There is a need to understand, on a large scale, the role that serious games (SG) in healthcare can play in empowering citizens or patients. This systematic mapping study aims to identify how SG in healthcare is perceived and approached in the literature. A total of 408 studies from 2005-2016 were found, and after screening and exclusion, 83 studies were analysed. This study found that case studies with solution approaches that described design or development and literature reviews were the most popular methods used to analyse SG in healthcare. The biggest demographic groups targeted by SG that were described in these papers were children, the elderly, and patients with certain diseases. According to the results, the top five SG subjects in healthcare are education, exergaming, cognitive rehabilitation, psychology, and physical rehabilitation. The results suggest that the next focus will be on developing general guidelines for SG developers in healthcare, focusing on validation of SG and research of SG maturity models to improve level of development. Future studies should integrate the gaming industry and healthcare professionals.