Back-to-school season means more than just fresh outfits and bad teachers. It also means parents attempting to meet their kids halfway with the cool gadgets that have a little education thrown into the mix. "Edutainment" has been snuck into plenty of children's lives, and the world of video games is no exception. From the blatantly educational to the historically accurate and everything in between, here are 10 of the best educational games of all time, ranked.
Blasternaut needed your help keeping space clear of garbage and alien invaders. You needed help with your multiplication tables. The math's easy to see in this simple and fun blasting sim.
Travelling through time to visit your ancestors is bound to leave behind some historical gems. The Assassins Creed series has cracked open the minds of more than one person in order to explore the origins of the Assassins across Europe, Africa, and the Americas, taking us through medieval, pirate, and even American Revolutionary versions of historical events that we know and (sometimes) love. Assassin's Creed Origins even features a purely historical mode that takes you on a guided tour through Egypt.
Fighting back zombies in the House of The Dead series is fun enough, but what about typing them to death? Typing of The Dead is a port of the game that swapped guns and grenade launchers with nouns, verbs, and adjectives sharp enough to take the undead down. It's tongue-in-cheek and a great way to learn how to type faster than 80 words a minute!
Learning to park a car is frustrating, especially with a parent yelling at you and breaking concentration. Parking Mania let you practice from the comfort of your own home and wouldn't cost you hundreds of dollars in repairs if you accidentally crash.
Games can help you live out many dreams: hero, ripped fighter, even just being a dog owner. But SimCity has prepared generations for city civic planning departments by giving them the keys to their own city and letting them drop buildings where they may. Will it be overcrowded? Probably, but at least you have a better idea of what a city planner has to go through on a regular basis.
Ever wanted to travel to space but didn't have the resources or brain power to make it happen? Kerbal Space Program is not just a fun space program simulator, but it features a realistic orbital physics engine that keeps things feeling more real than a thousand Supermen flying through space.
Jeopardy is a game built on random trivia knowledge, so it goes without saying that any video game version of the hit game show will test your skills and make your grandparents extra proud.
Sometimes, brain teasers are all we need. Big Brain Academy billed itself as the ultimate brain teaser package, bite-sized mini-games designed to keep your brain on its toes whether you're on the bus or sitting at your desk procrastinating on other work.
Real-time strategy games have a reputation for playing around with history, but few put you in the middle of the action quite like Sid Meirs' Civilization. Historical figures from across time came together in an effort to turn Risk and Stratego into clickable warfare for the armchair general on the quest for knowledge. It's easy to learn about Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi, and more while hoarding rations for ages.
What else could possibly be number one? How could any game ever hope to top the wilderness-exploring sim that taught you about every survival tactic and old-age sickness you'd ever want to know? Oregon Trail redefined dysentery for an entire generation of gamers. Even though modern-day Oregon is much less cruel, our brains have been rewired regardless.