9/29/2021 | By Kari Smith

Video games may have a reputation for only appealing to young folks – but many are designed for individuals of all ages! In fact, there are some that even benefit older adults. So, what games are good for seniors? We’ve highlighted some of the best video games for seniors below.

Video games sometimes have the age-old connotation of a teenager staring blankly at a brightly lit screen, motionless for hours except for his fingers rapidly moving on a controller. Fortunately, video games these days can be social and interactive, and are enjoyed by players of any age.

Although balance should be practiced in any activity, playing video games can be a fun way of passing the time, stimulating the brain, and keeping the player engaged. Additionally, keeping the mind active can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Gaming consoles and controllers can be costly, but you do not need a large screen or expensive equipment. Many games are available for laptop or desktop computers, lightweight handheld devices, or even your smart phone. Plus, secondhand consoles are often available, since some gamers tend to purchase newer technology and sell older hardware.

Choosing socially interactive games can help stave off loneliness, boredom and depression and can provide an easy connection to friends and family. If your senior loved one lives far away, choose a video game that allows for virtual social interaction, although you should always exercise caution when entering personal information online. Have a tech-savvy loved one help with initial setup if necessary.

So put that tattered crossword puzzle book down, and check out some of the best video games for seniors.

Words with Friends

If you love Scrabble, but don’t have anyone close by to huddle over the board with seven letter tiles, Words with Friends is a great option. Bonus: if you don’t want to wait for a friend to make their move, play in solo mode. This free game is a great way for loved ones to stay in touch, to keep your mind working, and to sharpen your vocabulary skills.


This version of Solitaire offers a senior-friendly experience bold, clear graphics and large, easy-to read cards. Even better – there are no ads to distract from your play.

Animal Crossing

The routine of playing certain social simulation games can be helpful in aiding with depression – especially for those who are unable to leave their residence due to health or mobility issues. In addition to being a fun escape from reality, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing encourages creative thinking skills and social interaction.

In this game, the player becomes a character who fishes, hunts for fossils, plants, and collects items along with fun, human-like animal characters in the village. Animal Crossing was first released in 2001 as a Nintendo 64 game, but in the two decades since its inception, there have been several spin-off versions made available on a variety of gaming devices.


Minecraft is not just for kids; it’s, in fact, one of the best video games for seniors! Think of online LEGO-building, but with the option of way more than the bin of bricks you had growing up. In this game, you can design, and be as creative as you want. You can also play in “story mode” if you prefer to have a story line to your video gaming experience.

This is a 3-D strategy game that may help improve your memory and coordination. Best of all – if you have a child or grandchild that plays, this connection may be a great way for them to teach you something and play along with you. It is available on many different platforms – including your computer.

Gaming system: Nintendo Wii

Arguably the best gaming system for older adults thanks to its physical exercise aspect, the Nintendo Wii uses motion-sensing technology and on screen-simulations to physically engage in game with lighter impact.

Play tennis or baseball, or go golfing. You can even add a second controller for a little friendly competition with a roommate, or even connect your Wii to friends online. There are additional games and options such as Wii Fit, Just Dance, and other options to best fit your preferred choice of physical activity.

Try a variety of the best video games for seniors

Choosing your first video game will be based on skill. No matter your age, starting a new activity typically means starting with a beginner level. Once you begin to improve, your world will open up to the vast possibilities available. Look for a game that piques your interest. Are you a musician? Try Guitar Hero. Do you enjoy fantasy or role-playing games? Try World of WarCraft. Do you miss golfing with friends? Try PGA Tour.

The things that you used to enjoy doing may very well still be available to you in the form of video games. Play 30 minutes to an hour a day to beat boredom, sharpen your skills, and exercise your body and mind.

Related: The 6 Best Zoom Games for Seniors

Kari Smith

Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming.

Kari Smith