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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 28 years, with 753 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate endorphin.

DetailsPlatform 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, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Era: 1995 - 2023
Total Games: 27
Total Likes: 753
 

Subnautica

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

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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)

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

Lonely Mountains Downhill is a racing game where you traverse 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...

Alien: Isolation

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

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

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Wavetale

Release Date: 10/11/2021, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Wavetale is a surfing and jumping adventure in a world of sunken cities, dangerous water and oppressive fog. You play as Sigrid, a young girl who works to restore the decaying archipelago and befriends a mysterious shadow that lets her walk on water...

Street Fighter V (Series)

Release Date: 16/02/2016, updated in 2020

Out Now: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Street Fighter V (Street Fighter 5) is a competitive fighting game. First introduced in 1987, this classic game from Japan has inspired a whole genre. You choose a champion fighter from around the world, each with unique abilities, then fight one-on-one...

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

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...

Alan Wake

Release Date: 14/05/2010

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Alan Wake is a shooting game with a horror tone where you must survive the darkness and the terrors that dwell within it. You use your torch to weaken the monsters that hunt you, then switch over to conventional weapons to dispatch them. It stands out...

MultiVersus

Release Date: 26/07/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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.

Burnout Paradise

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

Out Now: GameCube, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Burnout Paradise is the latest game int the Burnout series, 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.

Just Shapes & Beats

Release Date: 21/06/2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

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...

Resident Evil Village

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

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

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Gran Turismo (Series)

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

Out Now: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person

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...

Tony Hawk 1 and 2

Release Date: 04/09/2020

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Tony Hawk 1 and 2 is a sports simulation 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...

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Release Date: 21/11/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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

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...

Motorstorm (Series)

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

Out Now: PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4 and PSP

Components: 3D Third-Person

Motorstorm is a 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...

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Series)

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

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Klang 2 (Series)

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

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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...

SpiderHeck

Release Date: 22/09/2022

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

SpiderHeck is a chaotic fighting game where a weaponised spider tries to take down opponents. You sling webs, shoot and slash at enemies, while frantically jumping about the dangerous arenas to land the decisive blow for victory. It's a strange concept,...

Rally 2020 (Dreams)

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

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Terror of Hemasaurus

Release Date: 17/10/2022, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Terror of Hemasaurus is a retro fighting game where you smash up a destructible city as a giant monster. Play is like the classic Rampage arcade game, here though you can use the game's physics to inflict greater damage, chain reactions and combos. It's...

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.

Blasphemous II

Release Date: 24/08/2023

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Blasphemous II is a running, jumping and fighting game set in the same horrific world as the first game. The follow-up focuses on quality over quirkiness which makes the exploration and combat smoother but a little more derivative. There's more...

Rollerdrome

Release Date: 16/08/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Rollerdrome is a single-player skating and shooter game with fluid movements and trick-making fun. You play in a comic-book style dark-dystopian world set in 2030 where the public are inoculated from sinister politics by this brutal new sport.

Sol Cresta (Series)

Release Date: 22/02/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Sol Cresta is a classic-style arcade shooting game. It follows previous Cresta games (Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta) focus on bullet dodging, ship augmenting action. Here though you have three ships that can combine their weapons in different ways.

Streets of Rogue

Release Date: 10/03/2017, updated in 2019

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

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Streets of Rogue is a fast-paced action role playing game where your overarching goal is to take down the mayor, and how you do it is completely up to you: clever hacker, charming bartender soldier, thief or assassin. It's all about experimentation and...

Blasphemous

Release Date: 10/09/2019, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Blasphemous is a running, jumping and fighting game set in a horrific world of corrupted catholicism and unnerving contorted characters. You explore, upgrade your abilities, and execute the hordes of enemies that stand between you and your quest 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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