Top Pick

10 Great Games for Middle School Students

Whether they're built for the classroom or are more focused on entertainment, there's learning to found in any game -- if you look closely enough. Everyday history, math, science, language, and tech skills come alive with these 10 great games for grades 6–8.  Use them to pique students' interest in a new topic, help them acquire new skills, or provide real-world context. 

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.

Minecraft Publisher: Mojang
Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep
Grades 3-12
Type Game
Price $26.95 for desktop, $19.99 for consoles (except Wii U at $29.99)
Platforms Linux, Mac, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Twelve a Dozen Publisher: Bossa Studios Ltd.
Engrossing math platformer puts problem-solving skills to the test
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Elegy for a Dead World Publisher: Popcannibal
Compelling sci-fi world imagined -- and written -- by its players
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Geoguessr Visit Website: https://geoguessr.com/
"Just one more turn" gameplay jazzes up geography
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
World of Goo Publisher: 2D Boy
Fun puzzler about building structures with unique materials
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price 19.99
Platforms Mac, Wii, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Scribblenauts Remix Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem-solving
Grades 5-8
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! Publisher: GlassLab
Classic city-building game tuned to teachers' needs
Grades 5-8
Type Game
Price $19.99 individual; $49.99 to $649.99 license packs
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
Argument Wars Publisher: iCivics.org
Courtroom sim covers ethics, the Constitution, and the art of argument
Grades 6-10
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Divide By Sheep Publisher: tinyBuild
Extremely addictive puzzle game has dark, slightly gory play
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price 2.99
Platforms iPhone, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Human Resource Machine Publisher: Tomorrow Corporation
Addictive, unique way to supplement coding instruction
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $4.99 (app), $9.99 (Steam)
Platforms iPhone, Linux, Mac, Wii U, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated