Mobile gaming apps have come a long way in the last few years, and that’s probably a bit of an understatement. What we love most about the developing platform is that there are games for every type of gamer—shooters, RPGs, puzzle games, etc. But in the sea of brainless entertainment and time-passers, brain training games have emerged as one of the most wildly popular mobile gaming genres on the planet.

We love brain training games because they aren’t just fun, they condition our brains to be better and sharper. Memory retention, abstraction, divided attention, word memory, etc.—a good brain game has it all, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, we think it’s about time you did. Here are 8 of the best mobile brain training apps out there:

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Mind Games – Brain Training Games

Although the title could probably be just a tad more creative, Mind Games – Brain Training Games is pretty damn incredible. This app only comes with a few free games, but when you pay to unlock the rest of them, you’ll find a massive library of brain training games that’ll help you with dividing your attention, exercising your focus and speed, practicing your learning memory and attention to details, sequence memorization, word memorization, and a whole lot more. Even though the free version is limited, it’s still awesome, too, if that’s your thing. iOS Android


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Peak

Peak has a pretty awesome user interface. We love the slick and quirky design, and the over 40 unique games featured here aren’t just exceptionally well designed, but are actually fun.  Each game on Peak was developed by a team of neuroscientists and game developers in order to seamlessly bring the world of gaming and brain training together—and they’ve executed this strategy perfectly. Peak’s most interesting feature is Coach, a “personal trainer” that will help users find the right workout at the right time. Peak also keeps track of users’ progress and provides insights to help players better understand where they excel and where they need to improve. iOS Android


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Elevate

Personalized brain training and daily game workouts make Elevate one of the top contenders on our list—not because it was named Apple’s 2014 App of the Year or anything. Elevate also offers a convenient workout calendar to help you track your progress, detailed performance tracking, and over 30 cognitive games that are fun and quick enough to play on a lunch break or while waiting for the train, but relevant enough to help you track and make actual progress. We also appreciate the game’s adaptive difficulty progression, which means that as players get sharper, the game becomes more difficult. It keeps things interesting. iOS Android


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Lumosity

Luminosity is one of the most popular brain training games out there, and there are some pretty good reasons for the high distinction. Like Elevate, Luminosity’s stable of over 25 games adapt to your individual performance, creating a custom-tailored brain training experience for every single user. The games are incorporated into a daily training regimen for people on all different types of schedules, meaning that if you stick with their program, you will get better. The Luminosity team also works with 40+ university researchers all over the world to take classic cognitive and neropsychological tasks, then turn them into fun new games for everyone. iOS Android


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Fit Brains Trainer

Fit Brains Trainer is more about the business end of brain training games. Its design is modern, attractive, and very sleek, but it’s probably not something we’d recommend if you’re looking for laid back engaging entertainment. If you’re looking to track your progress, set weekly goals, compare yourself to others in your range, etc., then it’s definitely for you. The free version of the game includes a whopping 60+ games, as well as 500+ workout sessions that’ll not only stimulate your mind, but will literally help you reach every point of your IQ. This app also offers a desktop version where users can play even more games not available on mobile. iOS Android


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Brainwell

This brain-training app isn’t very different from a lot of the other options on our list—daily training regimens, detailed progress reports, a ton of fun and attractive training games, blah blah blah. But what we love about Brainwell is that it makes things competitive by allowing users to challenge their friends, share their scores, and see how they stack up with the competition. These games are geared toward both adults and children, are free and available to everyone on both the Apple and Android platforms, and they feel like games, not tests. What more could we ask for? iOS Android


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Brain Wars

Brain Wars is basically QuizUp, but for competitive brain trainers. And God damn it, it rules. Challenge your friends or take on randoms in this all-out battle for brainpower. Outscore your opponents in real time with simple brainteasers, puzzles, and other neuropsychological games that are fun as they are challening. The app is exceptionally well designed and user-friendly, and even though it is ad-based, they aren’t intrusive and annoying. The games are complex enough to require some legitimate thought, but easy enough to understand for people of all ages. There are worldwide rankings, international challenges, and daily competitions in order to make brain training not suck. We dig it a lot. iOS Android


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Logic Grid Puzzles – Word Games For Brain Training

If you’re a fan of Sudokus, then you will absolutely love this app. Believe it or not, Logic Grid Puzzles aren’t a new thing. They were invented by Lewis Carroll (Yes, the guy who wrote Alice in Wonderland), and are essentially Sudokus, but on steroids. These word puzzles are engineered to sharpen wit and improve logic, and given just a few tiny and seemingly indiscriminant clues, players are challenged to fill out entire 6-grid puzzles of information. If it sounds ridiculous and utterly frustrating, it’s because it really, truly, seriously is. But the experience is incredible. iOS