What’s a game without complex gameplay? Is it really a video game if we aren’t forced to learn a ton of button combinations and test our hand-eye coordination? According to the best point and click games, gameplay isn’t always the driving force of an enjoyable gaming experience.
The point and click adventure genre is unique among others. There is no gripping gameplay to enthral the masses, only a deep and engaging story that serves as the center of everything. Without a solid narrative, a point and click adventure has no leg to stand on. That’s what makes the titles on this list even more impressive and worthy of being dubbed the greatest point and click games of all time.
The Best Point and Click Games
15. The Dig
Developer: LucasArts Publisher: LucasArts Platform(s): PC
Many years before LucasArts went the way of the dodo, it was churning out quality video games; and wouldn’t you know it, they weren’t all based in the Star Wars universe. The Dig pits players as Commander Boston Low in a point and click adventure set in the depths of space.
Click your way through this intergalactic story and uncover the truth behind alien technology and a race of extraterrestrial beings. The Dig features branching paths with multiple endings, providing players with a reason to follow Low during two playthroughs.
The Dig features voiceover work from Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) and Steven Blum and effectively combines 2D artwork with pre-rendered 3D movies created by ILM. Atmosphere and a gripping score help round out one of the best point and click games you’ll get your hands on to date.
Initially released in 1993, Day of the Tentacle saw a reemergence as a remaster in 2016. No matter which version you play, you’re in for a quirky treat that sends you exploring through a world of oddities.
The game picks up 5 years after the events of Maniac Mansion (1987), when a purple tentacle has undergone a dangerous mutation. Now smart enough to strive for world domination, the tentacle falls into the crosshairs of mad scientist Dr. Fred Edison. To prevent its own destruction, Green Tentacle calls upon his old friend, bernard Bernoulli.
Bernard and his companions Laverne and Hoagie are sent to the past to prevent Purple Tentacle’s mutation, which launches an adventure across time. Set across multiple periods, players have to find their way to the day before Purple Tentacle’s transformation.
It’s as strange as it sounds, which only serves to amplify the experience. While the remaster is a faithful recreation, you can’t go wrong playing the original version of this point and click.
13. Sam & Max Hit the Road
Developer: LucasArts Publisher: LucasArts Platform(s): PC
During the early to mid-90s, LucasArts had a thing for point and click adventures. Sam & Max Hit the Road was just one of many, but it stood out for its many achievements in storytelling, voice acting, music, and graphics.
Players looking for a laugh can rely on Sam and Max as the duo set out to solve a case that takes them across the country. A mysterious phone call sets off the events of Sam & Max Hit the Road, and it’s a nonstop, joyous experience from start to finish. Their story is told through player interaction with the world around them.
Solve puzzles, explore detailed environments, and question the strangest of the strange as you discover what really sent Sam and Max on a grand, interstate adventure.
Developer: Double Fine Productions Publisher: Double Fine Productions Platform(s): PC, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
Ah, Double Fine. We can always count on you when we want to be transported to a weird world. If it’s not a school for psychics or a realm where music is a weapon, it’s one where girls are sacrificed to mogs and a lone man is trapped in a daily routine set by a controlling AI.
Broken Age tells two stories that parallel each other, though players will spend a good portion of the early hours trying to figure out how. Elijah Wood and Masasa Moyo voice the two protagonists, who’s stories unfold over 2 acts. The deeper you get, the more obvious the connection between the two becomes. Broken Age may not add anything new to the genre, but Double Fine’s focus on a quality story makes it a must-play.
Developer: Westwood Studios Publisher: Virgin Interactive Platform(s): PC
1982’s Blade Runner created a fascinating world of men and bioengineered creations. Headlined by Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, the hyperfuturistic film drew in a cult following. It’s that following that helped elevate the popularity of the follow-up video game, which released 15 years after the movie.
The point and click adventure doesn’t follow Deckard, but don’t let that deter you. The heroic stand-in, Ray McCoy, may not be as good a character as Ford’s Deckard, but he fills the void nicely. After a bunch of animals turn up dead, McCoy sets out to find the replicants responsible. The video game is set during the events of the film, though you’ll only see cameos from smaller characters from the movieverse.
Depending on your choices during this puzzle-filled point and click adventure, you’ll see one of three endings that paint completely different futures for McCoy. Best of all, it’s now available on PC again thanks to GOG.
10. Clock Tower
Developer: Human Entertainment Publisher: Human Entertainment Platform(s): PC, PS1, Super Famicom, WonderSwan
It’s really difficult to effectively point and click when a short man with scissors is chasing you. Okay, that sounds ridiculous, but Clock Tower does test the steadiness of your hand as you’re chased through a dusty old mansion by the aptly named Scissorman.
Introduced in 1995, Scissorman was among the first iconic video game terrors, beating our Pyramid Head by 6 years. Save for his less-rapey nature, Scissorman is equally as terrifying as the imposing, lumbering fiend from Silent Hill. That’s saying a lot considering he’s less than half the size and comes at you with giant sheers.
Clock Tower’s 2D environment is creepy, its sound design superbly haunting, and its story a welcomed mix of dramatic and thrilling. Future titles tried to capture the perfect that was Clock Tower, but none could make players quiver nearly as much as the original.
If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you played Myst. Whether you remember doing so or not is irrelevant, it was the game that everybody tried at least once. Being heavily reliant on puzzles, it wasn’t a game for everyone – but its striking visuals made it difficult to pass up.
After stumbling upon a book that mentions an unknown world called Myst, players are sucked into the fictional realm. Using cunning and maybe quite a bit of guesswork, they must explore the island, solve a series of puzzles, and activate a few mechanisms to return home.
Myst is the kind of game that ages well. Some aspects, like the few scattered video diaries and synthesized music, may not be up to today’s standards, but puzzle complexity keeps players focused on what really matters.
Developer: The Neverhood, Inc. Publisher: Dreamworks Interactive Platform(s): PC, PS1
Point and click games don’t have much of a place on consoles, but for a game like The Neverhood, exceptions can be made. With 3 awards under its belt, The Neverhood is the kind of titles you use to get people to understand the appeal of a game that’s not nearly as interactive as, say, first-person shooters.
The first thing you’re sure to notice about The Neverhood is its claymation art style. It creates a strange world that’s almost unsettling to explore, but the detailing is so impressive that you also can’t help but feel like you are playing with real clay.
Just as strange as the visuals is The Neverhood’s story, which follows Klaymen and his adventures in the titular world. He crosses paths with Neverhood’s only inhabitants, Willie Trombone, Klogg, Hoborg, and Big Robot Bil as players try to understand their purpose in this unusual adventure. Point and click games aren’t for everyone, and The Neverhood’s uniqueness really drives that point home.
Let’s take a trip to the Land of the Day, where recently departed souls travel before heading to their final destination. As Manuel “Manny” Calavera, players will get to explore such a fascinating afterlife, one crafted from elements of the Aztecian afterlife. From character design to a vibrant, unusual world, there is a lot to love about Grim Fandango. The story, however, may be its star.
Grim Fandango gives us a unique look into the afterlife through the eyes of a travel agent for the dead. Brought to life by Tim Schafer, it’s no wonder the quirky weirdness is part of the game’s alluring charm. Point and click your way through the pre-rendered world, interacting with its inhabitants as you help pull Calavera from a conspiracy he’s unwillingly been drawn into.
Double Fine Productions remastered Grim Fandango in 2015, but there’s always something to be said about going back to the original release from 1998.
Your girlfriend is kidnapped and you know there’s only the Black Cap Brotherhood could be behind her disappearance. What do you do? If your name is Josef and you’re a courageous little robot, you set out on a grand adventure to get her back.
Machinarium bends a point and click adventure with a living 2D, hand-drawn world. Interact with the curious denizens of this strange place, which was crafted by the minds behind Somorost and Botanicula. Solve puzzles along the way and rise to the ranks of hero as you strive to save your girlfriend and return order to the city.
Machinarium is a delightful game in all aspects, from the simple point and click gameplay to the beautiful score that’s all-too-perfect for Josef’s quest.
Many have sought it, but of course, only the famed Indiana Jones could find the lost city of Atlantis. Fate of Atlantis puts players in the fedora of Indiana, equipped with a whip and the archeologist’s quick wit. The point and click gameplay takes players across multiple environments, where the adventurer must evade Nazis and beat them to a weapon that could devastate the world.
Fistfight your way through challenging enemies and solve ages-old puzzles that have kept people from discovering Atlantis for centuries. Fate of Atlantis spans over 200 locations and increases replayability with three paths to beating the Third Reich to the real secret of Atlantis.
It’s a cold, unforgiving place, but Syberia has a secret that Kate Walker, a lawyer from New York, must unravel. Even if it means sidetracking from her otherwise mundane job. Like Kate, players are in for an incredible journey across Syberia that’s sprinkled with creative puzzles that are so expertly designed, they don’t break up the action.
More than just a point and click game, Syberia is a massive adventure that takes players (and Kate) to unknown lands, some lost in time. Whether she can reveal the truth tucked within Syberia’s history is up to you. Master this acclaimed point and click game, and you’ll be rewarded with answers that many have sought, but only an inquisitive lawyer from New York could reveal.
Along with a gripping story, Syberia is stunning to watch. Realistic 3D environments are so detailed you start to feel like you’re in Kate’s shoes. Microids’ developed more than just a game – it’s a playable movie.
Developer: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS3, Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, iOS, Android
If there were a genre of gaming that you wouldn’t expect The Walking Dead to work best in, it’d likely be point and click adventure. As it turns out, however, the property has done poorly with first-person shooters and succeeded best under Telltale Games, a developer best known for point and click adventures.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One showcased everything we loved about the franchise at the time. There was deep storytelling, characters we loved but knew wouldn’t last long, and zombies. It’s a far cry from what the TV series is now.
The Walking Dead: Season One shifts focus from Rick Grimes to Lee Everett and Clementine, an unlikely pairing forced together in a world of decay. You’ll come into contact with some characters from the graphic novel, but Season One does its best to build its own world. The result is a point and click adventure with heart.
And guts. And blood.
2. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
Developer: LucasArts Publisher: LucasArts Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS
Evils from the past return in this follow-up to Guybrush Threepwood’s epic adventure game in The Secret of Monkey Island. LeChuck’s Revenge sees the return of LeChuck, now a zombie pirate on the hunt for revenge. Threepwood’s search for the treasure of Big Whoop will have to wait as he gets distracted by LeChuck’s vengeance.
Set sail on the high seas in a point and click adventure that rightly earns the “best of…” title. Interact with characters of all sorts, progressing dialogue and uncovering the secrets of the incredible world that surrounds you. LeChuck’s Revenge is both whimsical and challenging, forcing both Guybrush and players to use their wits to defeat the infamous pirate once again.
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge is an updated version with enhanced, interactive gameplay, a refreshed musical score, voice overs from franchise cast members, and high-def graphics.
You don’t earn the nomination of multiple BAFTA awards without being among the best. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars is a classic point and click adventure that puts players in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. The rich and colorful design of Paris is the setting for this acclaimed title, where a dramatic cast of characters are intertwined in a devilish plot.
Can you solve the mystery of the Knights Templar? Or will every action you take bring you close to your imminent death? Carefully click your way through this daring and exciting story that takes players across multiple locations. It’s an adventure that spans across time, where puzzles and nefarious foe block your path at every turn.
Backed by a musical score composed by Barrington Pheloung, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars is just as much a treat to listen to as it is to play. The Director’s Cut features an additional 2 hours of gameplay, a first-person perspective for certain minigames, and new facial expressions drawn by Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons.