Guide to Selecting Fun Games for Seniors

Many people love to play fun and exciting games and seniors are no exception to the rule. Playing games is not just for kids, as they are fun, engaging, and stress-relieving activities that should be practiced by everyone, even in old age. Encouraging seniors to start playing games is great if they don’t do it already. In addition to providing them something to do, there are also a number of benefits that they can get depending on the type of game they choose to play. 

When choosing games for seniors, it is essential to pick those that are engaging and stimulating to the mind. These games not only make them feel good but also help them exercise their brains. For instance, there are games that are beneficial for concentration, memory, focus, and imagination, which are perfect for seniors. If you are looking for games that you want your senior parents, friends, or patients to try playing, you’re in the right place. In this post, we are giving you a guide to selecting fun games for seniors.

Benefits of Games for Seniors

Benefits of Games for Seniors

It is beneficial to encourage seniors to play various games for a lot of reasons. Games such as board games and card games may help improve their memory and help with age-related memory loss, as these can stimulate their brains through numbers, letters, colors, and more. However, the benefits of playing games for seniors go beyond the brain. Below are the different benefits of games for seniors:

Playing Games Encourages Interaction with Others

Quality of life is linked to social interactions and can be an essential part of the sense of well-being of an older adult. Playing games regularly with other people can help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation. Talk and interaction during gameplay are great opportunities to get to know each other better and deepen friendships in people’s golden years. With this, it is ideal to choose a game that multiple players can enjoy at a table, such as board games and puzzles. [1] 

Playing Games Exercises the Brain

According to experts on aging, “playing your cards right” can help keep your mind sharp long after retirement. And this is actually correct. Playing games such as card games can help improve short-term and long-term memory. [1]  

Playing Games Can Help Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline

Board games are able to enhance memory formation and help exercise cognitive skills. According to a British Medical Journal study, the risk of dementia was 15% lower in board game players compared to non-players. Aside from that, a 68-year longitudinal study published in the Journal of Gerontology found that the more a person played games, the higher their cognitive function at 70 and the less cognitive decline from age 70 to age 79. [1]

Playing Games Can Create More Happiness

seniors playing card games

Stress reduction and enjoyment are two side effects of playing games. These activities trigger the release of endorphins, which is the natural “feel-good” chemicals of the body. These happy hormones can improve the conscious and unconscious functions of the mind, which can leave a person feeling happy, compassionate, and content. 

There was one study that focused specifically on the effects of games like jigsaw puzzles for adults. It found that the regulation of distressing emotions through jigsaw puzzles could help prevent chronic stress among seniors. [1]

Playing Games Increase Physical Activity

There are games that require physical interaction, such as Wii Sports and outdoor games. These types of games can help seniors improve their strength, coordination, balance, reflexes, and stretching due to the quick decision-making and action needed during play. A lot of traditional games today are being made larger than life. Seniors can benefit from life-size games that involve more physical activity compared to sitting and playing a board game. It’s because these games require full-on body movement and everyone’s attention. [1]

Different Types of Games For Seniors

Games that engage senior minds can help maintain their cognitive abilities and slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. The benefits of playing games usually make a noticeable difference in a short period. And as mentioned earlier, games are also a great way to connect and share, which is important for those who are suffering from the effects of social isolation, which is a common issue among older adults. [2] 

However, the type of games that seniors should play can be different for each individual. For instance, games that involve physical elements are not a great choice for all seniors, and games that have time limits or complex strategies may cause frustration for those who have reduced cognitive ability. [2] With this, what games do you think are best for seniors? To help you decide, below are some of the different types of games that can be played by seniors:

Card Games

seniors play card games

There are many different kinds of card games that seniors can play to pass the hours with groups of friends or even by themselves. Having a deck of cards is great as the number of different games that seniors can play using them brings a lot of variety. They can also choose the appropriate games for their skill levels and cognitive abilities. A simple memory game using cards is a good example, and it is beneficial for the memory and brain activity of an older adult. [2] Below are some examples of card games for seniors to help you choose:

  • Bicycle E-Z See/Lo-Vision Playing Card Deck: This deck of cards is perfect for seniors as each suit is a different color. It also features large suit symbols, numbers, and letters. The design helps seniors keep track of their hands through a simple color-coded system, allowing them to recognize all four suites easily. These cards are fun to use, even if your vision is just fine.
  • Past & Present Pairs: This card game is made to spark memories, create conversations, and bring up fun stories. It is also great cross-generational fun for seniors, adults, teens, and kids. It is a fun game that will make you compare and discuss various things from the past and present, such as fashion, history, TV, and music. 
  • SKYJO by Magilano: The goal of this card game is to get as few points as possible through flipping, trading, and collecting cards over several rounds. The rules of the game are easy to learn, even for seniors. It is a turn-based and time-flexible game. It is suitable for 2 to 8 players, and one round can take about 30 minutes.

Brain Games for Seniors

senior couple working on a jigsaw puzzle

In addition to card games, there are many other types of games that may aid in exercising the brains and minds of seniors. These games are perfect for seniors who are not fond of going outdoors or those who are unable to join active and physical games due to certain health conditions. Below are some of the best examples of brain games that seniors will enjoy:

Crossword puzzles are widely available in book form or online, and they have long been a favorite pastime of seniors. Plus, there is a significant probability that you can find this game in your daily local newspaper. A study found that crossword puzzles have you thinking critically, which helps to keep your brain healthy as you age. The fact that you can play this game by yourself or with a team is its strongest feature.

Did you know that in 1979, the first Sudoku puzzle was published? In this game, all you have to do is use the existing pattern to fill in the blanks of the numbers ranging from one to nine (1-9). You should proceed through each box until the puzzle is finished since no row (horizontally or vertically) can contain the same number.

Since you must recall where other numbers are in the puzzle, sudoku might help you focus better and remember things better. Additionally, finishing the puzzle will give you the much-needed sense of accomplishment you need to feel wonderful.

In the seventh century, the emperors of India invented chess. Seniors will benefit much from this game’s encouragement of strategy and original thought. Chess is generally easy to learn. However, some people assume that you need a particularly smart mind to play this game, which is accurate to some extent but not totally. Even while you can play chess on your computer and smartphone, a game in a senior center or park, where you can also engage in social contact, will provide a far greater chess experience.

  • Switch It Up

In order to complete the activities that you would typically complete with your dominant hand in this game for seniors, you must utilize your non-dominant hand. While practicing the same tasks with your non-dominant hand is a terrific strategy to strengthen connections between your brain cells, it may seem strange to some people. Additionally, the more daily duties you complete with your non-dominant hand, the stronger it will get.

Scrabble is a fun multiplayer game that gives you a chance to meet new people and communicate with them. This game’s calming and calming nature may help lower blood pressure, enhance memory, and make you feel happier all around. Participants may also write down amusing terms or words that don’t make any sense at all while playing this game, making the other players chuckle. Laughing means that endorphins will be released into the brain, making you naturally happy and boosting your general well-being.

Love to solve issues? The best puzzles for you are jigsaws! Clarity Pointe claims that solving puzzles has numerous advantages, such as better short-term memory, improved social interaction, a slower decline in cognitive function, etc. Dopamine, a hormone linked to happiness that enhances overall wellbeing is also released when you find and link two correct pieces.

Video Games

seniors playing video games

Even though kids are often having fun with video games, there are no stopping seniors from getting into the action if they wish. Video games are very entertaining and can provide loads of fun and relaxation at any age. These games can be played on a computer, a tablet, or even a cell phone. This means that there never needs to be a lack of something fun to do for seniors. [3]


senior woman winning in a game of Bingo

Bingo is among the classic games that seniors love to play. Most of the time, seniors play in bingo halls or in nursing homes. But the game can be played anywhere where there is a set of bingo and a few players to compete with. Playing bingo also does not have to cost a lot of money. Bingo sets are very affordable, and the game always provides awesome fun for everyone. [3] Below are a few examples of bingo sets to help you choose:

  • Royal Bingo: This is a jumbo bingo set that includes a large metal cage, 75 colorful bingo balls, 100 cardstock bingo cards, a hardy plastic master board, and 500 assorted bingo chips. It is a great game set for larger groups of seniors. The bingo balls have a clear coating for easy reading. It is great for community centers, retirement homes, and more.
  • Brybelly Complete Bingo Game Set: This set includes everything that seniors need to play bingo, such as 18 bingo cards, 150 rainbow chips, a plastic ball holder, a metal cage, and 75 plastic balls. It is great for parties, gatherings, family bonding, weekly senior bingo nights, and more. 

More Indoor Games to Pass the Time

seniors bonding over indoor games

In addition to card games and puzzle games, there are many other indoor games out there that seniors can play to pass the time easily. A lot of nursing homes and community living centers play games in an organized fashion regularly. [3] Below are some examples of the fun indoor games that seniors can play to pass the time:

  • Qwirkle: To win at the tile game Qwrikle, you must mix, match, and score. You must combine various forms and colors, or add to existing lines of the same shapes or colors.
  • Backgammon: Backgammon is all about using your brain to think ahead, plan your movements, and beat your opponent to be the first to remove all 15 of your checkers from the board. 
  • Mahjong: You must construct a winning tile combination first in Mahjong to win. Although learning this could be challenging at first, there are many tutorials available online to get the mechanics of the game. 
  • Checkers: It’s possible that you’ve participated in this game before. You must eliminate all of your opponent’s pieces from the board before they may use a more cunning move to do the same to you in order to win this game.
  • Dominos: Again, the goal of this game is to play every single domino tile before the other players do. The dominoes must be placed end to end with previously played matched tiles.
  • Keeping Busy Expressions Brain Game: This is a relaxing activity, especially for seniors and dementia patients. It is a fill-in-the-blank game designed for elderly people living with memory-related conditions, but it is suitable for all cognitive abilities. It can help seniors improve their focus, and it also offers mental stimulation. 
  • Big Boggle: This is a hidden word game that is enjoyed by a lot of players, even seniors. Each player is given three minutes to find all the four-letter words that they can find. The one with the greatest number of words wins. 


Choosing the best games for seniors can be challenging at first. But just remember that in order to find suitable and enjoyable games for them, you need to mainly consider their preferences, as well as their capabilities. Most of the time, brain games like puzzles are perfect choices, especially for seniors who are unable to participate in more active games due to their health conditions. There are indeed a lot of games to choose from for them, and we hope that this post helped you learn more about selecting fun games for seniors.


[1] All Seniors Care, E. (2021, October 7). 5 surprising benefits of playing board games. All Seniors Care. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from

[2] MonAmi, E. (n.d.). 10 best games to play with seniors. Modern technology to scale senior services. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from

[3] Whitney, C. (2020, March 9). 10 Great Types of Games for Seniors. Northern Iowa Therapy. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from