Detective High: Best Detective Video Games of the Decade

The Best Detective Video Games in the Last Ten Years

We all like a decent thrill in our lives, and as human beings, we want to use our cognitive processes to solve problems and puzzles alike. However, the search for a combination of these things can be dangerous in real life. Thankfully, we can use video games to satisfy our need for these things.

Video games don’t explore the detective genre as much as movies do. In Hollywood, the genre is pumping out a couple of movies every year. However, for video games, this genre is pretty rare. We’d be lucky to get a decent detective game in one year. Additionally, there are some detective games out there that aren’t worth anyone’s time. We’re here to help you avoid those games by listing this era’s best detective video games and starting with an already cult classic among gamers: L.A. Noire.

L.A. Noire (2011)

L.A. Noire was published by Rockstar Games and was released exactly a decade ago. This game doesn’t shy from being your typical detective game: it’s set in the 1940s, and it’s about murders and clandestine criminal activities. You can’t go any more typical than that. But it’s also the main reason why it stands out.

Not many developers and publishers have done this in the last few years, and it’s pretty surprising. Moreover, those that did it poorly. L.A. Noire is lucky to have the backing of a million-dollar studio at a time and an unapologetic one at that. Nevertheless, one of the revolutionary techs used in the game, facial motion capture or scanner, was something that grabbed people’s attention.

We all know that emotions and feelings play a significant role in interrogating potential suspects. However, their feelings can technically tell a different story from what they are saying, and Rockstar took the tech to bring it to video games.  Through motion capture, they can get people’s emotions into video games. It was indeed a hit or miss, but it’s something that many gamers remember this phenomenal game for, among many other things.

Murdered: Soul Suspect (2014)

Square Enix is one of the few publishers we thought wouldn’t dare put their hands in the detective genre. But Murdered: Soul Suspect is one of the games they have published and the only one with detective gameplay.

Murdered: Soul Suspect puts you in the boots of Ronan O’Connor, a dead cop, trying to solve his murder. If that’s not enough to get you to play the game, then its numerous paranormal powers should set you right in. Playing this game will make you feel like a detective and a supernatural entity simultaneously, as NPCs in the real world struggle to make sense of what is happening.

It’s a rewarding game with an interesting setting and one that you won’t forget in years to come.

Sinking City (2019)

Sinking City is a hit detective thriller, and much like L.A. Noire, it has a good cult following. If you’ve played the Sherlock series, then you’ll be at home with this game. It has most of the gameplay elements from the series, making it a familiar game with fans. However, what makes this game stand out among many others in the industry is the setting.

Lovecraftian horror is something that isn’t explored as well as this game did. Its entire setting is set in a literal sinking city, filled with all sorts of Lovecraftian monsters and creatures. Moreover, your character, Detective Charles Reed, is an unexplored character archetype in the realm of video games. This creates a phenomenal backdrop for an amazing game.

However, it’s important to know that the game is riddled with performance issues. You might need a modern gaming setup or a good gaming laptop to play this game smoothly. By doing this, you’ll be rewarded with a visually rewarding game with tons of atmosphere.

Disco Elysium (2019)

Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking game in both gameplay and storytelling. No other game can tell a story like this one, and no other video game can do the same storytelling that Disco Elysium did.

Essentially, Disco Elysium is a detective game that brings classic table-top RPG into the mix. We’re talking about dice rolls and creating a character that fits your real-life personality. Its gameplay is one of a kind. However, its setting and graphical overview will certainly catch your eye. It has received awards for best narrative and art direction.

This is one of the games we expect all gamers to play at least once in their lifetime. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

These four games should satisfy your need for some thrill and mystery in your life. The best part about these games is that they are often on sale. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to play these games today.



Helen is a multi-published, award-winning author of over 30 books, including the delightful Ivy & Bean series. She has written novels for young adults, including YA romantic comedies, and has written BBC drama.

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