Family friendly video games are becoming more and more common as the last generation of gamers gets older, and begins passing on these hobbies to their children. What makes a good family friendly video game? There are a few signs that point to a game being appropriate for the whole family, and it begins with the ESRB rating.
You’ll find this rating on the digital store page, or on the front of the physical game case. If it reads E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10+) it is a safe bet that it will be appropriate for the entire family! Second, games that offer strong multiplayer components are also often more family friendly, Being able to play with a wide variety of folks makes gaming as a family much more enjoyable.
Finally, simple to understand controls and mechanics makes family friendly games more accessible for people of all ages, and can get you going on an evening of fun without having to spend too much time teaching controls and strategies! There are tons of great family friendly video games to purchase this holiday season, but these are our favourites!
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix
The kart racing genre has seen some fantastic competition over the last few years, and Nickelodeon is getting in on the action with their second kart title, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix. The first title in the series laid the groundwork for what this kart racing game would look like, but the Grand Prix builds on it in almost every single way. Local multiplayer games like this are not gracing consoles often enough, so when one comes around, it is great for family gaming time!
Pick your favourite Nickelodeon character and kart, and hit the road across numerous unique courses. Compete in various modes in single player or multiplayer sessions, and prove you are the best at karting. With accessible controls and familiar characters, this is an easy pick for one of our favourite family friendly titles this holiday season!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
There has never been a bad Animal Crossing released by Nintendo, but previous titles in the franchise pale in comparison to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo has added a number of amazing features to this release that have never before been seen in the franchise, highlighted by do-it-yourself recipes that allow you to use your island’s resources to create fantastic items.
With multiple Nintendo Switch units and copies of Animal Crossing, each member of the household can have their own unique island. As much fun, however, is the ability to share an island as a family. Each player will get their own house on the island. While one player will ultimately make big decisions on behalf of the entire family, everyone can leave their stamp on the island in their own way.
Platforms: Xbox One and PC
Developer: Dlala Studios
Publisher: Xbox Games Studios, Rare Ltd.
Genre: Beat ’em up
Modes: Single-player and multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
It’s been 26 years since Battletoads last graced consoles in their own release. Although they have been teased and added into numerous projects over the last two decades, it was not until this year that Rare brought the loveable toads back in a brand new adventure. Join Rash, Pimple and Zitz as they embark on an epic adventure in both single player and multiplayer modes!
What makes Battletoads such a fantastic family experience is that up to three players can play side-by-side on the couch, through numerous unique levels. From side scrolling adventures to epic space battles, Battletoads keeps things different and light, with something new to see around every corner. Couch co-op means you can play the entire game with friends, fighting your way through to the end. If you are unpacking Battletoads this holiday, make sure you have a few extra controls lying around, and hop into one of 2020s best titles!
Just Dance 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia and Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Playing games with family and friends can be great fun. Though, teaching someone complex controls takes away from the overall enjoyment. That is why games like Just Dance 2021 are the perfect game for the entire family. Easy to understand game mechanics, and some of the biggest musical hits of this year, make Just Dance 2021 one of the most accessible games on our list.
Just Dance is one of Ubisoft’s longest running franchises. And, with each new release, the development team gets better and better at crafting a fantastic experience. Just Dance 2021, like others in the series, is incredibly polished. Players won’t have to worry about graphical hiccups or audio miscues to ruin their family fun. This game just works, is easy to understand, and is accessible to almost anyone. One thing to note, however – the ability to dance well is not included!
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
It has been a long time since fans of the Crash Bandicoot series received a new game in the franchise, but Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was worth the wait. This title takes everything players loved from the original three games, tacks on a modern twist, and produces a game that will be nostalgic for long time fans, while also very accessible for new players.
Play as Crash Bandicoot himself, his sister Coco, or a host of other characters in this single player and multiplayer adventure. While the difficulty of this title might be a bit higher than other games on this list, working together to solve levels and complete challenges will provide hours upon hours of entertainment. The satisfaction of completing a difficult session will have your family high fiving and laughing for hours on end.
Don’t get too scared, though, as Toys and Bob have included a number of accessible features that makes playing Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time much less frustrating than other games in the series. Accessibility is key here, and the development team definitely delivered. As a result, Crash Bandicoot 4 is one of the great family friendly video games this holiday season!
Family friendly video games for the holidays
As the holidays roll around, families reconnect and enjoy time together. Video games have become a big part of that for many families. And, we hope this list of Family friendly video games for the holidays has been valuable to you! All the games on this list are incredibly easy to pick up and play, and are appropriate for the entire family! The only question left is, “Which game should you play first?”