The 20 Best Mystery Games for PS5
Everyone loves a good mystery, whether it’s a book, a movie, or just plain gossip.
It’s difficult to accurately guess when this penchant for the unknown first came among us humans because it seems the love of mysteries is as old as our sense of curiosity, which is basically timeless.
It’s no wonder then that game developers are drawn to this genre of make-believe, and love making games about whodunits, detective thrillers, and puzzles as much as gamers the world over love playing them.
Finding the best mystery games on consoles isn’t the most straightforward affair, but that’s where I come in.
I’ve done all the sleuthing that you’ll possibly need, with the result shown below of the twenty best mystery games for PS5 today. Dig in!
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative
Artificial Intelligence aided crime-busting, viral videos of the more unpleasant sort, and a cult-infested future society that while not exactly dystopian, is no Utopia either.
That’s only the setting of AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative. Even the title is goosebump-worthy.
This stand-alone sequel to the original 2019 AI: The Somnium Files was developed by Spike Chunsoft Co. Ltd. and published by Spike Chunsoft Co. Ltd. in June 2022.
As Mizuki, a Special Agent and part of a team of super cops for tomorrow (in this case Tokyo of the near future), your task is to solve the macabre half-body series of killings. To help you is your AI assistant, Aiba that lives in the socket left by your surgically removed eye.
The crime itself is as bizarre as they come in this greasy anime existence. Half of a man’s body has just been discovered, six years after the first half was found, mutilated.
The twist in the story though is that this latest half died mere hours before discovery. This is the puzzling mystery Mizuki has to solve.
Crazy conspiracy theories and pretty slick action just about sum it up, but you’re not left without some heavy artillery of the tech variety.
Through your eye-inhabiting AI, you come equipped with pretty great devices. There’s thermal vision, for instance, that allows you to recreate a crime scene in a real-time virtual environment.
It’s funny, it’s fun, and it’s one of the best mystery games for PS5.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is that rare find that straddles the saddle of a great game with a good story. It’s popularly considered to be one of the best interactive story games for Xbox Series S/X and the Nintendo Switch.
In this game, you’ll be thinking about the mysterious anecdotes that lead you to the answer to the puzzle long after you’ve pressed the last key on your controller.
What Remains of Edith Finch was first released in 2017 before its re-release by Annapurna Interactive in May 2019. The game developer is Giant Sparrow.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a melancholic single-player mystery puzzle that follows the last survivor of a family serially plagued by mysterious deaths in the past.
Edith returns to the old family house to find out secrets hidden from her as a child. She also finds out why only one member of each generation survives what looks very much like a generational curse leading to the unusual deaths of all others.
As Edith, you activate each family member’s story as you discover and enter the bedroom they used to inhabit. Slightly off-center, the house itself is a fantastic general setting for the game.
Edith must use the scraps of information she gets from each member’s narrative to solve the mystery.
The music by Jeff Russo, like the house, is a worthy accompaniment to this collection of short stories. There’s no doubt at all that What Remains of Edith Finch is one of the best mystery games for PS5.
Long after you’ve hopefully solved the mystery, you may find yourself asking, ’what if?’.
The Darkside Detective
Not every game has to be as serious as death, (even if it’s a mystery), and The Darkside Detective confirms this.
If after a stint at some of the brain grinders on this list you feel like letting your hair down with a lighthearted simple story, then this game is your go-to.
The Darkside Detective was published by Akupara Games in 2017 and the development was by Spooky Doorway studios.
So, what’s the point-and-click game about, then? First of all, don’t expect too many references to Darkside, the titular alternate world that the game is about.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do as much exploration of Darkside, or the beautiful town of Twin Falls where it is set.
Story-wise, as detective McQueen, you are accompanied by your sidekick Dooley as you both investigate the mysterious portals appearing in twin Falls.
You have to get through six cases that make up the game. There are also several random cases.
The Darkside Detective has deliciously simple puzzles, and you’re never at a loss about what to do with an item when you do find it. Its purpose is immediately clear.
A lot has to be said for Ben Prunty’s score too, which is on a whole other level.
Jokes abound everywhere, even if a few of them are slightly off-center. The Darkside Detective won’t have you gnawing your thumb as you try to puzzle out its mysteries.
For the 6-7 hours it lasts, you should have fun and even a laugh or two.
Chicken Police – Paint it RED!
If the previous game was an amusing comedy, Chicken Police – Paint it Red is a laugh-out-loud farce, and the rooster in a trench coat and necktie is only the icing on this richly baked salute to film noir.
Developed by The Wild Gentleman, it was published by HandyGames in November 2020.
Santino “Sonny” Featherland is a disgraced rooster cop on paid leave from the chicken police just before retirement.
He is contemplating a slow, ignominious decline to age, drink, and fixed income penury one night when fates smile on him.
Or do they?
Any detective worth his street cred knows a beautiful woman is nothing but trouble, and Deborah Ibaneza, the magnetizing impala that glides into his hotel room temporary HQ is the prettiest lass in town.
She’s got a job for him from her boss and nightclub proprietor. Is Sonny up to one last dangerous investigation?
As Sonny, with working partner Marty MacChicken, you’ll solve puzzles, interview the over colorful, always secretive townsfolk, and get into a few brawls along the way.
The Wild Gentleman is first of all about character, not really gameplay as has become the norm.
For instance, each character’s unique traits must be considered when interviewing in order to ask the right multiple-choice questions.
The finale is not on the same level as some of the other games on this list, but it won’t stop you from having a good time.
The game is definitely deserving of a spot in the best mystery games for PS5.
The Forgotten City
Role-playing is as synonymous with mystery games as bread is with butter. But what do mystery gamers love just as much as assuming an avatar and solving mysteries? A time loop!
The Forgotten City expertly weaves the RPG feature and time reengineering in a most fascinating and effective manner. In this role-playing adventure published by Dear Villagers in July 2022, time is not really the enemy, just the umpire.
Game development was by the Aussie firm Modern Storyteller, and the result of their labors is a fun, complex adventure that will engage you for hours.
Technically, this is a mod, and The Elder Scrolls is the source material for it. This, in my opinion, makes it even more impressive that this is also one of the best interactive story games for PS5.
In this top mystery game for PS5, you start off in the present day, exploring Roman ruins. As you explore, you wonder how the remarkably life-like golden statues came about.
That is until a portal suddenly opens, transporting you back 2000 years to the city. There you meet the ancient citizens, statues no longer, and each one has a secret.
Here’s the catch – every sin committed turns everyone in the city into statues.
The Forgotten City uses the time loop element so you are able to reset time each time someone sins, going through the same investigation each day but with new information each time.
The major mysteries are what caused this entire city to turn into statues, and how you’re going to manage to get back to today. Smaller mysteries in the interim also keep you well-occupied.
Outer Wilds does one thing well. It provides complete immersive escapist entertainment through its VR mode, and isn’t that what the gaming experience is about in the first place?
Factor in an interstellar mystery and every gamer would die happy- as they do repeatedly here.
It’s a single-player open-world adventure developed by Annapurna Interactive and Mobius Digital, following game development by Mobius Digital.
As part of a space exploration expedition, you have an enormous job task. The sun is about to go supernova and you seem to be the only person in the universe who can do something about it – or cares to.
So, you set out in your hardy spaceship, only it appears there’s a sidetrack every other minute, rerouting you from your urgent (or not so urgent) mission to save the solar system.
And that’s the thing about Outer Wilds. The open-world scouring of a solar system is magical in its many faceted surprises, but the player is always being time-looped off-path, and always doomed to die.
In some twisted way, that really is the heart of this game. As you space trek, each accidental discovery is meticulously stored away by your ship, and you just might run into it on a far-off planet, leading you to make a quantum leap of deduction.
It’s about what you salvage after many such sun-induced ends resurrected by the time loops.
That is key information that must be painstakingly pieced together to arrive at the final picture and solve a solar-sized mystery.
When 12 Minutes succeeds, it does so brilliantly. When it fails, however, likewise it does so with the biggest of crashes. Either way, you spend several tense hours deciding which one becomes your belief system.
12 Minutes was released in August 2021 by publisher Annapurna Interactive and developed by Luis Antonio and Nomada Studio.
This game is all about the embedded time loop. It starts quite casually as you play a no-name, typical 9-5 character who comes home after the daily grind to his pregnant wife and dinner.
But what starts off as a typical evening takes a sudden twist for the dark unknown when a police officer crashes in, announces your wife is a murderer, and then promptly strangles you.
Seconds later you wake up in the time loop, coming again through the door, confused but knowing you have just 12 minutes to decipher what is happening and stop it from occurring again.
The challenge in this top mystery game for PS5 seems to be that no matter how much you try, progress seems to be slow going through each time loop.
Not much else seems to be happening outside the particular mystery time loop either.
The inclusion of actors James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe spices up the soup even if they don’t quite thicken the plot of this game.
In the end, you will be either very frustrated or feel a great weight off your shoulders when you finally solve the unsolvable.
Martha is Dead
Martha is Dead is not for everyone. Especially gamers struggling with their mental health or who have had a traumatic childhood.
Martha is Dead is European and was developed by Italy-based LKA and published by Wired Productions in February 2022. It is designated a single-player psychological horror mystery.
Any game with that usually has, well, death in it. But there is death, which in many circumstances is natural, and then there’s human suffering, which is deeply disturbing. This game features lots of the latter.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a great game to play. If you particularly like slow burners and games that require you to sift through tiny details to get to the truth, then this is certainly your game.
The game is set in Tuscany Italy around the closing of WWII in 1944, where soldiers have taken over the main character, Giulia’s, hometown.
Giulia is also the reason for the caveat up above. The young woman’s got mental health issues, which are compounded by finding the body of her drowned twin, Martha. Giulia needs to find out why and how Martha died.
Giulia does quite a lot of walking, offset by the odd bicycle ride. You will need both her legs and the bicycle to get around as you hunt for clues. Fetch quests provide a diversion from the main mystery.
As earlier suggested, the game is a slow burn, but in the end, the secret that answers the mystery is worth it all. Definitely one of the cooler mystery games on PS5.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Detective Paul Prospero talks to the dead to find the living, in this particular case, a missing boy, yep, Ethan Carter.
This is the premise and central idea behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, a single-player open-world, horror survival mystery game.
The indie game was both developed and published by The Astronauts in 2014.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter takes a first-person approach in its narrative style. Occultist Paul Prospero delves into the dark arts in order to solve supernatural cases.
They include not just the missing child but also gory murders and the mystery of Red Creek Valley.
One very noteworthy thing in this game is that you are told that you have to do it all yourself. Expecting helpful signs and notes along the way to show you what to do will certainly end in disappointment.
Apparently, developers, The Astronauts expect you to do the work if you’re going to get the rewards.
Er, not quite; there are actually quite a lot of helpful hints along the way, disguised as psychic handouts. It may not be as in your face as in other games, but it’s there.
The supernatural PI also uses his magical powers, such as the ability to see the past, solve cases, and find the missing kid. Makes you wonder; if he can do all that, picking up Ethan’s scent should be a breeze, right?
Well, not quite, as there are enough challenges to keep you and the paranormal investigator pretty busy.
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu
There are gamers who look for other things besides action and tech-driven game mechanics.
For these, story and character development form as much an allure for any game as the former mentioned. For this crop of gamers, Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is it.
Developed by and published by Mografi in late 2019, Jenny LeClue – Detectivu is a point-and-click adventure game for gamers who don’t take themselves too seriously, like its titular heroine.
Jenny LeClue is recruited (in a novel written by you) to solve a high-profile murder in her hometown of Arthurton; one that could have dire consequences for her family- and the author.
However, the barebones storyline is just that- bare basics. Plot and character are a big plus for this adventure mystery game within a book, positioned as the first of a series.
For instance, depending on her responses and questions during interrogations, Jenny can take on any of up to eight separate character types.
She (and you) will answer for the choices you make also. For instance, other characters will remember and respond to you according to those choices.
Also, don’t take our earlier statement to mean this game is simplified. It’s fairly simple, but you will have to make an effort too. To help with that, you will have access to her journal which has an important “Case Files” section.
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu has a somewhat surprising ending that hints about more to come. Word is that gamers are already looking forward to a sequel. And that’s saying a lot about this game.
The Sexy Brutale
The Sexy Brutale juggles traditional sleuthing with some unconventional elements such as temporal manipulations, invisibility, and even on occasion a dash of the occult.
The mystery adventure game was developed by Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works and was published in April 2017 by Tequila Works and Nippon Ichi Software.
In The Sexy Brutale, you get 12 hours on a repeat time loop to save guests at a masked ball from being murdered by the servants. A stopwatch helps you keep track of time.
You play Lafcardio Boone, a priest who is a guest at a masked ball in a casino mansion. Guests are continuously being offed by the servants, and it’s up to you to solve the riddles of the murders and save everyone.
To do that, you will have to eavesdrop on conversations, wandering through the mansion as you follow potential killers. It helps that temporarily, you are invisible to everyone.
Once they do see you, time resets, taking you back to the beginning of your 12-hour day.
Convenient hiding places include closets and other furniture. You can also do the peeping Tom routine through keyholes.
Each time you save a guest from being murdered you get their masks, which grant you new abilities. Your interaction with objects in the Mansion also helps.
Although it’s essentially the same day on repeat dial, the number of possibilities that events play out makes it one of the best mystery games on PS5.
Buckle down, it’s going to be a long night.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is terrifying at times, which makes it a worthy ‘next’ in the Doctor Who series of horror adventure games.
The game has some parallel elements to Blink, an episode in the 2007 Doctor-lite series, that revealed the Weeping Angels.
With its release in March 2021, it was developed by Maze Theory and Kaigan Games, and published by Maze Theory and Another Indie.
Set in an eerie house in London, the game begins when you find the phone of a missing person. Having been saved from the self-destruct built into the phone, you are contacted by your benefactor, Petronella Osgood, the ex-UNIT scientist.
She requires your help in a paranormal investigation that puts you up against the Weeping Angels.
Once any human eye sees them, they turn to stone but once you take your eyes off them, the horror begins. So, you dare not turn your back on them or blink.
The greatest threat is the touch of the Weeping Angels which transports you into a past from which you don’t return. They feed off potential energy resulting from the potential time their victims would have spent in this time.
Sadly, Doctor Who is MIA in this game and instead represented by Petronella Osgood, a great ally in the fight against aliens on Earth. Petronella will continue to be your handler throughout the game.
With the good scientist’s help, you may be able to solve enough puzzles and find enough clues to save the Earth from a horrible fate.
A 7-year sentence in development hell served only to properly cook L.A. Noire, the puzzle detective game that hit gamers in 2011 and was remastered in 2017. Evidence of that fact is found in the popular consensus that this is one of the best detective games for Steam and Xbox Series S/X
L.A. Noire was published by Rockstar Games after a long period of development by Team Bondi. It’s a credit to the latter that the long gestation didn’t lead to hurried finishing.
Instead, this action-adventure also easily doubles as one of the best mystery games for PS5.
L.A. Noire packs in an impressive 21 detective cases, spanning the gamut of the career of detective Cole Phelps, from rookie cop, on through the Vice Squad, and finishing at the heavyweight for cops, Homicide.
The game is a period piece, using 1947 LA/Hollywood as its home turf, and although it has been promoted as an action-adventure also, it’s more procedural investigations and interrogations than WWF Smackdown.
You need to watch out for Cole Phelps’ own story arc as this is by far the most engaging of all the 21 cases at play.
There are other noteworthy cases among the others but the main character’s backstory is the main dish to the salad of the rest.
In this remastered version, some features of the game totally show their age – for instance, the shooting scenes. However, interrogations are firmly in the 2000s and still have the same basic trio of Truth, Doubt, or Lie responses.
The facial capture technique, though old, still holds up admirably 11 years after its initial release. Now, that’s Tinseltown grade star power.
The Sinking City
The Sinking City is a decent balance between a puzzle and an RPG action game.
Its puzzles will make you think but not up to the point where you get bored or discouraged because they are too difficult. That said, this is a good fit as one of the top mystery games for PS5.
The single-player action adventure was developed by Frogwares and published by Frogwares, BIGBEN INTERACTIVE, Nacon, and H2 Interactive.
It owes its material to H. P. Lovecraft of the horror fiction fame and could have more than a passing nod to Sherlock Holmes.
Unlike games where the player finds him or herself looking for what to do next, The Sinking City will inundate you with tasks and investigations. The Mind Palace system allows you to collate individual clothes collected at crime scenes.
You can then string them together, leading to fresh leads in your crime investigation.
As PI Charles Reed, you obey summons in foreboding dreams and visions to make the trip to Oakmont where you find the town flooded by reason of preternatural storms.
Oakmont’s Economy is in ruins and it is also cut off from the mainland. To make matters worse, some of the town folks have dived into a mysterious underwater cave, leading to the awakening of Wylebeasts, basically unnatural monsters.
Charles believes that the source of his nightmares and the town’s trouble lie somewhere within the town.
If only he can get the surly fishermen to let go of their natural suspicions and help him solve the mystery of the town’s woes.
If Firewatch was human, he’d definitely be a 1950s hipster with the world as his oyster, hitchhiking just for the heck of it.
This game has one thing going for it, and that’s a benign exploratory near-walkthrough with no clear mission at all.
That means it’s not strictly for everyone, but those who like it will love it. Firewatch was developed by Campo Santo and published by the same, partnered by Panic. The game was first released in 2016.
This adventure game oozes atmosphere, and as Henry, the fire lookout stuck in the middle of nowhere, you have no external contact with the world save for Delilah, your guide/supervisor/only friend.
Henry has a traumatic past, and his stint in the Wyoming forests is basically self-rehabilitation through exile.
Unspoken events have forced him from a world he has voluntarily abandoned, and into this new one in the forests of Wyoming.
Henry is going to have to familiarize himself with the new environment, with Delilah, the squawk of a two-way radio away, supplying helpful answers to the mysteries of his new environment.
At the same time, he’s always risking everything through his responses to interactions with the people he meets. Like the rowdy teenagers that he has to prevent from setting the place on fire.
Why did he leave everything to become Two Forks Lookout’s lone ranger in the first place?
Answers will come slowly the deeper into his exploration Henry gets. Though the ending could be better, Firewatch is still one of the best mystery games for PS5.
Perhaps the most telling introduction to The Witness is that it was made by the same designer as Braid, Jonathan Blow.
For those who remember the platform puzzle game with the infamous rewind button, they will need nothing further. For others, The Witness speaks for itself.
Both game development and publishing are by Thekla, Inc., which released the single-player video game in 2016.
Publishing was done in partnership with NVIDIA Lightspeed Studios, and then the game was subsequently republished in February 2019.
So, what exactly does The Witness have going for it? Well, a little background first.
As a Player in The Witness, you wake up on a deserted Island, not knowing your own name.
You’re going to have to learn all you can about yourself, where you come from, and the island through some 500 puzzles for which you get no help at all.
That’s correct, you rely on your wits alone. The puzzles are housed in touch panels scattered across locations on the island.
To access the info in them, you will need to draw a continuous line from beginning to end of the mazes on the panels, among other requirements.
Thereafter you get new information about the island and hopefully yourself. If drawing lines through countless mazes sounds boring it really isn’t. They are actually incredibly intelligent, and that doesn’t always translate hard.
Symbols around gateways also pose a challenge. The ultimate challenge, of course, is that you chart your course yourself without help. And that ultimately decides whether you are a puzzle gamer.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony continues the game series of the same title. As in the previous two outings, Killing Harmony keeps the gruesome style of players murdering people, and then trying to get away with it as they are investigated.
You also need to discover other murderers yourself, and that’s the mystery part.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony was developed and published by Spike Chunsoft. It was released in 2017.
Killing Harmony positions you as one of 16 school kids stuck in a school with a talking teddy bear and his weird baby bear-children. These school kids don’t know how they ended up at the school.
But as they plot to escape, they are faced with the grim reality of having to kill and kill again to survive.
Chapters follow the murder, investigation, and trial pattern. Trials require you to think fast, manipulating the rest of the kids into your line of reasoning.
The developers have attempted to make the killings less gory by using pink instead of red for blood. Despite that, you will still see images in your head long after you’ve laid down your DualShock controller.
In between each murder, there are mini-games, many of them new, to bring some respite from the visceral murders.
The murder mystery part comes by solving murders done by other characters in the game. Mystery follows hard after mystery until the very incredible end.
It’s not for the squeamish, but this is undoubtedly one of the best mystery games out there for PS5.
The Invisible Hours
The Invisible Hours is another strange house story by Tequila Works but this time with the haunted element thrown in.
This murder mystery weaves together separate narratives that finally form one thread- but it takes some fine deductions.
Released in October of 2017, the game was developed by Tequila Works and published by Game Trust.
Though you can play without it, the VR feature allows players the real-time experience of exploring the scene of the murder, a mansion that is no less than inventor Nikola Tesla’s home.
The famous inventor has just been killed by one of five friends invited to his mansion. A detective comes to investigate the murder but the funny thing is it’s not you.
Instead, you’re a ghost that has an otherworldly interest in the activities of the living.
In ghost mode, you can follow whoever you want and fast-forward, rewind, or pause events. All are within the grasp of your spectral fingers.
Like a phantom voyeur, you get your kicks from merely observing as you can’t do much about the things you’ve learned except some gathering of collectibles you are allowed to interact with.
The fun lies in piecing together the big picture from the tiny stories.
One cool thing about this game is that something is always happening whether your ghost avatar is there to witness it or not.
It’s interesting to see all the other shenanigans going on around the house. Although the destination might seem lackluster to some, the journey is definitely worth the gas.
Great voice acting and fantastic point-and-click puzzles are not the only things that define Tangle Tower.
The detective mystery game was developed and then published by SFB Games in September 2019.
Tangle Tower is the sequel to the first Detective Grimoire adventure and number three in the mystery series.
Like other mystery games before it, Tangle Tower utilizes the single location style. This time, it’s a forlorn mansion on a desolate island. This Tower has got its share of mysteries and it’s up to you to unravel them all.
But what’s a murder mystery without a killing, right?
Detective Grimoire (you) and his trusty sidekick, Sally (also you), need to clear up one at the tower.
It appears longtime enemies the Pointer and Fellow families, who both live in different wings of Tangled Tower have let their hatred of each other reach boiling point.
There’s a body in the Tower, and Grimoire and Sally need to find the culprit.
The unfortunate victim, Freya Fellows was alone in a locked room, engaged in a painting of her aunt when she was fatally stabbed. Curious thing, the image of Aunt Flora Fellows still holds a bloody knife in the painting.
The detective duo is going to have to do a lot of wandering about, interrogating suspects, solving puzzles, and finding clues to get to the bottom of it all.
By game end, you’ll be wondering, like Detective Grimoire: is it possible for a painting to kill its creator?
Thimbleweed Park at first glance looks like a throwback to the video games of the 70s and 80s.
But what would otherwise be a disadvantage is turned into a brilliant plus by the same mind that gave us Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island.
Developer Ron Gilbert, in partnership with Terrible Toybox, who published, bagged a sure winner with this single-player murder mystery released in March 2017.
In this point-and-click adventure, you interchangeably mainly play federal investigators Ray and Reyes, sent to look into a murder in Thimbleweed Park, a backwater community.
No one seems to know the body under the bridge. As federal agents, you have a task list, starting with identifying John Doe, discovering the murder weapon, and nabbing the Killer.
The point-and-click mechanics make this a not easy murder to investigate. You need to switch constantly to execute even simple tasks.
For instance, taking a photograph of the body. One agent has the camera and the other the film.
It makes for some pretty long hours of gaming but the time spent is engaging. Painstaking piecing together tiny bits of puzzles will get you everywhere in this mystery.
Other playable characters include Delores, a returnee game designer, and her dad, Franklin. He’s a former pillow salesman who is now a ghost doomed to roam the hotel where he was murdered.
There is also Ransome, a clown who’s seen better days – and language.
Find the clues, identify the body, catch the killer, and solve the crime. But, it’s not that easy – fortunately.