If you often watch law and court dramas, you know that they can be fascinating. The only downside is that you don’t participate in anything. Now imagine playing video games related to detective work or court cases. That’s what these video games are about. Plus, the experience is exciting because you take on the role of the main character. Whether you practice law or are a gamer, take a look at these law-related video games that will have you stuck in your seat for hours.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
One can’t mention law-related video games without talking about Phoenix Wright. It popularized this genre of video games and deserves the credit. This visual novel video game was developed by Capcom and released in 2001 in Japan and later in Europe and America.
It’s about a rookie defense attorney called Phoenix ‘Nick’ Wright, who tries to get his clients acquitted in five cases. Other characters include Mia Fey, Nick’s boss, Maya, his assistant, and Miles Edgeworth, a prosecutor. The video game gives you a glimpse of the world of criminal lawyers.
Ace Attorney is divided into parts. The first part is the investigation which happens before or during trials. The players gather evidence by talking to the client, witnesses, and police. This part also involves examining evidence and presenting it to different characters.
The second part involves courtroom trials where the player has to prove their client is innocent. This involves examining witnesses to uncover the truth, lies, or inconsistencies in testimonies. Every time the player proves their client is innocent, they unlock a new case.
Although underrated, this is one of the best action-adventure law-related video games. It was developed by United Front Games and released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows. The story revolves around a character called Wei Shein, who moves to Hong Kong and is tasked to infiltrate and destroy a criminal organization called Sun On Yee. Since he is undercover, he has to play two roles where he completes his mission as a cop and also commits crimes because he is now a member of a criminal organization.
The game is divided into various sections or districts, with each offering different missions, resources, and purchasable items. Although the game is almost similar to Grand Theft Auto, the combat, driving, and shooting are much better. Plus, players get to build their reputation and earn rewards by going after small-time criminals. The casting is great, making the game more interesting. From police officers to criminals and Chinese-speaking lawyers, these characters have been fleshed out brilliantly.
Although the game has leaderboards and online stats to check how you’re performing alongside your friends, it lacks a multiplayer component. But don’t let that stop you because even playing the game alone is still exciting.
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
This video game is similar to the Ace Attorney series. It actually borrows much of its gameplay from the series, where players collect evidence and cross-examine witnesses in trials. Just like most law-related video games, this, too, has been published by Capcom. The game is adapted from the Adult Swim Show under the same name, with most cast members voicing their characters in the video game.
In court, Harvey uses the evidence he has collected to cross-examine witnesses. If the witness says something contradictory to their previous statement, Harvey can object. And if Harvey wants more information from a witness, he can ‘Press’ a player for more. His time in court is measured through five crests and every time he slips up, a crest is taken. If all crests are taken away, the defendant is declared guilty.
Each game is divided into five cases. Because each case is different, Steve has to wear many hats, including that of foreclosure lawyers, defense attorneys, and business lawyers. The game is amusing, although it can sometimes be confusing if you don’t pay too much attention.
Burden of Proof
This is a hybrid-genre game inspired by works like Dangaronpa and Ace Attorney. Gamers get to explore crime scenes in 3D. The main character is called attorney Conrad Cross who investigates crime scenes and represents clients in court. The players take the role of the attorney and have to present what they have uncovered in court. The judge also has counselors who players need to convince when making their cases.
Although this is one of the best law-related video games, you need to pay attention to the layout and details in the crime scenes as they can all determine if you’ll successfully complete your case and proceed to a new adventure. The cases are interesting as they cover different categories. One minute you’ll feel like you’re part of a family law firm, and the next moment, you’ll feel like a criminal defense lawyer. The game is supported by Windows, MacOS, and SteamOS+Linux.
Dragon Age Inquisition
Dragon Age Inquisition is almost similar to its predecessors, Dragon Age I and II. Although it’s not based on a courtroom drama involving criminal cases or local accident attorneys, it has elements of the law. This is why it falls on this list of law-related video games. In this game, the main character is called the Herald of Andraste. Unlike the other video games discussed above, this one involves the world of spirits and demons.
The game involves a lot of investigations, and the decisions that players make dictate the game’s outcome. Bioware developed Dragon Age Inquisition and released it in 2014 on different platforms, including PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Room 215 is an adventure video game by Nintendo. The main character the players will be controlling is Kyle Hyde, a former detective. From that statement, you can just tell it’s a law-related video game. The game’s setting is a hotel where Hyde goes to search for his former partner. But as soon as he arrives, he notices that the hotel holds many mysteries. Of course, as a detective, his job is to investigate those mysteries, which is what the game is about.
The player moves around while interacting with different characters and solving various puzzles. The main themes of this game are family, crime, death, and deception, which explains why a local family lawyer may find it fascinating. But even as a usual gamer, you’ll still have fun solving the puzzles and moving to the next level. In the game, Detective Kyle has to interview different employees and patrons in the hotels to discover the truth. Unfortunately, as this game is yet to be released on Nintendo Switch, players have to get their Nintendo 3DS and find a copy of the game to play it.
Police Quest is one of the oldest law-related video games. It was released in 1987, and the graphics aren’t that good compared to today’s standards. That said, it’s still an interesting game series. Jimmy Walls, a former police officer, produced the first three games and based the main character, Sonny Bonds, on his son, Sonny Walls. As a player, you’ll be controlling Walls. Walls is a detective who appears in court every now and then.
Although the game is about detective work, the player soon realizes that not following the right police procedure proves to be fatal. For example, in Police Quest II, you’ll realize that not maintaining the firearm can cause it to misfire or malfunction, or not waiting for backup can lead to serious consequences. As the game proceeds, Bonds realizes that he needs to be keen, considering that even inputting the wrong time of day on a speeding ticket can give the criminal defense lawyer an advantage over him and cause the case to be dismissed. If you love solving crimes, then this is one of the best video games to check out.
This action-adventure video game is an open-world game developed by Team Bondi. The player has to complete cases to progress and fulfill objectives to progress in the game. The main character that the player controls is Cole Phelps, an LAPD patrolman. The game is divided into various cases in which players are required to investigate crime scenes, interrogate witnesses and suspects, and follow up on leads. As the player, your success in these activities will determine your overall rating.
Although the game starts with Phelps being a patrolman, as the game progresses, he advances to various departments such as traffic, homicide, vice, and arson. Whether you enjoy solving murder mysteries or business cases that have to do with bankruptcy law firms, you’ll find this game satisfying. L.A. Noire features action sequences, including gunfights, combat, and chases. Outside the main cases, you can also solve option street crimes and collect rewards in the game.
L.A. Noire has been rated one of the best law-related video games, and it was the first video game to be selected at the Tribeca Film Festival. Also, when released, it received a lot of positive reviews, with people praising the characters’ designs, facial animation, world design, performance, interrogation gameplay, and music.
This is an action-adventure video game originating from Japan, and it’s a spinoff of the Yakuza series. The video game focuses on Takayuki, who was once a lawyer but is now a detective after a bad outcome on one of his cases. Like most law-related video games, the story revolves around solving crime. Whether you’re a lawyer for bankruptcy or family law, you’ll find the game interesting. Even regular people with no interest in the law enjoy the game.
The game has an investigation mode where players have to search scenes for evidence of crimes. They must also infiltrate areas by picking locks and using disguises. It also features fight scenes with a combat system similar to Yakuza 0.
The Wolf Among Us
This video game is based on the comic called Fables. The player controls the main character called Bigby Wolf, a reformed detective who investigates murders. Throughout the video game, players have to explore different environments, like bars and apartment buildings. They must find objects and examine them as they could be related to the murders. Some items can be stored and used later on in the game.
With one of the villains being the mayor of the place the game is set, one of the hats Bigby has to wear, although unofficially, is a workplace accident attorney. But mostly, the game is about trying to solve crimes. The Wolf Among Us is one of those law-related video games with fantasy elements where some characters have supernatural powers. Unfortunately, the game is yet to have a second season, but gamers can still hope, as the developers mentioned, that The Wolf Among Us 2 is in the works.
Danganronpa is a Japanese video game series divided into six categories, with each having three parts. The story is set in a school where players investigate murders by gathering evidence through clues. They also need to determine the culprit to progress to the next chapters. Although dark and grim, it’s also pleasant in that players feel hopeful by solving murder cases.
This is an adventure video game with some supernatural elements. It’s set in a dystopian world where a special police task force is given the responsibility of protecting the remaining humans from interdimensional creatures. A player takes the role of one or the twin police officers who investigate incidents and solve cases happening in the game’s world, called The Ark. This allows players to play either as male or female.
The game involves examining evidence, questioning characters, and solving puzzles. It’s similar to the video game called Dungeons, where players can assess an interdimensional area and battle enemies or solve puzzles.
This game is slightly different from the other video games mentioned. While it has aspects of law, it’s set in the afterlife. Players control a character called Manny Calavera, who investigates an underworld criminal scheme that robs dead people of their tickets to the Land of the Dead. Players have to collect and examine different items to solve cases and progress in the game.
These are some of the law-related video games you should check out if you’re a gamer. Some are easy to grasp, while others may be challenging, which makes them interesting.