Finding the Best Video Games for Seniors – Where to Start and What to Aim For

Seniors want to play slow, simple word games don’t they? Hell no! The best video games for seniors are the same as the best video games for everybody else!

Not convinced?

Let’s have a look at 2 examples:

There is no doubt that our reaction times increase as we get older. However, it’s worth noting 2 key points about this:

  1. Playing video games brings a number of benefits to older gamers. This includes cognitive improvement, so you can reduce the impact of ageing on reaction times even if you can’t stop it!
  2. The fact that your reactions aren’t as fast as they were in your early 20s doesn’t prevent you from being able to enjoy video games.

So, safe in the knowledge that video games can still be enjoyed by older gamers (and are, in fact, actually beneficial) let’s take a look at some of the games that are likely to appeal most.

And don’t worry, if you DO want to play some slow, simple games I’ll mention some of those too!

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1. What are the Best Video Games for Seniors?

Before we dive straight into some recommended games, let’s take a moment to consider how you may narrow down exactly what you are initially looking for.

The best video games for seniors are the same as the best video games for everybody else!

Give consideration to:
* What video game platform best suits your requirements
* What interests you have
* Whether you wish to play with others
* What your starting ability is
* How much the game costs


I’ve addressed the issue of the best video game platform for retirees in another post so take a quick look at that to help with your decision-making.


Do you like sport? There are so many sports-based video games available that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Or fantasy worlds with magic and monsters?

Or combat? Or driving? Or flying?

You get the idea – think about what you like outside of video games as a way to help choose games that may appeal to you.


Are you a team player or a loner?

The rise of the internet in tandem with video games means that it is now easier than ever to play games with friends (new and old) and family without needing to leave the comfort of your own home.

The vast majority of gamers are, contrary to popular belief, pretty friendly and sociable. You can make friends with a gamer online and within minutes be involved in an intense battle where your very survival depends on teamwork with that person.


I’ve been playing video games for more than 40 years (yes, don’t let my youthful good looks fool you, I am that old!). As a result, I usually find it fairly straightforward to pick up most games.

If the full extent of your video game experience so far has been playing Minesweeper during your lunch break then you may have a bit of a learning curve with some of the more complex games.

And that’s OK. As with most things – the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Playing video games is a skill that can be learned.


Sadly, the cost of video games will always be a consideration.

Newly released console games typically cost between £40-60. PC games are similarly priced.

Keep in mind that newly released games will carry a premium – you can usually get them cheaper once they have been out for a while.

OK, let’s take a look at some recommended games.

1.1 Horizon: Forbidden West

Horizon: Forbidden West is the sequel to the hugely popular Horizon: Zero Dawn and puts you in the role of Aloy – potential saviour of the world (no pressure then!).

The main story will allow you to progress through the game at a steady pace, picking up new skills as you go.

You’ll make new friends, and enemies, learn skills essential to your survival (including fighting the aforementioned enemies), solve puzzles, and interact with the mechanised creatures that roam the world.

This really is a masterpiece of a game and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


PS5, PS4


RPG (Single player)


Guerrilla Games

Key Features

* Huge open world environment to explore.

* An enthralling main story plus numerous side quests to prolong your enjoyment of the game.

* A perfect combination of exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving.

1.2 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

I have a confession to make … I did not think that I would like like this game!


Because I remember platform-type games from the 1980s and how incredibly frustrating they could be … spend 10 minutes battling through a particular section, badly time a single jump and … Splat! Back to the start to repeat it all again. Aarrrgghh!!!

However, my brother-in-law lent me the game to try and … I love it! It is nothing like those old platform games and it is, in fact, hugely enjoyable to play. One of those where you just keep going and going until you’ve finished it.

Take a look at the gameplay and visuals in the video below and you’ll see just what a fantastic game this is. Highly recommended.


PS5, PS4


Platform (Single player)


Insomniac Games

Key Features

* Tired of saving the world? Well, this time you get to save multiple worlds as you battle an interdimensional evil emperor.

* Whilst still a platform-type game at heart this game is so much more than that – including puzzle-solving and a combat aspect with incredible weaponry.

* Absolutely stunning graphics.

* A hugely enjoyable romp that will appeal to gamers of all ages.

* Oh, and you get to ride a dragon!

1.3 Super Mario 3D World

This is classic Nintendo gaming at its best with the brand’s iconic characters; Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad.

It’s a platform game but with a 3D Open World element (hence the name of the game). It was initially released for the Wii in 2013 but an enhanced version was released for the Switch in 2021.

It is a hugely popular and highly-regarded game having been nominated for, and won, many awards for Game of the Year.

It is also one of the games used in a scientific study that showed that playing complex video games increased grey matter and reduced the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.


Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii


Platform (Single player and Multiplayer)



Key Features

* Play with the classic Nintendo characters of Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad.

* Play solo or with up to 3 friends (locally or online).

* Engaging platform-type game with sections of both 2D and 3D gameplay.

* Pick your character and then rescue the kidnapped princesses. Simple!

1.4 Forza Horizon 5

One of the best driving games available today. Or even THE best driving game in the opinion of some.

You’ll find that this is one of those games that you can instantly pick up but will want to keep playing to continually hone your skills and get faster and faster. Especially as you are able to compare times with your friends.

This is another game that has been nominated for, and won, multiple awards at the annual Game Awards.

Take a look at the video below and tell me that you aren’t tempted!


Microsoft Xbox (Series X, Series S, One), PC


Driving (Single player and Multiplayer)


Playground Games

Key Features

* Huge selection of great cars to drive.

* Breathtaking scenery in open world landscapes including deserts, jungles, cities, and beaches.

* Lots of events and challenges to keep you coming back for more.

* It even has weather that changes from one side of a map to the other!

1.5 Minecraft Dungeons: Ultimate Edition

Minecraft (the original game) is, by some considerable margin, the best-selling video game ever.

It eclipses other titles that you may be familiar with like Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

Yet, when you first look at it, you may be distinctly unimpressed. For starters, it has graphics that are so blocky you’d think that the game came from the 1980s (or was designed by the makers of Lego!).

So, why is it so popular?

  • Well, addressing the last point first, players actually enjoy the quirky graphics. It gives the game a distinctive look.
  • There is a lot of exploration to do. The player gets to travel around the Minecraft world and find its various treasures.
  • It’s fun! After all, that’s why we play video games, isn’t it?


PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC


Erm … Mining? (Single player and Multiplayer)


Mojang Studios

Key Features

* Explore a huge world and mine for treasure.

* Be creative – Minecraft has a creative mode where you can build … well, just about anything that your imagination permits.

* Incredibly immersive game that will have you investing hours exploring, mining, fighting, building, and meeting other players.

1.6 PGA 2K23

Whether you are a real-life golfer or not, load-up PGA 2K23 and see whether you can beat Tiger Woods! (I suspect you’ll have more of a chance in the game than in real life!).

Be warned though – it’s just as easy to hook and slice in-game as it is in real life!


PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC


Sports simulation (Single player)


HB Studios

Key Features

* Play as one of the top male or female pros.

* Design your own golf courses.

* Personalise your player by applying skill points that you have earned.

* Huge choice of equipment to purchase – more golf balls than you can shake a stick (or golf club!) at.

1.7 Red Dead Redemption 2

This is your chance to play the role of a cowboy in the Wild West.

It’s set in a massive open world with a variety of terrains (from snowy mountains to desert areas) and a large collection of characters to interact with (some friendly, many not !).


PS4, Xbox One, PC


Wild West RPG (Single player)


Rockstar Games

Key Features

* Huge open world environment to explore in the Wild West of the United States.

* Choose whether your outlaw character makes morally good or bad decisions (which will impact how the game develops).

* Learn the importance of having a good horse.

* Use a variety of weapons for combat and for hunting.

* Have shootouts, fist fights, and rob trains.

1.8 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Time to embrace your inner Viking tendencies!

You are Eivor, a Viking, and you have travelled to England to make your home. Of course, you aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms and so there is a lot of combat during your stay.

Despite being a formidable warrior you will also need to embrace your stealth skills if you are to achieve all of your objectives.

The game has been nominated for a number of awards since it’s release.


PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC


Action RPG (Single player)



Key Features

* You play the role of a Viking assassin.

* Wield two weapons at once, including axes and swords

* The actions that you take with your character will determine the way that the game progresses.

* Gorgeous graphics with a 4k display.

* A vast world (well, most parts of England!) awaits your exploration.

1.9 The Last of Us Part I 

OK, first of all, let’s clear up any confusion regarding originals, remasters, and remakes.

The original The Last of Us game was released way back in 2013 on the PS3. A year or so later a remastered version was released on the PS4. And now a remake has been prepared for the PS5.

If you already have one of the earlier versions then it probably isn’t worth getting the PS5 version. But if you haven’t … then you should certainly grab a copy. It is a brilliantly gripping and engaging game that you will thoroughly enjoy.




Action RPG (Single player and Multiplayer)


Naughty Dog

Key Features

* Play as Joel and Ellie as you battle against mutated creatures (and humans!) in a battle to find sanctuary.

* Use melee weapons like baseball bats, stun enemies by throwing bricks at them!, and, of course, use handguns and shotguns when available.

* Online multiplayer mode for up to 8 players.

2. What are the Best Slow and Simple Video Games for Seniors?

Most of the popular video games, like those listed above, have certain elements in them that create a feeling of excitement.

But what if you want something a little more relaxing?

Well, there are games that fit that bill too.

2.1 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The Animal Crossing series of games provide an immersive environment where you live out a virtual life in a given location.

Your virtual life will allow you to be creative, it will provide some simple mental challenges and some opportunities to challenge your coordination skills, and it will provide an opportunity for some social interaction.


Nintendo Switch


Simulation / Adventure (Single player and Multiplayer)



Key Features

* Customise your character, and their environment, and create your own island paradise.

* Make stuff! Find materials and turn them into the items that you want.

* Do stuff! You can do gardening, decorating, and fishing.

* Play with other players on your island or theirs.

2.2 Layton’s Mystery Journey

This game will provide you with lots of puzzles to pit your wits against in order to progress through the game.

If the little grey cells are not exercised, they grow the rust.

Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie’s famous detective)


Nintendo Switch


Puzzle-based Adventure (Single player and Multiplayer)



Key Features

* Latest game in the classic Professor Layton series.

* Hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of puzzles to solve.

* Simple, intuitive menu of controls.

* Play on Switch screen or on your TV – letting you involve other members of the household in the game.

3. Chip Shortages and the Secondhand Market

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an increased demand for video game consoles (lots of people forced to stay at home) and a reduced supply of the components used to make them (people at chip production factories also at home).

As a result, if you don’t already have your gaming hardware sorted you may find that there are waiting times for buying it.

What you could do, if you have no aversion to used goods, is to look for second-hand items instead.

A bargain-priced PS4 might be enough to satisfy your gaming needs until supplies improve again.

Or you could go really retro and look for a Nintendo Wii with a copy of the Wii Sports game.

Keep your wits about you – don’t go paying over the odds as there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there looking to take advantage of the situation!

4. FAQ

Is it beneficial for seniors to play video games?

Yes, it is.

Studies have shown that playing video games helps with improved memory, social interaction, mental well-being, cognitive improvement, mobility and balance, and has the potential to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

What's the best video game platform for retirees?

If you want to play on the move then either the Nintendo Switch or your mobile ‘phone will be the best bet.

If you don’t, then you are looking at a console or PC. Gaming PCs tend to be very expensive so, in terms of cost, consoles are preferable. From the current generation of consoles, the Playstation 5 (PS5) is usually regarded as the best choice but is only slightly ahead of the Xbox Series X from Microsoft.

Do you get worse at video games as you get older?

Well, our reactions, a key component in gaming, start to get slower from around the age of 24. So, if you are 74 then that 50-year age gap will give an advantage to a 24-year-old if you challenge them.

However, the decline in reaction time isn’t so great that it prevents you from being able to play video games in later life. And, as an added bonus, the simple process of playing video games can actually reduce the rate at which the decline takes place.

So, keep playing!

5. Conclusion

OK, let’s have a quick recap of the games listed:

Game titlePlatformGenre
Horizon: Forbidden WestPS5, PS4RPG
Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartPS5, PS4Platform
Super Mario 3D WorldSwitch & WiiPlatform
Forza Horizon 5Xbox , PCDriving
Minecraft DungeonsPS4, Xbox One, Switch, PCMining
PGA 2K23PS5, PS4, Xbox, PCSports
Red Dead Redemption 2PS4, Xbox One, PCRPG
Assassin’s Creed ValhallaPS5, PS4, Xbox, PCRPG
The Last Of Us Part 1PS5RPG
Animal Crossing: New HorizonsSwitchSimulation
Layton’s Mystery JourneySwitchPuzzle

Where should you start?

Well, keep in mind that these are just my suggestions for what are the best video games for seniors. If you ask a dozen video game players you’ll likely get a dozen different lists of suggestions.

Think about the introduction to the first section and the consideration factors: platform, interests, social aspects, starting ability, and cost. Then just pick one and evaluate it – if you don’t like it then try another genre.

Go on, give it a go!

About Richie Sills

Richie is the owner of the Retiring Richie blog. An economics graduate and chartered taxation adviser, he has worked in the tax industry for over 30 years. By day he saves tax for his clients - by night he helps people plan for a happy retirement. Why not join them?

14 thoughts on “Finding the Best Video Games for Seniors – Where to Start and What to Aim For”

  1. I wrote an article, I think last year, about gaming and how it could affect your mental health. In that article I talked about two retirees who loved to game and has their own YouTube channels. I would say gaming is for anyone of any age, but if you want to enjoy it, it should be a genre you love. What’s the point in playing a game you don’t like or have no interest in? That’s just a chore

  2. This is such a great and comprehensive list! I really like that you quoted Hercule Poirot in this article. You are right, those little grey cells can be stimulated by gaming!

  3. You’ve done a wonderful job breaking down these games, Richie! Understanding what games suit your interests and starting ability are important points for finding the perfect game. I love Super Mario and The Last of Us, super excited to see these included in the list!

  4. This is such great information for finding the best video games for seniors! Thanks so much for sharing all this!

  5. What a great guide to help find the best video games. This post will be so helpful not just for older people too. Thank you for sharing your suggestions.



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