So you want to know what the best educational games are? Well, good for you. Educational videogames can provide fun and unique learning experiences, and we’re not afraid to say that they can actually be pretty entertaining too.
The general consensus may be that games can’t be educational and fun, but we’re here to prove that wrong. These are eight of the best educational games for children and adults alike that will teach you something while showing you a good time – and we’re not talking about WW2 games or medieval games that just happen to teach you something due to their historic setting.
The best educational games on PC are:
World of Tanks
We understand your apprehension. A game where you drive around in tanks blowing up other tanks isn’t something that screams “this is educational” but, funnily enough, there’s quite a lot to be learned from World of Tanks. While it is predominantly known for being one of the best multiplayer games on PC, it can instill in its players a love and appreciation for history, and springboard them towards further learning.
So how does it do it? Well, you see, the game has an enormous selection of tanks for you to unlock, and they come from many different periods of history, as well as many different regions. Each tank comes with a wealth of information about that model’s background, and its usage in real wars throughout time. Meanwhile, many of the game’s maps are inspired by the real-life locations of historic battles. It makes researching history much more interesting.
Minecraft: Education Mode
Minecraft’s base game alone could be considered educational for all the creativity it encourages. Think of the impressive Minecraft builds you’ve seen, and how much thought players have obviously had to put into them. The building blocks in this game can help children to cultivate all kinds of skills and productive ways of solving problems.
After people started making special Minecraft mods specifically to educate, Mojang took note and decided to implement it as an official part of the game. Now you can play Minecraft: Education Mode and take illuminating tours of historic locations, watch demonstrations of mathematical and scientific principles to help you get to grips with them, and much more besides.
Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tours
Though Assassin’s Creed has always used historic settings, you wouldn’t necessarily think of it as an educational resource. After all, it rewrites history into an endless battle between assassins and Templars, but in recent times, Ubisoft has gone out of its way to provide Assassin’s Creed players with educational content.
Starting with Assassin’s Creed Origins, each game in the series has included a Discovery Tour. This essentially turns the game into a walk around a museum, with plenty of information offered about locations you can visit in the game, historic events that occurred there, cultural beliefs, and much more. With Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla all including Discovery Tours, you can use them to learn about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Viking age.
Kerbal Space Program
While Kerbal Space Program 2 early access is already available, we wanted to focus mainly on the finished product of the first game. So what qualifies this as an educational game? Well, much like Zoombinis – more on that shortly – it’s a game that’s all about helping small, cute creatures make a journey in a way that tests and enhances your thinking abilities.
In the case of this game, it’s not logic puzzles, but rather physics and spaceflight. Kerbal Space Program has actually been praised by NASA itself for its depiction of space programs. Of course, you’re not going to play this and then automatically become a rocket scientist, but if this is something you want to learn about, then this is a good place to start. Read our Kerbal Space Program review to find out more about this game.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill
While it’s certainly not suitable for children, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is a game where you can hone your typing skills while blasting zombies. When Francesco Rampazetto came up with the precursor to modern keyboards in 1575, we have no doubt that this is exactly how he envisioned people learning how to use his devices.
Based on Sega’s House of the Dead: Overkill, this is a game where you need to quickly type out words to blast down the advancing undead. If you want to increase your words per minute, there’s nothing that will motivate you quite like trying to avoid being eaten alive by the undead. If you love zombie games, you’ll probably never find a more engaging teaching method. Read out Typing of the Dead: Overkill review to find out more about this game.
Just as with Minecraft, among the plethora of Roblox games, you’ll find various educational experiences. Some of these will even reward players with Robux in exchange for solving puzzles. One of the most well-known of these educational options is Brainika, which has been specifically designed to be just as fun as any other Roblox game, with the added benefit of it being educational too.
Then there are also more loosely learning-based games in there too, like Draw It (where players have to draw a picture based on a word prompt so that other players can guess the word), or Welcome to Bloxberg which is kind of like a watered-down version of The Sims – helping young children to get to grips with the basics of day-to-day adult life.
If you have any concerns about letting kids play in this online space, read our “is Roblox safe?” article, which covers everything you need to know.
The Zoombinis series started its life in 1996 and has survived to this day, with a remake of the original currently available on Steam. Those who were children during the late 1990s or early 2000s probably had the luxury of playing these games during school time, and we’re sure that more than a few bought their own copy of the game to play at home as well. It may not be on our best puzzle games list, but, darn it, we still love it.
So what is the game all about? Well, in it, you have to help a group of small egg-like creatures make a journey. Along the way, they’ll encounter several maths and logic-based problems and if you don’t solve them correctly, these friendly little creatures are gonna die – and you’ll feel that loss all the more profoundly since you design the Zoombinis yourself. It’s such a charming and whimsical game and all ages can enjoy it.
This isn’t a game that you’ll easily find these days, but it deserves a place on this list, just for its sheer weirdness (and the fact that it is still an educational game). While not the first thing gamers will think of in association with Sonic the Hedgehog, dedicated fans know it well – in part for its trippy 3D graphics and its absolutely bizarre cast of animal characters.
So, basically, in this game, you choose your character and then walk around Sonic’s titular schoolhouse, answering questions along the way. Except, you don’t manually write in answers, instead, there are questions on blackboards and then there are giant letters and numbers bouncing around that you need to click on to select. It’s a beautiful oddity, and something we’re sure touched a few hearts back in the day.
So those are our choices for the best educational games. If you want to reward yourself for your efforts to expand your mind, why not treat yourself to a purely entertainment-based game? Our lists of the best free PC games and the best Opera GX games are filled with games you can start playing right away.