If you’re a parent who’s sworn allegiance to the Xbox One, you’ll need some age-appropriate games to play with the kids until they’re old enough to, say, stab targets from above in Assassin’s Creed or stare down a sniper rifle scope in Call of Duty. The best Xbox One games for kids are markedly different from the system’s greatest hits, as so many of the biggest and best video games feature sex, violence, or both and many of the “kid-friendly” games feel more like hastily created slogs that are neither entertaining nor substantive. But the good ones are out there. And the best Xbox games for kids offer reasonably wholesome fun for kids and for the entire family.
Our favorite titles for one-, two-, or multiplayer are rated for either “everyone” or “everyone over 10.” They have plentiful positive reviews from real players, and most important, are a blast to play. Whether it’s an underwater survival favorite or a reboot of a classic two-player racing game, there’s something for families to enjoy on this list.
Kids love destruction, and Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 offers it aplenty. Control one of the 38 greatest vehicles of all time and rampage through five worlds and 12 stadiums while performing gravity-defying and property-destroying stunts. Then pray they don't remember any of this when it's time for driver's ed.
It's just another boring family vacation for Ben and his family when an evil magician casts a curse that only our hero can break. Your child will explore as the protagonist across a 3-D world while battling enemies and solving puzzles. For your Cartoon Network loyalist, this is a great tie-in.
This gem of a game is great for big families or across-city battle royales thanks to its four-player or eight-online-player modes. Its cartoon characters engage in slapstick battles at extreme heights that are harmless in the end. It's great as an alternative for more mature fighting games that young children aren't yet ready for.
If your child is Harry Potter-obsessed, then you don't really need to read further, do you? But you should, because this two-pack will keep your child engaged for days, thanks to the inclusion of two separate games: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. Combined, they encapsulate the full series of books and movies and should be considered essential for any die-hard fan.
Originally released on NES during your childhood circa 1991, this legendary side-scroller gets a facelift while retaining all its chaotic fun. Selecting one of three difficulty levels (tadpole, toad, and battletoad), your child explores the levels and wallops big bosses while also encountering minigames that pose their own challenges. While the appeal to you may be the nostalgia, there's a lot of lighthearted gameplay that will suck in the next generation.
Another nostalgic game, this double set was originally released on Super Nintendo, but thanks to the movies' staying power (and subsequent reboots), your child has plenty to enjoy. The side-scrollers offer a challenge along with a lot of gags and cut scenes, providing hours of enjoyment that you can rest assured is as safe as the movies themselves.
This platformer is as expansive as it is sophomoric, making it a ton of fun for tweens. They control the titular character, along with multiple others, to explore different worlds and times while learning new moves and mastering death puzzles. On that last bit: There's an adaptive component to the game where it will create a custom check point should your child get stuck, making it a great first experience for play-throughs.
This 3D-platformer follows a young fox as he embarks on a quest to discover his inner strength and, what else, save the world. It's scalable in difficulty for younger children, while its cartoon protagonist is quickly lovable. You'll feel right at home thanks to the homage this pays to the classic adventure games from your childhood.
Out with the old and in with the new. This turn-of-the-year update includes this year's bangers, including 'Rain on Me' by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, 'Kick It' by NCT 127, and 'Ice Cream' by BLACKPINK x Selena Gomez, along with 600 other songs that your child can jam to. It checks you and your child's moves via an app on your smartphone. Translation: No additional hardware required.
This tie-in to the popular kids show is something die-hard fans will love. After an asteroid accident (really), the pups must use their new mysterious powers to clean up Adventure Bay. While your child can explore on his or her own, there's also a dual-player mode for teamwork with friends.
Able to be played solo or with up to four players cooperatively, this game lets you choose one of several Disney-Pixar characters, including Remy from Ratatouille, Dory from Finding Nemo, and Lightning McQueen from Cars, and solve puzzles and experience adventures in some straight-from-the-movie worlds. The game is broken up into sections based off the characters chosen and each section has several levels to enjoy. Although the game is for Everyone 10 and up, it certainly skews younger.
This vibrant game cruised under many a radar. But it deserves recognition — and a place on family's lists. The plot is simple: villains have hatched a plot to rid the world of color. It's up to a band of blobs to bring back the color. Part platformer, part painting game, Blob 2 combines the smash and stomp action of classic games with the creativity of a coloring book. The two-player split-screen mode means the action can be shared.
This racing game features 15 players from the world of Sonic — don't sleep on Silver — and tons of items that players can use to get an edge. There's a team racing mode that makes it less competitive and more about working together as well as story mode that helps kids learn the ins and outs of the game in a way that's more structured than just jumping into full races.
This beautiful, inventive game is set in a hand-crafted solar system. Your job is solve the mysteries at the heart of it by traveling through a time loop. This is the rare game with a truly interesting science-fiction premise, and it's set in a complicated, intricate world whose mysteries unfold as you play. It is, however, just a single player experience. But it makes for a great switch-off group watch.
Kids love racing and they love getting dirty. That's why they love this game, which combines both of those avocations in a richly detailed, high-definition environment with realistic driving physics. There's plenty of action, from bumper tapping to full on wrecks, but nothing bloody or obscene, hence the E for Everyone rating.
The Ori series developed a cult following for its expansive, vivid, and roaming-friendly worlds. The latest release, optimized for Xbox One in 120p, feels like you're in a theater setting with psychedelic colors and arresting set pieces as your character quests and solves puzzles. While 'Will' is rated for everyone, younger children not used to the Minecraft roaming concept may have difficulty engaging. For for others, however, its dreamscape offers adventures around every turn.
There was a time when if a game was popular, it was made by Rare. The company created such titles as Double Dragon, Battle Toads, Banjo Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. This collection features 30 of their most popular games. While, no, not all included here are rated E (some, like the futuristic shooter Perfect Dark are M), there are plenty of titles for the family to enjoy together — and for the parents to load up when they have the TV to themselves. In any case, it's a drip of nostalgia all gamers will appreciate.
Not familiar with YouTube star Ryan? Well, your son or daughter probably is. Children who have watched his vlogs will have a blast racing across magical lairs and alongside some of their favorite characters from the show. With more simple controls than a certain plumber/racer, it's a great pick for children as young as 3.
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