10 Great Games for Non-Gamers

Wii Sports

As gamers, we all have friends that dislike or scoff at video games. Maybe they see it as too nerdy, or maybe someone else left a bad taste in their mouth by introducing them to a bad or violent game. Either way, many of these so called non-gamers have a bad image of games, yet they’re often hooked on mobile games like Candy Crush. So how can we, as gamers, show them that gaming is more than nerdfests, murder simulators, and poking candy? Well, I’ve compiled a list of 10 gateway drugs games to get non-gamers to play, and maybe even turn them into gamers!

These games were all chosen because they are simple, easy to pick up and play, non-violent, and most importantly, fun!

1. Wii Sports/ Wii Sports Resort

Wii_Sports_Resort_boxart

Gamers often laugh at the Wii and the Wii Sports series, but in the end I think everyone has had a great time with it at some point. It’s great for playing with other people, it’s easy to pick up and play, and it can easily become addicting!

Wii Sports
Just look at how much fun this ethnically diverse group of people are having! And how could they not, they’re playing Wii Sports!

Wii Sports Resort on Amazon

2. Guitar Hero/Rock Band

Guitar Hero Rock Band

While we’re talking about unique party games, I think I’d like to give a shoutout to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Yeah, the fad may be over, but there is a new version for new consoles, and they really pique the interest of non-gamers, especially if you can find a song from their favorite band. Also, these games can be found on Playstation 2, Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Xbox One! And the controllers for the older versions can now be found for dirt cheap!

RockBand

Rock Band 4 Preorder on Amazon
Guitar Hero Live Preorder on Amazon

3. Mario Party (1 through 7)

Mario Party 7

You can’t be talking about casual party games without mentioning Mario Party. The game is fairly simple, and anyone who has played a board game before can get the hang of Mario Party. The mini-games might be a tad tricky for non-gamers, but most are very simple. Even if someone gets frustrated by a mini-game, it only lasts 30 seconds and there will be a new one right around the corner. Competitive non-gamers will love Mario Party!

As a sidenote, I choose 1 through 7 because I have heard that the motion controls of the newer games can be frustrating. When choosing a game for a non-gamer, it’s important to stay away from frustrating controls. I haven’t played any one past 7, so I can’t say whether this is true or not.

Mario Party
Competitive people will love this game!

4. Any Lego Game

Lego Games

Does your non-gaming friend like Batman, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, The Avengers, Star Wars, or Harry Potter? If they don’t like any of these, you need a new friend. Go and replace them right now.

Good, now that you have a decent friend and not a complete buzzkill you surely can find a Lego game based on something they like. The Lego game are easy to pick up, and easy to learn; the games are charming, and sometimes funny. And every Lego game (that I’ve played) has been cooperative! And honestly, who doesn’t like Lego (except for that loser friend you dumped in the last paragraph).

Lego Jurassic World

Lego Jurassic World on Amazon

5. Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing New Leaf

In my mind, Animal Crossing isn’t so much a game as it is a relaxing escape from the stresses of life. It’s more about customizing your town while getting to know the neighbors than trying to achieve a goal. Any that’s why it’s so appealing to some people. If your non-gamer friend is someone who would prefer action or puzzles, this isn’t the game for them. If they’re someone who wants a cute game with plenty of customization, then it doesn’t get any better than Animal Crossing.

New Leaf
Animal Crossing makes for a great experience on both consoles and handhelds!

Animal Crossing New Leaf on Amazon

6. Racing Simulators

Project Cars

I know what you’re thinking. “Racing sims for non-gamers? Is this guy serious?” Yes, but first let me apologize for going from Animal Crossing to racing sims. Many of you are probably suffering from whiplash about now.

So here is my reasoning. If you have a steering wheel then you already have a controller that 99.9% of non-gamers are familiar with. Not only that, but most of the major racing sims have the option for assisted braking and steering. This means that it’s almost hard to crash. Once you show your non-gamer friend that they can drive expensive cars with gorgeous graphics on a racetrack with a “real” steering wheel, you may never get your PC (or game console) back!

Some ideas for good racing sims are Project Cars, the Dirt and Grid series, Assetto Corsa, Forza, and Gran Turismo.

Racing Sim
Not even a non-gamer can resist cars that go fast!

Project Cars on Amazon

7. Ace Attorney series

Ace Attorney

Nobody can resist a good mystery, and the Ace Attorney series have some excellent mysteries and puzzles that are bound to hook anyone. I was not sure whether to put this on the list or not. On one hand, the stories and mysteries are on par with some of the best TV shows and movies. But on the other hand the characters and dialogue can be downright cringeworthy. But in the end, the courtroom scenes are so good, I’m willing to look past that annoying sidekick.

I’m sure not everyone shares my opinion about the dialogue and characters, but I do know that there’s no way to play this game and not get hooked on the mysteries.

Ace Attorney

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on Amazon

8. Myst

MystCover

Point and click adventure games are great for non-gamers, and it doesn’t get much better than Myst. The game is by far the easiest to control on this list, and it’s bound to make any non-gamer curious with it’s numerous puzzles. Myst and Myst Masterpiece don’t work on Windows 7 or newer, but the newly released realMyst Masterpiece works great on newer PCs, and is an excellent remake (of a remake of a remake) of the original. Myst isn’t multiplayer, but it’s still great fun to play with 2 people while working together solving puzzles.

But whatever you do, stay away from the DS and 3DS versions of Myst. You’ll thank me later.

RealMystMasterpiece
realMyst Masterpiece does a great job at updating the original while staying true to the atmosphere.

9. Botanicula/Machinarium

Machinarium Botanicula

Alright, so I cheated. These 2 games are very similar, and so I decided to put them together. Both games are made by Amanita games, and both are point and click adventures. They are also both extremely charming, gorgeous, and easy to pick up and play. If you don’t fall in love with the cute characters, then you have no soul. Or you’re that previous “friend” that didn’t even like Lego.

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Machinarium is a gorgeous hand drawn game.
bot3b
Botanicula’s 5 main characters are impossibly charming.

Botanicula on Amazon
Machinarium on Amazon

10. The Stanley Parable

IndieDBboxart

I’ve been dreading writing this bit. How do you even describe The Stanley Parable? Well, it’s a simple game to play. It does have first person controls, which may be a bit tricky for non-gamers, but once you get past that the game is simple enough. The Stanley Parable is humorous while being deep on a philosophical level. At it’s core, it’s a game about choice, and non-gamers will love it!

The Stanley Parable

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