Best of the Best – Top 5 Gamification LMSs

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Let’s play a game.

I want each of you right now to think of the best games you have ever played, regardless if it was on a board, on a device, in your head, on your tv, sitting at your computer or looking at your bedroom as a kid and wondering if the pick up your clothes game, is really a game after all.


Do you have your list?  Okay, now I want you to take that list and reduce it to five games.  Five games, that is it.  Yeah, I know you have dozens or more to enjoy. You still have the board game of Life and believe that it indeed, predict your future.  I get that you think Angry Birds is really about those darn birds tossing air zingers on your car and your dream of retaliation, but you still must pick five.

Do you have them?

Now, write them down on a piece of paper – I am going to assume that 98% listed them in their brain and not on paper, so put them on paper, please.


Now,  review those five games.  Really, look at them and not just a passing glance.  Do you see any trends there?  Are they a certain type of game? Are they from a period or time in your life?  Are they from a specific decade?  Maybe they are all the same genre of games, is that it?

Look back at that your list of games.  Rank them in order of Fun.  I mean, how fun were they?  Sure, they are on your top five list, but in terms of real “fun”, how much fun did you have?  If you still play any of those games, give those games an extra few points of fun. 

Are you done?  Are you happy with your list?  Better yet are you willing to put that list in the comments section for all to see? Or would you rather, just hold onto that list, smile a bit and say to yourself, “Hey I thought this article was about top five gamification LMSs?”

It is, but hold on, because the rest of us are having fun.

The point and there is one here, is presenting a listing of systems that meet a set of criteria to achieving a level of gamification which in turn enables learning to be fun. 

Here now is my list of top five gamification LMSs.  At the end of this list, I will return back to your list of games – after all, we didn’t do that exercise just for imaginary fun purposes or to relive your past days.

One Gaming LMS to Rule Them All – or five for that matter


Before, I dive in, let me notify you that you read more about each of these systems in my latest report, Top 50 LMS Mid-Year Rankings, which contains additional listings of the top three systems by vertical, market and additional genres, including mobile.   The report also contains the top 50 LMSs including 40+ mini reviews and insight and information, you cannot find anywhere else on the internet. 

To view a sample of the report, click here.  Sorry, you won’t be awarded any points, unless the points are to help you save time in finding your next system without busting the bank.

Rules (There are always rules to a game. What do you think this is? Pinball?)

There are LMSs that may have more gamification components than a couple listed below, but are not in my top five list.  Because having a leader board, badges, points angle and some happy faces does not make a sound system.  Gamification is about fun and LEARNING.  And if you have a gamified system but that system is hard to use, confusing or looks like it was from the days of Pong, sorry, you are not considered  under the top five category.

#5  ExpertusOne

It would be erroneous to say that ExpertusOne is a good system.  Because, it isn’t – it is a GREAT system.  From the moment you view it, and amaze in its beauty, to the moment you turn on the switch and whoosh travel through the LMS, you are soaring with the birds, and they are no longer angry at you.

It is really one heck of a slick system and with that slickness comes its gamification. 

It has the usual components needed for gamification, but the way it is shown and presented, really takes your breath away – and no, Berlin the band does not come with the system.

Nor do the joysticks. (you do not need joysticks to use the system, unless you want to have them on your desk, then hey, who am I to say no?)

To learn more about ExpertusOne and 49 other systems, order the Top 50 Mid-Year Report, which includes mini profiles and more information. Ideal for those wishing to save time, headaches and unnecessary worries in finding the best LMS for your needs.

#4  Frog

Frog rocks.  Any system that names itself Frog should automatically get a few points. There is no way you can’t smile when you say “Frog”.  Unless, that is, you are scared to death of frogs and the mere mention of the word, has you racing out the door faster than a car on Top Gear on the SNES.

The funny thing about Frog is that the system is an education system, which if you think about it, look at the education systems in the market and list those you can honestly say are fun to use. 

I can, it takes just a few seconds.

I enjoyed Frog Play, which includes avatars, games – HOLY WOW – games and learning? Call out the dogs!!!  Anyway, it includes games with its gamification, along with a very nice teaching resource system which is shared by all the teachers in the Frog community. 

Before you go, “We do that”, let me remind you, that the focus on is the avatars and games within a gamification angle.  The system also offers Frog Store which has lots of apps and the system itself is in my top 10 LMSs, and rated high in my top LMSs for education.

Hip Hip Two Ribbets! Ribbet – see saying it is fun too.

To find out what other systems are in my Top 10, purchase the most comprehensive report on LMSs, with over 300 pages of information, ideally suited for those looking at buying a system or just starting their research. 

#3  Accord

I see a lot of systems.  And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.  There are days, that I see them at the pool, in my mind that is, and dream about them – okay, not really, but you get my drift.

When I see systems lately, one of the items of interest – or on my list – includes gamification.  If the system has it, they show it to me and for most systems it isn’t that long or that robust. 


That is, until I came across Accord.  

It offers some of most extensive gamification capabilities I have come across in a long time.  You can do this and turn this on, you can do that and turn this off and so on.. Besides its gamification ooomph, it is solid with social, provides an extensive feature set and is in my top 30.  

If you are seeking a very affordable system and want extensive gamification capabilities, then check them out.  I will state that the biggest downer to the system, is that they charge extra for the gamification module, if you will.   Because the system is not expensive to begin with, it is not enough of a negative to remove them from consideration.

But, I will demote them with a point – ahh, is Ms. Teacherfrom10thgrade who I can’t recall still there?  I need a demerit.

#2  Axonify

What I like about the Axonify system is that it breathes gamification.  From the moment the learner enters and is presented with a few minute or two games to the moment they go beyond and enter their own path for learning.

While the quick mini games are nothing to write home or to Mars about, at least it is something unique and Axonify recognizes that.  They are in the works to add more games.

But it is not just the mini games that fits them onto this list.  Rather the system’s gamification components add to its internal bliss. 

Yet I will forewarn you, their web site and specifically, learning specifics about the features and seeing something isn’t going to happen.  I mean sure if you are into the early 80’s text games, than yeah, you will enjoy the site, but for me, it pushes the boundrary and not in a good way.

I mention this because there will be those of you who click on the name and expect to be floored by what you see, and when you do see the site, think to yourself -where is it?  So don’t be floored by the site – rather check out the system and see if its gamification capabiities floor you.

I suspect they will.  Please note, the system does not have any real e-commerce – standard components that is  – so if that is a must, then I would look at ExpertusOne or Accord as your options.

Hey! Did you know you can find out the top 3 systems for manufacturing, financial, education, healthcare, retail and technology all in my latest LMS Report? Purchase today and receive a free 30 minute phone call with me (Craig).

#1  Growth Engineering

Remember that list I asked you to create early on?  And remember when I asked you to re-rank it by fun?   Good.  Take a look at see who is number one, because in your opinion it is the best game you ever have played.  The one game you had the most fun playing and enjoying.  The one game that far exceeded any other game on your list.

Well, on my gamification LMS list, Growth Engineering is such a system.

Take a peek (either now or after reading the whole article).

See what the system can do and then ask yourself is that something my learners – regardless if they are employees, customers, channel partners or all the above, would have fun using on a day in and day out basis?

Because to me, the answer is a simple yes.

Growth Engineering is more than just a gamified LMS. It has an extensive feature set, updates monthly with new components and capabilities and exemplifies what is possible in 2014.

Growth Engineering is rated #2 in my top 50 report, and it is not just because it is a pure gamification platform.  What it is though, is a LMS wrapped up in a gamification experience that works extremely well for learners. 

As for administrators the fun is not gone – thankfully the result of strong design, modern UI and a scoop of bubblegum sorbet (sorry, not available for purchase or with your system).

Bottom Line

Earlier I asked you to compile your top five favorite games of all time.

If you are willing to have some fun for a moment and remove those “what ifs” that we acquire as an adult, then I will ask you to put your top five in the comments section.

For me, though, I will present you with my two lists.  One you see above and the other you see below:

1. Card sports game I created when I was seven years old, played until college and tried to sell to a few companies in the board/card game industry at age 14. 

2.  EA NCAA Football 2011 for Xbox-360.  Better than any future edition and yes, I still play the game on my Xbox 360.

3. Risk – Awesome board game.  Who doesn’t want to rule the world?

4. Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  Great sports board game for baseball.  Can’t tell you if the computer version is any good, I played the original (which you can still get) with the stat cards and board.

5. Air Hockey.  A bonus if you get your hand or knuckles scrapped when the puck hits it. 

That is my list.

I hope you will add yours to the comments.  And while you are doing that, think about what made those games so special to you.

What made them; make your list?

Because the top five gamification LMSs were molded in the same way, but with a minor twist.

Learning for one.

Gamification for all.

E-Learning 24/7

Speaking of rewards?  Did you know that when you buy the LMS Mid-Year Report, you recieve a free 30 minute analyst call with me. Plus the report includes detailed profiles of 46 systems including implementation, training/support, roadmap for 2014-15, social, mobile, app features, how they calculate pricing, setup fees, number of clients, top verticals and more. 

Over 300 pages in length.  PLUS you receive my latest LMS RFP Template, which now includes a special section for Security.  PLUS you receive the top 15 Q/A, which will provide you with additional insight to help you in your current or future search for LMSs.

All for only $599.  If you are searching for a LMS, now or six months from now or even a year from now, why spend all that time trying to identify the right system, when someone else has done it for you.  Always 100% independent, always 100% fair and honest. 







  1. Hi Craig,

    I was a little hard pressed to come up with games and then I realized that they all showed my age! But here are the ones that I enjoyed, in no particular order:

    “War” – a card game that I seem to recall involved rapid stacking of cards by rank and slapping the piles for some reason
    “Galaxian” – all time best video game ever. Lord, I wish I could get all those quarters back.

    The common thread seems to be good hand-eye coordination and strategy in terms of anticipating the opponent and countering them.

    I’ll be interested to see what others say.

    1. OOh…this is a great list. I love Scrabble – my parents were fantics about it, and the delight in beating them was a highlight of my grad school days – uh besides graduating of course.

      Othello, another nice one.

  2. Sure the Badgeville integration works, but any vendor can do Badgeville integration, i.e. the client already has it and wants it in the system, so from that take – them having it is not enough to put them into a top five.

  3. This is tough. Here’s my top 5 in no particular order. This is definitely an age thing. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

    Go – the Japanese strategy game. We nerds used to play this at school long before nerds had been invented. Even made our own boards out of polystyrene ceiling tiles and drawing pins.
    Prince of Persia – the original PC game. Brilliant game play and animation.
    Doom – the genre defining first person shooter. Atmospheric, absorbing, frightening even, and set the standard.
    Lemmings – I love puzzle games, and this is still one of the best ever.
    GTA – I’ve got to have one that’s not decades old, and all the GTA games are terrific. Oh for an elearning budget like that.

    Bubbling under – leisure suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Still hilarious today and wildly politically incorrect.

    1. Doom rocked, but I liked Castle Wolfstein better for the PC that is, otherwise it stunk. I also enjoyed Duke Nukem, another awesome PC game.

      As for the others, never heard of them, must be a UK thing. : )

      1. More likely an age thing Craig 🙂 Prince of Persia was created by an American Jordan Mechner. Came out in 1989 so before you were born.
        Leisure Suit Larry is even earlier, 1987.
        Lemmings has been voted the best Amiga game of all time. Its from 1991, so you were still in diapers.
        Doom came out in 1993, so, if my age theory is right, you must have played that in pre-school.

  4. Nice article.

    My top five and reasons are,

    5. Tetris on original GameBoy – I enjoyed the solving puzzles in a time limit aspect of Tetris. It stepped up a level when my cousin and I purchased the link cable and we could play against each other in real time with our connected GameBoy devices.
    4. Pacman on Atari 2600 – First time I experienced ‘flow’. When I was about 12 years old I remember playing from the afternoon light to darkness on the same game, I was so focussed and I could see the walk patterns of the enemies so I just knew where to go to stay alive get to the next level. I remember clocking the game.
    3. Big 2 (card game) – I played this with family friends a lot. I enjoyed the social nature and of the game and how you could predict the next moves if you thought hard enough.
    2. Mahjong – I played this with family and friends. I enjoyed the social (and cultural) part.
    1. Soccer – Team work, physical and mental challenge and defined objectives (weekly and season specific).

    1. Pac-Man great game. Better in the “arcade” at the “arcade”. Mahjong – my mom still plays with a group of folks three times a week. Used to have “games” at home, when I was a kid.

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