Video games are no longer just for kids to play and parents to monitor. Plus, households everywhere are in need of new, fun ways to spend time together.
The answer? Awesome, family-friendly video games for everyone to enjoy in the comfort of their own living room!
The world of gaming has a number of different genres, from sports games to puzzle games, and more...and something for every skill level—plus plenty of common ground for beginners and advanced players alike.
From parents who have never touched a console to experienced gamers looking for the next challenge, there is a range of video games out there that would make for an epic family night.
Benefits of playing video games as a family
Forbes and other publications have drawn a conclusion that might surprise you: intergenerational gaming is beneficial for the whole family (not to mention that video games can be good for you in general!)
Think about it. Who probably has greater knowledge in this area? Kids, right?
Not only will it be refreshing for children to teach their parents a thing or two, it allows parents a break from instructing, monitoring, or guiding screen time. Plus, you’d be surprised how popular kids’ video games are enjoyable for all ages.
Like your family’s favorite board game, video games offer opportunities for teamwork, collaboration, and a little competition. There are notable educational and cognitive benefits to playing video games (though kids might not realize it because they’re having so much fun)!
Best family-friendly video games
We’ve compiled a list of highly-rated video games to get you started. Each game is accompanied by its age rating on Common Sense Media, a site designed to help find age-appropriate content for kids.
Games for ages 5-8+
Just in time for the 35th anniversary of the Mario franchise, the latest Nintendo game presents familiar faces to several generations and a delightful game for all (like the familiar Mario Party!). 93% of Google users enjoyed this game! The updated graphics and compilation of many beloved characters keep this classic relevant and as much fun as ever.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Nintendo Switch
Common Sense Media Rating: Ages 7+ (though many kids and parents users rate it at ages 5+)
Animal Crossing has become a global sensation that draws players of all ages. Released earlier this year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons boasts a 4.8/5 rating on GameStop and promises to be the most exciting iteration of the game yet.
Having witnessed Rocket League at iD Tech summer camps, I can personally attest to how much fun the game is. Think of it as racing meets soccer in the best possible way. As a bonus, as of this September, Rocket League is free to play.
LEGO Video Games: Range of console compatibility, depending on game
Common Sense Media Rating: Ages 7-10, depending on franchise
From Harry Potter to Marvel franchises and Lord of the Rings, there is a multitude of LEGO video games (making them among the best video games of kids)!
There are too many varieties to address here, but suffice it to say that there are lots of options. Just think of the expansion possibilities to include a movie night or hands-on building challenge that could accompany a LEGO game!
Games for ages 8-10+
This latest sensation has everyone from teen YouTube streaming stars to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via Twitch taking notice. Among Us is easy to play, even for gaming newbies, and puts a fresh spin on a classic concept. Like Werewolf or Mafia, this is a game of deduction and discovering secrets in teams.
Players board a spaceship and take on the role of either crew mate or an impostor alien determined to sabotage the mission and pick off crew members one by one. Crew members must complete their missions and discover who are, as the title suggests, the impostors Among Us.
Going a little stir crazy after months of social-distancing? Bust a move with Just Dance, and a quiet evening at home transforms into a dance party! The latest version Just Dance is updated with Top 40 hits and is sure to get everyone off the couch and onto the dance floor (even if that’s technically still the basement).
One look at this game’s breathtaking graphics, its rave reviews from developers, and its 10/10 rating on Steam is enough to get gamers of all ages excited to give Ori and the Will of the Wisps a spin.
The game allows players to solve puzzles and challenges to engage any experience level. Though a single-player game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps allows racing on leaderboards for some family competition!
Games for teens
Some of these games contain mature themes and content; it’s always a good idea to preview the game to make sure it’s a good fit for your family!
As thousands of users have discovered, Jackbox is a great way to liven up any family gathering or holiday. With game options ranging from trivia to Pictionary to competitive fibbing, there’s something for everyone on Jackbox.
Turn game night into a rock concert with Rock Band. Musicians in the family will get to show off their skills, and if your family is not particularly musically inclined, everyone will be on the same playing field. Plus, families can take turns rocking out to their favorite songs.
The intricate puzzles of 7 Billion Humans offer engaging challenges and educational benefits to players. With over 60 levels of difficulty, this game is excellent food for thought or a much-needed brain break. If your family thrives on strategy games, 7 Billion Humans might be right up your alley.
One more recommendation
If your child loves video games and is ready to take the next step towards creating their own, iD Tech has got you covered! Our tech experts have crafted course curriculum to teach cutting-edge STEM skills alongside the games they love:
- How to Make an Obby on Roblox
- Minecraft Mod Programming
- Lua Coding Classes (with Roblox)
- Unity Game Design