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Happy Brain with Dopamine Games

You can aid the happiness of your brain by taking on activities that generate key experiences and chemicals:

  • Dopamine for motivation, learning and pleasure.
  • Oxytocin for trust and building relationships.
  • Serotonin for significance and importance.
  • Endorphins for euphoria and elation.

Without dopamine you can be subject to procrastination, low self-esteem, inability to focus and feelings of hopelessness. It's the chemical that can give you determination to accomplish goals, desires and needs.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate dopamine are those where you can complete repeating tasks, like Fortnite or Rocket League, which have a lot of chances to win or excel. Other games, like Animal Crossing or Adopt Me, offer the the feeling of a job well done. This is increased in games where you are doing this not only for yourself but for the group you are a part of, like playing in a team in Sea of Thieves, Apex Legends or Sky Children of Light, where new players also need help and kindness.

This list includes 41 games from the last 23 years, with 1,695 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate dopamine.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 1,695
 

 

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you are a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Apex Legends

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Apex Legends is a shooting game where you work with two other players landing on an island and searching for weapons and supplies. You mission is to defeat the other 50 players to be the last team standing.

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Fortnite (sometimes misspelled Fortnight) rose to popularity via its Battle Royale mode where 100 players fight against each other in online battles to the death. While they play, using shooting, evasion and building skills to survive, a storm is...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Adopt Me is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Overwatch

Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Overwatch is a shooting game but with the focus on teamwork and skill rather than violence. Along with games like Rocket League it has professional e-sports competitions where players compete for prizes.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Forza Horizon 5 (Series)

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

DayZ

Release Date: 03/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Day Z (DayZ) is a post-apocalyptic open world survival game. The population are infected with an unknown virus and you play as one of the few who are immune. You fight other survivors for limited resources and weapons. However If you die there are no...

Bomberman (Series)

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Bomberman is the spiritual ancestor to last-player-standing battles like Fortnite and Apex Legends, but here you all play on the same screen and have the same bomb weapon. There are lots of versions, but in all of them you battle with up to eight...

Tetris 99 (Series)

Release Date: 20/09/2019

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tetris is a longstanding puzzle game where you make horizontal lines by placing different shaped tiles in a well. It's simple and fun, but as the pieces speed up it gets increasingly difficult.

Towerfall

Release Date: 25/06/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. The arena is a single shared screen. What makes it so competitive is the limited resource of arrows and the ability to dodge...

Just Shapes & Beats

Release Date: 21/06/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Just Shapes & Beats is a two player rhythm game where you dodge bullets in time with the music. As well as this unusual premise, play extends the novelty as you have to both avoid the various shapes and move to the Beats. It’s a new spin on the shoot...

Please, Touch The Artwork

Release Date: 26/01/2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

Hunt: Showdown

Release Date: 20/09/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Hunt: Showdown is a high stakes shooting game set in the 1895 swamps of Louisiana, where you are hunting savage, nightmarish monsters. Either alone or in teams you search for clues to find and defeat the target before other players. You are then...

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a fighting game similar to Super Smash Bros. The novelty comes not only from its roster of Nickelodeon characters, but also from its fast-paced and intense rounds, rewarding skill...

Call of Duty: Vanguard (Series)

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Call of Duty: Vanguard is a shooting game set during end of the World War II. It's the eighteenth instalment in the Call of Duty series.

Shotgun King

Release Date: 12/05/2022

Platforms: PC

Shotgun King is a gruesome game of chess where you play a single piece with a shotgun. It combines turn-based strategic runs with classic chess moves. It's a game of Chess where all your comrades have gone to the other side (and you found a firearm).

GigaBash

Release Date: 05/08/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

GigaBash is a fighting game where you brawl against other players in matches of up to four people, each of whom controls a huge, city-destroying monster. With a wide array of moves to perfect for each character, there's not only silly fun but also deep...

Splitter Critters

Release Date: 15/05/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Splitter Critters is a puzzle game where you cut up the world to connect platforms and get to the exit. You split and rearrange each level so you can avoid deadly lasers and create floating swimming pools to guide alien critters back to their spaceship.

Crown Trick

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Crown Trick is a fighting adventure game in a dungeon where monsters only move when you do. You play as a girl with a magical crown that grants mysterious powers over a maze-like dungeon, giving you complete control of the speed of the battles as you...

Luck Be A Landlord

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Luck Be a Landlord is a simulation game where you collect symbols to build the ultimate slot machine, win lots of money, and defeat capitalism. You choose the tokens like deck building games, then have repeated attempts to win money like a rogue-like...

Paper Animal RPG

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Paper Animal RPG is a simple adventure game in a colourful world. You create a band of animal heroes to fight enemies and collect equipment and power-ups.

Selaco

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Selaco is a shooter game with a focus on fast movement and staged battles in a destructible underground facility. In many ways it's an update of classic fast shooting games like Quake and Doom, but the detail elevates Selaco to be something more than...

Soundfall

Release Date: 11/05/2022

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Soundfall is a dungeon exploration, collection and brawling game where you use rhythm and timing with the music to land the perfect attacks. You are a Guardian of Harmony and must battle the forces of discord with up to four friends to restore harmony...

Turbo Golf Racing

Release Date: 04/08/2022

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Turbo Golf Racing is an online car game where you race to hit an oversized golf ball into a hole at the end of each circuit. Your car is rocket powered and needs to be manoeuvred to hit the ball through hoops and boosts to get to the finishing hole...

Wii Play (Series)

Release Date: 02/12/2006, updated in 2011

Platforms: Wii

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Wii Play is a collection of multi-player party games originally designed for the Nintendo Wii and its motion controller.

Itorah

Release Date: 21/03/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Itorah is a running, jumping and fighting game similar to Dead Cells, where you explore a vibrant, handcrafted world, solve a mystery and defeat enemies. The game stands out with an artistic style inspired by Mesoamerican...

Devil Daggers

Release Date: 18/02/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Devil Daggers is an intense and fast shooting game where you try and survive an abyssal arena with waves of demons. You survive by moving around and using your versatile magic daggers to deal with the latest monstrous creature.

Hyper Demon

Release Date: 19/09/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hyper Demon is a fast, frantic and psychedelic shooting game set in a dream-like disembodied future. You play by moving and shooting to survive the many incoming threats.

I Wanna Maker

Release Date: 13/02/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

I Wanna Maker is a running and jumping game where you create unique levels and share them with other players. With over 1000 levels to play, all made by different people across the world, it offers a fresh platforming challenge with a wide range of...

Lovely Planet (Series)

Release Date: 31/07/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Lovely Planet is a shooting game which focuses on athletic flow and accuracy rather than headshots and gore. You jump and shoot your way through five worlds full of treacherous enemies with your trusty pop-gun. It's an unusual, almost balletic, shooting...

Pro Gymnast Simulator

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Pro Gymnast Simulator is a game about gymnastics, parkour, and obstacle courses. You control a gymnast who can achieve amazing feats, however you have to pull them off by controlling your limbs and body directly. The result is a game that's unusual to...

Rain World: Downpour

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Rain World, and the expansion Downpour, are traversal and survival games where you play a half cat, half slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to...

RunMan Turbo

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

RunMan Turbo is a traversal game where you race through a brightly coloured world. You play by bouncing, sliding, jumping, tumbling and running as fast as you can over obstacles and towards a finishing line. It is a game of instinct, where you must...

Stick Fight: The Game

Release Date: 28/09/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Stick Fight is a vicious fighting game depicted with stick men. You play by controlling small coloured stick men, who mimic real world physics and bodily movement. To win you need to use the physics-based movement to land punches, kicks and use weapons...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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