A Look at the Top Games That Exercise the Brain - The Evesham Observer

A Look at the Top Games That Exercise the Brain

Evesham Editorial 19th Dec, 2023   0

Who says gaming is solely recreational? Today, the gaming industry is one of the most expansive forms of entertainment in the world. From first-person shooters to battle royales to social deduction challenges, there’s always a new type of game and innovative developer on the horizon. As such, gamers have more access to unique titles than ever before.

The idea that gaming is only designed to entertain is a misnomer. In fact, the rise of gaming has led to gamification in multiple realms, from marketing to education. But even beyond the scope of gamification, games can help impart wisdom, critical thinking, and other types of skills to players. Though not labelled as educational, dozens of popular games offer players the chance to exercise their brains—even while relaxing.

But which games tend to train the mind the most? And what sorts of skills do they impart?


Blackjack is one of the world’s most ubiquitous casino titles. This card game can be found in virtual settings on platforms like PokerStars Casino, as well as in brick-and-mortar casinos around the world. One reason this game remains so popular is that it has a lower house edge, meaning players are able to use mental skills to gain an edge on the dealer. These skills include probability and deduction. By evaluating their own cards, the dealer’s cards, and other players’ cards, skilful blackjack players can use probability to inform their decisions. This helps train the brain to analyse complex problems quickly and efficiently.


The Civilization franchise recently continued with Civilization VI, often written as Civ6. The most recent release in this strategy franchise challenges players to create and foster a civilization at the start of written history. Based on real-world research and historical data, players must establish themselves as an emperor—which includes highly complex challenges like diplomacy, waging war, pioneering new technology, and taking on other empires. Given its complex and multi-pronged demands, Civ6 fosters the brain’s strategic thinking skills, including short-term and long-term strategic planning.


This puzzle game is one of the most imaginative on the market. Unsurprisingly, it challenges players to plan their way out of an evil, AI-driven laboratory. But they only have a portal gun to use, which creates a looped entry-exit with two portals. Sound a little complicated? Each level in Portal gets progressively more difficult, but they can also be solved in multiple ways. This fosters logical and creative problem-solving skills, as players must combine their analytical abilities with imaginative solutions if they want to succeed.

DOOM Eternal

Those who have been gaming for years might be surprised to see DOOM Eternal on this list. This game is known for being extremely fast-paced, requiring players to gun down demons as they infiltrate new levels of a hellish lab. It’s gory, quick, and involves relentless action—which is how it taps into the brain’s cognitive abilities. To succeed in this game, players must be able to use tactical strategy and split-second decision-making. In other words, they must navigate complex maps and skirt challenges while simultaneously taking down powerful enemies quickly. Think of it like next-level multitasking, which will help your brain handle copious amounts of input and process this information quickly and accurately.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Enter one of the world’s most expansive and immersive simulation games. Microsoft Flight Simulator has been around for decades, allowing players to learn the basics of piloting and explore the world. In fact, the latest MFS release includes highly realistic depictions of cities around North America, where players can take off and land their aircraft. However, the most useful skill that players will learn is how to actually manoeuvre and pilot various planes, helicopters, and more. That’s right—all the information imparted in MFS is factual, crafted by developers and pilots alike to make this game incredibly realistic. That means players will be literally learning a new skill that might one day translate into helping them earn a piloting license – though they’ll still need to attend an official course.

Written by Mr Shoaib Anser


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