We all love a good detective story; finding clues, interrogating witnesses, and putting everything together to try and find out the truth. Sometimes, we don’t want to be put through the action-sequence gauntlet. Sometimes, we just want to take a step back and do some detective work, and luckily, there are a lot of detective games out there that we can get that experience with.
We listed out, here, our personal favorites from this genre and give you the games that we think are the best way to get that detective experience.
Control may have really shown how far Remedy Games has come as a developer, but to us, Alan Wake will always be their best. A story inspired by Twin Peaks and The X-Files, Alan Wake tells the story of a writer whose wife is taken by a dark force while vacationing in a quiet, mountain town. As you piece together what happened, you encounter some fun characters and a sinister plot.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Okay, maybe it’s not a technical “detective” game, but there are detective elements in it, and Batman is known as the “world’s greatest detective” for a reason. Plus, it blends in the excellent combat and traversal mechanics from the series along with the detective work.
Dealy Premonition Origins
Look, this game is a mess, an absolute mess, but that also is what makes it so charming. It’s an honest game made with passion and excitement, full of peculiar characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. You easily get past the jankiness and oddities, and fall in love with the world.
This little RPG absolutely took the gaming world by storm last year, claiming several Game of the Year awards, and for good reason. Placing you in the shoes of a detective trying to solve the murder of a man found hanging from a tree, the game offers a lot of depth in your character customization and dialogue with NPC’s.
Grim Fandango Remastered
The remaster of the classic, point-and-click adventure brings the game’s original charm and style to new life, all with an interesting and amusing detective tale.
Say what you will about Quantum Dream and if their games can even be considered games, but Heavy Rain was an absolutely enthralling story. The story of a serial killer, and those their actions affect, is dark and keeps you guessing until the end.
Arguably the best detective noire experience you can get in gaming, L.A. Noire takes you back to the 1950’s where you play as an aspiring officer working his way up through the ranks, all while solving some serious mysteries. The game is fantastic and offers some intensely entertaining detective mechanics.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
Possibly the best of the Sherlock Holmes series from Frogware, Crimes and Punishments is a perfectly relaxing detective story. While it doesn’t require constant attention, you will need to work your brain to solve its many riddles and problems.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
This first-person experience gets bonus points for how open it is. You can explore just about every inch and corner of the game’s valley location as you collect the clues you need. Playing as a detective with supernatural abilities just feels so good and is so enthralling to play.
The Wolf Among Us
Despite the cartoonish graphics, The Wolf Among Us is a dark, gritty tale of murder and deceit among a community of fairy tale creatures. Telltale Games’ dark twist on fantastical creatures that we know and love is arguably their best, and offers an experience you won’t soon forget.