Many educational games are dismissed because of the fact that they’re educational. Today we give you eight games that will have you learning while you play. Some of the games on this list aren’t what you would think of when talking about educational games.

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The Oregon Trail was first created in 1971 by a student teacher. Later, in 1974, the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, or MECC, picked up the game and its creator to refine it and make it the game that we love today. Who knew that learning about the journey to Oregon would be so much fun.

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1985 saw the release of one of the most popular games of the time, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?. This game took you all over the world searching for criminals, so you got to learn about geography while playing detective. It was the best of both worlds.

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EA’s Spore was released in 2008, and it blended fun and education perfectly. Not only did you get to develop your life form til it had the capability to go to space, but you had to choose how you got to that end. You were in charge of the development of your specific species, what would be best for their climate and the surrounding creatures.

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Scribblenauts made puzzle solving fun. You were transported into a magical world where you scrolled your way through the maps. You play as Maxwell as you interact with your surroundings, and all the while you are summoning objects through the magical powers of writing.

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The Civilization series is perfect for blending fun with education. You get to learn how nations are built, and possibly that Ghandi was a despotic warlord. Overall the game will take you through a culture as it grows and develops and then maybe dies, it’s up to you. To learn more about the significance of your actions the game even has their Civilopedia, which has all the information about the historical wonders.

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For the Wii you have Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep, a game that lets you inhabit and decorate your own personal reef. But wait … there’s more! You also gets you to explore the ocean and help sick creatures. This is perfect for anyone that loves the ocean and helping animals. This was made for that one person you know that really wanted to be a marine biologist.

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National Geographic Challenge! takes you on quite a ride as you answer quizzes, solve puzzles and explore the world. You can even claim parts of the world by doing fun little mini-games. Although this isn’t like Manifest Destiny claiming, although that would be an interesting National Geographic game.

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Portal 2 sneaks the learning into the game, you are presented puzzles that you must solve through portals. Thus learning some serious critical thinking and teamwork, when necessary. Portal 2 is best played with another player, because it makes the game an invaluable tool to teach teamwork and problem solving, like how to not punch your friend for screwing around and making us have to redo that map over and over again.

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