Research has found that Mario Kart gives gamers the most stress.
A new Bonus Finder study took 14 active gamers to track their heart rate while playing 16 of the most common and intense console, PC and mobile games.
Experts noted that Mario Kart was the game that caused the heart rate to increase for more than 30 minutes of play. The game increased the participants’ heart rates by an average of 21BPM – which is a 32.81 percent jump.
During playtime, which was surpassed by Dark Souls III, the study also measured the peak BPM increase. The notorious tough action-adventure game saw BPM rise to 127 BPM, a 98.44 percent rise on the group’s 64 BPM baseline resting rate.
Online multiplayer hit Fall Guys was second in the peak BPM increase, which will make sense to anyone who has desperately tried to make it to the end of one of the game’s obstacle courses in the nick of time. Mario Kart was 3rd, Street Fighter was 4th, and FIFA was 5th.
With Super Mario Kart, which was released on the Super NES all the way back in 1992, the Mario Kart franchise started. The game popularized the go-kart style of racing games, eschewing speed and power-up realism, obstacles and adorable characters.
The top 5 are completed by Call of Duty Modern Warfare (PS4), Dark Souls III and Fortnite, although DOOM, Street Warrior, and Battlefield both narrowly lose out.
Since the 1990s, a Mario Kart title has graced almost every major Nintendo console, and has consistently been one of the company’s biggest-selling titles. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit on the Switch, the latest version, has introduced the game to the real world by including real RC cars to race around your living room.
Stressful game based on BPM
BonusFinder also published another list of stressful games focused on peak BPM growth. This time, the role-playing game Dark Souls from FromSoftware took the top spot over a 30-minute span at a 98.44 percent peak BPM rise. At a 95.11 percent BPM rise, Battle Royale game Fall Guys came second.
“When participants reached finals of respective Fall Guys episodes, heart rates soared by as much as 63 BPM, almost double the baseline rate,” said Managing Director Fintan Costello.
However, it’s worth remembering that the study had a limited sample size of just 14 players, but when they took the exam, all the gamers played at least 15 hours per week and wore heart rate monitors.
Most relaxing game
It’s not just a matter of stressing out teams’ minds, working hard to complete levels and win games. Only a handful of titles have been found to have specifically led to lower heart rates and stress levels.
Animal Crossing, The Sims and Skyrim were both found to reduce participants’ average heart rate by as much as 5 percent during a 30-minute session. This can understand their appeal, as playing games can be very fun and satisfying, and sometimes what we want to do after a hard day of work is relax, explore and de-stress.