Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who wrongly assume that games are bad for you. Just because you enjoy something, doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for your brain. There are plenty of great games out there that can be beneficial for your mind while sharpening up your logic and reasoning skills, as well as helping you to relax and enjoy some downtime.


Blackjack is a casino staple and is one of those games that can get the brain functioning and considering strategy.

The base game of blackjack is one that has plenty of opportunities for building a strategy and making choices and calculated risks. There are also other types of additional ways that people can turn blackjack into an even more advanced game. For instance, side bets can be a great way to make the game even more advanced, they can act as a form of insurance bet in some scenarios, therefore expanding the options and decision making process when you are dealt your hand. That said, blackjack is a game of chance and strategy alone won’t guarantee you a win.


Chess is an ancient game that is associated with smart people all over the globe. It isn’t easy to get to the point where you are legitimately good at this game, so prepare to put the hours in as you work out the best ways to beat your opponents. There are virtually limitless possibilities for a chess game. With all of the pieces moving slightly differently, strategy and rules are bound to test your brain. You need to stay sharp while playing or you will, inevitably, end up in a checkmate situation!

Chess is best played against other humans and, fortunately, with plenty of online chess sites out there and the chances to connect to quality Internet and 4G networks increasing, there are a lot of ways that you can log in and play against others, even when you are on the go.


Crosswords are one of many different word games that do a great job of testing your brain and giving it that extra bit of stimulation. You’re using language skills as well as a bit of creative thinking in many different circumstances.

On top of this, when you choose to play a crossword game, you might also get to try out a cryptic crossword, which means even more potentially tricky clues that really get your brain thinking. Cryptic clues are not very linear, which means you sometimes have to work out a riddle before you even work out the word that you need to fit in.

Some crosswords are more difficult than others and you can find them in magazines and newspapers or specifically buy books full of crosswords.


Whether you’re old enough to remember playing this on a Game Boy or you’ve played it in your browser, or even using retro gaming apps, plenty of us know what it feels like to become obsessed with Tetris. The satisfaction of seeing the pieces fall into place is certainly one of the reasons this game was such a huge success.

Did you know that playing it is actually good for you, too?

Science Daily explains that “Brain imaging shows playing Tetris leads to a thicker cortex and may also increase brain efficiency, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Research Notes.”

Being able to form patterns, plan ahead and get out of tricky situations, as well as thinking quickly, are all parts of the experience when you are playing Tetris. These are all skills that can help in real life and Tetris is a great way to stimulate the brain in this way and start to get your mind working. As we can see from the studies, there is proof of long-term benefits.

Jigsaw Puzzles

You either love them or hate them. Jigsaw puzzles can be infuriating and they can be either far too difficult or far too easy (stay away from the kids’ selection).

However, in a similar way to Tetris, the skills you are using to work out the patterns and fit everything together can certainly start to stimulate your brain and provide you with a little cerebral kickstart when you need it. A good way to keep the mind ticking over on a day off, for instance – and if the thought of messy pieces everywhere drives you nuts, why not try a Jigsaw app?  There are loads to choose from.


There are so many different games that can stimulate your brain. From card games to puzzle games, and even word games. In fact, there are also computer games that can be good for certain skills in your brain, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about playing!