Any game that requires players to break free while strategically planning their moves is exciting to play. It keeps the adrenaline rush high and the ones that involve you to plan your way out from a prison are an instant hit amongst the players. Whether you play the good guy or bad in the game story, a fresh and original take on the setting is inviting and deserves a try.
There are not many excellent options when it comes to games that take place entirely inside a prison, as most of the time, a prison is just a temporary setting within a larger story. However, we have listed the best games available that are primarily set in prisons and the main task of the players is to free themselves from being trapped behind the bars.
1) The Suffering (2004)
The Suffering includes stunning graphics and the visuals look terrifying, which makes it quite apt for the gameplay. The game has its share of scares and ensures the players get a superlative experience. You take up the role of a death row inmate who finds himself in the middle of a living nightmare when an earthquake unleashes spine-chilling forces on the prison. Your primary task initially is to survive the sinister beings and their attacks.
The game is combat-heavy and includes engaging fighting mechanics. The Suffering has elements of horror as well and as you continue crossing each level, the surroundings start transforming from a death-inducing prison to a devilish hellscape. The enemies can attack you from anywhere, so be alert.
2) Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (2004)
One of the most exceptionally made prison-based games, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, is surely among the best you’ll ever play and belongs to the premiere options available. The player takes up the role of Riddick, a convict who is being transported to Butcher Bay, a maximum security prison from where it is quite difficult to escape. Your target is to survive the bullets aimed at you by guards while also planning your way out. You will have to put up fights against your inmates as well, so do not exhaust all your ammunition at one go.
Once the player has managed to escape, in the next round he is sent to a hellish space which is harsher. They have a special spot reserved for the most troublesome prisoners, so make sure to not be one of them. The gameplay was excellent for its time of release. The plot is unique and the atmosphere and graphics are perfect for the setting.
2) Prison Tycoon (2005)
If you would like to play a prison-based game that includes simulation elements, Prison Tycoon is the ideal choice. The game involves a fun plot that might seem complex at first, but becomes interesting once you learn the controls well. Lots of powers are assigned to the players at their fingertips and one right or wrong move can prove to be fatal.
The player is assigned with the task of building up a small facility into a full-blown prison by upgrading and designing the perfect big house. You plan your moves, procure the equipment needed to achieve the targets, and fight it out with the attackers. The concept is not as dark as other prison-based games and the level of detail provided by the makers is commendable. The detail-oriented simulation that Prison Tycoon involves is sure to provide an enjoyable experience to gaming enthusiasts; just remember to be patient at the beginning of the game.
4) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
The game begins with the player as a convict. You start off in a prison cell that has a secret way which leads to the city. Carving your way out not only breaks you free from the prison, but also gives you a direct entry into the heart of the city, quite far away from the police. On your journey through the underground, there are caves, sewers, and multiple attackers who possess different kinds of weapons. You get to kill assassins, take their armour, and if you are lucky enough to help the king, you get a pardon.
The setting is awesome and there is way too much variety the game offers. There are hundreds of different weapons to choose from, 70+ quests in oblivion and multiple different ways to complete each one. The storyline, characters, and background music suit the prison theme well and add to making the game captivating. The graphics are great considering its time of release and gameplay gets more exciting with each level you cross.
5) Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
Batman: Arkham Asylum boasts a very unique gameplay. The player is trapped among a group of enemies who are fully loaded with high-quality weapons. Batman must use his mind well to come up with a fool-proof plan, find a route to escape the facility and stop the attackers from unleashing hell. As players, you can choose multiple takedown methods, including swooping from the sky and smashing through walls. If you are a gamer who is a Batman fan too, this prison-based game will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Master the basics well at the start of the game and you’ll ace the key controls in the succeeding rounds. The Arkham series of games is a popular and well-loved franchise and Batman: Arkham Asylum is a must try since it gives you the ultimate Batman gaming experience. Be prepared for a face off against Gotham’s greatest villains, including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Killer Croc.
6) Prison Architect (2015)
Handling its prison simulation themes better than its predecessors, Prison Architect is a fun game you must not miss out on. The player is hired to design and manage a for-profit prison and must make decisions concerning the prisoner’s happiness, while making sure there is no harm or damage caused to the property. There are also tons of additional challenges to achieve and the game even features a mode where the player is required to escape from the prison they designed.
The game gets quite scary in the later stages, but, if played well, the players can treat themselves to some hilarious anecdotes in a few rounds. It mixes elements from the horror genre and needs to be played patiently and carefully. Prison Architect’s storytelling aspect is magnificent, but the inmates are ruthless.
7) The Escapists 2 (2017)
As an intriguing prison-based game, The Escapists 2 is a perfect amalgamation of strategy and arcade action. Trapped in prison, the player must follow daily routines while also going on side missions and strategising methods to escape and break free. The game features a wide variety of different facilities to escape from and the multiplayer mode adds another layer of challenges to the basic gameplay.
The graphics and gameplay are simple, but the beauty of The Escapists 2 is that the storyline is so fascinating that players would want to go through the same stages again and again and never stop playing the game. Explore the biggest prisons with multiple floors, roofs, vents and underground tunnels. Don’t forget to live by the prison rules.
~ Hope you enjoyed the list!