A good escape always gets our blood pumping, and these 10 games feature some of the very best break-outs. There’s nothing better than a carefully executed plan — or just a wild rollercoaster ride to the exit door — and these 10 prison breaks exemplify everything that’s awesome about busting out of the big house. Sometimes it’s all in your input as you carefully solve the puzzle to get free, sometimes it’s about stealth, and sometimes it’s just straight-up full-throated action. Certain escapes focus on puzzle-solving skills, and others are just flat-out explosive levels with straightforward steps.
The prison breaks on our list are all unique for one reason or another. Everyone knows a boring prison escape when they see one — games like Splinter Cell: Double Agent have pretty standard escape levels that don’t really wow us in any particular one. For a game-length example, just look at the TV tie-in Prison Break game. It’s got our subject in the title, but it doesn’t do anything really special in the grand tradition of prison breaks. We need something unique! Something new. And these 10 examples all go the extra mile.
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An Impossible Quest [Conan Exiles]
Let’s kick off with one of the wildest “prison” escapes on the list. This is probably the hardest escape on our list, and likely one of the harder tasks to complete in any video game. In Conan Exiles, your avatar is dumped into a persistent world called the Cursed Lands. It’s basically a magical prison, and for the longest time, you won’t even realize you can escape.
It takes dozens of hours and quests into the darkest dungeons at the six corners of the Exile Lands to gain the artifacts you need. To escape your massive landmass prison, you need to remove a magical Slave Bracelet that keeps you inside — and to do that, you have to create an artifact called the Keystone. Basically, it boils down to delving into six dungeons and defeating six ridiculous bosses.
That includes an Undead Dragon, a Giant King, a Witch Queen, cult leaders, and more vile beings. This is a game with permadeath, and deadly scourges attempt to wipe out whatever progress you make on a set schedule. It’s hard to stay alive even without braving terrifying underground monster lairs. The puzzle is so elaborate, it took players a long time to even solve it.
Escaping Together [A Way Out]
A Way Out is the quintessential prison break — its the most straightforward example on this list. When you think about breaking out of prison, you probably think about what goes down in A Way Out. In this cooperative adventure, you play as a pair of runaways trying to dodge the law and hunt down the guy that got them locked up in the first place. Working together, you’ll plot your escape and execute — cutting through grates, timing your door-busting to thunder strikes, and sprinting across rooftops while avoiding searchlights.
What makes A Way Out special is just how much time is devoted to the escape. Every step of the escape plan is covered as you acquire the tools you need, or work together to prepare for your escape by cutting holes in your cells and exploring the maintenance hallways beneath. Your post-escape gets just as much love. You have to steal vehicles from elderly couples, work together to evade the police, and choose how you proceed. Do you sneak through checkpoints, or attempt to just break through? A Way Out is just a long series of escapes, and it gives you the tools to feel like you’re contributing to the big plan.
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