Video games have long been the enemy of homework getting done or rooms being cleaned. And the problem has only gotten worse (or better, depending on your point of view) over the years.
Now, gamers don’t even have to leave their messy bedrooms to conquer a seemingly unconquerable level or to make it to the next save point. Whether it’s a straightforward, single player shoot ‘em up or a multilayered, open-world multiplayer online role-playing game, these following titles are sure to hook you as soon as you press “start.”
Here’s a list of the 8 most addictive video games of all-time:
#8 Call of Duty franchise
Speaking of dopamine, this next game franchise flooded player’s neural receptors with endless waves of the pleasure-inducing drug rather than doling it out in small doses like with Candy Crush Saga. The Call of Duty franchise revolutionized the first-person shooter game and brought players closer to the chaos and rush of actual combat than any game before it.
Like with the wars that it depicted in its gameplay, the franchise evolved with every new title. Storylines and scenarios were confined to the Second World War for the first six entries in the series. But 2007 saw the game leap forward into the arena of modern warfare, which was, of course, also its title.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare brought the player into the complicated morass of international terrorism and rogue states. But the game made sure to match the scope of the game’s reach with added firepower and bombast. Each subsequent title has shifted back and forth between timelines, but the gameplay, whatever the era depicted, remained explosive, awe-inspiring and just plain addictive.
#7 Grand Theft Auto Online
The Grand Theft Auto series, like Call of Duty, also deserves a place among the most game-changing (pun intended) games ever created. But, one thing that GTA does not share with the war-fighting game is the morally gray and decidedly anti-authority ethos it exudes out of every pixelated pore.
An anarchist’s wet dream, the open-world configuration of the GTA franchise allowed players to indulge in sadistic and violent behavior while completing banal, everyday tasks. The ease with which players could mow down pedestrians with their souped-up Cadillac DeVille or commit acts of terrorism shrouded the game’s 1997 release with controversy.
There have been five iterations of GTA since the original. Each new title built upon the last adding more interactive and immersive elements that put you into the shoes of a low-rent criminal looking to conquer the city’s criminal underworld. And like with later versions of CoD, GTA 5 offers players an online, multiplayer component that opened up the sandbox even further by taking the mayhem to land, sea, and air.
Tetris is the Mona Lisa of video games. Even today, Tetris is easily one of the most recognized and well-known video games of all time, even to non-gamers. The invention of a Russian game designer, Tetris was released in 1984 and remains as popular now as it was then.
The gameplay is deceptively simple. But the challenge of trying to arrange all the falling tetrominoes into solid blocks to make them fume away like e-cigarette vapor and make way for the rest of the pieces remains timeless.
#5 Candy Crush Saga
An obvious descendant of the austere Russian puzzle game, Candy Crush Saga put a colorful spin on the board-clearing mechanics of Tetris. Originally conceived as a free, downloadable app for Facebook users, Candy Crush Saga, like its forebears, is astonishingly easy, which is part of its naturally addictive appeal.
The first levels of the game are simple enough. But they set up a challenge-and-reward system that plays havoc with your brain’s dopamine levels.
The proceeding levels increase in difficulty, making the rewards gleaned from passing them even more pleasurable. And with close to 2,500 levels to clear, Candy Crush Saga is sure to keep your neck craned as you stare into your smartphone for hours on end.
#4 Pokemon Go
What other modern game can say it inspired otherwise rational human beings to stampede en masse in public places looking for digital avatars of beloved cartoon characters?
What culminated in a 2016 Super Bowl ad that introduced the world to the “augmented reality” of Pokemon Go started all the way back in 1995, when Nintendo premiered Pokemon Red and Blue for their Gameboy console.
The creators of Pokemon Go believe its value comes from the fact that it engages players more viscerally and physically. The game gets players out of their stuffy living rooms to explore the outdoors, and team up with complete strangers to catch as many Pokemon as they can.
#3 Dota 2
Similar to the way that early versions of the e-cigarette were tinkered with by their owners to create more powerful devices, Defense of the Ancients (DotA) started life as a fan-created mod to video game developer Blizzard’s wildly successful Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Dota 2 was the brainchild of Valve, who commissioned the creators of the original to create a sequel. Dota 2 pits teams of players (five on each side) against each other, in a modern update on the classic capture-the-flag objective, known in gaming parlance as a multiplayer battle online arena (MOBA).
The hyper-fast action of the game and the satisfaction of defeating the other team’s ancient ensures endless hours of gameplay. But Dota 2 has gone beyond being a mere pastime. It has taken a position of prominence among eSports aficionados, with its creator, Valve, setting up international tournaments that only served to increase the game’s popularity.
#2 Rocket League
How can rocket-powered dune buggies blasting around an arena playing soccer with a gigantic soccer ball not be addictive? Have you ever watched a soccer match and thought to yourself, “what this game needs is jet-propelled rocket cars!”? Then your wildest dreams have come true.
Taking team sports to another level, Rocket League combines the team dynamics of soccer, with the explosiveness of an Evel Knievel stunt jump. Just like with Dota 2, a team of five players (or less) play against one another to achieve the simple objective of scoring goals. Only, instead of fancy footwork, players must leap into the air like kangaroos in zero gravity to push the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
The sheer joy of scoring an impossible goal, along with the utter frustration of missing the ball completely most of the time, are the perfect combination to keep players engaged for hours.
#1 World of Warcraft
The World Health Organization has been raining on many parades as of late. Not only has the international body come out against the use of the electronic cigarette as a smoking cessation tool, but they also exposed the negative environmental impact of real cigarettes in a landmark study.
And now, its seems WHO have trained their sights on video games. The recent decision by the World Health Organization to officially recognize gaming addiction as a disorder has, no doubt, something to do with the insanely popular World of Warcraft.
Even though the game is now celebrating ten years, it remains as alluringly addictive as when it came out. The possibilities are endless for this massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
Not only do players get to interact with each other in the multiplayer universe, but the game also boasts an endless amount of expansion packs that keep adding new missions and content to the game’s already extensive and immersive world. The ever-changing and expanding nature of the game all but ensures little time for real life.
About the Author: Phyllis Baker is the blogger specializing in health issues. She manages public relations for the QuitSmokingCommunity.