For a game that is nearly 40 years old, Tetris continues to surprise new and old gamers alike as an enjoyable way to pass the time in classrooms, bedrooms, and offices worldwide. With simple but gripping gameplay, Tetris has been ported to almost every platform imaginable—even a soldering iron of all things.
If you want to play Tetris on something more usable, modern versions of Tetris continue to be released on various platforms including on PC, mobile, and console devices, and with online and multiplayer versions available. To help you decide, here’s a shortlist of six of the best versions of Tetris you can play today.
If you’re struggling to find alternative versions of Tetris to play, open up your web browser and head to Tetris.com. This is the official, online version of this popular puzzle game, run by The Tetris Company which operates the license for Tetris worldwide.
This HTML5 game is modern, fresh and easy to play, and should be familiar to anyone with even a passing familiarity with Tetris. Just hitting the Play button will start a new game, using your keyboard arrow keys to move each piece left or right, or down to speed up the descent.
To immediately place a Tetris piece, you can use your mouse click to place it in position. Controls can be modified from the Options menu while the game is paused.
It’s an otherwise fairly simple Tetris game for the web, with a personal scoreboard to see how well your gameplay progresses. If the definitive Tetris experience is what you’re looking for, then Tetris.com is the game for you.
Until recently, Electronic Arts held the license for Tetris games on mobile. That license has since expired, with EA removing all EA-published Tetris games from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. To fill the gap, Tetris by N3TWORK Inc is the new and official Tetris game available for mobile devices.
Like the Tetris.com HTML5 game, this official mobile Tetris game offers the traditional gameplay you’d expect. The game is crisp and appealing to play, with easy-to-use touch controls suited for mobile gameplay. Swiping left or right will move the pieces from side to side, swiping down will place it, and a single tap will rotate it.
You also have a leaderboard, where your gameplay scores will rank. You can also theme the game with different colors and backgrounds, including the default futuristic theme, as well as others like a Gameboy-style 8-bit theme.
Tetris on mobile is free, with ads shown to cover costs. You can pay a one-off fee to disable ads, costing $4.99 with an in-app purchase.
Nobody expected Tetris to suddenly start flying off the shelves yet again, but that’s exactly what happened with Tetris 99 for the Nintendo Switch. Mixing the popular Battle Royale gameplay style made famous by Fortnite, Tetris 99 pits you against 99 other Tetris players in a winner-takes-all battle to become the winner.
It follows the same principles of traditional Tetris, where you have to place falling Tetris pieces to fill the board. Unlike traditional Tetris, Tetris 99 allows you to send other pieces onto the boards of other players as a form of attack. You can see the grids of each player to the side as gameplay continues, with either you or the AI choosing your targets.
Each successful game gains the player experience points (XP) for bragging rights. An add-on DLC called Big Block takes the game even further, with a CPU Battle mode that allows you to play against 98 AI players, as well as a “marathon” mode to see who can play Tetris the longest.
Tetris 99 is one of the most innovative versions of the Tetris game for years. If you have a Nintendo Switch and you’re looking for easy and competitive Tetris gameplay, this should be on your shopping list.
Another innovative Tetris game to hit the market is Tetris Effect, available on Windows PCs and the PlayStation 4 console. Created using Unreal Engine 4, this Tetris game comes with virtual reality support, allowing you to play Tetris on VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.
The basic gameplay is rooted in traditional Tetris, moving your pieces to fill the Tetris board. Tetris Effect builds on this, however, with new gameplay modes that allow you to play multiple pieces and clear up to 23 lines at once (although this is exceedingly rare).
The game also comes with various themes and high-quality sound effects, as well as different user levels that unlock new gameplay challenges. As single-player Tetris games go, Tetris Effect is definitely unmissable.
For multiplayer Tetris gameplay in your browser, you’ll need to look at Jstris. Consider this Tetris clone as a smaller version of Tetris 99, where you play against different users and can view their boards on your screen in real-time.
Like Tetris 99, survival is the aim of the game. The longer you hold out, the better your score, with the longest-surviving player (with the highest score) winning. There are various different gameplay options on offer, as well as a leaderboard that pits you against all other Jstris users.
You can also try your hand at different Tetris boards with different lengths, speeds, and obstacles, as well as design your own board for others to play.
Jstris has formed into one of the biggest online Tetris game communities, with a Discord server that allows you to chat with other Tetris fans.
If you want to try something a little different, give Puyo Puyo Tetris a try. This Tetris game from SEGA combines Tetris with the Puyo Puyo franchise, mixing the two styles of gameplay together.
There are various gameplay modes that bring different elements of both Tetris and Puyo Puyo gameplay into the mix, with the option to play individually or with up to four local or online players. You can also play with AI players.
There’s even a gameplay story mode, placing Puyo Puyo Tetris into the wider Puyo Puyo gameplay franchise. If you’re not a fan of the Puyo Puyo style of gameplay (with individual rounded Puyos as pieces, rather than Tetris blocks), then you can switch to a more traditional style.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is available on the Steam Store for Windows, as well as for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch players.
Classic Gaming Reinvented
These modern versions of Tetris games prove that classic gaming is sometimes hard to beat. If you’re looking for other casual classics, you can play the best versions of Solitaire on Windows or ditch the classics completely by getting started on Steam or another PC gaming platform.
Is Tetris still your favorite, or do you prefer something a little more modern? Let us know your favorite casual games in the comments below.