This investigation of popular computer games in comparison with language learning games was designed to offer an insight into the potential of games to the field of self-access. The study surveyed and analyzed common characteristics of popular computer games and then compared them with characteristics of several language learning games. It also investigated the participants’ recommended characteristics of computer games for learning English. The data were collected from undergraduate students at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand. The results showed that the most conducive characteristics for attractive language learning games included animation, variety, planning strategy, virtual background, challenging action and accumulated reward.