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10 Most Popular Retro Adventure Games You Need to Play

If you're a fan of gaming, you are familiar with these types of games. Walk down nostalgic memory lane with these popular retro adventure games that will make you feel like a kid again.


When it comes to gaming, there are just those games that will always be forever in the hearts and minds of gamers. Some of the most popular retro adventure games are still an absolute blast to play today. Whether they are a point and click adventure or a first person shooter, these video games can be more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Some of these games were very popular in their day, and many of these classic adventure games, even with their outdated graphics, are every bit as fun today as they were at the height of their popularity. 

Broken Sword

There were two different Broken Sword games that came out and they were both very addictive to play. Still considered one of the most popular retro adventure games by enthusiasts, you will see a common theme with other adventure games of this type.

George Stobbart is charged with the task of solving some type of paranormal mystery where the fate of the world is in jeopardy. He has to travel to different locations around the world, fight the bad guys, and collect the necessary objects to save the world. Sound familiar? This game isn’t alone in its storyline, but it is so much fun to play. 

Day of the Tentacle

Tim Schafer can be credited with designing some of the most popular retro adventure games. Although not retro at the time, there is still an appreciation for Schafer’s work today. This was the sequel to Maniac Mansion where you play Bernard, the hero, and you are trying to stop the Purple Tentacle from taking over the world via time travel. The draw of this game is the puzzles that you need to solve. They did a good job of staying consistent with the time travel theme because the actions of Bernard in the past will affect the rest of the game.

Full Throttle

This is another gem from Tim Schafer for those of you who like to play the tough guy. In this dystopian world, you play the leader of a biker gang framed for a murder that you didn’t commit. The beauty of this post-apocalyptic adventure game is found in the dialogue between the characters, the puzzles, and the plot twists. The only drawback to this game is that it is pretty short, but the game itself is worth checking out. 

Sanitarium

There’s something great about a game that is both disturbing and entertaining at the same time. Sure you could just go play Pac-Man, but how about taking a journey as a patient in a mental institution full of mutilated people? This game is just flat-out strange. From the conversations with the mutilated people, to the being transported by a statue of an angel that suddenly comes to life, Sanitarium doesn’t disappoint. The game just gets stranger and stranger as you progress through the levels. If you consider yourself a gamer and you haven’t played Sanitarium, do yourself a favor and get a hold of one of the most popular retro adventure games you will ever play, and definitely stands as one of the retro games that needs to be remade.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

This game is just outright fun. Most people wonder how a point and click adventure game can rank up here with some of the rest, but those people have obviously not played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. The game is witty and intelligent with some thrills that you wouldn’t expect from this type of game. Once you actually get to Atlantis, you will not be disappointed. 

Myst

Myst was one of those games that had everyone on the edge of their seat for a quick minute. The graphics were something that most people hadn’t experienced before and the storyline of being alone on an uninhabited world was definitely enjoyable to play. The puzzles in Myst are as strong as the graphics were at the time, and it was so popular that there were sequels that now make up the Myst trilogy. In fact, there’s actually upwards of 5 total Myst sequels, but some of those are more obscure and difficult to find. It's also surprisingly one of the most difficult retro games out there.

The Secret of Monkey Island

This game came out of LucasArts and follows a pirate wannabe who ends up crossing swords with a ghost pirate. The storyline in this game, like many of the LucasArts games, is what makes this a classic. The graphics (for 1990) were impressive and the puzzles that you had to solve make this one of the most popular retro adventure games that came out of that era of gaming. 

Gabriel Knight

The Gabriel Knight series of games was a true gem of the gaming world. The storyline is what really drove the games and they were addicting to play. If it wasn’t for the storyline, the games would seem just run of the mill, but, because Jane Jensen (designer) put so much work into the story of the game, they are still some of the best games for adventure fans. 

Syberia

This is one for all the steampunk fans out there. You follow Kate Walker, businesswoman, who heads to France to finalize the purchase of a toy store. Her travels take her to different parts of Europe and the storyline is both compelling and entertaining as she struggles with her own internal demons. For those of you who are looking for a Call of Duty type of adventure, this isn’t your game. Fans of Syberia were enthralled with both the world and the characters in the game. 

Grim Fandango

Last but certainly not least on this list of the most popular retro adventure games is Grim Fandango. If the purpose was to rank the games, this classic adventure game would be at the top of the list. Another game from Tim Schafer, he created a world so unique in its premise, that there really isn’t any other game that it can compare to and makes it one of the greatest PC games of the era. Your adventure takes you through the land of the dead where you will find yourself walking along the bottom of the sea, reciting poetry, or escaping from the edge of the world. If you want a great game to ad to your adventure games titles, this is the one to have.

Regardless of your own personal tastes, if you’re a fan of adventure games, then the ones on this list are a must-play. These games are some of the most popular retro adventure games that you will ever play and you owe it to yourself to pick these up. 

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