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

PC
Xbox One
PS4
Release year:2015
Genre:Multiplayer, FPS
ESRB RatingTeen
Content descriptionBlood, 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

PC
Switch
Xbox One
PS4
Release year:2017
Genre:Multiplayer, TPP battle royale
ESRB RatingTeen
Content descriptionViolence

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. [buy,Fortnite]

Minecraft

PC
Switch
Xbox, XOne
PS4
PS3
and more..
Release year:2011
Genre:sandbox, survival
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
Content descriptionFantasy 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.

Roblox

PC
Xbox One
PS4
Release year:2006
Genre:MMO, game creator
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
Content descriptionFantasy 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.

Subnautica

PC
Xbox One
PS4
Release year:2018
Genre:exploration, survival
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
Content descriptionFantasy 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

Nintendo Switch
Release year:2018
Genre:fighting
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
Content descriptionCartoon 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.

Splatoon

Wii U
Release year:2015
Genre:third-person shooter, multiplayer
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
Content descriptionCartoon 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.

Rocket League

PC
Switch
Xbox 360
Xbox One
PS3
PS4
Release year:2015
Genre:sports, driving, multiplayer
ESRB RatingEveryone
Content descriptionMild 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

PC
Xbox 360
Xbox One
PS3
PS4

Genre:life simulation

Release year:2000-2013
ESRB RatingTeen
Content descriptionCrude 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. [buy,Sims 4]