Study: The Best Games for Visually Impaired Players

Lenstore, a vision care service in the United Kingdom known for selling contact lenses online to the region, has released findings on the most accessible video games and board games for visually impaired players.

"Board games and video games are often created with those with perfect vision in mind," Lenstore wrote on their website. "It can be difficult for many people to enjoy the same range of activities available to those with 20/20, uncorrected vision."

The study set to find out which video games had the following accessibility options identified in their studies:

  • Color Deficiency (commonly known as "color blindness")

  • Adjustable Font Size: The ability to change the size of text in-game

  • HUD (Heads Up Display Scaling: Whether the user interface can change to a different size

  • Contrast Setting: Whether there is an inbuilt control over the level of visual contrast (the difference between dark and light colors)

Three charts were created to show this study: accessibility in the Top 10 games (of all time), accessibility in the Top 10 recent games, and accessibility in the Top 10 in board games. All video game data Lenstore collected came from Metacritic; board game data was collected from BoardGameGeek.

The Last of Us Part II Stays Supreme

With eight wins from the Game Awards and six Golden Joysticks, it's unsurprising The Last of Us Part II came out as number one on both Top Ten video game charts.

It has all four accessibility options, including Contrast Setting, which no other games on the Top 10 Most Accessible have--a few don't have the settings at all, while most have "Brightness Only."

"Games development is constantly evolving," Lenstore said on their website. "The number of accessibility options included in a popular, mainstream game like The Last of Us Part II is a testament to how the industry can build their products to support all players."

A Chart: The Top 10 Games for Accessibility. There's five categories: Video Game Rank, Color Deficiency, Adjustable Font Size, HUD Scaling, Contrast Setting. The Video Game Ranks go 1 through 10. 1) The Last of Us Part II Y Y Y Y; 2) World of Warcraft Y Y Y N; 3) Into the Breach Y Y Y N; 4) Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) Y Y Y N; 5) Dota 2 Y N Limited HUD Scaling Brightness Only; 6) Red Dead Redemption 2 Y N Limited HUD Scaling Brightness Only; 7) Forza Horizon 4 Y N PC Only HUD Scaling Brightness Only; 8) Minecraft Color Deficiency with Texture Packs N Y Brightness Only; 9) Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Y N N Brightness Only; 10) XCOM: Enemy Unknown Y N N Brightness Only
These games are the Top 10 Games for Accessibility all video games. It's interesting to note that Number 8, Minecraft, relies on Texture Packs. This could give gamers a chance to find color deficiency texture packs based on their specific color blindness.

The Last of Us Part II is only available to play on the PlayStation 4, so while it's accessible to the visually impaired across the board, it is not accessible to all players of all platforms.

The next three games on the list have three out of four accessibility options. None of them possess Contrast Settings.

The oldest game on the list, World of Warcraft, launched in 2004 and has only ever been available on PC.

Into the Breach is available on PC as well but has the added benefit of being available on the handheld console the Nintendo Switch.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is an Xbox exclusive, but all games in the top four give hope there's an accessible video game for everyone with every console.

The Last of Us Part II is also the most accessible game of the current Top 10 Recent Games, with Microsoft Flight Simulator coming in second. They're the only two games to appear on both lists.

Top Recent Games Lacking in Accessibility

Even though the other eight games are popular among gamers, they don't have as many accessibility options as other games.