9 Best Video Games for Non-Gamers 2020

Portal 2

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Portal 2 is probably one of the funniest games I've ever played, but it isn't just a great example for this list because it's entertaining to listen to GLaDOS for a few hours. Despite using first-person controls, which can be intimidating to people who didn't grow up playing games, the puzzles in portal are just that: puzzles. For the most part, they don't require careful, twitchy execution. Once you've figured out what to do, it's just a matter of pointing your portal gun in the right direction. Every solved puzzle gives the player a great feeling of accomplishment as they figure out how to do something that moments ago seemed impossible.

5: Cook, Serve, Delicious!

For the person looking for something different. You would think a game about running a restaurant wouldn’t be the oddest game on this list. CSD! is an interesting mix of simulating a restaurant while having nothing to do with real cooking.

You need to have quick hands to prepare a variety of food while keeping up with the demands of your customers. This would be the most stressful game on this list, and again, only for people wanting something completely different. For the person who wants to play something exciting while still low stakes, CSD is a delightful game.

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Life is Strange

An inventive episodic adventure game telling a high-school-set story that incorporates influences from superhero movies. Great voice acting and writing, and it plays well at low or medium settings and full HD resolution.  Try the first episode for free on Steam. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

This creepy 2010 game still holds up in the scare department and is more about walking slowly through a spooky castle than fast-paced action. As this is one of the older games on our list, it ran great, even with all the graphics options set to high. Fortunately, it’s been updated many times over the years to include features such as Xbox controller support.  Get it on Steam.

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Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore 2

What We Like
  • Features judges from the show.

  • Visually vibrant.

What We Don’t Like Creepy character models. Mediocre instrumental covers.

We don’t really care much for karaoke, but it certainly fits into the category of games that don’t make players use a game controller. If you have a friend who likes to sing, hand her the microphone and see what happens. We don’t think Encore 2 is an especially good game, but it’s the only karaoke game we’ve reviewed for the Wii, and we liked it better than Karaoke Revolution Glee, so it’s the one we're suggesting. But any karaoke game is likely to be fine.

Katamari Damacy

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If you didn't grow up playing games, controlling a character in 3D space can be very frustrating. You end up constantly bumping into things. Luckily, the goal in Katamari Damacy is to bump into things, so it's a great way to get used to controlling a character without giving up and throwing the controller through the TV. Also, it's a strange and adorable game that's just a lot of fun to look at.

7: Kerbal Space Program

For the person who loved to build model rockets. This would be another complex title for our list. Kerbal Space Program is all about building rockets and launching them into space. The game models real physics and rocket science to simulate the launch (and crashes). While not for everyone, Kerbal Space Program is a great example of using video games to teach a complicated topic.

Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars

Besides individual fights, the latest Lego game offers simple real time strategy warfare.
What We Like
  • Drop in or out of cooperative play at any time.

  • Battles are epic in scale.

What We Don’t Like Annoying enemies respawn incessantly. Objectives aren't always clear.

Is this a good choice? We would have thought so; it’s a simple, forgiving kids game with cute, funny animation. But our friend who was trying to get his girlfriend interested in video games said that when they played a Lego game she kept falling off ledges and thought the game was too violent even though it’s nothing more than Lego toys breaking into pieces. In spite of anecdotal evidence that it’s not an ideal choice, we're still putting it in this list because we're convinced it’s a good game to try out on non-gamers, particularly Star Wars fans.

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