All games are, at their heart, puzzles. From Tetris to the Uncharted series, video games have always pushed players to solve problems, whether it’s fitting the right blocks into a hole or navigating ancient booby traps. We’ll break down the best puzzle games of all time in this guide.
Even if a game contains puzzles, we won’t generally refer to it as a puzzle game. Regardless of how many Riddler puzzles you solve as the world’s greatest detective, Batman: Arkham City is first and foremost an action game. So, for the purposes of this guide, we’ll be concentrating on pure puzzle games, which are games in which solving puzzles is the primary gameplay mechanic. There is no war or other mechanisms unless they are directly related to puzzle solving.
Portal 2 is a sequel to Portal.
The two Portal games are among the greatest video games ever released, but when comparing them side by side, the sequel clearly wins. Portal 2 is longer than its predecessor, bringing more puzzles, a refined plot, and a plethora of fascinating set pieces to the world of Aperture Science. Despite the new features, the essence of Portal 2 remains unchanged. The initial Portal feels more like a computer demo after playing Portal 2. The idea of navigating a test chamber using portals is still present in this sequel, but the inclusion of gels, platforms, and other specific puzzle mechanics makes the game feel larger and more difficult.
Puyo Puyo Tetris combines Sega’s cutesy puzzler Puyo Puyo and classic Tetris into one title. If you haven’t played Puyo Puyo before, it works in a similar way to Dr. Mario. Puyos, or small coloured blobs, will fall from the top of the screen, and it’ll be your task to align them with other Puyos of the same colour. If there are four or more Puyos of the same hue, the board will clear.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is unique in that the two game modes are not mutually exclusive. You can opt to play against players that use a different play style, or you can mix the two for a truly unique experience.
The Witness is a puzzle game in which you wake up alone on an island with just a few hundred brainteasers to direct you. The majority of the puzzles you’ll find will include lines, and you’ll need to travel from the beginning to the end of a grid, hitting all of the appropriate points.
These line puzzles work in combination with environmental puzzles to help you move further across the island. You pick up hints as to who you are and how you ended up stuck on the island along the way. On the surface, the game appears to be straightforward, with well-designed puzzles and beautiful environments. The mysteries of the mysterious island you’re on, on the other hand, are the most interesting aspects of the game.
Is It You, Baba?
Baba Is You is a difficult game to explain because it is unlike anything else on the market right now. The premise is straightforward: each puzzle follows a set of rules, such as “baba is you,” “wall is stop,” and “flag is win.” It’s now up to you to solve the puzzle using those rules. In the case at hand, this would include travelling to the flag as Baba, a small rabbit.
However, nothing is set in stone. You have complete freedom to pass blocks around and change the puzzle’s rules. The setup seems straightforward at first, but it soon becomes mind-boggling. Since nothing in Baba Is You has any meaning, a logical puzzle solution may be as simple as allowing you to pass past a wall or as complicated as being the wall itself.
The Talos Principle is a concept that has been around for a
You play as a robot whose sole aim is to solve increasingly difficult puzzles through a series of ancient ruins in The Talos Principle. Your maker, Elohim, tells you at the start of the game to explore the world it has created, but not to ascend a certain tower in the middle. However, as the game progresses, it becomes apparent that the lovely world you’re discovering isn’t what it seems.
The Talos Principle is a puzzle game that raises metaphysical questions about artificial intelligence and the human conscience, as well as some very challenging puzzles. It isn’t as lighthearted as some of the other games on this list, but it doesn’t get any better than The Talos Principle for those looking to ponder the big questions of life through the prism of a beautifully crafted video game.