Best Mystery Games

Who doesn’t love solving a good mystery? Here are our picks for the best mystery games on Steam and other platforms.

Whether it’s a story-driven adventure or detective game, there’s something to be said of a good video game mystery that hooks players from the very start.

The process of analyzing locations, dialogue, and pieces of evidence to gather clues before sharing your findings can be extremely gratifying, especially if your deductions turn out to be true.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best mystery games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch that will keep you asking questions from start to finish.

This includes enigma games with multiple conclusions as well as open-ended enigma games where your choices affect the narrative.

For more gaming recommendations, hit us up on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube to let us know which game lists to cover in the future!

Related:Best Psychological Horror GamesBest Single Player Games 2023Best Atmospheric Games

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Inspired by classic 90s adventure games, The Case of the Golden Idol is an innovative detective game that encourages players to investigate as they see fit.

In it, you’ll look into 12 bizarre and gruesome deaths to gather clues and come up with your own theories as to how each character met their fate.

This includes picking out the suspect for each case, deducing their motive, and putting it all together to reveal the truth behind a dark conspiracy.

Created by Sam Barlow, Immortality is an interactive choose-your-own-adventure game with hidden object gameplay and a tantalizing mystery at its core.

The story centers on a movie star named Marissa Marcel whose rise in popularity was cut short by her mysterious disappearance before any of her films were released.

To piece together what happened, players must go through footage from all three films searching for clues and connections.

Developer Frogwares is known for making some of the best mystery-driven detective games starring the iconic investigator Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is the studio’s most recent incarnation of the character and places a greater emphasis on player choice than previous outings.

To this point, each mysterious case can have wildly different outcomes based on the player’s interpretation of key evidence, suspects, and events.

Falling under the psychological horror umbrella, Alan Wake is a cinematic action-thriller that casts you as a troubled author on a mission to find his wife after she mysteriously vanishes.

However, standing in his way are supernatural entities inspired by his latest novel that have taken over his hometown and now lurk in the shadows.

The best way to play through this critically-acclaimed mystery game is via the remastered version which includes the full game and both previously released DLC episodes.

Many of the best horror games feature a mystery at their center that can’t be easily explained using natural science or logical reasoning.

A great example of this is The Mortuary Assistant, which drops you in a haunted mortuary with a possessed corpse that you’ll have to sleuth out from a host of cadavers.

To make matters worse, the entire time you’re stalked by a demon that will mess with the lights, open and close doors, and make its presence known in the creepiest ways possible.

A personal favorite, Return of the Obra Dinn is without a doubt one of the best mystery games in terms of player freedom.

In it, you’re cast as an insurance adjuster tasked with assessing how the crew of a mysterious ship each met their demise using a time-traveling pocket watch.

Piecing together clues from each chapter, you’ll draw your own narrative conclusions and fill in the blanks where information is missing.

Next up is The Rewinder, a mystery-driven adventure puzzle game that’s heavily influenced by Chinese mythology.

Rendered in 2D pixel art graphics, it sees you assuming control of Yun, a “rewinder” with the power to enter people’s memories, influence their actions, and shape the future.

Wielding this gift, Yun sets out to investigate a once-thriving village that’s become deserted and filled with resentful spirits.

Visual novels are another video game genre that uses mystery to hook players and pull them into their worlds.

Paradise Killer is one of the best examples as its story tackles the classic “whodunit” trope by casting you as a detective hired to solve a murder mystery.

Things are further complicated by the various offbeat characters you have to interview to progress, each one more eccentric than the last.

Danganronpa is another visual novel mystery game series that’s seen countless entries and has a cult-like following of fans.

The one we’re recommending here is Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, which follows a group of students forced to participate in a sinister game of murder and mystery.

Your job as the player is to try and gather enough evidence to successfully sleuth out the killer while making sure not to accuse the wrong person.

Carrying on, most Telltale games are good for a satisfying mystery accented by branching storylines that react to the player’s actions.

The Wolf Among Us is one of the studio’s top creations and successfully develops its universe and characters based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic series.

In it, you take on the role of fairytale villain-turned-sheriff Bigby Wolf as he investigates a brutal murder case while navigating Fabletown’s rigid class system.

An early entry in Quantic Dream’s catalog, Heavy Rain is a story-driven cinematic thriller with an irresistible mystery at its core.

The story revolves around three protagonists on a mission to identify and track down an elusive criminal known as “The Origami Killer.”

This is played out across several vignettes that explore each character’s life while introducing narrative curveballs to try and throw off your investigation.

Billed as an interactive crime drama, L.A. Noire has you playing as patrolman-turned-detective Cole Phelps as he tries to work his way up the ranks without sacrificing his morals.

This is challenged by each case Phelps takes on and forces him to tread carefully while inspecting crime scenes, questioning witnesses, and pursuing leads.

L.A. Noire’s gameplay is further elevated by cutting-edge facial rendering technology that allows for subtle visual cues whenever a character is lying.

Her Story is another interactive fiction game by Sam Barlow that offers a unique take on investigative gameplay.

In it, you’re assigned to search through a video database spanning hundreds of interview clips to assess what role, if any, a woman played in her husband’s disappearance.

By searching for key terms, re-watching clips, and listening to her speak will you be able to piece together her story and unravel the mystery.

One of the more critically-celebrated entries on this list, Outer Wilds tasks players with uncovering the mysteries of a solar system.

This mission calls for your character to travel to different planets, talk to characters, and solve puzzles while trapped in a perpetual 22-minute time loop.

As you would expect, the world is teeming with secrets to discover as you learn more about your technologically-advanced ancestors.

Getting its start as an ambitious mod for Skyrim, The Forgotten City is a first-person adventure game that wastes no time in setting up the mystery behind its time-traveling plot.

Like Outer Wilds, your character is trapped in a time loop wherein each day repeats itself again and again until you manage to break the cycle by performing certain actions.

Doing so reveals more about the diverse cast of characters who live in the city, including their motivations and clues that can be leveraged to make progress.

As one of the more narrative-rich genres, walking sims like Tacoma tend to gravitate towards mystery-driven storytelling that put players at the center of the action.

In this game, you play as a special agent contracted to retrieve sensitive data from an abandoned space station whose crew up and vanished with no explanation.

To find out the truth, you’ll have to explore each part of the station gathering clues and reliving the crew’s final moments.

Admittingly a lot more “heady” than other games on this list, Disco Elysium is worth investing your time into for its mystery and storytelling alone.

Taking on the role of an amnesiac detective investigating a murder, players set out to explore a politically-divisive city to gather clues and potential suspects/witnesses.

What sets it apart from other games are its RPG elements that allow you to leverage different skills to open up new dialogue choices and parts of the city.

The Ace Attorney games have always offered a distinct blend of detective-style gameplay and courtroom drama with enough mystery to hold players’ attention.

To see what the series is all about, we recommend picking up Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, a remastered collection of the first three games.

In it, players follow the titular lawyer as he and his peers take on cases, cross-examine witnesses, and use evidence to sleuth out inconsistencies in character testimonies.

Another award-winning walking sim that comes courtesy of Campo Santo Studio, Firewatch is a slow burn of an adventure game with several mysteries to unravel.

Set during the summer of 1989 in the Wyoming wilderness, the story centers on a volunteer fire lookout named Henry tasked with monitoring the area’s wild environments.

It’s not long before Henry encounters strange, seemingly unexplainable events that call for further investigation at the behest of his supervisor and only means of communication, Delilah.

As if we didn’t touch on enough mystery games as is, our final suggestion to inquisitive players is to play What Remains of Edith Finch, another walking sim with an engrossing story.

In it, players follow a woman as she explores her family’s old home to learn about her eccentric relatives and a perceived curse in which all but one person from each generation dies tragically.

While the mystery behind how and why each member of the Finch clan met their demise is the main focus, you’ll likely find yourself enamored with the relative’s eccentric backstories.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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