If you’re reading this, you love video games, but you are disappointed or sad that someone close to you does not. Whether it’s a parent, a sibling, or a significant other, they may think video games are pointless, harmful, or just uninteresting. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to change their minds.
But, for some people, all they need is a nudge in the right direction. Video games are a rich and diverse form of entertainment, with categories going beyond familiar classifications like horror, drama, and comedy. Video games can be first person or third person, action-adventure or puzzle, making every experience different with a vast array of combinations. In summary, there’s a game for everyone.
Therefore, this article lists 10 games, in no particular order, that are good introductions to the world of video games. Some are multiplayer, some are single-player, and some are a combination of both. Some are simple and addictive, and others give room for player growth. In any case, these games provide the perfect entry points for a newcomer.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart has the perfect balance of approachability and ruthlessness to captivate even those completely uninterested in gaming. The controls are simple, but the variety of tracks, racers, and karts make it so the game rarely gets dull. Don’t be surprised if your loved one starts demanding to pick a certain stage, or if they start bragging when they beat you.
That’s the other great thing: Mario Kart is multiplayer. It will help your loved one to be on your team, learning from your example without you having to be a backseat driver or without the pressure of competition. And, when they get confident enough, they can begin playing by themselves, trying to get the best times on the hardest tracks.
The Stanley Parable
This game thrives because it is simple. Essentially a walking simulator, The Stanley Parable won’t demand much of a new player. Instead, it will engage a newcomer through its excellent story with a multitude of endings both dramatic and comedic. Each playthrough only takes about 15 to 30 minutes, so it’s a nice, short experience — nothing too daunting for a newcomer.
However, oftentimes, people will want to continue playing to see the different endings. The game is filled to the brim with choices that, no matter how small, can drastically change how the game concludes. Your loved one will certainly have fun laughing and crying their way through this experience.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Another choice-based video game, The Walking Dead is a fantastic series, encompassing dozens of hours of gameplay. The game benefits from taking place in the same universe as the similarly titled television show, which itself is a spinoff of a critically acclaimed comic series.
The controls are easy and engaging, but the choices are difficult and thought-provoking. Your loved one will be struggling with what kind of survivor they want to be. This is a single-player experience, but it’s a great game to watch your loved one play. Their reactions are definitely worth it.
Mortal Kombat 11
Not for the faint of heart, Mortal Kombat actually provides newcomers with a great point of entry. In my experience, novices complain about games like Super Smash Bros. being too chaotic to enjoy. They find themselves overwhelmed by the evolving maps, the large roster of characters, and more. Mortal Kombat is more approachable because it is relatively simple. Battles are one-on-one, and combos and finishers are not necessary, but rather optional avenues to success.
Don’t be surprised if your loved one button mashes for the first couple hours. Just realize that they are having fun and that they will improve and try more complex methods of playing when they are ready. Once they feel as if they know what they are doing, encourage them to try the single-player. They may get hooked on single-player experiences, as well.
This one is personal. Although the game that got my girlfriend interested in video games is The Last of Us, she soon followed it up with every single entry in the Uncharted series. With The Last of Us, I did have to take over at the harder or scarier parts, which makes Uncharted the better route to take. Approachable but exciting, Uncharted provides a great video game experience that more accurately represents what most games play and feel like. Your loved one will learn how to control the camera, find routes through the game world, and much more.
Plus, since the series has gone on for so long, your loved one will be encouraged to play the sequels. With each game under their belt, they become better and better at gaming, and closer to becoming hooked on video games.
Although I haven’t had a lot of success with Overcooked, a LOT of people have reported differently. Basically, you and your loved one (and more, if you like, because you can play up to 4 people locally) are tasked with cooking things in increasingly ridiculous scenarios. It’s chaos, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s also easy to just drop in for a quick play session; levels are usually under five minutes.
The controls are very simple to grasp, and so is the concept. The game does a great job of ratcheting up the ridiculousness along with player skill. Sure, there will be some levels that you guys might bang your heads against, but it isn’t anything that a little teamwork can’t solve.
One of the older games on this list, Portal 2 does a couple of things right for new gamers. First off, it is challenging and engaging even with incredibly simple controls and concepts. This makes it so that newcomers feel as if they are accomplishing something difficult without having to struggle with the controls.
Second, it has an excellent single- and multiplayer campaign. This means you could play with your loved one in multiplayer, build up their skills and enthusiasm so that they can be prepared to play the single-player. The single-player campaign has a fantastic, humorous story that even the most stoic person can’t help but enjoy.
Stardew Valley is the type of game that just hugs you and won’t let you go, and the same is true for new players. See, a lot of people have had success in hooking newcomers with this game. It’s simple, relaxing, but incredibly addictive. As your farm grows so does your motivation to keep playing.
With multiplayer now an option, you and your loved one can now build a farm together. Whenever real life is getting too tough for the two of you, you can hop into your virtual life, feed your virtual chickens, and pick your virtual crops. Just remember you’ve still got to pay real bills and eat real food.
This game is perfect for introducing people to video games for a few reasons. First, it is definitely complex, but it eases players into everything, not punishing failure too harshly. Second, it’s incredibly replayable, with many different civilizations to choose from and victories to achieve. Third, if you have two computers, you can play it with your loved one. There is nothing quite like building an alliance between your two civilizations against the war-mongering Gandhi!
Fourth, if your loved one accuses games of being violent and pointless, Civilization will prove them wrong. Some schools are starting to incorporate Civilization into their curriculum, and, if that’s anything to go by, that proves that his game has value beyond entertainment — it’s educational.
All LEGO Games
There are simply too many LEGO games put on this list — and all of them are great for new gamers. First, the variety of source material the different games work off of allows you to tailor a game to your loved one’s interests. If they like Star Wars, show them LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens; if they prefer Marvel, have them try LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.
Also, the simple controls and adorable animation make the games very approachable. Basically, you play your way through your favorite films and smash things to pieces. Every LEGO game is multiplayer, so it can be a great game for you and your loved one to enjoy together. Once you clear the game, you can go back and gather all the collectibles in the game and earn an insane amount of studs.
Those are just some of the games out there that can help get your loved one interested in video games. If they are interested in a particular game, it doesn’t hurt to help them try it out; given a little help, they might enjoy themselves. I know that my girlfriend’s path into the world of video games has been motivated by interest, not in what is easiest or the most approachable.
No matter what, just remember to always be supportive and loving. The point is to have fun, and if you are too controlling, annoying, or angry, you could turn them off of video games forever. The way they are going to control the camera or fail to understand simple objectives is going to be frustrating. Video games have their own language, though, and we just know how to recognize it — give them time, and they will too.
What are some games that you have found are great introductions for non-gamers? Do you disagree with any of the titles on this list? Let us know in the comments below!