Those of us who have reached advanced adulthood probably remember when video games first started appearing in family living rooms.  Whether it was the analog black and white Pong with the dials, the seemingly advanced Atari game system, or the later Nintendo, many of our childhoods were spent in front of cathode ray tube televisions with these visual treats.  While current video games, such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, probably make many adults cringe, there are some interesting games on the market that appeal to more mature adults.  Many of these video games are interactive and, better yet, they can be good for you.

We’ve heard for years that video games are terrible for your health and well-being.  Well, research in recent years is proving that the precise opposite is true.

In fact, studies are finding that playing video games helps processes like as hand-eye coordination, auditory perception, and decision making

When it comes to seniors, the results are even more encouraging.  Studies are also concluding that participation in video game play helps older adults with such things as improved heart rates, and improved performance on tests of memory, reasoning and cognition.  Now that we know playing video games provides some benefits to adults, choosing the best ones becomes a challenge.  As there are millions of games on the market to choose from, we’ve selected just ten that are excellent choices for adults and older demographics.

1) Minecraft

Minecraft

Since its launch in 2009, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most popular video games.  This intricate world-building game allows users to create homes, cities, and entire virtual worlds using 3D textured cubes.  Minecraft has caught on as both an educational tool and as a virtual design space.  The gameplay is fun too, and the endless possibilities with Minecraft are what makes it a top pick for gamers of any age.  The game is available for play on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and PC.

2) L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

There’s nothing like adding a bit of nostalgia into a video game to add to its attraction.  This is just one of the elements that Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire brings to the table.  Set in the post-war boom of 1947 Los Angeles, the game centers around one LAPD detective, Cole Phelps.  Phelps is tasked with weeding out corruption, and the player gets to go through the motions of investigating clues, collecting evidence, and solving cases.  The game is available for play on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

3) SimCity Creator

SimCity Creator

Similar to Minecraft, but nowhere near as expansive, the SimCity games have been popular choices for many years as they bring out the player’s creative side.  In SimCity Creator, you are the mayor of the city you create.  You can choose the style of your city, its size, and contents. Once it is built, it will be up to you, and your assistants, to properly manage it from such potential threats as earthquakes and even monster attacks.  The game is available for play on Wii and DS.

4) Journey

Journey Game

If you see life as something of an adventure with an underlying meaning, you may want to check out thatgamecompany’s interactive game, Journey.  A sort of parable, the player controls the main character’s life passage as they approach their ultimate goal, which is to travel through a desert world to get to the mountains.  Along the way, the character has interactions with others, faces many adventures, and learns lessons about purpose.  The game is available for play on PS3 and PS4.

5) Portal2

portal2

Puzzle games like Sudoku are increasingly popular with adults, and these types of mind games can make for enticing video game play.  Portal2 is the latest incantation of this popular game from Valve Corporation that has been called ingenious, a masterpiece, and one of the best games ever made.  The game combines adventure with puzzle-solving to get past obstacles and dangers in an ever-expanding story.  The game is available for play on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

6)The Elder Scrolls V-Skyrim

Elder Scrolls

Some game players, even novice ones, yearn for those incredibly intricate virtual worlds where it seems anything is possible.  In that case, the mature experience of Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V-Skyrim may be a perfect choice.  This action role-playing game takes place in a swords and sorcery setting, and the game has over 60,000 lines of dialogue, allowing players to explore deeper subjects such as religion, racism, and much more. The game is available for play on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

7)Fez

Fez

Another puzzle game of sorts, Fez is considered one of the most unique games on the market.  Former players of the old Nintendo system may feel almost nostalgic with this one, except for its interesting twists.  As the player moves through a platform, they have the ability to rotate the entire world on four axes, giving new options for tackling each level and moving forward.  The game is available for play on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and PC.

8) One Chance

Onechance

One Chance is a unique one-player game that is available on PC, and that is free for one player.  The game’s premise is that the Earth is in its last week before destruction from a deadly pathogen. One of the scientists who accidentally created the problem has a series of choices between finding a cure and being with his family.  Players get just one chance to make each choice in the game.

9) War Thunder

Spinner Warthunder

A World War II strategy and adventure game, War Thunder puts players in the midst of the action.  Players have the ability to undertake missions involving actual battles with over 600 historically accurate ground vehicles and aircraft: tanks, fighters, bombers, anti-air vehicles, and attackers.  All players can enjoy the game regardless of experience. The game is available for play on PS4, Mac, and PC.

10) World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft All

The ultimate in the world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), World of Warcraft has been going strong since its release in 1994. With over 5.5 million subscribers, you can be assured that there are plenty of adults and seniors in this demographic that will welcome you into the fold should you choose to dip your toes into this vast fantasy world.  WoW runs on both PC and Mac, requiring strong internet access, and is not a console game.

That’s a wrap…

All of the games listed are cognitive in nature and designed to engage the player in a variety of different ways.  Some of the puzzle-solving games will allow players to retry and an infinite number of times while the role-playing games provide walk-throughs to assist with navigation.  If you’d like to get more physically active by using video games, you may wish to consider purchasing a Nintendo Wii.  The graphics aren’t as stunning, but you can bowl, play tennis, and work your muscles more than you would with Minecraft or Fez.  Regardless of which route you choose to take, the benefits of gaming as an adult are indisputable so don’t be afraid to take the leap, even if you haven’t touched a console since the age of Atari.

What did we miss? As an adult, are there any games you really enjoy that’s not listed?