Best educational games under $25

Educational Toys

The first true educational game was Logo Programming, developed by Turtle Academy back in 1967. It was used to teach people how to program using LOGO, a programming language.

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Which educational games under $25 are best?

Learning doesn’t have to be boring, and video games can be more than just fun to play. Educational games prove that when learning is engaging, you can remember more of the lesson material and want to continue learning more. It’s a win-win scenario.

Out of all the educational games under $25 we looked at, Scribblenauts Unlimited is the best title to get. Not only does it give you a sandbox to learn about thousands of objects, but absolutely anybody can pick it up and enjoy it.

What to know before you buy an educational game

Games can be digital or physical

Games come in all types, from card and board games to video games. No one way is superior to another. It all depends on the student’s preferred way of learning. For example, if a child is more hands-on, they may want to play with cards or physical board pieces. If they are more visual learners, a video game may be the best way to engage with the material. 

What do you want to learn?

There are countless games for every topic you can think of. Minecraft’s Education edition can help you better understand programming and math. Cooking Mama can teach you the basics of cooking. Scrabble may help you better learn new words. It may be a good idea to narrow down exactly what you are seeking to learn rather than just finding a fun educational game.

Which age group are you buying for?

Keep the age group of your intended recipient in mind. As a general rule, simulator games tend to be for older players. Simple cartoon graphics are ideal for younger kids. Keeping this in mind will give you a better idea of which type of game to purchase.

What to look for in a quality educational game

Accessibility

Learning and games have something in common: they both have to be accessible to be engaging. The more steps or the higher the learning curve to a certain topic or game, the harder it is to remain engaged. Look for games that have a low barrier to entry, meaning they don’t require special hardware or skills to enjoy.

Depth

Great games offer depth, either in gameplay, subject material or both. Deep games are able to present and combine different challenges, constantly testing the lessons you’ve learned along the way. For example, Scribblenauts Unlimited becomes progressively harder, forcing the player to learn new words and recall previously used words. 

Efficacy

More than a simple game, the best educational games actually help players learn something. They offer lessons that players can take outside of the game and also apply to real life. The game is just the medium through which the lesson is conveyed, but the lesson should always stick.

How much you can expect to spend on an educational game

The most affordable games cost roughly $20 and while they can run upwards of $100, for the purpose of this guide we will focus only on products worth $25 or less. 

Educational game FAQ

Can I really learn while playing?

A. Yes! In fact, it’s not uncommon to start seeing educational apps and courses incorporating elements of gaming to engage users. This is called gamification. It helps incentivize students to continue learning in a fun way. 

What counts as an educational game?

A. If the medium is interactive, has a “win” condition and teaches you lessons along the way, it can be an educational game. Technically, this definition could apply to almost every game. If you were to be strict about the definition, an educational game is one that is solely themed and centered around teaching the player an academic subject, such as math, English, science and so on.

What’s the best educational game under $25 to buy?

Top educational game

Scribblenauts Unlimited (3DS)

Scribblenauts Unlimited (3DS)

What you need to know: A surprisingly novel sandbox to experiment and practice vocabulary for children learning to spell or those learning English.

What you’ll love: Scribblenauts operates on a simple premise: write a word and it will come to life in the game for your use. This can be a useful education in writing, vocabulary and spelling.

What you should consider: Due to the nature of the game, it’s only really effective at teaching players new words, their meaning and how to spell them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top educational game for the money 

ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words 

ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words 

What you need to know: A bingo-style game developed by teachers designed to teach students commonly used words. 

What you’ll love: For just about $20, children or early readers will find a fun and engaging way to learn the most important words in the English language.

What you should consider: The words are very basic and mostly for pre-learners or early learners, not for people who have a good understanding of English already. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Assassin's Creed Origins: Discovery Tour  (PS4)

Assassin’s Creed Origins: Discovery Tour  (PS4)

What you need to know: A game that allows you to walk through Ancient Egypt.

What you’ll love: Assassin’s Creed is a game about stealth and assassinations, but there is a free mode called Discovery Tour that doesn’t feature any combat. Instead, you walk through Ancient Egypt and learn about various landmarks and historic events.

What you should consider: This isn’t really a game, more of a walking simulator. Those looking for more traditional gameplay will be left sorely disappointed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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