Brain Health Mental Exercises 10 Best Brain Games to Keep Your Mind Sharp Brain-Training Games for Adults, Kids, and Seniors By Mark Stibich, PhD Mark Stibich, PhD Mark Stibich, PhD, FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements. Learn about our editorial process Updated on September 24, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Amy Morin, LCSW Medically reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Aaron Johnson Fact checked by Aaron Johnson Aaron Johnson is a fact checker and expert on qualitative research design and methodology. Learn about our editorial process Print franckreporter / Getty Images From pen-and-paper Sudoku and crosswords to specialized brain training apps, options for brain games are plentiful. Benefits of Playing Brain-Training Games People of all ages use brain-training games to improve mental functioning and prevent brain aging. Backing them up is research showing that brain-training games may help improve attention levels, memory, response time, logic skills, and other measures of cognitive function if played over a long timespan. To give your brain a workout while having fun, try these games and activities that may improve your mental focus and fitness. How You Can Strengthen Your Brain With Exercises 1 Sudoku Sudoku is a number placement game that relies on short-term memory. To complete a Sudoku puzzle, you have to look ahead and follow trails of consequences—if you put a 6 in this box, that one must be an 8 and this one a 4, and so on. This type of planning helps improve short-term memory and concentration. You can play Sudoku online, on an app, or on paper. Look for a regular Sudoku in your newspaper, buy a book with a collection of puzzles, or download a free app for your phone or tablet. Sudoku puzzles are available in varying degrees of difficulty. When you're starting out, play the easy games until you learn the rules. If you're playing on paper, use a pencil! Proven Ways to Improve Your Memory 2 Lumosity Lumosity is one of the most established brain training and mental fitness programs. You can sign up for a free account to play three games per day, or choose the subscription service for more offerings. Either way, you can keep track of your results and improvement. Lumosity's fun brain training and mental fitness games, tests, and activities are backed by science. You can play them on the website, or download the free apps for iOS and Android. Lumosity also has a meditation and mindfulness app called Lumosity Mind. How to Become More Mindful in Your Everyday Life 3 Crosswords Crosswords are a classic brain trainer, accessing not only verbal language but memory from many dimensions of knowledge. There are many ways to do crossword puzzles, both online and off. If you receive a daily newspaper, you'll almost always get a crossword there. Or pick up a book of crosswords specifically suited to your skill level and interests. You will also find many options for crossword puzzles online or via free or inexpensive apps. The AARP website offers a daily crossword that's free to everyone, whether or not you're a member of the group. The 11 Best Puzzle Books for Adults of 2021 4 Elevate You'll need to download an app to play Elevate's 35 (and counting) different brain training games, which have a strongly educational feel. It's free (with in-app purchases) and both iOS and Android versions have tens of thousands of five-star reviews. Elevate's games center on reading, writing, speaking, and math, and you can customize your training to focus on whichever areas you prefer. As with most other brain games, you can track your progress to see how your skills are improving. 5 Peak Peak is another app-only option (available for iOS and Android) that provides brain games to help you work on focus, memory, problem-solving, mental agility, and more cognitive functions. If you're a competitive person, you might be motivated by seeing how you perform against other users. The app is free to use, but an inexpensive subscription unlocks more features. When Do Your Mental Powers Peak in Life? 6 Happy Neuron Happy Neuron divides its games and activities into five critical brain areas: memory, attention, language, executive functions, and visual/spatial. Like Lumosity, it personalizes the training to fit you, tracks your progress, and the games are based on scientific research. You must pay a monthly subscription fee to use the site, and its simplified app version is available for Android users only. Happy Neuron does, however, offer a free trial offer so you can see if you like the approach. 7 Braingle Claiming to have the world's largest collection of brain teasers, Braingle's free website provides more than 15,000 puzzles, games, and other brain teasers as well as an online community of enthusiasts. You can even create your own puzzles to give your brain a super workout. Braingle has a wide variety of offerings, including optical illusions, codes and ciphers, and trivia quizzes. 8 Queendom Queendom has thousands of personality tests and surveys. It also has an extensive collection of "brain tools"—including logic, verbal, spatial, and math puzzles; trivia quizzes; and aptitude tests—for you to exercise and test your brain. If you'd like to save results and scores, you'll need a free account. Some tests give you only snapshot results for free, and charge a fee for full reports. 9 Brain Age Concentration Training Brain Age Concentration Training is a brain training and mental fitness system for the Nintendo 3DS system. It includes a huge number of games to hone your concentration, memory, calculation, and other brain skills. It's fun, portable, and challenging. Brain Age is also available for the Nintendo Wii U, but not for the Switch, Nintendo's most up-to-date gaming system. Can We Really Train Our Brains to Be Smarter? 10 Wordle This web-based puzzle game from The New York Times exploded in popularity in early 2022 and now counts millions of users worldwide. The premise is simple: Users get six tries to guess a five-letter word. Wordle's combination of problem-solving challenges and easy-to-use interface makes for a satisfying mental workout. 2 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Al-Thaqib A, Al-Sultan F, Al-Zahrani A, et al. Brain training games enhance cognitive function in healthy subjects. Med Sci Monit Basic Res. 2018;24:63-69. doi:10.12659%2FMSMBR.909022 Hampshire A, Sandrone S, Hellyer PJ. A large-scale, cross-sectional investigation into the efficacy of brain training. Front Hum Neurosci. 2019;13:221. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2019.00221 See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.