Seniorlink Blog

The Best Brain Games for Seniors


As you age, you may find yourself or someone you love becoming a bit more forgetful, or maybe you keep misplacing things. While frequent forgetfulness or severe memory loss may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease, some forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. While it’s not preventable, there are things you can do to slow down the brain aging process.

Keeping your brain active, much like your body, is very important at all times of life. By solving brain games and puzzles, you’re working out your brain and reducing your brain age. It’s a simple way to keep yourself sharp, and many people do these types of activities every day. Things you’re already doing every day may count as brain games, like crossword puzzles and word searches!

As you look through this list of the best brain games for seniors, consider these factors:

  • You’ll find brain games in plenty of different formats, from classic board games to word puzzles and even online video games. For your convenience, we’ve broken them down into a few different categories. Whether you prefer to play on your cell phone or tablet, on a computer, or in a book, you’ll find something for you.
  • It’s important to find games that are not only fun but aren’t too frustrating. If you’re looking for brain games for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, you’ll want to choose games that are challenging but not so difficult that they’ll be impossible to complete. Start slowly with some beginner puzzles and gradually progress to harder puzzles.
  • Monthly fees. Some of the apps and desktop programs require a monthly fee to play. They usually provide more in-depth features like tracking, personalized training programs, and support. These types of programs aren’t for everyone, though they are quite effective.
  • Type of game. Pick games that you have fun playing, as you’ll be more likely to play them by choice. If you absolutely hate Sudoku, do yourself a favor and don’t buy Sudoku At the same time, it is important to vary the types of activities you do. Find a perfect balance.

To help you find the best brain games for you (or your loved one), we’ve rounded up 51 of the best brain games for seniors that are both fun and challenging. From simple classics to sophisticated apps that will have you putting your thinking skills to work like never before, there’s something on this list for everyone who wants to give their brain a good workout. 

Online Brain Games

  1. BrainCurls


This website has a variety of different games to get your brain working. Looking for a memory game? Or maybe you’re more inclined to answer some logic and math questions. Whatever it is, you’ll find plenty of options on BrainCurls.

Key Features:

  • Series of different games
  • Completely free
  • Simple to access and play

Price: Free

  1. SharpBrains


A comprehensive list of 25 different brain teasers. The list is filled with games, illusions, riddles, and other tasks that will work your brain. It’s a great resource for those looking to exercise their brain but aren’t sure what types of tasks they’re interested in.

Key Features:

  • 25 different brain teasers
  • Includes optical illusions
  • Easy to navigate

Price: Free

  1. Daily Word Search

Daily Word Search-min

An online, web-based version of a word search. It’s a classic game that’s loved by everyone, and this version is completely free, with a new puzzle being introduced every day. There are word searches at different difficulty levels, so it’s excellent for beginners and pros alike.

Key Features:

  • Classic word search
  • New puzzle every day
  • Different difficulty levels

Price: Free

  1. Brain Trainer

Brain Trainer-min

A free brain training flash game that mixes memory, logic, and number games to introduce a new puzzle every day. Aside from playing the daily challenges, you can train yourself on any of the games and even track your scores, monitoring your progress.

Key Features:

  • Different brain-training challenges each day
  • Track your scores
  • Training mode

Price: Free

  1. Tetris


A cult classic, Tetris is available online and can be played completely free. What was just a simple game as a kid serves a dual purpose for older adults, as it also trains your brain. It’s a fun, competitive game that’ll bring you back to your youth.

Key Features:

  • Competitive, tracks scores and has a leaderboard
  • Simple to play
  • Gets more challenging as you go

Price: Free

  1. Solitaire


A tried-and-true card game comes to the web. Solitaire, which may be the most popular card game on the planet, trains your brain to notice patterns and gives your memory a workout. It’s a simple, no-frills version of the game that’s easy to jump into.

Key Features:

  • Classic version of the game
  • No ads or distractions
  • Easy to jump into

Price: Free

  1. Daily Crossword

Daily Crossword-min

Test your knowledge and recall ability with a crossword puzzle. It’s another classic game that can be as easy or hard as you like, depending on the type you play and your knowledge. With that said, it’s a great way to test your brain.

Key Features:

  • New crossword every day
  • Easy to access
  • Can play old puzzles

Price: Free

  1. Memozor


An online resource with over 10 versions of a matching card game, Memozor is great for testing your memory. It’s completely free and you can play it as much as you want with no restrictions. If you get bored with one version, try another!

Key Features:

  • Many different matching games
  • A lot of variety on one website
  • Free with unlimited access

Price: Free

  1. Chess


An online version of chess, a game loved by many. Challenge a computer or your friends online and see who’s the best player. It’s more strategic than checkers, requiring you to think on your toes and utilize each piece to its advantage.

Key Features:

  • Online chess with computer or real opponents
  • Has chess lessons as well
  • Helps you get better at the game

Price: Free

  1. Checkers


Checkers is another one of those classic games that everyone has played before. It’s similar to chess, but is a little less strategic in that every piece is the same. With that said, it still requires you to think ahead and predict your opponents moves.

Key Features:

  • Can play with a computer on different difficulty settings
  • Has a two-player option
  • Easy to play

Price: Free

  1. TriviaPlaza


TriviaPlaza is a one-stop-shop for all things trivia. It’s a place where you can test your knowledge of just about anything, exercising your brainpower and forcing you to recall knowledge. Play word trivia, or try your luck at your favorite movie trivia.

Key Features:

  • Tons of different types of trivia
  • Simple navigation
  • Can play to beat the average score

Price: Free

  1. TheJigsawPuzzles


Doing a jigsaw puzzle forces you to use parts of your brain you don’t use often, and this website has hundreds of free puzzles to choose from. Start small with an easy puzzle and work your way up to doing 5,000-piece puzzles.

Key Features:

  • Hundreds of puzzles to choose from
  • Different difficulty puzzles, perfect for all skill types
  • Mystery puzzle available every day

Price: Free


  1. Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune-min

An app version of everyone’s favorite Wheel of Fortune. It may be one of the best word games in the world, and aside from training your brain, it’s a ton of fun and won’t feel like a chore. The perfect option if you want a fun task.

Key Features:

  • Word game
  • Different versions of the game
  • Competitive mode

Price: Free

  1. Lumosity


Lumosity may be the most successful brain game provider in the world. They have an app that’s available on iOS and Android as well as a free and premium membership version. The free version includes three games a day, while the premium game gives you an additional three a day, plus access to web-based games and progress-monitoring tools.

Key Features:

  • Over 60 cognitive games
  • Tracks your metrics
  • Backed by science

Price: Free to start; $15/month or $80/year for premium

  1. Elevate


As one of Apple’s Apps of the Year, Elevate is another premium brain training app that’s more of a system than a one-off game. It will help you build your analytical and communication skills. The free version gives you access to three games a day, much like Lumosity, while the premium version gives you access to eight extra games.

Key Features:

  • Access to 24 games at any time with the premium membership
  • Colorful, loud design
  • Includes metrics and tracking

Price: Free to start; $5/month or $45/year for premium

  1. CogniFit Brain Fitness


CogniFit is a healthcare company with their very own app designed to strengthen cognitive health. Their app is accompanied by web games, and both are available in 15 languages and are backed by science. They perform a battery of tests to see where your baseline is and provide you with games and tasks to strengthen your skills.

Key Features:

  • Assesses over 22 cognitive functions
  • Website support as well as the app
  • Available on iOS and Android

Price: $19.95/month

  1. Personal Zen

Personal Zen-min

This app is a bit different from the rest. It’s a brain game that’s focused on improving your mental health by reducing your anxiety and stress. The game uses principles found to be effective through science to get you to relax. Regular use is said to help improve your mental health in the long term.

Key Features:

  • Relieves anxiety and stress
  • A simple game to play
  • Currently only on iOS

Price: Free

  1. Brainwell Mind Brain Training


A free app that includes plenty of brain training games to build your memory, attention, and critical thinking skills. The app gives you new games every day, keeping things exciting. You’ll want to come back to the app every day to try the new games.

Key Features:

  • New games daily
  • Share scores online and challenge friends
  • Tests of memory, attention, and critical thinking

Price: Free

  1. Happify


Happify is a different kind of app that can actually improve your mental health and make you happier. It uses principles based on mindfulness and positive psychology to slowly but surely change your mindset. It’s free to start, so you can give it a try and see if it’s for you before subscribing.

Key Features:

  • Exercises to improve emotional health
  • Techniques have proven to work by scientists
  • App and web support

Price: Free to start; $14.95/month

  1. Fit Brains Trainer

Fit Brains Trainer-min

Fit Brains Trainer is a program created by Rosetta Stone to help improve brain health through training. There are over 360 games on the app that improve memory, processing speed, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and are actually fun to play.

Key Features:

  • Over 360 games
  • Improves memory and processing speed
  • Beautiful design

Price: Free to start; $19.95/month

  1. Peak


With a few free games, Peak allows you to dip your toes in the water before committing to their full plan. If you’re serious about brain training, you can get access to all of their games and tracking metrics for a low price. Peak was Apple’s App of the Year in 2014.

Key Features:

  • Games that are both fun and educational
  • Builds your cognitive skills
  • Tracks your metrics

Price: Free to start; $5/month

  1. Mensa Brain Training

Mensa Brain Training-min

The games on this app are designed by industry experts, ensuring that users get results. They target five disciplines, including memory, concentration, agility, perception, and reasoning; all fields that seniors should keep sharp as they age. Aside from that, the app has an intuitive design.      

Key Features:

  • Challenging exercises developed by industry experts
  • Five disciplines; memory, concentration, agility, perception, reasoning
  • Intuitive design

Price: Free; in-app purchases

  1. 4 Pics 1 Word

4 Pics 1 Word-min

4 Pics 1 Word is a game that’s been downloaded over 220,000,000 times. It displays four pictures with something in common, which is the word you have to guess. You can play it endlessly, as every puzzle is different and you’ll never do the same one twice.

Key Features:

  • Addictive gameplay
  • Word guessing game
  • Completely free; in-app purchase just gets rid of ads

Price: Free; in-app purchases

  1. Sudoku


Sudoku is a classic loved by everyone. It’s a number game that really trains your brain, and regularly playing the game will definitely pay off in the long run. This app version offers thousands of puzzles with varying levels of difficulty, and there’s an online leaderboard with score tracking.

Key Features:

  • Classic Sudoku
  • Online leaderboards, score tracking
  • Different difficulty levels

Price: Free

  1. Duolingo


While not your standard brain training app, Duolingo allows you to learn another language at your own pace. Learning another language is proven to keep your brain healthy, especially doing so in older age. You can advance at your own pace and learn just about any language you could want through interactive games and lessons.

Key Features:

  • Can teach you just about any language
  • Gamified so it’s always fun
  • Available on every platform

Price: Free to start; $9.99/month

  1. Memorado


Memorado is a cheaper alternative to other brain training apps but it’s just as effective. It starts with an assessment, then they provide you with a personalized training schedule consisting of games and tasks you can do on the app or online.

Key Features:

  • Five fields: speed, concentration, memory, reaction, logic
  • Set your own goals on their program that monitors them
  • Personalized training schedule

Price: Free to start; $34.99/year

  1. Memrise


Memrise is another app that focuses on teaching you a new language through games and fun activities. You can access the app for free either in app form or on the web. With the Pro subscription, you get complete access to everything for just $4.92 a month.

Key Features:

  • Tons of videos to access
  • Can learn using your app or on the website
  • Teaches you a language through fun games

Price: Free to start; $4.92/month annually

  1. Brainscape


Brainscape is a full program that gives you access to the tools you need to study a variety of subjects including algebra, law, medicine and just about anything else you can think of. It makes learning easier for students and is just as effective for seniors looking to strengthen their knowledge.

Key Features:

  • Flashcards to learn interesting facts about a variety of subjects
  • Access to classes to train your brain, learn, and get rewarded
  • Easy to use design

Price: Free to start; $9.99/month

  1. Hidden Objects

Hidden Objects-min

Hidden Objects is a game similar to the popular Where’s Waldo. You locate objects in difficult puzzles, which trains your brain to identify things and find objects. It’s perfect for seniors, and you can play for free.

Key Features:

  • Find hidden objects
  • Trains your brain to recognize things in a crowd
  • Free to play, can pay for unlimited access

Price: Free to start; in-app purchases

  1. Smart


Smart provides a plethora of logic and brain puzzles that are excellent for developing and strengthening your brain. It’s proven to enhance your memory, and it’s proven to improve memory, flexibility, concentration, and reaction.

Key Features:

  • Over 600 levels
  • 28 different games
  • Colorful and fun

Price: Free to start; in-app purchases

Puzzle Books

  1. Crossword


The classic Crossword game in the tried-and-true booklet form. It’s full of over 200 puzzles created by USA Today, which range from easy to hard. If you prefer to do them in booklets as opposed to on an app, this is a great book to start with.

Key Features:

  • Over 200 puzzles
  • Classic puzzles from USA Today
  • Can write and draw in the margins for notes

Price: $9.25

  1. Word Search

Worlds World Search-min

Word searches are another tried-and-true game you can participate in to get your brain working. If you’re more inclined to do puzzles in a booklet over an app, this book is perfect for you. There are 1,000 puzzles, so it’ll last even the most rigorous word-searching enthusiast a while.

Key Features:

  • Printed on high-quality paper
  • Easy to read font
  • 1,000 puzzles

Price: $24.75

  1. Sudoku


Your classic Sudoku but in booklet form. This book has over 300 puzzles, providing you with a great mental workout. There are pro and beginner puzzles, making it perfect for everyone. The pages are large and you have room to write notes.

Key Features:

  • Over 300 puzzles
  • Great mental workout
  • Beginner and pro puzzles

Price: $9.98

  1. 399 Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges

399 games puzzles trivia-min

This book is full of different games, puzzles, and trivia challenges to improve your brainpower and lower your brain age. To keep it exciting, they’re all different games and the book itself is arranged from easiest to most difficult.

Key Features:

  • 399 different games for variety
  • Arranged from easiest to most difficult
  • Vetted by a neuroscientist

Price: $11.79

  1. Brain Games

Brain games-min

Brain Games was created to exercise the brain and provide a different type of experience from other brain books. It has over 12 different types of games and gradually gets more difficult. This spiral-bound book is high quality and easy to handle.

Key Features:

  • Different types of puzzles including mazes, drawing exercises, anagrams, and crosswords
  • Puzzles get more difficult as you progress
  • Great for on the go use

Price: $9.98

  1. Brain Teasers

Brain Teasers-min

To keep your brain working, you need to solve complex puzzles that get you thinking. This book will definitely help you do that. The puzzles are organized from easiest to hardest and will get your brain working. Aside from that, the authors also give you interesting historical facts.

Key Features:

  • 125 different teasers
  • Provides historical facts and background information so you’re always learning
  • Different difficulty levels

Price: $9.86

  1. Logic Puzzles

logic puzzles-min

Moving on from Brain Teasers, you’ll want something a bit more challenging. This set of logic puzzles is made for those with experience solving similar puzzles, and they range from easy to hard. The book does a good job of explaining how to find the solutions.

Key Features:

  • Challenging logic puzzles
  • Includes solutions to every puzzle
  • Explains the answers so you understand how to solve them yourself in the future

Price: $6.95

  1. Where’s Waldo

wheres waldo-min

Nearly everyone recognizes the famous Waldo, who has been hiding in plain sight in a variety of scenes in the well-known Where’s Waldo books for more than 25 years. This deluxe edition, issued to commemorate Waldo’s 25th anniversary, features new things to search for, a new visual checklist on every spread, and a never-before seen section of artwork on every spread to keep you searching in earnest for hours.

Key Features:

  • Classic Where’s Waldo puzzles
  • Includes a new spot-the-difference game
  • New things to search for

Price: $13.49

Board and Card Games

  1. Solitaire


We mentioned a web-based version of Solitaire, but for those who prefer a classic version, consider playing it with your own pack of cards. Odds are you already have a pack of cards, so it’s basically free. You can play with many different types of variations to spice it up.

Key Features:

  • Can be played alone
  • Different versions can be played
  • Relaxing at the same time

Price: Free (a deck of cards is all you need!)

  1. Catan

Sttlers of Catan-min

What may be one of the most popular board games of the decade, Catan is not only fun, but it provides ample opportunity to train your brain. You have to strategize against your opponents, track resources, and plan how you’re going to win. There’s no moment where you aren’t thinking ahead.

Key Features:

  • Provides hundreds of hours of fun for everyone
  • Train your brain while strategizing and tracking resources
  • Can be played with friends

Price: $44.10

  1. Clue


Another wildly popular board game, Clue puts you in the detective seat as you try and figure out who committed the murder using the clues given. It’s a puzzle game like no other filled with competition and non-stop fun.

Key Features:

  • Detective game where you figure out who committed the murder
  • Retro art
  • Play with friends

Price: $14.29

  1. Monopoly


You may not think of Monopoly as a game to train your brain, but there is a lot to it that requires you to plan and think ahead. Tracking your money and counting your dollars is one part of the game that requires your brain power, as well strategizing.

Key Features:

  • Classic board game version
  • New token line-up
  • Buy properties, track your money, and strategize

Price: $14.59

  1. Ticket to Ride

ticket to ride-min

Ticket to Ride is a popular specialty board game use their color-coded train pieces to connect one place on the map to another for points. The winner is the one who has the most points, gotten through connecting routes. The map is made up of real places, and it uses your brain in that you have to plot your best routes and look to block other players routes.

Key Features:

  • Build your train routes to connect to different places on the map
  • Uses real locations, which may spark a memory
  • Competitive but fun

Price: $44.99

  1. Telestrations


This board game forces you to sketch out concepts and scenarios to be guessed by other players. Or, sometimes you’re also guessing other people’s pictures. It’s a fun game that’ll keep you laughing while exercising your brain.

Key Features:

  • Sketch drawings and try to guess others pictures
  • Over 1,700 words to guess
  • Classic game of telephone but with pictures

Price: $29.55

  1. Bridge


What may be one of the most popular card games in the world, Bridge has been around since the 1930s. It involves each player attempting to score points by defeating your opponents’ hands. Strategizing and predicting movements will keep your brain working.

Key Features:

  • Popular card game since 1930
  • Exercises your brain by keeping track of bids and strategizing, predicting other players’ hands
  • A really fun game

Price: Free (a deck of cards is all you need!)

  1. Connect 4

connect 4-min

Connect 4 is a pretty simple and quick game you can play with anyone. It involves putting pieces into a grid in an attempt to connect four pieces of your color. Find the perfect balance between blocking your opponent and finding your own opportunities to connect four.

Key Features:

  • Easy to play
  • Teaches you to look for patterns and plan ahead
  • Quick games

Price: $8.77

  1. Scrabble


Scrabble is one of those games you either love or hate. But the fact is, you can learn a lot from playing Scrabble. Rack your brain for words you’ve long forgotten, learn new words, and practice your spelling all while having a competitive (and entertaining) match.

Key Features:

  • Classic word game
  • Competitive, fun, and educational at the same time
  • Helps you expand your vocabulary while expanding your vocabulary

Price: $15.78

  1. Crazy Eights

crazy eights-min

A tried-and-true card game, Crazy Eights is always a good time. You can play with just two people or even more than five people. The goal is to get rid of your hand before your opponents. Matching suits and patterns and knowing when to drop your cards is quite strategic.

Key Features:

  • Be the first player to get rid of all the cards
  • Predicting movements and matching suits and patterns
  • Quick games

Price: Free (a deck of cards is all you need!)

  1. Backgammon


While not the most strenuous game, Backgammon relies on arithmetic and strategy (as well as some luck) to win, and the games are quite short. Get your brain racing with this strategic game that’ll leave you wanting to play more.

Key Features:

  • Beautifully made Backgammon board
  • Available in different sizes
  • Relies on arithmetic and strategy

Price: $34.99

  1. Checkers


If you prefer to play checkers in real life, using the classic board and pieces, this affordable set is what you need. It’s a high-quality checkers set with pieces that’ll withstand the test of time. To win, you’ll need to put your strategy and planning skills to work.

Key Features:

  • Classic board game with a high-quality design
  • Affordable
  • Involves strategy and planning

Price: $8.65

  1. Chess


Like checkers, sometimes chess is best played using a real board. Nothing beats the feel of the pieces in your hand as you maneuver and knock out your opponent. To be good at chess, you really need to use your brain, and regular play will keep you sharp.

Key Features:

  • Large board and pieces for easy playing
  • Quality wooden design
  • Handcrafted pieces

Price: $26.99