Games to play when sad ( 7+ games)

In this writing, “games to play when sad” will be addressed, the benefits of gaming, some of the games and finally a few frequently asked questions around the topic of gaming. 

Games to play when sad are:

  • Super Mario Maker
  • Journey
  • Robot Unicorn Attack
  • Rockband
  • Dead rising
  • Desert bus
  • Punch-Out
  • Ico
  • Mass Effects
  • The legend of Zelda: The wind waker


It is any kind of structured play used or is undertaken for the purpose of entertainment, recreations or in some cases, educational use. The key components of many games are goals. task, rule, challenge and purpose.

Benefits of Gaming

There are different benefits of gaming on the mental health of an individual. The first benefit of gaming is that it keeps the person engaged and occupied by not having to spend time on other things. It tends to keep them focused on their games.

The reward system of games often helps the player to feel motivated and energised to complete a given task. For the eagerness of reward and reinforcement, the individual keeps themselves energised and motivated. With every new milestone or achievement, individuals gear up to accomplish the next level.

Games also improve the cognitive functioning of an individual such as spatial resolution as well as allocating their attention. Gamers who are interested and engaged in firing games tend to have a higher level of accuracy, spatial skills and preciseness. 

At times there is no direct way to solve the game and the individual is encouraged to think out the box in getting the answer. This strategy of gaming helps the person to come up with different ways and methods of solving the problem at hand.

Games are believed to be a promising and reliable cure or treatment of depression or any sort of mood disorders. One can put into practice the different ways and means of solving the game and can thus improve the mood condition of people. It also allows the person to organise and integrate their thoughts thus, keeping them away from negative and unnecessary distractions.

People who are a victim of bullies and abuse find their escape when gaming. When there are threats coming in their life both physically and verbally, they tend to find online gaming to be a safe resort.

Gaming also suppresses and controls the negative emotions one undergoes, that’s why gaming is believed to be an effective resolution for people with depression. It helps the person by stopping him from the feeling of lonely, ashamed and sad. 

People often develop a community and their own circle of friends when they start gaming. The friendship that they form online tends to last longer and help the person to get away with the tough time and low feelings.

Gaming is also believed to be a good source of leisure, entertainment and recreation since it helps them deal and get away with the traumatic events as well as share some quality time with their friends and company.

Games be it video games or any kind of indoor/ outdoor games improves the attention as well as their receptivity of our brain to certain stimuli. 

The interactive manner or the nature of games help enhance the functioning of the person as well as the way they deal with mental health in a much better way.

Games to play when sad

One can play different games when they are feeling low and depressed. Be it video games or any kind of indoor games, it helps them to get away the sadness and gloominess.

Some of the games are a little violent and more into action but this often leads to elevated mood and tends to reduce the severity of certain depressive symptoms. While others are more simple, calm and relaxing that are therapeutic in itself.

Super Mario Maker

It is believed to be everyone’s favourite game since it takes away the time of an individual and keeps them engaged throughout the game timing. In the game, the more the person builds up, they could enjoy the rewards. 


It is a visual game that can be finished up in a few hours. It is believed to be a satisfying game with simple puzzles, landscapes and with a mesmerizing and soothing soundtrack. The narrative of the game is simple where the challenge is to overcome the hardship and striving through the journey of life.

Robot Unicorn Attack

This game is perfect for individuals dealing with depression where the soundtrack or the background music played is by Erasure and there is a huge sense of humour in the game that tends to elevate the mood of the person. 

World of warcraft

The game is solely about slashing the zombies and collecting all the rewards and shines that actually elevate the person’s mood. The benefit of the game is that it provides social support and help for the person dealing with low feeling and sadness. One can even vent out their feelings and emotions via the gaming platform. 

Rock Band

This game is about music which is really soothing and therapeutic for the person overly sad and low. It offers the plater to experience the music in wide different ways, interacting with others and playing it along with others. With the virtual platform and online gaming, a gamer can tap on the rubber pad, sing-song, shout on microphones and finger the plastic nubbins.

Dead rising

The game is all about the literal soullessness of zombies as well as shopping malls. There are also added bonuses of funny hats, crossdressing etc. The game is all about a guilt-free experience where there is a positivity of saving people as well as looking for people close to you. Other than that, certain things which we wish to do in reality but are associated with guilts and against societal norms are allowed in the games such as chopping off others etc. The main idea of the game is to provide a space to take revenge for the things gone wrong.

Mass Effect

It is a game with an enormous space with destroyed planets, animals, aliens and an immense battle with a laser. The basic theme or focus of the game is about solving and talking about a family problem, getting rid of the prejudices and to learn forgiveness.

The mission of the game is to build new friends and crewmates, preparing them for essential missions. In this virtual space, it allows the gamer to fly around the galaxy, establish bonds and relations with others and end up losing friendship bonds. So, it’s more like a counselling space and helps the person to be more positive and broaden their outlook.


Ico is a game similar to Super Mario. The game is enjoyable and the designs are gorgeous which itself lighten the person’s over dominating low mood. With the enemies and opponents in the game, it makes the game a lively one and one can simply vent out their emotions and negativity by targeting the opponents. 

Punch out

This game is about attacking or smashing the opponent or enemy like a boxing game. One can simply think of someone they hate when playing the game. They can simply hit them with the punching mechanics. 

The legend of Zelda: The wind waker

The game is soothing and therapeutic where the gamer sails through the blue ocean with funny dialogue.

Rhythm Heaven Fever

The game has a very soothing and calm soundtrack with funny imagery, it puts the person in a good mood. 

Desert Bus

It’s more like a driving game where the gamer has to ride a bus at a maximum speed of 45mph. The game is about dealing with the challenge of steering the bus constantly although it is drifting slowly towards on side due to the bad wheel. 

It is often played to help us realise our problem and think about the ultimate solution. Secondly, it teaches us how life is not always bad and can have a positive side too.

FAQs: Games to play when sad

Can playing games help depression?

Yes, games do help with depression. Some action games also improve the ability of a person to control and suppress their ruination and excess thinking by improving their executive functioning.

What are the top games right now?

Some of the top games currently are League of Legends, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, Among us, Minecraft and Valorant.

What is post-game depression?

Postgame depression is something real where the feeling one undergoes uncertainty and cluelessness about what’s next to do after finishing a game wrapping it up.

What games are good for anxiety?

Some of the games most widely known for treatment of anxiety are, Prune, Headspace, Happify and Worry Watch.

Are gamers happier?

Yes, researches have shown that people who spend enough time on gaming are reported to be happier. In fact, playing games that are related to or associated with people positively tend to be better for their mental health in the long run. 

Do video games cause ADHD?

No, there is no evidence that shows a link between videogames and ADHD however, children who spend most of their time playing video games do show signs of ADHD and develop it later in life.


In this writing, “games to play when sad” was addressed, the benefits of gaming, some of the games and finally a few frequently asked questions around the topic of gaming were answered.


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Parker, L. (2019). Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help. The new york times.

Welsh, T. (2020). The Top 10 Games to Cheer You Up When You’re Depressed. Button mash.