What Are the Best Adventure Games?

  • Hey everybody,

    The adventure-game genre can be used rather liberally in this thread because I'm simply looking for recommendations on great games and I'm not concerned with semantically driven discussions about defining genres.

    I have a mildly uneventful history with adventure games and I'd like to get into them more because time and again they prove to be some of the most fun I ever have playing games. Back when I was a kid I used to play this comedy driven flash adventure game called Johnny Rocketfingers and Johnny Rocketfingers 2 on Newgrounds. I really like the animation and I enjoyed how these point-and-click games played. I dove into Myst years ago but I never finished it because I believe one part scared the hell out of me when I was young.

    In recent years, I've come to love games such as:

    • Life Is Strange
    • Heavy Rain
    • Until Dawn

    I just bought two point-and-click adventure games called Detention and The Red Strings Club (the latter sounding the most interesting). I really want to do a deep dive into the genre, both modern and new. Sure, PC Gamer and every other website probably have lists dedicated to adventure games, but I'd like to hear from you all about what you think are the must play games. I know Sierra and Lucas Arts have a rich history and I don't think I've played any of their games. How do these ones hold up?

    Thanks for any and all contributions. I hope we all take a dive into the genre because of this!

  • @DIPSET My favorite one (and one that isn't listed quite as frequently as one of the best) is Discworld 2 and Discworld Noir. They're older PC games and much harder to come by (and to make run properly) but they take an established franchise and flesh it out in a real beautiful way. Discworld 2 has an animated style to it and the main character is voiced by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. Noir is arguably better, although the 3D graphics haven't aged particularly well. Still, being a detective in a fantasy land with a noir feel to it is absolutely incredible.

    Moreso on the popular list, the Sam + Max series is great and I've always been fond of Maniac Mansion.

  • In recent years, I've come to love games such as:

    • Life Is Strange
    • Heavy Rain
    • Until Dawn

    I would recommend to you Beyond: Two Souls. I really enjoyed it, and I think it fits nicely alongside those games you listed since it is the kind of adventure game that puts a spotlight on its narrative (and importantly pulls it off well).

    If you want my most enthusiastic recommendation then it would be for Shadowgate (2014), but with the understanding that it is on the other side of the spectrum. It is a fantasy themed point and click adventure game which puts the spotlight on the items, verbs and locations (like Myst or King Quest).

    I know Sierra and Lucas Arts have a rich history and I don't think I've played any of their games. How do these ones hold up?

    They still hold up, although especially so for the Lucas Arts games I would say. I haven't played nearly all of them from either group, but Day of the Tentacle is my current favorite. As for Sierra, I have gone back and replayed some of the King Quest games, but I think they are harder to play nowadays. Still, if you've played them back in the day and thus are able to revisit them with that "foundation of fondness" then they aren't bad at all. But if you didn't play them back in the day, I would try to carefully select which ones you try. (I'm not a KQ expert, so someone else would have to suggest a newbie friendly one).

    Speaking of which, if anyone has fondness for Sierra's old Quest for Glory games then I would highly recommend the free game Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok. It's a modern game done as tribute to QFG series.

  • I just played through Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and really enjoyed it. Its a quick 3 hour or so game as well (best enjoyed in one go in my opinion) so not a huge commitment.

    Grim Fandango is a classic for good reason. I loved the writing/story and art style, even though I needed help with most of the puzzles haha

    Other than that, I don't have much experience with the genre unfortunately

  • You're gonna have to let me know how The Red Stripe Club is, it reminds me a lot of VA-11 HALL-A and that is nothing but a good thing.

    Anyway I can't say it's a genre I'm too well versed in myself, but from what I have played, I'd say Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People is the best. Well, if you're a Homestar Runner fan anyway. If not definitely pick up Tales from the Borderlands. I could not possibly have less interest in the Borderlands franchise but despite that Tales is just a total masterpiece. And since I'm talking Telltale anyway, I just wanna say their Back to the Future game is underrated.

  • @DeweyDTruman

    Oh my goodness!! STRONGBAD! I used to visit Homestar Runner daily back when I was a kid. Strongbad's emails were my favourite thing in the world. I had no idea there is an adventure game with him.

    As per Red Strings Club, it felt a bit obtuse at first and I was wondering why I was doing what I was doing, but it'll click. The game doesn't tutorialise much and what explainations it did give me for the mini-games had me confused for a hot minute or two. I've only played about one chapter and it seems to have finally gripped me in the last half I played. It immediately deals with themes of happiness, self improvement, the consequences of altering yourself, and our physical bodies. I expect it to really go into identity and humanity really soon.

  • Banned

    @Chocobop I second the recommendation of Beyond Two Souls, but only on the condition that you play the PS4 version on Remix mode, as that makes the story play out chronologically, and makes a lot more sense.

  • I have Detention on my list for the year! I'll have to give Red Strings Club a look.

    As for suggestions, Oxenfree, Night in the Woods, and What Remains of Edith Finch definitely have similar themes to games you listed as enjoying recently. Gone Home is great too if you're cool with walking sims. Abzu is fantastic if you want exploration but also to relax at the same time. If you want something more strategic, longform, and lovecraftian, then Sunless Sea is pretty addictive. I'm more familiar with modern Adventure games than the classic stuff unfortunately.

  • @logic__error played both What Remains of Edith Finch and Oxenfree in the past month, both are definitively worth checking out in my opinion

    I'm not incredibly well versed in adventures games, but I think Monkey Island is as absolutely worth the praise and its position as a classic in the genre.

    I also think of Psychonauts as an adventure game for the most part, and I absolutely love it and think it is worth it for anyone to check out that is willing to put up with some jank.

  • @bard91 I forgot about Guybrush Threepwood when it came to the list of best characters and I forgot about the series enough to fail to mention it here. Damnit, I need some Monkey Island in my life apparently!

  • @SabotageTheTruth I still have an unfinished save file with less than an hour of Monkey Island 2 on my laptop from years ago which haunts me to this day ...


  • Back in the day, I loved the Broken Sword series, especially the first two games. Very entertaining 2D point-and-click adventures, globe-trotting mixed with crime-solving against a historical/conspiracy backdrop. You can probably find them for cheap on Steam.

  • The secret of the monkey Island
    The secret of the monkey Island 2 Lechuck's revenge
    Maniac Mansion
    The Day of the tentacle
    Gabriel Knight sins of the father
    Gabriel Knight The Beast within
    Indiana Jones and the last crusade
    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
    Beneath a Steel Sky
    The Dig

    I could keep the list going but if you want adventure games and want good classic where it all started then this is the pick list you start at. There are of corse the textr based games but this is a bit easier to dig into and can be found dirt cheap on gog or steam. There are also some remastered out there

  • @fettouhi

    Yeah I need some visuals to accompany. I'm not going that old school.

    Thanks for the classic list. Folks at work were talking about Maniac Mansion today actually.

  • @DIPSET said in What Are the Best Adventure Games?:


    Oh my goodness!! STRONGBAD! I used to visit Homestar Runner daily back when I was a kid. Strongbad's emails were my favourite thing in the world. I had no idea there is an adventure game with him.

    If you haven't played Peasant's Quest, you should definitely put it on the list.

  • Banned

    I don't know if anybody else has mentioned it, but Tales from the Borderlands is a terrific game, and in my opinion Telltale's best work by far.


    Youtube Video – [01:31..]

    Like seriously how is that not just some straight fucking high art shit?

  • I'll always go back to King's Quest V, but always with a guide, because there are a couple of game stopping points.