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Build Personal Resilience Games Rated ESRB MATURE 17 and Younger

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

Games, by design, present players with adversity and much of the joy of gaming comes from taking on and overcoming unnecessary obstacles. Whether you’re saving the universe from an alien invasion or tending crops in your animal community, playing games mimics the process of resilience.

Image 163 This list of games that can help foster various forms of psychological resilience is compiled with the expert help of Take This. They aim to decrease the stigma, and increase the support for, mental health in the game enthusiast community and inside the game industry. They encourage a game community that welcomes and supports people experiencing mental health challenges, and that recognizes the humanity and mental health of game creators.

The Portal series tell a narrative that you are going to fail. You’re told to give up, but if you ignore this barrage of discouragement you can use it as a way to strengthen your resolve and complete the puzzles even if you have failed twenty times in the process. The Stanley Parable is all about trying again. You can try and re-try your decision making, reaching a variety of different endings.

Dark Souls is a hallmark for a punishing challenge that require resilience. You journey through elaborate lands to adventure, explore, and take heed lest they encounter a battle with a boss or enemy. Celeste is the story of Madeline and the enemies she overcomes while climbing Celeste Mountain. The game specifically calls out that Madeline has anxiety, and the challenges she faces in the environment reflect her own internal struggles and triumphs. Cuphead challenges players to battle relentless bosses in combat-heavy play. Cartoonish and playful, it balances challenging players to grow in skill and offers plenty of entertaining environments and aesthetics to keep you playing.

In Kingdom Hearts you meet many characters that need help - and many boss battles feel almost insurmountable. With help from friends like Donald and Goofy, the player character Sora overcomes the darkness to save his friends and bring hope back to the world. Death Squared is a co-op puzzle game where one player’s mistake makes everyone else lose. You learn cooperative resilience in trying again admits humorous judgments from the unseen “hosts” of the game.

In Animal Crossing you get help from the animal neighbours. You learn to lean on this social and environmental resilience to persevere at building social connections with computer villagers and friends online. Stardew Valley’s farming is about growing and maintaining a homestead. Interweaving the busy work are relationships with the other villagers, many of whom are social models for resilience in their storylines.

This list includes 42 games from the last 25 years, with 523 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to build resilience.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 18+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 523
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

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

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

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

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...

Game image Roki

Roki

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PEGI Rating 12+ for RokiESRB Rating TEEN for Roki

Roki

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @PolyTreehouse

Players: This is a single player game

Röki is a Scandinavian folklore point-and-click style adventure game where you play Tove on a journey to save her family. As you help her to come to terms with loss, you explore deep into a snowy fairytale landscape with strange locations and creatures.

Pokémon Sword and Pokemon Shield (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Switch

Genres: Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to character and winning turn-based battles with the...

Call of the Sea

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 12/08/2020

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @OutBlueGames

Players: This is a single player game

Call of the Sea is a narrative adventure set in the 1930s. You explore an island in the Southern Pacific to find your missing husband. As you do you discover what happened and revisit memories of being there before.

Game image Rust

Rust

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PEGI Rating 18+ for RustESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Rust

Rust

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @FcPnchStds

Players: You can play this with 250 players online

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 11/03/2015, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @MoonGameStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps place you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. You run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do new powers are unlocked that allow you...

Stardew Valley

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @ConcernedApe

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Shady Part of Me

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ShadyPartOfMe

Players: This is a single player game

Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles through solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of...

Celeste

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Platform

Developer: @Exok_Games

Players: This is a single player game

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 15/07/2003, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @Obsidian

Players: This is a single player game

The Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is a series of hard narrative-driven role-playing and combat games set in the Star Wars universe, 4000 years before Luke Skywalker and the Empire. You fight enemies and discover secrets by talking to the...

Seasons

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @ScavStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon, a mysterious cataclysm...

Game image Portal

Portal

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PEGI Rating 12+ for PortalESRB Rating TEEN for Portal

Portal (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Web Browser, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @ValveSoftware

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @SteelWoolStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the doors, or make repairs, all while being hunted...

Cuphead

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Platform

Developer: @StudioMDHR

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

The Cost of Recovery

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @OffTheBtnTrack

Players: This is a single player game

The Cost of Recovery is a narrative adventure where you play as four different people, one of whom has a stroke. How this impacts each of them is experienced first hand. Can they all get through this together or will everything start to fall apart?

The Crew 2 (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 02/12/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World and Racing

Developer: @IvoryTowerOffic

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

The Crew is a series of open-world racing and exploration games set in a scaled down version of the United States. The emphasis is on enjoyable and exciting driving more than realism. It's a lot like Forza Horizon, although can be played on PlayStation...

Brawl Stars

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 14/06/2017, updated in 2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action and Fighting

Developer: @SuperCell

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online

Brawl Stars is a fighting game where you battle the computer or other players in all against all and team matches. You can play as any of the game's 50 plus characters, called "Brawlers", in an arena. The cartoon style lends the game a more lighthearted...

Kingdom Hearts (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 28/03/2002, updated in 2019

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @SquareEnix

Players: This is a single player game

Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games that combine video game and Disney characters in popular adventures. You play Sora, as he journies with various Disney, Square Enix and Pixar characters and fight multiple incarnations of games...

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 26/06/2014

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Developer: @YachtClubGames

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a retro-style platform game where you play as a Knight who's primary weapon is a shovel. It can either be used to attack enemies head-on, dig up treasure, or aim below while jumping to bounce on enemies. You can get...

Demon's Souls (Series)

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 04/10/2011

Platforms: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Action, Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @Bluepointgames

Players: You can play this with 6 players online

Demons Souls is first a series of fighting and exploration games recently re-released on PlayStation 5. From third-person perspective you navigate interconnected locations while fighting enemies with weapons and magic. Larger boss enemy encounters...

Forgotton Anne

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 15/05/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @ThroughLineGame

Players: This is a single player game

Forgotton Anne (Forgotten Anne) is a hand-animated adventure that combines cartoon (Ghibli-inspired) storytelling with running and jumping puzzles. You play as Anne, the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, as she sets out to squash a...

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @EmberLab

Players: This is a single player game

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...

Headliner: NoviNews

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 05/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UnboundCreation

Players: This is a single player game

Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact of the world outside. Which news...

Lost and Hound

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @DaisyAleSounds

Players: This is a single player game

Lost and Hound is an adventure puzzle game where you play as a scent tracking rescue dogs, Corgi and Biscuit. You use your sense of smell to find things and solve mysteries. Your heightened hearing and senses enable you find your goals, eventually...

Hyper Light Drifter

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 31/03/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: @HeartMachineZ

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Hyper Light Drifter is a fast action role-play game that combines exploration and puzzles with arcade style shooting. You play a Drifter who can access technology in a post-technological world. This grants access to upgradable energy weapons to help you...

Inmost

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @HLGteam

Players: This is a single player game

Inmost is a running and jumping game with a strong emotional and atmospheric narrative. You uncover a dark and interconnected tale of three playable characters, each with their own unique gameplay styles. An adventurous young girl uncovering the past of...

A Way To Slay

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 07/08/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting and Turn-Based

Developer: @NoTripleAGames1

Players: This is a single player game

A Way To Slay is a fighting game that channels bloody battles from brutal action movies. You play a sword-wielding hero outnumbered by enemies trying to kill you. So far, so video game. Here though, the game waits for your input so you can tap the next...

Mana Spark

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 22/12/2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure and Strategy

Developer: @KishimotoStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Mana Spark is a fantasy adventure where you explore a Tolkein-esque dungeon to fight smart enemies that will plan and collaborate between themselves to defeat you. It's a game you play over and over, improving not only your skill but equipment and...

The White Door

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 09/01/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @RustyLakeCom

Players: This is a single player game

The White Door is an adventure that you play by exploring each room, finding and interacting with items and people. Along with its unusual black and white visuals, The White Door is also notable for the topic of mental health and memory loss it takes on.

Journey of the Broken Circle

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @NakanaGames

Players: This is a single player game

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 22/03/2019

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Developer: @Fromsoftware_pr

Players: This is a single player game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an adventure fighting game set in the Sengoku period in Japan. You play a shinobi known as Wolf, who has lost an arm, as he attempts to take revenge on a samurai clan who attacked him and kidnapped his lord.

Death Squared

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 14/03/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @SmgStudio

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players. Together, you solve puzzles by guiding a robot to a colour-coded goal. Getting there requires co-operation and communication as each player's path has deadly traps and hazards.

Waking

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 18/06/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Developer: @Jasonoda

Players: This is a single player game

Waking is a world exploration game where you play a character in a coma. You enter their dreams, The Mindscape, in the recesses of their mind and follow voices calling you home.

Far From Noise

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Far From Noise is a narrative game where you play a car balancing on the edge of a cliff. You meet multiple animals that act as spiritual guides and discuss what it means to balance between life and death. When talking, you get the choice of two phrases...

Champions of Shenga

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 18/07/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Physically Active and Strategy

Developer: @BfB_Labs

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Champions of Shenga is a fantasy card-battling game. You assemble a deck of creatures, equipment and spells in order to compete, but play is regulated via a special heart rate monitor designed to help players track and master their emotions while...

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 21/07/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @BfB_Labs

Players: This is a single player game

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage is a role-playing game with puzzles and tasks that help 7-12 year olds deal with anxiety about different situations. You create a character in the game, explore dungeons and find treasure. Along the way characters offer...

Twelve Minutes

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @FacaElectrica

Players: This is a single player game

Twelve Minutes is an adventure thriller game about a single apartment building. You view things from above and can interact with a simple click and drag interface. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police...

HackyZack

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Developer: @SpaceboyGames

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Hack Zack is a running and jumping game where you also have to hit a ball through the level to win. Because the game simulates real physics this can be quite a challenge. It's an unusual game that requires planning as well as careful execution.

She Dreams Elsewhere

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @StudioZevere

Players: This is a single player game

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal adventure. You explore the dreams and real life of Thalia, an anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to confront the nightmares preventing her from awakening.

Severed

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 26/04/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation Vita and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @DrinkBoxStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Severed is a dungeon adventure game where you wake up in a strange place, dazed and confused your family has been taken and with a severed arm. You embark on a perilous journey to find them and return home.

Grindstone

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 19/09/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Action, Fighting and Puzzle

Developer: @CapyGames

Players: This is a single player game

Grindstone is a colour matching puzzle game, where you plot the right path through each grid-level to attack enemies and gain treasure. The aim it to join together as many similar coloured monsters as possible in once go.

Monster Train

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 21/05/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @ShinyShoeGames

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

Monster Train is a turn-based fighting game played on a train to hell. Through a series of rounds, you collect cards which summon monsters or special moves to stop enemy armies from getting to and destroying your pyre. Because the pyre is at the top of...


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