Not everyone grew up playing Super Mario 64 and Quake – because gaming has become so mainstream and popular over the last 15 years or so, more and more people who never considered themselves gamers before are now becoming interested in this exciting entertainment medium. However, given the sheer number of different titles and genres, it’s not exactly easy to pick where to start. Here are some of the best games to introduce you to the medium:
Portal (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
If you think that first person games are all shooting and death, then this first person puzzler will knock your socks off with its mind-bending, portal-based gameplay and surprising humor. You play as Chell, a woman trapped in a science facility run by an AI character called GlaDOS, and you must take part in experiments using your portal gun to solve puzzles. It’s a few years old now, so it should run fine on your laptop.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)
This is a life simulation video game where you live in and run a town of anthropomorphic characters, helping them out with various activities, including fishing, fossil hunting and bug catching. It’s a charming and relaxing game that you can play on the move.
Rocket League (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Car soccer. You drive your car into the ball, maneuver it to your teammates and ultimately score with it in the other team’s net. Rocket League is easy to pick up and really fun to play with friends. You should probably practice a bit before going online, though.
80 Days (Android, iOS)
This charming game is kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure novel but with way more choices. It’s loosely based on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days and you choose the route you take across the world in order to win the bet. It’s a relaxing game that is easy to spend a couple of hours on as you trek across a steampunk world.
Castle Crashers (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
This is a 2D, beat ’em up game where you hack and slash your way through enemies and bosses in a silly fantasy medieval adventure. It’s great to play co-operatively with friends.
Online casino games (PC, iPad, tablet)
Even if you’re unfamiliar with video games, you are probably familiar with casino games. Online casino games are a great way to have fun with video games, even if you’re a beginner. Online casino games that offer complementary spins are even better because you can start playing without spending any money.
Casual mobile games (Android, iOS)
Another great way to get into games is to play mobile games. Casual games such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninjas, Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run introduce you to the mechanics that are in lots of games, such as points, progression, unlocks and more. They are also easy to pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, so you can fit some gaming in even when you have a busy life.