When talking about addictions, we immediately think about drugs, alcohol or tobacco, (in short, something bad). However, there are people who experience an addiction that baffles science due to its positive effects on the mind: video game addiction. There is an increasing number of teenagers and adults who dedicate all their time to playing all types of games (online, offline, on their phones and tablets).
Some just want to reach that next level, while others have completely abandoned the idea of having a social life (although recent studies prove that not all gamers have low scores on social interactions or meaningful relationships) and dedicate their entire being to the game. A game where they can be whoever they want to be – the hero that saves the day or the villain who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Top 20 Most Addictive Games
Some modern perspectives on video game addiction state that this is indeed a dangerous addiction with various risk factors and side – effects over gamers’ lives. Science Daily, quoting a national Harris Poll survey, finds that one in 10 of the gamers is a pathological player- according to standards established for pathological gambling. The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery treats the problem very seriously, stating that
“…those suffering from video game addiction may use the Internet to access massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and multi-user domain games (MUDs). MMORPGs are networks of people, all interacting with one another to play a game to achieve goals, accomplish missions, and reach high scores in a fantasy world,”
But let’s not discuss things from a pathological point of view. Games are fun and gamers are lovely people. Some gaming masterpieces are indeed addictive, but they will most definitely not turn you into a sociopath, contrary to your mom’s belief. History has given us its fair share of addictive video games, so let’s review our top 20.
DISCLAIMER: If you feel that you have a weakness for games maybe it would be better to stick to simpler, browser games like the ones found on Addictive Games Weebly, Nickelodeon Addicting games and Addicting Games 360. We are not here to judge people and their pleasures, so we will simply present the 20 most addicting games in the World.
RPG & MMORPG Addicting Games
You can begin your journey to the World of Warcraft HERE or on
A study published in the Journal of CyberPsychology and Behavior showed that the game that keeps you glued to the screen and makes you ignore hunger and other basic needs is, by far, World of Warcraft. It would be no surprise in this context why World of Warcraft, played by millions of people, continues to keep fans plugged in. However, according to recent statistics, if in 2008 Blizzard Entertainment announced they managed to gather over 11.5 million paying players, by the end of June 2013, the producing company had to acknowledge the fact that worldwide subscriptions for WoW had dropped to 7.7 million.
And yet, World of Warcraft is addictive. The number of players dropping may be explained by the recent Mists of Pandaria expansion, which quite disappointed the hard core veterans of WoW. Another reason could be the ever growing success of other MMORPGs. But ask any gamer and they will tell you exactly why WOW is an addiction you just can’t get rid of that easy: you just want to win all battles, to accomplish all achievements, to do all the quests, to unlock all territories, mysteries, secrets and treasures. If you wake up in the morning and find your partner watching his Pandaren monk fishing in a lake, don’t ask anything. That’s just WoW !
You can begin your adventure from HERE or on
This is a single player RPG published by Bethesda Softworks and is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series, released back in 1994. Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and according to Statistic Brain, it sold 3.5 million units in the first 48 hours after the release.
According to similar statistics, as of July 2012, an estimated 10 million copies have been sold; of those sales, 59% were for the Xbox 360, 27% for the PS3, and 14% for the PC.
Why is Skyrim so addictive? Let’s see what the guys from Games Radar have to say (as they list it on the 14th place among their 25 most addictive games ever): “There’s always something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to talk to. Even after hundreds of hours spent within this world, we keep coming back for more. We’re not sure we’ll ever get tired of it.”
You can begin your street adventure from HERE or on
Addicted to driving? Yeah, since 1997! Grand Theft Auto is a game series that needs little presentation. It was loved, hated, accused of inciting people to reckless driving, violence, crime, ethnic and sexual discrimination, explicit display of torture, drug abuse, prostitution, sexual harassment, drunk driving and everything bad in the world. And yet, the latest version was just recently released and GTA V managed to make history once again, recording $800 million in sales on its first day. And you know what? Despite the controversy, the violence, the objectifying of women and the opportunity that it offers people to engage in committing all the sins possible, 15 percent of its fans are women, which proves once again that if a game is good, there are few other things that matter.
In 2012, the Grand Theft Auto Series registered 85 millions active players and with these things in mind, we can only assume that GTA is indeed addictive and entertaining, even some people still have ambiguous emotions when it comes to extreme violence. But man do they have some cars!
And, if you aren’t at all convinced, the badass of all badasses, Samuel L. Jackson borrowed his voice for GTA San Andreas! Can this game be more exciting?
4. Pokemon – the most addictive game in the world!
You can begin your saga from HERE or
The name Pokemon is an abbreviation of the words Pocket Monsters. Pokémon video game series is one of the most popular franchises from Nintendo. There are 17 different types of Pokemon. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages compared to the other, but taking a look over the facts and figures, there is no wonder why this game is listed among the most addictive video games in the world: it is the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world and according to statistics, “as of 28 May 2010, cumulative sales of the video games (including home console versions, such as the “Pikachu” Nintendo 64) have reached more than 200 million copies”.
Why are people still playing this game? Let’s listen to the guys from Games Radar: “the reason we keep coming back to Pokemon again and again is simple: we want to be the very best, like no one ever was.” Yeah, this is why they placed it on the Number 1 position in their top of the most addictive games ever.
5. Diablo 3
The wait for Diablo 3 has been long, but completely worth it. This dungeon crawler game will let you choose from 6 different warriors: Barbarian, Crusader, Monk, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter and Wizard. After you have chosen your character you have to customize it, choose the race, build etc and start your adventure. I have found that the Diablo story is incredibly fascinating. In this sequel the world is about to come to an end, Diablo has risen, evil has fallen across the land and the only way to eradicate it is by slaying countless of demons and bosses.
The meat of the game is combat, dungeon crawling and finding that precious loot, then spending about ten minutes looking at how to optimize you character. For some, this will be a sweet addiction, for others it might become quickly repetitive and boring in the early stages. Diablo 3 does start off slow but it picks up in the later acts with different enemies, locals and bosses to fight. (Source: SentralGamer)
If you enjoy looking for loot, fighting bosses and reaching the final stages of an enormous saga, you will definitely love Diablo 3. Also, if you enjoy playing with friends, Diablo 3 will certainly make an addict out of you.
SHOOTER ADDICTING GAMES
6. Call of Duty
You can begin your adventure from HERE or on
Call of Duty is not just a game, but an entire series of games developed since 2003, when the first version appeared. This video game is a first-person and third-person shooter, where the action is during the Second World War or the Cold War depending on what version you play.
Call of Duty games are published and owned by Activision. For Mac OS X, the games are published by Aspyr Media. Most of the versions were developed by Infinity Ward and Treyarch, some by Gray Matter Interactive, Spark Unlimited, Pi Studios, Amaze Entertainment, Rebellion Developments, and n-Space. The games use a variety of graphics, including id Tech 3, Treyarch NGL, and the IW 5.0. A very cool game, where strategy is the main skill that will save you. Since it is a strategy game, it is understandable why it is present on our list.
Moreover, some fresh statistics published by Activision are just crazy: 100,000 million people played this game worldwide, while the total hours spent playing Call of Duty games is longer than the entirety of human existence: 25 billion hours. And if you want to really feed your habit, let us remind you that you can buy Black Ops 3 from the developer’s website. And register for the next-gen updates.
Download it from the Steam Library or from
I started playing this game when I as 12. I am currently 23 and I still play the game on occasion. How is it possible for a game that has received virtually no graphic updates, to still be played after almost a decade? What is even more interesting about it is the fact that there are many professional tournaments and competitions, which attract hundreds of thousands of fans each year. The beauty of Counter-Strike lies in its simplicity. It doesn’t take long to set up, it relies on nothing but skill, and it is fun to play as a group. The aim of the game is to defeat the opposing team. The Counter-Terrorists must defuse the bomb, protect the base or kill the Terrorists, while the Terrorists have to plant the bomb or kill all the Counter-Terrorists.
A round can last between one minute and 10 minutes, depending on the server settings, and kills/deaths are monitored in a leader-board. Just when you think that you are ready to close this damn thing you decide to play one more round. And then you play one more round. And then your best friend comes online and before you know it you have played another two hours of Counter-Strike. That is the power that it has on players. Nevertheless, if you are not very keen on installing it and raging at the number of head-shots that you will miss, you can always play one of nickelodeon addicting games shooters.
Battlefield is a first-person shooter video game which was developed by EA Digital Illusions CE, a Swedish company, and released by Electronic Arts. Unlike traditional first-person shooters, this online multi-player game relies on vehicle warfare, a larger selection of huge maps and teamwork. With over 50 million players world-wide, and a wonderful community it is easy to see how it came to be considered one of the most addicting games. Battlefield 1942 was released on September 10, 2002 and received a 88.67% GameRanking Score and 89% Metacritic score.
It introduced the “Conquest” game-play mode where players had to capture points from the map. Naturally, players started spending hours without end to accomplishing this. But the madness didn’t stop there. In 2004, Battlefield Vietnam was released, and it brought various game-play improvements such as firing personal weapons while seated in the vehicle. Nearly ten years, and tens of expansions later, Battlefield 4 was announced. The game was finally released on October 29, 2013. It is considered an addicting game especially because it records player activity. Since the release of Battlefield 2, all games record online statistics that help unlock new weapons, offer new rank promotions and award medals & ribbons.
You can Download Dayz from the Steam Game Library.
Why DayZ is one of the most addicting games in the world beats me. Sure, it may only be personal opinion here, but this has got to be the most annoying, and dull games I have ever seen. Nevertheless, millions of players find this multiplayer open world survival horror movie quite entertaining. I’m not here to judge. The game was tested and released on December 16, 2013. It was developed by Bohemia Interactive. So what happens in DayZ? Basically, your fictional character is part of a post-soviet state called Chernarus, where an unknown virus has either killed humanity, or turned them into violent zombies. Your mission is to scavenge the world for remaining water, food, weapons & medicine all while killing zombies and other players (or co-opting them in your mission). That’s it. You have to survive as long as possible.
At the beginning of the game you appear on a coast, on the outskirts of the world equipped only with simple clothes and a flashlight, and you have to explore 225 km2 of landscape, investigate locations and scavenge for supplies. Oh, you also have to protect yourself against cholera, dysentery, hepatitis and other diseases, with the help of medicine. As you advance through the game you can build your own base to protect your supplies. All in all, the game doesn’t appeal to me because when you die you have to start over, but there are countless of people who have become enthralled by it. (DayZ was incredibly well received by the public, with over 400 copies of the game being sold per minute at peak hours). I have actually seen a 10-hour stream on Twitch.tv where a guy was doing nothing but gathering stuff in DayZ. It’s easy to see how this game can turn into an addiction, especially for people that enjoy survival games.
10. Team Fortress 2
You can Download Team Fortress 2 from the Steam Game Library or from
We are half-way through the list! Our number 10 mention is Team Fortress 2. This first-person shooter muylti-player video game, created by Valve is one of the most successful games available at the moment. The game was released on October 9, 2007 and since then it has had players lined up to experience it. The question is not why Team Fortress 2 is so addictive, but how exactly you can stop an addict from playing it. Granted, hardcore gamers might not pick it up if they were to choose from it and Call of Duty, but it has a large player base that loves the unpredictability of the game’s multiplayer system.
I’m addicted to this game because I love the team work or the ability to roam, plus the cheesyness is kinda what makes this game so fun. Sometimes reality is just so boring, so cheesy is awesome in this game.
STRATEGY & MOBA ADDICTING GAMES
The next category of addicting games that we would like to present is the Strategy & MOBA games. Strategy games come in all shapes and sizes. You can download them on the computer or choose one among the addictive games Weebly. As far as MOBAs are concerned, there are only a few to mention. MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The notable mentions for this category are Dota, League of Legends and other mirror games inspired from the two.
You can begin your adventure HERE.
This is a multiplayer online battle arena inspired by the mod Defense of the Ancients for the video game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, produced by Riot Games and released in 2009. How addictive has this game become in the last years? Let’s take a look over some numbers: in 2012, Riot Games released an infographic stating that the players base reached 32 million players, with a 12 million daily active players. That’s some addiction! Nevertheless, if you don’t feel like downloading this huge game you can always try out a similar one (example: Miragine War or Age of Defense 4) on addicting games 360.
But! LoL is not only about playing, but taking part into competitions. And it is an addictive game from two points of view: for the ones that actually play the game, and for the other gamers being hooked by the online live championships. And these championships are so serious, so intense and so world – wide spread, the world of professional soccer and basketball should learn a thing or two about how a sports can gain millions of fans worldwide. Some facts and figures you can easily find online:
On October 13, 2012, Taiwan’s professional team Taipei Assassins (TPA) triumphed over South Korea’s Azubu Frost 3-to-1 in the Finals of Season 2 World Championship, and claimed the $1 million in prize money.
- As of 2013, League of Legends is the most popular e-sports game in South Korea.
- On July 11, 2013, one of the publisher’s managers Nick Allen announced that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services now recognizes League of Legends pro-players as professional athletes and the visa application process is now simplified for them.
12. DOTA 2
You can Download Dota 2 from Steam Game Library.
How could we mention League of Legends on a list of most addicting games and not reference Dota 2 as well? There are several copies of this MOBA concept (including Heroes of Newerth & Smite), but LOL and Dota2 have definitely gotten the most attention. Until last year it seemed that League of Legends was the most popular of the two, but things are beginning to change. Four years ago, Valve, the owner of Dota 2 decided to release the game with a blast: it organized a competition which had a one million dollar prize pool.
For the first time in the history of Dota gaming, a tournament had such an incredible stake. Four years since then, and only a few weeks before the next International, the prize-pool has reached a jaw-dropping 18 million dollars (and it’s still growing). So not only is it rewarding to play the game and strive to become a pro (maybe even win the prize-pool for yourself), but it is also fun if you are doing it just for the sport of it. (Once again, if you don’t want to commit to a serious Dota career, you should check out the similar mini MOBAs on Addicting Games 360).
Dota 2’s graphics are more advanced than LOL’s (which shouldn’t be surprising since it was released later), it involves more strategical planning, and it is ultimately more engaging. Community aside (because the Dota 2 community is not the friendliest), the game is one of the best MOBAs that you will ever experience. But what makes it so addictive? There are 107 heroes which means exactly 8,854,617,997,445,220 possible match-up combinations. It is literally impossible to get the same match-up twice. No game or fight is like the other. On top of all that, players gain XP and items for their heroes as they advance.
They can purchase their own items from the store or support artists in the workshop. And if the game doesn’t get you as hooked as you might think, then the streamers will. The streaming community (on Twitch.tv and JoinDota) constantly shares games, matches and tournaments. There is always some sort of competition that you can watch or crazy new mode released. Just when you think you’ve had enough, you decide to play one more game. And one more…. And one more… Until the sun rises and you’re holding your face in your elbow.
13. Sim City
You can begin your building adventure from HERE or from
They say that violent video games do not cause an increase in the number of criminals in the real world, nor city management games do not create experts in urban planning. However, without wishing to be an urban specialist, SimCity give you the feeling of being a small town and regional management expert, building a city and pleasing the masses. A beautiful illusion that makes you feel like a child, building a great city of Lego pieces. SimCity is a game addressing complex issues related to managing cities. From the artistic point of view the game it is an outstanding achievement.
How addictive is it, you wonder? According to Business Wire, “SimCity sold over 1.1 million copies in its first two weeks. About 54 percent of total sales have been of digital versions of the game” and as of July 2013 the video game has sold over two million copies.
14. Star Craft
Number 14 on our list of most addicting games is Starcraft. This game has probably been around for longer than I have. Ok, I’m joking. Still, Starcraft 2, Wings of Liberty goes back to 2010, and Starcraft 1 goes back to 1998. This means approximately 15 years time for people to learn to love, accept and embrace the franchise that would host some of the most epic tournaments of all time. But what makes StarCraft so addictive? We honestly don’t know.
It’s something about playing with the Terran, Protoss and Zerg races. Each of them is so unique, yet so sublimely balanced. At first you feel like going through the robust campaign mode, then you think about queuing for some online games, and before you know it’s already 7 A.M., you’be been playing for more than 8 hours and you have no idea where the time flew. The game will have you wrapped around it for hours, trying to figure out how different races are played, how to perfect your skills, and ultimately, how to destroy real enemies. Star Craft is without a doubt one of the most addicting games out there.
15. Civilization V
Here’s another one of my favorite, and most addicting games: Civilization. Addicting games 360 has several strategy games available, but none of them can rival the unique game-play and stunning graphics of Civilization. Sid Meier’s history-based, empire-building game has been around for over 15 years (to be more precise, the first version came out in 1991). Its last update, Civilization 5 was released on September 2010. While the game itself doesn’t encourage the maddening must-replay angst of Tetris, or obsession and immersiveness of MMORPGS, it generates a different type of addiction. We are referring to the must-destroy-and-conquer-all-ancient-civilizations crazyness. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 A.M. and you have classes in 6 hours, or if you have to go to school, because Civilization will have you hooked for hours without end.
Every time the idea of shutting the game comes to your mind you realize that there is one more secondary city to establish, or that Montezuma requires another well-deserved punch in the face. After you do this, you also realize that you need more copper, or that you should preemptively attack one of your cheeky enemies. And there are many, many more things that you can do. Before you realize it the night turns into day and you are too tired to even keep your eyes open. That’s how this addicting game operates.
ADDICTING SMART-PHONE GAMES
16. Candy Crush Saga
The game has over 44 million active users each month, more than Spotify, Pinterest and rival Farmville created by the people at Zynga. The version for Facebook of the game helped King to overthrow the leading position of Zynga as the biggest social network game creator. The wall of the King’s headquarters in London are paved with the characters of the game that brought the company nearly $ 600,000 daily. The company has a portfolio of 200 games, eight of which were launched on Facebook and three on mobile.
King recently filed for IPO hoping to break the market share with this game and earlier this summer Games Radar listed Candy Crush Saga on the tenth place in their 25 most addictive games of all times. Why can’t we stop playing until we finish Level 33 or harass our friends, neighbors, and that girl we met at a bar once for more turns?! ask themselves the guys from Games Radar, but hey, we have a crush on it, remember?
17. Angry Birds
You can play your favorite game for free HERE or
For those who do not know, Angry Birds is a video game appeared in 2009 specifically for smartphone technology. Players take control of a flock of multi-colored birds, trying to recover stolen eggs from a group of evil green pigs. At each level, the pigs are protected by structures made of various materials such as wood, ice and stone. Birds are launched in places where pigs are hiding. The goal of the game is to eliminate all the pigs in each level. Downloaded 12 million times in 2010, Angry Birds is one of the most popular games in the App Store. In February 2010, the game was nominated for “Best Casual Game” and was awarded at the “International Mobile Gaming Awards 6” in Barcelona and is currently placed among the most addictive games in the world.
Recent news regarding Angry Birds can be summed up as follows:
- On March 20, 2012, National Geographic published a paperback book titled Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight Into The Final Frontier shortly before the release of Angry Birds Space which became available on March 22, 2012.
- Angry Birds Toons, a TV series based on the game will made its debut in March 2013
- A 3D computer-animated film has been officially announced for release on July 1, 2016. The film will be developed, produced and financed by Rovio and distributed by Sony Pictures
2048 is very similar to extremely popular Candy Crush and Bejeweled games (as a matter of fact Candy Crash was inspired from Bejeweled). Like most Puzzle, free addictive Games it has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. The surprising thing about it is that it is so incredibly and unexpectedly simple, or at least it seems to be. The concept behind it is very straight-forward: you have to move blocks around until you obtain the number 2048. But like most things in life, it is not as easy as it sounds. The question is why the game is so addictive. Popular Mechanics had the same question, and they asked Neurologist Judy Willis to share some light on the problem.
According to her it’s all about the dopamine! “Dopamine is the one of the most compelling neurochemicals—and the most addictive drugs—that we know of”. Almost every human-being on the planet wants to complete a challenge, and demonstrate that he is a winner. When people engage in intellectual activities their dopamine levels (which generate pleasure and perseverance and decrease stress) suddenly grow. 2048 is one of those games that offers gamers two of the biggest dopamine boosters: the power of prediction & an achievable challenge. Similar games can be found on the nickelodeon addicting games website.
19. Temple Run
Did you say you want to hear more about free addicting games? Temple Run is one of the games on the Android Market that you should definitely not miss. Not only is it robust but it also performs very well. I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen people on the Metro frantically swiping and tapping their phones to get over a new obstacle or try to outrun the scary beast chasing them. Temple run is an extremely addictive game that is ruling over the Android app store. To say that it is a smash hit would be an understatement. It hit over 170.000 million downloads and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there. This makes it one of the biggest games in Android history.
It is quite obvious why Temple Run is such an amazing game. Its concept is simple, it is enticing and you can keep playing it forever and ever. Naturally, when the new and improved Temple Run 2 hit the App store, fans were excited. Now, millions of fans all over the world are playing it on their smart-phones on the way to school, on the bus and even in their work-break. (You can find more adventure games on Addictive Games on Weebly).
You can play your favorite game for free HERE or on
The last mention in our list is Plants vs. Zombies. Although I am not the biggest fan of it, I have to admit that it is one of the better of the free addicting games list. The game-play is simple to understand. All you have to do is use your plants to kill all the zombies. But we don’t want to tell you too much about why it is so addictive, so we will share the Confessions of a Plants vs. Zombies Addict.
With 50 levels of play in Adventure Mode, 20 mini-games and an endless Survival Mode there is plenty to keep even the hardcore gamer entertained for hours and hours. Combined with elements of quirky humor as well as plenty of amusing twists and surprises, Plants vs. Zombies is addictive as crack. Ok, I better go, the zombies.. they’re coming for my brains!
BONUS – Solitaire
Start playing HERE or (800 Different Solitaire Card Games)
Despite the development of computer games, for twenty years, there is a game that has remained as popular and loved by PC users worldwide. A crazy game that office workers enjoy more than anything.
The game itself was encoded by a Microsoft employee, Wes Cherry. Since then, during the test phases, Cherry realized the potential of the game. At first it had a button called “boss” that when pushed, it instantly brought the “job” back on the screen, but was forced by Microsoft to remove the setting. Solitaire has been continuously upgraded with new designs for the deck of cards, new graphics and new rules. The version of Windows 7 and Vista allow you to save the game. If you buy today a copy of Windows you will not receive only a game, but three games of Solitaire with two variants: Spider Solitaire and FreeCell.
What other addicting games do you play? HON? Assassin’s Creed? Cossacks? Elder Scrolls Online? What other guilty gaming pleasures do you have? We would love to hear all about your little sins!