LEGO is an indomitable toy titan, with sets spanning countless IPs and original settings. Yet, for as many real-life toys, the company has an immense catalog of digital delights well worth playing. Here’s our ranking of the top LEGO games, from retro classics to modern hits!
That Tracks – Lego Loco for PC
LEGO LOCO is an extremely peculiar city simulator. Yes, you read that right – while technically a game about trains, LEGO LOCO is just as focused on simulating the lives of the many LEGO denizens you oversee. What’s more, you can utterly demolish the 4th wall whenever you engage with the various citizens. It’s up to you to ensure they’re taken care of or tortured to the brink of insanity.
Originally conceived as a simple desktop program, LEGO LOCO evolved into what can honestly be described as an elaborate, remarkably charming shitpost of a game. There is no real end goal or struggle. You can infinitely place objects around a town. Combining some objects results in surprise bonus objects, like a rocket ship that can actually launch into space or a Voltron mech. The intro sequence is a sight to behold as well:
Every single item and person is loaded with soundbites. You can name them all, too, in addition to being able to create postcards that fictional LEGO people will respond to. Is there a reason to do any of this? Not really, but it’s incredibly fun regardless!
That warrants mentioning LEGO LOCO two decades onward – it understands the energy of kids playing with LEGO bricks. It might not be a traditional experience, but the best LEGO games are anything but conventional. Considering the sheer number of biomes and unique bonuses you can find across, there’s a ton of heart you can appreciate. Calling it a game is an immense stretch, but it’s a brilliant plaything for kids to tool around with.
A STEP DOWN (ONTO A BRICK) – LEGO RACERS 2 FOR PC & PS2
LEGO Racers 2 is one of only a handful of LEGO sequels, released at a pivotal point in the company’s history. They tried to appeal to modern sensibilities with everything from Bionicle to Galaior.
Man, remember Galidor? That certainly was a thing.
LEGO Racers 2 tries to be bigger and better than its last-gen predecessor. There are GTA-style sandbox environments, cars that deconstruct as you take damage, and impressive draw distances. How much it misunderstands the original game’s appeal keeps it from topping the ranks of the best LEGO games. The construction options for your car are oddly limited, there are fewer unique zones to race in, and many of the courses feel familiar because they reuse those same sandbox environments.
Which isn’t to say it’s all bad or anything. LEGO Racers 2 is perfectly good fun. There’s more variety in vehicle types, and the sandbox nature means you can take on sidequests. There are meaningful upgrades to unlock as well. Most importantly, the story mode is that much more involved, resembling Mario 64 more than a traditional kart racer in structure. It’s just that Racers 2 isn’t quite up to the level of its predecessor that keeps it on the low end of the best LEGO video games.
Ironically, though a toy line was tied to the game, there wasn’t any actual set made of your chief opponent, Rocket Racer. Weird, considering just how many seemingly impossible sets now exist in the realm of LEGO.
MINECRAFT? NEVER HEARD OF IT! – LEGO WORLDS FOR PC, PS4, XBOX ONE, & SWITCH
LEGO Worlds is the answer to the question “what if LEGO had thought of Minecraft first?” and the answer is? Pretty fun! Worlds is far from the deepest co-op survival game on the market, but that’s not the point. Instead, the aim is to offer players one of the deepest toyboxes in LEGO history that they can take with them anywhere. Well, anywhere with stable electricity at least.
Worlds is a genuine technical marvel, managing not simply voxels but genuine LEGO brick-based terrain you can tunnel through and reshape as you please. How complex you want to make your experience is truly up to you. It’s possible to build custom spaces to your exact specification and even save them to reuse later at the press of a button. Other, less patient players can use prefabricated items and get on to exploring their islands for gold bricks and studs to unlock more ways to customize your world.
In addition to the core experience, there are two retro LEGO-themed expansions and a spin-off based on the LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which emphasizes more in-depth quests. Worlds might never have set our world on fire, but it remains a cult hit with modern LEGO fans.
Maximum 90’s Gaming – Lego Island for PC
Without a doubt, LEGO Island is the first true hit of LEGO’s gaming library. It’s the epitome of 90’s gaming – random, wildly experimental, and janky as heck. There are a ton of things to do on the island, including racing cars, racing boats, building said vehicles, delivering pizzas, changing people’s hair, and preventing the total descent of the island into anarchy.
*Checks notes* Yeah, that actually happens. Well then!
LEGO Island is essentially another giant assortment of possibilities and Easter eggs, like LEGO LOCO. What puts LEGO Island amongst the best LEGO games is how it merges that creativity with the ambition of GTA V. I’m serious. Five playable protagonists have unique voice lines, world-altering properties, and interactions. Pepper, the adopted son of Mama and Papa Brickolini, is the defacto protagonist who stops the villainous Brickster from destroying LEGO Island. Or, well, eliminating the buildings. He doesn’t exactly have a plan beyond that.
Altogether, it’s a relic of its time but a pleasantly quaint one bolstered by the perfectly over-the-top presentation. It’s a bit tricky getting working on modern PCs, but a blast from the past if you can get it running.
MAXIMUM 00’S GAMING – LEGO ISLAND 2 FOR PC & PS1
Although LEGO Island 2 is a massive departure from its predecessor, it’s a much more coherent experience. It’s essentially an open-world platformer with multiple hubs and minigames. While you can still freely explore each island, you only play as Pepper, customization is trimmed substantially, and the Brickster is now the sole focus.
Now, is this what fans were asking for? Not really, but it makes sense for a modernized LEGO Island. Fortunately, unlike LEGO Racers 2, the latter iteration builds with its focus much more coherently. It’s a whimsical, kid-friendly adventure with an adorable sense of humor. The platforming won’t put Mario in the poor house, but it’s tight and responsive. The worlds are nicely varied, and you can re-experience the majority of the minigames with ease after eating them. There’s also an incredible jump in the precision of vehicle controls.
The only issue exclusive to LEGO Island 2 is how its PS1 port limits its capabilities. The original game pushed PC hardware to its limit, whereas now it’s just a higher polycount with better loading times over its console counterpart. By contrast, the best portion by far is the Island of Ogel. It’s an inventive twist on traditional LEGO designs that manages to tie in the more disparate LEGO brands at the time.
THIS ONE AGAIN? REALLY, ELIJAH? – LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS FOR PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE, WII-U, 3DS, & iOS
Okay, yeah, I’ve already spoken at length about LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By far, the best LEGO Star Wars game to date; with brilliant design, fantastic writing, and solid vocal work from the entire film cast, it’s a total delight. Throw in boatloads of extra content, and it’s got just about everything you could ask for. Well, everything except for a finished story, but even the latter Sequel Trilogy movies couldn’t manage that.
Bad to the Brick – Lego DC Super-Villains for PC, PS4, Xbox One
If LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the ultimate love letter to Star Wars, then DC Super-Villains is the same to DC Comics. You can create your custom superhero or villain, choosing to either side with the Legion of Doom or Justice League. The story spans familiar characters and deep cuts like Earth 3’s Crime Syndicate. Many fan-favorite actors like Mark Hamill, Clancy Brown, and Tara Strong reprise their roles with gusto, heaping on the charm.
On top of this, you’ve got all the great, accessible, and satisfying gameplay of modern LEGO games under TT Games. It might not be as mechanically innovative as LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but LEGO DC Super-Villains is TT Games’ formula at its finest. The hubs of Gotham and Metropolis are great, the campaign is a blast, and the fanservice is delightful. Plus, the ability to craft your self-insert is such a LEGO-ism that it seals the deal. By far one of the best LEGO games yet.
THE GREAT ONE – LEGO RACERS FOR PC, PS1, & N64
Ah, here we are – a classic LEGO game if ever there was one. LEGO Racers was one of the first real LEGO games. While simple in premise, the humble kart racer features fresh ideas for its day. You could fully customize your car, freely mixing and matching some of LEGO’s most iconic themes. The size of your vehicle impacted your handling and utilized cutting-edge tech to allow you such creative freedom.
Leaning further into the brick mentality, LEGO Racers introduces a more complex power-up system than most of its contemporaries. Not only did you have offensive, defensive, speed, and trap power-ups, but you could enhance them by collecting additional white bricks. Each white brick upgrades your power-up, sometimes massively altering your power-up’s behavior. Maxing out speed rips a hole in reality itself, while a single upgrade to damage gives you a grappling hook that can unlock secret shortcut routes.
All of this was knit together by brilliant course designs. While simple in layout, the presentation is superb. In addition to the power-ups and shortcuts, certain elements change over time or throw timed hazards at players. Granted, the AI doesn’t offer the most impressive opponents out there, but they will make full use of their pick-ups. You’re in for a fantastic time by pairing all this wonderful fun with a catchy soundtrack and comedic sound effects.
\”a Landslide (Of Great Design) Has Occurred!\” – Lego Rock Raiders for PC
LEGO Rock Raiders is perhaps the most overly ambitious, over-designed AAA game made by an indie-size team in LEGO history. Rock Raiders just tries everything. It’s simultaneously a survival, management, vehicle, third-person, first-person, crafting, and shooting game. The attention to detail is astonishing.
You can give task priorities to your workers and level up their skills. You’re equally free to pilot each team member individually to accomplish tasks. There are sections where you fight for limited air supply or fight off cave monsters that warrant perimeter security. Another mission sees you outrunning a lava flow.
Maps are massive for their time, all rendered in full 3D without asking much of your PC. The campaign is immense for a kid’s game, with some legitimately challenging missions. There’s also voice acting and story cutscenes. Sadly, plans for a level editor had to be abandoned, but the fan remake Manic Miners (which LEGO has signed off on) has restored this feature and added even more to the game.
And I want to clarify here – this is the PC version we’re talking about. LEGO Rock Raiders for the PS1 barely resembles its PC counterpart, featuring mediocre graphics and almost no similarities other than some vehicles and buildings. PC is the way to go, and with the fan remake, it’s never been easier to play!
MYST IT BY THAT MUCH – LEGO BUILDER’S JOURNEY FOR PC & SWITCH
LEGO Builder’s Journey is unlike any other game on this list. It’s a pure, jaw-droppingly photo-realistic puzzle game. Your primary means of engagement is a single button press, yet it remains one of the most tangible, arresting games in years. You’re encouraged to think creatively rather than with a rigid set of rules. This is the essence of thinking with LEGO in mind. It’s a whimsical journey I dare not spoil, and by far, when it comes to the source material itself, the best LEGO video game.
Did we miss a personal favorite of yours? Have a LEGO-tastic memory to share? Let us know in the comments below!