If you’re a parent and have a child, you’ve probably had the experience of sitting down to play a video game with them, only to be interrupted by another family member wanting to get in on the action. With the advent of accessible consoles from Nintendo like the Wii and the Switch, it has become far easier to play video games together as a family.
But what games do families play together? What makes one a good family game, and what should you avoid? Before getting into the top six, you must first know what makes a video game family-friendly to understand our criteria for picking our choices.
What Makes A Family Friendly Game?
It has been a long time since an iconic game like Pong or Pac-Man topped the charts. Developers are now making games with great storylines, rich characters, and excellent graphics that rival Hollywood. While many of the games out there are not family-friendly, there are still plenty of games that a family can play together without being concerned about the content.
Some games mimic their real-life counterparts, like Monopoly, or games developed from existing franchises like some of the Lego games. Effectively the things to look out for are that they are multiplayer, or at least turn-based, and that the rating is relevant for the age of the youngest players.
Ratings To Look For In A Family Game
Each country has a different rating system, but the following will be what you need to look out for:
- United States of America: E
- United Kingdom: PEGI 3
- Australia/ New Zealand: G
- Brazil: L
- European Union: PEGI 3
If your country is not listed here, you can identify the information relevant to your situation by checking online. When in doubt, you can opt for the North American Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) advice which is an excellent place to start.
So now that we have established what a family-friendly game entails and the rating you understand which ratings to look out for, let’s move on to the actual games.
Pikmin is a unique new title in the action/adventure genre. It is notable for its mix of the natural world with the fantastical, and for its exciting use of the console controllers. It is a game about intergalactic exploration on a microscopic scale. In it, players control a swarm of tiny space travelers (known to their friends as Pikmin), guiding them through an alien planet.
They must collect treasures and battle dangerous enemies along the way to ensure their species’ survival. With the help of a magical, planet-sized creature called Olimar, players control their Pikmin army to gain access to the planet’s food supply and eventually build a spaceship that will take them home. It is the perfect game for young children as it enhances problem-solving skills and is exceptionally colorful and enjoyable to play.
#2. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Since the first game was released, “Luigi’s Mansion” has been a fan favorite of the Nintendo series. In the series, the mansion is a vast, sprawling place with various rooms and hallways. The setting is an excellent place for Luigi’s ghost-busting tools and has many places for ghosts to hide. This is why, after so many games, it is still popular.
In the original Luigi’s Mansion, Luigi’s brother Mario was kidnapped by ghosts, and Luigi had to defeat them and rescue Mario. In Luigi’s Mansion 2, Luigi had to save Mario, who was once again kidnapped by ghosts. This is a great game to play as a family as it allows you to work together to solve the puzzles you encounter.
#3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The latest addition to the Animal Crossing series adds in an enjoyable multiplayer mode that allows the entire family to play the game from just one console. It can help teach your kids about farming and the benefits of helping each other out when in need. It is a brilliant game to foster a strong bond as it isn’t as competitive as the others, but the gameplay still allows you to enjoy your time in the game.
#4. The Sims
The Sims is a video game franchise developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. The concept behind the game is that it is a virtual dollhouse. Your “Sims” are little people, and you control them. You direct what they do, whether it be going to work or going out on a date. One of the best features is that it comes in multiple languages and is easily downloadable in most regions.
So for example, if you are a Spanish speaker, you can search for descargar los sims 4 gratis and obtain the game for free in this language. This is also possible for other supported languages. The game is played over a span of days, and it is up to the player to decide what he wants his Sims to do. The reason for its inclusion on our list is because you can come and go as you please, and other family members can create their own lives in the game, almost mimicking real life. It allows families to work together building up and designing their homes.
#5. Rocket League
Rocket League is a video game by Psyonix that takes the concept of a soccer game and places it into a futuristic space setting. In the game, you control a rocket-powered car and attempt to hit a giant ball into the opposing team’s goal. The game is a unique blend of driving controls, with the physics of soccer, and has become popular with players of all ages since its release in July 2015. It is a fan favorite where families are involved and is highly appealing to family members of a competitive disposition!
#6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is a series of racing games developed by Nintendo and published by Nintendo. The series is Nintendo’s second-most popular franchise. The series is known for its multiplayer functionality and for its use of Mario characters. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also in the Mario Kart series but made for the Nintendo Switch. If you have played any of the previous Mario Kart games, you’ll know what to expect here. It’s fun, easy to learn, and with 8 players, it’s a great party game.
Video games are a popular form of entertainment, and they bring people together from all walks of life. There’s a reason why the video games industry is worth more than the film and music industry combined. To really enjoy video games, it’s worth playing some of the best video games as a family.