What Is The Best Puzzle Game/Series Ever?

Way before the Nintendo popularized “casual gaming” on the DS and Wii, we had a number of incredible puzzle games to work our brains and provide us with an addicting sense of challenge, competition and accomplishment.  Of course, many games in the puzzle genre are heavily inspired by Tetris, but the best have added enough new concepts and strategies to make them worthwhile.

Being a lover of the genre, it’s hard for me to really narrow down a list of my absolute favorites, but if I had to choose only 5, I would probably go with the original Tetris, Meteos, Magical Drop, Super Puzzle Fighter, and Baku Baku.

Now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite puzzle games and/or franchises.  You can pick up to five selections for your vote.  Thanks to the forum for their nominations!

What Are Your Top 5 Puzzle Games?

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59 Comments

Jack says:

Great list! All of my favourites are there!

William says:

I’d pick Portal as being the “best puzzle game ever,” and Tetris Attack would have been my next choice. However, neither of these games made the list, so I’ll vote some other time.

racketboy says:

Well if you included every game that had puzzle elements, like Portal, the list would be huge.

But Tetris Attack is “Panel De Pon/Tetris Attack/Pokemon Puzzle League”

Zire says:

I for one am a fan of a lot of the above but Wario’s Woods is definitely a game to try. It was available for SNES and NES. It is the last NES game that was made (I think).

Hatta says:

Covarr: snood isn’t even worth mentioning next to the puzzle bobble series. total ripoff.

Racket: You’ve got a lot of sega fans here. Columns was one of the best tetris/puyo puyo style games for the genesis. Or at least one of the most popular.

I was just thinking, anyone else remember blockout? 3d tetris with an overhead view on just about any PC platform from the early 90s. It’s really pretty cool, check it out.

jackspicer says:

Super Puzzle Fighter, is just pure fun when you play with a friend…

jopamine says:

I’m really glad chu chu’s on there. i’m still waiting on it to be released on wiiware. and I wish columns III was online instead of just VC. I wouldn’t mind sending Poisons to all those players.

Very nice list, haven’t even played all of them but I did notice the lack of a few gems like Mole Mania, Solomons Key 1-2 and some other obscure ones like Kwirk, Factory Panic or Magical Puzzle Pupils. Also Donkey Kong ’94 if you consider that a puzzle game.

Picked these:
Super Puzzle Fighter
Puyo Puyo
Chu Chu Rocket
Lolo (2 and 3 are a bit better though)
Kuru Kuru Kururin

Spades says:

No KulaWorld?!!

Menacer says:

Guru Logi Champ is missing.
Best puzzler evar.

Just one for Gunpey!!

Dunno why, but even though I agree that probably all four of the games I voted for were “better”, Gunpey is the one I play the most, and feel the most fondly towards. And if it had been at ALL hard, I really loved the mechanic in Pokemon Trozoei.

HonorTruth says:

Adventures of Lolo
Intelligent Cube

Screw Tetris! I always hated that game, oh yeah and Doctor Mario! Bleh!!

HonorTruth says:

I am dissapointted I do no see

No One can Stop Mr. Domino

the BEST puzzle game imo

AngrySquirrel says:

does Gussun Oyoyo = gunpey? If so, that should be made clear in the poll.

I still wouldn’t have voted for it though, LOL. 5 picks is pretty rough.

Tetris-OG of the genre, very fun in the New Tetris iteration especially

Panel de Pon – the best competitive puzzler around

Puzzle Fighter – the 2nd best competitive puzzler-I don’t like the diamond gimmickery and is a bit unbalanced in favor of speed vs. strategy, but it’s still fast-paced and great

puyo puyo – the father of all competitive puzzlers. puyo puyo fever is amazing

bust a move – unique and very fun in versus mode; I’m torn between ’99’s 4 player splitscreen versus and BAM 4’s combo mechanics as to which entry in the series is best.

Good call on Kula World. I also heard good things about a game called Devil Dice.

Kikimaru says:

Where’s Slitherlink?

Sixx says:

Cleopatra Fortune last? Guess not enough people have played this little treasure. Tetris is the obvious no. 1..

crux says:

I’m surprised to see Chu Chu Rocket so high on the list (hopefully recognized because of the awesome puzzle mode) and pleasantly pleased to see Twinkle Star Sprites with votes at all (though I can’t say I really think of it as a puzzle game). Not sure why Picross isn’t in the top-ten yet Lemmings is is in the top-five, however.

Portal really is essentially a puzzle game. Sure, it requires more motor skills to point and shoot than to move blocks in Tetris, but it’s why we point and shoot that’s important. In every case but the final stage itself, it’s in order to figure out how to get from one place to the next (and in the final stage itself we have to figure out things as well).

In fact, if we are to let Lemmings on the list (which is, in fact, a game where the object is to get the Lemmings from one place to the next), I don’t see how Portal doesn’t belong as well. That would indeed blossom into many more selections as well, so it probably would have been best not to include Lemmings (and games of its ilk) either.

AngrySquirrel says:

I’m kinda shocked that Lemmings made the top 5 here. Between not seeing why the games are popular and the fact that it’s been years since a Lemmings game has been released, it’s really hard to understand it’s placement. Must be a lot of PC gamers here.

Chu chu is also a surprise. Although I do think it’s a really good game, it’s only had 2 releases, none of which came in the past five years. It must be the sega fan factor that has columns so vastly overrated.

crux: “Portal really is essentially a puzzle game. Sure, it requires more motor skills to point and shoot than to move blocks in Tetris”

I disagree, particularly when talking about a relatively slow-paced shooter like Portal. I’d argue manipulating Tetris blocks at high speed at the top of the screen takes more motor skills than what you’ll see in most FPS.

Lastly, I wanted to plug Octomania again. The more I play this game, the more I appreciate its novelty and depth. Guys, if you like the games in this poll, you’ll really like Octomania. If you can get over the saccharine-sweet characters and so-bad-its-good voice acting, that is.

Tashay says:

I think that it’s ok.

mike says:

the polling system is a great idea

Tonna says:

It’s cool to see all the old school games on here. Awesome site btw 😀 Great job!

William says:

If a game is defined by its most prominent gameplay feature, then Portal would be a puzzler. You did actually play the game, right? All you do in the game is solve puzzles. Sure, there’s some action in the game, but the same could be said of Adventures of LoLo. Every action in Portal is directed toward one purpose: solving puzzles. Even the final confrontation with the boss is cleverly disquised as a puzzle; your wits are required for every task. Apparently, you and I didn’t play the same game.

racketboy says:

That’s a big “if”, William.
Again, if we took that logic, this list would be huge.
Heck, Punch Out is a puzzle game if you take that logic…

William says:

Since when does boxing not involve strategy? Strategy existed in boxing long before Punch Out had anything to do with it. Virtually all sports incorporate some level of strategy, but they still fall under the sports genre.

The only way to progress through Portal is through puzzle-solving, so not only is puzzle-solving the prominent feature of Portal, it’s also the only feature. So if it isn’t a puzzler, what else can it be?

You may be tempted to say that it’s part of the action/adventure genre due to its plot and exploration elements, but Tetris Attack and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine featured a plot. Also, Portal is a totally linear game; it’s especially obvious when comparing it to something like Zelda. In Zelda, there a times where you have to figure out where to go because you’re in a vast world, but Portal is a streamlined sequence of obstacles. Portal is nothing more than an action/puzzler like LoLo. I think people hesitate to classify it that way because it’s 3-D and in a first-person perspective, but again, if it’s not a puzzler, what is it?

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