Solving a puzzle game gives you a rush, unlike any other genre. It’s that moment when it finally clicks in your brain, where you use all the tools and rules given to solve a mystery of things that seemingly contradict each other. A great puzzle game would make you feel clever for figuring it out despite the developer being more. It can be addictive in a different kinda way, like the way you feel when you play Soulsborne and are craving for more challenging games. There’s plenty of amazing puzzle games out there but only a few actually have great puzzle level design all the way. PS4 has some of the best and I recommend these based on my experience and how good the games are with their mechanics, catch, learning curve and overall design. Let’s begin.
Also Read: 30+ Best Games for PS4 Beginners
Best Puzzle Games for PS4
1. The Witness
After the Breakout hit Puzzle game Braid, Jonathan Blow quickly became one of the most recognizable Indie game developer for his lateral puzzle game with unique art and settings. His second Game The Witness is as beloved even if not more mainstream than Braid. It has simple rules with you having to trace a path in maze boxes but new elements are introduced which really gets you thinking. The game treats you with respect and lets you figure out solutions in a satisfying way. It also takes a non-linear approach to puzzle solving where you can explore and go other ways like the original Dark Souls.
Check out The Witness ($39.99)
A spiritual successor to their first game Limbo, that is set in a 2.5D world where the character can interact with objects in a 3D environment but can only move in 2D. Unlike its inspiration, Inside is colorful and yet is eerily haunting at the same time. You mostly solve puzzles as you move forward. The cool thing about Inside is involved action with puzzles at times, which is rather rare in most games. You control bodies, move boxes and pull levers to solve puzzles and always has something to keep you on the edge. Get this Inside your head already, it’s not puzzling to get it on your PS4.
Check out Inside ($19.99)
Limbo, as mentioned earlier, is the OG puzzle game by play dead. It’s a black and white game with 2D graphics. You play as a child instead of a boy. You still die in gruesome ways of course. Conceptually it being the inspiration for inside, shares the same genre action puzzle platformer. Puzzles are harder in this as it was their first big title and they went all in on most mechanics. With subtle narrative, it sure is to keep you hooked until the end and the environments/atmosphere is fantastic.
Check out Limbo ($9.99)
RiME feels like if Zelda had a love child with Journey. One of the most poignant stories in a video game in my opinion. You play as a boy (seriously what is with puzzles game developers and little boys?) along with a fox spirit who lands on an island and explores five large areas. It’s an unjustly underrated and underscored game by the critics. It tackles pretty heavy themes like grief and accepting loss which really is tugging at your heartstrings. Making you think both with your heart and mind along the way. Not every puzzle game can achieve something deep and real the way Rime did. If you’re in the mood for a cry sesh, you should totes give it a go.
Check out RiME ($29.99)
5. The Swapper
You can clone yourself as a spaceman. If that got your attention, you will absolutely fall in love with this little Indie game. Made by Finnish developers in Helsinki (totally irrelevant information by the way) The Swapper keeps innovating on existing mechanics and ideas to keep the player’s interest piqued. You explore an abandoned research station and learn what happened to others. It is visually arresting the moment you boot it up and the quality of the puzzles only gets better as you reach the end. It also kinda feels like an undercover Metroidvania, which is amazing. If I could, I’d swap myself with you to play it all over again.
Check out The Swapper ($14.99)
6. Unravel Two
Unravel and Unravel Two are amazing puzzle platformers but if I had to pick one it would be the second one. It released on the same day it was announced in E3 and the puzzles are a lot more challenging. You get to play with another player(local co-op) as a bonus.
It follows two characters made of Yarn(Blue & Red yarns) as they traverse an island solving puzzles. The addition of a second yarn changes things up in how you solve a puzzle drastically along with the original mechanics. It works as a solo adventure but you can have a lot more fun with another person like a particular activity that we both are ‘winking’ about in our minds.
Check out Unravel Two ($
7. The Talos Principle
A narrative puzzle game about Greek mythology to put it simply. You play as a robot with consciousness and explore deserts, futuristic ruins, and lush environments. Collecting sigils that are tetromino (Tetris anyone?) and solving obstacles with them is a key mechanic. The Talos principle really makes you analyze the tools you have and expects you to solve them on your own with no hints and nudges. Flavour is naturally woven into the game with audio recordings, terminals, graffiti, and such.
Must Read: Best Upcoming Games for PS4 in 2019 and beyond
Check out The Talos Principle ($49.99)
8. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
A Game where you actually play as two characters on screen at the same time with the left and right joysticks. The elder brother is stronger and can help move, pull objects while the young can pass narrow bars. More narrative focused than most games on the list but deserves a spot because of how ingenious it is with mechanics. It understands what it means to communicate through mechanics like the last guardian and god of war. Emotionally strong and great puzzle designs made Josef Fares the man he is today (Screw the Oscars!!). You gotta give it to him for being bold and trying new things.
Check out Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($19.99)
A 2D game in a 3D world where you rotate the levels to reveal the other dimensions. A sleeper hit as it was ported to the PS4. Fez has no enemies and you don’t die which is unheard of in most games. Beautifully crafted with pixel art that can stand the test of time. It catches you off guard as sometimes puzzles are just a red herring. It inspired most of the mobile games like Crossy Roads, Monument Valley which is very obvious. Play it now on the PS4 to see what all the fez is about.
Check out FEZ ($12.99)
10. The Last Guardian
Fumita Ueda cited as one of the most influential developers by many people the likes of Hidetaka Miyazaki of Dark souls and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This was written off as a clunky unrefined game with terrible camera controls. In my opinion, all the mechanics were built with the purpose of building a bond between you and the creature Trico, which the game does through interaction rather than cutscenes. Getting Trico to do things is just as hard as getting any pet to do things. It might feel tedious as that is the intended experience. Not all critics get things right and this is one of them. If you hate pets, well you’re better off playing alone.
Check out The Last Guardian ($19.99)
11. The Tetris Effect
A Tetris game in VR is as surreal as it gets. With new mechanics like the Zone which lets you clear 16 blocks of lines at once becoming a DecaHexaTris is probably the best feeling, anyone could have while solving a puzzle. Amazing soundtrack and visuals that enhance the classic game making it feel like a love letter to Tetris. This is the kinda game that can stand through generations. A satisfying game where the music is tied to the gameplay with over 30 stages is where I’d put my money.
Check out The Tetris Effect ($39.99)
12. Shadow of the Colossus
Fumita Ueda’s masterpiece as it’s widely regarded as art rather than a video game. The puzzles here are 16 colossi that are spread across an open world. You play as a wanderer with a horse who hunts them down. The thrill is figuring how you defeat colossi, it might not be a traditional puzzle game but the scale and focus narrative puzzle solving is rather offbeat. Each colossus has its own theme and music tied to it. Built from ground up for the PS4, it looks better than ever.
Check out Shadow of Colossus ($19.99)
13. Hitman Go
Square Enix Montreal
Turn-based puzzles are a niche and Hitman Go made them come back because of how well it was done. It boils the franchise down to its core elements and turned into a board game style puzzle game. The music and themes are still retained. Fundamentally it’s a different genre with familiar elements like stealth. Levels get more complex as you progress and new mechanics are introduced that sometimes are mixed with other elements. It was a massive Hit-man, go check it out.
Check out Hitman Go ($7.99)
14. Lara Croft Go
Square Enix Montreal
Similar to Hitman go, Lara Croft is a turn-based puzzle game but the action takes place with real-time animations rather than moving characters like chess pieces. It keeps the aesthetics and design of the older games rather than the reboot. Puzzles are a notch above any of the new mainstream Lara Croft games. It adds vertical and horizontal movement, unlike Hitman Go. There are about 40 levels in total which you should breeze through once you start playing it.
Check out Lara Croft Go ($9.99)
15. Q.U.B.E 2
A first-person physics-based puzzler much like portal 2 but it’s original. The puzzles feel rather Similar to portal 2 but have their own ideas to keep things fresh. It has a generous learning curve and introduces each concept before challenging you with harder puzzles. You play as an archeologist in space which is rather uninspired but makes up for an interesting game design decisions. Considering you have a PS4, this is probably your only portal to play this on.
Check out Q.U.B.E 2 ($24.99)
16. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
A horror puzzler that does not hold your hand. You investigate and piece the story together of the eponymous carter family. The puzzles here take shape of memories of the dead. You explore and find objects that let you restore the events that lead to their deaths. Enjoyable puzzles and stunning visuals are noted by most people who’ve played this but it does come with a weird autosave system. The story is self-contained and direct for an open world game. Soon you’d be solving the vanishing of 20$ from your Wallet.
Check out The Vanishing of Ethan Carter ($19.99)
17. Little Nightmares
Bandai Namco published this after FromSoftware left them (which shouldn’t have any bearing of this). Horror, puzzles, platforming come together in this adventure that’s quite haunting and horrifying, which horror fan will eat up. The giant monsters and the sheer scale of the world really give you the creeps like Jason with a hockey mask on the streets. There are images in this game that’ll be cemented in your brain for months to come. It truly is like little kids and let’s be honest they’re nightmares.
Check out Little NightMares ($19.99)
Wrapping Up Best Puzzle games for PS4
You’re probably excited about upcoming games in 2019 that challenging puzzle games or just enjoyable ones. If that’s the case, check out our article on the best upcoming PS4 games and beyond. Most of the ones above are quality over popularity and quantity as an experience that is visceral and innovative far outweighs to ones that are long and tedious. Do you think her story is a puzzle game or a detective game? I’m just as puzzled as you are, Send me your investigation notes in the comments below or on Twitter.
Read: Is PS4 still worth buying in 2019?