Whether it’s the action-packed shoot’em up scenes or the clever investigations and whodunnit storylines, police games are always popular so here’s a rundown of some of the best police games on PC.
There are tonnes of great aspects of police games that have been enticing fans for decades.
Thanks to free streaming platforms such as Steam and Epic Games Store, most of the best police games are now available on PC, for everyone to enjoy.
Here is a list of the top ten police games available on PC at the moment, from classics to new releases.
Disco Elysium is a great place to start.
Not only do you play an amnesiac detective trying to piece together who you actually are, but you’ve also got a murder mystery to solve.
Similar to all the great RPG games, you construct your character as you go along adding skills and costumes along the way.
These skills, however, are all linked to personality and psyche.
Considered one of the most revolutionary RPG games of recent times, Disco Elysium has been praised for its story, highly detailed open world and depth of customization.
The game was widely acclaimed by critics and gained very high scores from online gaming outlets such as Gamespot where it received an excellent 10 out of 10.
It also won various awards such as “Best Narrative“, “Best Debut Game” and “Outstanding Achievement in Story” from The Game Awards 2019, BAFTA Game Awards and DICE respectively.
This is the Police
The game This is the Police actually focuses on the management side with you playing the chief of police Jack Boyd.
This original perspective has you managing both staff and investigation, responding to emergencies and deciding which officers to send out on the job.
Published by games industry veterans THQ Nordic of Dark Siders, Desperados and Destroy All Humans, the game has a very unique visual style and presentation.
Taking on Jack Boyd’s job in the city of Freeburg is presented similar to something straight from Batman.
Like Gotham, the city itself and the multitude of denizens who inhabit it, are characters in and of themselves.
With the city in a freefall of crime, it’s up to you to either have Jack retire on a high note with a $500,000 retirement plan, or broke as a failed Police Chief.
The Silver Case
Set in a fictional Japanese city, The Silver Case tells a compelling narrative from the perspective of a mute protagonist from special forces.
You are in charge of solving a series of murders suspiciously all mimicing the work of an incarcerated serial killer.
Even though the setting is fictional, it nicely taps into Japanese folklore.
With Kamui Uehara, a legendary serial killer on the loose, it’s up to you to track down the sadistic criminal.
Uehara is featured in several other games from the same developer and the main approach to the theme of the game is that the killer may actually be an entity of evil such as a Yokai, moving from one person to the next.
A unique game mechanic approach to the story in The Silver Case is that the game can be played from two perspectives.
It can be played out as a detective on the case or as a journalist covering the killings for a local newspaper.
The game was originally released in 1999 for PlayStation but has now been released for multiple platforms as a remaster and is considered a legendary game.
SWAT 4 is a tactical video shooter game with you as the leader of a five-man SWAT team.
It’s very realistic in terms of police protocol and atmosphere.
You get to decide when to open fire, possibly endangering hostages and your men.
It’s a thrilling ride, but you must uphold the law at all times.
SWAT 4 was developed by the creators of the legendary Police Quest series and was the second game in the series developed as a 3D FPS shooter.
The original SWAT was part of Police Quest while SWAT 2 was a tactical isometric RPG title.
The game was an excellent portrayal of SWAT and a breath of fresh air in the FPS genre which was saturated with World War 2 and Sci-Fi games.
SWAT 4 was also the first Police Quest game to be set outside of Los Angeles, rather a fictional setting was used throughout the entire game.
A triple-A blockbuster version of the classic cops and robbers concept, Battlefield Hardline is a race against time as you continue the war on crime.
It’s an explosive ride as you race past helicopters blowing up, collapsing buildings, all in drivable cars rewarding speed and aggression rather than strategy.
While it was a detour from the usual war games of the Battlefield series, Hardline delivered a TV-style cops and crooks experience not really ever seen before in a video game.
While the game’s main story campaign was mostly criticized, the multiplayer element was widely praised.
Developed by Visceral Games, Battlefield Hardline received good reviews from online sites such as IGN, Game Informer and Gamespot with 8 out of 10, 8 out of 10 and 7 out of 10 respectively.
L.A Noire follows the story of Detective Cole Phelps, working for the L.A.P.D in 1947.
The detective is tasked with investigating a drug ring which, as the plot unravels, is revealed to be linked to his former partners.
Certain reviews have said that it’s not so much a detective story, but a parable about death and purgatory, but it’s up to you to decide.
Developed by Rockstar Games of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption fame, L.A Noire became an instant classic in its own right.
Borrowing heavily from classic movies such as The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon and even L.A Confidential, the game invoked an excellent sense of the seedy underbelly of the city, especially when played in Black and White mode.
The game was widely praised for its story and portrayal of 1940’s L.A that both captivated and shocked in equal measure in the Golden Age of Hollywood.
L.A Noire featured new facial animation technologies that were developed specifically for the game in order for the player to recognize facial cues when interrogating a suspect.
Another key feature of the game is Rockstar’s signature open-world aspect with a highly detailed recreation of Los Angeles.
Cole can drive around the city to engage in free roam action while sniffing out crime.
Since release in 2011, the game has sold in the millions and has even seen a remaster, a PSVR release and news of a possible unconfirmed sequel in the works.
L.A Noire was heavily praised by critics and received review scores of 9 and 10 across the board as well as a BAFTA for its soundtrack.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Murdered: Soul Suspect has an original perspective because you get to play the ghost of the victim and solve your very own murder.
You need to use your ghostly ways to influence others to discover who did it, which you find out at the very beginning of the game.
This involves possessing black cats, walking through walls, and influencing people’s thoughts.
The game is set in a fictionalized version of Salem, Massachusetts, famous for its witch trials of the 17th century.
Portrayed as a supernatural hotspot, you are also free to explore the town as you uncover the secrets of the mysterious citizens, both living and dead.
Published by Final Fantasy veterans Square Enix, the game didn’t perform well but was praised for its intuitive game mechanics, originality and Eastern to Western philosophies concerning the afterlife.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments focuses more on profiling each suspect of the murder case.
Like a classic murder mystery, you must analyze their motives and figure out who is guilty.
It’s also an action-packed adventure throughout, and every case is different, each following from a diverse selection of storylines.
Although it is an excellent performer for Steam, the game has been criticized for its portrayal of Holmes as a self-aggrandizing and amoral cad seen more in recent interpretations of the character.
However, the game is presented as a faithful representation of Victorian London as portrayed in Doyle’s original novels.
As Holmes, you will cover cases as varied in detail and they are in mystery, intrigue and location.
With this level of variety, the game never gets old.
Shoot first, ask questions later is the classic rule in Sleeping Dogs.
You play undercover cop Wei Shen and take part in shoot outs, car chases, parkour, and martial arts.
You get to decide if you want to cross over to the dark side as well with the protagonist losing sight of what’s good or evil.
Developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs is part of the infamous True Crime series.
Taking cues from legendary foreign cinema such as Infernal Affairs, Old Boy and Hard Boiled, Sleeping Dogs combines great visual presentation with story and action.
While the representation of Hong Kong might be a little shallow, the game’s playstyle is excellent and incorporated control systems that are now standard across action games.
Context-sensitive actions, dodges and counters were all implemented in the game’s excellent combat system.
However, the game isn’t without its issues as shoddy camera AI, bugs and wooden animation are just part of the game’s issues.
Despite these issues, the game performed well and sold in the millions and was praised by critics for its visual portrayal of Hong Kong.
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel is a Sierra classic from 1987, now available to stream live.
For one of the first ever police games released it’s incredibly realistic.
You actually spend a lot of the game carrying out day-to-day duties such as handing out parking tickets and arresting drunks and other criminals.
It’s more of a realistic portrayal of police work.
Using the keyboard to type in actions similar to Leisure Suit Larry, you must guide Police Officer Sonny Bonds as he goes through his day to day Police work.
The title is quite detailed for a game of its age and incorporated such Police work as pulling over speeders, attending briefings and even securing crime scenes and taking forensic evidence.
A true classic, Police Quest changed how games were made and given the modern world’s obsession with true crime, would benefit from a remake.
Police games are popular with all kinds of gamers, old and new.
If you’re looking for great online games, try your hand at some of these.
There’s an eclectic mix of styles on the list so if you’re looking for action or more sophisticated investigation you can take your pick.
You can stream the latest games online, along with popular classics that have been remastered.
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.