Top Mystery-Solving Adventure Games for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360

Updated on April 14, 2016
Len Cannon profile image

Len is a writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York and has had a fascination with games and media that has lasted a lifetime.

Running and gunning are fun, sure, but sometimes you just want to put on your trenchcoat, meet some smoky dames, and play a detective game on the PS3 or XBox. Solving mysteries might not make your adrenalin start flowing the same way it might if you were blasting zombies online, but it can provide an intriguing mystery and prove to be a real brain teaser.

If you're into solving mysteries on the PlayStation 3 or Microsoft's 360, you're in luck. There are a growing number of great titles for both systems which will help turn any budding detective into a super sleuth. They run the gamut from intense murder mysteries to amazing noir adventures to family friendly "junior detective" stories in the vein of Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown.

Games like Heavy Rain, LA Noire, and other top console mystery adventures are perfect for anyone who wants to step outside their comfort zone and start solving some crimes.

Can one of your four detectives discover the Origami Killer before it is too late?
Can one of your four detectives discover the Origami Killer before it is too late?

Heavy Rain

Platform: PS3 Exclusive

I can't rave enough about Heavy Rain for the PS3.  This beautifully rendered modern detective mystery is equal parts Raymond Chandler and Saw II. Player's don't just solve a serial killer case: they live it.  Using a unique control system that requires difficult button presses, careful manipulation of directional buttons, and even shaking the controller in the right direction, your character explores crime scenes, braves a serial killer's deadly traps, and interacts in one of the most intellectually satisfying crime games ever.

It is difficult to truly do justice to Heavy Rain's story using only words.  Characters control four unrelated characters, each trying to track down a serial killer on their own: the father of the killer's latest victim, an FBI agent, a private detective hired to track down the murderer, and a journalist looking for a scoop.  Like most video games, these characters can die over the course of the game. Unlike most video games, when a character dies the story keeps moving.  If, for example, the journalist gets killed sticking her nose where it doesn't belong, the game keeps on moving and she'll no longer be able to complete her investigation.

Although gamers might remember the heartpounding action sequences the most, the real meat of the game is investigation.  Interrogating witnesses, analyzing crime scene data, solving clues left by the deranged killer, and using your detective skills to bring a killer to justice are what Heavy Rain is all about.

This intensely cinematic game is already slated to become a major motion picture.  If you're looking for an amazing mystery solving puzzle game for the PS3, pick up Heavy Rain ASAP.

LA Noire

Platform: 360 and PS3

LA Noire is, perhaps, the best straight up detective video game for the PS3 and XBox 360. Gamers will feel like they stepped onto the set of LA Confidential, as they help a beat cop move up the ranks of the LAPD during the 1940s.  Exploring a photoaccurate representation of vintage Hollywood, the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series have created one of the most unique gaming experiences of all time.

Mystery solving is at the heart of this 360/PS3 title. LA Noire does feature the occasional gun fight, but players will mostly be concerned with canvassing a crime scenes, speaking with witnesses, using their unique facial cues to determine when someone is lying, interrogating suspects, and pretty much using every investigative tool in your arsenal to put the bad guys behind jail.

Starring Aaron Staton (Mad Men's Ken Cosgrove), players will see some of the most realistic facial tics and in-game actors ever.  LA Noire is an open-world game focused on upholding the law rather than breaking it.  Never before has a PS3 or 360 game so accurately recreated the experience of reading a pulp novel. Detective fiction at its finest for the new millennium.

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

Platform: Xbox 360 and PS3

Condemned 2 perfectly mixes mystery-solving and detective work with pulse-pounding combat in this Xbox 360/PS3 action-adventure. Players control a disgruntled (and mentally scarred) police officer as he heads an investigation into a series of bizarre murder. Players will spend equal amounts of time busting heads and analyzing clues with your forensics team.

When a crime is committed, it is up to you and your team to you and your team to dust for prints, discover the chemical compounds of material left behind, and use science to bring the bad guys to justice. Unfortunately, you might discover that the bad guys aren't always 100% human. Once you got the info, though, the game is all busting heads.

A significant improvement over the ambitious but spotty original game, Condemned 2 builds off the basis of its ancestor and creates an exciting gaming experience. The action elements are equal parts survival horror and beat-em-up action like God of War.

If you're into solving mysteries but get frustrated when you can't jumpkick a violent hobo through a wall, Condemned 2: Bloodshot is the perfect mystery solving console game for you.

CSI For Xbox 360 and PS3

CSI isn't just one of the most popular television series: it is also one of the most prolific video game franchises on the market. Players looking to become forensic detectives for the 360 or Xbox don't have to look any further than this prime time hit. Controlling favorite characters from the series, you bust out all your best lab equipment to pick up microscopic clues, analyze blood stains, use DNA to convict killers, and find inconsistencies in suspects stories.

There are plenty of original games for both the PlayStation and the 360, so gamers who are in need of a quick fix of mystery solving excitement won't run dry any time soon. The best news? The CSI games are super-affordable. For under $30, these budget detective video games will have you solving crimes, examining evidence, and quipping with the best of them.

Be sure to check them out if you're a fan of the series or just a fan of running tests on a perp's DNA. And hey, you might just learn a little science while you're at it.

Blue Toad Murder Files

Platform: PS3 Online

This quirky British mystery solving adventure game for the PS3 is available via the PlayStation Network. This kid friendly detective game is the perfect way for young sleuths to get their feet wet in the adventure genre. Six individual cases are available online.

The Blue Toad Murder Files are perfect for fans of the Hardy Boys or the Nintendo DS's Professor Layton series. Exploring the town of Little Riddle, solving puzzles, and investigating crimes is a great past time for both junior and senior detectives. With amusing voice acting, a quirky story, and simple but evocative graphics, this stylized mystery combines logic puzzles with a dusty, old-school murder mystery that will remind fans of Agatha Christie novels.

Download it off of PSN or pick up an easy to use code off Amazon today.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I loved Heavy Rain, particularly for the multiple ways that the game could play out depending on your decisions or the fate of certain characters. LA Noire started off interesting to me, but I have to say felt very repetitive after awhile. Maybe I need to replay it again just to see if I can appreciate it on different levels.

    • MockingJazsmyn profile image


      5 years ago

      Love L.A. Noire. It's one of the first games I played that puts you in the real life perspective of an actual detective. Only catch is that it takes place back in the late 50's and 60's. Heavy Rain has a great story line, similar to The Walking Dead.

    • ilikegames profile image

      Sarah Forester 

      6 years ago from Australia

      I do love Heavy Rain and LA Noire. Blue Toad Murder Files looks interesting and I might have to check it out.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Heavy Rain is an excellent game, its worth playing, you can complete the story over 4 different ways, you should give it a go!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      L.A. Noire is an awesome game.

    • profile image 

      8 years ago

      Is heavy rain ok nice or awesome for detectives????

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Great selection- loved Heavy Rain and currently enjoying LA Noire... voted up/useful!

    • allrecipes profile image


      9 years ago

      Hevy Rain is a great game to play.

    • william.fischer29 profile image


      9 years ago

      I think this is nice game, I will try to play this game:D

    • TripleP profile image


      9 years ago from Iowa

      I really enjoyed Heavy Rain, I actually ran through it in one day. It was that good!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)