4 Games You Can Play Online In 2021

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Attitudes towards online gaming have changed massively over the course of the last decade or so. We’ve gone from the remnants of dated morality panics with talk of kids being corrupted to the general acceptance that even the most violent games aren’t particularly concerning. And since a pandemic arrived and trapped us all indoors, people of all kinds have become open to the prospect of turning to online games for distraction and enjoyment.

So which games can you play? Well, the list is astonishingly long, and it would take just shy of forever to run through them all — during which time more games would be released, further extending the process. 

So instead of trying to do that, we’re going to look at just four games you can play online in 2021. And since it would be pointless to gear this towards habitual gamers (they already have plenty of things to play), we’re going to look at games that total beginners might want to check out — whether for intellectual challenge, sheer thrill, extended engagement, or full-blown nostalgia.

Here we go.

Chess

Who could have seen the massive online growth of chess coming? It’s always been somewhat popular as a pastime, of course, but the advent of online tournaments has turned it into a surprising pursuit for some of the biggest Twitch streamers in the world. Yes, you can play chess online: you can find the right difficulty level, learn tactics, and match up with suitable opponents. You can also solve chess-related puzzles if you don’t want to play regular games.

If you want to get started, Chess.com is the place to go. It isn’t the only chess site (there are so many to choose from), but it’s a solid foundation and offers a decent overall experience. The great thing about chess is that it will scale with your interest. If you just want to enjoy a brief game, win or lose, you can do so. If you want to take it extremely seriously and train your brain to master strategy, you can do that instead.

Powerball

If you’re not familiar with Powerball, there’s not much to catch up on. It’s exceedingly simple. You pick numbers and see if they come up. If they do, you make money. If they don’t, you lose whatever stake you put in. You can also play internationally: this guide to play powerball can explain how to play US Powerball online from any country, for instance.

So what makes this a worthwhile game? There’s zero challenge, after all. It’s 100% guesswork, and the odds are fundamentally stacked against you. The house always wins, after all. But the sheer improbability of winning is part of what makes something like this so thrilling. Yes, people can get addicted to gambling, which is certainly terrible, but most players just enjoy the simple experience of taking a shot and seeing what happens. If you don’t win, well, you got to briefly enjoy thinking about the prospect. And if you do win, your life can change. Provided you only stake what you can afford to lose, what’s so bad about that?

Genshin Impact

This is the game on this list that you might consider a proper online game — so why have I picked this one in particular? Here’s why: Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game with a ton of content, regular updates, and versions on most platforms (there isn’t currently a Nintendo Switch version, but that’s going to happen sooner or later). That means you can play it on your smartphone if you want to.

So what you get with Genshin Impact is fantastic value. If you don’t care about cosmetic items, you don’t have to spend any money on it (though you can if you really want to), and you can enjoy it in multiplayer with your friends. If you’re looking for a time-sink with a simple graphics style and great accessibility, this is the one for you. 

Minesweeper

Talk about a blast from the past. If you’ve used older Windows computers, you probably have fond memories of whiling away time playing Minesweeper, one of the classic single-player games (and often infuriating, naturally). Well, while it’s still available for free through all versions of Windows (even if you have to root around for it), you can also just play it online.

You can even play it on the go. You can visit Minesweeper Online, or you can simply Google “Minesweeper” and play the Google-created version that appears at the top of the results page. There are so many versions out there, many with small twists that breathe life back into the game. So why not indulge in some nostalgia?

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