Five Gateway Social Games and Why They're So Addicting

Social games are like drugs -- once you get hooked on one, you'll find yourself adding a whole slew of them to your repertoire. Here are the top five gateway social games on Facebook and their addictive qualities, but don't say we didn't warn ya!

Mafia Wars

Why it's addictive: Because we love the Godfather.

Take out rogue cops, jailbreak some made men and whack a rival crew leader -- it's all in a day's work in Mafia Wars. Energy points (they replenish daily) and the right setup (like an armored truck and a few getaway cruisers for that bank heist) let you pull off jobs to earn money and gain experience. Invest that money into profit-generating properties from delis to hotels, and with a little help from your friends you'll be top mafia boss in no time.

Hit 'Continue Reading' to see four other totally addicting social games >


Why it's addictive: Because urban life is overrated.

Who knew we had such a knack for the simple life? Farmville has taken Facebook's social games category by storm, and for good reason -- its charming avatars, animals and crops (who knew pumpkins could be adorable?) make the plowing/planting/harvesting process immensely entertaining. Combine that with the opportunity to send/receive gifts like cows, ducks and trees to your friends every day and the ability to personalize your farm's layout and design and you'll find yourself wanting to tend real-life gardens and raise real livestock.

Pet Society

Why it's addictive: Because it's cute!

Pet Society has evolved a ton since it launched just over a year ago with few features, well-done as they were. Now in addition to grooming, feeding and playing with your pet, you can race it against your friends' in hurdling races, go fishing, tend a garden and decorate an ever-increasing number of rooms at your pad. Plus, new items to purchase each week, like Faerie tables, Kimonos, cell phones and wallpapers, mean there's a never-ending drive to earn money and deck out your dream house!


Why it's addictive: Because we already know how to play.

The popular family night game comes to Facebook in the form of UNO Beta. The game connects you with up to three friends (or strangers, if none of yours are online) in a fast-paced card game. A colored background indicate the current card in play, highlighted cards in your hand indicate which ones are eligible to put down and integrated chat even lets you smack talk (or encourage) the other players. The games are intentionally short, too, thanks to a timer that requires players to take action within a given amount of time or forfeit their turn.

Who Has the Biggest Brain?

Why it's addictive: Because we're smartasses.

We're not ones to give up a chance to show off our high IQs -- gameshow-style Who Has the Biggest Brain even ranks you and your Facebook friends right on the leaderboard. With four different types of tests (Analytical, Math, Visual and Memory), we'll prove once and for all we've got the smarts. You can even challenge friends individually to a match using one of the minigames, and earn trophies for beating them while you're at it.

Did we miss any of your Facebook games in our list? Let us know below!
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