Gamercraft’s Guide on Family Video Games

Being a kid during the early days of video games, you likely have fond memories of plugging in your preferred console and playing through classic side-scrollers like Super Mario Bros. or beat em’ up games like Street Fighter and Double Dragon. Games have advanced far beyond what anyone thought possible, and the options are nearly limitless for anyone who wants to jump in and play. Being a parent who still has a soft spot for gaming, you likely want to share that same pastime you enjoyed so much with your kids. With so many options out there across different platforms, it’s challenging to know which game you should choose for them. Whether you’re looking to get your kids into gaming, add a new title to their library, or bring your whole family into the fold, we have a guide on excellent family video games you should check out!

1) Super Mario Odyssey

Who doesn’t recognize and love Mario? In this latest installment in the Super Mario Universe, Mario embarks on a quest to save Princess Peach from the dastardly villain, Bowser, that takes him to several different kingdoms to face a plethora of enemies. This family video game is ideal for both young gamers as a first introduction to video games and adults seeking a new experience from a character they’re likely very nostalgic about. What makes Odyssey a unique family video game entry is the inclusion of an “Assist Mode” that is nearly critical to newcomers to the series and gaming in general. The function provides a guiding objective marker, it doubles Mario’s health meter and prevents an instant death from falling.

2) Lego Franchise Games

Gamercraft's Guide on Family Video Games
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Age Group: 4 – 6 Years

Legos are an essential building toy for kids today. They promote creativity, instruction following, and a sense of creation. If your kids are avid Lego fans and builders, there’s no doubt that they’ll love the various console-based family video games available to them. Covering properties from Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Ninjago, Marvel Super-Heroes, and more, there’s something for everyone. Combine that with fun cooperative play, and these family video games are sure to be enjoyed by everyone in the house.

3) Minecraft

Gamercraft's Guide on Family Video Games
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile
  • Age Group: 7 – 10 Years

Perhaps one of the most culturally known sandbox games, Minecraft lets players express their building creativity to the max in all its pixelated glory. With a variety of game modes to play, your kids have every option to play how they want. The open world map design expands almost infinitely so players can create to their heart’s content. This family video game is available on consoles, computers, mobile devices, tablets, and offers a multiplayer mode available on LAN play (players on same local network), local split-screen, and player-generated servers. With its blocky charm and excellent accessibility, this one’s a must.

4) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Age Group: 4 – 6 Years

Racing to the finish line, using items to defeat your opponents, all while playing as Super Mario Bros. characters makes for one unforgettable racing game experience. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the latest in the line of Mario Kart games, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with this entry. Immensely entertaining competitive multiplayer will leave you and your kids wanting to race through course after course. The character roster has been upgraded from the previous Mario Kart entry and vehicles are now more customizable and feature more functions to help propel you to the finish line. The control scheme is easy to learn and conducive for younger players. If you want to entertain the whole family, make sure to check this one out.

5) Fortnite

  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile
  • Age Group: 11 – 13 Years

Globally renowned and a current cultural phenomenon, Fortnite is a goliath in the world of gaming right now. This third-person shooter features cartoonish graphics and speedy building components that set it apart from other multiplayer games out there. Players can customize their characters aesthetically with different loot items acquired in-game for stylish flair while out on the battlefield. This unique family video game features two separate game modes, a building survival multiplayer mode with nemesis waves that players pay for and a battle royale mode that’s free to play. Fortnite is a shooter game and features mild violence, so we recommend it be played by older children. We also recommend that parents monitor the use of the in-game chat function to limit exposure to profane references and potential bullying.

6) Pokémon Franchise Titles

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS
  • Age Group: 7 – 10 Years

Turn-based combat games are often tricky to find, especially ones as popular as the Pokémon series. This franchise of family video games continues to reinvent itself with each new introduction to the series. Newer titles feature all-new Pokémon creatures to capture and battle with. There are large cities to explore, questlines to complete, and a wide variety of moves to perfect your Pokémon which will keep the little ones entertained for hours.

While the world of video games has grown significantly since the days of Tetris and other arcade titles, finding the right family video game for your kids is easier than you’d think. You can’t go wrong with any of these games, but in any case, feel free to show them the classics you used to play when you were their age.

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