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Every Professor Layton Game, Ranked (According To Metacritic)

Professor Layton has struck a chord with many considering his reign over the 2000s-2010s Nintendo-scape. Here are the best games from Metacritic.

Everyone’s favorite professor-of-wits, Professor Layton has struck a chord with many considering his reign over the 2000s-2010s Nintendo-scape. The kind-hearted, beady-eyed, and top-hatted gentleman has stayed with many thanks to his heroic, humble personality as well as the charm of the games themselves. Over the span of the nine Layton games, gamers follow Professor Layton with his loyal protege, Luke, or those who also happen to be related to the professor.

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Amassing hundreds of puzzles that appeal to all sorts of learners and thinkers ranging in challenge level paired with memorable cutscenes, art direction, game design, and storytelling, it’s no wonder the Layton title has garnered such success and cult followings.

9 Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – 73

Following up the legendary Professor’s journey is that of his daughter Katrielle Layton, who is searching for her father after he goes missing. Though this is the latest game entry in the series and can be considered a spinoff, many were left with the feeling that the game at best was satisfactory, playing on the Layton-game formula without necessarily evolving it. The story was not quite as striking, as players definitely seemed to miss the original protagonist’s presence. “…the storytelling is sub-par for Layton standards, the puzzle design is what you can expect from the long-running franchise,” states 4Players.de. Nonetheless, there is still charm and fun to be had in many of the characters, including its fresh-faced protagonist detective and art direction.

8 Layton Brothers: Mystery Room – 75

The spinoff game is stated by many as a fine stand-alone experience separate from the Layton games, framed around Alfendi, the son of Professor Hershel Layton, and his excitable Luke-Esque counterpart Lucy. While the story may not match up to its iconic predecessors, players have complemented its simple design as more of a mystery game on IOS than a puzzle game, which largely differentiates itself from the older games.

7 Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney – 79

The beloved crossover is held by many as one of the best Nintendo puzzle games have to offer. Enjoyable to both fans of the Layton series and Ace Attorney, most of its reviews are positive. Players have complimented the game on its puzzle content, story, and length.

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Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a great pairing that makes for an addictive game,” states critic Modojo. The two worlds’ combined styles mesh together in synchronicity, not too absurd or on-the-nose in its inclusion of fantasy.

6 Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy – 81

In the last and emotional installment of the main Professor Layton series‘ canon and the Professor Layton prequels, we see a younger Luke, Layton, and Emmy as they travel the world investigating a “living mummy” and the history she reveals about the old world. The 3-d animation is sharper than that of The Miracle Mask and the cutscenes are just as exciting and motivating. The art direction and settings are even richer than before, yet it stands as the lowest-rated in the series canon as the story gets to be a bit overdramatic in the attempt to shake its players as entries such as The Diabolocial Box or The Unwound Future have in the past.

5 Professor Layton and The Miracle Mask – 82

The first Layton game to be released on Nintendo’s 3Ds, The Miracle Mask is one of the most exciting and action-packed entries in the series. The characters are memorable, the mystery is infatuating, and the setting is fun as players investigate a lively city that involves much fanfare. The pacing is perhaps the best in the entire series. However, many players felt the early 3-d animation was somewhat of an eyesore as characters came out chunky and without as much detail as when they were previously illustrated in gameplay.

4 Professor Layton and The Last Specter – 83

A stranger installment in the Layton series, The Last Specter stands as the first of three prequel games. The player follows Luke and Layton a few years earlier as they meet, and their relationship blooms.

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The main cast is also joined by Emmy, the Professor’s assistant who doubles as a martial artist and photographer. While it is one of the more forgettable storylines and settings, the comfort and style still brings the typical Layton charm and experience to the table.

3 Professor Layton and The Diabolical Box – 84

Following The Curious Village’s notoriety, The Diabolical Box is the strong official second entry in the series. Framed around spooky circumstances and a darker mystery, one of Professor Layton’s cohorts are suspiciously left for dead in cold blood. Determined to find out what the man had to do with ominous clues left behind, Layton and Luke come across one of the most ambitious plot threads that involve many twists and turns. The game also marks the beginning of the Layton games’ tendency to aim for an emotional core.

2 Professor Layton and Luke in The Curious Village – 85

Here, the investigative duo finds themselves in a strange village and amongst many an odd character in the first entry of the series. This game also involves some of the most difficult puzzles in the entire series, many of which forced players to look up gaming guides.

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The aesthetic, story-book/manga-esque art direction brought comfort to all who inevitably became addicted to solving riddles to get the next odd, exciting cutscene.

1 Professor Layton and Luke in The Unwound Future – 86

Undebatably the best game in the series, The Unwound Future involves all the Layton-isms and improves them simultaneously. Everything from the cinematic soundtrack, cutscenes, puzzles, and art direction is spot on, flush with detail and care. What holds this game up above the others is its incredible story, as much about Layton himself is kept a mystery until tragedies in his past are evoked, making this a tear-jerker of a game. The memorable ending is epic and heart-wrenching, leaving fans wanting to see more from the beloved characters and prompting its creators to continue the story with three more prequels.

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