If you’re looking to get into video games then good for you, a whole world of entertainment is ready and waiting for you. If you’re looking for games to introduce someone else to gaming, then good luck in your quest and you can check out our full guide to getting your partner into gaming right here. We’ve got 10 games in the genres that have been found easiest for getting started in video games – games for getting a handle on the controller, games that exemplify and introduce mechanics and structures common in harder titles, and simple games that give a full experience. The following list is in order of suggesting playing, moving through different genres and play modes as new players get to grips with certain mechanics.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
I thought some classical education was in need for a first game. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a perfect introduction to gaming – simple, easy to navigate, rewarding, and relaxed, there’s a reason this 3D platformer has been wooing the hearts of gamers and non-gamers alike for years. You’ll get used to camera movement, basic control functions, and enemy and boss combat mechanics while engaging in one of the oldest and most enduring game storylines.
2. Super Mario Bros.
I’m coming clean, the only reason Super Mario Bros. is not the first game on the list is because of modern gaming. You’re more likely to come across games designed like Ocarina of Time than you are Super Mario Bros. Nevertheless, this game literally wrote the book on platformers and eases you in with simple controls, clear goals, and a fun loving protagonist globally recognised.
3. Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot isn’t the biggest franchise on the scene, at least not any more, but it can certainly introduce you to the way different environments often work. Practicing landing on tight platforms, working on your quick reaction times, and general combat timings are all practical skills that can be picked up early from Crash. There’s also quick and breezy level design to keep you hooked on your new endeavour.
4. Mario Kart 8
Racing games generally follow the same formula. Unlock new courses, characters, and vehicles by finishing first in races using shortcuts and powerups to your advantage. Mario Kart 8 is possibly the best looking cartoon racer out there, and carries all these elements. Mario Kart is a renowned couch friendship-killer, great for local co-op as well as addictive single player campaigns.
5. Fable: The Lost Chapters
If you’re looking to get into RPGs, Fable: The Lost Chapters is the simplest starting point I can think of. The mechanics take on classic action manouvres while retaining a light RPG grounding in character changes. Moral decisions are brought into play, with your prosocial actions giving your character an angelic glow and antisocial behaviours securing you a more demonic physique.
6. Until Dawn
You’ve heard of branching storylines by now, and Until Dawn is one of the most rewarding and potentially expansive experiences. You won’t have to get tied down in long, winding narratives – in fact, a run of Until Dawn lasts around 2 hours and tracks six characters through the same ordeal down different paths. It’s an excellent introduction to the potential of branching storylines and the graphical presentation is alluringly realistic.
7. Rayman Origins
Rayman Origins features some pretty easy beginning levels to ease you into a gameplay model that actually boosts the difficulty a little bit. The platformer will see you through 120 levels with your friends’ support in 4 way multiplayer that will push your competitive and collaborative spirits to the test.
8. Rome: Total War II
If it’s tactical strategy you’re after, the perfect starting point is Rome: Total War II. Though in no way a simplistic introduction, Rome does have what many beginners are crying out for – a detailed and clear tutorial section that will have you up and running in no time.
9. Half-Life 2
The first person shooter is a genre that should be tackled after you’ve got a few games under your belt. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it easy to sprint through levels taking out enemies as soon as they pop out, but those early steps can feel complicated and overwhelming. Trickier FPS titles often move incredibly quickly with swift camera and avatar movements – this on top of getting beginner hands around dual analog controls can be disorienting at first. If you’ve had a play already though, and are looking to get involved with a first person shooter then Half Life 2 offers a simple and easy experience with a tantalising storyline and plenty of action and puzzles to keep you hooked.
Portal is often cited as a top beginner title to cut your teeth on. For a first game, however, the mechanics can often become overwhelming alongside dual analog controls. That being said, it’s a brilliant game to take on once you’ve got a few hours under your belt and has been widely acclaimed for its innovative gameplay approach and mind bending, relaxing puzzles.