There is always something about a video game that sets it apart from others of the same genre.
This could mean adjusting the game’s difficulty or adding new features to appeal to a specific demographic of players.
Here, we’ll examine the most simplistic video games of all time and rank them according to how little of a challenge they present.
In the future, we will add more games to this list, so come back and let us know if we forgot any!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Publication Date: March 20th, 1997
Symphony of the Night is a cakewalk in comparison to the challenging Castlevania games for the NES.
The lack of difficulty presented by its enemies is noticeable despite the high quality of the game’s gameplay, visuals, and atmosphere.
The fact that Alucard’s stats can be improved through leveling up and equipping better weapons makes a big difference.
Date of Publication: June 15, 2018
When played casually with friends or strangers, social deduction games are typically not very difficult despite requiring you to be a good liar.
The fact that even young children can figure out who the Imposter is in Among Us is a big reason why it has become the most popular game of its kind.
Playing with more seasoned players who are adept at deception, however, can significantly increase the game’s difficulty.
The official release date is set for April 20, 2006.
The enhanced kami HD makes Clover Studio’s brilliant action-adventure game, which helped define the PlayStation 2-generation, playable on current-gen consoles.
However, the actual gameplay isn’t as satisfying on a minute-to-minute basis once you get past its fantastic visuals and compelling story.
The ridiculously low difficulty makes battles feel like pointless obstacles that take away from the story.
Lego’s Harry Potter Creator set is the first of its kind.
Since there isn’t much variation in the gameplay between different Lego video games, we figured it would be best to group them all together here instead of highlighting a single title.
They’re typically based on high-profile properties with characters whose abilities and worlds greatly vary, though you wouldn’t be able to tell based on the series’ simple control layout.
Most of the time, all you have to do to complete a challenge is hold down a button for a few seconds while your character magically constructs a random item out of Lego pieces.
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy
The official date of release is 11/13/2018.
Although it’s great to see beloved franchises like Spyro receive modern makeovers, remasters like Reignited Trilogy often draw attention to the games’ dated visuals and gameplay.
Each Spyro game, like many others of its era, is essentially a collect-athon with simple boss encounters and, at most, moderately challenging platformer levels.
Of course, one could argue that the people who played Spyro as kids are now adults and are therefore wise to the traps we fell for in 3D platformers.
On the market as of August 28th, 2018
Donut County, developed by one man, Ben Esposito, is a puzzle game in the vein of the Katamari games in which you take control of a giant hole that consumes everything in its path.
The majority of the puzzles can be solved quickly and easily without much thought or effort, and the game can be completed in as little as one to two hours.
Despite this, it is a hilariously written game that flawlessly implements its concept and provides a fun but brief experience.
Untitled Goose Game
September 20th, 2019 — Date of Release
Despite the fact that the Goose from Untitled Goose Game is the most repulsive bird we’ve ever met in a video game, he doesn’t stand a chance.
Humans may make a big deal out of chasing you down, but their artificial intelligence is so inept that by the time they catch up with you, they’ve already forgotten who you are.
Despite this, the Goose still has a few tasks that call for a deft touch to complete.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Due out on March 20th, 2020.
While the Animal Crossing series isn’t notorious for its difficulty, completing certain objectives, such as expanding your home or catching every bug, fish, etc., does require a significant time commitment.
Of course, you can get around a lot of these problems by cheating by setting your system’s clock forward, but that’s frowned upon in older games.
New Horizons doesn’t punish you for trying to get ahead of the game, but rather encourages you to play it normally by making the grind less tedious and giving you alternative ways to acquire decorations.
Night in the Woods
Date of Publication: 2-21-2017
In terms of challenge, adventure games can be either incredibly easy or incredibly difficult.
As long as you’re talking to NPCs and doing what they ask, Night in the Woods is unquestionably in the former category.
The gameplay in Night in the Woods serves primarily as a vehicle for delivering the game’s gripping story, so this is appropriate.
The Stanley Parable
July 31st, 2011 – Date of Publication
Famous for its charismatic narrator and very “meta” story, The Stanley Parable first appeared in 2011 as a Half-Life 2 mod before becoming its own thing.
You take on the role of Stanley, a mundane office worker who decides to shake up his day by looking into the disappearances of his coworkers.
There is no real way to lose in The Stanley Parable because there is no definitive ending but rather multiple outcomes depending on the decisions you make.
Dropping on August 2nd, 2016
In Abzû, you play the part of a scuba diver who wakes up on the surface of a vast ocean, embarking on an adventure that will take you deep below the waves.
You set out on an adventure to discover the ocean’s ancient technology and atmospheric environments teeming with plant and animal life.
The majority of your time underwater will be spent solving straightforward puzzles and communicating with marine life via sonar.
The Walking Dead: The Game
Date of Publication: April 24th, 2012
A number of popular IPs, including The Walking Dead, served as inspiration for Telltale Games’ recent string of narrative-driven episodic adventure games.
While neither The Walking Dead nor The Wolf Among Us will be remembered for their difficulty, they were arguably the two most popular titles.
Instead, they were supposed to be “choose your own adventure” stories with minimal difficulty beyond basic QTEs that could be played through multiple times.
Due out on February 9th, 2016
The majority of first-person adventure games, especially those classified as “walking simulators,” are not notorious for their extreme challenge.
Games like Firewatch, on the other hand, go for a more immersive approach by introducing you to rich worlds populated by multifaceted characters with distinct histories and traits.
Firewatch has a linear story progression, with a few puzzles and mysteries to solve along the way to the next major event.
August 15th, 2013 — Date of Publication
Since the game’s strengths lie in its narrative and atmosphere, gameplay takes a back seat in Gone Home.
Its puzzles and story are a little more involved than those in other walking sims, requiring you to examine objects and gain access to different areas of the house.
Instead, you have an intense narrative about the ways in which one young woman and her family have evolved over time.
What Remains of Edith Finch
April 25th, 2017 — Date of Publication
What Remains of Edith Finch is yet another walking simulator in which you take on the role of the surviving member of the Finch family as she visits the childhood home.
It has a very interesting plot with lots of twists and turns, but the core gameplay is incredibly easy.
Most of your time is spent going through old bedrooms belonging to relatives and experiencing sequences of memories from their points of view.
Date of Publication: 2-14-2012
Dear Esther is infamous for its sparse gameplay because it was first released as a free mod for the Source engine before being expanded into a full game.
While an elderly man reads you fragments of letters from his late wife, you’re free to roam a deserted island.
Dear Esther is not a strenuous game because all you do is walk around and listen to different things.
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020
Coffee Talk is a visual novel that has received high marks for its varied cast of characters and soothing environment.
You take on the role of a barista at a Seattle coffee shop, serving customers while hearing their woes and joys.
Coffee Talk’s gameplay is superficial, serving primarily to keep you occupied in between interactions with customers.
Kirby Star Allies
Date of Publication: March 16th, 2018
Children and casual gamers who are interested in trying out other Nintendo platformers like Super Mario or Donkey Kong Country are the target audience for Kirby games.
There are many ridiculously simple games in the series, but one of Kirby’s more recent outings is the best.
Kirby Star Allies is as merciful as platformers get, showering you with power-ups left and right and challenging you to take on some of the most inept and easily dispatched bosses ever seen in a video game.
Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee
Date of Publication: November 16th, 2018
The mainline Pokémon games, in particular, have been criticized for being too easy and lacking in challenge for long periods of time.
Since then, things have only gotten worse, with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! removing any remaining challenge from the original Pokémon Yellow.
The Let’s Go games are about as mindless as video games get, with overpowered EXP gains that let your Pokémon level up too quickly, underpowered enemy trainers, and simplified catching mechanics.
Date of Publication: 21 December 1997
Yoshi’s Story, like many other classic games from the ’90s, was clearly aimed at a younger audience.
Its pop-up storybook style and puzzle game-inspired design reflect this, though the game is shockingly simple compared to Yoshi’s Island.
There isn’t a single difficult level here; most enemies and even the larger bosses have predictable attack patterns that can be easily avoided or countered.
Due out on March 21st, 2017
Everything is a world simulator in which you assume control of a wide variety of living and nonliving things, making it the oddest game on this list.
Animals, plants, and trees, as well as entire continents, planets, and star systems, can all be generated procedurally.
Everything’s simplicity stems from the lack of any meaningful objectives or “game over” screen, making it similar to many other entries on this list.
Date of Publication: 2-12-2009
The low cognitive load of relaxing games allows players to focus on other things, such as meditation or contemplation.
Flower is an excellent example of this type of game because it gives you the straightforward task of directing flower petals along a wind current across vivacious levels bursting with natural beauty.
We can’t really complain or criticize the game for its lack of complexity, given the laid-back mood it aims for.
August 8th, 2013 — Date of Publication
Cookie Clicker is a browser/mobile game that is in the genre of “clicker” or “idle” games, which are intended to be played with minimal input from the player.
It’s not right to single out just one clicker game when there’s an entire subgenre devoted to inactivity, but you will find that some are more engaging than others.
There are a variety of cookies to find and upgrades to earn, but the game ultimately boils down to pressing the same buttons over and over again.
Published on November 29th, 1972.
For its time, Pong was a groundbreaking innovation in the video game industry, and it has the distinction of being the oldest game on this list.
The objective of the game is simple: use your paddle to control a block and send the ball into the goal while your opponent does the same.
Even though the game gets progressively harder as you progress (with later levels increasing the speed of the ball), it’s unlikely that you’d find anyone who plays it today who actually finds it difficult.
Barney’s Hide and Seek
Published on June 1st, 1993.
It may seem unfair to put what is obviously a children’s game at the top of this list, but we only ask that you give us a chance to explain ourselves.
You don’t even have to play Barney’s Hide and Seek to win, which is absurd considering the game is a poorly executed attempt at a kid-friendly platformer.
You can kick back and relax while the purple dinosaur does all the hard work for you thanks to the game’s auto-play feature, which activates after a few minutes of inactivity.
Easy: Ninja Gaiden 3
This can’t be right, can it? Hard as nails hack and slash battles are practically synonymous with the name Ninja Gaiden. Unfortunately, Ninja Gaiden 3 threw away the hard work of its forerunners by delivering a watered-down experience that ignored the series’ foundations. Team Ninja’s misguided sequel will feel like a slap in the face to anyone who thought Ninja Gaiden II was too tame. After receiving significant criticism for its weak and simplified marketing campaign, the developer attempted to right the ship with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, but it was too late.
Hard: Donkey Kong Country
TvToPres has a Nintendo Hard section for a reason! Donkey Kong Country, released in the early 1990s, presents itself as a quirky platformer about anthropomorphic gorillas who just want their bananas, but this ride through the jungle is defined by failure. Due to the limited availability of checkpoints, Rare’s classic can be unfairly challenging on higher difficulties. The stages, rather than the bosses, are the main source of challenge, as is typical of platformers. Games in the series have continued the trend of destroying players’ faith in their own abilities.
Easy: Fallout 3
Although Fallout 3 may seem out of place on this list, the hardest parts of Bethesda’s role-playing adventure are found early in the game. While Fallout 3’s open world is meant to be explored at the player’s leisure, the game’s difficulty remains relatively consistent across the board, and enemies rarely acquire superior equipment. Even the story missions are easy, since your companions will do most of the work for you. When you put on the Stealth Armor, the game becomes very easy, and the missions don’t require much strategy.
Hard: God Hand
God Hand, developed by Clover Studio, wastes no time thrusting players into the thick of battle. Gene sets out on a quest to vanquish a fallen angel named Angra, and along the way he must spread justice across the continent using his incredible “God Hand”. God Hand’s enemies are aggressive and will pounce on any mistakes, but the game’s extensive combo system is worth the time it takes to learn and appreciate it. To be honest, the first few hours of God Hand are going to be frustrating and unenjoyable, but once the game’s hiccups are ironed out, it becomes one of the most satisfying experiences ever.
Easy: Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
When compared to the NES games, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a breeze. To clarify, Symphony of the Night is a fantastic action RPG that ranks highly among the series’ best entries, but this does not justify the bosses’ lack of substance as a gameplay flaw. Unlike in previous games, Alucard levels up to increase his abilities, and his foes have a hard time keeping up with him as a result. Those who crave a true test will have to do without protection and go into battle unarmed.
Hard: Crash Bandicoot
The iconic platformer from Naughty Dog has always been challenging, but the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy’s tighter controls only make things worse. Despite the sequels being much more forgiving, the original game still has some of the most challenging levels in any platformer released after the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. N. Sane Trilogy’s “Stormy Ascent” appears to be designed purely to destroy controllers, in contrast to “Slippery Climb,” “High Road,” and “Native Fortress,” which require perfect timing and nerves of steel to complete. The original Crash Bandicoot is a true classic, and the sequels’ more peaceful vibes don’t take away from their overall success.
Easy: Doom 3
Doom is widely regarded as the ancestor of all first-person shooters due to its fast-paced, intense gameplay that challenges even the most seasoned gamers. Doom 3’s monsters, in contrast to 2016’s Doom, feel like little more than moving targets that occasionally tap on your character’s armor. The increased stakes in “Veteran” mode are minimal, and “Nightmare” mode uses cheap tricks to simulate difficulty. Although it was well received upon its release, Doom 3 is now widely regarded as the franchise’s weakest installment.
Hard: Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is one of the very few platform games that can be both extremely difficult and completely balanced. Since AAA developers rarely invest in 2D adventure games, fans must look to the indie scene to satisfy their cravings. While failure is inevitable in Super Meat Boy, frustration was mitigated by Team Meat through the use of shorter levels and nearly instant respawning. When a player fails the grinder more than 50 times, they are rewarded with a brief replay that encapsulates all of their failed attempts.
There is very little we would change about kami; it is a true work of art. Beautiful environments, a unique combat system, and an engaging story make Clover Studio’s nearly 40-hour action-adventure game a must-play. The level of difficulty is the only minor criticism, as Kami can be defeated with little trouble. The simple nature of the battles makes them grow stale over the course of the overlong adventure. One of the PlayStation 2’s defining games was developed by Clover Studio, but the difficulty of acquiring certain weapons and items could be increased.
Hard: The Witcher 2
Sorry, CD Projekt Red folks, but you just don’t seem to get the idea of tutorials. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings begins with an overwhelming information dump that tries to explain too many different concepts, which is unnecessary given that Geralt is already a seasoned warrior with a wide range of skills. Set in the thick of a massive battle, players are thrown into the action without much preparation time and expected to clear an ambush. The tutorial boss in Dark Souls is well-known, but in comparison to the nameless soldiers in The Witcher 2, the Asylum Demon pales in comparison.
Easy: Devil May Cry 2
It’s common for a franchise’s sophomore entry to be its best or worst, but no one saw Devil May Cry’s rapid decline coming. Capcom’s sequel to the astonishingly difficult original took Dante outside and gave his moves extra firepower. Since Ebony and Ivory are effective against so many foes, including most bosses, a player would have to make a concerted effort to fail a mission in order to do so. Thankfully, Capcom took the lessons it learned from the first two Devil May Cry games and increased the difficulty with DMC3.
Hard: Ninja Gaiden
After covering the worst installment in the series, it’s only right to move on to the best. The 2004 release of Ninja Gaiden, which made the jump from 2D to 3D, breathed new life into the hack-and-slash genre. Team Ninja absolutely nailed the combat no matter which version is being discussed! Ninja Gaiden is a testament to what can be achieved when a studio is willing to challenge their player base, as it is much more difficult to master than God of War or the first Devil May Cry. Ryu Hayabusa’s opponents don’t care about theatrics and will attack on sight if they get the chance. Unlike in other games, Ninja Gaiden doesn’t let you cancel your combo in the middle of a fight.
Easy: Dragon Ball FighterZ
Arc System Works, makers of some of the most intense fighting games available, managed to capture the thrilling action of Akira Toriyama’s legendary license in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Multiplayer fights are simple to pick up but difficult to master because of how quickly the tide can turn. Arc System Works gives players plenty of time to level up and completely overwhelm the computer in Dragon Ball FighterZ’s overlong campaign, and the AI offers little resistance. Kid Buu and Frieza might as well be Krillin and Yamcha by the end of the slog.
Microsoft announced the development of a new Battletoads at this year’s E3, but whether or not it will live up to the original’s legendary level of frustration remains to be seen. Rare’s 1991 classic was an interesting enough beat ’em up thanks to its innovative genre-blending, but it featured some nearly impossible platforming sections. Battletoads stood out for its challenging level design and punishing gameplay despite coming from a time full of engaging platformers. Defeats were typically the fault of the player, but Battletoads seemed to take pleasure in defeating players.
Easy: Yoshi’s Story
It was a bit disappointing that Nintendo coddled players with Yoshi’s Story, given that Yoshi’s Island could easily place on the difficult list. The Nintendo 64 version was obviously made with kids in mind, but the game’s short and tedious levels will put off most adults. Yoshi’s Story has stunning visuals thanks to its pop-up storybook art style, but the high quality of the visuals demands equally high quality gameplay. Yoshi’s Story is a game that only toddlers and people who just want to look at pretty colors will enjoy.
Hard: The Lion King
After floundering for a couple of decades, Disney experienced a creative renaissance that brought Mickey Mouse back into the spotlight. Disney took flight after the success of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast in theaters to attempt to dominate the video game industry. The developer was well-known for releasing entertaining but nearly unbeatable licensed games prior to the release of Kingdom Hearts. Although the visuals are impressive, the adaptation of The Lion King was not without its flaws. Controls that were too sensitive, for example, turned Simba into a rock in the shape of a lion that floated around.
Easy: New Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. already had a reputation for temper tantrums before the ridiculous addition of The Lost Levels. New Super Mario Bros. feels like a betrayal of the franchise because Nintendo, in making the transition to 3D, sacrificed the series’ signature difficulty for a greater emphasis on exploration and adventure. There is no debate about who is the most recognizable icon in gaming; everyone agrees that it is Mario. In response, Nintendo has made great strides to relax the tone of the plumber’s exploits, with the exception of New Super Mario Bros.
Hard: Darkest Dungeon
If you’re going to play a game called “Darkest Dungeon,” you better be ready to suffer through hours of misery. It would appear that the future of the protagonist is doomed to be filled with frustration and an abundance of Game Over screens if the title contains the word “dark.” Darkest Dungeon, developed and released by Red Hook Studios, is a “realistic” role-playing game in which the player recruits heroes to explore and ultimately defeat a massive dungeon. Team members can get sick, depressed, and scared while exploring these ruins full of monsters. Since deaths cannot be undone, the risk/reward system in Darkest Dungeon puts players to the test.
Easy: Prince Of Persia (2008)
Do you guys remember when Ubisoft changed the main character and visual style in Prince of Persia and released it under a new name? Fans are split on the platformer because of its stunning visuals that hold up as well as the day it was released, but forgiving gameplay. The lackluster combat in Prince of Persia, which requires essentially no strategy and offers little variation, is the game’s biggest problem, even more so than the fact that the Prince’s companion refuses to let the protagonist fall to his doom. Despite taking some odd detours, Ubisoft kept the difficulty level consistent throughout the original trilogy.
Hard: Far Cry 2
Ubisoft’s most popular series—rarely make things easy on players. Although the Far Cry formula has become stale, the games in the series have never compromised on the quality of their gameplay in an effort to broaden the franchise’s appeal. There is hardly any downtime in Far Cry 5, and Far Cry 3’s first few hours can be intense. When it comes to difficulty, Far Cry 2 is in a league of its own. The antagonists constantly respawn, and the protagonist is constantly on the verge of passing out from malaria. Unlike the subsequent games, Far Cry 2 encourages players to take their time exploring Central Africa.
Easy: Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Kirby games are easy enough for kids to pick up and play that anyone expecting a challenging experience will be sorely disappointed. Kirby’s Epic Yarn provides players with endless blankets and cotton wool if the IP stands for “kid gloves.” Since Kirby can’t die in this platformer, there are no external obstacles to overcome other than his own stubbornness. The goal is not to reach Game Over but to finish each level with as many beads as possible.
Hard: Angry Birds
The mobile market is the very definition of casual, but this is largely due to the fact that its games are optimized for short bursts of play. While the first few levels of Angry Birds are relatively simple and straightforward, the game quickly becomes increasingly challenging as you progress. Since there are over a thousand missions in these puzzle platformers, your experience will not be representative if you breeze through the first dozen challenges. Some of the later levels can be downright frustrating, but Angry Birds has enough depth to keep players engaged.
Easy: Super Monkey Ball 3D
Super Monkey Ball 3D is more challenging than the average game, but historical context is always important when talking about series that have been around for a while. Super Monkey Ball was one of Sega’s most popular games because of its engaging mechanics and sophisticated stage layouts. The controls may appear overly simplistic at first, but mastering them will take a great deal of dedication. Once you get used to controlling the main character, Super Monkey Ball becomes a fantastic adventure. The puzzles in Super Monkey Ball 3D are much easier than in previous installments, which hurts the game’s replay value.
Hard: Dark Souls
Cuphead is to indie run-and-gun games what Dark Souls is to action games. The Dark Souls of platform games is Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. When it first came out, FromSoftwware’s action RPG placed players in a harsh world populated by hostile Lovecraftian monstrosities capable of reducing the protagonist to nothing more than a memory. The Dark Souls community popularized the term Git Gud, which has a longer history than the game itself, to mock newcomers who whine about the game’s difficulty. Are you prepared to hear a controversial view? Due to its skill-based gameplay, Dark Souls is not particularly challenging. Although the adage “practice makes perfect” is trite, it certainly applies to FromSoftware’s masterpiece.
Easy: Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts is a robust role-playing game that hides some of Square Enix’s most challenging encounters in decades behind its Disney aesthetic and silly dialogue. Most players will be challenged by the first game’s frantic rush to defeat the final boss, and Birth by Sleep has a few absurd spikes in difficulty. The bosses in Kingdom Hearts II can be defeated far too easily in comparison to their performances in the original game. While Square did a fantastic job refining the combat in the sequel, the addition of Drive forms negated the majority of the campaign’s challenges by eliminating the need to solve puzzles or traverse platforms. Although Sora’s arsenal was significantly improved, the majority of his foes remained unchanged.
Hard: Jak II
Naughty Dog addressed complaints that the original Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was too easy in subsequent installments. Jak II: Renegade changed many things that were fine in the first game despite the fact that it was well received. Naughty Dog’s sequel is a much more mature adventure that delves into some truly dark themes, with a greater emphasis on combat and weapons. Because it takes Jak so long to acquire the better weapons and tools, the beginning stages can be particularly challenging.
Easy: Asura’s Wrath
Asura’s Wrath hardly cares about defeating the titular character on any difficulty setting unless the “Mortal” gauge is activated. Even if Asura faces foes larger than planets, she can take them out with a few well-placed clicks. Asura’s Wrath is often cited as a spiritual successor to Clover Studio’s God Hand, despite sharing very little with the cult classic beyond a ridiculous plot. Asura’s Wrath is serviceable as an interactive anime, but the combat isn’t deep enough to be more than a passing diversion.
With the Xbox One’s exclusive lineup looking like a wasteland, Cuphead was able to garner a lot of attention. Cuphead may frustrate players who aren’t used to these types of run and gun titles, but that doesn’t mean the praise given to StudioMDHR’s homage to 1930s cartoons is undeserved. Cuphead, full of vitality and activity, relentlessly pursues the eponymous container until it is reduced to a sobbing heap in the corner. The player bears full responsibility for any failure due to Cuphead’s responsive and precise controls.
Easy: Kirby’s Dream Land
The cute fuzzy ball and many other series staples made their debut in Kirby’s Dream Land, released for the Game Boy in 1992. HAL Laboratory accomplished a great deal with the hardware it had. Kirby’s Dream Land is one of the series’ weakest entries because it lacks the protagonist’s signature “copy” ability. When compared to the sequels, Kirby’s first outing doesn’t hold up very well. It’s not a problem if there isn’t enough difficulty when other factors step up to the plate. Kirby’s Dream Land feels more like a demo than a finished game.
Hard: XCOM 2
Launching with an unexpected alien invasion, XCOM: Enemy Unknown has humanity scrambling for a savior. Jumping ahead 20 years, XCOM 2 finds Earth under the invaders’ control and the resistance on its last legs. Mission objectives are more focused on staying alive and reducing casualties than on achieving a decisive victory with a few heroic actions. During the first few hours, newcomers will always feel disoriented. We recommend swallowing your pride and playing on the easiest difficulty setting possible, because XCOM 2 is still no picnic even then!
Pros of Gaming
The pros and cons of video games are still being studied, but some preliminary findings have shown some positive effects from playing video games.
- Enhancement of Mental Capacity
- Ability to think logically and solve problems
- Eye-hand coordination
- Improved speed and precision in making decisions
- A sharper focus on specifics
- Participation in Group Activities
These benefits of video games may help you in your day-to-day life, but they may also be useful in careers that demand a lot of focus and attention, like those of a surgeon, a driver, or a programmer.
These apparent benefits of video games sound appealing at first glance. However, it is essential to keep in mind that if gaming becomes an addiction, the pros can be outweighed by the cons.
The benefits of gaming are as follows. Our full piece on gaming’s positive effects is available here.
Games Improve Cognitive Functions
Brain-boosting benefits of playing video games include:
- Ability to see spatial relationships and place familiar objects within them.
- Enhanced efficiency in processing
- Inference by elimination
- Abilities in mathematics
A 2018 study, for instance, enlisted the help of 170 people. One group of participants were gamers, while the other were non-gamers.
Each group was given the same set of questions and tasks designed to gauge their level of mental acuity. The gaming group outperformed the control group in virtually every category.
Games Improve Problem-Solving Skills and Logic
Puzzle-solving, logic, and other higher-order thinking skills are all put to use in video games.
You, the player, must use your gaming prowess to progress through the game and complete its objectives.
Gamers, because of their extensive playtime requiring problem-solving skills, have more grey matter and better brain connectivity than non-gamers.
The skills you acquire while playing video games might help you succeed in the workplace or at school.
Improved Hand-to-Eye Coordination
Playing video games can help you become more adept at tasks that call for a well-coordinated use of your eyes and hands.
Everything from driving, typing, and other manual tasks to more advanced professional abilities like surgery falls under this category.
A 2007 study involving aspiring laparoscopic surgeons who also played video games confirmed these gains. The study found that compared to non-gamers, surgeons who regularly played video games had improved precision and reaction times.
Faster and More Accurate Decision-Making
One of the many benefits of gaming is an increase in speed and precision in decision making.
Video game players will attest that many titles require you to make snap judgments based on the game’s presented data. In particular, the ability to make snap judgments was honed by playing games with a high pace.
Making a mistake can be costly in some games, especially those that pit you against other players. Action games like Call of Duty, for instance, require quick thinking and decisive action if you want to succeed.
Again, this is a skill that can prove invaluable in many professions, such as the military or the medical field, where quick, well-informed decision-making under pressure is essential.
You See More Detail
There is ongoing discussion about the effects of playing video games on one’s eyesight. Too much time in front of a screen can be harmful to your eyes, according to a few studies. On the other hand, some research suggests that playing video games may help your peripheral vision.
Eye strain, headaches, decreased focus flexibility, nearsightedness, and even retinal damage have all been linked to excessive screen time.
Playing video games, on the other hand, has been linked to enhanced peripheral vision and a general sharpening of visual acuity. Having better eyesight could improve your driving and other visual abilities.
Too much time in front of a screen can be harmful to your eyes, so it’s important for people of all ages to adhere to the guidelines set forth. You can actually improve your eyesight by playing video games, but only if you limit your playing time.
Games Promote Social Activity and Teamwork
Video games are a cutting-edge method of socialization for today’s youth because they encourage cooperation and interaction with other players.
Video games can be a great way to practice working together with others and making new friends because of the cooperative nature of some of them.
Furthermore, several games offer the chance to meet people from all over the world and form bonds with them in ways that are impossible through any other medium.
Negative mental health outcomes, such as depression and social anxiety, have been linked to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Despite the fact that gaming is a social outlet for many people and that making new friends from different cultural backgrounds is possible, it is important to strike a balance between in-game contacts and real-world friendships.
Cons of Video Games
There are positive aspects to playing video games, but there are also negative aspects that could have an effect on your life.
The most widely-recognized drawbacks of video games are:
- Addiction to video games is a real problem.
- Potential for increased hostility
- Games are substituted for real-life issues.
- Gambling is encouraged in some games.
- Mental and physical decline
- Inability to concentrate and focus
The potential positive effects of playing video games are outweighed by the risks of becoming addicted to the medium.
Video Games Can Make You Addicted
The primary and most significant issue with video games is the potential for addiction.
Addiction to digital entertainment is on the rise and is only expected to grow. Approximately 3-4% of gamers worldwide suffer from gaming disorder, a mental health condition acknowledged by the World Health Organization. It is estimated that 90–100 million people worldwide are addicted to video games, out of a total gaming population of about 3 billion.
The intentional creation of an addictive experience is likely a major contributor to the epidemic of youth video game addiction. They’re fun to play right away, and they keep players coming back for more. As an added incentive, regular players may be eligible for bonuses and other perks.
However, the idea of video game addiction is even more convoluted. They play with our minds in many different ways, including:
- Development of our in-game persona, which stands in for actual growth in our lives
- The in-game economy of loot boxes, microtransactions, and in-app purchases is designed to keep you spending.
- Virtual interactions with other players can’t compare to face-to-face interaction.
- Mechanisms within games that mimic gambling environments
When playing a video game becomes compulsive, the negative effects outweigh the positive ones. Your career, personal growth, and relationships will all be affected.
Feel free to use the Game Quitters tools and programs if you or someone you know is struggling with video game addiction.
- Gamer respawning software
- Family recovery system
- Locate a counselor who specializes in treating video game addiction.
- Professional training for therapists is available through INTENTA.
- Participate in our discussion board and peruse our weblog.
Elevated Risk of Aggression
Aggression is a risk factor that has been linked to video games in multiple studies (1, 2, 3).
The studies did find other causes for this aggressive behavior, however. When combined with other factors, playing violent video games may raise an individual’s risk of violent behavior.
The media perpetuates the stereotype that video games are inherently violent and encourage aggressive behavior. But it’s too simple to blame video games for this issue even though they can be a factor.
Many parents have complained that their children become more aggressive and even destructive when they play video games to an unhealthy degree. As a result, parents should keep in mind the importance of making sure their kids play games that are appropriate for their ages and getting them help if they start acting out aggressively.
Games Can Replace Real-World Problems
One of the major drawbacks of spending too much time playing video games is that it can cause one to lose focus on other important aspects of life, such as one’s personal or professional relationships.
You can make mistakes without any repercussions, and there’s a simple way out of dealing with the real world. The problem arises, however, when gamers start to neglect other critical aspects of their real life in favor of gaming as a means of stress relief.
When that happens, it’s probably time to cut back on gaming, find other ways to relieve stress, and get your life in order.
Some Games Promote Gambling
Loot boxes and microtransactions, which are common in modern video games, have been compared to gambling because of the addictive quality they provide to players.
The prevalence of game systems that are similar to gambling can make it easier for those prone to gaming addiction to develop a gambling problem. Children have access to gambling mechanics involving real money in many of these games. Many parents have reported finding hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on their credit cards.
Gamers Can Develop Physical or Mental Health Issues
Problems with both mental and physical health have been linked to excessive gaming, such as:
- Anxiety and melancholy
- Insufficient drive
- Unable to control emotions
- Negative sleep habits
- Putting on fat and losing muscle
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take a closer look; you may want to think about video game addiction therapy.
Lack of Concentration
A gamer’s ability to focus and concentrate on other tasks, like those at school, work, or college, may be hampered by the time spent in front of a screen playing games.
Games require intense focus and precision. But we can only focus for so long at a time, and the more time you spend gaming, the less time you have to devote to other activities.
Individual gamers will have their own unique perspectives on the benefits and drawbacks of playing video games. When used responsibly, gaming can have positive effects. However, too much playtime can have negative consequences.
Always be on the lookout for the negative aspects of gaming, and if you feel any of the negative effects beginning to take hold, consider cutting back or getting professional help.