Top 20 BEST Nancy Drew Games [2023]

List Of The Best 20 Games From The 30+ Nancy Drew Games Out There!

Nancy Drew is a well-known fictional character that appears in various mystery book series, movies, TV shows, and video games. There have been 30+ games, mainly developed by Her Interactive, surrounding Nancy, and many of those were some of our first few games of the older generation videogames. Getting through all the games can be hard, so here are the best Nancy Drew games out there!

Key Takeaways
  • The Nancy Drew series is a long-running and popular franchise of mystery adventure games.
  • The games are set in various locations and feature different mysteries to solve.
  • The games are known for their challenging puzzles and suspenseful storylines.
  • Some of the best Nancy Drew games include:
    • Message in a Haunted Mansion
    • Legend of the Crystal Skull
    • The Haunted Carousel
    • Shadow Ranch
    • Curse of Blackmoor Manor
  • The games suit players of all ages, but they may be too scary for some younger children.
  • The Nancy Drew series is a great way to introduce players to the mystery genre.

Here are the Best Nancy Drew Games:

GameAwardRelease DateDeveloperPlatform
Secrets Can KillNoneNovember 5, 1998HeR Interactive, DreamCatcher InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Midnight In SalemNoneNovember 19, 2019HeR InteractivemacOS and Microsoft Windows
Secret Of The Scarlet HandNoneAugust 12, 2002 HeR Interactive, DreamCatcher InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Legend Of The Crystal SkullNoneOctober 8, 2007HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Secret Of The Old ClockNoneJuly 12, 2005HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
The White Wolf Icicle CreekNoneJune 7, 2007HeR Interactive, Driver-Inter, Ltd.Microsoft Windows and Wii
The Haunting Castle MalloyNoneOctober 16, 2008HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
The Creature of Kapu CaveNoneOctober 1, 2006HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Message In A Haunted MansionNominated for the Award of Best Adventure Game on PC in 2001November 24, 2000HeR Interactive, Handheld GamesGame Boy Advance and Microsoft Windows
Curse Of Blackmoor ManorNoneOctober 5, 2004HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows, Interactive film, and Classic Mac OS
Danger On Deception IslandNoneOctober 3, 2003HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Warnings At Waverly AcademyNoneOctober 13, 2009HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Phantom of VeniceNoneJuly 11, 2008HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Ghost Dogs Of Moon LakeNoneNovember 9, 2002HeR Interactive, Atari SAMicrosoft Windows
The Final SceneNoneNovember 1, 2001 HeR Interactive, DreamCatcher InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Sea Of DarknessNoneMay 19, 2015HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows and macOS
Ghost Of Thornton HallNoneMay 14, 2013HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows and macOS
The Secret Of Shadow RanchNoneJuly 20, 2004HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows
Shadow At The Water’s EdgeNoneOctober 19, 2010HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows, macOS, and Classic Mac OS
Last Train To Blue Moon CanyonNoneSeptember 15, 2005HeR InteractiveMicrosoft Windows

Secrets Can Kill

Best Nancy Drew Games
Nancy Drew – Secrets Can Kill Remastered by HER Interactive 
  • Release Date: November 5, 1998
  • Platform: Windows

Starting off the list with the game that kick-started the entire Nancy Drew series. Without it, we wouldn’t have gotten the huge collection of games that we have now. Secrets Can Kill was the original game that was a game changer for its time.

The game was so big that it had to be split into two CDs when it came out. During that time, only games like Metal Gear Solid or Lego Star Wars required two disks. But if you want to revisit the game without the hassle of two disks, there’s also the remastered version for it.

The game follows Nancy as she visits her Aunt Eloise and tries to uncover the mystery of a murdered student Jake Rodgers. To accomplish the task, she goes undercover at a high school to discover the secrets of Jake and his classmates.

The game builds great suspense as you find new pieces of evidence and even get into life-threatening situations. Secrets Can Kill is a great adventure, and the remastered version makes it playable even today!


  • Compared to the classic game, the visuals are highly enhanced and gripping in Secrets Can Kill.
  • Secrets Can Kill offers immersive and incredibly composed music that fits well with the theme.
  • The puzzles are well-placed in the main story and are more intricate in contrast to the original game.
  • It keeps the nostalgia in check and provides an engrossing experience for the fans of the series.
  • Secrets Can Kill stays true to its source material in many ways as it perfectly adapts the classic book.


  • The narrative is lacking spark and the characters do not complement the story in any way.
  • The environments are sorely lacking in Secrets Can Kill.
  • The extremely easy difficulty of Secrets Can Kill can lead to a bland experience for the player.

Midnight In Salem

Best Nany Drew Latest Games
Nany Drew – Midnight in Salem
  • Release Date: November 19, 2019
  • Platform: Windows

Going from the oldest game to the latest, we’ve got Midnight In Salem. Fans waited for almost 5 years for the game, and although some were disappointed, it’s still got the aspects of a typical Nancy Drew game.

The game switched up a few things, such as a more modern mystery case and a new voice actor for Nancy. Modern graphics added with the scary and supernatural aspects of Nany Drew felt like a fresh change yet a familiar feeling.

There certainly are mixed reviews about the game, mainly people being disappointed due to the long waiting time.

Overall, the game was definitely rushed due to the change in in-house developers and the CEO of the studio. The designs were reported to feel flat, and the lack of puzzles was made apparent by the unnecessarily long dialogues.

The game definitely had the potential of being a lot better than it turned out to be. But because it’s the latest game, it definitely deserves to be mentioned in the list of best latest Nancy Drew Games.


  • The voice acting of Midnight In Salem is solid and breathes life into the in-game characters.
  • The characters are well-written and engaging in Midnight In Salem which enhances the experience.
  • Midnight In Salem has a well-detailed and spooky atmosphere that adds life to every scene.
  • Complex and impressive puzzles will keep you occupied for some time in Midnight In Salem.
  • The storyline is intriguing and incredibly written in Midnight In Salem.
  • You can save your progress at any time throughout as the game features a manual save option.


  • The node-based navigation of the game can prove to be problematic on some occasions.
  • The game is a bit too easy on the difficulty side which can be a turnoff for many players.
  • Poor lip-syncing can lead to some appalling dialogs in Midnight In Salem which is frustrating.
  • Midnight In Salem is hampered by some lag issues which can mar the experience of the player.

Secret Of The Scarlet Hand

Secret of Scarlet Hand Nancy Drew Game
Nancy Drew – Secret of the Scarlet Hand
  • Release Date: August 12, 2002
  • Platform: Windows

We’ve all heard of unpaid internships and perhaps even had one ourselves. Well seems like even Nancy Drew couldn’t escape the unpaid intern life as in Secret Of The Scarlet Hand; you’ll be accompanying her adventure as an intern at a sketchy museum.

The game has some crazy adventures, such as solving multiple robberies, opening an ancient monolith that’s been around since the seventh century, and helping an amnesia patient regain their memory! Sounds like quite the adventure, doesn’t it?

The game also had other aspects, such as completing errands, picking up packages, and messing around with phone contacts.

The quizzes can get challenging, though, mainly due to all the reading you have to do to figure them out. And sometimes, just reading the various items to solve a puzzle can take quite a lot of time. But apart from that, it’s a great Nancy Drew game!


  • Iconic point-and-click adventure gameplay is solid and on point in Secret of the Scarlet Hand.
  • The voice acting is strong in Secret of the Scarlet Hand which will allow for better immersion.
  • In terms of graphics, the game is quite impressive and intriguing for its time period.
  • The cast of characters is great and highly alluring, keeping you regaled throughout the game.
  • The historical aspect of Secret of the Scarlet Hand has a decent amount of depth.
  • The puzzles offer great variety and are remarkable in Secret of the Scarlet Hand.


  • The mystery facet of Secret of the Scarlet Hand is not very exciting and intriguing.
  • Poor maze design in one of the museum puzzles can result in progression loss which is vexing.
  • The Secret of the Scarlet Hand has little to no replay value.
  • Solving puzzles can prove to be time-consuming as they are very intricate.

Legend Of The Crystal Skull

Best Nancy Drew Games
Nany Drew – Legend of the Crystal Skull
  • Release Date: October 8, 2007
  • Platform: Windows

If you love the puzzles in Nancy Drew games, then Legend of the Crystal Skull is the game for you! It’s quite a puzzle-heavy game with quirky eyeball clues as well. The game ups its spookiness by encouraging you to play in the dark and tries to freak you out at every given opportunity.

The game follows Nancy as she’s out in New Orleans, hoping to go on a vacation with her friend Bess. But seems like Nancy can never get a break as she ends up being stuck in a spooky mansion belonging to a distant friend of Ned’s.

Due to the heavy storms outside, she can’t escape and decides to poke around. And, of course, the mansion belonged to a recently dead man who left a mysterious skull. The skull is meant to protect the owner from all possibilities of death, except murder. So, we’ve got a murder mystery on our hands!

But things really spice up when someone dressed up in a skeleton costume attacks us while we’re exploring. From here onwards, things take a spooky and evil turn, and it’s up to us to figure everything out.

Perhaps a Hitman was sent after the mansion owner. But you won’t know for sure until you solve the mystery yourself!


  • The character design is highly polished and regaling, making Legend of the Crystal Skull stand apart from other titles in the series.
  • The atmosphere is brimming with detail and matches well with the theme of the game.
  • Legend of the Crystal Skull offers a ton of locations to explore, increasing the game’s longevity.
  • The engaging puzzles are available in plenty and there are lesser “make work” puzzles compared to the previous games.
  • The voice work and narrative are on top of the shelf in Legend of the Crystal Skull.


  • You will encounter some duplicative puzzles that rely too much on hand-eye coordination than intellect.
  • In some situations, the game feels restrictive in terms of interaction which can be annoying.
  • The cast of characters is very small in Legend of the Crystal Skull.
  • Plenty of reading in order to progress through the game can prove to be a tedious process.

Secret Of The Old Clock

Secret of the old clock
Nancy Drew – Secret of the old clock
  • Release Date: July 15, 2005
  • Platform: Windows

If you overlook the confusing concept of how Nancy can be a teen in 1930 and also be a teen in 2003 and the later games, then Secret of the Old Clock is a great game! With little to no explanation by the game, we’re tossed all the way back to the 1930s when Nancy was just beginning her detective journey.

In fact, we get to solve her very first mystery, which is a homage to the first-ever novel of the Nancy Drew series. As usual, there are puzzles that are left behind by a dead person that we must solve to uncover the mystery of their death.

The game definitely doesn’t forget to remind you of the time period that you’re in. There are constant references such as vintage art and the Great Depression.

Though the Great Depression references can get a bit much when you’re constantly hustling to get money, it’s still a unique addition to the series. But do keep in mind that it can get quite grindy while trying to get money, but still not as grindy as some modern games like Diablo Immortal though.


  • An impressive integration of a tutorial and game tips can be very helpful for novice players.
  • Plenty of new things have been added to the interface of Secret of the Old Clock that many players will enjoy.
  • The Secret of the Old Clock features a built-in map and a roadster which makes navigation a delightful experience.
  • The voice acting is robust and quite immersive which will keep you absorbed in the game.
  • One of the positive factors of Secret of the Old Clock is its striking dialogue which is on point.


  • The soundtrack can get repetitive after a while which can be boring in Secret of the Old Clock.
  • The character design is lacking and not detailed enough and the overall visuals seem sub-par.
  • Some notable issues require some fixing as they can be a deal breaker for many veterans of the series.
  • Almost all of the puzzles demand the same skill level which can lead to a repetitious gameplay loop.

The White Wolf Icicle Creek

White Wolf of Icicle Creek
Nancy Drew – White Wolf of Icicle Creek
  • Release Date: June 7, 2007
  • Platforms: Wii, Windows

The most exciting thing about the Nancy Drew games is wondering where the next exciting adventure will take you. The locations of the game never seem to disappoint, and that is the case with The White Wolf Icicle Creek.

The game is set up in frosty Alberta, Canada. Nancy goes undercover, as usual, to inspect the series of “accidents” that keep occurring at a winter lodge. The workers and customers are all troubled, and it is up to Nancy to get to the bottom of it all.

But the game ensures that there are plenty of other side activities to keep you busy. From exploring the lodge and the various places outside to even chucking snowballs at a child, there’s a lot to do.

But of course, you’re undercover, so sometimes you have to do tedious tasks such as lunch-making or just general chores like cleaning.

But what makes the game shine is one of the best characters in a Nancy Drew game, and that is the wolf. The main culprit of the mystery is also interesting and definitely leaves you in a near-death situation toward the end of the game!


  • A sheer amount of variety when it comes to puzzles and all are intricate and test your skills.
  • The story is on top of the shelf as it is highly immersive in The White Wold Icicle Creek.
  • The cast of characters is fairly quirky which keeps you immersed throughout the game.
  • The White Wold Icicle Creek offers an enhanced interface than its predecessors which makes the gameplay more enjoyable.
  • The dialogue is a cut above and incredibly executed that grabs the player’s complete attention.
  • The game is packed with a plethora of side content that will keep the player enthralled.


  • The voice work is found wanting and inadequate in The White Wolf Icicle Creek when compared to the previous games in the series.
  • Visuals appear outdated as they stay the same in almost all Nancy Drew games which is not on par with modern games.
  • A number of make-work projects are still present which can be a nuisance to complete.

The Haunting Castle Malloy

Nancy Drew Best Games
Nancy Drew – The Haunting Castle of Malloy
  • Release Date: October 16, 2008
  • Platform: Windows

Did you think that Nancy Drew’s games did not have any drama, especially related to relationships? Well, then you clearly haven’t played Nancy Drew: The Haunting Castle Malloy.

First of all, you’re at a wedding, so love is already in the air. But to spice things up, the best man is some “hot dude” who is in love with the bride. And the groom? Well, he’s missing!

And if that wasn’t enough spice for you, then there’s also drama between Ned and Nancy where their own relationship starts falling apart as well!

Nancy was meant to attend Kyler’s wedding as a maid of honor. But even at weddings, she can’t escape mysteries as in her quest to find the groom; she encounters car-crashing banshee sightings and strange noises indicating yet another old family household riddled with secrets!

There are a lot of crazy shenanigans that go on in the game. And although you’ll get to work on some scientific chemical puzzles, there’ll be times when unrealistic things will happen because that’s just how these games are. But hey, at least you’ll get to play with Jet Packs!


  • The puzzles are top-notch as they are diverse and quite demanding in The Haunting Castle Malloy.
  • The voice acting is well done as it breathes life into the in-game characters and enhances the overall experience.
  • The atmospheric settings are wonderful and go well with what the game is trying to portray.
  • The point-and-click interface is utilized from the early titles which will be welcoming for seasoned players of the series.
  • A great enactment of tutorials that helps the new players to get a grasp of game mechanics.


  • The steep difficulty curve of The Haunting Castle Malloy might not be to everyone’s taste.
  • The characters are not the best and are rather bland as they do not contribute to making the plot more intriguing.
  • The integration of some mini-games is of low quality and you have to complete them in order to progress.
  • The death sequences can be aggravating in The Haunting Castle Malloy.

The Creature of Kapu Cave

Best Nancy Drew Games The Creature of Kapu Cave
Nancy Drew – The Creature of Kapu Cave
  • Release Date: October 1, 2006
  • Platforms: Windows

If you want a Nancy game with the Hardy Boys, well, The Creature of Kapu Cave is the game for you. It isn’t as challenging as some of the other games on the list, but it still has its own unique puzzles, and the setting is great!

You’ll join Nancy as she’s visiting Hawaii to act as a research assistant to Dr. Quigley Kim. But things begin to take a turn when the Hardy Boys and Nancy figure out that there are some suspicious activities going on on the Island.

Furthermore, Dr. Kim is missing, and you need to do everything in your power to find them. Through solving puzzles and teamwork with the Hardy Boys, you’ll solve some interesting puzzles and make great memories along the way.

But it is worth mentioning that the Hardy Boys were redesigned in this game, and some fans are not too keen on the new looks. Regardless, they’re still the same old Hardy Boys that you knew!


  • The game has a strong and immersive voice work that adds a pivotal layer to the experience.
  • In terms of visuals, The Creature of Kapu Cave is a step up from other titles in the series.
  • The addition of Frank and Joe Hardy complements the main plot of the game in a good way.
  • The sound design is incredible and also worth mentioning in The Creature of Kapu Cave.
  • The game mechanics stay faithful to its source material and offer an intriguing experience.
  • Many old players will like the inclusion of the simple point-and-click navigation system.


  • An abundance of make-work puzzles can irritate a lot of players in The Creature of Kapu Cave.
  • The Creature of Kapu Cave is a tad too short in terms of gameplay which may leave the player unsatisfied.
  • In several environments, the backtracking can get extreme which can lead to a tedious experience.
  • The game depends too much on tedious tasks rather than on detective work which is vexing.

Message In A Haunted Mansion

Nany Drew Best Games Message in a haunted mansion
Nancy Drew – Message in a Haunted Mansion
  • Release Date: November 24, 2000
  • Platforms: Game Boy Advance, Windows

You can’t have a spooky game series without ghosts, right? Well, Message in a Haunted Mansion is one of the earliest Nancy Drew games, and it’s best known for the ghost story in the game.

The game is quite old, and for one which is now over 2 decades old, it holds up to the standards. Message in a Haunted Mansion was one of the first few games that started nailing what a true Nancy Drew game is meant to feel like. In fact, it is probably the first ND game that many of us played.

The game has puzzles, a mystery, ghost sighting a lot more exciting stuff. The setting of the game made it creepy enough with the vintage doors and all the scares behind them.

If you choose to play the game, don’t expect it to be something amazing, as there certainly are better Nancy Drew games out there. But if you’re looking for nostalgia and a game that truly feels like what an ND game should be like, then you can definitely hop in.

Seems like ND is always exploring creepy mansions. But if you ever want to be on the other side and actually make the creepy mansion yourself then consider checking out V Rising where you play as a vampire and can build mansions to defend yourself!


  • Message in a Haunted Mansion is a classic and eye candy for veterans of the Nancy Drew games.
  • The puzzles are available in a huge variety and are quite challenging at the same time.
  • The game offers an alluring eerie setting that fits well with the theme and is worth exploring.
  • The narrative is gripping and layered with mysteries that keep you occupied in the game.
  • The funny and amusing dialogue never let the player get bored in Message in a Haunted Mansion.
  • It has genuinely terrifying jump scares on many occasions that add to the horror element of the game.


  • Message in a Haunted Mansion is not the best when it comes to graphics and animations looks dated as it is a very old game.
  • In terms of sound design, the game is lacking as the audio is not as crystal clear as modern titles which can mire the experience for the player.

Curse Of Blackmoor Manor 

Curse of Blackmoor Manor
Nancy Drew – Curse of Blackmoor Manor
  • Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Platforms: DVD Player, Windows

Now we’re really stepping into the games that many players remember and loved playing growing up. Well, that is if they liked to scare the heck out of them because Curse of Blackmoor Manor served as a mystery and horror game with a lot of creepy elements.

Curse of Blackmoor Manor follows Nancy as she’s visiting her neighbor’s daughter in England. But of course, she’s there on business; however, her client doesn’t seem too interested in talking to our little detective. She’s too worried about turning into a monster…a werewolf, perhaps?

But where the game shines is with its dive into the darker themes. Do you want a creepy, weird kid in the game? Well, it’s got it. A spooky house belonging to a rich person? Well, that’s almost every ND game. Midnight rituals and scary and odd board games with the creepy kid? The game has that too!

And if you get too scared, there is a parrot that you can feed in exchange for some dialogue! If you want to dive into the roots of the Nany Drew games, then Curse of Blackmoor Manor is the best game for that purpose.


  • The character animations have plenty of depth as they are toned up compared to the early titles.
  • Active and enhanced cinematics are the cherry on top and allow for better immersion.
  • The puzzle-solving factor is great as the puzzles are extremely varied in Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
  • The storyline is well-written and immersive which will keep the player absorbed in the game.
  • Curse of Blackmoor Manor features flexible gameplay within immense overriding linear game paths.
  • In terms of graphics, Curse of Blackmoor Manor is aesthetically pleasing and fascinating.


  • Although the main plot is well-written, it could have been better in Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
  • The non-linear gameplay can make navigation a pain for some players which is lackluster.

Danger On Deception Island

danger on deception island
Nancy Drew – Danger on Deception Island
  • Release Date: October 3, 2003
  • Platform: Windows

You might’ve noticed a common recurring theme with the Nancy Drew games. Nancy just wants to enjoy a simple trip and have a vacation, but something always goes wrong. Poor girl can’t get a break.

And that’s exactly what happens in Danger on Deception Island! Nancy’s friends, Bess and George, work hard to finally arrange a vacation trip for her to enjoy a bit of whale-watching up north. But turns out there’s a secret plan surrounding a newborn orca whale.

And of course, as we go deeper into the story, there are strange characters that we can talk to who happen to be plotting against the local fishing town. The game definitely was diverse in its characters and plots surrounding the various conspiracies.

But overall, the game has a great location with plenty of hours’ worth of activities. You can solve puzzles as usual, but you can explore the Island using a Kayak too!  

One thing that is worth noting is that Danger on Deception Island is one of the hardest Nancy Drew games! The tasks, puzzles, and exploring tunnels can get confusing at times. But if you love a good challenge, then you’ll love this game!


  • The sheer variety of puzzles is intricate and they test your puzzle-solving skills to the core.
  • Danger on Deception Island offers a unique cast of characters that contribute to the main plot and offers a rewarding conclusion.
  • A number of activities are available to complete which is a nice diversion from the hard puzzles.
  • Visually, Danger on Deception Island is incredible with a detail-oriented atmosphere which is a step up from the previous games.
  • The lip-synching for the non-player characters is refined which is quite impressive for its era.


  • In some situations, the voice acting is not consistent and still has room for improvement which can be irritating for some players.
  • Adult players may feel a bit restrained by Danger on Deception Island which might take away the fun element.
  • Danger on Deception Island might feel a bit outdated when compared to modern games.

Warnings At Waverly Academy

Nancy Drew Best Windows Games
Nancy Drew – Warnings at Waverly Academy
  • Release Date: October 13, 2009
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows

Do you love the way Sherlock is able to guess, deduce and solve mysteries by simply interviewing culprits? Or perhaps you like the LA Noire Approach to judging if someone is lying or not. Well then, you’re going to love Warnings at Waverly Academy due to the heavy interview-focused gameplay.

The game follows Nancy as she goes undercover at a private boarding school in the valedictorian wing. All these girls are eager to win because they want the scholarship, but the friendly competition turns out to become something dangerous instead.

Someone claiming to be the “Black Cat” repeatedly threatens Nancy about sabotaging the class of valedictorians. And, of course, it’s up to Nancy to figure out who it is and how severe the danger of the situation is.

All the characters have a great backstory, and they really love talking smack about each other. From girls being jealous about someone stealing their boyfriend to a secret society and blackmail, there is almost every sort of drama in Warnings at Waverly Academy!

Snooping around other students’ property or even doing chores like others’ homework can become quite eventful. And the great soundtrack adds the extra spice in making things feel more realistic. If you’re looking for some student drama with the Nancy Drew twist, then this is the game for you!


  • An incredible cast of unique characters that are well-written and have plenty of depth.
  • The voice acting is well-executed and highly immersive in Warnings at Waverly Academy.
  • The dialogue is given more attention and is engaging which improves the primary Nancy Drew formula.
  • The narrative and gameplay complement each other in a very nice manner which is quite great.
  • Plenty of content to tinker with which increases the game’s longevity and adds to the replay value.
  • The puzzles are quite intriguing and keep you invested throughout the game.


  • Several make-work projects haunt this game which can be very boring to complete.
  • Your character’s movement can feel a bit restrictive on some occasions which can be annoying.
  • The camera panning limits you from fully exploring many areas in Warnings At Waverly Academy.

Phantom of Venice

Nancy Drew Best Games
Nancy Drew – The Phantom of Venice
  • Release Date: July 11, 2008
  • Platform: Windows

The 18th game, The Phantom of Venice, in the franchise, takes you on an adventure in Italy. The Italian secret police call Nancy for help in hunting down a thief that has been stealing a bunch of art in Venice.

The thief is known to leave very few clues behind and dresses up in a mask and cape. Because of this, he’s named the phantom!

It’s quite interesting to see that the secret police must consult an 18-year-old detective for help, but then again, most Nancy Drew games have best yet odd plots.

As you explore deeper into the plot, you eventually find yourself going up against an entire crime syndicate. And it’s up to Nancy to spy on the ring and find the leader of all the crimes.

As usual, you’ll have to solve puzzles. But what’s interesting is that this time you can enter a nightclub and dress in various costumes while gathering information. A weird twist to the typical ND games.


  • The inclusion of a shopping option gives you access to a wide variety of costumes for Nancy in Phantom of Venice.
  • Phantom of Venice features top-notch character models that are brimming with detail prior to previous games.
  • An enticing and well-written story that has always been the mantra of Nancy Drew games.
  • Phantom of Venice offers a blend of unique puzzles to solve many mysteries that test your abilities to the core.


  • Phantom of Venice is an incredibly short game, with some players finishing it in only a few hours.
  • The mini-games are quite duplicative to the point that they are just extra fillers in Phantom of Venice which can be a major turnoff.
  • Clunky and appalling voice work can end up ruining the overall experience for the player.
  • The navigation feels a tad restrictive and keeps you from exploring the world of Phantom of Venice.

Ghost Dogs Of Moon Lake

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
Nancy Drew – Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
  • Release Date: November 1, 2002
  • Platform: Windows

Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake is one of the earlier games in the series. In fact, it is the 7th installment, and it nailed a lot of aspects. Don’t expect to see some of your favorite characters like Hardy Boys but definitely expect to get creeped out.

The plot entails Nancy visiting one of her father’s friends, Sally McDonald. Sally purchased a house on Moon Lake in Pennsylvania but on the night that Nancy arrived for a visit, she fled from the house in terror.

Well, that is until Sally bought the house. According to her, every night, a pack of “ghost dogs” with mournful howls and creepy glowing eyes would attack the house. And now it’s up to Nancy to figure out what’s wrong.

The premise may sound simple, but the game has a terrifying setting and always encourages you to complete puzzles outside in the woods at night. There are a lot of secret passages and intense moments with gory graphics to keep you hooked! The setting almost reminds us of Resident Evil Village!


  • Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake features an engaging and amusing story that provides you with an enthralling experience.
  • The visuals are on top of the shelf and the attention to detail is incredible in Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake for its time.
  • The game stays true to the classic game mechanics while adding a ton of new things to the formula that enhances the gameplay experience.
  • Nancy can interact with Frank and Joe Hardy by using a phone which is quite impressive.
  • The game has decent voice acting and sound effects are favored with authentic nature noises.


  • A number of timed puzzles and mazes in Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake might not sit with some.
  • The musical score and voiceovers for certain characters could have been improved.
  • In terms of difficulty, the gameplay is very easy when compared to the previous games.

The Final Scene

The Final Scene
Nancy Drew – The Final Scene
  • Release Date: November 1, 2021
  • Platform: Windows

The Final Scene is yet another game that was probably the first and best Nancy Drew game for many people. There are no ghosts, but the sheer pressure of the plot is enough to create suspense and hook you in.

The premise of the game is that you’re visiting a movie theatre for a movie’s premiere with a friend. But in the middle of it, she gets kidnapped, and now you have to find her.

What’s slightly different about The Final Scene is that there is an actual prominent villain that is trying to get Nancy and even crush her to death at one point.

The creepy theatre itself is a great setting with hiding spots and hidden passageways. There is even a subplot of Harry Houdini, who supposedly had a performance in the theatre once.

The one thing that the game lacks is the number of puzzles. Much of your investigation will rely on talking to phone contacts rather than finding puzzles to solve. But if that doesn’t sound like a huge issue for you, then The Final Clue is a must-play!


  • You can interact with a plethora of characters in The Final Scene, allowing for better immersion.
  • The voice work is on top of the shelf and very well-executed which keeps the player regaled.
  • You have the freedom to play as a Junior or Senior Detective in The Final Scene which was simply missing from other titles.
  • The UI interface is quite simple and easy to grasp which will be helpful for novice players.
  • The Final Scene has an immersive and well-written plot that grabs your complete attention.


  • The visuals in The Final Scene are severely lacking and not on par with other Nancy Drew games.
  • The music can get quite boring and predictable after a while which can lead to a repetitive experience.
  • The Final Scene is a relatively short game that may leave the majority of players unsatisfied.
  • Limited game window to play in can cause a number of issues which is lackluster in The Final Scene.

Sea Of Darkness

Sea of Darkness
Nancy Drew – Sea of Darkness
  • Release Date: May 19, 2015
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X

Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness was the last game before the studio went on break and completely reinvented itself. The plot of the game surrounds a ship, Heerlijkheid, which is the centerpiece of a local festival in Iceland capped Skipbrot.

However, the captain, Magnus, has disappeared alongside the boat, and it is up to us to figure out if he’s running off with the treasure or if something spooky is at play here.

If you love the Ned and Nancy relationship drama, then Sea of Darkness is the game for you. And surprisingly, their drama actually ties in with the main mystery as it reflects the relationship between Magnus and Elisabet.

On top of that, there are some great historical elements in the game that are related to the mystery and puzzles surrounding them as well. The well-thought-out and smart characters make the mystery even more compelling, making it a great game in general.

The game is also one of the few that works on a Mac. If you want to find out more best games for the Mac then


  • The emphasis on the exploration factor of Sea of Darkness is quite remarkable and enticing.
  • Sea of Darkness offers an intriguing narrative that is brimming with a ton of mysteries and plot twists as you progress.
  • The art style of Sea of Darkness is incredible and well-illustrated, providing you with some eye-candy moments.
  • The cast of characters is one of the strong points of the game as they are quite immersive.
  • The writing and acting are nicely done throughout some scenes which will make you feel attached to the in-game characters.
  • As you progress through Sea of Darkness, the characters will conceive unique personalities.


  • The learning curve on some puzzles might not be to everyone’s taste in Sea of Darkness.
  • Sea of Darkness does not provide enough clarity about progression which can be bothersome at times.
  • The puzzles are poorly implemented on some occasions which is the major flaw of this game.
  • The lack of feedback when solving difficult and long puzzles can prove to be problematic.

Ghost Of Thornton Hall

Best Nancy Drew Games Ghost Of Thornton Hall
Nancy Drew – Ghost Of Thornton Hall
  • Release Date: May 14, 2013
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X

What’s great about Nancy Drew games is that they aren’t afraid of getting dark. And that is the case with Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Jessalyn Thornton and Addison Hammond (her best friend) decide to have a sleepover while visiting Thornton Hall on an island off the coast of Georgia. Their harmless bachelorette party falls apart when Jessalyn gets kidnapped.

A ghost-hunter, Savannah Woodham, gets on the case and calls over Nancy, who is her friend, to help her solve the mystery. And as usual, it’s up to us to save the day by solving puzzles and exploring the creepy setting of the game.

The game can get creepy when dealing with ghastly figures that stalk you throughout as you try to discover what’s going on. The characters are also great, and there’s the usual relationship drama between Wade and Savannah.

What’s unique about Ghost of Thornton is that there are multiple endings. One of them is quite cruel, and Nancy can literally ruin everyone’s lives in the game by perhaps leaving them in a house fire.

So, if you’re looking to solve a ghost mystery while exploring Thornton Hall at 3 am, then this is the game for you!


  • Ghost of Thornton Hall does a good job of providing you with challenging logic puzzles and integrated inventory puzzles.
  • The storyline is enthralling and packed with a ton of twists that offer you a thrilling experience.
  • Ghost of Thornton Hall really excels in the voice-acting department as it is greatly composed.
  • There is also an extended hint system that will prove useful during some demanding puzzles.
  • The mystery facet of Ghost of Thornton Hall is on top of the shelf as it is absolutely riveting.


  • The lack of animations can have a negative impact on the exploration element of the game.
  • On some occasions, the storyline feels like a mixed bag in Ghost of Thornton Hall.
  • The atmosphere is lacking the eerie element which does not fit well with the mysterious premise of Ghost of Thornton Hall.
  • The story about Thornton’s family background can get boring after a while which is lackluster.

The Secret Of Shadow Ranch

The Secret Of Shadow Ranch
Nancy Drew – The Secret Of Shadow Ranch
  • Release Date: August 30, 2004
  • Platform: Windows

Are you looking to add a bit of cowboy action in Nancy Drew games? Well, then the Secret of Shadow Ranch is the game that you need.

Nancy is invited to Arizona to visit Shadow Ranch for vacation. However, on the very first day, she notices that the owners of the ranch (Ed and Bet Rawley) are missing. Supposedly the previous evening, a glowing horse had caused a huge commotion as it galloped through the ranch.

Soon after the horse’s appearance, Mr. Rawley was rushed to the hospital because he had been bit by a venomous snake.

The mystery lies in the glowing horse, which causes misfortune to anyone that lays eyes on it. A local legend claims that the horse belonged to Dirk Valentine, an outlaw from the 1880s. He was in love with the Sheriff’s daughter, Frances Humber, who also lived in Shadow Ranch.

But when Dirk was arrested and hung, his horse began coming to Shadow Ranch to haunt it.

You’ll spend a lot of time-solving the mystery through exploration. But one thing that this game has a lot of is chores. But not the boring kind, some are extremely fun such as riding around a horse! But be careful as some, like vegetable picking, can lead you to your death.


  • The revamped UI interface is a huge step up compared to the previous iterations of the series.
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch has a notable soundtrack with western-themed tunes, adding some pleasant ambiance to the environment.
  • In terms of visuals, it has some detailed and catchy backgrounds along with 3D-rendered characters.
  • A decent amount of side activities are available that are very fun to complete and are a nice diversion from the main adventure.
  • The inclusion of the second chance feature can come in handy in various tough situations.


  • The narrative is lacking excitement and is not on par with previous Nancy Drew Games.
  • Some technical hiccups such as bugs and glitches can spoil the overall gameplay experience.
  • In order to begin the true mystery-solving, you have to finish the assigned ranch chores which can be annoying.

Shadow At The Water’s Edge 

Shadow At The Water's Edge 
Nancy Drew – Shadow At The Water’s Edge
  • Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X

Nancy Drew Shadow at the Water’s edge is perhaps the closest that the games reached an open-world-like feel. The game takes you to Japan, and all of Tokyo is available to her by train.

It wasn’t perhaps the best “open world” but it was a step in the right direction. If you want the best open-world games, consider reading: BEST Open World Games For Xbox One.

Shadow at the Water’s edge is a direct sequel to Trail of the Twister as Nancy travels to Kyoto as an English teacher alongside her friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne.

But when she reaches her Ryokan (inn), things start to get spooky. A woman had mysteriously died there, which caused all of the guests to run away. As the guests leave one by one, Nancy is the only one that gets left behind.

Unable to walk away from a mystery, Nancy decides to put on her detective hat and get to the bottom of whatever is haunting the inn.

The game is genuinely scary as you try to find the ghost that haunts the Ryokan. Cutscenes filled with jumpscares and eerie music are just the slightest of your worries.

You’ll also get to talk to suspects, go through their items for clues and solve a bunch of Sudoku puzzles to get one step closer to solving the mystery.

Furthermore, you’ll get introduced to Savannah Woodham, who becomes an iconic character in the Nancy Drew series.


  • Shadow at the Water’s Edge gives you the freedom to interact with a ton of in-game characters which allows for better immersion.
  • The game is packed with a decent amount of content that you can tinker with, providing you with lengthy playtime.
  • The visuals and cutscenes are polished and the environment has a decent amount of depth.
  • You can conference call on your cell phone which is one of the upbeat highlights of this game.


  • The puzzle-solving aspect is very poor because of the plenitude of number-based puzzles.
  • Shadow at the Water’s Edge has an impaired navigation system that seems outdated now.
  • The ghost narrative is not exciting in any way in Shadow at the Water’s Edge which is sub-par.

Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon 

Nancy Drew Best Games Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon 
Nancy Drew – Last Train To Blue Moon Canyon
  • Release Date: September 15, 2005
  • Platform: Windows

The final game that we have on our list is perhaps one of the best locations in a Nancy Drew game. Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon already has a spooky name, and the game is even spookier. It has a lot of iconic characters and plenty of drama!

Accompanied by The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew is invited to join them on a train trip hosted by Lori Girard. Lori is a wealthy young man who loves parties, and this time has decided to host one on a haunted train.

On board, the train is the country’s best detectives, researchers, and investigators to solve the mystery of the man who used to own the train.

Jake Hurley, the owner, went missing after the train was last found in Blue Moon Canyon, Nevada. There was only one person on board, the engineer. And now it’s up to them to figure out what happened.

Everyone prepares to begin their investigation, but as soon as the train takes off, Lori also vanishes. Now it’s up to Nancy to figure out what happened to Jake and also find Lori!

There are a bunch of subplots in the game, and each train car has its own setting. There’s also much to discover, such as puzzles with creepy dolls and even a person walking around in a mascot costume!

The narrative has a unique story-telling approach through flashback memories triggered by the sound of a bell. You must use them to figure out what exactly happened to the owner.

And of course, the game also has slight relationship drama where you get to call Bess and George to discuss who among Frank, Joe, and Ned is the most interesting.


  • There are a plethora of logical puzzles to solve that will keep the player occupied in the game.
  • Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon features extremely myriad gameplay mechanics.
  • The introduction of the Hardy Boys will be welcoming for diehard fans of the Nancy Drew games.
  • Crisp and detailed animations are a cherry on top in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.
  • The voice acting is also quite immersive and adds a pivotal layer to the overall experience.


  • The main plot is sorely lacking and not compelling in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.
  • A bit too easy on the difficulty side which might not satisfy the seasoned players of the series.
  • Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon has a lackluster atmosphere that does not contribute to the mystery factor.

Up next: BEST Rec Room Games 

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Usama Mehmood

Usama Mehmood is a Best Games Writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. He also loves to invest his time in analyzing different games and writing about their best qualities. He is currently studying for a Bachelor's in Physiotherapy. His constant adoration for JRPGs and the beauty of video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Physiotherapy || Published 200+ Guides || Mainly Covers Best Games, Reviews, and Guides on eXputer

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