LEGO first made its jump into video games almost 30 years ago with LEGO Fun to Build on the SEGA Pico. Since then, games framed around the colorful Danish bricks and their iconic minifigures have practically become a genre of their own – and that's in no small part thanks to Traveler’s Tales’ addictive approach to action-platforming and the many pop-culture properties that have since been LEGO-fied.
It wasn’t easy to narrow it down, but we've done our best and are proud to present our Top 10 LEGO games of all time… so far.
10. LEGO Island
What would a best LEGO games list look like without the original 1997 PC adventure, Lego Island? While it may seem rudimentary by today's standards and pretty rough graphically compared to other entries on this list, LEGO Island still holds up as a fun and nostalgic adventure. An escaped convict is hellbent on destroying LEGO Island, brick by brick, and it’s up to you to stop him.
Multiple character classes and a surprisingly ahead-of-its time open-ish world structure make for a good time that’s as comfy as it is engaging. It may be tricky to track down now, but if you can, it's worth taking a trip to LEGO Island – just watch out for the Brickster.
9. LEGO The Lord of the Rings
LEGO The Lord of the Rings is one of those weird LEGO titles where, instead of hiring voice actors to record new lines for the game, they just grabbed audio from the films and put it in. But, somehow, it works. Watching Boromir's emotional death scene while he's bombarded with bananas somehow makes the whole scene feel fresh in an extremely silly way that doesn't cheapen the original film. Add in some Easter eggs (like the achievement for jumping off a ledge and falling into a pile of hay like in Assassin's Creed), a large roster that includes characters from the book that didn't make it into the movie like Tom Bombadil, and all the puzzles and action that we're used to getting from a LEGO game, and you’ve got a recipe for one LEGO game to rule them all. Well, except for the ones above it on this list.
Read our review of LEGO The Lord of the Rings.
8. LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
It may not seem like it should work, but LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures shows how a not-so-family-friendly film trilogy can be rebuilt with LEGO bricks without feeling like a massive departure from the source material. Similar to the LEGO Star Wars games, LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures takes you through the events of the first three Indy films, but it puts a playful tongue-in-cheek spin on some of the less kid-friendly scenes.
The gameplay showed marked improvement from the earlier LEGO Star Wars games, and like the films it's based on, Indy is a bit more focused on puzzle-solving and exploration than combat. Like its Star Wars counterparts, this game is still a blast when playing local co-op. Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures holds up amazingly well nearly 15 years after it was released, and you might even say this modern classic belongs in a museum.
7. LEGO DC Super-Villains
The running theme with LEGO games is how well they reimagine darker subject matter in a kid-friendly way without losing the charm of the source material. While LEGO Batman had a few missions starring villains, it’s rare to see an entire game, let alone a family-friendly one, take a heel turn and have you play as the bad guys. But that’s exactly what LEGO DC Super-Villains did, and it’s a testament to the LEGO games’ charm and TT Games’ specific style that they were able to make this rogues gallery of DC bad guys endearing and kid-friendly in a way that appealed to fans rather than outraged them.
Plus, it incorporated a custom character into the story, which was a nice way of tapping into the creativity of playing with LEGO toys that’s often sidelined to focus on licensed characters.
Read our review of LEGO DC Super-Villains.
6. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was the first of TT Games to turn players loose in an open world, and in this case it was the massive Gotham City hub world. While the open worlds of subsequent LEGO games were often better, it’s hard to ignore the charm of seeing Batman’s stomping grounds given the LEGO treatment. An improvement over the original in almost every way and the high-point of the LEGO Batman series (what happened, LEGO Batman 3?!), DC Super Heroes is everything a Batman fan could want in a LEGO game and so much more as it appeals to DC fans and comic fans in general with a roster full of well- and lesser-known characters.
Have you ever wanted to play as General Zod, Killer Moth, and Captain Boomerang in LEGO form? LEGO Batman 2's got your back. With tons of areas to explore, dozens upon dozens of collectibles and unlockables to discover, the undeniable charm of LEGO games in full effect, and of course, Batman and all his suit-based powers, LEGO Batman 2 is not only one of the best LEGO games, it’s also one of the best Batman games to date.
Read our review of Lego Batman 2.
5. LEGO Harry Potter
We had high expectations when LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 was initially released. Thankfully, the detail that went into every corner of the game was instantly enthralling. Not only does the story follow the books and films closely, but LEGO Harry Potter is also an expansive and fresh take on the magical world itself. You are able to adventure through secret passageways in Hogwarts, see each thoughtfully designed Common Room up close, and even fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch.
The continuation of the story with the second game, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (both are now sold together as the LEGO Harry Potter Collection), lets you traverse the world even further by going to places like Zonko’s Joke Shop, 12 Grimmauld Place, Godric’s Hollow, and even London. This is made even more wonderful with the fantastic graphics, rewarding exploration, and the levels themselves that are classic LEGO in the best way possible.
Read our review of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.
4. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
LEGO Star Wars has the unique honor of being the first pop-culture property to be given the LEGO treatment. Reimagining that galaxy far, far away's iconic characters, creatures, and vehicles as chunky, modular construction sets was like striking gold bricks as it attracted a whole new generation of fans and collectors to Star Wars. While Star Wars video games had been around almost as long as Star Wars movies, the minimalist polygonal nature of Star Wars in LEGO form was ripe for video-gamification.
LEGO Star Wars was released amidst the deluge of merchandise and tie-ins aligned with Revenge of the Sith’s theatrical release, and it very easily could’ve been a forgettable cash grab. Instead, Traveller’s Tales’ infused the game with its trademark blend of puzzle-platforming, collectibles, and humor. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy kept the momentum going the following year, appealing to older Star Wars fans who might have been less keen on the prequels — and the rest, as they say, is history. If not for the precedent set by these two little games, we probably wouldn’t be writing this list.
3. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
After nearly two decades of creating LEGO Star Wars video games, the team at Traveler’s Tales could have easily compiled content from their previous titles, thrown in a few new Rise of Skywalker levels, and called it a day. Instead, they decided to completely overhaul the combat, the camera, the overworld structure, and literally every single Star Wars level, character, and vehicle within. This game is packed with a staggering amount of things to do and collect for both casual Star Wars fans and those who instantly recognize a minifig based on Malakili the Rancor Keeper.
Not only does LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga let you play through wacky video game makeovers of the mainline numbered Star Wars films, it also brings in references, nods, and collectibles based on the spinoff films, the television shows, and so much more. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a deeper, more comprehensive, and more action-packed take on LEGO games and one that hopefully gets applied to every LEGO game from here on out.
2. LEGO City Undercover
There are a ton of open-world action games that let you steal cars, take down criminals, and customize your character in a sprawling modern metropolis, but few of them are rated “E for Everyone.” LEGO City Undercover ticks all of those boxes and gives players the closest thing we’ve ever had to a LEGO Grand Theft Auto game for kids.
Not only is the world impressively large and packed with fun collectibles, activities, and hilarious references to vintage buddy cop action movies, it’s also got a surprisingly great story with a ton of wit and charm. Most LEGO games shine because of the movie series or popular licensed property they’re based on, but LEGO City Undercover proves that LEGO games can be fantastic and fun on their own.
Read our review of LEGO City Undercover.
1. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
The (non-cinematic) Marvel Universe has all the ingredients for a great LEGO game as it has a massive roster of characters who can become instantly recognizable minifigs with plenty of alternate costumes to offer as unlockables. The heroes and villains' various powers, skill sets, and gadgets made for a wide range of fun gameplay mechanics without taking too many liberties for who could do what. Its levels took players to familiar locations across the Universe, from Asgard to Asteroid M to The Savage Land, but was still grounded in a massive hub world sandbox of New York City.
But the absolute best thing LEGO Marvel Superheroes had going for it is that all your favorite characters from the comics were allowed to play with each other. At the time of release, the tangled web of intellectual property rights had the big-screen versions of Spider-Man, The Avengers, and The X-Men existing in multiple disparate universes. Marvel video games were in a worse spot, and with a few exceptions, they were mostly rushed movie tie-ins. LEGO Marvel Superheroes had none of these problems. It was everything that made Marvel Comics great, reimagined in blocky plastic form with TT Games' sense of humor and attention to detail. The game even included characters and locations that didn’t (and in some cases, still don’t) exist as physical LEGO toys, like Xavier’s Mansion and Professor X himself.
To no one’s surprise, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers mostly colored within the lines of the MCU. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2’s larger roster was noticeably missing characters whose movie rights fell under the Fox umbrella. Even if this hadn’t been the case, the first game set such a high bar, it really didn’t need a sequel. I mean, name another game where you can make Doctor Doom and Venom race around on the backs of escaped circus animals?
Read our review of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Did you play any of these games growing up or just love playing with LEGOs for adults? Did you think we missed any LEGO Games that should have been on this list? Let us know! For more top 10 lists, be sure to check out our other lists like the Top 10 Best Video Game Remakes of All Time!