Don't fret, you don't have to be a physicist - or indeed clever in any way - to play these games. A good understanding of Newton's Laws would certainly come in handy. But if you know in which direction a ball will go if you drop it, then you are more than equipped with the brain power to excel at these games.
An immaculately produced basketball sim that may well qualify as among the most addictive games (at least for me) of all time. You compete with players across the internet to get the most baskets within the time limit. The one-more-time urge to beat your last score is difficult to resist. Play Basketball here.
One of the most beautiful games you're likely to play, Auditorium challenges you to manipulate the flow of light to illuminate a series of sensors. You are helped in your task by tools that allow you to bend and split the light beams.
Sounds dull but the spellbinding graphics and inspired music make this a browser gaming experience not to be missed. You will have to pay to play the full game but the demo we link to offers a good few hours of entertainment. Auditorium can be played here.
Who would have thought that bridge building would be so much fun. Your task in this hit flash game is to design and build a bridge capable of carrying your workers to their destination. This is a proper physics sim, so if you don't take care designing your bridge, it WILL fall down.
The ball wants to get home but unfortunately there are lots of obstacles in the way. Thankfully, you are a generous soul who likes helping balls get home. You also have chain saw. Cut through the wooden boards and other elements that make up each puzzle in the correct way, and gravity will roll the ball to its home. A simple idea that works a treat. Splitter 2 can be played here.
Your aim in this game is to knock as many green blocks off the screen as you can. You knock the blocks off by firing balls at them. You have a variety of balls of different size at your disposal. The bigger ones cost more but can knock more blocks off the screen. You can also obtain extra balls by completing challenges. Blosics can be played here.
Not a pure physics game but endowed with enough physics style play to keep most budding Einstein's happy, Dolphin Olympics puts you in charge of a dolphin. You have two minutes to make it perform as many tricks as possible. Bonus points are given for higher jumps and combinations of tricks. Seriously addictive. Dolphin Olympics can be played here.
Aubital is an atmospheric cross between a physics game and a platformer. You roll an illuminated ball around darkly lit levels, trying to open doors and ascend elevators, with the intention of getting to the exit. Blessed with neat graphics and fun, challenging puzzles, Aubital should keep fans of the physics game genre entertained for no small amount of time. Aubital can be played here.
8Crush the Castle
The name says it all. Your aim is to crush the castle using a trebuchet and an arsenal of eight different projectiles. You fire the projectiles by clicking once to set the trebuchet in motion and a second time to release the projectile. Timing is everything in this classic game. Crush the Castle can be played here. If you liked Crush the Castle, you may also want to play Siege Master.
Every time I play this game I end up aching all over from laughing so much. You control the thigh and calf muscles of an athlete and by tapping the q,w,o and p buttons (hence the name) you get the muscles to tense. Ostensibly the aim of the game is to get the athlete to run as far as possible. But most fun is to be had simply giggling at the ridiculous positions the athlete ends up in. QWOP can be played here.
The Etch A Sketch of online physics games, Magic Pen offers a unique take on the get-the-ball-to-the-exit genre. Rather than manipulating the existing environment, you add new objects to the world by sketching them. Drawing a big sphere at the top of a slope, for example, might cause it to roll down and knock our ball to the exit. You get the idea. Magic Pen can be played here.
Click and hold a Meebling to activate its special ability. Push, pull, catapult, slide, drop, throw as many meeblings as you can into the exits. Try not to get too addicted. Meeblings can be played here.
12Wake up the Box
In Wake up the block, all the poor old block wants to do is sleep, but can he get some shut eye. Not with you around, that's for sure. In this fun, slightly-sadistic physics sim game, your task is to devise ever more devious methods to wake up poor old Mr Blockhead. Wake up the Box can be played here.
13Crazy Go Nuts
I am surprised animal rights activists haven't closed this game down by now. Collect as many nuts as you can by firing squirrels out of a cannon at them. You get bonuses if you collect lots of nuts before your squirrel drops to earth. I wouldn't tell the RSPCA this, but it is a hugely enjoyable game. Crazy Go Nuts can be played here. Version 2 of the game can be played here.
Build your own robot by drawing wheels, motors, joints etc, and then pilot your robot through hundreds of challenges. Be warned, this is an incredibly deep game that requires you to put in lots of effort to get the most enjoyment out of it. Incredibots can be played here.
Some evil sadist has chained up loads of coloured balls. Get them back into the pots of the same colour by breaking their chains in precisely the right way. Civiballs can be played here.
Boasting the cutest oranges in Casualgamedom, great sound and a fun twist on the physics sim genre, Cover Orange is blessed with great puzzles and addictive game play. The game is worth playing just for the sound effects - the cute laughter of the oranges is particularly appealing. Cover Orange can be played here. The sequel can be played here.
Featuring neat hand-drawn graphics, Bubble Quod places you in the role of a guy who has been encased in a bubble. I can imagine many worse fates than being em-bubbled. But our hero is desperate to escape his glistening prison. Help him find a spike to burst his bubble. Bubble Quod can be played here.
This game has a similar mechanic to Splitter (No 4) but rather than cutting through wooden blocks to get the ball home, you have to drop vikings into their boat by slicing through ice. Icebreaker can be played here.
How good is your understanding of gravity? Sure, you know all the equations. But if you fire a ball in a certain direction at a certain speed, would you know where it would end up? If so, this game will be easy-peasy for you. Gravitee 2 can be played here.
Red blocks are nasty. Remove them from the screen without dislodging the nice green blocks. This simple premise makes for some great physics-based game play. Red Remover can be played here.
21Mission 9 Ball
There are tons of pool-style sims out there and I was not intending to put any in this list. But Mission 9 Ball is so well produced, and gifted with such great challenges that I would have felt guilty not including it. In short, one of the best free pool games on the web. Mission 9 Ball can be played here.
I am not sure what the developers of this game have against one-eyed bunnies. But they seem extraordinarily keen on you killing them, providing you with your very own cannon to blast them to the bunny afterlife. But the bunnies aren't stupid. They know the best places to hide and you will need to draw on all your skill to hit them with your cannon balls. Paper Cannon can be played here.
Slurm Ball is a physics-based sports game where you - playing the part of a blob of slime - must score more goals than your opponent, another blob of slime. You score by knocking a ball against your opponent's block. Slurm Ball can be played here.
Build fantastic contraptions to help the pink ball reintegrate with the pink collective. A much easier and more accessible version of Incredibots. Fantastic Contraption can be played here.
Use your Spider Man-esque powers to travel as far as you can. When you are about to fall, shoot out another line of wire and hope it catches on something. An addictive game of high skill. Double Wires can be played here.
This game is a blatent rip off of World of Goo. Or maybe World of Goo stole the idea from Huje Tower. Either way, Huje Tower has the great advantage that it is completely free. Huje Tower can be played here.
27Way of an Idea
Use chalk to draw objects that will direct the apple onto Einstein's head. Similar to Magic Pen. Way of an Idea can be played here.
28Destroy All Cars
Launch your car into a tower of other cars in this fun physics game. The more cars you destroy, the more points you get. Destroy All Cars can be played here.
Adjust your catupult to launch your workmen to the perfect place for them to mine minerals. A weird mix of physics game and resource gathering. Robominers can be played here.
Launch grenades at poor unsuspecting enemies, making sure to get the trajectory perfect to cause the maximum damage. Fragger can be played here.
If you can think of any more great online physics games, don't forget to tell us all about them in the comments section below.