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10 Great Games for High School Students

Dig into this curated list of highly rated games for high school. There's a spread of content areas from science to social studies to social-emotional learning. More importantly, the games help to build a range of skills that will be useful to students inside and outside the classroom. Each game is absorbing and detailed, offering experiences certain to challenge older students.

If you're looking for ways to introduce game-based learning into your classroom, check out our Teaching Strategies for how to Find the Learning in Any Game.

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CodeCombat

Dungeon-crawling adventure where code is king

Bottom line: While not the first to blend coding with play, CodeCombat offers a stable, engaging, and accessible model.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Unique cooperative adventure with lasting social and emotional impact

Bottom line: With good support, an extremely powerful game to build empathy.

The Sports Network 2

Make news and build ELA skills with this cable sports show sim

Bottom line: It's a great blend of important cross-disciplinary critical reading skills and a fun newsroom context that'll show students how learning translates to working life.

DEVICE 6

Inventive, interactive short story puzzles, scares, and delights

Bottom line: Utterly unique, short experience packed with exploration, mysteries, and surprises, but will take inventive teacher to wrap around.

Walden, a game

Thoughtfully designed game illuminates Thoreau's writing, philosophy

Bottom line: It's rare to be so moved and permanently transformed by a work of art; that this game manages to (re)create these experiences is a triumph.

Democracy 3

Nuanced political sim about the balancing act of government

Bottom line: This is a grown-up civics sim, full of tough choices, compelling cause and effect relationships, and controversial issues that will work best for older government students.

Gone Home

Compelling narrative game fosters empathy, self-reflection

Bottom line: If you’re searching for a unique way to analyze storytelling from a social and emotional angle, look no further.

Kerbal Space Program

Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim

Bottom line: This accurate rocket sim encourages trial-and-error learning and makes for great (and often explosive) physics and engineering experiments.

Papers, Please

Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices

Bottom line: It's a provocative simulation about ethics and immigration that could spark debate but might be tough to implement.

Everything

Philosophical game invites students to ponder everything's existence

Bottom line: Meaningful and humbling take on interconnectedness, but in that existential sort of way that's highly individual and potentially hit or miss.

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