Facebook's Most Addictive Social Games

Of the roughly 160 million gamers in the U.S., 41% are playing games on social-networking sites such as Facebook. Which games are the most addictive? This week Newsweek magazine counts down Facebook's Top 5.

Of the roughly 160 million gamers in the U.S., 41 percent are playing social games on Facebook or other social-networking websites, according to the 2010 U.S. National Gamers Survey by research firm NewZoo BV. A quarter of gamers who spend money on online games are doing it through these sites. In fact, Facebook mainstays such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars have grown more popular among gamers than traditional console games or games on mobile devices, the survey found.

Which Facebook games are the most popular? This week Newsweek magazine counted down the most-addictive social games. Here are Facebook’s Top 5:

FarmVille, the mother of all social-networking games is the largest social game on Facebook, with about 62 million active users. Players can work their own farms virtually, planting and harvesting crops, buying and raising livestock, and swapping and selling their bounty with other online gamers. “In the last 15 months alone, these fine farmers have farmed 500 million acres of land, planted 20 billion trees, and sheared 15 billion sheep,” according to Newsweek.

2. Texas HoldEm Poker.

No matter which world you’re in – real or virtual – the game of poker is addictive. Facebook’s Texas HoldEm Poker is no exception. Some 5.8 million players from more than 200 countries log on every day, according to Newsweek. To date, the biggest win by any player is $8 billion dollars (too bad it’s just a game…).

3. FrontierVille.

Just as millions of gamers seek the succor of running a virtual farm, others want to live out their virtual lives taming the Wild West. FrontierVille boasts 31.5 million players, who clear fields, chop down trees, build homes and dig wells to survive in the wild. They also keep busy in other ways: In September alone, 1.1 million virtual heterosexual marriages took place in FrontierVille, along with 111,099 same-sex marriages, according to Newsweek.

4. Café World.

Ever dream of owning your own restaurant? Apparently, 22.2 million social gamers do. Newsweek says players have built 82 million virtual restaurants on Café World, with some 5 million players logging on to slave over a hot stove every day. So far, players have served up 48 million burgers -- nowhere near as many as McDonald’s, but give it time.

5. Mafia Wars.

Forget about sex, violence sells and Mafia Wars has it in abundance. The game, with 21.5 million active month users, lets players work their way to the top of a mafia family by completing jobs – the dirtier the better. Over the course of two months, 7 billion virtual fights were fought by gamers and 8 billion robberies were committed, according to Newsweek.