Best family-friendly games both parents and kids love

best family friendly video games super mario odyssey announcement screen 4 e3

The video game industry has grown exponentially over the years to become the most popular entertainment medium in the world. Games can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They both entertain and stimulate our minds, and playing games with others can create lasting memories. Gaming can be a rewarding experience for families as well. It provides a good opportunity for parents to bond with their kids while taking part in an activity both can enjoy. We’ve put together a list of games that are fun for both parents and kids. We’ve separated the games into sections by age suggestions, but you know your kids better than us of course.

Ages 3+

‘Super Mario Odyssey’

Super Mario Odyssey is one of the best 3D platformers ever made. While Mario games have always leaned on the accessible side, Super Mario Odyssey has a really great feature for kids: Assist mode. With Assist mode activated, Mario’s health doubles, falling off the map doesn’t lead to instant death, and a marker always guides you to your objective. Since Odyssey‘s planets are rather large and densely populated with stuff to look at and do, Assist mode removes some of the challenges and distractions for young players. You can also have one player control Mario while the other takes hold of Cappy, Mario’s sentient hat. Playing as Cappy is ideal for players five and younger who have little to no experience with controller-based video games. Or you could always swap the controller each time someone finds a moon. No matter how you play Super Mario Odyssey, it’s a pure delight for both young kids and parents.

Read our full Super Mario Odyssey review

Buy it now from:

Amazon

‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’

As far as racing games go, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is both one of the easiest to play and the most fun. Featuring colorful, vibrant visuals, a simple control scheme, and all the Nintendo characters you could want in a game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the best multiplayer games on Switch. Its wide selection of themed tracks in combination with battle modes that make use of the game’s awesome items give it immense legs. This is the sort of game you and your family will come back to for years to come. It’s that good.

Read our full Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review

Buy it now from:

Amazon

LEGO games

Since 2005, officially licensed LEGO games have given kids and parents awesome ways to experience hugely popular intellectual properties such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and a slew of superhero franchises. Almost all of these lovingly-crafted experiences have been worth playing cooperatively with kids both young and young at heart. Earlier this year, LEGO The Incredibles came out just in time for The Incredibles 2, and LEGO DC Super-Villains arrives in October. With simple action gameplay, cooperative puzzles, and storylines often mirroring the movies at hand, the LEGO games are a great jumping off point for young kids looking to get into games.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

‘Rayman Legends’

No arms, no legs, no problem. Ubisoft’s limb-impoverished hero, Rayman, has starred in a series of great platforming games, both 2D and 3D, but Rayman Legends is the hero’s absolute best outing. This 2D sidescroller is colorful, inventive, expertly-designed, and brimming with excellent content. It’s perfect for fans of Mario. Rayman Legends is especially good for a family game night, as it features drop-in, drop-out cooperative play for up to four players. This is the type of multiplayer experience that can be enjoyed by young kids, teenagers, and parents all at the same time. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Read our full Rayman Legends review

Buy it now from:

Amazon

‘LittleBigPlanet 3’

For platforming fans with creative minds, LittleBigPlanet 3 is an absolute can’t miss a game. The main adventure, starring Sackboy, features great levels with puzzles easy enough for small kids to solve. But where you will have the most fun with your kids is in the level creator. LittleBigPlanet 3, like its predecessors, features a Create mode that lets you design and play your own side-scrolling levels. Not only does it add immense replay value to LittleBigPlanet 3, but it could spark an interest in game design for young players. You can play LittleBigPlanet 3 cooperatively as well, so it feels like a great choice for parents who are looking to get their children interested in games. LittleBigPlanet 3 is available on PS4.

Read our full LittleBigPlanet 3 review

Buy it now from:

Amazon

‘Super Mario Run’

As this first Mario game for mobile devices, Super Mario Run takes a fitting approach. It’s an automatic runner with one-button touchscreen controls. Mario runs all by himself, so the only thing you have to do is jump over gaps, to hit power-ups, collect coins, and eliminate enemies. As such, Super Mario Run is a really good avenue for introducing kids to the iconic franchise. It removes the need for controller fluency, while still letting kids experience the magic of the Mushroom Kingdom. Securing the game’s collectible gold coins is more of a challenge, though, one that will appeal to more seasoned gamers and parents alike. It’s the best of both worlds. Super Mario Run is available on iOS and Android.

Buy it now for:

IOS Android

‘Peggle 2’

One of the simplest and most satisfying games ever made, Peggle 2 is a puzzle game masterpiece from PopCap Games. You simply aim your shot, press a button, and watch as the metal ball pings around blue, green, and orange pegs. The objective is to clear all of the orange pegs within ten turns. You could call some of it luck, but aiming properly is really the name of the game. We know this premise may sound boring, but it truly is one of the most addicting puzzle games around. Bright, colorful visuals, awesome sounds, and local multiplayer make this a great game to play with your kids — no matter how young they are. It’s simple to pick up, and incredibly hard to put down. Peggle 2 is available to download on Xbox One and PS4.

Read our full Peggle 2 hands on

Buy it now from:

Microsoft Playstation

‘Yooka-Laylee’

Yooka-Laylee nods back to late-90s platformers, mainly Banjo Kazooie. As such, this colorful adventure starring a cute chameleon and lovable bat is a great piece of nostalgia to play with your kids. It features cooperative multiplayer, where one person controls Yooka and the other controls Laylee. It’s all about securing collectibles, mastering jumps, defeating baddies, and solving puzzles. After the adventure is over, you can play a collection of competitive mini-games with up to four players. Yooka-Laylee is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Read our full Yooka-Laylee review

Buy it now from:

Amazon

‘A Hat in Time’

A Hat in Time is a joyous 3D platformer that follows a young alien girl, simply known as Hat Kid, trying to find her way back home. It compares favorably to early 3D platformers like Spyro and Super Mario 64. Across the game’s four open-world levels, you solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and collect items that let you unlock new hats for new abilities. While A Hat in Time is currently only a solo experience, a free update, releasing on September 13, will introduce both local and online co-op for two players. A Hat in Time is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, with a Switch version coming later this year.

Buy it now from:

Microsoft Playstation

‘Sonic Mania Plus’

Sonic Mania is the reincarnation of old-school Sonic, complete with retro visuals and, of course, lightning fast platforming gameplay. It gives parents a chance to relive their childhood and lets them introduce a game they played when they were young to their children of all ages. It even features remixed versions of classic Sonic levels. Even better, you can play split-screen couch co-op, so there’s no need to pass the controller. Sonic Mania Plus is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Annual game releases are boring. Try a quirky indie game for the PS4 instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.
Gaming

You're not a true Nintendo fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out 12 great vacuum cleaner deals available on Amazon right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Buying Guides

Avoid a numb butt. These gaming chairs let you play for hours in comfort

Long gaming sessions can wreak havoc on your body, so having a comfortable, supportive place to sit is a necessity. Fix that problem with this list of some of the best gaming chairs you can find on the market.
Gaming

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’: Everything you need to know

Ubisoft will release Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October for consoles and PC. Here is everything you need to know about the next chapter of Assassin's Creed, including the story and setting.
Gaming

‘Pokémon Go’ could be a game for everyone — but it isn’t there yet

Recent content and feature updates for Pokémon Go have brought it closer to being a game for everyone, but will Niantic be able to tackle the game's most glaring issues before the launch of Pokémon: Let's Go?
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Mobile

OnePlus’ ‘Crackables’ includes puzzles in both the digital and physical worlds

OnePlus and Google teamed up on a new puzzle game that exists in both the physical and digital worlds, and will lead to a winner getting the "ultimate gaming setup." The game comes a few months before the expected release of the OnePlus 6T.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: When it happens and where to find the best deals

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Gaming

Get a Double Helix set and 1000 V-Bucks with Nintendo Switch’s ‘Fortnite’ bundle

A new Nintendo Switch bundle launching in October includes free in-game V-Bucks currency for Fortnite, as well as additional digital goodies. The game supports crossplay with most other systems.
Gaming

Chug some booze and belt out battle songs in 'The Bard's Tale 4'

From the same developers behind Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2, comes a long-awaited sequel to a classic RPG/dungeon crawler series. Fans can get The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep starting today for PC on Steam.
Gaming

Seth Rogen sets Twitter ablaze with secret ‘Duck Hunt’ trick

Actor and comedian Seth Rogen let Twitter users in on a little secret about the classic Nintendo game Duck Hunt. If you remember playing it back in the '80s, you might want to sit down.
Gaming

Fortnite patch 5.41 brings revamped Port-a-Fortress and the Soaring Solos mode

The Fortnite 5.41 patch notes are available right now for everyone across all platforms. This weekly content update brings with it a ton of new additions and changes including a revamped Port-a-Fortress, Soaring Solos mode, and more.
1 of 3