6 Critical Thinking Skill Games

As internet speeds have grown quicker and more reliable, online games have developed to become more complex and more difficult. Whether playing on a desktop PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, millions of adults now enjoy challenging themselves online.

For some, it’s about the distraction or sense of achievement, for others, it’s about finding ways to stretch mental muscles. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying online games that get you thinking are more popular than ever before.

But, what are the best games to play if you enjoy challenging yourself with strategic and critical thinking? Here is a brief list of some of the most interesting and entertaining examples of Critical Thinking Skill Games available today.


Traditionally printed in newspapers and magazines with results revealed in later issues, crosswords have been a staple for decades. With the move online, these puzzles can now be enjoyed on demand by players all over the world.

Crosswords come in two forms, one that offers “simple” general knowledge questions and one which gives more abstract cryptic clues. Each challenges the brain in a different way, but both can be incredibly engaging and entertaining.


In terms of card and casino-based games, poker is as close to perfect as they come for getting you thinking. Statistics, mathematics, strategy, and psychology all come into play when taking part in either the offline or poker game online.

Through trusted and innovative providers like 888 Poker, a huge and diverse new audience has grown for this classic game. While it can be played online for free, the added jeopardy of competition helps focus players on poker’s many challenges.

Poker requires thinking from many angles including an awareness of probability and a reading of the play and the people. It’s also absorbing, entertaining, and can even be social, meaning players are not only thinking hard but enjoying themselves too.


A wide variety of apps and online providers offer both official versions and unofficial variations of the word game, Scrabble. Trying to win by forming the highest scoring word from a random selection of letters is a fantastic mental challenge.

Scrabble is a game that can be played over a long period of time, either against AI or real-life opponents. Having an opportunity to grow vocabulary while being both competitive and social attracts large numbers of wordsmiths to Scrabble-style games.


Though it has been around since the 80s, Sudoku found a new lease of life in online and mobile gaming. A brain game online that consists of completing predetermined patterns of numbers using minimal clues, this is a challenging game with wide appeal.

The beauty of Sudoku is that it can be enjoyed in short bursts, with games taking just a few minutes. Alternatively, it can be enjoyed at a more relaxed pace, with players completing games slowly over extended periods.

Brain Training Games

While Luminosity is probably the best-known example today, it’s just one example of a huge range of “brain training” games. These employ a variety of simple tests and tasks scientifically designed to exercise certain functions of the brain.

Whether you’re developing memory, logical thinking, concentration, mental agility, or observation skills, brain training games offer a workout to suit. Usually delivered in a series of daily, bite-size exercises, these games are great for keeping your mind sharp and active.

World of Warcraft

Though very different from the other examples in his list, World of Warcraft has been shown to deliver cognitive improvements. The problem-solving, teamwork, and repetitive task elements of this, and other large-scale multiplayer games, offer real challenges to players.

World of Warcraft Xbox
World of Warcraft Xbox

The ”open world” format of these games also allows players to experience new environments and unfamiliar situations. Older or retired players can find particular benefits from these games which offer similar open-world game online and challenges to working life.

Skills You can Develope with Critical Thinking Skill Games

Players already enjoying regular online sessions playing games like those listed above will already be feeling the benefits. Online games provide a fun distraction from everyday life while stimulating the brain, but the benefits can stretch much further.


Games such as poker and World of Warcraft can require long periods of focus on the part of the player. As a result, regular players often develop the ability to concentrate fully for longer periods of time on other activities.


Several of these online games reward persistence and learning by doing. This helps teach players that failure can be the first step to success and perseverance is a valuable life skill.

Social skills

When played offline, many of the games listed above are solo activities that do not require interaction with other people. Online play is different, with chat functions alongside competitive and cooperative gaming helping some players develop stronger social skills.

General knowledge and skills

Depending on the game – math, memory, vocabulary, logical thinking, and general knowledge can all be learned while enjoying online play. Poker players can also improve their abilities to read other players, spot patterns, manage risk, and develop robust strategies.

Transferable skills

Cognitive abilities such as spatial awareness, memory, and focus are all naturally developed by many online games. For careers involving mathematics, engineering, and architecture amongst many others, these are key qualities and skills.

Mental health

Many studies have shown links between playing online games and reduced stress and improved mental health. Mood boosts and better heart rhythms are found during play and some games have been used in therapy for decades.

These are just a few examples of the best online games to challenge yourself with and the benefits they bring.

What game are you going to choose for getting your brain moving better and, of course, for having fun? Even the world’s most popular battle royale game online are rumoured to be introducing crossovers of pop culture anime tv shows to their ever expanding game mode.

Marie Foster
Marie Foster
Marie Foster covers Business News at OSN.

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