10 Best Tetris Games of All Time20 May 2022 |
Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle game developed by Alexey Pajitnov, a Soviet software engineer, in 1984. Since then it has been published by several companies on multiple platforms and it soon became the best-selling video game of all time. Tetris is unarguably one of the most recognizable games in history. Even today its popularity has not diminished and millions of people regularly play some version of it. There are so many different games based on the original Tetris, that it has become its own category of video games. Here is a list of the 10 best tetris games of all time, in no particular order.
1. Tetris (Original)
Of course the original Tetris game is on this list. In 1984, while trying to recreate a favorite puzzle game from his childhood featuring pentominoes, Pajitnov imagined a game consisting of a decent of random pieces that the player would turn to fill rows. He felt that the game would be needlessly complicated with twelve different shape variations and scaled the concept down to tetrominoes, of which there are seven variants. Pajitnov titled the game Tetris, a word created from a combination of "tetra" (meaning "four") and his favorite sport, "tennis". Because the Electronika 60 had no graphical interface, Pajitnov modeled the field and pieces using spaces and brackets. Realizing that completed lines filled the screen quickly, Pajitnov decided to delete them, creating a key part of Tetris gameplay.
This early version of Tetris had no scoring system and no levels, but its addictive quality distinguished it from the other puzzle games Pajitnov had created. He presented it to his colleagues, who quickly became addicted to it. It was a huge success and inspired numerous later versions of Tetris.
2. Magical Tetris Challenge
Magical Tetris Challenge is a puzzle game by Capcom for the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and PlayStation. It is a version of Tetris featuring Disney characters. It is one of the few Nintendo 64 games to be entirely in 2D. The game was also released in arcades on Seta's Aleck 64.
In Magical Tetris Challenge, the player is pitted against an opponent, which is either the computer in Story or Endless Modes or another player in Versus Mode. Players control the standard seven Tetris pieces, race to make lines (and consecutive line clears, called combos), and attack the other player. The attacked player receives a set of "magical" pieces, which range from pentomino pieces to square blocks and even very large (up to 5x5-block sized) pieces. Players can also counter one another by making multiple lines to send the pieces back to their opponent. Because of the pentomino pieces, it is possible for a player to clear five lines at once (called a Pentris) using a 5-block straight piece.
3. Tetris Twist
In Tetris Twist, you'll puzzle your way through different cities. Discover new, fun ways to play Tetris with a twist, or play Marathon Mode to experience the traditional gameplay. Level features 100 unique challenges, which are divided up by city in an overworld map. Each city has 20 levels. It was released in 2016 as a web game but is not available anymore.
Tetrisphere breaks almost every previously established rule of Tetris. Here, just like the name implies, the playfield is a wrapped three-dimensional grid resembling a sphere made of tetromino blocks. The objective of the game changes depending on the mode but generally consists of removing layers of shapes to reach the playing field's core. Reviewers praised the game's originality and the musical score composed by Neil Voss. Originally developed by Canadian company, H2O Entertainment, Tetrisphere was released for the Atari and the N64 gaming systems.
5. Tetris (NES)
Tetris (also referred to as Classic Tetris) is a puzzle video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in 1989, based on Tetris (1984) by Alexey Pajitnov. It is the first official console release of Tetris to have been developed and published by Nintendo. This version of Tetris has two modes of play: A-Type and B-Type. In A-Type play, the goal is to achieve the highest score possible. As lines are cleared, the level will advance and increase the speed of the falling blocks. At the beginning of a B-Type game, the board starts with randomized obstacle blocks and the goal is to clear 25 lines. Lock delay, wall kick and hard drops were not implemented.
It is one of the most iconic versions of the game on home consoles. Since 2010, the NES version of Tetris has been featured in the annual Classic Tetris World Championship. It therefore has the largest fan base among tetris games.
6. Tetris (Game Boy)
Published by Nintendo for the Game Boy in 1989, it is a portable version of Alexey Pajitnov's original Tetris and it was bundled with the North American and European releases of the Game Boy itself. It is the first game to have been compatible with the Game Link Cable, a pack-in accessory that allows two Game Boy consoles to link for multiplayer purposes.
It was highly engaging, as the portability of the console allowed players to enjoy tetris on the go. Since then almost every handheld console has tried to bundle together their version of tetris.
7. The New Tetris
The game is notable for showing scenic fly-bys of famous structures (for example the Sphinx, the Pantheon, Saint Basil's Cathedral, a Mayan temple, and others) rendered in real-time. It introduced the "ghost tetromino" and offered a competitive four-player mode. This is relatively difficult for the Nintendo 64 hardware to accomplish at the quality that is achieved. The New Tetris also features an ethnically themed electronic dance music soundtrack by Neil Voss, who also composed the award-winning music for Tetrisphere.
8. Puyo Puyo Tetris
Puyo Puyo Tetris is a puzzle video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. The game is a crossover between the Puyo Puyo series and the Tetris franchise, and features various gameplay modes incorporating both aspects. The game includes characters modeled and named after the seven Tetrominos, which are different puzzle pieces each made of four blocks. Puyo Puyo Tetris centers around the combination of two main gameplay styles, Puyo and Tetris. Players can choose any game style and compete against one another. It is available for multiple platforms like Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch.
9. Tetris 99
Adding the battle royale style, Tetris 99 has up to 99 players competing simultaneously to complete rows with falling tetrominoes, which in turn send attacks in the form of "garbage rows" to other players with the goal of knocking them out of the game. Tetris 99 was developed by Arika, and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch in February 2019. The software is free, but only to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
Don't worry if you cannot play on a Nintendo switch, there are some alternatives. Jstris is like a smaller version of Tetris 99 that is playable on browsers. Inspired from Tetris 99, Tetris Royale is a battle royale game published by N3TWORK for mobile phones.
10. Tetris Effect
The Tetris effect (also known as Tetris syndrome) occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. Tetris Effect is a refreshing version of Tetris by Japanese studios Monstars and Resonair and published by Enhance Games in 2018. It adds various themes and music across thirty different stages with gameplay tied to the beat of the music. A new "Zone" mechanic allows players to "stop time", allowing the player to clear more than 4 lines at once, which is more than what is possible in conventional Tetris games.
Tetris Effect is the most gorgeous Tetris game to date. The game is available on multiple platforms like Windows, Play Station 4 and Xbox One. It supports VR for an ultra immersive experience. The game garnered high praise from critics and was named Game of the Year by several publications. An enhanced version of the game named Tetris Effect: Connected was released later in 2020.
11. ColorTris (my game)
ColorTris is a "glowrious" (as in glorious, pun intended) take on this genre. There are 36 glowing colors and their combinations to choose from. There are also 32 shapes to unlock, including the classic square. ColorTris was released in 2019 as an Android game, but is now also available on Windows, Linux and Web also. It is free to download, give it a try.
There are hundreads of different versions of tetris. These are my top 10 picks. You won't be disappointed to play them.