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    All 32 Nancy Drew Video Games, Ranked From Worst To Best

    A comprehensive list for those who have war flashbacks when they hear the words "It's locked."

    32. Stay Tuned For Danger

    scene from the game where a shadow is standing in the doorway of a bedroom
    HeR Interactive

    Look, this game is terrible, but can you really blame it? It's ancient. I mean it was made in a time where soap stars were still considered relevant. Half the evidence is on videotapes, faxes, and floppy disks. You receive multiple handwritten messages that are left for you next to a landline telephone. One of which is just Maddy saying Ned's voice sounds cute. (Which I guess is how strangers judged your boyfriend's hotness level before social media.) A hilarious aside made even funnier by the fact that Ned is voiced by a completely different actor here than in the rest of the series.

    However ultimately NONE of this matters. This game gets last place based solely on the fact that I forgot to grab an item in one area and had to either re-start the entire game or wait 45 REAL minutes for time to pass within the game to go back and get it. Look, I understand, this game came out in 1999. It’s literally old enough to drink. But even so, after trying to play this game, believe me you’ll need a drink too.

    31. Captive Curse

    cover for nancy drew the captive curse, which is a hand holding a necklace with a large stone
    HeR Interactive

    This is Nancy's WORST vacation of all time. Not only does she take what must be a 9-hour flight where they lose ALL of her luggage, but they somehow also manage to send her to the most boring place she has EVER been. You would think staying in a castle in a foreign country where a monster is on the loose couldn't possibly be boring, but this game says, "hold my beer!"

    To make matters worse, not only does every suspect in this game have an over-the-top German accent, but they are also weirdly obsessed with board games. This is probably fueled by the fact that this place has the world's worst cell phone reception. Yes! This game throws it back to the early Nancy Drew days by making us use a landline! Which, believe it or not, is the least inconvenient part of this game. The puzzles are awful (this game has the most annoying underground tunnels of all time which is really saying a lot) and the suspects are beyond lame. Not a single one of them is hot or interesting. We can call Ned and the Hardy Boys which is a plus, but we spend half the time fighting with Ned and the other half listening to him mope about how our life is so exciting while his is super lame. If only he knew! The most exciting thing that happens in the entire game is we can basically admit to Frank Hardy that we have intimacy issues. Thrilling! This game made me more coo-coo than all the clocks. Overall it's a NEIN from me

    30. Creature of Kapu Cave

    cover of the game nancy drew Creature of Kapu Cave which is a giant stone shaped into the face of a person with glowing eyes
    HeR Interactive

    This game takes place in Hawaii, but Nancy spends 90% of it looking at bug poop. The hardest puzzle in the entire game is basically just a science lab that I would have gotten a "C" on in middle school. Sure this game has the Hardy Boys, but you almost wouldn't know it as they look unrecognizable AND significantly worse than they did in Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon — which (shockingly) came out BEFORE this.

    Also, this game has the worst "Nancy has to do boring activities to earn money" plotline in all of Nancy Drew history. This is really saying a lot considering how often she has to do it. Though points to HER for accuracy as she must have had to haggle 24/7 since all of her cases and high-profile jobs (including this one, naturally) are UNPAID. Also points given to Ned as this game's phone contact for reminding us that the Hardy Boys actually get paid for their life-risking detective work and we are being SCAMMED.

    However, all the points are taken back as Nancy completely ignores this advice (as well as Ned trying to tell her he is depressed) and instead chooses to hang up on him so we can hang out with the Hardy Boys. So points to Nancy for being a straight-up G I guess? Can't say the same for this game, though.

    29. The Shattered Medallion

    cover for the game nancy drew The Shattered Medallion, which includes an image of a man with soft hair, glasses, and a button-down shirt
    HeR Interactive

    Look, I love reality TV, but even I cannot stand this game. It's like an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Everything is made up and the points don't matter. And then just when you think it can't get any worse you get to the main mystery and it's...aliens? There isn't even really a culprit. There are barely any good puzzles. The best thing that happens is George breaks her leg and gets to miss this mess. Sonny wuz here, but I wish I was not.

    28. Tomb of the Lost Queen

    HeR Interactive

    Tomb of the Lost Queen is about an Egyptian curse on a missing mummy and somehow the most exciting thing Nancy does is snoop through random peoples' luggage. Look, I know Nancy is a girl who loves a good book and/or a good tunnel, but this entire game is just tunnels and reference materials. Even the puzzles are boring. The only thing worth looking at in the entire game is Dylan and a third of the way in he nearly gets crushed to death. After which he becomes a phone contact and we NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.

    To me, this game is as appealing as the cobra that is left on Nancy's bed to kill her. Which, instead of avoiding, she randomly decides to catch and release into the wild as if it is a mouse in her apartment. A not-so-great choice in a not-so-great game.

    27. Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake

    cartoon dogs with glowing eyes stand in a forest at night
    HeR Interactive

    This game is so boring. The most interesting characters are either dead or phone contacts. The craziest thing that happens is a suspect asks Nancy if she smokes, which is very racy for a Nancy Drew game. Much like I imagine an actual vacation in a broken-down cabin in the middle of nowhere would be this game is a total bummer.

    26. Labyrinth of Lies

    a man's hand reaches out toward a woman's hand, handing her a piece of fruit
    HeR Interactive

    Listen, this game makes no sense. As an actor, I can promise you there is no production on earth (let alone one that is only a front) with an entire underground interactive set that somehow NEVER makes it on stage for a single second of the show it was supposedly built for. Speaking of things that waste their potential, that is basically the gist of this game. Nancy takes what should be a fabulous trip to Greece and spends the ENTIRE time dealing with four weirdos in a museum filled with fake art.

    Every character in this game is a narcissistic, annoying, liar. (Although points given to HER for accurately portraying actors in a theatre troupe.) At the same time they are also four of the most boring characters to ever be in a Nancy Drew game. I'm not kidding I find doing routine office work as part of Nancy's 4803493th UNPAID internship more interesting than talking to any of them.

    Also a game about criminals/actors putting on a Greek tragedy that is also an art heist, this game should be a LOT more interesting than it actually is. Much like I imagine their non-equity one-night-only outdoor play is, there's really not much worth seeing here.

    25. Danger on Deception Island

    a killer whale
    HeR Interactive

    The whale is cute? That's honestly the best thing I can say about this game. The puzzles are tedious and the characters are lame. I would rather let the culprit strangle me to death than hear Andy tell me "Whales rule!" one more time. I hate Hilda and her constant puzzles that seem to have no porpoise (pun intended). Not to mention the woman doesn't even have the audacity to show up as a real character since she clearly wasn't in the animation budget. The secret tunnels are kinda fun, but Nancy loves tunnels, and lets' be honest: she's seen better. We both have.

    24. Trail of the Twister

    an animated tornado
    HeR Interactive

    This game is so boring I honestly don't even have a joke to make about it. It's not good or bad enough to be memorable, it's just kinda...there. It's exactly what you'd imagine being in the middle of Oklahoma would be like. A total snooze fest. Points for accuracy I guess?

    23. The Deadly Device

    a man getting electrocuted
    HeR Interactive

    I’ve played this game twice and still had to look up who the culprit was, as the mystery is so boring I literally forgot. I don't particularly like any of the characters in this game, but I somehow don't care enough to hate them either. There are some good puzzles, but this game also suffers from a number of puzzles that feel more like homework than anything else. Not a lot of personal drama for Nancy here. You constantly have to call Deidre who is both rude to Nancy and also the main phone contact in this game. You can call the Hardy Boys to complain about her, but even that doesn't spark joy (too soon?) in the way I feel this game should. It's not a great game, but it's not the worst game either. For a game about a literal murder, it's shockingly (again too soon?) forgettable.

    22. The Final Scene

    an empty theatre
    HeR Interactive

    I have to hand it to The Final Scene. This was the first Nancy Drew game I ever played and I am still traumatized by it 15 years later. Sure there's no ghost in this one, but don't worry because it brings the psychological trauma that I'm sure its target audience of 11-year old-girls was clamoring for. Drama-wise this game has it all: weird secret rooms, the culprit trying to crush Nancy to death, and best of all: kidnapping! Not to mention this game basically puts Nancy steps away from going full Kill Bill on anyone and everyone she thinks might be guilty. We can tell suspects that we'd rather be crushed by an elevator than work with them, ask them if they've ever heard of the "wrath of Nancy Drew," and best of all, accuse them of creating a business called (and I quote) "Missing Persons R-Us." (which I'm sure was a super sick burn in 2001).

    However, while packing in all this drama it feels like HER literally forgot there are supposed to be puzzles in this game. I mean, 90% of The Final Scene is just yelling at suspects and phone contacts. I would normally elaborate on the phone contacts here, but I can barely remember who they are (even though talking to them is like half the game) as they are literally the WORST phone contacts of all time. I'm not kidding. At one point this game actually has the audacity to make us call someone and then wait on hold THREE times as a comedic bit. This mainly feels like a lame attempt at padding this game's run time as there is not nearly enough to do here. Sure it may have a memorable mystery, but even with its weird Harry Houdini subplot this game still isn't quite magic, you know? (I believe it's not, so...)

    21. Secret of the Scarlet Hand

    a bloody handprint
    HeR Interactive

    At its core, Secret of the Scarlet Hand is about completing an unpaid internship at a sketchy museum. Over the course of the game, Nancy solves multiple robberies, helps an amnesia patient regain their memory, and opens a monolith that hasn't been opened since the SEVENTH century for FREE. Not to mention she ends up almost suffocating to death next to a dead body in order to do it while the other suspects offer literally zero help. Instead, they chose to stand outside and wait for her with quippy one-liners in case she manages to escape certain death.

    However, despite the insane ending, the majority of the game is just errands, phone contacts, and Nancy waiting around for packages like an Amazon Prime addict. Though I will admit this game has some of the best phone contacts of all time. You not only get the absolute icon that is Prudence Rutherford, but you can also call the Hardy Boys on their CAR phone! And then there's Poppy Dada who explains why she put a priceless family heirloom in her crappy painting, is weirdly obsessed with us seeing a dead body, and calls Nancy a prude! They're all a delight and they should be considering talking to them is basically half of the game.

    The rest is just endless quizzes on Mayan artifacts which feel way more like being on Quizlet than actual puzzles. At least HER tried to spice up all this studying by adding a random amnesia plotline, which will feel totally relatable to you in a week when you've completely forgotten 99% of the Mayan history they tried to get you to learn in this game. Sorry!

    20. Secrets Can Kill (Remastered)

    an animated woman standing in a hallway at night
    HeR Interactive

    Listen, folks, I may be way too old to be a teenage detective, but even I am not old enough to have had the original version of this game. It featured the characters drawn in 2D, a payphone, and a two-disc set where you had to physically CHANGE disks multiple times throughout the game in order to access different areas. Fortunately, HER saved us that headache and kindly remastered this title for us, so those without Windows 97 could take a crack at Nancy's first case.

    This game is about finding the literal murderer of a high school student (RIP) which is...dark! HER tries to lighten this up by constantly reminding us that the kid who was killed was kind of a jerk anyway so, who cares! The various children of the High School do not seem to be particularly disturbed by it anyway as they still find plenty of time to hit on/bully Nancy. Overall this isn't a bad game — especially considering what HER was working with originally. They really went there with this one by having the culprit hold Nancy at literal GUNPOINT. Also, I love that even in the remastered version of this game, where they go ahead and give Nancy a cell phone, they still keep the final evidence on a physical videotape (again, RIP). All and all, this isn't a bad game. The final puzzle holds up, the high school drama is totally fun, and yes Nancy may almost be shot and killed, but hey at least in this game she didn't have to do any chores!

    19. Ransom of the Seven Ships

    an abandoned ship udner the ocean
    HeR Interactive

    Look, on the one hand, this game probably has the most puzzles of any Nancy Drew adventure. And most of them are actually quite good. However this game lacks the most important Nancy Drew element of all: drama. There’s only one suspect and he spends the entire game torturing us with not one, but TWO of the worst accents ever heard in a Nancy Drew game. He then yells at Nancy for not appreciating his acting chops which is somehow the only thing more embarrassing than his sub-par accent work. We can't even call Ned and/or the Hardy Boys and force them to give us hints while simultaneously boring them to death with the details of our trip. The only other “suspects” in this game are a bird and a bunch of monkeys. Because for some unknown reason HER loves forcing Nancy to play games with children and monkeys which I cannot forgive them for. However, I do have to give them major credit for giving Nancy a nemesis who is literally so obsessed with her while she meanwhile cannot even be bothered to remember his name. I can see why as he is just like this game, kind of forgettable.

    18. White Wolf of Icicle Creak

    wolf in the snow
    HeR Interactive

    I want to like this game. I really do. I love the puzzles! I love the setting! But it wastes literally all of that on the worst group of human beings Nancy has ever had the misfortune of encountering. Chantal, the owner of the lodge, somehow finds a way to be the most annoying person Nancy has ever met despite the fact that nearly half the people she meets try and murder her. Throughout the game, she forces Nancy to do literally all of the chores at her lodge for FREE as a "disguise." We can get fired for single-handedly saving her business due to the fact that we didn't clean or cook for the four remaining guests who are too dumb to get out of what is clearly a death trap.

    Oh, and did I mention we never even see Chantal? That's right, she's only a phone contact! The entire game is phone contacts. We have to call Tino. We have to call avalanche patrol. We have to call Chantal's previous employees who quit due to incidents of sabotage but honestly should have quit a long time ago because as Nancy can attest working for Chantal is a nightmare. She is so awful I almost want the culprit to succeed in destroying her lodge. Except the culprit is lame. Their motivation is lame. Playing snowballs with Ollie is annoying. Playing Fox and Geese with Bill is annoying. Guadalupe is only in the game for four seconds and even she is annoying. The wolf is by far the best character in the game and you know what she's named? Isis. I rest my case.

    17. The Haunted Carousel

    a carousel at night
    HeR Interactive

    For a game with the quote "it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye," The Haunted Carousel should be way more fun than it actually is. The characters are decent — minus Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine who is a total SNITCH. Although HER makes Nancy a total snitch in this game too. Which is a bold character choice for a girl who literally spends 90% of her time rummaging through other people's crap without their permission. However, HER does get points as this game has the best Nancy's-getting-fired phone calls of all time. You can get fired for almost getting killed by a roller coaster, electrocuting yourself doing the work of a paid employee for FREE, and best of all for burning down an ENTIRE building because you accidentally left the iron on in your hotel room.

    However, this game does lose major points for making Bess fall for a lame guy named Matt. Although HER does get some points back for realism as this is by far the most realistic (and relatable) part of this game. Much like a real weekend at the Jersey Shore this game is easy fun, but it's not really a dream vacation (or a dream game) either.

    16. Message in a Haunted Mansion

    haunted mansion being struck by lightning
    HeR Interactive

    Look, for a game that was made 20 years ago, it's surprisingly well done. Though Nancy does refer to it as a "cyber mystery" in the opening credits which is...hilarious. Still, this "cyber mystery" is the first mystery that really feels like the Nancy Drew games we've come to know and love. The characters aren't amazing, but they're not bad either. Abby Sideris is by far the most memorable in her role as the original Joanne the Scammer. However, points docked for not being able to speak to Ned in this game. Though if you miss him you can just go talk to Charlie who sounds eerily familiar since (as Wikipedia will tell you) he is voiced by the same actor HER ultimately ends up using to voice Ned. So a big congrats to Scott Hardy (hot name by the way) for transitioning from a role as an irrelevant suspect to an iconic reoccurring boyfriend. Not since Rick Arlen has a person's career blown up (too soon?) so fast.

    Though solving the mystery of the voice actors' identities is definitely more exciting than solving the mystery in the actual game, Message in a Haunted Mansion really isn't a bad time. There aren't quite enough puzzles, but the ones we do get are fun. Many similar ones appear in later games with a slight facelift. All in all, this is Nancy's first "ghost" sighting game, and a girl's first time is special, you know? Even if she does have many more (and slightly better) ghosts (and games) in her future.

    15. Curse of Blackmoor Manor

    woman in a robe at night
    HeR Interactive

    I know this is a favorite among Nancy Drew fans and I will admit it does have an iconic set of characters. Major points to Linda for laying in bed the entire game and dramatically hiding behind a curtain from everyone. It is HER's most clever use of getting around the animation budget to date. Though, her legendary behavior is slightly undermined by the fact that it is only because she is dumb enough to think she is turning into a werewolf. Points awarded to Jane as well for setting up the best get-rid-of-your-annoying-stepmom scheme since The Parent Trap.

    However, the game loses major points for forcing Nancy to interact with Nigel in any capacity. This man is so boring even a British accent can't make a word he says sound interesting. Also, this is supposed to be a "spooky" Nancy Drew game and yet the confrontation with the culprit is probably the lamest one in Nancy Drew history. Honestly, the scariest part of this entire game is that HER actually makes Nancy bribe a parrot with cake in order to get hints on the case. Great characters and good puzzles, but when it comes down to it it's really not that exciting of a mystery. Still way better than Nigel's memoirs, but that's not saying much.

    14. The Silent Spy

    a woman with a mask over her mouth wears a peacoat
    HeR Interactive

    Look, I love drama, and this game definitely brings the drama. I love the vague moody flashbacks to Nancy's mom. I love that we force Ned to commit breaking and entering on our behalf. I love that Carson gets mad at us for putting our lives at risk as if Nancy isn't nearly killed in a variety of ways on every single trip she goes on. I appreciate that this game's mystery is actually about Nancy for once as opposed to her meddling in other people's business when literally no one asked. However, even with Nancy's personal connection to the mystery it and its suspects are insanely boring. The most exciting interactions in the entire game are flashbacks and phone contacts. The culprit's motivations are murky at best and most of the questions you go into the game begging HER to answer they literally refuse to answer. Though, I will give them some credit for having the audacity to make Nancy shoot a bow and arrow across a PUBLIC courtyard in order to casually zipline into another person's hotel room. As if that is a thing that people can do on multiple occasions without ever getting caught and/or falling to their death. When in Scotland, I guess? Oh well. Nancy may make it across, but for me, this game still falls a wee bit short.

    13. Secret of the Old Clock

    a broken clock
    HeR Interactive

    Well, a ring-a-ding-ding, here we have our favorite broad Nancy in her first (and only?) period piece! This game takes us back in time to Nancy's very first mystery in a bizarre homage to her very first novel which leads us to quite a few questions. Like how was Nancy's first case in 1930 and yet she is still in high school circa 2003 with a flip phone? Confusing! Is Nancy a time traveler? Is she (along with the rest of her family and friends) immortal? Who knows! The game does not provide context or answers to any of this! However, for Nancy's first foray into becoming an (unpaid) teenage detective, this game is pretty swell. The puzzles (left behind by an eccentric dead person of course) are fun and the characters are quite memorable. We can even tell our "friend" Emily that she needs to get out more. This is shady as hell considering the fact that we know her mother JUST died and she is clearly on the brink of a mental breakdown. Fun!

    This game does lose major points for forcing Nancy to CONSTANTLY hustle for cash. I know, I know the early 1930s was The Great Depression, but phew, this game really refuses to let me forget it. Still, despite its depression-era setting, this game is actually quite a good time. Not only is it the alleged jumping-off point for Nancy's "career," but it also manages to provide us with all the staples of a good Nancy mystery. Secret tunnels, hidden wills, fake identities! I mean, in the words of another female icon (Val Garland) Secret of the Old Clock gets a big "DING DONG" from me.

    12. Haunting of Castle Malloy

    old ghost woman with staticky hair
    HeR Interactive

    Look, this game is completely absurd. Jet packs! Love triangles! Ned making you get in a car crash because he's annoyed he has to go to a party alone! The plot of this game is implausible and yet, I don't care? This game has atmosphere. It has mood. It has the audacity to make literally no scientific sense. I love meddling in this clear disaster of a wedding that will either end in death or divorce. However, the game does lose major points for the chemicals puzzle where I accidentally killed myself more times than I imagine Kit has thought about killing Matt. Points added back for Kit being the hottest suspect since Dave, but points docked again for Kit having a crush on Kyler instead of us. Additional points docked for us not being able to flirt with Kit while Ned avoids Minkie McNabb. All the points added back for HER creating a character called Minkie McNabb.

    11. The Secret of Shadow Ranch

    a ghost horse on its back legs
    HeR Interactive

    Another classic Nancy-is-invited-on-vacation-but-ends-up-solving-everyone-else's-problems-for-free game. I'd say this is one of, if not the most, infamous Nancy Drew titles. The setting is amazing and literally all of the characters are definitely memorable. We even get to ride a horse! Yee-haw!

    However, ultimately none of this matters as this game is most remembered for one thing and one thing only: and that is CHORES. That's right! This game not only has you solving a mystery for free, it has you doing chores for free as well! One of which leads us to the dumbest death sequence in all of Nancy Drew HERstory: death by vegetable picking. Listen, I like the mystery, I like the puzzles, and I too like flirting with Dave while Ned patiently waits for me to come home. But do I like it enough to make it one of my top 10 Nancy Drew games? As Tex would say, nope.

    10. Treasure in the Royal Tower

    HeR Interactive

    This is another Nancy’s vacation gets totally ruined game, but this time it’s actually worth it. I mean who wants to vacation in Wisconsin anyhow? The mystery (they did not include cyber in the title this time) in this game is truly iconic. At one point the culprit uses Pepper Spray on Nancy and has the audacity to call it "Spicy Devil Villain Venom." I mean, come on. Such drama and flair! They also call Nancy the worst friend a diamond thief could ever have which is, hilarious. However this game loses major points for making me completely question Nancy’s taste in men. As she really says Jacques Brunais is “gorgeous” from a grainy Polaroid photo where he is willingly spotting a goatee. As if that isn’t bad enough for a man with the same facial hair as Guy Fieri, Jacques has the displeasure of being the most condescending man Nancy has ever met. Per usual, midway through the game Nancy is violently attacked and knocked unconscious. Is Jaques at all concerned by this? Nope! Does he try and help Nancy at all? Of course not! Instead, he blames Nancy for taking a “cat nap" and leaves her lying on the basement floor concussed. He then refuses to talk to her for the rest of the game which is honestly such a blessing and worth the possible brain damage Nancy might have suffered due to the attack as the brain damage she would have suffered by being forced to have another conversation with Jacques would have certainly been much, much worse.

    Still, despite its flaws, Treasure in the Royal Tower is truly a treasure itself. It is a near-perfect game — if you can forgive Nancy willingly vacationing in the Midwest, that is.

    9. Shadow at the Water's Edge

    a ghostly woman with long hair
    HeR Interactive

    This game is genuinely terrifying, but the only thing scarier than the ghost that haunts the Ryokan is the amount of Sudoku puzzles this game has. They're endless. The ghost may give you a heart attack, but these will literally bore you to death. Still, if you can manage to get through them (and survive fainting when the ghost pops up) this game is actually a really good time. I mean, in classic Nancy Drew fashion we get to rummage through literally all of the suspect's stuff for clues, which ultimately leads to us finding highly intimate and seriously personal details about total strangers in the process! I mean this game is basically just Nancy getting involved in the middle of some family drama even though literally no one asked her to. Great stuff! Plus this game is our introduction to Savannah Woodham who is kind of a Nancy Drew icon. This game is kind of a Nancy Drew icon too.

    8. Alibi in Ashes

    a town hall building on fire
    HeR Interactive

    What this game lacks in puzzles it more than makes up for in drama. I love forcing Ned to stand up Deirdre. I love hearing Tony talk smack about Nancy to someone she literally knows is Nancy's best friend. I love Brenda's constant use of costumes and wigs. I love Alexei's vendetta against Bess. I love that even THIS game ultimately ends with us wandering around another set of random underground tunnels. It feels like this entire game is just uncovering various reasons why everyone in River Heights HATES Nancy. How wonderful! The setting is fun. The characters are fun. We even get thrown in jail! How exciting! However switching between Nancy, Bess, Ned, and George does not prove to be nearly as thrilling. Not to mention this game loses major points in my book for STILL refusing to show us Ned. However, points added for Deidre's confirmation that Ned is a total hottie. Still wish we could see it for ourselves though.

    7. Sea of Darkness

    ship on stormy seas
    HeR Interactive

    This is a good Nancy Drew game. Honestly, this is such a good Nancy Drew game that there's really not a lot of stuff to make fun of here. The characters are smart and well-thought-out. The puzzles are great. Not only is the mystery compelling, but it actually makes sense for a change? Even the historical elements of the game tie in well with the mystery. The whole thing almost feels too good to be true. You'd think with all this plot there'd be no room for something fun? Wrong! You get to have MASSIVE relationship drama with Ned throughout the entire game, but even that ties in o the mystery as it mirrors the relationship drama of Elisabet and Magnus within the main game. For once even Nancy's boyfriend sub-plot has narrative purpose! It's all thought out. It all ties together. It's so good. It's almost too good?

    Its perfection actually makes me miss the Nancy Drew campiness that makes Nancy Drew games, well...Nancy Drew games. I honestly forgot how good this game was because there's nothing truly ridiculous to remember it by. Still, it really is the culmination of the best the Nancy Drew games can be and for that, it deserves top ranks. Much like Ned still loves us despite our flaws, ultimately I still love this game despite its lack of them.

    6. Legend of the Crystal Skull

    a crystal skull
    HeR Interactive

    Now here is a good ol' SPOOKY Nancy Drew game. And just like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, this game is a GRAND old time. I love the puzzles. I love collecting the eyes. I love that this game has the audacity to tell us right away that it should be played in the dark. This is the kind of game that knows what it wants and I respect it for that. I love that Ned is friends with Henry Bolet even though based on what we know of them they have absolutely nothing in common except for being hot. I love playing as Bess even though all she does is torture that random man who owns the store and the other random man who sits outside of it. Sure I can’t remember either of their names now, but who cares! It’s fun!

    The whole game is fun. It has tons of classic Nancy Drew staples: A crazy dead person who left behind a string of puzzles, wandering through random people's graves, and a secret society with suspicious intentions that HER barely flushes out and never really explains. I mean come on! This game has it all. What can I say? Just like Henry Bolet, this one really does it for me.

    5. Danger By Design

    a face mask with lipstick on it
    HeR Interactive

    Look, this game is a paradox. Nothing in it is good and yet I love everything about it. I love the voice actors' horrendous French accents. I love that it randomly ends with us fighting the culprit with Kung Fu. I love each and every character despite the fact that they are basically irrelevant to 90% of the plot. All Jing Jing does is bake cookies. All Dieter does is pout about Minette. All Jean-Michelle does is read other characters to filth. But I don’t care! They're all great. Even the phone contacts in this game are great.

    I mean, this game has us designing the ugliest outfits I've ever seen in my life for the legend that is Prudence Rutherford. Each new plot point in this game more ridiculous than the next and yet I enjoy every second of it. What can I say? It literally cannot be explained. It's just, as our boss with a face tattoo would say, utterly rude.

    4. Warnings at Waverly Academy

    a gold sign that says "waverly academy"
    HeR Interactive

    This game has everything: a great mystery, great puzzles, and most importantly, great gossip. Literally half of this game is just Nancy getting the students to talk smack about each other. Warnings at Waverly Academy has the vision to combine the elegance and horror of classic Edward Allen Poe stories with the suspects thinking they are being sabotaged because they stole another girl's boyfriend. I mean, who could ask for anything more?

    Well, this game does have even more: A secret society, a twin twist, and (a Nancy Drew classic) blackmail! My only complaint is that we are forced to do snack duty. However, we do get to hear girls gossip about which teachers are hot while we do it. I mean come on! In this game even the chores are fun.

    3. Ghost of Thornton Hall

    womanly ghost in a dress
    HeR Interactive

    This is a great Nancy Drew game. The puzzles, mystery, and characters are all top-notch, not to mention it's genuinely terrifying. And yet despite all that it still has so many of the ridiculous Nancy Drew elements I NEED. I love this game's casual attitude toward carbon monoxide poisoning. I love that there are multiple endings where Nancy can literally choose to ruin everyone's entire life. I love the random relationship drama between Savannah and Wade. I love that Nancy is only awake at 3 a.m. in this game. I love that despite it being 3 a.m. every time you call them, Ned and Bess are hanging out together. (Which has led many fans online to speculate that he is cheating on Nancy with Bess!)

    Even with all the ridiculous plot holes HER refuses to explain (Is there a ghost? There isn't a ghost? Then why can the ghost kill you? Who knows!) this game is still pretty much flawless. (And no I'm not just saying that because I don't want Nancy to leave me to die in a house fire.)

    2. The Phantom of Venice

    man with half a mask over his face, holding a jewel necklace
    HeR Interactive

    I love everything about this game. I love that the Italian secret police have hired a literal teenager to solve the country's biggest crime. I love spending half the game dressing up Nancy in an array of hideous outfits. I LOVE SCOPA. I love the contrast between Colin who is so obsessed with us he literally has to leave the game, to Margarita who genuinely does not care if we live or die. There brings me no greater joy in life than ruining Colin's day by telling him I no longer want to look at his tessera slides.

    To me, this game is hotter than a dancer in a nightclub dressed from head to toe in a skin-tight leather catsuit. I mean, me-ow. If I could give this game an ugly locket to profess my undying love, believe me, I would.

    1. Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon

    train in the night
    HeR Interactive

    To me, this is the crown jewel of the Nancy Drew games — both literally and figuratively! The setting is amazing, the puzzles are fun, and the characters are a total blast. I love talking to the Hardy Boys. I love constantly making Tino Balducci look like an idiot. I love the audacity that Charleena Purcell has, refusing to autograph her headshot with a pencil. I love the drama that is Lori hiding in the caboose. I love that a MAJOR plot point hinges on a random old man's memories being triggered by the sound of a bell. I love that Fatima is a person wearing a mascot costume because HER spent their entire animation budget on the machine sequence and couldn't afford to give her a real face. I love the setting of each train car. I love the puzzle with the creepy dolls. I love the gems and their elaborate riddle. Honestly, there isn't a second of this game I don't love.

    To me, this is the end-all-be-all of the Nancy Drew games. Not to mention there's literally a point in the game where you can call Bess and George and talk about whether you think Frank, Joe, or Ned is the hottest. I mean come on! It really doesn't get better than this.

    So what are your thoughts? Would you rank these games differently? Let me know in the comments below!