We’ve all heard tales about brave adventurers who go on epic quests. These stories are popular because they capture the imagination within all of us. The best adventure games combine these narratives with challenging in-game obstacles to offer an exciting journey of thrills and excitement.

Adventure games immerse you with an exciting array of stories, questlines, and puzzle solving mechanics. They provide endless depth and offer countless hours of entertainment, intrigue, and mystery. Naturally, the genre is widely encompassing and there are a plethora of amazing titles out there.

This article takes you through the top adventure game options on the market. We also take a look at the most promising upcoming titles, and have a glimpse at the mechanics behind this popular genre. Are you ready for a new adventure? Let’s get started.

10 Best Adventure Games of 2019

We’ve rounded up the top adventure games and written a summary for each option.

1. Firewatch

FireWatch

Our pick for one of the best action-adventure games PC

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Campo Santo
  • Release: 2016

Firewatch by Campo Santo is an adventure game based around a fire lookout named Henry. Recently employerd at Shoshone National Forest, Henry is quickly pulled into a series of mysterious events. The game follows Henry as he investigates the strange occurrences that eventually lead him and other park employees to some shocking discoveries. Firewatch is one of the best PC adventure games on the market, and it’s sure satisfy your inner explorer.

2. The Witness

The Witness

Our pick for one of the best puzzle adventure games

  • Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
  • Developer: Jonathan Blow
  • Release: 2016

The Witness is a puzzle adventure game about exploring a mysterious island and overcoming challenging obstacles. The game is heavily inspired by Myst, and it makes extensive use of various problem solving mechanics and abstract concepts. Roam the island and search through its many structures to unlock achievements and uncover hidden secrets. Are you up for the challenge? The Witness is available on PC, console, and mobile platforms.

3. God of War

God of War

Our pick for one of the best adventure games PS4

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio
  • Release: 2018

The God of War franchise features some of the best storytelling in the industry, and the 2018 version is no exception. The main difference? This installment is based on Norse Mythology. Assume control of Kratos once again to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Engage in combat, complete puzzles, and solve the game’s mysteries along the way. God of War has received high marks across the board and remains a fan favorite on the PS4.

4. Breath of the Wild

Botw

Our pick for one of the best fantasy adventure games

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release: 2017

If you’re a fan of the Zelda franchise, Breath of the Wild ranks among the highest-rated games in its 30-year history. This groundbreaking title utilizes a truly open world concept that allows players to roam free right from the start. Explore the map to unlock shrines, complete puzzles, and battle your way through a series of bosses. Once you’ve gained enough strength, take on Ganon and save Princess Zelda from his insidious clutch.

5. Life is Strange

Life is Strange

Our pick for one of the best point and click adventure games

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Release: 2015

Looking for one of the best iOS adventure games? If so, Life is Strange is the perfect option. The game revolves around Max Caulfield, a young student who discovers the ability to turn back time. But with great power comes great responsibility. Max has foreseen a great storm, and it’s up to her to save the people she loves from its calamitous effects. Life is Strange remains one of the best adventure games on android, with excellent ratings and additional ports to every major system.

6. Spider-Man

Spiderman

Our pick for one of the best adventure games on console

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Insomniac Games
  • Release: 2018

Within a few months of release, Spider-Man was already one of the best selling PS4 games of all time. That’s because it features the web-slinger you know and love, as well as a huge open world to explore. Take to the streets of Manhattan to fight crime, help citizens, and uncover tons of hidden secrets. Is your spider sense tingling? Check out Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman on PS4 today.

7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro

Our pick for one of the best adventure games on Steam

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: From Software
  • Release: 2019

From the creators of Dark Souls and Bloodborne comes Sekiro, the world of shinobi warriors. Follow the story of Wolf as he honors his bond to take down the evil samurai who kidnapped his friend. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice features an incredible array of gear and items, as well as an exciting skill tree full of medieval martial arts. The game takes place in third-person view and features an exciting single-player mode full of exploration and excitement.

8. Skyrim

Skyrim

Our pick for one of the best RPG adventure games

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG
  • Developer: Bethesda
  • Release: 2011

Heralded as a top contender for Game of the Decade, Skyrim is an epic adventure game set in a world on the brink of destruction. Alduin the World Eater, a bloodthirsty dragon, is hellbent on scorching your lands and wiping out civilization. And– it’s up to you to stop him. This action RPG features an incredible open world environment full of exciting lore and endless adventure. Battle, craft, quest, and raise your skills to your heart’s content. But make haste! The world hangs in the balance.

9. Detroit: Become Human

Detroit

Our pick for one of the best sci-fi adventure games

  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Quantic Dream
  • Release: 2018

If you can’t get enough sci-fi in your life, Detroit: Become Human is the adventure game for you. Assume control of one of three androids as you progress through the storyline and complete objectives. The catch? There is no game over and every single decision you makes affects the outcome of the entire game. The game has received excellent reviews for its storytelling and innovative mechanics, and it’s available for play on PC and PS4.

10. Astroneer

Astroneer

Our pick for one of the best action-adventure games

  • Platform: PC, Xbox One
  • Genre: Adventure, Sandbox
  • Developer: System Era
  • Release: 2019

Astroneer is a space adventure game that’s set in an exciting open world sandbox. Players assume control of an astronaut whose tasked with travelling across planets to colonize the lands and terraform the atmosphere. To aid you one your journey, players mine resources, create structures, and explore the lands around them. The game features vibrant and playful graphics and is a hit among players and critics alike.

Top 3 Upcoming Adventure Games

The following games are exciting new adventure titles slated for a 2019 release.

1. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Links Awakening

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release: 2019

Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a complete reboot of the original 1993 gameboy game. Like the original, players take control of Link shortly after he’s washed ashore on Koholine Island. From there, players must explore the map to solve puzzles, explore dungeons, and fight the hordes of enemies lurking within. Link’s Awakening is set to feature entirely new 3D graphics while maintaining a top-down perspective and playful artstyle.

2. Days Gone

Days Gone

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival, Horror
  • Developer: Bend Studio
  • Release: 2019

Days Gone is set in a post-apocalyptic world two years after a global epidemic wiped out humanity and transformed them into Freaker Zombies. Take control of Deacon St John, the bounty hunter, and complete objectives while fighting for survival. Days Gone has been in development for several years and is set to be released on PS4 come Spring 2019.

3. Forager

Forager

Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, Switch
Genre: Adventure, Sandbox
Developer: HopFrog
Release: 2019

Forager is a cute little adventure game that has players assume control of an explorer. The premise? Roam, craft, and build your base as you like. The game features an exciting combat system and cute graphics to satisfy your retro RPG cravings. It’s slated for an April 2019 release and can be purchased on Steam and the Nintendo Store.

What are Adventure Games?

Adventure games are a type of video game that emphasize exploration, puzzle solving mechanics, and immersive storylines. In most adventure titles, players control a hero who goes through the narrative arc, overcoming a variety of challenging obstacles along his journey. The climax generally consists of a difficult boss battle where players use all they’ve learned and accumulated to win and carry the story to completion.

The genre got its start with text-based choose your own adventure games like Oregon Trail and Colossal Cave Adventure. As computers became more powerful and graphics capabilities expanded, games like King’s Quest and 3D titles like Myst hit the market. Naturally, these were groundbreaking titles that enchanted the video game community, increasing demand for the genre and paving the way for exciting new releases. Despite a slight lull in the early 2000’s, adventure games remain one of the most popular genres around and encompass a huge variety of video game subgenres.

About Adventure Games

General Thoughts on Adventure Games

Now that we’ve had a peek at the top games on the market, let’s dive a little further into the genre’s mechanics and nuances.

1. Adventure games include some of the earliest titles in video game history.

Due to their text-based nature, the earliest adventure games could be played on less powerful tech and hardware. This made them the go-to choice for early game developers.

2. They feature unique items and gear.

Items and gear are some of the most rewarding parts of adventure games. Moreover, the possibility of treasure keeps players hooked and invested in completing certain objectives.

3. You can choose from countless subgenres and crossovers.

Due to the popularity of adventure video games, there are dozens of subgenres including text-based, graphical, puzzle titles, and more.

4. They’re popular among studio & indie developers.

Action-adventure game crossovers are incredibly most popular in mainstream gaming, and simpler adventure titles remain a staple among indie game developers.

5. In-game puzzles require creativity and determination.

The best adventure games use puzzles, abstract interfaces, and challenging hide-and-seek style mechanics to challenge players and spark their creativity.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed our list of adventure games, be sure to check out our other curations too!