Best Mystery Games
Update: This list has been updated and includes new titles. Updated in July of 2019.
Ah, mystery. That hard to define, catch all genre for titles that feature plots in which something is strangely… off. It all started in the 1990s when nobody had any idea what genre to stick the X-Files TV show into. Ever since then, every show, movie, book or video game that featured some sort of supernatural element, that was a bit spooky without being outright horror, was classified as just that: Mystery.
Also, in the 1990s, there were a ton of adventure games that ended up populating the mystery genre. Those were usually adventure games for older people, for more adult audiences, that deemed themselves too grown up, too mature to deal with the kiddie stuff of the popular, cartoonish adventures. During the heyday of the graphic adventure genre in the early 90s, there was an outright deluge of weird, more mature themed titles, the worst of which heavily featured one of 90s video games worst sins in full motion video (FMV) sequences.
So on this list you will find a selection of the best of those old titles, alongside some modern mystery adventures from the last few years. Here we will not deal with horror games of any kind, for those games we have some other lists. And now without further ado, let’s descend into mystery, but make note that these games are not ranked in any particular order.
#17 The Sinking City
- Developer: Frogwares
- Publisher: Bigben Interactive
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
- Release: June 27, 2019
The Sinking City was developed by Frogwares as an action-adventure survival horror title. This game takes place in an open-world where players step into the role of Charles W. Reed, an investigator. After receiving a request from a man by the name of Johannes van der Berg to aid in the solution behind the nightmarish visions he’s been having, players venture off to an occult run town known as Oakmont. It’s only when he arrives that he learns that there is certainly more going on in this town than he thought leaving players to carefully maneuver the open-world and uncover the town’s secrets.
#16 Alan Wake
- Developer: Remedy Entertainment
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Platforms: X360, PC
- Release: May 18, 2010
Originally a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360, the game was developed by Remedy, known for their Max Payne franchise though more recently, Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4. Alan Wake features an eponymous writer, who has to unravel the dark secrets lurking beneath the surface of Bright Falls, a small town in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Things go bump at night, Alan’s wife ends up missing, and our protagonist finds himself on the wrong end of a police manhunt. While the game’s plot is steeped in mystery, the gameplay is strongly focused on solving the mystery behind the supernatural events and rescuing our protagonist’s wife. Since the game released, there has been no word on developers on continuing the franchise.