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Martin Barrett
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Best Game Development Courses

7 Best Game Development Courses To Try in 2023

If you’ve ever played a video game, you may have considered how you can make your own.

At this point, game development is a field that is only getting bigger.

That’s why we’re here to help you find the best game development courses that will help you find a career in the business.

After all, the more you know, the better chances you have of improving your career path in the deeply competitive field of game development.

You might think that learning about game development is all about learning code.

However, it’s more than that. Game development is also about telling stories and understanding how games work.

So none of the courses on this list will be the same as any of the others.

Game Design And Development With Unity 2020 Specialization

In this free course, you will learn about the theory and practice of making games using Unity 2020.

It’s offered by Michigan State University, which is ranked as having one of the best game programs in North America.

You learn how to make four game projects, including a 2D shooter, a 2D platformer, a first-person shooter, and a 3D platformer.

You can also take part in the Capstone Project, where you can create a completely original game, including up to its first playable prototype.

Once you complete it, you’ll get a certificate to show you’ve finished the course, but it won’t count as college credits if you’re doing a degree.


  • Beginner Friendly — You don’t have to worry about knowing any code before you start and can focus on learning straight from the course.
  • Free — It doesn’t cost you anything, making it an affordable access point to learn about Unity, which is also free.
  • Gain A Certificate Upon Completion — If you want to show what you have learned, then you can do so with a certificate that shows when you completed the course.


  • Doesn’t Carry University Credit — Despite offering a certificate, you’ll find that there isn’t an option to carry university credits over to get into university.
  • Only Teaches You About Shooters and Platformers — If you want to learn about video games, you’ll only learn about these specific genres. So if you’re interested in RPGs specifically, then it might not be of interest to you.
Game Design and Development with Unity 2020 | Coursera

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Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D

Offered by Udemy, the Complete X# Unity Game Developer for 2D games offers an affordable and accessible learning opportunity.

You’ll gain access to practical projects to gain hands-on experience and showcase your own portfolio of work.

Unfortunately, it is quite expensive if you don’t manage to buy it when it’s on sale.

Compared to other games development courses, you’ll find that you won’t receive a certificate upon completion.

Along with this, you need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of code if you want to jump into the course.


  • Affordable — If you get this course on sale, it’s much cheaper and affordable. You will also have full access to it even after completion.
  • Practical Projects — You get to do your own projects, which you can showcase in a portfolio of work. That way, you get practical experience, if not anything else.
  • Accessible — It’s accessible to those with minor knowledge of coding and can be useful for students who are happy to dive into the deep end.


  • Expensive If Not On Sale — While it’s affordable when you get it on sale, if you don’t, then it can get rather expensive. So you need to wait for it to be on sale.
  • No Certificate Upon Completion — You don’t receive any certifications upon completion of the course.
  • Some Experience Required — While the course is accessible, you may find that it’s better to have some prior experience with coding.
Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D

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Introduction To Game Design

Coursera offers an introduction to Game Design, and you can enroll for free immediately.

As it’s an Introduction to Game Design, it’s available for all beginner-friendly students, and you’ll find that it’s completely beginner-friendly.

However, compared to other courses, you’ll mostly be learning about the theory behind video games and design.

The good news about this course is that you don’t need any prior knowledge of code, and you will gain a certificate upon completion of the course.

However, there are no practical applications here.

That means if you want a portfolio of work, you may not achieve one, nor will you achieve any university credits.

However, should you take part in this, you’ll find that it’s part of the Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization.


  • Beginner Friendly — You don’t need any prior experience in game design or coding (see also ‘14 Best Masterclass Design Courses You Can Try Today‘).
  • Free — You can enroll in this course for free and without any issues on Coursera.
  • Theory-Based — This may be more suitable if you’re interested in the theory behind game development.
  • Certificate Upon Completion — You can get a certificate upon completion of the course to showcase you have prior knowledge of game design.


  • Not A Practical Course — If you want additional knowledge of coding and a portfolio of work, you won’t be able to get that here.
  • Doesn’t Carry University Credit — No university credit is available upon completion of the course, so you can’t use it for classes.
Introduction to Game Design | Coursera

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Explore Game Development And Design

Explore Game Development and Design is offered by Harvard University and is one of the most expensive courses available on this list.

It’s better suited for those who wish to pursue game development and want to invest in a career in the sector.

That’s because of the professional certificate that you do receive from Harvard University.

You can study at your own pace to learn both theory-based and practical skills with a flexible schedule.

However, this skill is not for beginners, and you need prior coding experience before signing up for the course.


  • Theory-Based and Practical — You can learn about the history of gaming and about how you can code your own video games.
  • Offers A Professional Certificate from Harvard — You can also obtain a professional certificate that shows that you did a course from Harvard. It also offers university credits.
  • Flexible Schedule — You can learn at your own pace and don’t have to attend lectures at specific times.


  • Experience Required — You need to have experience coding before taking part in this course, or you will struggle a lot.
  • Expensive — As Harvard University offers it and you can get professional credits, it’s much more expensive than the Coursera courses.
Explore Game Development and Design

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Create Video Games With Phaser.js

Codecademy offers a free beginner course for those who want to program a game using Javascript.

You don’t need any prior experience with code before taking the course, and by the end, you will have completed a small collection of minigames.

Not only will you gain a portfolio but a certificate upon completion too. However, this will not count toward university credits.

While you can try the course for free with the basic plan, this course is available on the Pro plan.

Unfortunately, Pro is more expensive, but you will also gain access to a variety of other coding courses on Codecademy.


  • Practical Course — You’ll utilize Javascript and Phaser.js to make your own games.
  • Certificate Upon Completion — You’ll earn a certificate that you can place on your profile online to showcase your experience.
  • Beginner-Friendly — No prior experience with Javascript is needed.


  • Only Focuses on Javascript — It only teaches about making simple games with Javascript, so it may not be beneficial to more experienced learners.
  • Expensive — Available with the Pro Plan, with a free trial of up to only a week.
Create Video Games with Phaser.js | Codecademy

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C# Programming For Unity Game Development Specialization

If you want to learn game development using Unity, this specialization will teach you everything you need to know about C#.

It’s a free course in which you don’t need any prior experience with coding to partake.

You’ll receive a certificate showing you completed the course, but it won’t carry over university credits.

This specialization is better suited for someone who has the time to commit to seven months of learning.

It’s a long-term commitment, and so despite being free, it’s better to take it when you’re ready.


  • Beginner-Friendly — No prior experience with C# is needed.
  • Certification Upon Completion — You get a certificate upon completion of the course.
  • Free — You can enroll online for free with no extra cost, as Unity is also free.


  • Long-Term Commitment — Takes up to seven months to complete.
  • Doesn’t Carry University Credits — If you take this course for university, it won’t carry any credits over.
C# Programming for Unity Game Development | Coursera

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Unreal Engine 5 C++ Development

Udemy offers a course on Unreal Engine 5 C++ Development in collaboration with Epic Games.

It’s an affordable course when it’s on sale, but you’ll find that it’s better to wait for when the sales are on. Otherwise, the course itself is quite expensive.

That’s because it’s a practical course where you can apply the code in a way to make a variety of games.

You’ll find that you’ll be able to create your own portfolio of games with a variety of genres, which will showcase your experience.

However, if you want to take the course for university credits, you won’t be able to have any here.


  • Affordable — Affordable price when it’s available on sale.
  • Practical Based — Practically apply code in a way that shows that you know how to code and make games.
  • Portfolio of Games — Leave the course with a small portfolio of games of different genres.


  • Expensive When Not On Sale — If you miss the sale, the course itself is quite expensive.
  • Doesn’t Carry University Credits — The course doesn’t carry any university credits over to university students.
Unreal Engine 5 C++ Development

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Best Game Development Courses Buyer’s Guide

We’ve compiled a buyer’s guide to help you decide which of these courses is best suited to you.

We will describe why we chose the courses we did, and how you can decide on which one to choose.

Beginner Friendly Or Not?

If you’re new to game development, you should know if you need any prior experience before you enroll.

In most cases, these courses are beginner-friendly, so you don’t need to know anything about code.

However, these might not be the types of courses you want if you’re more experienced.


Cost is a major factor in your decision-making process, so you want to know that your choice of course is affordable.

However, you may not want to do a free course, and invest in a more expensive course.

More beginner-friendly courses are cheaper, but if you want more experience, then they tend to be more expensive.


You may want to have evidence of completing your course for your LinkedIn profile. Or, you may want to print a copy for your own records.

If so, it’s better to know if you will earn anything for the completion of the course. These can be beneficial if you want to show your skills in a professional setting.

Game Genres

There are a variety of different games, and you might find that you want to learn more about a specific genre.

If you don’t want to learn about shooters or platformers, you might find that a certain course doesn’t work for you.

However, if you want to experience a variety of different genres, then you might prefer the chance to experiment.


Not all courses are beginner-friendly, and some may require specific software.

If you start a course, you need to know if you can use the software on a basic laptop.

You may also want to know if you can only access the course online, or if you need to travel.

Thankfully, all of these courses are online, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Theory-Based Or Practical

Depending on your interest in games, you might be more interested in a theory-based course instead of a practical course.

Practical courses are focused on code, while theory-based classes delve into what makes a game successful and the history behind it.

If you are more interested in what makes a video game successful, theory-based courses can help.

However, if you want to utilize code to make a game, practical courses are better.


All courses require time, so you need to know if there are any specific deadlines.

You might also need to know if the course is only available for certain days of the week.

If you work or go to university, you might prefer a flexible schedule instead of one with deadlines.

Level Of Commitment

Not all of these courses last for a few hours. Some of them last for several months.

If they’re a long-term commitment, you should know in advance.

You might not be interested in learning over a lengthy period, or you may only have a passing interest in the subject.

If so, you might not want to commit yourself to a long-term course or specialization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Game Development?

Game development is an umbrella term that covers the design, development and release of a video game.

Most game developers are involved in the concept, art design, coding, and testing of the game.

might also be a programmer, sound designer, or even an artist.

There are numerous roles in game development, and you can learn to make your own game or as part of a company.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Game Developer?

Ideally you should have a knowledge of a variety of programming languages such as C#, Javascript, or Lua.

You should also have some knowledge of multimedia development, game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine, and a willingness to collaborate.

Ideally, you should also have an idea of graphic design, animation, and narrative design.

However, one of the most important skills you should have is the ability to problem solve.

How Do You Become A Game Developer?

Game development is a competitive market, so you need to prepare yourself. Many people go into the field with a bachelor’s degree in a game design field.

You should improve on math and physics, and expand your knowledge on software engineering.

If you can, develop a portfolio for game development through creating your own game. Aim to get an entry-level position and try to grow from there.

Once you do, you should prepare yourself for the competition against other developers entering the field.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, becoming a game developer can be a challenge and there’s a lot to learn.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up if you don’t have a formal education.

With online courses, you can learn to create your own games from scratch and understand the process.

Many of these courses can help you improve your understanding of what makes a video game successful and how you can code.

As a whole, game development is a competitive field, but there has been an increase in indie developers publishing their own games.

If you want to become a game developer, taking an online course can help you improve your skills and develop the game of your dreams.

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