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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 the 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 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 the Light, where new players also need help and kindness.

This list includes 31 games from the last 24 years, with 1,099 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, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 1,099
 

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you play 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...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Rocket League is a sports action game where you drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It's a 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...

TowerFall Ascension

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

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

TowerFall Ascension is a running, jumping and archery game where each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. Play is about quick reactions and second-guessing what your...

Hi-Fi Rush

Release Date: 23/01/2023

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm fighting game where wannabe rockstar Chai uses the beat to fight an evil corporation. You play by exploring the world and fighting enemies. The twist is that everything moves to the beat, and you must attack in time to do the most...

Crawl

Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2017

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Crawl is a dungeon fighting game where your friends control the monsters and traps. The hero player moves around, break boxes and attack enemies while the ghost players try and stop him. Once the hero dies they become another ghost and the next player...

Summerhill

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Day and Night

Summerhill is a narrative traversal game where you are a young shepherd and their dog. Play involves exploring a mysterious land to find your lost flock to guide them back home. It draws on the unusual subject matter of sheep herding to create an...

Mosa Lina

Release Date: 17/10/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Mosa Lina is a platform brain game where you are granted three random abilities to complete each self-contained level. You can always walk and jump around the level, but this is aided (and sometimes hindered) by the selected abilities at your disposal...

Overwatch 2

Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Overwatch 2 is a shooting game where the focus is on teamwork and skill rather than violence. In teams of five, you communicate and work together to take out the other team and complete your objective. Along with games like Rocket League, it has...

Apex Legends

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Apex Legends is a shooting game where you team up with a few other players to survive the longest on the island. Play is. combination of shooting, moving around to get the advantage and searching for weapons and supplies. Your mission is to defeat the...

Minecraft

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

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Minecraft is an open-world adventure where you collect, craft and construct structures and items. Play involves exploring the world to find resources and good locations to build. Some of the best aspects of the game are less well known; along with the...

Splatoon 3

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

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

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...

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a light-hearted cartoon-style brawling game where multiple players choose well-known video game characters to fight. Play involves using your character's move-set to outwit and beat your opponents. You wear down their...

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Out Now: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

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...

Forza Horizon 5

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

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,...

Bomberman (Series)

Release Date: 15/03/2018

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

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...

DayZ

Release Date: 03/07/2019

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

DayZis 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 extra...

Tetris 99 (Series)

Release Date: 20/09/2019

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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

Rain World: Downpour

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Rain World: Downpour, and Rain World 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 hide.

I Wanna Maker

Release Date: 13/02/2020

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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...

Call of Duty: Vanguard (Series)

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

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.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Release Date: 20/10/2023

Out Now: PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is the action-adventure sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales where you shoot webs to swing around New York and defeat...

Shotgun King

Release Date: 12/05/2022, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

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).

Arcade Archives

Release Date: 19/06/2015, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Arcade Archives is a series of games that faithfully recreates classic Arcade games from their original software. Along with the play modes of the original games you can adjust settings like the difficulty dip-switches, like arcade owners could.

Devil Daggers

Release Date: 18/02/2016

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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.

The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor

Release Date: 29/09/2016, updated in 2017

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor is a rhythm-based role-playing game where you play a group of heroes as they dance their way through an epic quest. You collect loot, learn new moves and challenge foes to dance battles on your journey to save the...

Turbo Golf Racing

Release Date: 04/08/2022

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

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...

Warpips

Release Date: 21/04/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Warpips is a quick-to-learn strategy war game where you deploy units to beat enemies in a surprisingly deep tug-of-war battle. You work to pick the right mix of soldiers, tanks, helicopters and planes to beat the enemy forces. Unlike other war games...

Zoe Begone

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Zoe Begone is a fast-action shooting game set in a cartoon world where you battle the animator for a bit of peace and quiet. To play you run around the level, shooting enemies and dodging the hundreds of bullets they shoot back. It stands out for its...

Hyper Demon

Release Date: 19/09/2022

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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.

Duck Game

Release Date: 05/06/2015, updated in 2019

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Duck Game is an action shooting game with a fast and frantic multiplayer mode. You go head to head against other players in arena battles where you rush to find a weapon and then figure out how to best use it to dispatch of the other ducks before they...

EA Sports FC 24

Release Date: 28/09/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

EA Sports FC 24 is a sports game designed to simulate the players, tactics and crescendo moments of top-flight football. Play involves picking players and setting tactics before controlling each of your team in turn on the pitch. Its simulation is...

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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