• Adventure games have shifted focus from puzzles to storytelling, offering immersive experiences for players.
  • Titles like Immortality and Call of the Sea showcase unique narratives with puzzles for engagement.
  • From Star Trek: Resurgence to Life Is Strange: True Colors, there are many diverse options for adventure game lovers.

For many, the term “adventure game” might immediately conjure up images of obtuse puzzles that one could not possibly solve without luck or a guide. The genre has since evolved to put a greater focus on storytelling over puzzles, but some modern titles still have players putting their thinking caps on during gameplay.


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These adventure games are just begging for a Hollywood adaptation.

Xbox Series X and S players have plenty to choose from when it comes to adventure games with both classic and modern sensibilities. The best ones listed below are split between puzzle-filled quests and more cinematic experiences meant to get players engrossed in the world and characters. Some of them ride the line between the two styles.

Updated April 13, 2024, by Jason Wojnar: Adventure games are ideal for those looking to put their mind to the test and experience an engaging story at the same time. Countless options exist, but not all of them are easy to access, especially for gamers who are limited to only one console. That said, Xbox Series X/S players still have a range of adventure titles to choose from, and many of them are sure to scratch the adventure itch. With so much to choose from, this article has been updated to feature only the best adventure games available on the Xbox Series X/S.

8 Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One

Metacritic Score: 69

A close up of a young Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One

Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One
November 16, 2021

The Sherlock Holmes titles from Frogwares have always remained faithful to the detective genre even after introducing more combat mechanics. Chapter One is a prequel to the other games in the series, showing players the character’s origins. It is also an open-world title, being a first for the series.

The younger version of the character is not quite as self-assured as one would expect and is racked with the weight of his past. Throughout the course of the game, the character takes some steps toward resolving his grief, but players will have to try the game out for themselves to see how it wraps up.

Though it is the first open-world
Sherlock Holmes
game, it is not the first open-world game from the developer.
The Sinking City
took place in an open-world environment and featured plenty of side quests for gamers to pursue.

7 Star Trek: Resurgence

Metacritic Score: 71

The Resolute crew in Star Trek: Resurgence

Star Trek: Resurgence
May 23, 2023

Dramatic Labs

Fans who lamented that Telltale games never made a Star Trek title can rejoice knowing that Star Trek: Resurgence exists. Developer Dramatic Labs was founded by former members of the notable studio, so fans of what Telltale had to offer will find much to love here. Resurgence contributes to the typical narrative-focused formula refined by the company by adding more mini-games to the mix.


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The best Telltale Games titles provide players with thought-provoking narratives and interactive excellence that few other developers can match.

While these were an object of criticism, they can definitely be overlooked for those looking for a solid story set in the Star Trek universe. Players can expect all the hallmarks of a good Telltale game here, including branching storylines and important decisions that affect the narrative.

6 Call Of The Sea

Metacritic Score: 75

First-person view of a photo in Call of the Sea

Call of the Sea
December 8, 2020

Out of the Blue

Call of the Sea puts players directly into the shoes of Norah Everhart as she looks for her missing husband on a mysterious island. Though it is played from a first-person perspective, players shouldn’t not expect any combat.

Like most true adventure games, Call of the Sea is all about solving puzzles. The isolated setting, past time period, and relationship between the main character and her husband make the game unique in a sea of sci-fi and fantasy titles that gamers are so accustomed to seeing.

5 As Dusk Falls

Metacritic Score: 77

Paul crosses his arms while Sharon looks at him from behind in As Dusk Falls

As Dusk Falls
July 19, 2022

Interior Night

As Dusk Falls takes the adventure game and lets multiple players take part in the fun. The game is purely about decision-making, and with multiplayer, decisions are made based on the general consensus of the group.

This makes it a great choice for those with less gaming experience. It’s also a pretty aesthetically pleasing title, being mostly made up of still images that look like rotoscoped photos, similar to Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly.

For more narrative-focused co-op games that don’t require fast reflexes or precise inputs, gamers should check out the
Dark Pictures Anthology
series from Supermassive Games.

4 Life Is Strange: True Colors

Metacritic Score: 81

An image of Alex from Life is Strange: True Colors

Life Is Strange: True Colors
December 7, 2021

Those who decide to partake in the Life is Strange series can be sure that they are in for an emotional adventure. Like the preceding titles, True Colors is all about human relationships in a grounded setting impacted by something supernatural.


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In this case, the protagonist can directly sense and control people’s emotions. Unlike the other games in the series that were released episodically, True Colors is a single release and is the length of a full game, taking about ten hours to beat. With puzzles to solve and an engaging story, fans of the adventure genre have a great deal to enjoy in True Colors.

3 Syberia: The World Before

Metacritic Score: 81

Kate Walker walking in Syberia: The World Before

  • Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One
  • Released: March 18, 2022
  • Developer: Microid

Adventure game enthusiasts will fondly recall the first two Syberia games from the early 2000s. The series made a comeback in the last decade with remasters, a third game, and finally Syberia: The World Before in 2022. The game follows two timelines – one following recurring protagonist Kate Walker and one taking place in the 1930s.

It is the last in the series worked on by series creator Benoit Sokal, who passed away in 2021 during the game’s development. Though it was made in recent years, The World Before‘s gameplay feels right at home with the older entries and offers a great adventure experience for fans of the genre.

2 Return To Monkey Island

Metacritic Score: 87

Guybrush Threepwood talking with his friend in a map shop in Return to Monkey Island

Return to Monkey Island
September 19, 2022

Terrible Toybox

While there were sequels to 1991’s Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, they did not have input from series creator Ron Gilbert. 2022’s Return to Monkey Island saw him return to the director’s chair for a true sequel to that second game.

The title manages to feel like the series hasn’t skipped a beat after more than 30 years, retaining the absurdist humor and lovable characters. The puzzles here are almost as hard as they would be in any 90s adventure game, but an in-game hint system will help players more easily figure out solutions without becoming too frustrated.

1 Immortality

Metacritic Score: 87

Marissa Marcel sitting in a chair surrounded by spotlights in Immortality

August 30, 2022

Sam Barlow

Immortality is compromised entirely of live-action footage. Marissa Marcel has gone missing, and it is the player’s job to sort through all the clips of the movies she has filmed and find key items in the footage to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.

The dynamic way the story unfolds means players will find different clues at different times, which means that not everyone’s experience will be the same. Marissa’s story will stick with players long after they reach the credits.


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