Total Nerd The Best Games For Non-Gamers and Beginners  

Devon Ashby
3.1k votes 816 voters 190.9k views 16 items

List Rules Vote for the video games that you think offer the best introduction to gaming.

Which video games are best to start out with if you're not a traditional gamer? Unless you've been obsessively mastering the art of dodging killer mushrooms and collecting healing potions since pre-verbal childhood, leaping face-first into the world of gaming can be an intimidating and confusing experience. If you're a new or inexperienced gamer looking for video games for beginners, it can help to get a breakdown of playable titles that will help you ease in. 

Below are some games that are easy to find, fun to play, and a great introduction to gaming as a whole. Well-designed and fun games for people new to gaming come in all shapes and sizes. The difficulty level of these games varies, but the most important thing they have in common is that they're straightforward and self-explanatory, so you'll have a chance to absorb some basic gaming skills without getting too overwhelmed. Just take deep breaths, and try not to throw your controller across the room!
1 455 VOTES


Portal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Games For Non-Gamers and Beginners
Photo: Valve

Portal is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time, and definitely ranks high in fans-geeking-out-over-it category. If you've ever heard anyone make a joke involving some variation of "The cake is a lie!" this is the game they were referring to.

In Portal, you move through a series of rooms connected by glowing ovular portals, which, based on their location (on the walls, the ceiling, etc) become increasingly harder to pass through. Throughout the course of the game, you gradually come into conflict with a disembodied intelligence who appears to be controlling the environment's physical properties.

Also Ranked

#22 on The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

#31 on The Most Popular Video Games Right Now

#1 on The Best Games You Can Beat In One Sitting

#39 on The Best Science Fiction Franchises of All Time

288 167
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2 295 VOTES


Journey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Games For Non-Gamers and Beginners
Photo: ravensong75/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

Journey is an adventure game produced by thatgamecompany, also responsible for Flow and Flower. You play a mysterious hooded character traveling through a desert wasteland toward a mysterious light in the distance. Along the way, you solve simple puzzles, collect clues about your final destination, and (if you're online and playing in multiplayer mode) interact with other players who are doing the same thing.

Journey is a beautiful, atmospheric, and at times even calming game, and it's a great example of how games can inspire emotions and tell a story with subtlety.

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#29 on The Best Playstation 4 Games Released So Far

#3 on The Best Games You Can Beat In One Sitting

#72 on The Best Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

187 108
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3 255 VOTES

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Games For Non-Gamers and Beginners
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

This game's premise is silly, but it's a great introduction to Tower Defense games, which are games where you have to position soldiers and allocate resources in order to stop a hoard of slowly encroaching invaders from destroying your base.

In Plants vs. Zombies, the invaders are zombies, and the weapons you use to keep them out are...plants. You can select an array of different plants with different goofy crap they can do to fight the zombies, e.g. spitting fruit at them, exploding on impact, being really hard to chew, etc. Fun game. I have played it for over four hours in one sitting before, and I'm only a little bit ashamed of that.

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#35 on The Best iPhone Apps, Ranked

#54 on The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

#1 on The Best Game Apps

#92 on The Scariest Video Games of All Time

140 115
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4 229 VOTES


Limbo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Games For Non-Gamers and Beginners
Photo: Freebase

Great for people with a morbid sense of humor or a love of classic atmospheric horror, Limbo is a downloadable indy game where you play as a tiny, giant-headed moppet child getting repeatedly and disgustingly slaughtered by all kinds of nasty booby traps and giant monsters.

After waking up alone in the dead of night, deep in the belly of a wooded swamp, your character must navigate his way perilously back to civilization, mainly by solving a series of Rube-Goldberg-style physics puzzles to avoid falling, drowning, or getting devoured. The game has a really gorgeous black-and-white design aesthetic, so there's actually not a lot of "gore" per se, and dying and coming back to life a million times without having to wait through a loading screen is actually kind of great when you're first starting out.

Also Ranked

#3 on The Best Playstation 4 Puzzle Games

#4 on The Best Games You Can Beat In One Sitting

124 105
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