Top Pick

The Most Engaging Games for the Classroom

One thing games are really good at is engagement. Unfortunately, the games kids want to play and the games teachers want them to play don't always align. These are the exception, balancing just-one-more-turn play with rock-solid learning, leaving students and teachers happy.

Cork The Volcano - Puzzlets Publisher: Digital Dream Labs LLC
Fun elementary coding through hands-on puzzle tiles
Grades K-5
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
GoNoodle Visit Website: https://www.gonoodle.com/
Brief bursts of physical exercise add classroom fun, build brain power
Grades K-5
Type Website
Price Free, Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Robot Factory Publisher: Tinybop
Improve designs, collect favorites in robot creation sandbox
Grades K-8
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Fruity Fractions Publisher: Lighthouse Learning
Stellar tool builds rock-solid foundational understanding
Grades 1-3
Type App
Price 2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
DragonBox Big Numbers Publisher: WeWantToKnow AS
Carrot-and-stick arithmetic app makes students fluent in regrouping
Grades 1-4
Type App
Price $7.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
The Land of Venn - Geometric Defense Publisher: iMagine Machine LLC
Brilliant, wacky adventure game seamlessly integrates geometry
Grades 1-4
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Prodigy Publisher: Smart Teacher
Adaptive math practice wrapped in role-playing adventure
Grades 1-8
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Slice Fractions Publisher: Ululab Inc.
Clever twist combines math instruction with engaging gameplay
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price $5.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Crayon Physics Deluxe Publisher: Kloonigames
Influential physics game is still a draw
Grades 2-12
Type Game
Price $19.95
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
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
Contraption Maker Publisher: Spotkin
Solve problems, puzzles, brain teasers while creating wacky machines
Grades 3-8
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
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
DragonBox Algebra 5+ Publisher: WeWantToKnow AS
Mesmerizing step-by-step puzzler sets the foundation for algebra
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
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 says
Teachers say 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 says
Teachers say
Geoguessr Visit Website: https://geoguessr.com/
"Just one more turn" gameplay jazzes up geography
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Kahoot! Visit Website: https://getkahoot.com/
Game-like student-response tool can spark competitive fun
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense says
Teachers say
Journey Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Gorgeous, moving adventure -- a jewel of social and emotional learning
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms PS3, PS4
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Never Alone (Kisima Innitchuna) Publisher: E-Line Media
Illuminating native Alaskan folktale supports SEL skills
Grades 5-12
Type Game
Price 14.99
Platforms PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
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 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
Niche - a genetics survival game Publisher: Stray Fawn Studio
Immersive genetics sim puts evolution in students' hands
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
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
DEVICE 6 Publisher: Simogo
Inventive, interactive short story puzzles, scares, and delights
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
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Teachers say
Political Animals Publisher: Positech Games
Charming political campaign sim mixes data analysis and civics
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Walden, a game Publisher: USC Games
Thoughtfully designed game illuminates Thoreau's writing, philosophy
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Gone Home Publisher: The Fullbright Company
Compelling narrative game fosters empathy, self-reflection
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say
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
Papers, Please Publisher: 3909
Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say