It’s this wonderful time of the year again! Still, it means getting presents for your loved ones. If you have gamer kids, you might have a hard time picking gifts for them. This is why we decided to step in and help you out! We’ve prepared a handy guide to the best kid-friendly video games available on the market right now.

Different age groups demand different titles. Younger kids will probably enjoy stuff that is rather easy to pick up and play without being frustrating. Older kids, aged 8 and above, can probably get games that are more difficult and challenging. There are also productions that foster and encourage creativity. Some (if not all of them, to be honest) might actually fit all the age groups. Either way, these should totally work as fantastic gifts!

GameReleaseGenreKids AgeSale
Rayman Legends 2013-08-29 Adventure 5-7 72% Read more
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) 2017-04-27 Kart Racing 5-7 15% Read more
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2017-11-14 Adventure 10+ 89% Read more
Untitled Goose Game 2020-09-23 Indie 5-7 Read more
Minecraft Java Edition 2013-11-19 Action 10+ 17% Read more
FIFA 23 2022-09-30 Sports 8+ 59% Read more
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga 2009-11-12 Adventure 10+ 84% Read more
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch) 2020-03-20 Social simulation 5-7 3% Read more
Spyro Reignited Trilogy 2018-11-13 Adventure 8-10 62% Read more
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy 2018-06-29 Action 10+ 26% Read more
Terraria 2011-05-16 Adventure 8-10 22% Read more
Overcooked! All You Can Eat (PC) 2021-03-23 Simulation 8-10 78% Read more
Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo Switch) 2019-06-28 Side-scrolling & Platform 8-10 15% Read more
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5) (PSN Account) 2021-06-11 Platform 11-12 29% Read more
Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PC) 2022-09-27 Adventure 11-12 15% Read more
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time (PC) 2021-12 Platform 11-12 19% Read more
Stardew Valley 2016-02-26 Adventure 11-12 Read more
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean 2011-05-24 Adventure 10+ 82% Read more
LEGO Lord of the Rings 2012-11-27 Adventure 10+ 50% Read more
LEGO Batman 2008-09-29 Adventure 10+ 92% Read more
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 2022-04-05 Action 10+ 42% Read more
Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition 2015-07-29 Adventure 10+ Read more
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 2010-06-29 Adventure 10+ 87% Read more

Naturally, it’s just a bunch of picks and there are plenty of other titles that you might consider picking up as well. Here’s a selection of the best deals on our marketplace:

Without further ado, let’s take a look at our picks when it comes to the best video games for kids, shall we?

Ages 5-7

This category features games that are rated E for Everyone. They feature very little violence and even if there is any, it’s often super cartoony and as non-violent as possible. Better yet, some of these titles allow local play, so you can join the kids in their fun!

        

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release date:2017 (originally released in 2014)
Genre:Racing
Developer:Nintendo EAD, Bandai Namco Studios, Nintendo EPD (Deluxe)

Among all kart racers on the market, this one is probably the best. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an expanded re-release of an excellent game, packed with tons of new content. Your kids will surely love it!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The premise is simple: you pick one the characters from the Mario universe and race around various courses to get to the finish line first. You can never be sure if you’re going to win, though: your opponents will surely employ a whole lot of dirty tricks to make you lose! Various power-ups will help them do that. Well, they can also help you gain an upper hand over your rivals!

The Deluxe edition of Mario Kart 8 features plenty of new things, including all DLCs released previously, a selection of new characters, certain gameplay changes (such as being able to hold two items at once), and a re-vamped Battle Mode with several courses and rulesets. It’s a fantastic package. If your kids love racing or Mario (or both), be sure to pick this one up!

Key features
  • The game contains stuff from the base game and DLCs, which means tons of content
  • It has the largest starting character roster of all Mario Kart games
  • The Battle Mode has received significant changes, too
  • It’s less difficult than the original version
        

Untitled Goose Game

Release date:2020-09-23
Genre:Puzzle, stealth
Developer:House House

One of the most clever and most mischievous games on the market, Untitled Goose Game lets you play as the titular bird and embark on a quest full of shenanigans and tomfoolery.

Untitled Goose Game

It’s funny to think that it was all sparked by a photo of a goose. A combination of Super Mario 64 and the Hitman games, Untitled Goose Game has you complete various different tasks, including stealing some stuff and bothering villagers. Cross out enough objectives from your to-do list and you’ll get access to another area. Your ultimate goal? Steal a golden bell from a miniature model of the village and don’t let them pesky villagers stop you from doing that.

There’s even a local co-op mode that lets two players play together, with the other controlling a Chinese goose. The goal remains the same, but it’s always more fun if there’s another person to contribute to the on-screen mayhem. Untitled Goose Game is a cute title that is both awesome to play and extremely fun to watch.

Key features
  • Pranking villagers as a goose never gets old
  • There’s even a two-player co-op mode available
  • The music, composed by Dan Holding, features excerpts from Claude Debussy’s work
  • HONK!
        

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Release date:2020-03-20
Genre:Social simulation
Developer:Nintendo EPD, Monolith Soft

One of the greatest best-sellers of all time, Animal Crossing has pleased both the fans of the series and the newcomers. And it’s the cutest life sim on the market, hands down!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

What’s it all about? You start by creating your own villager who gets a getaway package from a raccoon dog named Tom Nook, lands on a deserted island and starts to develop it into an actual village, a true community. In order to do that, you need to gather and craft items and furniture, catch fish and bugs, travel to other islands and so on. Ultimately, your efforts will result in a thriving, vibrant community with other villagers, new buildings and the like.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has received plenty of seasonal updates full of content and gameplay changes. There’s even a paid add-on titled Happy Home Paradise. If you want your kids to learn how to build a thriving community and be of service to the folks around them, this game is a perfect pick. In fact, Tom Nook will be the first boss they’ll ever have!

Key features
  • You get an island and a chance to start a wonderful life there
  • Relaxing gameplay based on exploration, crafting and interaction with the environment
  • You can even build an entire community at one point
  • Tom Nook isn’t actually a bad guy, to be honest
        

Rayman Legends

Release date:2013-08-29
Genre:Platform & Adventure
Developer:Ubisoft Montpellier, Pastagames (Nintendo Switch)

Yup, he’s a legend alright. Rayman, a limbless hero and one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, returns to save the day once again.

Rayman Legends

Legends is probably quite old by today’s standards, but don’t make that deter you from getting it: it’s a lovely platformer with wonderful, cartoony graphics and incredible gameplay design. As Rayman and his pals, your task is to free the princesses of the land and the Teensies from evil nightmares and Dark Teensies. Expect lots of jumping, running and whacking wacky characters along the way.

One of the greatest features of the game is the drop-in drop-out co-op mode where four players can complete the levels together, playing as various characters (Rayman, Globox, Barbara the Barbarian Princess and a couple others). What a perfect opportunity to bond with your children over such a wonderful video game! The fact that Rayman Legends is available on so many platforms also helps. It’s a real treat. It’s just too weird that there hasn’t been any new major Rayman game since 2013 aside from a couple of spin-offs and mobile releases.

Children of this age are generally more adept at more complex games that require better skills. This is why we chose some great platform titles here, as well as some fantastic picks for co-op gameplay. Kids this age probably love Minecraft, but they also most likely own it already, so here’s some stuff that might be a refreshing change of gameplay style.

Key features
  • A super fun campaign to complete
  • Drop-in drop-out co-op mode for up to four players
  • Fantastic graphics and audio
  • Various special levels that shake things up a lot

Ages 8-10

Children of this age are generally more adept at more complex games that require better skills. This is why we chose some great platform titles here, as well as some fantastic picks for co-op gameplay. Kids this age probably love Minecraft, but they also most likely own it already, so here’s some stuff that might be a refreshing change of gameplay style.

        

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Release date:2018-11-13
Genre:Platform & Adventure
Developer:Toys for Bob (original games made by Insomniac Games)

If your children love platform games – and who doesn’t? – the Spyro trilogy seems like one of the best picks for them. Chances are that you probably remember this classic platformer and might be in for a real nostalgia trip here!

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a faithful remake of the three games: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Minor alterations were made to the content and gameplay, while audiovisuals have been overhauled completely.

The gameplay remains largely the same as in the originals, too: as Spyro, you need to save various worlds from invading enemies. Sparx, Spyro’s dragonfly sidekick, acts as your health indicator and protects you from enemy attacks up to a certain point. There are also plenty of items to collect here.

All in all, if you’re looking for a cute platformer for your kids to play, this game is one of your best bets. And if you remember Spyro from your childhood, you’ll be able to relive the nostalgia!

Key features
  • A remastered collection of classic platform games from the late 90s
  • The games retained their original gameplay, aside from a bunch of small changes here and there
  • Graphics and audio have received a complete overhaul, though
  • Nostalgia is strong with this one
        

Terraria

Release date:2011-05-16
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Re-Logic

What would you get if you mixed Minecraft and a Metroidvania-style 2D retro platformer? Well, Terraria, of course!

Terraria

If your kids are kind of fed up with Minecraft, they’ll be happy to learn that Terraria is a fresh take on this gameplay model. You create your character and end up in a world where you need to fend for yourself through crafting, resource collecting, mining, building, exploration, and survival. Eventually, you will be able to invite various NPCs to the structures you’ve built.

Terraria is a captivating experience. If your children are fans of crafting and building stuff, they’ll be super pleased with the opportunities presented by this game. Go ahead and grab a copy for your kids now!

Key features
  • It’s pretty much Minecraft 2D, plain and simple
  • Actually, it’s a refreshing change from Minecraft
  • Plenty of stuff to craft and environments to explore
  • The game is available on a wide variety of platforms
        

Overcooked: All You Can Eat

Release date:2021-03-23
Genre:Cooking sim
Developer:Team 17, Ghost Town Games

While this game won’t actually teach your kids how to cook (a bummer, we know), it can show them how crazy kitchen shenanigans can become. Alright, it’s a bit of a dramatic take, but yeah, they’ll be able to find out if there’s any truth to the old proverb saying that too many cooks spoil the broth.

Overcooked: All You Can Eat

The Overcooked games (both are featured in this compilation) are all about cooperation in order to cook various meals successfully. Unfortunately, these orders are absurd and the task quickly becomes super overwhelming! It is up to the team of cooks to contain this chaos and successfully prepare the food.

The levels are diverse and offer various gameplay changes so that the formula never feels stale. The Overcooked series is crazy, but it’s also one that your kids will surely love. It will also be a good step towards teaching them how to work well with others. Heck, you can even pick up the controller and help them out yourself!

Key features
  • Do too many cooks spoil the broth? This game will show you
  • Delightfully chaotic gameplay
  • The levels are super varied and pretty much never get stale
  • Four players can work together in the co-op mode
        

Super Mario Maker 2

Release date:2019-06-28
Genre:Platform, level editor
Developer:Nintendo EPD

While this game does feature a single-player campaign, its coolest feature is the level editor that lets you build various courses. It’s super intuitive, so your kids will surely love the possibilities it offers.

Super Mario Maker 2

Aside from new assets, tools and gameplay mechanics that you can implement in your courses, you can also create entire overworld maps like in the previous Mario games. This means that you can practically build your own sequel to the series! Better yet, you can create a level in cooperation with another person, compete on the courses or complete them with others (up to four players are supported), and upload them online so that Mario fans from all over the world can test your creation!

A story mode is available in this game, too. You need to complete over one hundred levels created by Nintendo in order to gain enough stars to rebuild Princess Peach’s Castle, accidentally reset by Undodog. All things considered, if your kids love building stuff (which they surely do), they’ll be super happy to dive right in and create their own levels. It’s a yet another fantastic gift idea on our list!

For this age category, we chose some more complex platform games that might pose a challenge even to adult players. Some of these titles also feature some serious themes in addition to being fun to play.

Key features
  • You can build your own levels using a wide variety of tools
  • You can do that in cooperation with another player
  • Up to four players can either work together or compete with each other
  • There’s even a single-player campaign available, but who cares? Let’s build some levels!

Ages 11-12

For this age category we chose some more complex platform games that might pose a challenge even to adult players. Some of these titles also feature some serious themes in addition to being fun to play.

        

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release date:2021-06-11
Genre:Platform, third-person shooter
Developer:Insomniac Games

Ratchet and Clank are back! The sixteenth installment in the series overall, Rift Apart packs quite a punch. It’s beautiful, it’s super fun to play, it’s definitely one of the best games that kids aged 10 can get.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Doctor Nefarious strikes back! This time, he caused immense mayhem thanks to the Dimensionator. During an attempt to steal the device, the gizmo ends up destroyed, which opens up a rift to another world and causes untold destruction across space and time. Ratchet, Clank and a female Lombax named Rivet must of course clean up this mess.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a mixture of platforming and third-person shooting, with plenty of gadgets, weapons and traversal options. But the main feature of the game are the titular rifts. Using the Rift Tether mechanic allows you to quickly travel between the areas. Oh, and Rift Apart looks and sounds fantastic, too! It’s definitely one of the best platformers around. We can’t recommend it enough!

Key features
  • A fantastic mixture of a platformer and a third-person shooter
  • The game looks and sounds gorgeous
  • Rift Tether is surely an interesting gameplay mechanic
  • Plenty of accessibility options are available so that everyone can enjoy the game and finish the campaign
        

Splatoon 2

Release date:2017
Genre:Third-person shooter
Developer:Nintendo EPD, Monolith Soft, Tose

A shooter? This probably sounds bad, but fear not: Splatoon 2, just like its predecessor, is in fact a lovely game about painting stuff, but with all sorts of guns.

Splatoon 2

Here you can control Inklings and Octolings, squid-like characters who can transform into kids. Colored ink is their ammo. The surfaces painted with their color can be used by them to replenish ammo and health. In general, the gameplay is that of a team-based third-person shooter. You simply splat the area and enemy players with your color when in kid form. As a squid, you can swim in the ink of your own color, which allows for certain cool opportunities.

Splatoon 2 features plenty of new weapons and gear, as well as a couple of different game modes for you to try out. But there’s also a single-player campaign dubbed the Hero Mode where you get to rescue creatures known as the Zapfish and ward off evil Octarians. All in all, it’s one of the best games to get if you own a Nintendo Switch.

Key features
  • An interesting take on shooters: you splat everything with ink!
  • Your character can have two forms: a kid who can shoot stuff and a squid that can swim across the lakes of ink
  • Various game modes available to try out
  • There’s even a single-player mode here
        

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release date:2022-09-27
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Ember Lab

The premise of this game seems rather “heavy.” Guiding the spirits of the departed and helping them move on? Still, it’s a colorful, playful action-adventure title that feels really whimsical at times.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

You play as the titular Kena, a young spirit guide who knows her stuff when it comes to wielding magic, staffs and bows. Her task is to collect the Rot, small spirit companions who can be ordered to do stuff for you. They can move objects, take different shapes, and distract enemies. You also earn new weapons and upgrades along the way.

We understand that the theme of the game is something that is not an easy subject. But it may be a perfect opportunity for you and your kids to talk about serious stuff and the realities of life and death. It’s also a fun title to play with, so your children should be pleased with this gift.

Key features
  • An interesting theme of helping troubled spirits move on
  • You collect the Rot: companions that help you solve puzzles and win battles
  • You get new weapons and abilities as you progress in the game
  • The game world is inspired by various Eastern cultures and countries, such as Japan and Bali
        

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Release date:2021-12
Genre:Platform
Developer:Toys for Bob, Beenox, Activision Shanghai

Crash too is one of the most legendary video game characters of all time. His latest shenanigans, presented in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, were very well received. It is then perfectly understandable that his game is on this list!

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Multiverse this, Multiverse that…don’t people get bored with that? Apparently not, as this is the main theme of Crash Bandicoot 4. Crash and his sister Coco must recover items known as the Quantum Masks in order to put an end to a scheme concocted by a duo of evil-doers: Doctor Neo Cortex and Doctor Nefarious Tropy. Other characters help them along the way as well.

The gameplay here is some fairly traditional Crash stuff, albeit with a bunch of new additions. So, you run around, jump, smash crates with the famous Wumpa Fruit, and avoid obstacles (including enemies). It’s an insane platformer, no doubt. There are also other segments where you control other characters, including Crash’s old girlfriend, Tawna, and Dingodile, once one of his sworn enemies. It’s a fun, challenging game that kids aged 10 will most likely love. Definitely recommended!

Key features
  • A fantastic new addition to the Crash canon (which retcons some of the previous games, by the way)
  • Various playable characters
  • Looks and sounds great
  • It’s Crash Bandicoot!
        

Stardew Valley

Release date:2016-02-26
Genre:Role-playing, simulation
Developer:ConcernedApe

Remember Harvest Moon? Stardew Valley is pretty much what this series was a long time ago. It offers total freedom in how you run your farm. Are you up for this challenge, though?

Stardew Valley

In Stardew Valley you create your character and then inherit a farm from your in-game grandpa who just died. The farm is dilapidated and needs tons of work, so you remove obstacles, tend to crops and livestock, earn money that way and expand the farm and its operations. You can also interact with the characters that inhabit Pelican Town where the game is set.

This can lead to you marrying someone and having or adopting kids with them. Your spouse will also gladly help you run your farm. Stardew Valley is an incredibly relaxing and super charming game. If you want to give your kids stuff that is more educational in nature, this one is a perfect pick. Who knows, maybe they’ll become farmers in the future?

Key features
  • You get to build and manage your own farm
  • You can also interact with the inhabitants of Pelican City
  • A complex, yet soothing gameplay
  • Cute pixel art
        

Super Mario Odyssey

Release date:2017-10-27
Genre:Action-adventure, platform
Developer:Nintendo EPD, 1-UP Studio

If your kid is both a proud owner of a Nintendo Switch and a Mario fan, they’ll love this game. Super Mario Odyssey is not just one of the best installment in the series. It’s thought to be one of the best video games ever!

Super Mario Odyssey

What’s interesting about this one, though, is the fact that it doesn’t bother newcomers – it caters to the core fans of the series. It doesn’t mean it’s an inaccessible, difficult game, though, although there’s plenty of challenges to be found here.

As Mario, you need to save Princess Peach from the clutches of his nemesis, Bowser, as usual. To do this, he needs to collect Power Moons that serve as fuel for the titular airship, the Odyssey, which is used to travel to various different kingdoms in order to thwart the evil plan of Mario’s archrival.

The game employs sandbox-style gameplay where you can explore levels freely and complete objectives as you see fit (although there are some 2D levels in it as well). You can even capture and possess enemies using Cappy, a magical hat, and solve various puzzles this way. Super Mario Odyssey is a fantastic game that even you might love, so if you own a Nintendo Switch, don’t hesitate to grab your copy now!

Key features
  • One of the best games in the Mario series
  • Sandbox-style gameplay in the vein of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine
  • Plenty of main and side activities
  • You can unlock additional kingdoms and a minigame titled Luigi’s Balloon World

As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic games that you can buy for your kids. All these titles are captivating, gorgeous and super fun to play. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy them as well?