More than 291 million people played Facebook games through the online social networking site in 2012, up a staggering 35 million from the previous year. Though a large number, it’s not particularly surprising given that there are more than a billion Facebook users on the planet. With more users comes more revenue and subsequently, more games.
However, let us not forget making the perfect Facebook game is an art form, much like the paintings embellishing the Louvre or that meme with a small child holding up his fist. A great game should pit friends against friends, strangers against strangers, in a constant notification battle for ultimate social networking supremacy. And like any game worth playing, they may come at the cost of a dear friend — or worse — your own self-esteem.
That being said, here are our picks for the best Facebook games in the App Center — whether you want to sling feathery animals, build civilizations from the ground up, or just plant some corn.
Looking for more than just games? Check out our guide to the best Facebook apps.
Words with Friends (Trivia & Word)
Words with Friends remains one of the best options for both the casual and diehard word junky. The game works in the same vein as Scrabble, allowing players to spell out words for different point values, and letting you challenge both friends and strangers alike. Plus, you can play up 20 games at once and trash talk your opponents through the built-in chat feature. Can you spell “awesome?”
Texas HoldEm Poker (Casino)
Although Zynga debuted Texas HoldEm Poker more than five years ago, it remains one of the company’s flagship games to this day. You may not be able to win actual money, but you can still join any table — from casual to tournament style — and face off with up to nine players from around the globe in what Zynga claims is the world’s largest free-to-play online poker game. Feel free to spend real money on gifts for friends and decorating your table seat.
Farmville 2 (Simulation)
Farmville 2 is the successor of the original Facebook game that set the bar in terms of gaming on a social networking site. Whether you’ve played it or not you probably know the drill by now — you cultivate your farmland by plowing, planting, and harvesting various crops and trees day in and day out. Players can also raise livestock, give gifts, participate in cooperative jobs with their friends, and even attend farmer’s market where they can swap all their hard-earned agricultural wares with other players.
Bejeweled Blitz (Action & Arcade)
Bejeweled Blitz is a slight, yet still familiar, deviation from PopCap’s classic strategy game that has been around for more than a decade. The game gives players a shotgun 60-second block of time to match and detonate as many Flame gems, Star gems, and Hypercubes as they can within the allotted time. It’s quick and simple, but the online leaderboard adds to Blitz’s competitive edge and keeps players striving to move up in the rankings.
SongPop (Trivia & Word)
Ready to wrack your musical brain? SongPop is the perfect companion for the musical know-it-all who wants to show off his or her skills against online friends. It works like a standard trivia game; players listen to a song clip and then try to choose the correct answer among a few multiple choice options. The game isn’t particularly enthralling, but serves as a great way to challenge your friends, rediscover lost hits, and open your mind to new musical genres. Believe us, you’ll be surprised what you actually know.
Dragon City (Adventure & RPG)
Who doesn’t love a game where you crossbreed fire-breathing beasts and let them duke it out against your friends in an arena? MuchGames’ recent arrival lets you hatch, raise, and train a team of dragons for combat in a world of floating islands and Zeus-like dragon masters. It’s kind of like a stripped-down version of Pokemon combined with some aspects of a decent RTS — if that makes any sense.
Next Page: Five more great Facebook games