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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 23 games from the last 29 years, with 801 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate endorphin.

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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 where you try and sneak into the basement of your 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...

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...

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...

Hi-Fi Rush

Release Date: 23/01/2023, updated in 2024

Out Now: PC, PS5, 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...

Carrion

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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.

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.

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...

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 in 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 increase, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

Skate 3 (Series)

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

Out Now: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Ereban: Shadow Legacy

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Ereban: Shadow Legacy is a fast-paced stealth running, jumping and fighting game where you play Ayana who can harness mystical shadow powers and gadgets. Play involves traversing the world and enemies either avoiding them or killing them as you race to...

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...

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...

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...

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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