Top 10 Silent Video Games [Best Recommendations]


A lot of people do not like to consider video games an art form. Why? We don’t really know. So many video games showcase gorgeous artwork and contain a winding narrative that can rival the products being displayed on the silver screen. However, if you want a list of games that really drive the artistic integrity of video games home, then you should focus on this list of silent games. These silent games demonstrate the full power of video games. Without dialogue, these narratives become so much more dynamic. They force the audience to take in the entire environment and every single action. Once you’re full pulled in, you realize just how many little details are built into the story you’re experiencing.

10. Stardew Valley

  • System: PC, PS4, XONE, Vita, NS
  • Publisher: Chucklefish
  • Developer: ConcernedApe
  • Release Dates: Feb. 26, 2016

Stardew Valley brings us into a community where we have just inherited our grandfather’s old farmland. With only a small amount of cash and some pretty rickety tools, we must cultivate our land and hopefully become an accepted member of the community.

Stardew Valley is an extremely fun and interactive game. It brings us into a unique little hamlet where there is so much to discover day by day. It really is one of the best farming simulation games that have been released between 2000 and 2020. Now, Stardew Valley is number 10, because it breaks a rule that some may follow and some may not when creating a silent game list. No voice acting occurs in the game, but there is dialogue between characters that occurs via text. As Stardew Valley is a phenomenal game, it was decided that it would stand in as representation for all games that use text as dialogue.

9. Braid

  • System: PC, PS3
  • Publisher: Number None Inc.
  • Developer: Number None Inc.
  • Release Dates: Aug. 6, 2008

Braid is a puzzle platformer that was initially released in 2008. The game’s story follows the journey of its protagonist, Tim, as he tries to rescue a princess from a monster. It’s your job to make it through six worlds, each with slightly different mechanics.

Braid’s gameplay mechanics are exceptional and challenging. It is incredibly fun figuring out how to traverse an area. The only reason this game is a bit higher up on this list, because it isn’t as silent as the other games. There is no dialogue, nor an overriding narrator like in Bastion. However, we do get quite a few text passages that help us understand the layers of complexity behind the game’s narrative and overall design. It’s these passages that give us insight into why Tim’s power is being affected in such a unique way while he’s in an area. The way the mechanics change to match his frustration or desire or redemption is one of the reasons the game is considered such a great.

8. Limbo

  • System: PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, XONE
  • Publisher: PLAYDEAD
  • Developer: PLAYDEAD
  • Release Dates: Jul. 21, 2010

Limbo is a puzzle-platform game that has you maneuver a young boy through an otherworldly environment as he tries to find his sister. In this world, there’s very little to trust as the initial forest becomes a crumbling city and the people you meet are just as likely to run from you as they are to attack you. For those who might think this is a more somber entry, beware. This game is more of a horror game, and it provides the grisly deaths to prove it.

No matter how you look at the game, it is hard not to consider it art. The production level is akin to some of the best horror and suspense films. From the black-and-white tones and slightly grainy visuals to the subtle yet atmospheric sounds, it is hard not to fall into the world with all its little horrors. However, it is the overall silence that pushes each moment forward. It’s the way that the character doesn’t speak even while trying to chase down the one female character he sees in the game. That is the factor that really pushes the emotional toll of the game.

7. Ico

  • System: PS2, PS3
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Developer: SCE Japan Studio
  • Release Dates: Sep. 24, 2001

Ico is an action-adventure game where a boy is locked away in an ancient fortress because he was born with horns. In that fortress he meets a girl whose life in his jeopardy. Summoning his courage, he decides that he will lead the girl to safety and protect her at all costs while travelling throughout the fortress.

Ico was one of the first games to utilize silence in an artistic way, rather than due to technical capabilities, and it did a phenomenal job. We are left in an overwhelming environment where silent shadow monsters creep and the only noises are our scuffling feet and little directions given in an unknown language. The overall quiet of the game greatly enhances the relationship between Ico and Yorda. With each level crossed, you can feel the bond between the two grow, just as your emotional bond to each character grows.

6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

  • System: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XONE
  • Publisher: 505 Games
  • Developer: Starbreeze
  • Release Dates: Sep. 3, 2013

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons puts us in control of two young boys, brothers, who are desperately searching for a cure for their dying father. They must face down foes and overcome many obstacles in this gorgeously drawn world if they hope to aid their father.

So, the brothers do speak to one another in this game, but the creators made it so that their language is unidentifiable. By choosing to do so, the creators draw focus to the body language of the characters and help flesh out the overall sense of panic and despair that is present throughout so much of the game. It also helps enhance the tender moments between the brothers.

Just a warning, it’s a pretty difficult game to adjust to as you control each brother with one of the controller’s thumbsticks. So if you’re not ambidextrous, then this game might get a little frustrating.

5. Flower

  • System: PS3, PS4, Vita
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Developer: ThatGameCompany
  • Release Dates: Feb. 12, 2009

Flower takes us through six different worlds that are actually dreams of flowers in a pot on a city apartment windowsill. In their dreams, you control the wind and send a single petal floating along to meet certain requirements. As that petal comes into contact with flowers, the flowers bloom, the environment changes, and you get another petal trailing behind your original petal.

If you’re looking for a game that will challenge you, then this isn’t the game for you. If you are looking for a game that will fill you with elation and take you on an emotional experience, then this is the game for you. The creators did their absolute best to prove that video games can be a work of art. They focused on creating an experience where every single movement creates a resounding effect on both the video game world and your emotions. The musical compositions and fluid animation are phenomenal and help seduce you into this simple yet utterly beautiful world.

4. Super Metroid

  • System: Super Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems
  • Release Dates: Apr. 18, 1994

Super Metroid takes us on a sci-fi adventure ripe with technology and alien beasts. You play as Samus, a bounty hunter, who is traveling to the planet of Zebes in order to retrieve an infant Metroid that was stolen by the space pirate Ridley.

Super Metroid is the oldest game on this list and it is one of the best games of all time. Though silent games were pretty common during the time it came out, Super Metroid acted as proof of how well a story could be told without sound. It showed people that a deep and riveting story could be told through the environment and sequence of events. The locations of enemies and timing of major battles and events were simply impeccable in this game. It was simply an adventure game that fully captured its audience without needing even the slightest bit of dialogue (besides a text passage at the beginning).

3. Virginia

  • System: PC, PS4, XONE
  • Publisher: 505 Games
  • Developer: Variable State
  • Release Dates: Sep. 22, 2016

Virginia is a first-person mystery adventure game where you are put in control of Anne Tarver, an FBI special agent, as she tackles her first case. The case deals with a boy who has gone missing in rural Virginia (hence the title of the game), and you and your partner Maria Halperin need to get to the bottom of it.

Virginia brings us an experience similar to games like Firewatch and Gone Home, but takes it to the next level by pushing the narrative elements in an extremely interactive way. It really is a unique mix. You’re not going to be able to do whatever you want in this game. No, you’re put on a path where events are coming directly to you, and you’re going to need to decipher them as best as you can. That might seem boring, but there’s an amazing amount of power to each event that transpires. A big reason for the impact of the events is that there are no words spoken. Each event comes and goes in almost a silent whisper that really helps build the overall somber, if not slightly haunting, tone and mood of the game.

2. Shadow of the Colossus

  • System: PS2, PS3, PS4
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Developer: SCE Japan Studio
  • Release Dates: Oct. 18, 2005

Shadow of the Colossus brings you into a land that has been abandoned. The main character has journeyed to such an area in hopes of bringing back to life his significant other. To do so though, he must destroy the giant beings that roam the land.

Shadow of the Colossus is the second oldest games on this list, and it helped define the legacy of the PS2. This is a game that uses silence so powerfully. There is no overriding narrator and our character has no one to talk to, besides his horse. This lack of human sound enhances the sound of everything else. From the sound of your horse’s hooves to the birdcalls to the sound of colossal feet stamping on the ground, you are completely immersed into the environment. Being forced into this rare and unique environment is an exceptional experience, which is made all the better by the challenging gameplay that occurs each and every time you come face to face with a colossus. The simple grunts and whistles do more than enough to convey the desperation and struggle of each encounter.

1. Journey

  • System: PS3, PS4
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Developer: ThatGameCompany
  • Release Dates: Mar. 13, 2012

Journey follows the trek of a robed figure making his/her way from the desert to the mountains. As you weave your way across the land, constantly affecting the tune of your travels and the environment, you must use your powers wisely to overcome obstacles. During your travels, you may come across other players, who can only communicate through a musical chime and may assist you with certain areas.

Journey is so emotional because of how little communication is available. By denying us the ability to even text other players, it makes each encounter and each sound we hear all the more impactful. Every movement becomes significant in this world that seems too large and too miraculous. From our character’s size to the musical compositions, every aspect of this game is done in such a way to induce awe and make the experience completely your own.

Final Thoughts:

What makes these games so impressive is how well they hold to the concept of “Show, Don’t Tell.” By sticking to this ideal, the creators can never take an easy way out. They must use the environment, the music, and the actions in new and unique ways to convey a message. With that said, are there any silent games that you think should be on this list?

Limbo-game-Wallpaper Top 10 Silent Video Games [Best Recommendations]


Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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