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5 Best Brain Training Games of All Time, Ranked

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If you are an avid gamer, you've probably heard this phrase repeatedly: “Video games will ruin your life.” How true this is depends on where you stand. For centuries, games have been used to improve human growth and development. In virtual reality video games, players use creativity, gambit, and memory to beat high scores. The same applies to brain training games. The games were developed for the sole purpose of improving cognitive functions such as memory and focus. So if you'd like to give your mind a workout, here are the five best training games to try out.


5. Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch

Dr Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch - Launch trailer

Test your skills and get to know your brain's age with Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch. The game is the fifth installment of the Brain Age puzzle games, which includes puzzles and mini-games from the prequels. The game is based on scientific research by neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima, who guides players through the game as a giant floating avatar head.

As you commence the game, you will be asked for a few basic details as part of an evaluation to assess your IQ level. The game, which has two modes, Daily Training and Quickplay, features 24 unique puzzles, with which, after completing a series of three, you can test the age of your brain. In daily training, you get access to a few puzzles and can unlock more after solving each puzzle. The latter mode is a self-paced mini-game that players unlock daily.

Unlike its predecessors, players can use the IR sensors on the Joy-con or the gyroscope to complete various tasks, making the game quite a joy to play. Furthermore, players can also compete online in the championship mode using Nintendo Switch Online. However, you can only access this mode every Saturday. The challenge mode gives players two attempts to beat the Daily Training puzzle in as little time as possible.


4. Sudoku

Sudoku Solving Tip - X Wing Technique

Formerly known as Number Place, Sudoku is a logical number game where players must work out where to place digits inside the 9×9 square grid. The 9×9 grid is further segmented into 9,3×3 grids. The game's name is a short expression for the Japanese term, “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”- the numbers are limited to one occurrence.

Players must use their problem-solving, memory, mental flexibility, and planning skills to strategically place numbers in the grid. The rule of the game is not to have a repeat of numbers in each grid. Sudoku is available in varying difficulty levels. For novice players, the first round of the game will have fewer grids and more numbers already outlined. You must count from 1 to 9 and place the digits in the grids strategically. As you progress to more difficult stages, the grids will increase, and you'll have fewer numbers to start with. This can be quite a pickle, but for erudite individuals, it is a walk in the park. The best part about Sudoku is that you can choose to play on a PC, on mobile phones, or go the classical way- play Sudoku on paper.


3. Hitman Go

Hitman GO - Launch Trailer

Hitman Go is a strategy, turn-based puzzle game that forces you to think outside the box. This mind-boggling game is part of Hitman, the video game series, and features the main character, Agent 47. Players must guide the character through a board with grids to complete the mission. To get a high score, players must meet the requirements of each mission. For example, you may need to reach a certain point using a limited number of turns. 

Hitman Go's strategy can be compared to chess, where your opponent antagonizes your every move. Similarly, you have to outwit your opponent. The opponents have distinct moves, such as moving in one direction or remaining static. By learning their moves, you can use them to progress to different levels. You should know that the game's mechanics become more challenging as you level up.


2. Professor Rubik's Brain Fitness

Professor Rubik’s Brain Fitness | Launch Trailer | Microids & Magic Pockets

Boost your memory, visualization, and concentration levels with Professor Rubik's Brain Fitness game. The game is assumed to be a successor to the Brain Age franchise by Dr. Kawashima. With Professor Rubik's Brain Fitness, you get your own dedicated mind coach. The game allows you to train and improve aspects of your mind, such as speed, logic, and memory. Players can enjoy the game in two modes; free or daily training. Free training features a series of self-paced mini-games, while daily training has a time limit. You can also use the local multiplayer mode, which allows you to challenge other players.

As you advance through the game, the levels become more challenging. You will notice that the game also factors in your reading speed and reaction time. If you misinterpret the instructions or react very fast with a wrong answer, you end up with a lower rank. Like in Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch, you will be asked questions as part of your brain's evaluation. The evaluation will then rank your results against a set of archetypes such as memory, concentration, and agility.


1. Minecraft

Official Minecraft Trailer

Test your creative skills with this teacher-approved STEM video game. Minecraft offers players the freedom to choose how to play the game since you have no set objectives to accomplish. The only limit rests within your mind. In this classic sandbox-style game, players can access various elements in cube or fluid forms-commonly known as blocks. These elements represent common earth materials such as lava, water, stone, dirt, or tree trunks. Players can move the items around the Minecraft world or mine them, which then act as building materials. 

When starting the game, players must go through Survival Mode, which requires you to scavenge for resources. The more resources you gather, the better shelter, food, and tools you can construct. Since survival mode also features some nefarious creatures, you may have to craft fortresses and weapons to defeat them. Players must strategize and employ critical thinking skills to progress through the day and keep their character alive. During the night, monsters spawn and appear along your path. It helps to have a weapon such as a sword in hand.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other brain training games you’d recommend ? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!


Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.