The 6 Best Match 3 Puzzle Games

If you're into casual puzzle games, chances are you've come across one or two match-3 games throughout your journey. Or maybe a few dozen. The fact is, the sheer number of match-3 titles available makes it hard to separate the good from the bad. But we're here to help. What follows is a list of some of the best that the genre has to offer, from fresh and inventive games to ones that simply take a good thing and make it better. If you're looking to waste a whole lot of time, these games will be more than happy to help.

Puzzle Quest 2 screenshot

Big Fish Games

The first Puzzle Quest was something of a revelation when it first launched in 2007. It managed to merge the same match-3 puzzle gameplay found in games like Bejewleled with an epic sword-and-sorcery role-playing game. It sounded strange, but it worked. Its sequel isn't as evolutionary, but it manages to fix many of the first game's problems to create a much better overall experience.

Platform: Windows

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Fishdom 2 Screenshot

Big Fish Games

With all of the match-3 puzzle games out there, it can be hard to make a game stand out from the pack. Developer Playrix managed to do this with the first Fishdom, with a cleverly implemented aquatic theme that let players decorate their own virtual aquarium. Fishdom 2 offers more of the same, and while it may not be all that original, it's still one of the best match-3 games around.

Platform: Windows

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Match-3 games are, essentially, all the same. You can wrap it up like an RPG as in Puzzle Quest or throw in a virtual fish tank like in Fishdom, but the core gameplay is still the same. Vizati changes this notion. With a new game mechanic that has you moving the grid instead of the pieces, it feels like a fresh take on the concept. It may be a bit on the difficult side, but it sports a terrific atmosphere and fresh new gameplay, so it's perfect for puzzle fans.

Platform: Windows, Mac

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Arcen Games

At this point you'd be forgiven for thinking that you've seen all that the match-3 genre has to offer. From Bejeweled to Turba to Puzzle Quest, it's arguably the most crowded genre in all puzzle gaming. Yet, in spite of this, Arcen Games' Tidalis manages to offer up a fresh twist on the concept, creating an addictive experience that's equal parts challenging and relaxing. And it even has a story.

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Steam

Bejeweled Stars

PopCap Games 

With the success of the Facebook version of Bejeweled Blitz, PopCap Games doubled down with Bejeweled Stars. The game is similar to previous titles in the series; it's a popular mobile app for iOS and Android, as well.

Platform: Android, iOS, Facebook

The Wizard Jewels game from Match3Games runs in your web browser, so the platform doesn't matter — although it'll look better in a larger desktop display than in a mobile browser.

The game is fun, with lovely graphics, although it doesn't like it if you happen to run an adblocker when you try to play.

Platform: Web