Gaming has changed through the years just like any other type of popular culture. Video games used to be a niche hobby for some nerdy kids and now they are the obvious choice for any type of person while seeking entertainment. It even turned out to be a multi-billion industry that heavily influences the world.
This article is directed to three types of people. If you’re reading this you are either:
- a) an “old-timer” trying to make sense of all this “battle royale” fad;
- b) a parent worried why your kids spend so much time glued to the computer or TV screen;
- c) a fellow kid looking for something new to play because Overwatch or Fortnite are “so last year”.
The truth is that gaming interests of the youngest players are ephemeral and scattered all over the place nowadays. But worry not – our list of 9 best games that kids play is the answer to all your questions.
|Overwatch (Battle.net)||2016-05-24||Action & Shooter||Blizzard Entertainment||Read more|
|Overwatch Legendary Edition (Xbox)||2018-07-24||Action & Shooter||Blizzard Entertainment||62%||Read more|
|Minecraft Java Edition||2013-11-19||Action||Mojang||17%||Read more|
|Subnautica||2017-10-31||Adventure||Unknown Worlds Entertainment||56%||Read more|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo)||2018-12-07||Fighting||Bandai Namco Studios Sora Ltd.||12%||Read more|
|Splatoon 2 (Nintendo)||2017-07-21||Action||Nintendo||32%||Read more|
|Rocket League||2015-07-07||Race||Psyonix, Inc.||Read more|
|The Sims 4||2014-09-04||Simulation||Maxis||76%||Read more|
|The Sims 3||2009-06-02||The Sims Studio||91%||Read more|
|Among Us||2018-11-16||Cooperation||Innersloth||Read more|
|Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch)||2020-03-20||Social simulation||Nintendo EPD||3%||Read more|
|Cuphead||2017-09-29||Indie||StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.||22%||Read more|
|Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition (Xbox One, Windows 10)||2018-10-02||Racing||Playground Games||75%||Read more|
|Kingdom Hearts III Standard Edition (Xbox)||2019-01-29||Action RPG||Square Enix Business Division 3||Read more|
|Kirby Star Allies (Nintendo)||2018-03-16||Platform||HAL Laboratory||Read more|
|Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered (PS5)||2020-12-11||Action-adventure||Insomniac Games||13%||Read more|
|Ori And The Will Of The Wisps||2020-03-11||Action||Moon Studios GmbH||Read more|
|Plants Vs Zombies Battle For Neighborville Standard Edition||2019-10-18||Action||PopCap Games||83%||Read more|
|Sea of Thieves (Xbox One, Windows 10)||2018-03-20||Adventure||Rare||55%||Read more|
|Untitled Goose Game||2020-09-23||Indie||House House||Read more|
|Content description||Blood, Use of Tobacco, Violence|
Why the kids love it: because of the competitive gameplay, colorful characters, “easy to learn, hard to master”
source: PlayOverwatch, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEYp1RTvllM
Overwatch was Blizzard’s first attempt at a first-person shooter, and what a success it turned out to be. The game’s premise is simple: the player chooses one of over two dozen characters, and together with friends fulfill predetermined objectives. Overwatch became an instant hit among the players, both adults and kids. Especially the latter group appreciated the not-too-complicated gameplay and fun characters, such as intellectual gorilla Winston, superfast Tracer, as well as D.Va and her pink mech.
Fortnite: Battle Royale
|Genre:||Battle royale, Multiplayer|
Why the kids love it: because of the battle royale gameplay, customizable characters and emotes, and it’s free-to-play model
source: Fortnite, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gUtfBmw86Y
A free-to-play response to PUBG, Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale was another instant sensation among the youngest players. In the game, the players, working in teams or solo, are pitted against each other on large arenas. What differentiates Fortnite from PUBG is a heavier emphasis on character customization, with lootboxes providing players with different weapons. Players can also spend their real-life money on outfits and emotes, which range from simple gestures to elaborate dance moves.
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Content descreiption||Fantasy Violence|
Why the kids love it: because it tickles their creative bone, provides infinite ways of spending time in the procedurally generated world
source: Minecraft, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmB9b5njVbA
If you thought that the kids nowadays are only into wanton destruction and mayhem, you must be a muggle! Minecraft is a perfect example that the game doesn’t need to be all mindless action to draw in young players. The number of creative options and freedom to pursue any style of gameplay the player likes is one of the main draws of this 3D survival title. Minecraft requires players to think economically while gathering and spending resources and provides them with an infinite playground to create whatever they want. The only limit is imagination, which kids have more than enough to spare.
|Genre:||MMO, game creator|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Content description||Fantasy Violence|
Why the kids love it: because of the various types of games in one package, the creator mode which allows making their own video games, and social features
source: Roblox, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sme76WoJ_-U
Unlike Minecraft, which, while robust and filled with creative options, was ultimately confined to its survival genre, Roblox gives full control into the hands of the players. This massive multiplayer online creator allows designing various types of games, using the onboard programming system. The players can design their own levels, create weapons, traps and so on. Then, invite their friends to try out their creations or test skills in the games designed by other players. Gameplay options of Roblox are endless and kids learning a thing or two about game design is an additional plus.
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Content description||Fantasy Violence, Mild Language|
Why the kids love it: because the exploration of underwater worlds is always fun, spooky creatures lurking in the depths provide deep sea thrills
source: Subnautica, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtP8r8nRfko
Subnautica is another game in the exploration and survival genre. The player is tasked with exploring the depths of an unknown planet, collecting data on the creatures that lurk below the surface. The player must also gather materials to upgrade their research base, to enable exploration of further depths. Creatures inhabiting the waters of the planet vary from cute and colorful fish to terrifying leviathans ready to swallow the player’s vessel at any moment. This makes Subnautica a thrilling underwater adventure.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
|ESRB Rating:||Everyone 10+|
|Content description:||Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes|
Why the kids love it: it’s free for all combat and features familiar Nintendo characters
source: Nintendo, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1155&v=L93H7YC-83o
The reasons kids love Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is simple: not many games allow you to whack Bowser as the Wii Fit trainer, curbstomp Link with Bayonetta and slap Mario for his incompetence as Princess Peach. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features many more characters known from Nintendo games, who fight each other on colorful 2.5D arenas. The player’s wins by not simply depleting the opponent’s health bar, but by throwing him off of the stage. Which only sounds so easy, because, with up to four characters on the arena, things can get hairy.
|Genre:||third-person shooter, multiplayer|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Content description||Cartoon Violence|
Why the kids love it: because it’s colorful, fun entertainment, and it lets them cover everything they see in paint
source: Nintendo, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L54s2m1dPs
Splatoon is another multiplayer Nintendo game, this time based on painting walls – you know, as kids love to do. The player controls a squid-like Inkling, and their job is to cover everything in ink. The game features a single-player campaign and several multiplayer modes, which can be played solo or in teams of four. The game is perfect for kids who have a little artiste inside of them, waiting to be awakened. Or for those who just want to splatter colorful ink everywhere.
|Content description||Mild Lyrics|
Why the kids love it: because it combines RC cars and football, only now they don’t have to leave home to play it
source: PlayStation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC82dWrFqCE
When we were young, we loved nothing more than meeting with our friends in the playground, playing football, and racing RC cars, among others. Now, the kids can do the same, but without moving an inch from the computer. Rocket League combines driving and a sports game into an explosive experience. The player controlling one of the cars must pass around a gigantic ball and ultimately punch it into the opponent’s goal. The game requires not only teamwork between the players, but also a lot of skill and timing because directing a superfast car into contact with the ball to score a goal is a lot trickier than it sounds.
The Sims series
|Content description:||Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence|
Why the kids love it: because they can indulge their creativity and imagination, and also because making a sims swim circles in a pool without a ladder is always fun to watch
source: The Sims, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjPPjU8OARg
Some things never change. Like the Sims, for example. The series started nearly two decades ago still attracts millions of players worldwide, including kids. What is it that draws in the youngest players? Is it the chance to play an interactive game of house, or a more complex Tamagotchi? Or is it the fact that the Sims offer as many creative options as the potential for destruction. Either way, the Sims series still has its place on the list of the games kids love to play, even if only to see their house go up in flames because they forgot to turn off the oven.