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Happy Brain with Endorphin 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 endorphins we can struggle to cope with pain and stress. We also need endorphins when we want to push ourselves beyond our discomfort in chosen activities. They are also needed to help with sleep, particularly when there is anxiety or worries on our minds.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that help create endorphins are those that let us experience excess emotions. Video games that make us laugh or cry do this. Also, games that let us feel the exhilaration of creating something beautiful or being part of that creative process help generate endorphins. Horror games can do this for some, offering the stress of fear and jump-scares before the euphoria of escape and mastery of both the situation and our fears. Extreme racing games can also generate endorphins as you narrowly escape a catastrophic crash, or if you take on a super long challenge like Le Mans 24 Hours.

This list includes 27 games from the last 26 years, with 369 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate endorphin.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 369
 

 

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Genres: Action, Open World, Racing and Sports

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Megagon inds (@Megagon_inds)

Players: This is a single player game

Race down a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route to find the fastest way to the finish line.

Subnautica (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Price: 35% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single player game

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Hello Neighbor (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Price: 33% off

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Stealth

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Dynamic Pixels (@DynamicPixels)

Players: You can play this with 7 players online

Hello Neighbor is a stealth survival game with a horror feel. You try and sneak into the basement of their neighbour’s house to uncover a "horrible secret". The game responds to your strategy by setting traps along paths the player followed in...

Phasmophobia

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Kinetic Game (@KineticGame)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Phasmophobia (Phasmophobia VR) is a horror survival game where you and your team investigate paranormal activity. It focuses on creating a realistic world built to get your heart racing, through the interactive ghost hunting equipment and teamwork.

Descenders

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Rage Squid (@RageSquid)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Alien: Isolation

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 06/10/2014, updated in 2019

Price: 40% off

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Stealth

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Feral Games (@FeralGames)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 1 player online

Alien: Isolation is an adventure horror game set in space, remastered in 2019 from the 2014 game due to its popularity. You play Amanda who is trying to find out the truth behind her mother's disappearance. You explore Sevastopol, a decommissioned...

Carrion

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Kroskiewicz (@Kroskiewicz)

Players: This is a single player game

Carrion is a horror game where you play the amorphous alien as well as human protagonists. This reverse-horror scenario puts you in control of an organic tentacled monster to make your way through the facility, stalking and killing humans in your path.

Resident Evil Village (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 22/03/1996, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_)

Players: You can play this with 6 players online

Resident Evil Village is a survival horror adventure. It follows on the narrative of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the first person perspective. As in the other games, you play Ethan Winters who is searching for his kidnapped daughter in a village...

Tony Hawk 1 and 2 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Price: 17% off

Platforms: DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Vvisions Studio (@VvisionsStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

Tony Hawk's is a skateboarding game series. It features the famous skater in 19 different games. From its start in 1999 on PlayStation it is now available on most consoles and has recently been re released in updated as Tony Hawk's 1 + 2.

Alan Wake

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/05/2010

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: Remedy Games (@RemedyGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Bright Falls is the sleepy Midwest setting for this Twilight Zone-style horror game. The action focuses on surviving attacks from possessed ‘Taken’ locals. You use flashlights to burn away the possession before dispatching them with firearms. It’s...

Burnout Paradise (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/03/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: GameCube, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: Criterion Games (@CriterionGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

The Burnout series is an over-the-top racing game where you’re encouraged to crash, bash and ram other cars. Throughout the series the bravado and crashing increases, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

Gran Turismo (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: The Gran Turismo (@TheGranTurismo)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or super cars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

Karlson

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: Dani Dev YT (@DaniDevYT)

Players: This is a single player game

Karlson is a platform game where you take on shooting, running and jumping challenges to complete the level by getting to the tongue-in-cheek Milk prize. The focus is on skilled movement and precision shooting. As you fight your way out of the facility,...

Motorstorm (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 14/12/2006, updated in 2012

Platforms: PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4 and PSP

Genres: Racing

Developer: Motor Storm RC (@MotorStormRC)

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

This series of games started on the PlayStation 3 with innovative tracks that got muddier as you raced. This, along with a wide variety of vehicles and routes through each of the courses makes for an entertaining and light-hearted racing game. Whether...

Skate 3 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2007, updated in 2010

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: EA (@EA)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Skate is a skateboarding series with innovative controls. One stick is used to control the skater's body and the other his feet. This resulted in the need to quickly motion different patterns to intuitively achieve different tricks - what become coined...

MultiVersus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Developer: Multi Versus (@MultiVersus)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

MultiVersus is a fighting game like Smash Brothers where you team up with or against other players. The novelty is this teamwork and the deep catalogue of characters you can fight with. Batman, Shaggy from Scooby Do, Superman, Bugs Bunny and so on.

Wavetale

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/11/2021

Platforms: PC and Stadia

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Platform

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Thunderful Games (@ThunderfulGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Wavetale is a surfing and jumping adventure in a world of sunken cities and fog. It wasn't always like this, and you help restore the decaying archipelago as Sigrid, a young girl who befriends a mysterious shadow that provides her with the power to walk...

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Art Games Studio (@ArtGamesStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Climber: Sky is the Limit is a survival climbing adventure, where you scale the peaks of the highest and most famous mountains in the world. Plan the best route, select the correct equipment and avoid dangerous hazards as you ascend. It's a unique blend...

Rally 2020 (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Racing and Simulation

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @Godsmackt (@Godsmackt)

Players: This is a single player game

Rally 2020 is a single-player rally racing game. Drive through a cross-country course in Germany from the viewpoint of the driver with your co-driver giving you navigation. It's novel because of the simple intensity of this task. Don't fall in the water...

Cruis’n Blast

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2021

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Genres: Action and Racing

Developer: Raw Thrills (@RawThrills)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Cruis’n Blast is a brash over the top racing game based on a series of big arcade machines. Competing with games like Ridge Racer, OutRun and Daytona USA, it offers whacky racing with big and bombastic visuals and characters.

Demon Spore

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: Ed Form (@EdForm)

Players: This is a single player game

Demon Spore us a shooting game set in a lab with an escaped alien creature that grows organically as you play. You take on the role of a failed lab experiment that gives birth to a rapidly growing viral horror.

Eidolon

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Ice Water Games (@IceWaterGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...

Klang 2 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2016, updated in 2021

Price: 20% off

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

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Tinimations (@Tinimations)

Players: This is a single player game

Klang 2 is a psychedelic rhythm-action game. You take on enemies in this symbolic universe of three attacks: stikes, dashes and holds. The simple system interplays with the pulsing music to create a rhythm based high-speed combat challenged. Like the...

Selfloss

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Alex Goodwin Dev (@AlexGoodwinDev)

Players: This is a single player game

Selfloss is a narrative adventure game about a kind old man in a myth-filled world. You explore the land using the light of your staff to defeat mythical creatures and help those you meet. It's unusual because of its basis in ancient Russian and...

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/06/1995, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Shooting

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Bandai Namco US (@BandaiNamcoUS)

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

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the latest flying and shooting game in the Ace Combat series of games. It features lots of real-life aircraft to master and weather conditions that impact gameplay and controls, while still retaining a fast-paced...

Just Shapes & Beats

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/06/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Shapes N Beats (@ShapesNBeats)

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

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...

Vagante

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: Nuke Nine Games (@NukeNineGames)

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

Vagante is an adventure game where you hunt for riches in a dark fantasy world filled with monsters, demons, and crooks. Like Spelunky, enemies are not pre-programmed but respond to the player and the environment. This creates all sorts of ways to...

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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