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The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 — So Far



Time for another mid-year “The Best…” list….

As usual, In order to make it on this list, games had to:

* be accessible to English Language Learners.

* provide exceptionally engaging content.

* not provide access to other non-educational games on their site, though there is one on this list that doesn’t quite meet this particular criteria.

* be seen by me during 2013. So they might have been around prior to this time, but I’m still counting them in this year’s list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2012 — So Far

The Best Online Learning Games — 2011

The Best Online Learning Games — 2010

The Best Online Learning Games — 2009

The Best Online Learning Games — 2008

The Best Online Learning Games — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 — So Far:

Wonderground is a game from General Electric where you visit various cities in The United States and are given “missions” to explore them and make discoveries related to science and history.

In Pursued, you have escaped from being kidnapped and have to figure out which cities you’ve been taken. You explore the area through Google Street Views, and are given hints of what to look for. There are different levels of difficulty, and you can create your own level, too.

GeoGuessr is one of my favorite games on The Best Online Geography Games list.  It’s now gotten even better.  You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr (Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip).

Depression Quest is an interactive text fiction game (or choose your own adventure) where the player plays the part of someone who is suffering from depression.

The Republica Times is a neat and simple game that puts you in the position of being an editor for a state-run newspaper. You have to keep the state happy and also engage your readers. It could be a useful little activity to incorporate into a lesson on the importance of a free press.

Breakaway is an online game where players are virtual members of a previously-all boys soccer team react to a girl joining it. The United Nations Population Fund helped create it.

Quandary is a neat online game/choose your own adventure story that is can work well as a tool for English language development (see Digital Play for an ELL lesson plan) and/or as a way to deal with ethical questions (the site itself has lot of teaching ideas). You can play as a guest or register.

Review Game Zone lets teachers, and anyone, input academic questions and have them turned into a games that students can use for review. It’s free, and teachers can also monitor student use of at least some types of the games.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 1100 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Larry,
    We have an technology education non-profit doing work in Central America. Any games or tools in Spanish we could use?

    • Esklavos has great online adventure video games online in English and Spanish. For English Language Learners, I have students read the “walkthoughs” for them and play the game. For early Spanish learners, you could do the same.

  2. Larry,

    Would love to hear your feedback about XYFlyer, the game I’ve developed as part of The Puzzle School:

    There’s also a level editor that teachers can use to create their own levels or students can use to challenge each other:

  3. Hi Larry,

    These are my all time (still going strong) online games that might be of interest to teachers.

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