Best Video Games for Kids Under the Age of 10

The Best Video Games for Kids Under the Age of 10

Video games from 'Super Mario Odyssey' to 'Lego Marvel Superheroes 2' to 'Mario Kart Deluxe 8.'

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Video games for kids are so good now. It’s not that there’s been a renaissance (though one might argue for a Zeldaissance) so much as that progress has been quick and constant. Gameplay has improved along with visuals and, now that developers are more comfortable creating open worlds, players are being given freedoms they absolutely couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. The best news? The top game-makers are building new franchises on old foundations, using classic ideas and visuals to create fresh experiences. That means that there are a lot of video games for kids under the age of 10 that are absolutely ideal for parents and children to play together. That also means that parents are likely going to sneakily play said games after their kids have gone to bed.

Here are the absolute best games for kids to play and to play with kids. From Super Mario and Zelda to soccer-playing race cars, it’s all here.

Super Mario Odyssey

Console: Nintendo Switch

Best For: The Kid Who’s Really Into Video Games

The Game: Everyone’s favorite Italian plumber is back. Nintendo’s newest Super Mario adventure puts the mustached one in an open-world game that feels both nostalgic and like a giant leap forward. Is Mario still smashing question mark labeled boxes and cross-eyed turtles while mooning over Princess Peach? He is. He’s just doing it on the actual moon while wearing samurai armor. That the developers used new tech to make the game more childish feels both smart and like a hell of an achievement.

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Everything

Console: Playstation 4

Best For: The Kid Who’s Really into Science

The Game: Imagine being able to play a game where you can become anything within the game and control it. Everything, which critics have praised in a way that feels borderline indecent, allows players to control trees, bugs, and animals down to the molecular level. It’s innovative and mind-blowing. It’s basically a game about intelligent design that, whatever you make of the state of science education, feels absolutely divine.

Rocket League

Console: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Best For: The Kid Who’s Obsessed With Cars

The Game: Imagine cars playing soccer and you’ve pretty much got the idea here. In each showdown — the game is best enjoyed with friends or loved ones — two teams of cars use thrusters, jumps and Fast and Furiousstyle flips to get a giant ball into a large goal. With pick-up-and-play style mechanics, Rocket League is so addictive and fun that it has its own eSports championship league that’s actually fun to watch. The only concern about playing with your kid? You won’t want to stop.

ALSO: How One Dad Used ‘The Legend of Zelda’ to Bond with His Daughter

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Console: Playstation 4

Best For: The Kid Who’s Really Good At Video Games

The Game: Three classic PlayStation 1 Crash Bandicoot games get an HD makeover on the new console. The platform scroller has Crash spinning and jumping through crates and enemies all while wearing his goofy ear-to-ear grin. It’s old school fun with new school graphics and a nice reminder that 20-year-old games can still feel fresh even if they look, well, 20 years old.

1, 2, Switch

Console: Nintendo Switch

Best For: The Kid Who Can’t Stop Moving

The Game: Go head-to-head with your kid in a series of duels. Choose between a dance-off, a tennis match, an old west shootout, a cow-milking competition (seriously!), and have an epic competition. Nintendo keeps the game basic on the screen so you can focus on your IRL rival while you give those cow udders the business. This is a very stupid game made by very smart people. There’s a lot to be said for that.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2

Console: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Best For: The Kid Who Thinks They’re a Superhero

The Game: The Lego-ified heroes of the Marvel Comics universe are taking on Kang the Conqueror, fighting across time and space. Following the slew of Lego video games before it, the game allows kids to build their way out of small puzzles and play as a huge variety of adorable brick heroes. It’s got some Minecraft DNA, but it’s mostly a high-speed, brick-happy funhouse (like your living room).

Splatoon 2

Console: Nintendo Switch

Best For: The Messy Kid

The Game: If your kid is not shy using a water gun or a paint brush, then this game is perfect for them. Combining the elements of a shooter, but making it kid-friendly, Splatoon gives avatars water pistols that shoot colorful paint, where the goal is soak everything in ink. The lesson here is not necessarily helpful, but the execution is genius and kids absolutely adore it.

Mario Kart Deluxe 8

Console: Nintendo Switch

Best For: The Trouble-Making Kid

The Game: The Mario Kart video game series just keeps getting bigger. In Mario Kart Deluxe 8, the tracks are absolutely insane, winding through jungles, spaceships, and Hyrule, and players can go head-to-head with almost every character from the Super Mario universe. There are zero gravity tracks, but the banana peels still stick and the game dynamics never get — or feel — old.

Jackbox Games

Console: Playstation 4, Xbox One

Best For: The Kid Who’s Always Thinking

The Game: It’s a board game on the big screen. Jackbox gives you a variety of games in every bundle, each utilizing a unique, creative element to answer a question. Kids can draw a shirt design in Tee K.O., or they can use improv skills in Fibbage and Quiplash, or just answer the zany questions within Trivia Murder Party, a comedy horror quiz video game.

Little Big Planet 3

Console: Playstation 4

Best For: The Creative Kid Who Can’t Stop Imagining

The Game: The third installment of this puzzle platform game creates a vibrant, creative and imaginative tiny world where Sack Boy, the main character, jumps over balls of yarn, clothespins, and thimbles. It’s actually even cuter than it sounds, but the game remains more fun than adorable.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Console: Nintendo Switch

Best For: The Curious Kid Who Wants to Explore

The Game: Already considered the greatest Zelda game ever made, and widely regarded as the best game of 2017, Breath of the Wild is a huge, open world map game. Players can spend up to 40 hours sprawling Nintendo’s rich, beautiful setting, or just take a traditional story mode route. There’s no real wrong way to play the video game, and that will make things interesting for you and your kid.

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