Best Point-And-Click Games To Play Ahead Of Return To Monkey Island
These games are classics from a bygone era, genre-defining blockbusters, and modern-day masterpieces.
Point-and-click games may not be as anywhere close to as popular today as they were in their 1990s heyday, but classics within the genre were undoubtedly influential to many narrative-focused games. Back then and even today, a great point-and-click game features a story that puts butts in seats, is filled with witty banter, and engages your brain with puzzles that'll make you feel smarter when the clues click into place. With surprising reveal of Return to Monkey Island, we decided to round up the best point-and-click games across the ages (in no particular order). While many of our picks are older, genre-defining classics, there are some modern must-play titles here, including the recently released gem Norco. All of the games on this list are still playable and easily obtainable on modern platforms, so we've included links where you can get them today.
More best lists
- Best Souls-likes
- Best Metroidvanias
- Best Zelda-likes
- Best games like Elden Ring
- Best games like Apex Legends
Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Ahead of its time in multiple departments, 1993's Day of the Tentacle is still a wonderfully absurd point-and-click from the golden age of LucasArts. Finally remastered in 2016, Day of the Tentacle remains a masterpiece that helped lay the foundation for a genre that was about to reach its peak. The remaster is a perfect reminder of this, sharpening the visuals with original hand-drawn art, adding a high-fidelity soundtrack, and retaining all the classic gameplay that made this title a hilarious head-scratcher. Day of the Tentacle Remastered is available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and mobile devices.
Grim Fandango Remastered
LucasArts at its very best, Grim Fandango's tale of love and death is a sprawling adventure that plays out across several years. Packed with fantastic voice-acting and dripping with level design that set a new benchmark for games when it first arrived in 1998, Manny Calavera's journey through the underworld is still regarded as the pinnacle of the point-and-click genre. The remastered version is well worth a look, and like the best games in that category, it's packed with a number of substantial upgrades. You can grab it on consoles, PC, and mobile devices.
Read our Grim Fandango Remastered review.
Monkey Island Collection
LucasArts had been on a creative roll since its formation, and in 1990 the studio continued to prove that it was a heavyweight force to be reckoned with when it released The Secret of Monkey Island. Witty, charming, and well-animated sequels further fleshed out the tale of wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood and the comical world he inhabited. LeChuck's Revenge and Curse of Monkey Island all contributed to creating an incredible trilogy of high seas adventure, and while additional titles might not have recaptured that magic, the whole collection is still worth checking out on PC. Return to Monkey Island will be the sixth entry in the series and the first in more than a decade.
Read our Monkey Island Collection review.
Sam and Max Save the World
Telltale Games found a recipe for success with Sam and Max, as the revival of the classic LucasArts IP came at the perfect time. Featuring an original story told in episodic fashion, the freelance police were back in action and ready to turn the town upside down in search of clues. Somehow managing to be both bizarre and logical, Sam and Max Save the World was a bonkers return to form for the duo. Later seasons might not have reached the same level of quality, but the tongue-in-cheek escapades of the first season is still a highlight worth experiencing. Sam and Max Save the World is available on Xbox, Switch, and PC.
Read our Sam and Max: Save the World review.
The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series
At its peak, Telltale Games was a creative force in gaming that was regularly churning out well-received point-and-click games. The Walking Dead was the studio's breakout game and led to a flurry of episodic adventures across numerous popular franchises. Building on the foundation set by earlier projects and defining the studio for a new decade, the Walking Dead Games are a haunting collection of cel-shaded episodic horror, fast-paced QTEs, and decisions that had tangible consequences. Five games in The Walking Dead Telltale series were released. The first entry was always the best, and there were some less-than-stellar spin-offs, but the final story arc brought Clementine's emotional journey to an impactful close. The Walking Dead's structure and gameplay found its way into other Telltale adventures such as the brilliant Telltale's Batman and The Wolf Among Us. You can play The Walking Dead on consoles, PC, and mobile devices.
Read our The Walking Dead reviews.
Time has taken its toll on the King's Quest series, but the original point-and-click is still an incredibly important part of gaming history. Essentially helping Sierra Entertainment evolve into a gaming juggernaut during the 1980s, King's Quest was a pioneer with its use of animation and almost-3D environments to create a graphic adventure. If you're looking to enter that kingdom and experience a less medieval point-and-click approach, check out the 2015 remake for a nostalgic dive into the past.
Read our King's Quest review.
What happens when you mix Twin Peaks with X-Files? You get this gentle love letter to supernatural TV series that also throws in plenty of LucasArts influences into its mix of puzzles and retro graphics. The big draw with Thimbleweed Park was its creative approach to puzzles, as it regularly tested your grey matter with imaginative solutions for its various puzzles. Loaded with a regular number of "EUREKA!" moments when you figured out those enigmas, the game is an ingenious homage to the past. Thimbleweed Park is available on just about every modern platform.
Read our Thimbleweed Park review.
Myst is required gaming for any point-and-click fan, and easily one of the biggest titles in the entire genre. A blockbuster game that had some fiendishly challenging puzzles to solve, Myst also featured some of the best set design of its time. If you were going to be stumped, at least you'd get a great view in the process. In the years since it first arrived, Myst has been ported to a wide range of platforms and can be found on most modern consoles. To get the most immersive experience possible, check out the VR version if you're able to.
Read our Myst review.
The game that introduced the world to the revolutionary design of the SCUMM interface, Maniac Mansion paved the way for LucasArts to create some of the best point-and-click games of all time. At the same time, Maniac Mansion is more than just a genre-defining tech showcase. It's a game that pokes gentle fun at horror films and B-movies, always having fun with its subject matter and thinking outside of the narrative box. Technology comes and goes, but the genuine affection for its cinematic inspirations and heartfelt humor helped define an era of gaming. You can pick up Maniac Mansion for cheap on Steam.
Point-and-click games had been used across a wide variety of genres, but Phantasmagoria was one of the few titles brave enough to use the format for horror. A huge departure from the more family-friendly King's Quest that Roberta Williams had created, Phantasmagoria mixed FMVs with terrifying encounters that was groundbreaking for its time. While some of the visuals might look dated by today's standards, the game still has a talent for being constantly unsettling. It's an interactive B-movie with some of the best overacting around. A cheesy classic that was unique for its time.
Read our Phantasmagoria review.
The Longest Journey
Credit to Funcom, as The Longest Journey certainly lived up to its title. A sweeping odyssey set across time, The Longest Journey is seen as one of the last great point-and-click games during the twilight of the genre. Released in 2000, it was a beautifully-rendered visual masterpiece, loaded with dialogue, and filled with foul-mouthed characters. If you have plenty of time to spare, give it a look on pC.
Read our The Longest Journey review.
Kentucky Route Zero
Fans and supporters of Kentucky Route Zero had to exercise extreme patience for this episodic series, but with each chapter released, developer Cardboard Computer reminded people that the wait was more than worthwhile. Delayed satisfaction wrapped up in intriguing layers of mystery and fresh perspectives, Kentucky Route Zero is one of the finest point-and-click games of the modern era. If you're just checking it out, the good news is that you can grab all five acts of this magical realist adventure game in one complete package. No waiting years between chapters required.
Read our Kentucky Route Zero reviews.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Harrison Ford's whip-wielding hero of archeology was destined to be a video game headliner, and in 1992 he got to embark on what is arguably considered to be the best Indiana Jones game. Fate of Atlantis was an adventure that would have been impossible to realize on the silver screen, a swashbuckling tale of mystery and danger that offered versatile play styles. An Indiana Jones game that was heavy on cerebral challenges and punch-powered action, it was another feather in the LucasArts fedora when it first hit the scene.
There is no game: Wrong Dimension
There is no game: Wrong Dimension is as high-concept a title that you can point and possibly click at, a collection of meta-commentary and silliness that never takes itself too seriously. It's one of those titles that has to be played to be understood, as its abstract design and clever puzzles create one of the best paradoxes you'll ever interact with. It's a game, but it also isn't one. And the only way for that statement to make sense, is to try this underrated gem out for yourself.
The Procession to Calvary
Every great point-and-click game has an element that helps it stand apart from others in its genre, and for The Procession To Calvary, that X-factor is its beautiful absurdity. Taking a museum's worth of fine Renaissance art and using those assorted canvases to paint a puzzling picture, the game runs wild with Monty Python-esque humor. Whip-smart dialogue and bizarrely fun puzzles make this game a must-play on the bucket list for anyone who's a fan of the point-and-click genre.
A point-and-click game in an arthouse movie format that blends sliding-tile puzzles into its elegant design, Gorogoa still manages to use these cathartic themes to create exciting moments within its world. Some of the puzzles may leave you scratching your scalp raw, but nothing beats the feeling of successfully completing its visual riddles. Even if you can't solve those puzzles, the game is gorgeous to look at, an artisanal and hand-crafted mystery that'll challenge your perception.
Read our Gorogoa review.
An adventure game that features a more retro inspiration in its art direction, Norco is a more somber tale of life in the South. Melancholic characters inhabit a land that bears the scars of the merciless march of the oil industry, environmental ruin has set in, and a community is under siege in a game that has deep layers of storytelling. It's leagues more somber than anything else on this list, but Norco still manages to provide a thin sliver of hope within its pixelated tale of decay.
Read our Norco review.
Mobile devices have become the perfect platform for point-and-click games, and the 2013 game Device 6 still stands apart from the pack for its novel approach to taking advantage of that technology. What starts out as a text adventure quickly evolves into a highly interactive puzzle game that's backed by a jazz soundtrack and a unique layout. It has an eye-catching design that uses the iOS medium to tell a fantastic story.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.