Telltale’s impact on gaming history is undeniable, with many attributing them with creating the framework for modern point-and-click adventure games.
While the studio is best known for runaway hits like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, their catalog goes much deeper, spanning countless licensed properties and even a few original titles.
In this list, we’ll highlight the best Telltale games ranked in order of their commercial and critical success across PC, console, and mobile.
We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know your ranking of Telltale games down in the comments.
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Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent
Release Date: June 30, 2010
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS
Based on Canadian cartoonist and animator Graham Annable’s Grickle series of short Flash cartoons, Puzzle Agent is the first game to come out of Telltale’s pilot project.
The story follows a lonely FBI Agent for the Puzzle Research Division named Nelson Tethers as he looks into a factory that has suddenly stopped delivering erasers to the White House.
Throughout his investigation, Nelson must solve various puzzles and math problems with help from the player.
The game was successful enough to receive a sequel, Puzzle Agent 2, released a year later in June 2011.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People
Release Date: August 11, 2008
Platforms: Windows, PS3, Wii, Mac
Next up, we have Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, a game based on the bizarre and zany Homestar Runner web cartoon series.
Leaning heavily into the series’ cast of silly characters and off-hand jokes from early internet culture, the game parodies classic video game tropes across five episodes.
The titular Strong Bad stars as the lead and the story follows him as he goes through life interacting with different characters and collecting objects to complete tasks.
Upon release, the game was well-received and is still fondly remembered as one of the standout titles in Telltale’s early career.
Sam & Max Save the World
Release Date: October 17, 2006
Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Switch
Another Telltale classic, Sam & Max Save the World centers on the titular crime-fighting duo consisting of a private investigator canine named Sam, and his rambunctious rabbit partner, Max.
The two set off on a hilarious adventure in which they attempt to solve a series of cases involving a hypnotism conspiracy.
Similar to other Sam & Max games, Save the World keeps things fairly light with an abundance of gags, hijinks, gimmicky puzzles, and Easter eggs that rely on classic point-and-click gameplay.
In August 2021, Save the World Remastered was released for PC and console, with plans to remaster other Telltale Sam & Max games such as Beyond Time and Space and The Devil’s Playground.
CSI: Deadly Intent
Release Date: October 20, 2009
Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, Wii, DS
It may surprise some of you to learn that Telltale has also dabbled in adapting television series for video games, specifically the forensics crime drama CSI.
There are four Telltale CSI games in total but the one we’re highlighting here is CSI: Deadly Intent due to its significantly higher rating compared to the others.
In it, players take on the role of detective as they attempt to crack criminal cases by gathering evidence using various forensic techniques such as taking crime scene photos or using special chemicals in a lab.
Deadly Intent coincided with the show’s ninth season and features appearances from several cast members like Laurence Fishburne, Lauren Lee Smith, and Robert David Hall, each reprising their respective roles.
Jurassic Park: The Game
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Platforms: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Mac, iOS
At one point, Telltale decided to transition into adapting popular film franchises to video games, with one of their earliest projects being Jurassic Park: The Game.
Comprised of four episodes, the game’s story serves as a follow-up to the original movie in which a group of people is sent to retrieve dinosaur embryos before things quickly go bad.
Unlike most Telltale games, Jurassic Park explores the idea of controlling multiple characters throughout the game, with the player swapping between different perspectives in order to progress.
While the game received mixed reviews at best, it played a pivotal role in helping Telltale secure more well-known properties in the future.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
Release Date: March 23, 2009
Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, iOS
Despite not having the cachet of a franchise as high-profile as Jurassic Park, Wallace & Gromit is beloved by many for its wholesome and comedic stories centered on a hapless inventor and his mischievous dog.
However, just as recognizable to the series as its quintessential British humor is its clay animation, which Telltale managed to replicate perfectly in Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures.
Of course, they had a fair share of help from the show’s creators, Aardman Animations, in developing the game’s story, characters, and setting.
Grand Adventures consists of four episodes which were all positively received for staying faithful to the look and tone of the animated series.
Back to the Future: The Game
Release Date: December 22, 2010
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Mac, iOS
Prior to Jurassic Park, Telltale got a shot at adapting another notable franchise to the video game format with Back to the Future: The Game.
To best ensure fans would be happy with the final product, they spent time gathering input via online surveys and even brought on Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale as a story consultant.
As a result, the game ended up staying true to the source material across its five episodes chronicling the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
The additional effort appears to have been worth it seeing as Back to the Future: The Game was met with generally positive reviews across all platforms.
Minecraft: Story Mode
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Switch, Mac, iOS, Android
In 2013, Telltale was tasked with putting its own spin on the colorful world of Minecraft with the narrative-driven adventure game Minecraft: Story Mode.
Spanning two seasons and thirteen episodes, the game follows inexperienced adventurer Jesse as she sets out to find The Order of the Stone, a group of legendary heroes who once saved the world.
Unlike other Telltale games, Minecraft: Story Mode features character customization, crafting and building mechanics, and combat-driven sequences carried out through quick-time events.
Despite the property’s historically broad appeal, Story Mode was clearly targeting a younger audience with its simplistic story, resulting in less than stellar reviews from several gaming outlets.
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mac, iOS, Android
Roughly a year later, Telltale was given the opportunity to make their own adventure game based on the television adaption of George R. R. Martian’s now-iconic A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
Taking place after the show’s Red Wedding chapter, the game tells an original story set in the Game of Thrones universe focusing on House Forrester, one of the noble houses belonging to the Stark banner.
Martin’s personal assistant was brought on as a consultant for the story and several cast members reprised their roles for the game.
Telltale’s Game of Thrones received mixed reviews praising its narrative, choice-driven gameplay, and faithfulness to the source material while criticizing it for not providing the proper context for players who were previously unfamiliar with the series.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
Released in 2017, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an episodic adventure game based on the comic book (and now film) of the same name.
Telltale designed the game to mirror the cinematic quality of blockbuster MCU movies, complete with voice-acting and an action-packed plot in which the Guardians seek out a powerful artifact called the Eternity Forge.
Gameplay is similar to other Telltale games in that players must explore environments, gather and interact with objects, and complete action sequences using quick-time events.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series received mixed reviews from critics celebrating its story, voice acting, and portrayal of the titular characters while also taking issue with its tone, animation, and extensive technical issues.
Tales of Monkey Island
Release Date: July 7, 2009
Platforms: Windows, PS3, Wii, Mac, iOS
After Telltale had secured the rights for LucasArts, they went about creating Tales of Monkey Island, the fifth game in the classic adventure series released nearly a decade after the previous installment, Escape from Monkey Island.
In it, players take on the role of pirate Guybrush Threepwood as he faces off against his arch-nemesis, the undead pirate LeChuck to rescue his lover.
Reminiscent of the classic Telltale formula, Tales of Monkey Island places a heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving, dialogue interactions, and lighthearted gags that rely on point-and-click gameplay.
In the end, the game performed well commercially and even exceeded Telltale’s sales projections, coupled with mostly positive reviews aside from a few complaints regarding its puzzle designs.
Batman: The Telltale Series
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
Before Marvel’s Guardians, Telltale took a crack at a DC comic property with Batman: The Telltale Series, released in 2016 for PC, console, and mobile devices.
In it, players follow the Dark Knight as he travels across Gotham beating up thugs, investigating crime scenes for clues, and maintaining his personal life as Bruce Wayne.
This was the first game to include Telltale’s Crowd Play feature, which let players rely on online audiences to help them make decisions throughout Batman’s branching story.
It was a solid effort on the developer’s part that ended up being well received by critics and fans and was followed up by an even better sequel, Batman: The Enemy Within.
Tales From The Borderlands
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, iOS, Android
The next standout title in Telltale’s catalog would have to be Tales From The Borderlands, based on the colorful and chaotic first-person shooter franchise by Gearbox Software.
Set in a vibrant sci-fi world, it sees players controlling two protagonists: a Hyperion employee named Rhys and a con artist by the name of Fiona.
While the Borderlands games aren’t exactly known for their story prowess, Telltale managed to take the franchise to new heights by telling an engaging narrative that balanced the two characters’ unique perspectives.
In true Borderlands fashion, the game includes an abundance of dark comedic moments as well as several action sequences with quick-time events designed to emulate the series’ fast-paced combat.
The Walking Dead: The Game
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android
Based on the popular comic series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead: The Game follows the story of Lee Everett, a former professor and convicted murderer, as he’s freed from prison following a zombie outbreak.
From there, Lee encounters a young girl named Clementine and decides to take her under his wing as the pair search for a sanctuary and meet other survivors along the way.
While its story isn’t as intricate as games like Tales from the Borderlands or The Wolf Among Us, it manages to convey a lot using simple dialogue interactions, facial expressions, and environmental storytelling.
Additionally, the presence of multiple story paths resulted in each playthrough feeling extremely personal and encouraged further discourse among fans and critics who became enamored with the game.
The Wolf Among Us
Release Date: October 14, 2013
Platforms: Windows, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mac, iOS, Android
Last and arguably the best Telltale release to date, The Wolf Among Us is an episodic adventure game based on the Fables comic books by Bill Willingham.
The story centers on Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown and former Big Bad Wolf, as he comes to grips with his new role in society and tries to move forward from his dark past.
Beyond his struggles with self-reflection, Bigby is tasked with solving a brutal murder that occurs in Fabletown, a segregated community within New York City designed to house fairytale characters.
The game features some of the best-written characters and storylines Telltale’s ever produced and keeps players hooked with its dark atmosphere, meaningful choices, and dire situations.