Top Puzzle Games of All Time

Sit down next to anyone on a train or bus and you're likely to see them pull out a mobile phone and begin matching candies like a total boss. Candy Crush Saga has taken the world by storm, but the puzzle game has a long history of consuming all our free time.

Go back a few decades and you've got Tetris and Lemmings, both very different experiences, but equally capable of grabbing you for just one more go.

Puzzle games do seem to fit best on mobile platforms, first with Tetris and its clones (SEGA's Columns isn't as bad as Nintendo gamers would have you believe), then the likes of Zoo Keeper on Nintendo DS, Lumines on PSP and eventually the phenomenon that is Angry Birds.

There's just something about a mobile/handheld system than allows you to get engrossed in the puzzle solving experience, ignoring whatever else is going on around you. Sit down for a session on mobile hit The Room and you can be there all night.

There are exceptions to the mobile rule, with PC and console hit Portal providing many a brain scratcher, as did Braid and Fez.

  • 30.

    Cover Orange Review

    Cover Orange

    Cover Orange might not have the star power of Angry Birds or the score-based draw of Tiny Wings, but it's a brilliant physics-based puzzler that can be enjoyed alone or with friends. In Cover Orange you do what it says on the tin: cover oranges. Each level... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 29.

    Cart Cow Review

    Cart Cow

    Cart Cow is a surprisingly clever game that deserves to be played. The day when all ideas are finally wrung out of iOS physics games will be a... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 28.

    Cut the Rope: Experiments Review

    Cut the Rope: Experiments

    It's impossible to discount the entertainment derived from Cut the Rope: Experiments' content. Cut the Rope was one of the App Store's more prominent success stories, and... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 27.

    PuzzleJuice Review

    PuzzleJuice

    PuzzleJuice is a triathlon of different games, all competing in unison and prodding various parts of your addled brain at the same time. The micro-team behind PuzzleJuice is under no illusions about just how hard... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

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  • 26.

    Quarrel Review

    Quarrel

    Quarrel is wrapped up in a darling Fisher Price aesthetic and presented with wit and style. When it launched on iPhone, it seemed like Quarrel had it all. A clever... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 25.

    Angry Birds Space Review

    Angry Birds Space

    I find it a shame, though understandable, that many people see iOS development as a race to the bottom. Angry Birds Space, however, effortlessly shows why Rovio is currently on top. Angry Birds, eh? It's like the Call of Duty of the mobile world, in that it... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,iOS

  • 24.

    The Splatters Review

    The Splatters

    Just because the titular creatures aren't around to enjoy the fruits of their demise (for long, anyway) doesn't mean you shouldn't. In games, a protagonist's ability to win usually comes from staying alive to... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 23.

    Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move Review

    Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move

    Mario And Donkey Kong is simply a very good puzzle game. Mario And Donkey Kong: Minis On The Move is the most stressful game ever... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

  • 22.

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies Review

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

    As close as the series has come to the greatness of the original trilogy. The Ace Attorney games take place in a world where parrots are called to the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

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  • 21.

    Lumines

    Puzzlers are not for everyone, but I strongly recommend you give Lumines a try. Quite simply it's not just the best puzzler on the PSP, but one of the best puzzlers of all time. Whenever a new videogames console is released there's always talk of the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 20.

    Meteos

    Meteos is a DS must-have and one of the great game experiences of recent times. Just don't expect to be able to look at Duplo bricks in the same way ever again. I've done it. I think I've finally been able to come up with a way of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Nintendo DS

  • 19.

    LocoRoco

    As far as PSP titles go, there is nothing that comes close to being so wonderfully suited to the platform, with every part of its design simply working how you'd want it to. I've liked a number of PSP games; I'd even say that a few of the currently... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 18.

    Lumines Live!

    Rather than being a rip-off, Lumines Live! represents one of the most impressive games available for the Xbox Live Arcade service There were many controversial video game moments in 2006, but the award for... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 17.

    Every Extend Extra

    Every Extend Extra is short, basic and ferociously hard, and these are just some of the reasons it is assured a place in the schmup hall of fame. Every Extend Extra marks the return of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the master behind... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 16.

    Portal

    The simple ideas are often the best, and Portal is one of the best ideas for a game we've ever seen. It's fantastically realised and brilliantly executed. You wake up in a room without knowing why you're there - white walls,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,PlayStation 3,Xbox 360

  • 15.

    Boom Blox Review

    Boom Blox

    EA has made a game that people of all ages and skill levels can play and enjoy. It proves that developers other than Nintendo can create brilliant games for the Wii. Boom Blox might well be the best motion controlled game I've played on the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Wii

  • 14.

    Braid Review

    Braid

    Braid is a game like nothing you've ever played before and something we can't recommend highly enough. We've never played a game like this before. Braid looks like just another... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3,PC,Xbox 360

  • 13.

    Portal: Still Alive Review

    Portal: Still Alive

    The simple ideas are often the best, and Portal, quite simply, is one of the best ideas for a game we've ever seen. Finally, you can now download Portal to your Xbox 360. It seems ridiculous... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360

  • 12.

    LocoRoco 2 Review

    LocoRoco 2

    LocoRoco 2 is the most uplifting game available, not only on the title-shy PSP, but on any platform. The genius of Tsutomu Kouno's LocoRoco concept is that its gameplay hasn't... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PSP

  • 11.

    Zen Bound Review

    Zen Bound

    Zen Bound breathes ingenuity and individuality on a scale that hasn’t been seen on the iPhone. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed. The launch of a new action/adventure game is often heralded with phrases... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 10.

    Tetris Review

    Tetris

    he original, maddeningly-addictive gameplay remains intact, but there's also a generous selection of alternative modes and variations. By now even the most casual of gamers must be familiar with Tetris. This was... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS,PSP

  • 9.

    Labyrinth 2 Review

    Labyrinth 2

    This is a top-drawer iDevice game that feels perfectly at home on Apple's touch screen, tilt-enabled handhelds. At just £2.99 it's an absolute steal. It takes a lot to make me swear, but a devilish video game will usually do... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 8.

    Limbo Review

    Limbo

    Limbo is a puzzle game that is littered with ideas and an artistic eye, but more importantly it understands the frustrations of repetition and makes failure enjoyable. With the influx of pretty independent games over the last ten years it's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One,PlayStation 3,PC,PS Vita,iOS,Xbox 360,Android

  • 7.

    Helsing's Fire Review

    Helsing's Fire

    Helsing's Fire has inventive levels and immediate charm, making it an instant iPhone classic you'd be a fool not to pick up post haste. Dracula's never been one to have a large amount of light in his dastardly... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 6.

    Pac-Man Championship Edition DX Review

    Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

    Namco Bandai has once again intelligently built upon - and suitably drop-kicked into 2010 - one of the most famous arcade games of all time. Wakka wakka wakka wakka wakka. WAKKA. Okay, I've got it out of my system:... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3,Xbox 360

  • 5.

    FEZ Review

    FEZ

    Fez's ornate world, sumptuous audiovisual presentation, and cryptic machinations made me feel like an adrift archaeologist filled with wonder. By and large indie games don't get a lot of pre-release hype. Plenty become... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,PC,PS Vita,iOS,PlayStation 4

  • 4.

    Monument Valley Review

    Monument Valley

    A monument to mobile excellence. Monument Valley is a significant accomplishment by ustwogames -... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: iOS

  • 3.

    She Remembered Caterpillars Review

    She Remembered Caterpillars

    Beautiful, unsettling, challenging. The fungal growths in it are cute little creatures rather than mushrooms (which are horrible). What's not to like? For more detailed thoughts on She Remembers Caterpillars check out the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC,Nintendo Switch

  • 2.

    Portal 2 Review

    Portal 2

    I think you knew all along this was going to be great. Fantastic, even. All the same, I don't think you'll be prepared for it being this good. The following review is spoiler-free. Fear not: this review has been the... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 3,PC,Xbox 360

  • 1.

    The Witness Review

    The Witness

    I'm so caught up inside the world of The Witness that it's hard to think about anything else. It is one of the best games I've ever encountered. At one point towards the end of The Witness I considered whether it might be... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PlayStation 4,Xbox One,PC