The Best Games to Improve Memory

Smiling Senior Man Doing Sudoku Puzzle At Home

It’s a fact of life that as we age, our mental capacity will show some decline over time. Some people experience this more than others, and some won’t see much change other than a slight slowing down of the brain. No matter which category you fall into, it’s a fantastic idea to keep your mind active to help improve your memory and general cognition. Here’s a bunch of great games and activities to help with this.


Crossword puzzles

This is an incredibly popular pastime, not just for people who love words and puzzles, but also for people who want to improve their memory. They are a classic brain training game that can help unlock vocabulary, and unlock your knowledge of pop culture, history, languages, science, and lots of other subjects. Crosswords are available in books, newspapers, magazines and also online. You should focus on puzzles that are challenging and engaging but also, keep in mind that you can actually strain your brain so limit yourself to one crossword per day.



This game was created to be mentally stimulating and intellectually challenging. It does require a strong short term memory and great analytical skills to form a strategy for each move you make. Chess triggers long term memory also, so you’re working both portions of your brain and making them stronger.


Jigsaw puzzles

This wonderful type of puzzle is very effective for brain training, as it requires the right and left sides of the brain to work simultaneously. The connection between the brain cells are reinforced during the making of a jigsaw puzzle which improves mental speed and increases the function of your short term memory. Visual-spatial reasoning is also drawn on as you need to look at individual pieces to identify where they might fit into the larger picture.


Rebus puzzles

These puzzles work to improve your brainpower and your memory. A Rebus puzzle asks a question and provides clues in numbers, pictures, symbols and letters. The individual must be able to remember the cliches and stories, to have a chance at solving the puzzle.



Sudoku helps to improve your memory retrieval skills and will also stimulate other parts of your brain. To complete the game you must keep a range of numbers in your mind, and mentally place them into one of nine spaces on a grid. Finishing this game relies heavily on working to memorise the numbers, and will also draw on logical thinking to figure out your next move. Sudoku requires strategic thinking and creative problem solving, and will increase concentration as players need to think quickly. 



This is a popular game that was once used to help kids develop their memory and retain information and skills. You lay numbered cards face down, and then flip two at a time to try and figure out where the matches are located. To increase the difficulty and challenge your brain, opt for a variation where the cards are in a very messy arrangement. The less order in the placement of the cards, the more of a challenge it will be to remember where the pairs are located.


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