Trying to find a solution to any issue we face is just normal for us. That’s why puzzle games are so intuitive that they make us do something for us that is so normal. Not to mention, they let us have fun while also giving us an opportunity to sharpen our ability to solve problems as well.
The best thing about puzzle games is that there are many types they come in.
There are so many different puzzle games available for you to play and choose from from the classic Tetris to the more modern and ground-breaking games like Portal.
With that said, we decided to round up (in no particular order) some of the best puzzle games of all time to help narrow down your list of choices.
1. The Testigo
The best puzzle games in the genre
Platforms: iOS, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, PC
The Witness, published way back in 2016, is the perfect example of how much you can do with something as easy as a straight line.
Jonathan Blow’s brainchild, The Witness, may not be the kind of game like CS:GO you are into. At first, at least. In its own way, it’s tough and it loves the chance to make life hard for its players.
It’s easy to imagine the average player spending at least a hundred hours attempting to complete The Witness, with more than 650 puzzles available for players to complete and an open-world set up, and still ways away from doing so.
Best Puzzle Solver Games on PC
Platforms: Under the Heat, almost any format
5 The Most Anticipated Games
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Tetris is one of the oldest existing puzzle games. It’s one of the best as well.
A pop culture symbol at this stage is the tetromino shapes that have stood the test of time and countless developers have tried to put their own twist on this age-old classic.
Regardless of what they do, though, it’s going to be a lot of fun as long as it’s the same old Tetris that generations of gamers have come to love.
3. Unraveling / Unraveling 2
Top games that are full of riddles
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows from Microsoft
With the amount of puzzle platformers available across various platforms, gamers today are spoiled. But if we were to single out a game (or in this case, a game), Unravel and Unravel 2 would have to go.
Unravel and Unravel 2 have players going through an immersive journey as they discover the environment and solve tricky puzzles of varying complexity around them using Yarny, a scrawny red dude whose body is made entirely of yarn, a game almost fully devoid of combat or bosses.
Unravel and Unravel 2 are some of the best games of the present century, with picturesque visuals and backed up by a stunning soundtrack.
4. Grim Fandango, Grim
The most popular puzzle games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (Original) / Nintendo Switch (Remastered) / Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Android, iOS
First released in 1998, LucasArts’ classic Grim Fandango is more of a storey game than a puzzle game, but it has just enough puzzle game elements to qualify, which is why we felt it was best to include it on our list.
Your goal in Grim Fandango is to try and expose a controversial scheme that is clearly way above your pay grade, playing as Manny Calavero, a travel agent working in the underworld.
Given that for much of the game you will be playing a pseudo-detective, expect a lot of puzzle-solving and clue-searching to happen.
The only downside to playing Grim Fandango is that the visuals just haven’t aged that well. But, for quite some time now the remaster has been out, so if it’s your first time playing the game, you might want to miss it directly and just play the remastered version.
If you happen to have played Grim Fandango in the past already the remaster’s presence is justification enough to play the game again.
5. The Threes
Top Jigsaw Games Ever
IOS, Android, Xbox One Platform:
It’s mobile, if there was ever a platform for which puzzle games were made.
These days, both iOS and Android devices have a bevvy of puzzle games available that multiple articles wouldn’t be enough to mention all of them. But the 2014 number-based matching game, Threes, has very few equals when it comes to one of the best.
The game’s idea is both plain and complicated.
Playing on a grid of four by four, players will have to try to navigate their way through greater numbers while making sure they don’t get trapped. When a player rounds off potential moves, the game ends, making it incredibly necessary to set up several moves each time you make a move.
Threes was once thought of as a game that was unbeatable. A few years later, however one player discovered that it was possible to beat” the game.
If you can’t do it, however, try not to be too harsh on yourself. It is an almost-impossible feat.
Only concentrate on exercising your brain and wasting time instead you’re better off.
6. The Theory for Talos
Top 9 all-time puzzle games
Platforms: Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
The Talos Theory is a puzzle game through and through, so don’t let the FPS visuals and ‘action’ fool you.
The Talos Theory will have you thought for hours on end, easily one of the most complex puzzle games ever written, while also dousing you with a good dose of philosophical questions that will have you questioning the morality of your in-game decisions.
The Talos Theory should be sufficient to keep even the most avid of puzzle gamers busy for days if not weeks, with several endings possible, all of which are dependent on the type of choices you make in the game.
7. Saga Sugar Crush
Best Games for Handheld Puzzles
Browser, iOS, Android, Fire OS, Windows Phone, Microsoft Windows, etc. Platforms:
If Tetris proved one thing with its enduring existence, it’s that puzzle games don’t always have to try to complicate things to be famous.
With simple and addictive dynamics that make it available to the global crowd, Candy Crush Saga takes it to heart.
All the players need to do in the Candy Crush Saga is easy. To score, pair three of the same icons with each other. The more icons you have paired, the higher the score will go. For consecutive pairings, or for pairing more than three icons, bonus points are awarded.
Candy Crush Saga is not necessarily going to make things complicated, and it doesn’t have to.
Candy Crush Saga is a no-brainer when you’re looking for a fun puzzle game to play to pass the time.
8. Portal / Portal 2 / Portal 2
Best PS44 Puzzle Games
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Platforms:
Much has been said about Valve’s two classics, and yet, words can’t really seem to do justice to these two games.
Portal and its sequel, Portal 2, are the perfect examples of why video games should be viewed as a medium of art, turning the gaming world on its head when they are first published.
Introducing a unique mechanic where players use portals to go to-and-fro and solve the numerous puzzles of the game, both Portal games have everything they need.
There’s a reason so many people consider the Portal games borderline great, from inventive gameplay to accessibility, as well as a well-written storey and plotline that isn’t afraid to incorporate both light-hearted and dark humour at appropriate times.
Portal and Portal 2 will certainly have you scratching your head trying to solve puzzles, as well as maybe making your own, with an editing tool and tonnes of workshop content available.
Best Games for Puzzles
The following platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Arguably, Braid is the greatest PC game you have ever heard of.
Actually, Braid flew under the radar of most gamers that if I told you the game was released in 2008 and was both a critical and commercial success, you probably wouldn’t trust me.
Mind you, it’s not a dream game for Braid. Far from that in fact. First and foremost, as a 2D indie game, it suffers from a few hiccups, but none that are big enough of a deal to take away from the overall gameplay experience, which is almost unequalled.
Controversies about Braid being a magnet for individuals who want to claim to be smart aside (the game’s purposely vague plot leaves a lot for interpretation), the game does a fantastic job of making you feel like a genius whenever you manage to solve its series of puzzles that are deceptively simple and well-designed.
All in all, there are only a handful that are as good as Braid when it comes to puzzle games, let alone better.
In a nutshell, in short,
A puzzle game is a video game genre that, among many other problem-solving abilities, has players solving puzzles using logic and pattern recognition.
Puzzle games have grown continuously to feature a number of innovative ideas since the days of Tetris back in the 1980s, often helping to inspire a player to try to use their creativity and curiosity to pass each level.
Puzzle games take strong influence from crossword puzzles and sudoku, if it was not already clear enough.
Puzzle video games are actually going through a bit of a revival. The introduction of smartphones, among others, helped bring the once “dead” genre back to life after having very few memorable releases in the 2000s, and now, gamers have thousands, if not hundreds, of games to choose from with the number increasing by the day.
Don’t be afraid to explore if you’ve already played through all the games that we suggested and you’re searching for more.
The puzzle game genre should have plenty to give to help please your ever-curious and ever-imaginative mind, from conventional puzzle games to innovative and inventive takeovers, as well as puzzle platformers.