Top Adventure Games of All Time

Adventure conjures up only one thing in my mind – The Indiana Jones film trilogy, not counting The Crystal Skull. There's little else which comes close to delivering such a sense of adventure. So with that in mind which games fit the bill for best adventure?

Well, The Uncharted series – especially the brilliant second game "Among Thieves" – have to go down as some of the best. Naughty Dog manages to weave together likeable characters, wit, emotion, and some great action set pieces like no other studio has delivered. In fact, many have said that the series' lead Nathan Drake is the closest video games have come to creating an Indiana Jones hero.

Adventures aren't limited to those taking place on Earth, with many of the most acclaimed movies in the genre taking a sci-fi slant. Star Wars, Star Trek and even the recent Guardians of the Galaxy are prime examples of delivering edge of your seat action adventure. Move that over to video games and you've got BioWare's brilliant Mass Effect Trilogy which follows much of the same formula for mixed species, galactic exploration.

And to keep the movie comparisons going. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy brought fantasy adventure to the silver screen in a fashion many wouldn't have believed possible, much like Bethesda managed with its stupendous The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Console gamers picking up the game were wowed by the open-world exploration on offer.

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  • 30.


    I can't think of many games like Oxenfree. It's simple if judged purely on gameplay mechanics but wonderfully accomplished in terms of storytelling, characters and dialogue. It's nice when something comes along, seemingly... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One, PC

  • 29.

    That Dragon, Cancer

    The representation of a familly dealing with the protracted illness of a child is well done, but wasn't as interesting to me as the exploration of faith that was inextricably woven into it. It's an odd sort of beast, That... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 28.


    Firewatch feels like a natural and smart evolution of the adventure game, offering choices without as many constraints, but at the same time expertly funneling players down a path. Firewatch isn't any of the things I expected... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4, PC

  • 27.

    Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

    A confident, assured sequel, and a strong end to the series. There he is, Nathan Drake, the aww-shucks gee-wizz smart-ass mass murderer of yore, back again for another adventure, except now he's older, retired, and - for... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4

  • 26.

    Quadrilateral Cowboy

    A smart, engaging puzzler with a great central mechanic. Hands up if you've ever 'hacked' anything in real life. I haven't. I bet you haven't either, you poser. If you have, answer this question: is it fun? Or is it one of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 25.


    As a whole Virginia is wonderfully cinematic, and a fantastic story to inhabit as it unfolds. With Virginia there's a handy litmus test that we can get out of the way, right off the bat. You will probably not like Virginia... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

  • 24.

    Batman: Arkham VR

    PlayStation VR's best launch title? Batman: Arkham VR is an incredible experience, but it’s over far too soon Dave becomes one with the Caped Crusader in Rocksteady's deeply immersive VR experience, but is left wanting... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4

  • 23.

    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

    When playing Wind Waker, it's impossible not to succumb to its charm and unashamed freedom of imagination. Zelda: The Wind Waker is a work of genius. Make the most of it. Genius. Perfection. Magnificence. All words that have... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Cube

  • 22.

    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

    Metroid Prime 2 is challenging in the very best way and it's a rare gem that reminds you just how great gaming can be People fear change. Especially within certain tried and tested genres. First person shooters, for instance,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Cube

  • 21.

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

    A fine example of the adventure game genre. Buying this game should be made law. Who would be a lawyer, eh? The Bard himself (that's Shakespeare, you philistines) was most uncomplimentary of their profession in several of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: DS

  • 20.

    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

    Corruption may not be much of an evolution of the series, and it's not without its flaws, but remains one of, if not, the biggest reason to own a Wii. If for some bizarre reason you thought Retro Studios would pull a Sam... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 19.

    Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure

    With wonderfully varied levels, colourful, cel-shaded graphics and mind-bending puzzles Zack & Wiki triumphantly makes its debut on Nintendo Wii. Don't be put off by Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure's unwieldy title... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 18.

    Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

    With spectacular presentation, highly entertaining Robot Wars style multiplayer and a lot of good hearted humour, the bear and bird are back. Comeback accomplished. Comebacks aren't easy. Just as with any form of media you're... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 17.

    Professor Layton and the Curious Village

    It's not an epic adventure, like Phantom Hourglass, or polished platformer, like New Super Mario Bros., but in many ways Professor Layton is better than both those games. "What's that game?" my better half asked, staring... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: DS

  • 16.

    Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut

    If you've finished Professor Layton and you're looking for something that combines decent puzzles with a ripping yarn, this is well worth a gander. "Paris in the fall. The last months of the year, and the end of the millennium.... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: DS

  • 15.

    Beneath A Steel Sky – Remastered

    Whether you're an established fan of puzzle adventures or just a newcomer to the genre, Beneath a Steel Sky is an absolute delight. Earlier this year Revolution released a Director's Cut for the highly-acclaimed Broken Sword:... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iPhone

  • 14.

    Heavy Rain

    If you want a true indicator of the PS3's abilities, and of the true potential of what video games can do, I can think of no better candidate. To a greater extent than most games, Heavy Rain is a story-driven adventure. As... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 13.

    Alan Wake

    Alan Wake is a superbly scripted adventure and a technical showcase for the now-ageing Xbox 360 hardware. If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise, but this ain't no picnic. "It was Tuesday morning,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 12.

    Sly Collection

    The Sly Collection is a top-notch compilation of some of the most beautiful platformers ever made. Would somebody in the UK please buy it? Sony's attempts to include PS2 compatibility with the PS3 might have been an unmitigated... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 11.

    Alan Wake

    Alan Wake is still a superbly scripted adventure on PC. This review was originally published for the Xbox 360 version of Alan Wake, published by Microsoft in 2010. The PC version uses Steamworks and is being self-published... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 10.


    Journey is an immaculately constructed, expertly choreographed experience that tells a story in an intelligent way, exploring themes of faith and fate, death and rebirth with a rare delicacy of touch. Wonder: that's what... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 9.

    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

    A beautiful upgrade that makes an already wonderful game even better. If proof was ever needed that you shouldn't give a flying monkey's what your audience thinks, then the Wind Waker debacle of the early 00s is it. Remember... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii U

  • 8.


    One of, if not the, best games on the Vita, and one of 2013’s most unforgettable adventures. Imagination is Tearaway's genius. Don't be fooled by its core simplicity: its inventive approach to puzzles, platforming and storytelling... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS Vita

  • 7.

    The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode Two – A House Divided

    A superior episode, and one that bodes well for the rest of the season. You'll be especially thankful for the "Previously on..." introduction in this second episode, as it's been bloody ages (read: three months) since Telltale... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 6.

    The Walking Dead: In Harm's Way

    Offers a proper bad guy for you to hate, but also asks how far you’ll go to escape. It's unsettling to look back at the choices I've made throughout my time in The Walking Dead. Over the course of the two seasons thus far... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 5.

    The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

    ABXY Moon (sorry) It's time for Majora's Mask to step out of Ocarina of Time's shadow. Comfortably the most innovative and arguably the best of the Zelda series, the condensed mission structure and three-day cycle makes it... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: 3DS

  • 4.

    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

    We knew then that Miyamoto and co had made a classic, but it's only now that we can see just how revolutionary Ocarina of Time actually was. I bought the gold cartridge edition of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time at its... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: 3DS

  • 3.

    Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection

    Invest in each world - in the castle and Yorda, and the Forbidden Lands and Agro - and you'll be rewarded with an experience that will stay with you for a very long time. Back when I was at university, I tackled the subject... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS3

  • 2.

    The Last of Us: Remastered

    The best version of one of the last generation's best games. Editor's Note: Below is a rundown of the technical accomplishments of The Last of Us Remastered, and how they affect the game itself. For a review of the PS3 version... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PS4

  • 1.


    Inside delights from start to finish. Don't miss out on what will surely be one of the best games of this generation. Playdead's Inside, the studio's follow-up to indie darling Limbo, is very much in the mould of its predecessor:... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox One, PC