Grim Fandango Remastered (Switch eShop)

One of the all-time GOATs of all time, Grim Fandango is LucasArts' and Double Fine's masterpiece of a point-and-click game that's aged surprisingly well.

Manny Calavera, the skull lad on the box art, is stuck at a dead-end job in the underworld, but he accidentally stumbles upon a grand conspiracy of soul-laundering, and spends the next four years attempting to save souls and kick butt in order to stop the evil mafia boss, Hector LeMans.

The combination of traditional noir writing, Day of the Dead-style skulls everywhere, and Tim Schafer's trademark creative direction make Grim Fandango one of the most beloved adventure games ever, and this polished-up version on the Switch is much more palatable than having to play with the clunky controls of the original PC version.

Tangle Tower (Switch eShop)

Short, sweet, and stunningly animated, Tangle Tower is a murder-mystery from the minds behind Snipperclips, one of the Switch's launch games. It's technically the third in the Detective Grimoire series, but it's far and away the best of the bunch, and requires no prior knowledge.

You are, of course, Detective Grimoire, and you're here at the titular Tangle Tower to tease out the answers behind the murder of Freya Fellow, who looks like she was murdered by her own painting. With fantastic voice acting and tricky, inventive puzzles all the way through, it's a joy to play Tangle Tower from beginning to end.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (Switch eShop)

The Frogwares Sherlock games are odd little things, but in many ways, they exemplify a very Sherlockian way of detective work. This version of Holmes is strange and offputting, coarse and cold, pulling largely from the BBC Sherlock, but with more puzzles — some of which are deeply silly, like the ones that require you to assemble a picture to figure out what a certain smell is supposed to be.

The best part of this take on the Sherlock genre is the fact that it's entirely possible to muck up a case by failing to investigate an area properly, or even in piecing together the evidence wrongly and making incorrect conclusions. It makes the stakes feel suitably high, and doesn't fall back into the boring old "well, he's a genius, so he can't ever be wrong" pit that detective games often find themselves stuck in.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition (Switch)

Is The Witcher 3 a detective game? You could certainly argue that Geralt's latest outing is far more of a combat RPG about monster-hunting, but there are just enough detective elements that we think this one's worth a recommendation to anyone who loves the genre.

Geralt's quests often involve him having to use his special Witcher Peepers to determine where a person, monster, or item is, following bloody footprints and scented trails to find his target. It's not nearly as challenging as detective games that ask you to use your own brain — Geralt pretty much entirely relies on Witcher Sense, which makes everything important glow bright yellow — but the detectiving is fun all the same. Plus, most detectives don't get to swordfight the killers.

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Thimbleweed Park (Switch eShop)

If you miss the "Verb The Noun" days of ye olde point-and-click games, then Thimbleweed Park is right up your alley. It's a game that's all about the unsettling weirdness of backwater America, as FBI agents turn up to investigate a murder, and quickly become embroiled in a scheme that's much larger than any of them anticipated.

Co-designed by LucasArts veterans Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, Thimbleweed Park is the closest you can get to that '90s point-and-click DNA without cloning Monkey Island, but with the added benefit of 20+ years of game design experience that makes Thimbleweed Park infinitely less tedious and challenging than those old games were. There are difficulty options, and an in-game hint line, which can help you out whenever you like as you explore Thimbleweed Park's various nostalgic locales.

Batman - The Telltale Series (Switch)

We couldn't have a list of best detective games without the World's Greatest Detective, could we? Sure, in Telltale's take on the Bat-story, he certainly does a lot more punching than detectiving, but in-between the fights with Gotham's most crimey lads, Batman has his moments.

And the reason we picked the Telltale Batman, instead of one of the many other Batgames on the Switch? Most of the other ones are just about the punching. At least Telltale games have you making decisions, too!

Sam & Max Save the World (Switch eShop)

Sam & Max are two private investigators with a storied past: First appearing in comics in the '80s, the dog-and-rabbit duo were intended as a loving, self-aware parody of the crime-fighting genre. Later on, the point-and-click heroes LucasArts would begin work on an adventure game starring the two, but when LucasArts cancelled the game and stepped away from adventure games, it seemed to be the end of the road.

But then, former LucasArts employees went on to found Telltale Games, re-acquired the rights to Sam & Max, and made Sam & Max Save The World — Telltale's first foray into episodic games, and the industry's first example of a successful story told in the style of a TV show.

Sam & Max Save The World is not just an interesting bit of video game history, though — it has the witty, irreverent writing that Telltale games would come to embody, with plenty of political satire, extremely stupid jokes, and winking references to pop culture and adventure games in general.

L.A. Noire (Switch)

Many of the games on this list have been quite casual or silly takes on the detective genre, but L.A. Noire plays it straight. You are Cole Phelps — played in voice and face by Aaron Staton — a police officer who quickly becomes promoted up to Homicide Detective in 1940s LAPD, in what is perhaps the Most Noir Setting Possible.

L.A. Noire uses state-of-the-art (at the time) technology to focus its detective work on facial animations, which lets you as Phelps decide if people are lying or telling the truth based on how they react to questioning, or how they act when telling you their version of events. It doesn't work perfectly, as ambiguity and confusion arise from the game's need to categorise your responses as "good cop/truth" or "bad cop/doubt", which are pretty vague, but for the most part, it's a successful, serious take on real-life detective work from Rockstar.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Switch eShop)

A glossy HD remake of the original three games in the Ace Attorney series, Phoenix Wright's first foray into the legal system is perhaps less polished than later games, but still utterly fantastic.

Investigation scenes usually take place before the case makes it to court, and while they're largely hands-off — your job is mostly to pick up evidence and gather testimony — it's still a fun twist on the courtroom drama to be able to see it all for yourself. These are some of the best detective/lawyer games in the biz. Not that there's much competition, mind you.

Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy - Deluxe Edition (Switch)

A spin-off of the surprisingly successful line of logic puzzle games known as the Professor Layton series, Layton's Mystery Journey follows the professor's daughter Katrielle as she solves much smaller crimes and cases than her dad.

Although the Katrielle series has yet to really take off in the same way Layton did, you'll still find the same gorgeous, hand-animated visuals and cutscenes, and the unparalleled localisation that developer Level-5 is known for. Plus, it's the only Layton game on Switch (so far...).

Murder By Numbers (Switch eShop)

Combining the investigative chops of Ace Attorney with the satisfying puzzley goodness of Picross, Murder By Numbers is all about finding out who murdered your boss, moments after he fired you... partly to clear your name, but partly because you just found a robot whose sole purpose appears to be murder investigations, and it seems only polite to help them out.

The story takes a while to get going into the Picrossy goodness that you desire, but once you're there, there's plenty to enjoy, between the sassy jokes and the goofy writing. And the Picross! Lovely Picross.