Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure

Every game offers an adventure of some kind if you really boil it down, but these titles capture the spirit of a journey like no other.

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After covering the essential action games we think you should play if you want to get a really good grasp of the genre, we're moving onto the other genre descriptor that appears on pretty much every game nowadays: adventure.

Adventures come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but for this list we're going with the games that truly capture the spirit of an epic tale or journey. No character creation is here, as that suits RPGs, nor will there be games that focus on an adventure that sees you jumping from one place to another (trust me, we've got another list for that.)

Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure

5. The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)

What is an adventure list without a classic point-and-click? Well, it's not a very good one, I'll tell you that. While Telltale is the king of point-and-click nowadays, and we did consider some of their best for this list, The Secret of Monkey Island is a classic adventure game that still holds up to this day. Its humour, unique gameplay, and whimsy combine to create a genre-defining classic, and one that we wouldn't want the adventure genre to be without.

Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure
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4. Stray (2022)

From a classic to a modern adventure game, 2022's Stray is a masterclass in how to capture an audience out of nowhere and hold onto them throughout the short but incredibly enjoyable ride of its story. The fact you play as a cute cat almost feels secondary to the work BlueTwelve Studio put into this adventure game, which managed to become one of the year's stand-out hits thanks to great level design, worldbuilding, and more.

Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure

3. Uncharted (2007)

While the book of Nathan Drake might be closed, the Uncharted series has still produced some of Naughty Dog's best work ever. We could really put any of the entries on this list, and quite frankly we believe you should play them all if you love getting wrapped up in a good adventure. Nathan Drake and Lara Croft are often fighting for who is the Indiana Jones of our time, and while we do love a bit of tomb raiding every now and again, Uncharted has just managed to edge its way onto the list.

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Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure

2. Beyond Good & Evil (2003)

There's a reason why everyone is clamouring for a Beyond Good & Evil sequel. The original game is very, very good, and it captures the spirit of going on a wild sci-fi adventure better than even some titles in long-standing franchises. Thanks to the 20th anniversary remake that's just come out, now's a great time to hop into this nostalgic classic and reveal a sinister alien conspiracy.

Gamereactor's Gamer Guides: Essential Adventure

1. Red Dead Redemption (2010)

While these lists don't put any of these adventure games above one another, it is hard to argue against Red Dead Redemption and especially its prequel as being some of the best adventure games of all-time. If you're really looking to get lost in a fictional world, and yet still see plenty of the good and bad of our own world reflected through it, then Rockstar's Westerns are where you should go. Without the weight of Grand Theft Auto's need for satire weighing it down, Rockstar really flexes its writing muscles in Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 to create an experience you won't forget.

What did we miss on this list? What's your favourite adventure game? Be sure to let us know!

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