Occasionally, gamers want to play games that challenge their understanding and push them to think a little deeper instead of mowing down hundreds of rivals in battle royale games or roaming the expansive open worlds of numerous games, and puzzle games do exactly that, by acting as a great option to break the monotony and offer gamers something unique to dive into and enjoy.
Moreover, puzzle games are a unique genre of video games that go well alongside or as a part of various other genres of games like horror, adventure, arcade, action, etc., as well, making them one of the most versatile gaming genres available, and by seeing the popularity of these games on reputed platforms, it looks like they are also one of the most appreciated ones too.
We are in no way saying even for a second that battle royale games or open-world games or any other genre of games for that matter aren’t good enough and don’t entertain us enough, but the stark truth which we can’t deny is that they don’t stimulate our minds that much, and also don’t motivate us to use it in a way only puzzle games will be able to do.
Humans are meant to challenge their grey cells from time to time to keep them well-oiled, and we will help you do just that. Today, we have brought you some of the best puzzle games released to date that will not only keep you engaged and entertained for a long time but will also force you to think and test your reasoning skills in the process as well.
So, without much ado, let’s jump right into the best puzzle games to play to make your mind tick.
Best Puzzle Games To Play
1) Portal 2
|19 April 2011
|Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, macOS, Classic macOS,
Xbox 360, Linux
Starting with arguably the finest puzzle games of all time, Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle platformer game in which players play as a silent protagonist named ‘Chell,’ who must navigate through and explore the ruined Aperture Science Enrichment Center building. In the process, players will also meet GLaDOS, a murderous super-computer who helped and guided the player in the initial game.
In this game, players will look to solve various puzzles and move from one chamber to another by not only using a powerful device capable of making two-way portals called the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, but they will also be utilizing three types of paint-like gels, lasers, and tractor beams, by transmitting them through the portals, to open up new avenues which were not there before.
Also Read: Interested in this game? Check out Portal 2’s official Steam page to know more about it.
2) The Talos Principle
|11 December 2014
|PC, OS X, Linux, Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Coming from one top game to another, Talos Principle is a third-person, narrative-driven puzzle game in which players take control of a robot or an android and explore various locations and environments like an area with lots of greenery, ancient stone ruins, and deserts, all while solving more than 120 intricately designed, thought-provoking puzzles.
Along their journey, players will try and solve puzzles of varying difficulties to open up new areas with their unique puzzles. While solving the puzzle, however, players will have to be mindful of certain harmful obstacles they will have to avoid, like automated drones, which essentially act as mines and will explode if the players get too close to them, and automated turrets as well, which will shoot the player’s robot down when it gets too close to them.
3) The Witness
|26 January 2016
|PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox, Nvidia Shield, macOS, iOS
Moving on to the next best puzzle game on our list, The Witness is a first-person puzzle video game in which players will play as an unnamed character who must try and regain his memory and find his way back home by exploring the eleven separate regions of a diverse map and solve more than 500 puzzles.
No prior information is provided to the players on how puzzles must be solved in this game, leaving the players to figure out the solution to the numerous puzzles themselves.
Players can also choose to attempt puzzles in any order they wish. Suppose they feel a particular puzzle is complex for them to solve at the moment. In that case, they can freely go around the island and try and complete the other ones before attempting the difficult one sometime later.
In most cases, the entire puzzle can be solved on the grid panels itself. Still, in more challenging puzzles, however, players will also have to consider the areas around the grid panels, like trees and other structures, to try and find a solution to a particular puzzle by combing them.
Also Read: Interested in playing more puzzle games? Check out these other best games like Wordle to keep you engaged for hours.
4) World of Goo
|13 October 2008
|Wii, PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Nintendo Switch
Moving on to the next game on our list, World of Goo is a 2-D, physics-based, construction puzzle game whose basic premise is for players to use balls of goo to construct structures like bridges and towers in order to transport the other balls of goo over and across various obstacles like hills, cliffs, and chasms, with the main catch being: players must transport the other balls of goo by using as few goo balls as possible.
As players progress in the game, new varieties of goo balls will become available to choose from, in order for them to try different combinations between them and select the best ones among them, which will help the players complete the levels quickly and efficiently.
|28 April 2022
|PC, Nintendo Switch
Dorfromantik is a relaxing and peaceful game in which players are initially provided a stack of procedurally generated tiles that they must apply or attach to the game’s mainland and try to expand it into a sprawling world to the best of their abilities.
On the surface, this is a deceptively simple game in which the biggest and only challenge players will encounter is to know which tile goes where and in what direction.
Apart from regular tiles, which players can freely choose to place in multiple locations, certain unique tiles will also pop up occasionally, which will have a small requirement attached to them, like a deer needs 10 of forest near it to live happily or a windmill needs six fields of grain near around it to function well, which players will have to fulfill if they wish to attach these particular unique tiles to their mainland, to earn bonuses and rewards thereby.
6) A Little To The Left
|8 November 2022
|PC, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, macOS
Moving from one ingenious game to another, A Little to the Left is a light-hearted puzzle game in which players are tasked with organizing, stacking, and sorting various essential everyday household items commonly found in most households.
In this game, players will arrange jars by their height, stack up postcards according to their sizes, organize tools in the cupboard to give them a clutter-free appearance, etc. The only thing players need to be mindful of is an annoying cat who is up to no good and will occasionally try and mess up all your hard work in an instant.
Moreover, the 75+ puzzles in this game can be completed in multiple ways, giving the game a more relaxed and flexible feel, unlike other puzzle games that have fixed, rigid solutions integrated into their puzzles and can become quite frustrating.
The puzzles in this game are ‘quick-to-solve’ in nature, as explained by the developers, which basically means the puzzles that players will attempt in-game are designed in a specific way that focuses more on providing players with fun and enjoyment while sorting, organizing, and stacking things out, rather than making them too challenging to solve so that players of all ages can enjoy them.
7) Baba Is You
|13 March 2019
|PC, Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Baba is You is an inventive, 2-D puzzle game in which players are required to change and manipulate the game’s ‘rules’, which are conveyed through word tiles shown during the puzzles, to help open up new possibilities and reach their ultimate goal.
In this game, players will control a white, cat-like character called Baba, whom they must help navigate through more than 200 uniquely designed puzzle scenarios by moving certain word tiles and matching them with other words and phrases written in and around the puzzles to enable certain aspects in the game that were previously unavailable.
8) Escape Simulator
|19 October 2021
|PC, Linux, macOS
Moving on to the next game on our list, Escape Simulator is a first-person puzzle game in which players will look to explore, search, and examine 28 escape rooms filled with various puzzles and clues.
In this game, players will be expected to thoroughly search through the escape rooms efficiently to try and find the various clues scattered around by moving furniture, reading books, smashing pots and urns, picking up and examining different objects like ancient artifacts, and also breaking locks, to try and help them solve the various puzzles they come across.
Additionally, this game also features various community-made escape rooms that players can not only dive into and examine and search for clues to their heart’s content, but with the help of the room editor. They can also create their very own custom escape rooms and puzzles for the entire community to enjoy.
|Sad Owl Studios
|18 July 2023
|PlayStation 5, PC
Viewfinder is a first-person, adventure-puzzle game in which players play as the main character of the game whom the players must guide through a dreamy world by using various photos clicked with the help of their Polaroid-style, instant camera and use the images throughout the environment to open up new ways forward.
Photos clicked through their instant camera are not the only means by which players can reshape and manipulate the reality around them to move forward in their journey. Still, they will also be able to use various other creatively designed objects like paintings, sketches, postcards, and more.
Moreover, the narrative of this game is totally player-driven, so if a player only wishes to focus on the puzzle-solving elements present in this game, they are free to do so. On the other hand, if a player wants to focus more on the exploration and story of the game, they can endlessly traverse the world to understand the meaningful lore of the game without spending too much time-solving puzzles.
Also Read: Enjoy playing Indie games like Viewfinder? Check out these other best indie games as well, to dive into some absolute gems.
10) The Turing Test
|30 August 2016
|Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, Xbox One
Coming to the next game on our list, The Turing Test is a challenging first-person, narrative puzzle game in which players take control of Ava Turing, an engineer working for the International Space Agency, who is sent to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to try and find the cause of the sudden disappearance of the crew stationed there.
During the course of the game, players will need to solve puzzles of varying difficulties to move forward in the game and know more about the blurring lines between man and machine, as well as the true cost of human mortality. Moreover, to guide them in their journey, players will also be accompanied by the station’s very own AI, Tom.
Additionally, Ava will have access to a versatile energy manipulation tool (EMT), which she can use to transfer energy between the various machines in the game’s world and unlock doors, too.
So there you have it. These were some of the best puzzle games in the market today that gamers can check out that will not only test and sharpen their minds but are guaranteed to keep them engaged and give them countless hours of fun in the process as well.
To stay updated on the best puzzle games one must play, please keep coming back to this post from time to time, as we make it a point to keep updating it with other top puzzle games as and when they are released, which we think will be worth your precious time and hard-earned money.