5 Most Addictive Computer Games

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Computer games are one of the most popular modern pastimes globally. But there are some games that push beyond being hobbies. There are some games that are so huge they become life-consuming. These are the top five games likely to see you staring into a computer screen at 5 A.M., promising you'll go to sleep after just one more turn. These are the top five most addictive computer games.


Across five iterations of the main game and a plethora of spin-offs and expansion packs, Sid Meier's classic human history sim has proven so powerfully addictive that there's a sub-reddit dedicated to explaining real-life geopolitics as if it were unfolding within the game. This hugely ambitious and brilliantly executed series condenses the entirety of humanity's progress into one game. Perhaps the biggest concern the game leaves us with is whether the real world that spawned it will end with one civilization colonising a distant planet for a Space Race Victory, or eradicating all others in a nuclear-ravaged nightmare.


A common theme amongst the most addictive video games is that they see you built and improve something over time. There is probably no sport in the world better suited to making an incredibly addictive video game than football -- or soccer, to any Americans reading! The incredibly immersive Football Manager allows you to choose any team from scores of real life leagues and take charge of every detail of running the club, from tweaking the team's formation in minute detail to design the specifics of their training regime. You can develop youth players into club legends, you drag teams up from the lowest reaches of the league pyramid to European glory, or you can focus on your own career above all else, and rise from the manager of some lowly team in some football backwater to head coach somewhere like Real Madrid or Barcelona. Whatever path you choose, you can be sure it'll take you a while to get there, and your virtual career may not be ready for retirement until the next iteration of Football Manager is out.


How many games could you play professionally? The number must be fairly low, especially considering the huge amount of games that have been brought to consoles and computers since Pong started everything. Now how many of those games have 24-hour TV channels dedicated to people playing it? And not just online channels streaming people playing the game - actual old-school TV channels, accessible to anyone, sandwiched between reality television shows and rolling news coverage? The answer is almost certainly 'one'. And that one is Starcraft - a global cult classic, and a veritable megahit in South Korea, home to the aforementioned 24-hour Starcraft cable TV channel. Many star gamers are household names in Korea, with the endorsement deals to prove it - whoever said playing games was a waste of time?


The fact League of Legends is free to download has helped it become the most popular PC game in the world. At peak times, around 7 million people are likely to be playing. 27 million people play the game every day; 67 million play it every month. League of Legends is another game that can be played professionally, with the winner of the annual world championship game receiving $1 million. League of Legends addiction is a global phenomenon: it's the top PC game in both Europe and North America, it's the most popular game in South Korean PC cafes, and in Taiwan, an estimated 5% of the population regularly play.

1. World of Warcraft

Chinese prisoners sometimes spend their sentences mining gold to be sold on to American gamers. There have been several cases of parents neglecting to feed their child due to their obsession with it. It's hard to argue that any game has proved as all-consuming to as many gamers as World of Warcraft. Some of the numbers involved are staggering: World of Warcraft has around 7 million active subscribers, meaning almost as many people are active in the game as live in Hong Kong. Over 100 million accounts have been created since the game was released in 2004. The game has grossed more than $10 billion, making it the highest-grossing video game of all time. One more example of just how all-consuming World of Warcraft can be for players is the case of Corrupted Blood. In 2008, an expansion pack added to the game accidentally introduced a highly contagious disease that quickly wiped out huge numbers of players, prompting players to stay away from the game's urban areas and retreat to the countryside. The incident so closely mirrored real pandemics that scores of researchers pored over the event, trying to figure out everything from the natural reactions to the spread of the disease to the way in which terrorist cells might form in the real world, as rouge World or Warcraft players banded together to spread the infection.

If you're looking for a new game to immerse yourself in, these five could all be good choices. If the addiction overcomes you though, don't say that you weren't warned!

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