As video games are such a young medium, they have the biggest point to prove when it comes to showing they can be more than a brainless way to kill time, and can in fact be thought-provoking, mind-bending, and clever enough to leave your brain in a knot - before you untangle them and come out the other side enlightened.
In the past, cerebral games have tended to hang out in the background of the games industry, a bit like the brainiest kid in class who was too shy and unpopular to ever be counted.
Sad simile, I know, but don't worry, the figurative brainy kid is doing great. Mentally stimulating games have come to the fore of the industry since it was discovered that players aren't just mindless zombies, but instead sentient beings who love a good intellectual, psychological and logical challenge.
Here are 10 erudite games that will leave you thoughtfully scratching your chin - that's if they don't blow your mind past the point of no recovery in the process...
10. Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops starts off just like any of a number of modern/near-future war shooters that were so ubiquitous a few years ago. You could barely take a couple of steps on the gaming scene without having a gun thrust into your hands and laying waste to scores of Russians, Chinese, Asians, or other non-western folk.
But power through this game's generic early stages, and you start to see that there's more at work here. The deeper you go, the more the story starts resembling Apocalypse Now or Heart of Darkness (from which it overtly takes inspiration), as you're forced into disturbingly plausible military situations that leave you with no choice but to do what you already identify is The Wrong Thing.
The further the game goes, the more delirious and hallucinatory things become, causing you to feel confused about your entire role in the mission, and wondering whether the mentally deteriorating protagonist even has a grip on reality whatsoever.
Gamer, Researcher of strange things.
I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.