Best adventure games according to Metacritic

Each video game is, in its own way, an adventure. But there are only a few games that can truly capture what it means to be an adventure game. These games tend to be exploration heavy and most of the time also rely on a deep story.

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There are other elements, like combat and puzzles, that are part of the journey as well. But generally, adventure games are broad and can take different forms. Some of the best games ever made are considered adventure games, but each of these games is very different from the other. These are the best and worst adventure games ever made, thanks to Metacritic’s rating system.

Updated January 16, 2022 by Chris Birsner: Adventure games are meant to be celebrated, so this article has been expanded to focus only on the classics that shaped what the genre is today. This includes games that changed the way players view Adventure Mode gameplay, improved storytelling to make audiences feel more comfortable with characters, and introduced new ways to interact with puzzles. From walking simulators to deep experiences that require a lot of skill and patience, the best adventure games can paint a wide brush and have had a huge impact on what the industry releases today.

ten What Remains of Edith Finch (Metacritical score: 89)


The Finch house in What remains of Edith Finch

Walking simulators have become a unique subgenre of adventure games, with many big hits released over the past decade. However, no walking simulator has been as unique and imaginative as What Remains of Edith Finch.

Developed by Giant Sparrow, What Remains of Edith Finch begins with Edith revisiting an old house she used to live in. The house is really weird, but it gives the player a glimpse into each of the family members, all of whom are no longer alive due to strange circumstances. The player learns each of these stories through creative storytelling mechanics.

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A corpse lying on the bridge in Return of the Obra Dinn

It’s weird to call something an adventure game when it’s all in one place, but The return of the Obra Dinn takes players on a journey of a different kind. The game revolves around an inspector tasked with examining a ship that has come ashore after being lost at sea.

The inspector’s job is to examine the dead bodies on board, identify who they were on the ship’s list, and give them an official cause of death. The return of the Obra Dinn gives players a device that allows them to return to the time of each passenger’s disappearance to help them make decisions while weaving an interesting narrative of a wild journey.



Cole Phelps gets out of his car in LA Noire

Rockstar Games has had plenty of adventures in breaking the law, but how about a game where players rule the roost? Set in 1947 in Los Angeles, The black has players who take on the role of Cole Phelps as he progresses from patrol cop to homicide and through various other divisions of the department.

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The open world setting allows players to tackle various cases on the streets. However, the essential part of The black investigates cases and interviews witnesses and suspects. Plus, the story unfolds in a way that lets Phelps know there’s more going on in the town than he thought.



The chicory handler's house: a colorful tale

Adventure games can sometimes be incredibly brutal with the way the setting is set and the story unfolds. With Chicory: a colorful storyeven some rough dives into the darker parts of the characters don’t detract from an overall wholesome experience.

The players are a small, anthropomorphic dog who worked as a janitor for the Wielder, a person who possesses a paintbrush that brings color to the world. After the current wielder hands over the brush to the player, it’s up to them to paint the world again. There are many puzzle and adventure elements in this game, but the strength of the game lies in the story and the characters.



April Ryan in The Longest Journey

While there are plenty of big names in the adventure genre these days, sometimes older games slip out of public conversation. A good example of this is The longest journeya classic point-and-click adventure released in 2000 and published by Funcom.

The story revolves around an art student named April Ryan, known as Shifter. This is because she can switch between the dimensions of Stark, which is the most “scientific” universe, and Arcadia, the most “magical” universe. The object of the game is to restore the balance between these two.



The greatest games ever made are often indie games, and Journey is a perfect example. Players assume the role of a robed individual in the middle of a desert. The object of the game is to get to a nearby mountain.

Along the way, players could encounter other players who could only communicate with musical chimes. It was all about allowing players to make emotional connections in a simple way. The story is told through visual cut scenes without dialogue. Despite its short length, Journey is considered one of the best Playstation 3 games.


The highest-grossing game of all time, Minecraft can be played in so many ways that it fits into different genres. Adventure is one of the most important elements of Minecraft as the main gameplay is to explore a randomly generated open world.

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Minecraft is iconic for the ability it gives players to explore and create in these beautiful worlds. Despite its less than stellar graphics, the game has attracted so many gamers across the world due to this built-in flexibility. Not only is an adventure pre-generated for the player, but players themselves can create their own adventure for others.



Although he’s gone, Telltale Games’ impact on the industry will not be forgotten. This is well demonstrated by their greatest success, The Walking Dead. The game is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman and features unique animation similar to the series.

Lee Everett is the main protagonist and a convicted criminal who was freed during a global zombie apocalypse. Lee spends The Walking Dead trying to survive while protecting an orphan girl named Clementine.


by Tim Schafer sinister fandango is over 20 years old. To this day, it’s still near the top of the greatest adventure games ever made. The game takes place in the Land of the Dead. This world is the hub between life and the afterlife.

The players are Manuel “Manny” Calavera, a travel agent who tries to rescue Mercedes “Meche” Colomar on her cross-country trip. Gameplay includes puzzle solving throughout the journey, with clues provided through conversation trees. sinister fandango was praised for its story, gameplay, art direction, and soundtrack.


The last of us is not only the best adventure game according to Metacritic. It is arguably one of the greatest games ever made. The game is set twenty years after the start of a pandemic that has turned many members of civilization into infected monsters.

The last of us follows Joel as he attempts to bring a teenage girl, Ellie, across the United States. Ellie is immune to disease and could help save others. The game was praised for its writing and storytelling, as well as its excellent gameplay.

MORE:Best Third-Person Adventure Games of All Time, Ranked


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