10 Best Mobile Games to Sharpen Your Mind and Boost Brainpower

Have you ever wondered if those addicting games we play to pass time could actually be good for our brains? An explosion of research in recent years says they can be! The global brain training apps market alone is projected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to over $8 billion by 2026. With cognitive benefits as motivating as high scores for many gamers today, playing a quick game here and there on our phones is transforming from mindless entertainment to mind-sharpening activity.

In this article, we‘ll spotlight the 10 best mobile game picks spanning categories proven to boost mental fitness and performance. You‘ll discover how each training game uniquely targets different cognitive skills like memory, processing speed, focus, problem-solving and more. We‘ll also equip you with tips to track your mental progress so you can level up brainpower like never before! Our minds grow strongest when challenged, so let‘s dive in to the top brain-benefiting game titles available right at your fingertips.

Why Game Your Way to Cognitive Gains?

First, let‘s highlight key science-backed reasons why games deserve a spot in our regimen for mental sharpness:

Brain games market growth

Playing games CAN literally build up your brain. Imaging scans reveal that regular gaming enlarges regions responsible for cognitive control and coordination.

Gaming strengths DO transfer to real-world skills. A recent study found surgical residents improved laprascopic surgery skills 33% faster thanks to 20 hours of video game training.

The more strategic the game, the bigger the mental boost. Working memory, reasoning ability, focus and problem solving show the greatest IQ-boosting results from strategy-driven games.

Clearly, games offer WAY more cognitive kick than just escapist entertainment. Now let‘s reveal this year‘s top 10 mental muscle building mobile game picks across key genres!

1. Brain-Boosting Puzzle Games

These spatial, pattern-based head scratchers cross-train visual logic, mental flexibility and strategic planning regions of your frontal and pre-frontal cortex.

Cut the Rope

With over 1.4 billion(!) downloads to-date, this physics-based puzzler has grown from a viral web game into a chart topping mobile puzzle sensation. Guide candy into the adorably hungry Om Nom‘s mouth by slicing ropes with precise timing. With 425+ challenge levels, it keeps adults engaged as much as kids!

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Visual-spatial reasoning, executive function, focus
  • Rating: 4.7/5 (30M+ Google Play reviews)

Two Dots

Join 75 million players finding the perfect path to connect same-colored dots in vertical and horizontal lines. The minimalist grids start simple but quickly ramp up to challenges requiring planning several moves ahead. Unlock new levels by meeting objectives and create unique patterns for bonus rewards.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Abstract reasoning, strategic thinking, mental flexibility
  • Rating: 4.3/5 (1M+ App Store reviews)

2. Vocabulary-Enhancing Word Games

Flex your verbal fluency with fun and engaging word puzzles. Anagrams, spelling bees, and text twisters give your vocabulary, memory and pattern recognition a full frontal lobe workout!

Words with Friends 2

Go head to head 1:1 or in the fast-paced Lightning Round to score big by strategically placing words on the board. With 173,000+ eligible words, it pays to grow your vocabulary. Recent App Store honors include "Game of the Day" and "Best Word Game."

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Verbal fluency, working memory, Scrabble skills
  • Rating: 4.8/5 (6.3M+ App Store reviews)

Peak – Brain Word Games

Choose from six game modes that test verbal skills like spelling, defining meanings, recalling facts and grammar rules. Our favorite is the writing challenges where you complete sentence stems under the pressure of a melting ice block!

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Verbal reasoning, vocabulary, focus under stress
  • Rating: 4.8/5 (100K+ Google Play reviews)

3. IQ-Enhancing Math & Logic Games

These number and visual pattern challenges build up the speed, accuracy and mental endurance of your parietal and occipital lobes.


With 35+ games targeting math, memory, focus, and more, Elevate aims to be the ultimate mental workout. Its personalized "brain training programs" adjust to your performance and schedule. Per Elevate‘s own research, just 3 sessions per week yields dramatic IQ, speaking skills, and memory boosts in key cognitive areas.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Processing speed, working memory, concentration
  • Rating: 4.8/5 (2M+ App Store reviews)

Brain It On!

Your inner engineer will love this physics-based puzzler. Guide balls to goals by drawing ramps, levers, and bouncing surfaces across 60+ tricky levels. Brain it On! builds out-of-the-box creativity, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving gray matter.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Visual-spatial skills, creativity, reasoning ability
  • Rating: 4.6/5 (110K+ Google Play reviews)

4. Memory-Boosting Concentration Games

Stretch short term memory capacity and attention span with games testing how well you concentrate under rising difficulty. Mastering these pays dividends in academics and professional achievement.

Memory League

Creative challenges test facial recognition – the same visual memory circuits taxed by remembering names and faces. Fun, arcade-style games are a great way to cross-train this key social skill neuropathway!

  • Key Cognitive Skill: Visual-spatial memory
  • Rating: 4.8/5 (39K+ App Store reviews)


Great for adults and kids alike, Pixicade tests visual memory via 1000+ matching challenges. Counting-based puzzles incorporate numbers skills too, and playing builds up memory capacity crucial for learning.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Visual memory, concentration, number memory
  • Rating: 4.6/5 (3K+ Google Play reviews)

And we can‘t forget these all-time top classics in brain-sharpening mobile gameplay…

5. Classic Brain Games


If you’ve never tried Sudoku, now’s the time! Place numbers 1-9 strategically to fill boxes without repeats in any row or column. Regarded as ‘gym for your brain’, it builds mental endurance crucial for problem solving and concentration.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Logic, pattern recognition
  • Rating: 4.9/5 (1M+ App Store reviews)


This card-sequencing classic draws together planning, reacting to change, and executive function neuro-circuits for a stellar mental challenge. Known to boost productivity and mood as well! Play during commute downtime or as a quick frontal lobe pick-me-up.

  • Key Cognitive Skills: Planning, working memory, focus
  • Rating: 4.8/5 (800K+ Google Play reviews)

Gameplay Tips for Mental Gains

  • Set SMART Goals – Establish specific, measurable targets matched to your schedule so you stay consistent.

  • Time Attack Mode – Speed run levels and games to challenge cognitive endurance and processing capability.

  • Monthly Milestones – Schedule monthly check-ins to review in-game stats and achievement badges as you monitor cognitive gains.

  • Find Accountability – Recruit a friend, family member or co-worker to make training a social habit.

Join the Brain Training Revolution!

The verdict is in: games DON’T dull our minds – they dramatically amplify cognitive functioning when played right! Match genres to your mental goals and track progress with a smart training regimen. Stay motivated by playing with friends or BY swapping the latest game recommendations here. The top 10 games above offer entry points spanning logic, wordplay. visual and memory challenges sure to leave your neurons firing on all cylinders. Stick with one genre or mix it up to cross-train different processing centers of the brain over time.

So tap, swipe and smash your way to elevated IQ today with research-backed, top-rated mobile games that deliver REAL cognitive results! Your future (ultra-sharp) self will thank you. Game on!