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Elevated Gaming: Brainiest Titles on the Market

Sailun Tires

Many would argue that gaming is a cornerstone of the global entertainment industry.

Just like most people regularly listen to music, stream their favorite shows and movies, and watch major sporting events, they’re also likely to play games. Whether casual or competitive, there’s a title for everyone out there.

But not all games are created equally. Casual games, in particular, are more popular than ever before—but they’re designed to pass the time without asking gamers to devote time and attention to what they’re doing. That setup simply isn’t enough for everyone. 

If you’re looking for games that offer more complexity, mental stimulus, and rewarding challenges than the average FIFA or League of Legends release, then explore our list. We’ve uncovered some of the classiest and brainiest video games on the market.

Classic: Poker

Thanks to the online poker boom in the early 2000s, it’s estimated that around 100 million poker players are active around the world. The poker hype remains strong for a variety of reasons—primarily, though, it’s thanks to the game’s unique challenges and nuanced gameplay. 

Absolutely anyone can learn the rules of Texas Hold’em or Omaha, but not all have the discipline to elevate their strategies and cut their teeth in tournament play. This learning curve is what makes the game so incredibly popular centuries after it evolved.

Sporty: Football Manager

This legacy game needs no introduction. However, if you’re one of the thousands who attempted to play FM back in the day but couldn’t quite hit your stride, here’s your sign to try again. Unlike other management simulations, FM is known for its realism

The Dynamics System is hailed as a paragon in the sports sim industry because it forces players to think about their team’s well-being both on and off the field. Real-world managers know that this is a deceptively important part of their job. It’s just one of many features that make FM worth a go for true football fans.

Cooperative: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Even if you’re not normally into first-person shooters, CS: GO is worth the hype. Just like with FM, you may have tried this game and thought it wasn’t to your liking. However, it’s one of the fastest-paced and most playable games on the market—even if the premise doesn’t change. 

If you’ve been missing an adrenaline rush in your gaming, this is the answer. At the same time, CS: GO offers a brainier approach to its challenges, as it requires teams to strategically plant or defuse bombs.

Puzzle: Portal 2

Poker, FM, and CS: GO all offer players mental stimuli and challenges—especially card games like Texas Hold’em. But in terms of straightforward mental gymnastics, there’s no better puzzle than Portal 2. Not only are the puzzles highly innovative and spatial, but the storyline is also engaging. 

That makes it a great choice for gamers who want a bit of narrative backbone—and especially for those who don’t mind some humor integrated into the gameplay. Additionally, the game is designed to be replayed, meaning you’ll never beat the exact same Portal 2 game twice.

Strategic: Civilization Series

If FM is scratching your itch for organizational mastery, then consider leveling up with the Civilization series. The Civ world has been developing for over three decades, which means developers have nailed the turn-based strategy gameplay. 

If you’re new to Civ, here’s the gist: players must build an empire before their competitors, extending their reach through trial and error. The long list of empire-building considerations is almost endless, requiring players to embody the type of sleepless drive that real-life emperors needed to succeed.

Oddball: The Secret of Monkey Island

Let’s jump into the way-back machine to cover a cult hit that will stoke your mental power—and also trigger a few laughs. It’s a simple point-and-click game from 1990 that was released by Lucasfilm Games, parented by the same company that produced Star Wars and Indiana Jones releases. 

The game takes players to the Caribbean’s forgotten era of piracy. They must navigate Monkey Island through a series of puzzles, which include hilarious challenges like battles of insults. But behind it all is a Hollywood-caliber plot that includes memorable characters on a wayward adventure.  


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