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!
It is worth noting that the majority of these games are played by fans of Nancy Drew, so for them, none of the games are exactly “bad,” nor will we treat them like that. But there are some games that were more popular than others which is why we’ve tried to arrange them by popularity. But in general, there is no exact ranking system here; we’ve compiled a list of Nancy Drew games that are thought to be great by the fans!
It is worth considering most ND games are story oriented with a lot of puzzle solving. If you’re looking for games that tend to have a lot of combat, then consider reading: Top 30 Best Games Like Elden Ring
Secrets Can Kill
- 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!
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.
But the developers did try to bring the game close to what modern video game standards are. Players could interact with objects and clues more freely than before, and the gameplay was slightly improved.
The premise of the game was what slightly saved the game. The characters are in Salem, Massachusetts and a lot of interesting elements, such as Witches, are in the game. Fan favorite characters like Deirdre and the Hardy Boys also make an appearance.
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.
But if you’re looking for more best and modern games, check out: 25 BEST Single Player Xbox One Games In 2022
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.
In fact, the phone contacts of the game stood out quite a lot due to Hardy Boys on their CAR phone and the interesting dialogues of Prudence Rutherford. And how could one forget Poppy Dada, who put a family heirloom in her questionable painting and weird obsession with a dead body?
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!
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! And speaking of Hitmen, consider checking out: BEST Hitman Games: All Titles Ranked 
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.
The environment mixed with the music for the game brings it to life. But we can’t forget the true elements of an ND game. There’s lots of puzzle solving, going through secret tunnels, using fake identities, and even finding hidden wills. If someone wants a vintage feel, then Secret of the Old Clock is the best Nancy Drew game for them.
The White Wolf 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 towards the end of the game!
The Haunting Castle 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 where 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 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!
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.
The plot of the game is actually quite simple. Nancy is trying to help a friend renovate their old mansion into a bed and breakfast. But things are never simple with whatever Nancy tries doing.
Turns out there are ghosts lurking in the mansion, and she must explore the hallways, searching for clues to solve the mystery behind these ghosts.
And although many other horror stories try to justify the ghosts with scientific facts, this game doesn’t go with that approach. It wants to creep you out, and it’ll do whatever it can to do so. Even if it means hiding jump scares behind every corner.
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!
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 like a typical ND game, there is a beautiful manor to be explored and secrets to be unraveled. The graphics were amazing for their time, and even now, the level design seems amazing.
The characters and their backstories also felt more fleshed out in Curse of Blackmoor Manor. Although they try their hardest to remain tight-lipped about the secrets of the manor, it’s your job to get them to talk.
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.
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.
And despite being the 9th game in the series, it picked up the formula quite well. Each interaction provided enough information to move the story without giving too much away and keeping you engaged.
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!
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!
You might’ve noticed that none of the ND games have zombies in them. If you want to play the best zombie games, consider checking out: BEST PS4 Zombie Games To Play.
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.
There are some great characters that are added in the game, such as Colin, who is obsessed with us, and then there’s Margarita, who literally doesn’t care if you live or die.
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.
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.
The house previously belonged to a prohibition-era gangster called Mickey Malone. He owned four loyal Rottweilers that would always protect him. But the day Mickey got arrested, the dogs ran out into the woods and were never found alive again.
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!
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 during the middle of it, she gets kidnapped, and now you have to find her.
However, it’s not that simple as the theatre is set to get demolished soon, and you have to analyze every clue and interview every culprit before there’s nothing left of the theatre. It’s a literal race against time!
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 villain was definitely good but if you want to find out about the best villains, consider reading: Best Villains In Video Games History.
And let’s not forget the relatively more aggressive Nancy, who is willing to unleash the “wrath of Nancy Drew” on any culprit.
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!
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 work on a Mac. If you want to find out more best games for the Mac then
check out: BEST Steam Games For Mac.
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!
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.
With a nice setting and an engaging mystery, Secret of Shadow Ranch is a great game with lots to uncover. And if you want more cowboy action, you can always play games like Red Dead Redemption 2.
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 through the 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.
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.
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