The 10 Best Memory Games to Train Your Brain
Everybody knows how important it is to carve out time for ourselves and find ways to
relax and destress our minds. But what about keeping our brains strong and healthy?
Can we combine self-care with self-improvement?
While engaging in calming activities like meditation and yoga can certainly help you feel
more relaxed, it doesn’t do much for your memory. Not to mention, sometimes
practicing mindfulness can feel like work in and of itself. Sometimes, all you need is a
fun way to zone out and relax while engaging your mind. That’s why we love brain
One of the simplest ways for adults to strengthen their brains is to play games for
memory. The best memory games help people hone their focus, attention, and
concentration so that they can remember fond memories with crystal clear recall.
Playing memory games isn’t just good for focus and memory, it also improves our
problem-solving skills and analytical thinking.
You can never start exercising your brain too early, and there are memory games for all
ages. Here's why you and your loved ones should start regularly engaging in mental
games that challenge you while also being fun!
Why Play Games for Memory?
It’s no secret that aging changes every organ and system in the human body, including
the brain. When our neurons lose their ability to communicate with one another, our
cognitive abilities decline. That’s why it’s so important to train your brain. It doesn’t just
help you improve memory, games that challenge you mentally can help keep your brain
in tip-shop shape. Think of your brain as a muscle — the more you work it, the
stronger it’ll be.
Here are some of the many advantages of playing games that help with memory:
Maintains Cognitive Performance
In addition to improving memory, games and puzzles keep our cognitive abilities intact.
This means not just retaining information like memories, but maintaining our ability to
learn new skills and retain old ones. For example games that test one's concentration
and mental acuities, like chess and Sudoku, help maintain analytical thinking and logical
Boosts Visual Memory and Pattern Recognition
Visual memory is a crucial part of our cognitive abilities. Why? Because visual
recognition allows us to turn short-term memory into long-term memory. This ability is
at the core of the most basic academic tasks such as reading, spelling and writing. That’s
why visual pattern recognition is a common component in nearly all memory games.
These visual cues stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, leading to improvements in
analytical reasoning and memory retention. There are games that help you learn to
focus on visual patterns, identify them, memorize them, and then recall them later on.
Increases Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension
Crossword puzzles and other online word games to help memory are great for
expanding vocabulary, increasing natural spelling abilities, and aid in reading
comprehension. This is because, when we learn a new word, our brain first presents it
to us in a picture form, activating a neuron that then tells us to finish the word the next
time we encounter it. The more familiar we are with these words through our
memories, the deeper an understanding we develop. That’s why many elementary
schools and even SAT prep courses use word games to help students expand (and
retain) their vocabulary.
Reduces Risk of Alzheimers and Dementia
Research has shown that brain training reduces our risk of memory-related disorders
like Alzheimers and dementia. Remember what we said about the brain being like a
muscle? By exercising that muscle, we keep it strong and healthy. People don’t question
the fact that physically working out is good for our bodies, so why shouldn’t a cognitive
workout be good for our mental health? By keeping our brains engaged, we keep them
active. By challenging it with solving clues and identifying patterns, we keep it sharp.
Improves Attention Span
It’s no secret that in today’s technological world, attention spans are getting shorter.
We’ve all become used to instant gratification, whether it be looking something up on
our smartphones or scrolling through social media feeds. Studies show that our
attention spans play a big role in our memory capacity, meaning we need to work to
keep that attention span long and healthy.
The Top 10 Best Games To Improve Memory
If you want to train your brain, try some of these fun and challenging games to improve
memory and concentration:
For those with a penchant for logic puzzles, the game of Sudoku is a must. You'll use
your skills to place numbers in the right rows, columns, and boxes. It's a terrific way to
challenge the brain, improve your memory, and boost problem-solving skills — all while
Most people believe that solving a Sudoku puzzle requires mathematical prowess, but
that’s simply not the case. In order to solve a Sudoku puzzle, you need to utilize your
logic rather than your math skills to determine where each number should go. While it
helps, it is not necessary to have strong mathematical skills to be great at this
challenging numbers puzzle. Playing Sudoku improves your memory because it forces
you to consider the various outcomes of placing different numbers in a single blank
2. Crossword Puzzles
Crossword puzzles, by their very nature, are great for exercising memory and brain
power. Why? Because doing crosswords puzzles for memory improvement is a great
way to get your brain thinking. What better way to train your brain than solving clues?
Adults with specific interests, like economics and language, can benefit from solving
themed puzzles to stimulate broad interest and learn critical analysis.
Moreover, crossword puzzles improve cognitive skills beyond just language usage. It’s
also a great way to learn new facts and history, meaning crosswords can help you up
your trivia game as well! Studies have shown that people who solve crossword puzzles
on a regular basis have the mental agility of someone ten years younger.
Because it challenges one's cognitive abilities so deeply, chess has earned a reputation as
a game best suited for those with above-average intelligence. Chess requires quick
thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as both analytical and logical thinking. It’s
also great for memory training because it requires players to memorize a lot of rules.
Many people compare chess and football, full of complex plays and strategic planning to
getting to the other side of the board. In addition to making smart moves, chess also
requires players to recollect past events in order to learn from them and avoid making
the same mistakes again. The ability to remember moves and counter moves is crucial
for chess success, otherwise your opponent will check-mate you in no time!
4. Word Searches
While word searches may not seem like much of a challenge, they’re actually a great way
to improve memory and pattern recognition. Word searches require players to analyze a
small set of letters as a "clue" before locating the answer. People employ several different
regions of their brains to find the correct answer, taking into account both the word's
length and its position.
Word searches are great for people of all ages, because the ability to spot patterns is
crucial for all aspects of life. Whether you have a young child or you’re looking for a
relaxing brain game to veg on the couch with at the end of the day, word searches are a
great option. Players exercise their recall skills because they’re required to remember
where they saw a collection of letters in order to find the word in the puzzle.
5. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles have been around for centuries and no, they’re not just for your
grandma! In fact, jigsaw puzzles challenge both sides of your brain simultaneously. Your
left hemisphere processes information logically and sequentially, whereas your right
hemisphere is responsible for your creative and intuitive thought processes.
Solving jigsaw puzzles has been shown to be a great short-term memory game that is
fun and relaxing at the same time. Puzzle solving is a fantastic technique to sharpen
your mind, increase your processing speed, and boost your short-term memory. It’s also
a great way to boost hand-eye coordination, requiring both your hands and your brain.
6. Word Scramble
One of the most entertaining memory games you can play in your spare time is a word
scramble. The goal is simple: you need to figure out the right word in a set of scrambled
letters. This is great for people of all ages, but especially for children. Youngsters who
practice their vocabulary and language skills by solving word scrambles benefit greatly.
It helps them to develop word recognition, learn to read context clues, and improve
Playing word scramble games regularly can significantly improve your brain's ability to
solve problems and can increase your attention span. By focusing on solving the word
scramble, you’re using clues to solve the puzzle as well as strengthening your ability to
focus. What better way to train your brain?
If you're looking for a relaxing pastime, you can’t go wrong with Mahjong. While the
game might look simple on the surface, a well-planned strategy is essential for success.
Players of Mahjong must be able to memorize and strategize based on the symbols on
each tile. This memorization of tiles and symbols is great for training your brain, but it
also increases one's ability to recognize visual patterns.
In a study performed on adults and seniors, it was proven that playing Mahjong can
improve short-term memory, increase attention spans and concentrations, and sharpen
logical thinking skills. So challenge your friends and start playing Mahjong today!
Backgammon is one of the most well-known two-player table games that combines
strategy and chance to determine the winner. The game has survived for thousands of
years, with its origins traced back to ancient Mesopotamia and Persia. Talk about a long
It takes a significant amount of brainpower, memory, and wit to succeed at most
tabletop strategy board games. However, backgammon in particular is a great way to
sharpen your mind because it requires a lot of strategic planning and quick
problem-solving. Specifically, these activities help strengthen connections between the
prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. This aids in the formation of long-term
memories and the ability to think on your feet.
We couldn’t make this list without talking about one of the most classic games out
there: good old fashioned solitaire. Solitaire can be played by anyone, regardless of age.
While this old school game might not seem very challenging, your brain is actually
working hard to parse through that stockpile!
At its most basic, the benefits of playing solitaire for your memory start with
memorizing the suits and colors of the deck. However, you also need to recall where
you last saw a specific card or remember the grouping of cards. This allows you to plan
out your next move in order, resulting in strategic and logical thinking. So next time
you’re playing solitaire, remember that you’re not just killing time — you’re training
10. Matching Games
Puzzle games that have a matching format have seen considerable success for those
looking to improve their memories. They offer a fun, simple and easy way to boost
cognitive skills. Matching games can vary wildly, but nearly all of them boost your
brain’s ability to recall because you must remember which tile is hiding a specific image.
Arkadium’s Memory Game is like most matching games, asking you to clear the board
by matching tiles. Once you match the correct tiles, they’ll disappear. However, our
game comes with a fun little brain boost. Every once in a while, you may be asked to
match tiles of the same theme, instead of matching identical images. You can also get
bonus points by matching star tiles to boost your score in this super additive memory
Play the Best Memory Games at Arkadium
Our memories are some of our most precious belongings, and we have to work hard to
keep them. Luckily, training your brain doesn’t have to feel like work. With Arkadium,
you can access hundreds of free games online — no download necessary. So start flexing
that brain muscle and get to gamin’ with Arkadium today!