Video games are a much-enjoyed pastime for younger generations. It just so happens that a lot of troops today come from this video-game-loving generation. While they're not out physically training for their upcoming deployment, they're probably back in their barracks room "training."
No, it's not because they're working to be 110% prepared. It's because these games are also pretty fun.
6. America's Army: Proving Ground
To be absolutely fair to every other game, this one was made by the U.S. Army. It serves as both a fun training aid for troops and an enjoyable recruitment tool for civilians.
While going through the training missions, a helpful Drill Sergeant will give you sound advice, for both the gaming world and the real thing.
"Press X to secure your wall locker, Private!" (America's Army: Proving Grounds, U.S. Army)
5. SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs
SOCOM is an oldie, but it still holds up — and has a huge place in gaming history. It laid the groundwork for many of the games on this list.
Sure, the graphics don't hold up and you can find a more accurate video game on the shelves today, but this game brought a new dynamic to the industry. It was the first game to make use of the PlayStation's microphone in a shooter and one of the first overall to use it successfully.
The graphics definitely don't hold up. (SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs, Sony Entertainment)
4. Rainbow Six: Siege
Siege is fast-paced game that pits a team of six attackers against six defenders. Players must then chose an operator based on many real-world Counterterrorist units, each with a special trait based off of real technology.
Communication and breaching are key elements to making Rainbow Six: Siege work. If you know the enemy is guarding the door, blow out the walls. If you know the enemy barricaded the walls, blow out the roof. If you know they booby-trapped that entrance, flash bang your way through to the objective.
...And hope Lord Tachanka isn't set on the objective. (Rainbow Six: Siege, Ubisoft)
3. Sniper Elite 4
If there's one defining trait of real-life snipers, it's their ability to wait for hours on end to get the perfect shot. While the waiting part isn't the most alluring element of Sniper Elite, it definitely makes delivering that single, precise bullet all the more satisfying.
This game needs to be played slowly, methodically, and relaxed. And then you can sit back and enjoy as the game gives you a satisfying x-ray of the damage you've inflicted on the enemy.
It's just so, so satisfying. (Sniper Elite 4, Rebellion Developments)
2. Battlefield 1
The entire Battlefield series is beloved by troops for its slower pace (compared to the running and gunning of Call of Duty). The games also take a more logical approach to capturing objectives.
Players need to think through large 64-player vs 64-player battlefields. You can't just run into a room, spin 360 degrees, and headshot someone with a sniper rifle without looking through the scope.
...unless you're good.
1. Arma 3
There's no game on the marketplace quite like Arma 3. Yes, there are single-player missions that require a basic level of thought, but what sets this game at the top is the deep multiplayer element.
Teamwork and coordination are keys to victory in this game. Everyone needs a microphone to communicate properly. You clear houses, just like real life. You man checkpoints, just like real life. And you even have support troops, just like real life. This game's community is so well-versed in tactics to the point that actual service-members who play are often praised and asked to lead the civilians on missions.
Squad up! (Arma 3, Bohemia Interactive)
*Bonus* Six Days in Fallujah
This game is left with just an honorable mention because it was never released. Originally created by Atomic Games, Six Days in Fallujah would have been the first of it's kind. The developers wanted to deliver an experience that would require the player to use an extreme amount of military tactics in every level and accurately depict the Second Battle of Fallujah in what would have been almost an interactive documentary. It aimed to put the player in the psychological mindset of Marines that were actually there.
The game was said to have depicted the good, the bad, and the unfortunate sides of the very real war. You would have followed the actual 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines who took part in the battle. The objectives and conditions were exactly like those of real-life. The real Marines who died in the battle would have died in the game, too. It was scrapped in 2009 because of a severe backlash against the publisher for "trivializing" the severity of the Iraq War.