Top Pick

Best Games for Perseverance

Some games are great at keeping players in the sweet spot between things that are too hard and too easy. And some games can challenge kids but keep them motivated and resilient, helping them build valuable, broadly applicable perseverance skills along the way. This list collects some of our favorite perseverance games that are tough but absorbing, giving kids the confidence to take on whatever comes their way.

Interested in seeing tips on how you might use some of these tools in the classroom? Check out our blog series We All Teach SEL: Inspiring Activities for Every Classroom

Minecraft: Education Edition Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Stellar collaboration tools, controls make Minecraft classroom-ready
Grades K-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
The Infinite Arcade by TinyBop Publisher: Tinybop
Simple game-design app has endless creative potential
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Zoombinis Publisher: Technical Education Research Centers, Inc.
Classic logic puzzler gets a beautiful new look
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, Apps for Windows, Mac Apps
Common Sense says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say
LittleBigPlanet 2 Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price 19.99
Platforms PS3
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Epistory - Typing Chronicles Publisher: Fishing Cactus
Practice typing by exploring and defending a world made of paper
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
FTL: Faster Than Light Publisher: Subset Games
Failure is frequent and fun in this strategic starship sim
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Papo & Yo Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Powerful tale of alcoholism uses puzzles and metaphor to build empathy
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price 14.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, PS3, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Tyto Ecology Publisher: Immersed Games
Well-developed biome sim provides cheap, endless learning
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Antichamber Publisher: Demruth
Brain buster makes you think in four dimensions
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Publisher: 505 Games
Unique cooperative adventure with lasting social and emotional impact
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price
Platforms PS3, Xbox 360
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Portal 2 Puzzle Maker Publisher: Valve
Mind-bending level editor for beloved physics game
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Publisher: 2K Games
Best entry in classic strategy series might not be best for classrooms
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $59.99
Platforms Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Kerbal Space Program Publisher: Squad
Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
This War of Mine Publisher: 11-Bit Studios
Strategy game offers superb, mature take on war and civilian survival
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Mac, PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated