Over the past decades, Lego gradually made a name for himself in the video game industry. With licensed LEGO titles like Lego Star Wars, LEGO The Lord of the Ringsand LEGO Marvel Superheroes, LEGO has managed to make its way to the forefront of family play. But while these licensed titles are by far the company’s best-known, it’s been churning out unlicensed video games for even longer.
Starting in the late 1990s, LEGO began developing a wide range of video games, spanning a host of different genres. While not all of these titles were high quality, a few made a dent in public consciousness at the time, and now decades later have become cult classics. So while LEGO has produced many D-Tier games, it has also created a handful of cult classics.
LEGO racers: One of the aforementioned cult classics, LEGO racers may not be as polite as Mario Kart, but he’s a charming cart runner. Filled with tons of tracks, each surprisingly varied, and lots of lovely racers, LEGO racers has enough of its own identity to stand out from the competition. Although its N64 and PS1 versions didn’t work so well, LEGO racers on PC was a really great experience, especially with friends in local multiplayer. LEGO racers certainly deserves a high spot on this list, even if it’s just for the game’s happily nonsensical main menu theme music.
LEGOLAND: Another beloved classic, LEGOLAND released in 2000 and is essentially just a roller coaster designer clone, but it’s a big one at that. Dropping players into their very own LEGOLAND park, this game asks players to build various LEGO-themed attractions and rides. While the gameplay is almost identical to roller coaster designerits execution is impressive and there are tons of LEGO charms to discover, from minifigures strutting around the park to the unique look of each attraction and set piece.
LEGO Racers 2: Although it is a direct sequel to the first cart racing game, LEGO Racers 2 takes a more open approach to the world, and while it all doesn’t work out, it’s one of the best kids’ games ever made. Released in 2001, LEGO Racers 2 is an awesome game, allowing players to get into their own custom vehicle and drive it freely through a variety of environments. In addition to races, players can participate in a range of side missions and unlock new parts for their vehicle, which can then be customized like in the first game. Its tracks might not be as memorable as the first game, but LEGO Racers 2 is a certified cult classic.
LEGO City undercover: One of the few modern LEGO games to make it this high on the list, LEGO City undercover is a more conventional LEGO game, taking a lot of inspiration from the licensed side of LEGO games. Dropping players into a dynamic open world, LEGO City undercover is one of the best LEGO games out there, with plenty of collectibles, tons of side missions, and a main story that offers enough tongue-in-cheek humor to keep it engrossing throughout.
The LEGO Builder’s Journey: A short but incredibly sweet adventure, The LEGO Builder’s Journey is a beautiful isometric puzzle game that tells a surprisingly deep and relatable story, all without the use of words. As players choose the correct bricks to place to help their characters cross the stage, The LEGO Builder’s Journey manages to hit all the right emotive and nostalgic notes, making it a true standout title.
lego island: The very first unlicensed LEGO game to be released, lego island Holds up remarkably well for a PC title from 1997, developed on a tight budget and aimed at a younger audience. From a first-person perspective, players are dropped onto the titular LEGO Island, where they can freely explore the various buildings and environments scattered around, and play side-activities like racing on a jet ski or catching the infamous Brickster. . lego island is extremely dated now, but back then its graphics and high level of freedom were incredibly impressive, especially for a kids game.
LEGO Island 2: Revenge of the Bricklayer: The sequel to a revolutionary children’s game, LEGO Island 2 released much later, in 2001. Taking the general concept of the first game and expanding on it, LEGO Island 2 puts players in the shoes of pizza delivery boy, Pepper Roni, as he travels the open-world environment, collecting trinkets, playing mini-games, and trying to catch the titular Brickster. LEGO Island 2 is a fun open world title, but it’s very basic.
Island Xtreme Waterfalls: The third entry in the lego island series, Island Xtreme Waterfalls takes the formula and brings it to the next generation of games, using the increased power of the PS2 to produce an even more immersive and interactive LEGO open world. Rather than simply leaving players to their own devices, however, Island Xtreme Waterfalls has a fun set of main missions that see the player take on the role of a stuntman, tasked with getting the perfect shot. Again, it’s not perfect, but Island Xtreme Waterfalls is a very good LEGO game.
LEGO battles: A surprisingly great Nintendo DS exclusive, LEGO battles is an exciting action-strategy title, if not a little too simplistic. Letting players choose from a range of different factions, each based on a different iconic LEGO theme, LEGO battles is charming entertainment and a great introduction to the strategy genre for younger audiences.
LEGO worlds: Ironically a little Minecraft clone, LEGO worlds drops players on an island and tasks them with building whatever they want. Players can discover new items and structures, which can then be added to their recipe book. LEGO worlds offers a fair amount of creative fun and customization, but it pales in comparison to its primary source of inspiration.
Bionicle: Matoran Adventures: A solid Game Boy Advance platformer, Bionicle: Matoran Adventures It may be simple, but its side-scrolling puzzle-platform gameplay is polished enough, and its bright visuals are a real treat for the Game Boy Advance screen. Although its runtime is extremely short, players will likely be smiling throughout the experience.
LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins: A 3DS prequel to the main game, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is a good portable open-world title, but its lack of voice acting is quite shocking, and the whole experience feels a bit lifeless. It’s impressive that it can fit on a 3DS cartridge, but it lacks too many basic features to rank higher.
LEGO Locomotive: After the success of lego islandLEGO started producing sets every few months, and LEGO Locomotive was the first through the door. Released in 1998, LEGO Locomotive is an extremely simplistic version of SIM Citywhich offers great freedom to children, but little to advanced players, with no real goals to achieve.
LEGO chess set: Exactly what it says on the box, this 1998 PC game is a virtual chess game with small LEGO minifigures instead of standard pieces. There’s not much, but LEGO chess set is a fun way to teach young audiences about the classic game, and the addition of LEGO themes like Pirates and Western gives the game plenty of charm.
LEGO Creator: Give players an unlimited number of bricks and an expansive environment to integrate, LEGO Creator was designed to be a virtual experience that mimicked the feeling of pulling out a box of LEGOs and creating something from scratch. While this is certainly ambitious, LEGO Creatorhis lack of goals let him down.
Bionicle Hero: Coming just above its critical predecessor, Bionicle, Bionicle Hero is a disappointing third-person shooter that even Traveller’s Tales couldn’t save. While its visuals are solid for a 6th-7th cross-generational title, Bionicle Hero‘ The gameplay is repetitive and lacks depth. However, the game’s level design is a step above its predecessor.
LEGO brawls: The most recent entry on this list, LEGO brawls is a shameless Super Smash Bros. clone, but it’s not a good one. Featuring fine gameplay, LEGO brawlsThe worst part is its tough performance issues and weird loot system, which requires players to work for hours to unlock any gear that’s really worth equipping.
LEGO Bionicle: Toa’s Quest: The very first Bionicle game to be released, LEGO Bionicle: Toa’s Quest is a pretty below average Game Boy Advance action platformer. With vibrant visuals and a fun story, Toa Quest is unfortunately a bit too repetitive and has very frustrating platforming controls.
football madness: A simplified version of Fifa, football madness is a barebones soccer game that uses LEGO themes to mask its lack of gameplay depth. While it’s a good introductory title to the sport for younger audiences, anyone over the age of seven will likely lose interest in an hour or two.
Runners of the Drôme: Lacking all the charm of LEGO racers series, Runners of the Drôme is another extremely simple unlicensed LEGO game, with dull, repetitive gameplay and little visual variation.
Bionicle: Flagship title of the company in 2003, Bionicle it’s a bit of a mess. As it tries to be an ambitious 3D platformer, Bionicle stumbles at every obstacle, with horrible camera controls, disappointing gameplay, and a ridiculously short runtime.
LEGO friends: A simple social simulator, LEGO friends is a disappointing 3DS game that offers very little gameplay. Extremely short mini-games, no real objective and lack of customization LEGO friends down.
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