The 10 Best Tetris Builds, Ranked

Getting his start as an intern at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Alexey Pajitnov experiments with the equipment of the computer center in Dorodnitsyn in order to channel his passion for puzzles and problem solving. It was from there that he used his childhood memories of playing with pentominoes to create the first version of his masterpiece, Tetris.


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Teaming up with Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Pokhilko and Dutch video game designer Henk Rogers, Pajitnov formed The Tetris Company, which would license the brand to several developers who wanted to put their own spin on the formula. There are hundreds of versions of Tetris, but some stand out as the best ways to enjoy Pajitnov’s timeless classic.

Updated September 9, 2022 by Casey Lawrence: This list has been updated to include more information and to adapt the content to the current style of CBR.

ten Tengen’s NES Tetris actually outclassed Nintendo’s

Release date: May 1989

Double TETЯIS: The Soviet Mind Game, Atari’s version of the formula was originally released in arcades and granted a port to the Nintendo Entertainment System. This version actually outclassed the version developed by Nintendo with its additional modes that allowed two to play competitively or cooperatively.

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Unfortunately, Tengen lost the console rights to the game, causing this version to be recalled after a short time on store shelves. About 100,000 copies were distributed before the publisher was ordered to destroy what was left. For this reason, the game has become a very rare and valuable collector’s item.

9 Magical Tetris Challenge puts a whimsical spin on an old formula

Release date: November 20, 1998

Magical Tetris Challenge featured a whimsical Disney twist on an old formula. New to this build was the addition of “magic” Pentomino pieces that could sabotage opponents. Although it didn’t make the most of its Disney license, the magic coin gimmick turned out a nice twist, and the game sported a lively and upbeat soundtrack.

The Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color versions are worth checking out, but gamers may be more inclined to check out the latter. The Game Boy Color version was found to be more portable, featured a more expanded single-player mode, and included 8-bit retro remixes of Bionic Commando and Mega Man 3 composer Harumi Fujita.

8 New Tetris provided new features and 4 player action

Release date: July 31, 1999

The competition for Tetris games on the Nintendo 64 was surprisingly steep, especially since two efforts came courtesy of Capcom. However, The new Tetris offered solid content that made it stand out among the crowd.

The new Tetris became one of the first releases to give players a “ghost” of the descending room that indicated where it would land, and it was one of the first to feature a four-player competitive mode. The game also sported sleek background visuals and an electronic techno soundtrack by award-winning composer Neil Voss.

seven Tetris Party used hardware gadgets from the Wii

Release date: October 14, 2008

tetris party sought to take the tried-and-true puzzle formula and make it more social using Nintendo’s motion-based console. Developed by Hudson Soft, the game incorporated the Wii balance board and allowed players to use their Miis.

Unfortunately, with the discontinuation of the WiiWare, JEtris Party became unavailable. Fortunately, an updated retail version of the game called Tetris Party Deluxe came out in 2010, so Tetris fans who still have a Wii and a balance board might want to check it out.

6 Tetris friends allow players to invite their friends

Release date: available in 2008

Developed by Tetris Online, Inc, Tetris Friends was a web browser title that allowed players to invite their friends to online matches with their own custom rules. The game featured a slew of single and multiplayer modes, including survival, marathon, and eight-player competitive matches.

Tetris Friends became notable for being the only officially released version to be supported by Adobe Flash. Unfortunately, when news broke that the software would not be supported, Tetris Friends the days were numbered. As tetris party, Tetris Friends became unavailable to play and closed in 2019.

5 The Game Boy version of Tetris puts the series on the map

Release date: June 14, 1989

The version that made Tetris a household name has remained one of the best releases. While there were versions on the market that featured more content, Nintendo’s handheld device allowed players to take this captivating game on the go. The title was so successful that Nintendo opted to have it packaged with the Game Boy instead of the planned release. Super Mario Land.

Tetris was also the first version to have the famous variation of the Russian folk song “Korobeiniki”. Composed by Hirokazu Tanaka, this recurring tune would make its way into many later releases.

4 Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 adds blue blur to an already awesome hybrid

Release date: December 8, 2020

Just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Puyo Puyo Tetris mixed two good things that went well together. Originally published in Japan by Compile, PuyoPuyo made his Western debut as Dr. Robotnik’s Medium Bean Machine, so it seemed fitting that Team Sonic would eventually receive the keys to the franchise.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris allows players to choose between Tetris, PuyoPuyo, a hybrid or even a mode that constantly alternated between the two. The sequel added a more robust story, new modes, new characters, and even threw in Sonic the Hedgehog for good measure.

3 Tetris DS features new modes and a whole lot of nostalgia

Release date: March 20, 2006

With a lively presentation, new features, and a healthy dose of 8-bit nostalgia, Nintendo has topped its previous portable effort with Tetris DS. A handy new feature to this game was the ability to save a piece for later use, which came in really handy in the Endless Tetris mode.

Tetris DS also incorporates themes, sprites and locations from Nintendo’s most beloved franchises such as mario, Zeldaand metroid. Rather than being part of the background, Tetris DS cleverly integrated these franchises into the gameplay with a Zelda-themed mission mode and a Metroid-themed capture mode.

2 Tetris 99 becomes Battle Royale

Release date: February 13, 2019

With Tetris 99, Japanese developer Akira has incorporated a Battle Royale twist on a beloved classic. A little like Fortnite, Tetris 99 was an elimination-based multiplayer game where players competed against 98 opponents online and leveled up.

Anyone who has played Tetris competitive will be familiar with the gameplay of clearing blocks and strategically sending trash to hinder other challengers. Depending on how players eliminate their opponents, they can earn badges that allow them to send replicas to other players. Tetris 99 is exclusive to Nintendo Switch and free for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

1 Tetris Effect presented something innovative

Release date: November 9, 2018

Named after a cognitive sensation of the same name, Tetris effect is audio and visual splendor that breathes new life into a time-tested game. The core gameplay remains the same, but it features a wide variety of visual backgrounds and music that dynamically change based on player performance.

Its Noboru Mutoh score was widely acclaimed, winning Best Music at the 15th British Academy Games Awards, DICE Awards and SXSW Gaming Awards. The game also received huge acclaim for its use of virtual reality. Tetris effect did what many previous releases failed to do for years: surprise players.

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