The 10 Best Google Doodle Games

Games Lists google doodle games
The 10 Best Google Doodle Games

With Google Stadia, the behemoth tech company tried its hand at getting into the gaming sphere through cloud streaming videogames. It had its moments, such as being one of the best ways to play Cyberpunk 2077 without a good PC or current-gen console, but it wasn’t enough to stop it from being shut down in January 2023, just over three years since its launch in November 2019. However, Google has had a toe in the waters of videogames since 2010 through its search engine. Ever since 1998, the company has occasionally changed the look of its iconic logo to commemorate significant anniversaries, birthdays of historical figures, holidays and more. Usually, these are static images or videos with a link to information about whatever the Doodle is celebrating, but every once in a while, they’ll make a little game for people to waste time with instead of searching for whatever they originally went to Google for. Some of them are legitimately good games in their own right, but all of them are interesting, especially these 10—the 10 Google Doodles I like the most and think are most worth wasting your time on.


Google Doodle games Pac-Man

Release date: May 21, 2010

The first-ever interactive Google Doodle to be released was a version of PAC-MAN that had you play the classic game on a map that spelled out “Google” to celebrate the game’s 30th anniversary. It’s more fun than a lot of the higher-ranked games on here, but it’s ranked lower because, well, it’s just PAC-MAN. Other than the map looking different, there’s really no spin on it.

9. Celebrating Garden Gnomes

Google Doodle games Garden Gnome

Release date: June 10, 2018

As far as I can tell, this game’s release didn’t coincide with the invention of the garden gnome or any other significant date. But that’s OK because garden gnomes are pretty cool, and so is this game! You select your gnome, each of which has different aerodynamics, and then shoot it into the air to see how far it can go. I somehow got one of mine into space.

8. Basketball

Google Doodle games

Release date: Aug. 8, 2012

Released to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics, this is one of the most simple games of the lot. All you need to use is the spacebar to time your shots to make the ball go into the net. Like many of these sports Google Doodles, there isn’t a series of levels or progression. You just play to get higher scores until you feel done with it.

7. Baseball

Google Doodle games

Release date: March 31, 2011

Released to coincide with the start of the Major League Baseball Season in 2011, this game also has you just use the spacebar to hit the baseball with your bat. Everything else in the game (pitching, catching, running bases) is done automatically. It’s just so satisfying to get a home run and see all your little guys run around the field, though.

6. Eiji Tsuburaya’s Birthday

Google Doodle games

Release date: July 7, 2017

Celebrating the legendary filmmaker Eiji Tsuburaya’s birthday, this Doodle has you complete a series of Warioware-style minigames to stitch together scenes for his next big film. It’s silly and cute and a great celebration of the Godzilla and Ultraman co-creator’s work.

5. Pony Express

Google Doodle games

Release date: April 14, 2015

Meant to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the horse-based mail service, the Pony Express (which was only around for 18 months! Did you know that? I didn’t know that!), this game has you ride your pony collecting stray letters on the ground for extra points and losing letters after hitting obstacles. It’s one of the few games here to actually contain multiple levels and has some replay value through the goal of collecting each letter.

4. Halloween

Google Doodle games

Release date: Oct. 30, 2016

There have been a couple Halloween Google Doodles, but one you can still play now is from 2016. You play as an adorable black cat who has to fend off ghosts by drawing different shapes with your mouse or trackpad on computers and touchscreen on smart devices. I definitely recommend the latter, because getting some of the shapes to register on the computer gets pretty frustrating. Still, it’s one of the more challenging Google Doodles and has so much charm I had to place it pretty high on the list.

3. Birth of Hip Hop

Google Doodle games

Release date: Aug. 11, 2017

Less a game and more an interactive history lesson, this Google Doodle was released to celebrate the 44th anniversary of DJ Kool Herc’s use of the hip hop break and also hip hop history as a whole. You’re given 10 achievements to go after by selecting different music for two turntables and playing around with them, each of which will teach you a little bit about the history of this type of music. Even though the “game” part wasn’t very compelling, I placed it this high because of how much I learned from it and the great music included as part of the Doodle.

2. Valentine’s Day

Google Doodle games

Release date: Feb. 11, 2017

I remember playing a ton of this Google Doodle when I should have been learning Spanish in high school, so it was definitely a success. Over the course of four days before and on Valentine’s Day 2017, Google released new levels for an adorable pangolin to collect things to bring to his date. It’s one of the most fleshed-out games among Google Doodles and has enough cuteness to melt anyone’s heart.

1. Doctor Who

Google Doodle games

Release date: Nov. 23, 2013

Released on the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, this Google Doodle will always be linked to that day in my mind. Doctor Who was at the height of its popularity, and me and my nerdy friends played this game to pass the time before going to the theater to watch the 50th anniversary special of the series. The game itself is pretty fun too, even awkwardly incorporating the Weeping Angels, who only move when you’re not looking at them, into one level. But it’s the significance of this game to me at an exciting point in my childhood that makes it take the top spot.

Joseph Stanichar is a freelance writer who specializes in videogames and pop culture. He’s written for publications such as Game InformerTwinfinite and Looper. He’s on Twitter @JosephStanichar.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin