12 Addictive French Games Online for Learning in 2023
We can all agree that games are a fun way to learn.
Luckily, some of them are geared specifically for French learners!
Most of our choices for French learning games require no registration, monthly payments or fancy equipment.
Often overlooked by traditional language learners, these games will benefit learners of all levels—and then some.
- 1. Digital Dialects
- 2. French-games.net
- 3. Hello World
- 4. Polly Lingual
- 5. Quia French
- 6. Sporcle
- 7. Syvum
- 8. FrenchGrammarGames.net
- 9. TV5 Monde: Jouer Avec Le Français
- 10. LinGo Play
- 11. Paper Mario™: The Origami King (Digital Edition)
- 12. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight (French Edition)
- Advantages of Playing French Games Online
- Now Start Playing!
- And one more thing...
1. Digital Dialects
This is probably the most user-friendly resource on the list. Digital Dialects specializes in free games for most major languages.
In addition to your standard graphical games, audio games are also included and indicated by little headphone icons. For example, clicking on “Food” takes you to a game where food vocab is pronounced and you click on the item you want to hear.
Other French games on the site cover categories such as colors, greetings, numbers, basic phrases and more. There’s also an advanced section for veteran learners, with topics such as verbs and vocabulary builders.
I love how Digital Dialects gives you a ton of learning options for each topic. Let’s say you want to study French fruits and vegetables. You can choose between a game that includes audio or has no audio, study the new vocabulary with flashcards or take a spelling quiz. Advanced learners can scroll down to “Further French learning exercises” and click on “French games-advanced” for material that’s more suitable to their level.
Once you’re done with the games, Digital Dialects also offers recommendations of other resources you can check out as a French language learner.
French-games.net is huge! But hey, what do you expect from a website called “French Games”?
The site guides you through finding games that work for you. Clicking “1. Start” near the top-left corner lets you select your difficulty level and then a topic. Next, you can either head to a lesson or straight to the games. It’s like a whole learning curriculum in one sitting.
It’s nice that this site gives you an optional lesson (complete with audio) to learn the material first. And once you’ve completed the games, the fourth step consists of multiple choice and writing tests. All of the games have good-looking animation and audio too.
I recommend following the four-step tutorial found at the top of the site (1. Start, 2. Lessons, 3. Games, 4. Tests) because it relates the games to standard learning methods.
French-games.net recommends scoring an 8+ in a test before moving on to a new topic, and to retake tests 2 weeks after you originally passed them to help you retain what you’ve learned.
3. Hello World
Although it’s geared towards children, Hello World offers a large array of games and activities that can be used by all levels and ages.
The point-and-click games are simple and colorful, covering many topics you won’t find on other French game sites—such as science, puzzles, culture, songs and even Fontaine fables.
Granted, many of these resources aren’t technically “games,” but they offer diverse learning opportunities with strong visual and audio components. I especially like the logic puzzles!
For example, there’s Les filles et les chapeaux (The girls and the hats). Click the green “play” button in the top left to listen to three French sentences. Based on what you hear, click and drag on the items above to give each of the girls a hat and an object. Clicking on any object will show its name in French and play a clear audio of the word being spoken. When you’re finished assigning objects to the girls, you can check your work by clicking the red check mark (to the right of the green play button). What a creative game!
4. Polly Lingual
Polly Lingual offers an easy-to-use format. First, you choose your difficulty level and then you’re taken to an array of lessons, mostly dealing with real-life situations. This is an especially great resource for people who will be traveling in France.
The lesson on “Meeting People,” for example, has a phrase list of greetings with English translations. All you have to do is click the “Play” button to hear how each greeting is pronounced.
Different lessons come with different games and types of information. For example, the “How Are You?” lesson has a brief grammar explanation up top, followed by vocab and phrases with translations and audio.
I like that you can choose how the lessons are presented. For example, if you click on “Memorama,” you’ll get a flash animation of cards lying face-down. Clicking any of these cards will show the vocabulary words you just learned. And if you don’t like manually clicking through all the words on your own, you can choose “Hands-free mode” and the app will present all the words (complete with audio) as a slideshow.
The beginner French course has the highest number of free lessons. Otherwise, if there’s a blue passport icon with the lesson, that means it requires a Polly Passport subscription—which costs a modest $2.99/month or $9.96/year. So if you like the format of Polly Lingual but want access to all of the lessons, you can always subscribe to a Polly Passport.
5. Quia French
Quia French is unique in that the games are all custom-made submissions from users. Simply choose a subcategory from the pull-down field in the search box and games will appear in the results below. The site has a no-frills format (perfect for older computers) and hosts thousands of French games.
Quia French has something for all difficulty levels. Let’s say you want to try something very specific: a jumbled word game featuring vocab for advanced learners. You would then choose “Jumbled words” as the activity type, “Advanced Vocabulary” for the subcategory and click “Submit.” And lo and behold, someone made a game that matches exactly what you were looking for. Quia is great if you have some very specific lessons in mind.
Sporcle isn’t strictly a gaming site, but it does have a good number of quizzes that will help you brush up on your vocabulary and trivia.
For example, if you want to put your knowledge of French numbers to the test, you can go to the French: Numbers Quiz and name as many of the 28 numbers as you can within 5 minutes.
Want to show off your knowledge of topics like French literature, the periodic table of elements and countries with the most number of French speakers? You can find the quizzes for those here, here and here, respectively.
And if you want to make things even more interesting, you can click “Sign up to Join the Scoreboard” under each quiz so you can see how you stack up against other players.
Syvum is jampacked with French lessons for learners of all levels. The above link will take you to the vocabulary page, but if you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find they also have a ton of exercises relating to grammar and conjugation of French verbs.
I like that they have different formats for each quiz. You can choose the traditional multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks option or opt for the Hangman version.
Also, you can switch between English-to-French and French-to-English translations. How cool is that?
The website may look unassuming, but as the old saying goes, don’t judge a website by its design!
If you’re a beginner who wants to focus specifically on grammar, FrenchGrammarGames.net has you covered.
The site is “Under Construction” at the moment, but what’s available to play is already pretty promising in my opinion. For example, when you click the “Sentence Whiz” game set, you can choose between categories such as negations, pronoms relatifs (relative pronouns) and conjonctions (conjunctions). And if you click on any of the options underneath it (e.g., Voix Passive ou Active ? or “Passive Voice or Active?”), you can either dive straight into the quiz or click the .pdf links below to help you review a bit.
My only gripe is that, as of this writing, there’s no option to switch the site entirely to French for a more immersive experience. When you click the blue “En français” (In French) button on the homepage, all it does is display a French call-to-action encouraging you to play the games on the site. Once that little wrinkle is taken care of, though, I think FrenchGrammarGames.net has the potential to benefit intermediate and advanced learners too.
9. TV5 Monde: Jouer Avec Le Français
“TV5 Monde” is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think of French TV. What you may not know is that they have games geared towards language learners tucked away in an (unfortunately) tiny corner of their website.
As you can expect from one of Europe’s biggest broadcasting networks, TV5 Monde’s games aren’t cookie-cutter ones. Not that cookie-cutter games don’t have value—just look at pretty much everything I’ve listed before this one.
On Videz votre sac (Empty your bag), you have to write as many 4-letter nouns as possible from a 2-letter root. Likewise, Mots coupés (lit. “Severed words”) challenges you to create words from jumbled-up syllables on a table.
If you’re an advanced learner or want to try your hand at more difficult games, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place. The only downside is the limited number of games—but hey, that’s what the rest of the list is for.
10. LinGo Play
Now we’re talking apps! LinGo Play is a gamified language learning app that focuses on teaching you tons of French words and phrases. You can use it in the traditional way (i.e., memorizing flashcards and zipping through exercises) or the fun way—games!
You can play the games alone, with friends who are also interested in all things French or random strangers from halfway across the world. There are tournaments you can participate in to score bragging rights and win nifty prizes.
If nothing else, you can always try to score A/A+ on at least 300 tests and get a shiny certificate. That sounds like a lot of tests, but then any certificate worth its salt is worth working hard for.
11. Paper Mario™: The Origami King (Digital Edition)
Even if you’re the most casual of casual gamers (no judgment here), chances are you’ve heard of the Mario franchise. In this iteration of the iconic fictional plumber’s adventures, Mario has to save a kingdom from enemies that are literally made of paper.
So how can this be one of those video games that can help you learn French? Well, if you set your downloaded game’s language to French, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate for beginners, even as the game throws a ton of vocabulary (along with enemy hits) at you. Not only will you pick up new words, but you’ll also have fun and rescue Princess Peach (again) along the way.
If you don’t already have a Nintendo Switch, though, this game may be more expensive than you’ve bargained for.
12. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight (French Edition)
Calling all war chiefs, lords and nerds! If you want a truly social and immersive gaming experience, there are few better choices than a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) like “World of Warcraft” (WoW).
Unlike other multi-player online games such as “Counterstrike” or later versions of “Call of Duty” (where you can choose which country’s server you’d like to connect to and essentially play in that country even if you’re in a different physical location), “WoW” requires you to purchase the French or basic European version to access the French servers and play with the locals.
But what makes this game more useful than “Counterstrike” or “Call of Duty” is that there’s a large and passionate community you can be part of—and trade witty internet slang words with.
Games like “WoW” can be super beneficial in learning languages, since the relative anonymity of your online persona makes it easier to communicate with native French speakers than if you’re conversing with them face-to-face. (Don’t get me wrong, though: face-to-face conversation still has its merits when it comes to language learning.)
Advantages of Playing French Games Online
You guessed it: I wouldn’t recommend these games without good reason. If I had to learn French doing only one activity, I’d go crazy!
Luckily, even something as simple as online games enhances your learning experience. So just how do these games help you?
Reinforced memorization through repetition
This works especially well for vocab. If I’m memorizing a list of words using flashcards, I need repetition to actually commit the words to memory. Some people suggest miracle strategies and mnemonics, but for me at least, nothing beats repetitive guessing.
Being a techie, I program lists of vocab and cycle through them, but many free online games have their own vocab lists to memorize (usually subject-based) like cooking ones. I recommend reviewing recently memorized vocab the next day before moving on to new words.
Small time commitment compared to other learning methods
I usually suggest learning French during your break time, and online games are another way to do that. In 10 minutes, you can play several different games and see noticeable improvements. My biggest problem is often finding the time to get my daily French practice in, but these games make it simple.
Most facets of written French are included
You can find online games dealing not only with vocab, but with grammar, spelling, gender and accents. A popular game format is fill in the blanks: you’re given a sentence and a list of possible words and you have to choose the right one. This also works with spelling and grammar structures.
Do you need a better reason? Look at your choices for fast daily French practice: news clips, articles and flashcards. Those are great, but you’ll love to also include games.
Now Start Playing!
This is the best time ever to learn languages because so many resources are literally at your fingertips.
Remember, there’s only so much you can get out of these games if you don’t have an existing curriculum—learning programs lay the foundation of the French skills needed for this kind of language practice.
For example, FluentU targets your reading and listening skills through its videos.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Have fun playing these games as you take your French to the next level!
And one more thing...
If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.
FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:
Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."
All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.