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18/01/2024

The 10 Best Video Games To Play With Your Kids πŸ’™ πŸ•Ή️ @CommonSense

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As a gamer of many years, playing video games with my children has been a constant soure of joy and I thought it would be great to cobble together some recommendations based on what works for us as a family of gamers with children aged between 8 and 11.

Hopefully this is useful...let us begin.
1. Minecraft 
Building your own town in survival mode with your kids is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in video games. Everyone has a job to do and watching it come together is truly special. Off the back of the building comes the associated stories from exploring together or exploring solo whilst the remainder of your crew build the town and put the resources to their best use. Truly a remarkable game which is enhanced greatly when played with your own kids.
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local co op (4 player split screen)
Common Sense Media Link:

2. Moving Out
So much fun to fling furniture into the back of your van working alongside your kids as you try and ensure teamwork wins the day. One person can't move a couch or a refrigerator so there needs to be coordination between everyone to try and move all the furniture out within that time limit. We play on the switch and it has been a go to game for the last 2 years in our house. The other benefit to playing this game is that it doesn't matter too much if you fail as you will still have had fun smashing windows, unlocking side achievements and generally rummaging through the house!
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local co op
Common Sense Media Link:

3. Overcooked
Despite causing the family to shout at each other whilst we all try to understand the sequence of events that need to take place in the kitchen there is nothing more satisfying than when on the 6th attempt at clearing a level your plan comes together and those burgers and fries are served up with a 3 star rating. One of the most proud parent moments for me was when our youngest got up between runs to give us all a team talk and explained exactly how we could work together to beat the level and then 3 minutes later we were all high fiving as we earned enough stars to unlock the next level. This is our family game that we always seem to come back to and we are yet to complete too!
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local co op
Common Sense Media Link:

4. Mario Golf - Super Rush
I've always loved golf games since I was young un and I was very excited when the latest instalment of the Mario Golf games came to Switch. The great thing about playing this with kids is the control method is super simple and something they will pick up immediately. You also don't need to worry about the rules of golf or which clubs to choose so your interventions to assist will be minimal for kids who are used to playing video games.
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local Multiplayer
Common Sense Media Link:

5. Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
I picked this up this classic Ubisoft platformer in a Nintendo eShop sale recently for about £3 and oh my word it's so worth the money and then some. The endless modes and levels to tackle as a cop platformer experience are pitched perfectly at teh youg gamer who enjoys fun colourful frantic fun and the game is forgiving enough that no one will get left behind when taking on a new level or game mode. 
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local Multiplayer
Common Sense Media Link:

6.Heave Ho
Another impulse buy from the eShop during a sale and from memory the game pocket money prices when I purchased it. You'll get to work together as long armed oddshaped beings that have to help each other across various landscapes by gripping onto the world or each other in order to achieve success. Chaos ensues and laughter is guaranteed as 'get to grips' with the game. This is a guaranteed hit with everyone and also has some cool competitive modes thrown in for good measure.
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4 local Multiplayer
Common Sense Media Link:
N/A

7. Among Us
During COVID lockdown this was a staple in our household as we all took part across various devices. It's an easy game to get involved with that you can potter about in and do the jobs assigned or you can try and put some grey matter into solving who the traitor is. It's fun and great for households where everyone owns a device. Our set up at one point was a Nintendo Switch, an iPhone, a PC and an iPad with us all in different rooms of the house so that we didn't give ourselves away. Needless to say
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch, iPhone, iPad, PC, Steam Deck
Players: 
1-10
Common Sense Media Link:

8. Tools Up
Another take on the Overcooked / Moving Out template except this time you are a crew of builders/ decorators with jobs to do and tasks to fulfil. More hilarity and frustration ensues but everything is always done with a smile which makes it a great family co op game for everyone.
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4
Common Sense Media Link:
N/A

9. Mario Kart 8
Obviously a compulsory purchase when you buy a Nintendo Switch and a game that has had endless updates to it since it arrived on the Switch. Playing this with your kids is pure fun and really does enable anyone to play with stacks of accessibility features to ensure everyone has a good time. The best multiplayer mode for me has to be Balloon Battle as it takes me back to the days of the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES when me and my mates would play Battle  Mode for hours on end against each other and created a league system which was based on balloon difference and points for winning. Good Times Are Guaranteed!
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1-4
Common Sense Media Link:

10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Another game that takes me back to the uncertain times of COVID and National Lockdowns. Animal Crossing was a beacon of light for us all as we as a family all took our turn on the Switch to tend to our houses in the game as we shared our island together. Looking back on it now it was lightning in a bottle and something that was as much of a vibe from the era than it was anything else. We all managed to side-track our thoughts on the scary real world whilst we escaped to our Tropical Island on the Switch and got hips deep into Turnip Trading and filling our museum full of fish. I built an arcade room in my house and my wife managed to build a basement that would have the likes of interior designers swooning! The kids adored their time with the game  as we all shared stories and asked for favours. The most amazing things happened in game on that island as we would all leave presents for each other each day to bring a mile to our faces. We haven't played in a while but one day we'll go back to the island.
System Played On:
Nintendo Switch
Players: 
1 (2 in a weird co op type mode but essentially one player at a time as you take turns to do your jobs each day)
Common Sense Media Link:

Honourable Mentions:
Rocket League - we played this on the Nintendo Switch and it was mega fun but maybe I had more fun than my kids as i went onto keep playing after everyone else had given up!
Smash Boats (Nintendo Switch
Boats in a bathtub fighting each other is good fun and with 4 players it's even better. Good for the young-uns under 5 too as it's pretty simple to control.
Super Mario Maker 2
I bought this a few years back after never having played the original and I loved it. My kids were maybe a little young at the time to fully appreciate the fun to be had in building the courses but they did used to love trying out my courses that I'd built for them.
Roblox
I have a love hate relationship with this video game / platform - I think it's pretty cool it exists and would have loved this when I was a kid but the constant push on Robux micro transactions is a warning sign for parents that needs to be carefully managed with your children as the urge to request Robux can be a bit too much. We did however have some fun games with all of us occupying a cool game world such as Bloxburg and the like. Maybe one to test by yourself and make a judgement call if you feel comfortable with letting your kids loose in Roblox.
FIFA 24
I used to be the guy that only played Pro Evolution Soccer right up until around 2006 when I realised that my PS2 had become a PES machine and i'd never played any other the other cool games since around 2001! This year however, my daughter wanted to get FIFA for Christmas so I looked into this years instalment on Switch and was pleased to see it had reviewed as the best instalment of FIFA on the Switch since the Switch had existed. A good time to get in i thought. Since Christmas Day we have begun a multiplayer season with Tottenham Hotspur and have slowly been ramping the difficulty up to Professional as we attempt to win the league as a co op team of players. This has proven to be an absolute blast so far and long may it continue. I only put it in as an honourable mention as I have only just really begun to play but rest assured I think it will make it's way onto the main list by February this year. (p.s beware the micro transactions)
Super Mario Bros Wonder
This was my Christmas present and oh my word this game is amazing in single player mode. Multiplayer mode on the other hand doesn't feel like it flows as it should so I am going to say that this is a good game to play with your kids as a team effort to try and clear the levels by taking it in turns (aka hotseat) rather than having 2 or more characters on screen at the same time (aka carnage)

That is our list for now but we'll be looking to add to this as we discover new gems for family game time over the months and years.

Hopefully this was helpful, let us know if YOU have any suggestions for us to try out in the meantime.

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