Family-friendly video games

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to find new ways to bring the family together. And what better way to create a bonding experience than with some of the hottest new multiplayer video game experiences? Take a look at our list of family-friendly video games that will make perfect gifts and deliver the fun for everyone this winter.

What makes a family-friendly game?

There are a few criteria that we like to keep in mind when choosing the best family-friendly video games for the holidays. First off, the ESRB rating is a great indicator of whether or not a game is suitable for all ages. Look for a rating of E (Everyone) to E 10+ (Everyone 10+) for titles that are certain to be appropriate for just about anyone.

Secondly, the most ideal family-friendly video games will be quick and easy to pick up and jump in. No complex learning curves or tutorial-heavy fare. We want family members of all skill levels and experience to jump right in and have a blast. When everyone is having a good time, the times will be good!

Finally, a great game for the whole family will involve everyone, preferably at once! We don’t want to be taking turns or watching other’s play the whole time. The best family-friendly video games get everyone in the game and keep them there.

With that said, here are a few top picks for the holiday season:

Family-friendly video gamesNew Super Lucky’s Tale

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Playful Corp.
Publisher: Playful Corp.
Genre: Platformer
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

New Super Lucky’s Tale is the story of Lucky, a brave but adorable young fox on a quest to protect the Book of Ages. After originally releasing on the Xbox One platform, Lucky is now right at home on the Nintendo Switch. This is particularly true since the game so closely resembles the popular Nintendo 3D platformers of the 90’s era, such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie.

I did mention that multiplayer games are preferable for family fun. While this is very true, New Super Lucky’s Tale has the distinction of being the lone single-player only game to make our list. Even though only one player can enjoy Lucky at a time, its charming style and colourful gameplay are sure to captivate everyone in the room.

Get New Super Lucky’s Tale for Nintendo Switch

Family-friendly video gamesJust Dance 2020

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Music
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Just Dance 2020 is the one game on our list sure to get everybody moving. You don’t need any video game skills or experience whatsoever to play. All you need to know is how to move to the rhythm—or make your best effort!

The Just Dance franchise has always been a staple party game for just about any occasion. Blending the biggest artists and music tracks of the year with clever gameplay that anyone can understand, this is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping and the laughs going as well. Everyone from kids to grandparents can have a blast moving to the beat.

Get Just Dance 2020 for PlayStation 4
Buy Just Dance 2020 for Xbox One
Get Just Dance 2020 for Nintendo Switch

Family-friendly video gamesMario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Genre: Sports
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Two iconic video game mascots collide in a sports game sure to bring out the friendly competition in your house this holiday season. This might be the prefect title to spark a little rivalry this year—but with Mario and Sonic the name of the game is fun.

Players can participate in a multitude of events including boxing, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming just to name a few. These mini-game style bouts are designed for quick action without complicated controls, so everyone should be able to enjoy and feel the competitive spirit.

Get Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for Nintendo Switch

Family-friendly video games

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

The hapless brother in green just can’t catch a break. Once again Luigi takes centre stage to bust some ghosts and rescue his friends. This gorgeous and addictive game is one of our best-reviewed titles of 2019!

When it comes to multiplayer action, Luigi has the whole family covered. Up to eight players can compete in the co-operative “ScareScraper” or competitive “ScreamPark” modes. Either way Luigi’s Mansion 3 spells multiplayer fun for everyone in your household.

Of course you can join forces with your favourite gaming partner in the main campaign as well, with player two taking control of Luigi’s ectoplasmic counterpart “Gooigi”.

Get Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch

Family-friendly video gamesLEGO Marvel Collection

Platform: Xbox OnePlayStation 4
Reviewed on: Xbox One X
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Our final pick brings together two franchises that are used to uniting household opinions—LEGO and Marvel. The LEGO video game franchise has a long history of bringing together parents and children in their first co-operative playing experience. And with all your favourite Marvel superheroes on hand, the fun is nearly limitless.

The LEGO Marvel Collection is an incredible value, bringing together 3 entire standalone games in one tidy package. If you’re looking for a game to last well through the holiday season and beyond, you can’t go wrong with the amount of content all in one place with this robust offering.

Buy LEGO Marvel Collection for Xbox One
Get LEGO Marvel Collection Digital Download for Xbox One
Buy LEGO Marvel Collection for PlayStation 4

Top 5 games that you can play with the whole family

There you have it. With family-friendly video games like these you’ll be sure to bring everyone together for laughter and fun over the holidays. They not only make great gifts, but they also help create the holiday memories that will last for years to come!

Which family-friendly video games are among your favourite to enjoy with friends and family? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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Dave is an avid gamer, a musician/songwriter/recording artist, and an ardent reader with a degree in the Classics but a love for comics too. When he's not gigging with the band or pulling books at his local comic shop, he can usually be found gaming on any platform, from consoles to PC to his self-built personal arcade cabinet.


  1. It’s great that most of these titles are on the Switch, it’s a great family-friendly system! I really want to play New Super Lucky’s Tale and Luigi’s Mansion 3. They look like they would be great in a family-friendly environment! The Lego games and Just Dance aren’t really for me, but I can see that they also have a great audience!

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