Keeping your brain in top shape doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to enroll in graduate classes or write a thesis. Crossword puzzles, word games, logic problems and other games can also help your brain stay fit and healthy, and there are plenty of fun ones to try online during your down time.
These crossword puzzles come in all sorts of difficulty levels, from The New York Times to British puzzles.
- USA Today Crossword: Take this daily crossword puzzle and dig through the archives for even more games.
- New York Times Learning Network: These NYT crosswords are organized according to theme, like Thanksgiving, the Civil Rights Movement, the Stock Market and others.
- Daily Mirror: Challenge yourself even further when you do a crossword from this British newspaper.
- Premium Crosswords: These premium crosswords from the NYT include the famous Sunday puzzles.
- Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword: Solve the crossword puzzle from the LA Times here.
- Thinks.com: Use the timer on this crossword puzzle to see how fast you can solve each one.
Sharpen your memory with these games, including flip card memory games and more.
- Fun Match: It looks like a kids’ game, but you’ll be surprised at how challenged you are.
- Don’t Forget! Playing Games with Memory: Play Memory Solitaire and other memory games here.
- Random Digits: See how many random digits you can remember in this game.
- Random Cards: This game asks you to remember random cards with numbers and letters.
- Concentration Memory Game: This game has four levels, so you can continue to challenge yourself.
- Flip Card: See how fast you can complete this game.
- Photo memory: Match pictures, colors or textures in this game.
- Are you smarter than a chimp?: Click squares in numeric order to beat the chimp in this game.
- Military Match: Showdown: Air Combat: This flip card memory game uses photos of different airplanes.
- Memory Chunks: You only have 15 seconds to remember a series of letters in order.
Here you’ll find riddles, logic problems and other challenging but addicting games for your brain.
- Hidden Word: Find the hidden word in each sentence and determine it’s category: texture, vegetable, animal, color, etc.
- Common Sayings Unscrambler: Unscrable each sentence and then find the missing word.
- Rubik’s cube: Answer questions about this Rubik’s cube.
- Brain Den: Here you’ll find logic problems, number puzzles and other brain teasers.
- Braingle: Head to Braingle to solve puzzle hunts, brain teasers, optical illusions and more.
- Riddle of the Day: Try solving a riddle every day to sharpen your brain.
- The Senses Challenge: This timed test teaches you all about your brain, including functions and feelings like breathing, sadness and self control.
- Focuset: Play fun brain teasers and logic games here.
- The Tower of Hanoi: This game exercises your frontal lobes and was "frequently used in neuropsychological evaluations."
- The Brain Teasers Network: Play games like cryptorithms and Connect Four here.
Besides helping your conversation skills, these educational games are great for improving your knowledge.
- Famous Women’s Faces: Identify each famous woman by only seeing a portion of her face.
- American History AP Quizzes: Here are over 110 multiple choice quizzes organized by categories like The Antebellum South, The Gilded Age and more.
- Science Vocabulary Hangman: Play against the computer by guessing the science word selected for hangman.
- Who Said It?: Match the famous quote to the person who said it in this game.
- Elemental Balancing Act: Balance chemical equations in this game.
- Fifteen Minutes of Fiction: This game helps you brush up on your creative writing skills and communication skills.
- History Quizzes: Challenge yourself to answer questions about the history of Canada or Oceania with these quizzes.
Planning and Strategy
From managing a business to solving crimes, these planning and strategy games are out there but can help you sharpen a lot of life skills.
- Law and Order–Vengeful Heart: This game based off the TV show Law and Order: Criminal Intent is free for one hour and challenges players to solve crimes, collect clues and more.
- Kebab Van: This game is great for Human Age: Rewrite history from the prehistoric age to the 21st century, solving problems and figuring out how to survive along the way.
- Freeciv: Freeciv is a free alternative to Sim Civilization. Players have to rely on their strategy and smarts to expand their empire.
Sudoku is an extremely popular game that requires players to use numbers, math skills, and logic.
- LA Times Sudoku: Play with hints mode or the conflict eliminator off for a more challenging game.
- Web Sudoku: It’s easy to get addicted to this game, even if you’ve never played before.
- Sudoku: Here you can find Sudoku for kids and for experienced players.
- The Daily Sudoku: Play games from the archive or play the daily game on the right.
- Sudoku Dragon: Play the daily game, read about the history of the game and get tips on strategy on this site.
This list features word games that strengthen your vocabulary and keep your mind sharp.
- Word Analogies: Play this analogies game to sharpen your IQ.
- Word Games: Here you can play definetime, cryptoquote, wordsearch and others.
- Anagrams: This anagram tool can help build up your vocabulary.
- Word Vine: Find word pairs to arrange on the vine in this game.
- Scrabble: Play Scrabble online for free right here.
- Boggle: This popular word search game is now available online for free.
- Palindromes: Identify 12 palindromes to win this game.
- Kangaroo Words: This "fiendishly difficult word game" operates on the idea that kangaroo words "carry their own baby words with the same meanings." For example, illuminated’s kangaroo word is lit.