community. The game’s riddles help to deepen the mystery, and there are enough twists and turns to keep players wondering until the closing curtain.
There are other visual novels that use mysteries to convey their story, but Chaos; Child is without a doubt one of the greatest. This game, which was just rereleased on the Switch, follows a sequence of terrible killings that are plaguing the city of Tokyo. As is typically the case with these games, a high school boy and his buddies are the only ones capable of investigating these crimes. Chaos; Child is a very unpleasant yet undeniably entertaining mystery game that builds suspense throughout by utilizing sound and images.
This game has won several accolades since its release and has a devoted audience due to the way it combines the conventional murder mystery style with a dash of black humour. Disco Elysium is a genuinely enjoyable, one-of-a-kind twist on mystery games that allows players to level up their detective abilities and personality attributes based on how they interact with individuals. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface here, but this mystery game is worth playing just for how different it feels from beginning to end.