Detective movies are great, especially if you love mystery and police investigations. But, as the gaming grew bigger and bigger, those badass detectives found their way into the games, so we now have a fair share of detective games at our disposal. Detective games are a little bit of everything; we have the action games, puzzle games, and mystery games which are immersive and fun to play. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best detective games for PC. To be exact, 20 of them. Below is our list of best detective PC games.
1. Max Payne 3
If you ask a gamer what’s the most popular detective in games, you’ll probably hear the answer like Max Payne. And, you know what? You should give that man a cookie because Max Payne 3 is a hell of a game. In fact, the whole franchise is great, although it’s a third-person shooter franchise. All in all, Max Payne is a detective with a dark humor and lots of sarcasm which shows its traits during the whole game (franchise). In Max Payne 3, our beloved hero ditched his police uniform and goes to Brazil to protect a wealthy family, but as the things go wrong, he is once again on a guns-blazing adventure. This is a Max Payne that we all waited for so long, and believe me, you’ll love it!
2. L.A. Noire
Coming from Rockstar Games, L.A. Noire is one of the best Noir games of all time. If you know the gaming well, you know that Max Payne 3 was also published by Rockstar Games, so expect the same quality. Unlike that game, L.A. Noire is a more detective-oriented game, meaning that you’ll be searching for clues, interrogating suspects and kill if needed, in order to solve the case of homicide. The game doesn’t have a multiplayer mode, but as you’ve guessed, L.A. Noire has a fantastic, immersive and compelling story. Get ready to experience L.A. at its full glance!
3. Murdered: Soul Suspect
Murdered: Soul Suspect is a very authentic detective game that takes a different approach to the genre. It also ditches shooting, mind-blowing action and grenade tossing for a horror approach to the game. Yes, this is a detective-based horror game! Now I can die in peace! Jokes aside, Murdered: Soul Suspect is a game that will terrify you with its horror elements, as well as entertain you as you search for your killer in the game. It would be good if we can search for our own killers in the real life, huh? Well, maybe we can, I’ll tell you once I find out.
4. Her Story
Her Story is a game that you’ll probably finish in four to five hours, but it’s a real deal! As the game has pre-rendered real-life movies, it doesn’t have any special mechanics to it. I mean, you cycle through the police dossier and look at the various recordings of a woman giving her statement about the series of homicide that occurred recently. That’s about it! However, the acting is done pretty well here, and you’ll have that feeling of tension and waiting for the ending to come, in order to unveil the killer.
It’s true that I’m tired of walking simulators, and I also thought that Kona is such game. But, that’s where I retracted my words. Kona is easily one of the most immersive games I’ve ever played! Its graphics, physics, story, and voice acting is superb, being a true detective game. The game is set in 1970 in Northern Canada, and you are a detective exploring the surreal events occurring at Atamipek Lake. In order to survive, you’ll need to battle the harsh winter, wolves, and a huge environment. I wish you a good luck and a successful investigation!
6. Still Life
Still Life combines everything you need from a detective game. An interesting story, solid visuals, and smoking-hot female protagonist. Oh, yeah, you’ve read that well! But wait, aren’t we here for the actual gameplay and story? Let’s wipe the saliva and proceed. Still Life tells the story of detective Victoria McPherson and her investigation of a murder which later turns out to be a work of a serial killer. However, back in the 1920s, her father also worked on a similar case, so you’ll often switch back and forth, to unravel the case. Unfortunately, Still Life’s story isn’t completely finished in the first game, so you might want to check its sequel.
Fahrenheit is another game similar to Still Life, but with more twists and paranormal stuff. Do you like paranormal things? Well, now is the time to prove it. Fahrenheit is a game about investigating a series of mysterious murders following the same pattern, in New York City. As the story progresses, many twisted things start happening and the game becomes more interesting. The only downside here is that it’s heavily scripted, so it’s like an interactive movie. If that’s what you like, then Fahrenheit is a game for you.
8. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Did we mention the walking simulators a few minutes ago? Oh, I think we did, and this game is one of those walking simulators. But, before you skip this paragraph, I will tell you that it was worth playing. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game of mystery, exploration, and atmosphere that you’ll love. The graphics are on point, as Unreal Engine 4 dig its claws in the game’s development. A sound design is remarkable, and the whole presentation left me speechless. You won’t make a mistake if you give this game a chance.
9. Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned: Criminal Origins is a highly underrated game released in 2005. Again, you’re going to investigate a series of murder, but with a high focus on paranormal stuff. This horror game isn’t about open world or jumpscares, but an atmosphere that can scare the shit out of you easily, even without monsters. But, Condemned: Criminal Origins still includes some enemies, both human and non-human, as well as exploration in the tight, claustrophobic level design. If you enjoy a great story and love spooky things, grab this game now.
10. The Wolf Among Us
Another point-and-click adventure is The Wolf Among Us. If you didn’t know, this game is developed by Telltale Games, which is the best developer when it comes to such games. An immersive story, a world that feels alive and amazing characters are to be expected from this game. It’s a typical detective story following Bigby Wolf on his quest to uncover the series of murder in the town. Its cartoonish graphics look great, and the game is released episodic, of which every episode lasts about an hour, depending on your gameplay. A simple, yet effective approach.
11. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment
If you’re up for a movie-like experience, get ready to get into the skin of the world’s most popular detective. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment was released four years ago, but it’s still one of my favorite games of all time. To put it simply, the game doesn’t have any action-packed sequences, intense boss fights and similar, but a laid-back approach to it. You’ll be investigating six varied and immersive cases and solve various mysteries which can lead you to a grand revelation. I think you’ll love it, especially the fans of Sherlock Holmes.
12. Detective Grimoire
Detective Grimoire is a cheap, cartoonish game that you can buy for a pocket change. Again, it’s a story-based game featuring a beautiful environment and characters to explore and talk to. Detective Grimoire is an indie game, coming from SFB Games which did a pretty good job of keeping the game immersive and interesting throughout the whole adventure. In the end, the satisfaction you get from completing the game is priceless.
13. Contradiction: Spot the Liar!
Adventure games are awesome, but what about an adventure interactive movie? Now, that’s the spirit! Contradiction: Spot the Liar! is a movie-based game, with the real-life acting which is all about that mystery and adventurous spirit. As you watch the live-action videos, your mission is to interview the characters and spot the liar among the characters. This is a whole new level of a detective game, which grants tons of fun.
14. Gemini Rue
Gemini Rue is a dark, depressive and very misanthropic cyberpunk game, for the fans of point-and-click adventures. The game speaks about the two characters who are brought together by the fate, as they discover a world where the life is perfect, cheap and identities are sold and bought. This is a 2D game, with the hand-drawn, pre-rendered backgrounds that look epic, providing an amazing atmosphere and a backstory for the game. Basically, this is a Sci-Fi mystery, plus it’s a low-spec game, so you can play it on almost any machine.
15. Blade Runner
If you watcher the Blade Runner movie, which was an amazing work by Ridley Scott, then you’ll be very familiar with the game. The best way to describe Blade Runner is by telling that it’s a “sidequel”, which means that its story goes parallel to the movie’s story, with the occasional intersection points. As for the gameplay, the game relies on the point-and-click mechanics and uses a pre-rendered background to give you a feeling of the aforementioned movie. The game is developed in 1997 and looks stunning for the time.
16. The Evil Within 2
In The Evil Within, we were introduced to a detective called Sebastian Castellanos, a man with nothing to lose, it seems. This horror franchise was completed with The Evil Within 2 which released the past year and took the gaming community by storm. It’s a game about a retired detective whose daughter is taken captive by the powerful mob company called MOBIUS. Sebastian gladly accepts the offer, and he is connected to the STEM, a machine that puts you in a virtual world, similar to Matrix. From there, you’ll experience the horror experience of your life! I guarantee you that The Evil Within 2 will scare the hell out of you. Besides, isn’t that the goal of every horror game?
17. Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition is another horror game, featuring Francis York Morgan, a detective who is on his way to unravel the mystery about a brutal murder of a young beauty. But, as he learns more about the victim and surroundings, York encounters paranormal stuff and is forced to defend himself. Deadly Premonition is a great shooter game, but also a semi open-world game, that will send shivers down your spine.
18. The Shivah
The Shivah is a point-and-click adventure which tells a story about Russel Stone, a Jewish Rabbi with a problem. Russel is a poor man and his funds are almost extinct, as he tries to keep his synagogue open. But, the things take a turn for the better and he receives a large sum of money, which he can use to fulfill his goals. Will he do so? Well, that’s up to you. The Shivah offers a unique storytelling method, fighting, and even several different endings.
19. Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst
Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst is a puzzle game with the beautiful pre-rendered graphics and simple gameplay mechanics. The game is essentially about investigating the various crime scenes and discovering the hidden objects in order to progress. It’s a casual game for relaxing after a long day of work or school, plus it’s very cheap.
20. Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
It’s post-World War III era, and Tex Murphy is our hard-boiled detective living in San Francisco. So, what about it? Well, nothing special. Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure is an interactive movie which combines the great adventure setpieces as well as some detective-style comedy for added immersion. That’s enough for enjoyment, though.