Graphic adventure games have been popular since the late '80s. From early entries such as the Oregon Trail, the genre has grown and changed during the last few decades, but it is definitely not dead. There has been a resurgence of awesome games that deliver fantastic audio and voice acting, beautiful visuals, and a story that you can really sink your teeth into. There's no need to go looking for them either, because we collected the best graphic adventure games on Xbox One right here.
Life is Strange
No list of greatest graphic adventure games would be complete without the triumphant Life is Strange. Life is Strange follows the adventures of Maxine Caulfield, who, for reasons unknown, becomes endowed with the power to reverse time. This leads her down a rabbit hole of mystery and intrigue, unravelling the dark underbelly of a sleepy Oregon town, besieged by corruption, crime, and even murder.
Gameplay in Life is Strange revolves around conversations, item hunting, and a branching narrative, where your decisions affect the ultimate outcome of the story. Inspired by the likes of X-Files and Twin Peaks, Life is Strange is one game no graphic adventure fan can be without.
Firewatch is a stand-out entry in the graphic adventure genre, and it's only been available on Xbox One since September 2016. You play as Henry, a man who takes a job as a "firewatcher" in the Wyoming wilderness to escape his life. Things start out very simply, and your job is to keep an eye on the wilderness and call in any sign of smoke on your radio. The only other regular human contact is your supervisor on the radio, and you really are in the middle of the wilderness. Well, probably anyway.
Firewatch delivers absolutely beautiful visuals of the wilderness, with a story that draws you in and makes you want to keep playing. The voice acting, story, and environment all work together to deliver a stellar experience that grabs you by the eyeballs and hangs on for dear life. If you're a fan of mystery, this is definitely a graphic adventure worth seeking out.
Batman: The Telltale Series
For many geeks Batman is an iconic figure, and this game brings him and the mythos that surrounds Batman, brilliantly to life. The game is dark, bringing everything you love about Batman to the forefront, without repeating the same storylines that many fans have become accustomed to. It's animated beautifully, as well, with a style that looks like it could have been lifted directly out of a comic book.
You can expect the same extraordinarily difficult choices that directly affect the game as you may have seen in other Telltale games. It's twice as nasty here, though, because your actions as Batman may have consequences for Bruce Wayne, and vice versa. You'll have to walk carefully in both identities in order to handle the new Children of Arkham, along with a handful of old friends and enemies alike. This is also a fairly dark story, and it is definitely not recommended for children.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
Telltale has been delivering fantastic games in the Walking Dead universe for quite a while now, and A New Frontier is the latest installment. Set years after the zombie threat changed everything, you play as Javier and Clementine, a young man looking for his family, and a young girl who has lost everything. Help them to navigate this new world, and avoid the pitfalls that lay within it.
Each choice that you make may have dire consequences and will change your gameplay. If you played Season 2, then you are actually able to import and tailor the backstory of Clementine. While you certainly can play the earlier Walking Dead Telltale games, it isn't necessary to enjoy A New Frontier.
Banner Saga 2
Banner Saga was a nostalgia-driven kickstarter that delivered a beautiful, haunting and brilliant game. The follow-up keeps up where the original left off, allowing you to import info from your first game or start over fresh. In either case, things won't be easy for anyone.
You lead a norse band at the end of the world, and while there is hope, it is fragile. You'll have to make touch choices, deal with harsh sacrifice, and lead with a firm hand in order to bring your people to the peace and future that they deserve. Even if you do manage to make your way through everything, it will not come without a price. Banner Saga is a beautiful if harsh game that might make you think of similar style games from the '90s, but it is something new and entirely unique.
Abzu is a beautiful mystery story that lays at the bottom of a dynamic and engaging ocean. You play as a diver who is slowly learning about the sea, and her place in it. As she dives deeper, and comes to better understand the ocean she begins to find ancient relics that may direct her toward her own point of origin.
While the mystery is what this game revolves around, an amazing amount of detail and forethought went into creating the ocean. You'll swim through dark caves, wide open spaces, and even forests made of ferns. Around you always is the ocean life, from schools of fish 10,000 strong, to massive whales, and sharks that you can hitch a ride on. This story is about the sea, and the diver, and how they are connected always.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Valiant Hearts errs a little more on the puzzler side of things, but it's emphasis on narrative and gorgeous 2D visuals more than earns it a place among the greatest graphic adventure titles.
Valiant Hearts follows the tale of four individuals embroiled in World War 1. The Frenchman Emile, his German son-in-law Karl, Belgian nurse Anna, and American soldier Freddie. Every chapter revolves around one of the characters in question, and players must use a combination of puzzle solving skills and quick reactions in order to progress through the sobering plot that emphasizes the futility of war.
Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is an excellent horror title that enlists haunting atmospherics and a twisted narrative to ramp up tension. Layers of Fear puts you in control of a psychologically tormented painter as he attempts, with increasingly insane desperation, to complete his magnum opus. As you move through the game's psychedelic locations, the layers of reality gradually peel away, revealing the horrifying truth about what happened to the painter and his family.
Layers of Fear is light on game mechanics and big on foreboding ambience, which will shock, enthral, and enrapture in equal measure. Warning: this is not for the faint of heart.
What is your favorite adventure game?
These are far from the only entries in the graphic adventure genre, and there are plenty more to choose from. Do you have a favorite that belongs on our list?
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Update 4: Trump gives blessing to TikTok sale to Microsoft
TikTok may soon be owned by Microsoft. The company is reportedly in talks to buy out the U.S. portion of TikTok amid a rumored Trump administration order for TikTok owner Bytedance to divest. On Monday, President Trump says he does not oppose the sale so long as it is done by September 15.
Need a new laptop to run VR? Here are the best devices out there now.
Using a laptop to power your VR system makes it easy to take it with you wherever you go. Not just any laptop is going to work for VR, though, so we rounded up your best options right here.
Windows Insiders can now run Android apps with the Your Phone app
If you use the Your Phone app on your PC, you're in for a treat. The new "Apps" experience, which lets you run Android apps in their own windows, is now rolling out for testing with Insiders.
Get these great Xbox gaming headsets for under $100
Do you fancy a new Xbox One headset? Do you fancy not spending more than $100? Let us help!