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Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with. This list includes 161 games from the last 26 years, with 1,937 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to face tough decisions.
Release Date: 14/09/2004
Out Now: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Fable is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.
Release Date: 16/08/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...
Release Date: 23/04/2013, updated in 2017
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World
Don't Starve is an open-world survival game where it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you have to work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so...
Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Text
Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...
Release Date: 28/03/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Open World
Terra Nil is a strategy game where you use clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city-building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays an...
Release Date: 14/06/2020, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Hand-Made
Griftlands is an adventure game where you use cards to fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. You will die or fail often, but then use your knowledge and growing deck of cards to have a better chance of survival on your next...
Release Date: 31/10/2023
Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Jusant is a climbing traversal game where you take a challenging-yet-meditative climb to the top of a tall tower. You use the trigger buttons to hold on and the stick to jump and reach for the next position. In this way you methodically work your way up...
Release Date: 29/08/2023
Components: 2D Overhead, Open World and Pixels
Sea of Stars is an adventure role-play game about two children of the solstice. It combines turn-based combat, storytelling, exploration and interactions with the environment all in a pixel art style. Unusually for a role-play game, Sea of Stars also...
Release Date: 01/01/2014
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: Dice and Placeables
Deep Sea Adventure is a pocket-sized strategy game where you dive into the sea to bring back treasure. It’s unusual because although you compete with other players for treasure you share the same limited air supply.
Release Date: 20/07/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Cris Tales is a role-playing game where you see how your actions in the present affect the past and future. You play as Crisbell in a cartoon-looking adventure through four Kingdoms in a bid to stop the powerful Time Empress and rewrite the future of...
Release Date: 21/12/1998, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Dice and Open World
Baldur's Gate 3 is a role-playing game that recreates the Dungeons & Dragons experience in a digital world. You explore the world and fight enemies by rolling dice and weighing up your stats to see what happens. But...
Release Date: 12/10/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5 and Switch
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Day and Night
Saltsea Chronicles is a point-and-click adventure where you sail the sea to rescue your ship's captain. You explore the flooded world discovering islands, meeting characters, and managing the relationships between your crew. Unlike other sailing games,...
Release Date: 24/02/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, 2D Side-On and Day and Night
The Pale Beyond is a narrative simulation game where you captain an exploration ship stranded in the frozen Antarctic waters. You carefully manage and gather resources and keep your crew in good health to hopefully survive until the summer. It stands...
Release Date: 13/03/2023
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Side-On
Barotrauma is a cooperative space-submarine adventure set after humanity has fled to Jupiter's moon. You work with other players to steer your submarine, work the ageing machinery, fight monsters and fix the endless leaks. It's a game that revels in not...
Release Date: 30/11/2018
Out Now: Mac and PC
Components: 3D First-Person
X4: Foundations is a space adventure where every element, from planets to ships to finance, is simulated to create a living universe where actions breed deep consequences. Play is varied; you can fly every ship, explore anywhere, trade, build a space...
Release Date: 19/01/2016
Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Life Is Strange is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at a high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover...
Release Date: 19/10/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Cards and Hand-Made
Inscryption starts as a card-based adventure where you build a deck of cards to take on adventures and battles. To this, it adds escape-room style puzzles, both in the card game and in the room in which you are playing. The result is a psychological...
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Components: 3D First-Person, Open World and Weather
Ghost of Tsushima is a stealth and action adventure set in 13th century Japan, where you play as a clan leader and samurai warrior trying to protect your people and the Tsushima Island against Mongol invaders.
Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...
Release Date: 14/01/2014, updated in 2016
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
The Banner Saga is a beautiful fantasy adventure where your strategic choices directly affect your personal story and the world around you. You play as two characters, each with their own related story.
Release Date: 08/11/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made
11-11 Memories Retold is a narrative adventure about two young men caught up in the first world war. A young photographer who joins the western front in Europe to impress a woman, and a German technician who's signs up in search of his son who is...
Release Date: 13/10/2021
Components: 2D Side-On, Grid and Text
Midnight Protocol is a strategy game about hacking that is controlled entirely with the keyboard. You type commands and interactions to hack into different systems and drain them of resources while trying to keep yourself hidden and safe. It's this...
Release Date: 19/01/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Darkest Dungeon is a turn-based battling game where you fight monsters in dungeons to restore your ancestor's hamlet to its former glory. From a side-on perspective, you recruit an adventurer team to take on quests in the dank, dim dungeons that make...
Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2023
Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night
Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...
Release Date: 27/02/2018
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made, Open World and Persistant World
One Hour One Life is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you...
Release Date: 25/05/2018
Out Now: PS4
Components: 3D Third-Person
Detroit: Become Human is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.
Release Date: 10/12/2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person and Open World
Cyberpunk 2077 is a sprawling open-world action-adventure that takes you to the seething underbelly of Night City, where low-life and high-tech meet in an obsession with body modification. You play V, a mercenary dealing with a botched heist, and...
Release Date: 15/07/2003, updated in 2021
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox and iOS
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is a series of hard narrative-driven role-playing and combat games set in the Star Wars universe, 4000 years before Luke Skywalker and the Empire. You fight enemies and discover secrets by talking to the...
Release Date: 08/10/2013, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3 and PS4
Beyond: Two Souls is from the same developer as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain. Although not a series, they follow a similar style and approach. They provide a filmic interactive experience of a story that branches in substantial ways depending on...
Release Date: 06/10/2010, updated in 2019
Components: 3D Third-Person and Weather
Heavy Rain is from the same Quantic Dream studio who made Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. It preceded these games but shared the same branching narrative and photo-realistic aspirations.
Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS
Papers, Please is a narrative puzzle game where you play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizen’s passports and paperwork...
Release Date: 08/04/2022
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night and Hand-Made
Stacklands is a strategy game where you stack cards so that your village can survive. You combine cards to grow food, build structures and fight monsters. Each of these three actions is a choice, make the right choices and your village grows, make the...
Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...
Release Date: 13/07/2018, updated in 2023
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks and Hand-Made
Octopath Traveler and Octopath Traveller II are combat-focused role-playing games where you follow eight characters on their personal quests. Like other role-playing games, you explore the vast open world, interact with citizens and fight enemies as you...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC
This Is Reality is a running, jumping and exploration game about a couple's relationship. You play as Liam and Lana, as they navigate the highs, lows and struggles of their relationship. The twist is that the state of the relationship affects what you...
Release Date: 25/07/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC and Stadia
Components: 2D Overhead and Open World
A Place for the Unwilling is a narrative adventure set in the final 21 days of a dying city. You investigate the city and its inhabitants to piece together what has happened. However, the clock is always ticking and the city carries on, with or without...
Release Date: 28/07/2021
The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure. You explore and relive the final days of a cursed Roman city, where if one person sins, everyone dies. It starts as a bewildering array of characters, locations and information but over multiple goes your...
Release Date: 09/12/2021, updated in 2022
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World
Wytchwood is an adventure in a land of gothic fables and fairytales. You are an old witch of the woods and must explore the countryside, collect magical ingredients and brew enchantments. That much is relatively common, here though, your role is to pass...
Release Date: 20/02/2020
Out Now: Android, PC and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Text
Democratic Socialism Simulator is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country. It offers a flow of questions with a yes or no response. Each answer has consequences in the minds of the voters and the prosperity of the country. It's an...