It’s tough to choose appropriate video games for kids! There are so many options and not nearly enough time; you can hardly play every game for your child in advance to tell if it’s okay.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Computer gaming offers the widest range of available games, and we’re here to tell you about a few of the ones that will be fun for the kids in your life.
Video Games For Kids Age 2-4+
Dorfromantik is an adorable puzzle game that tasks you with building up a little valley all by yourself. There are very few mechanics to master – you just turn the tile and click to place it!
The game has lots of modes for whatever the player feels like doing, but the basic settings will provide a little challenge while still being engaging enough to keep a child’s attention.
Are we even allowed to talk about computer games for kids without bringing up Minecraft? What began as a friendly, cozy, slightly challenging indie game has exploded into a billion-dollar franchise recognized all over the world!
We must admit that the popularity is justified. If you’re interested in introducing a child to video games, you can’t go wrong by starting with Minecraft, a survival adventure game that tasks you with doing anything you want in an open-world sandbox.
Video Games For Kids Age 5-7+
Kerbal Space Program
The Kerbal Space Program asks you to help a little alien species (the Kerbals) build their spaceship! The realistic physics engine determines whether or not you get off the ground.
Like some of the others on this list, there are a few different modes for the game to tailor it to anyone. If the kid in your life isn’t a fan of the basic story mode, you can always use the creative-style mode and just build the coolest rockets you can!
Are you shopping for a kid who likes a challenge? If so, you’re bound to hit the jackpot with the Overcooked! games. They place the player in the role of a chef in a very chaotic and popular kitchen, trying to fulfill all of their orders. (Don’t ask us why anyone wants to buy a burger off the back of a moving truck.)
The games can be played solo or cooperatively – totally up to you whether you want to hear all the screaming that will ensue when anyone is playing together. Either way, you’re sure to have a blast!
Video Games For Kids Age 8-9+
Don’t be deceived by the numeral in the name; you don’t need to have played Portal to enjoy Portal 2. Like its predecessor, this is a puzzle game where you use a special gun to fire Portals that transport you across vast distances in the blink of an eye.
While you’re solving these mind-pending test chambers, you’ll also need to put up with the robot who oversees everything, GLaDOS. Her dry sense of humor (alongside a few other characters’ who are introduced in this game) is part of the reason Portal 2 is so beloved.
Sea Of Thieves
Lots of kids long to be pirates one day. Thanks to Sea of Thieves, they can really live out their dreams! This Xbox exclusive is something you won’t ever want to put down, once you get a taste of the open sea and your own ship under your feet.
You’ll do all the best pirate things: raid ancient fortresses for loot, fight skeletons, collect bounties, and even raid other pirates’ ships! After all, other people can play in the same game as you, so you’ll need to be wary about where you sail.
Stardew Valley is a simulator game that puts you in the role of a farmer who has just moved to a small village and away from the big city. Your time is spent clearing your farm, growing plants, getting to know the locals, delving into the nearby abandoned mines, and much more.
This game may seem boring on the surface, but we promise that there’s more to it than meets the eye. Something about the monotony of harvesting and planting new crops, fishing for the seasonal catch, and having a chat with your friends every day is really refreshing.
Video Games For Kids Age 10-12+
Stellaris is a management game, meaning it’s a love-it-or-hate-it experience. People who love it, though, just can’t get enough. Basically, imagine if the Civilization games had you managing an entire cluster of star systems in the galaxy, not just one measly government on Earth.
Whether you make friends with the other galactic empires or conquer them is up to you, but it’s all building up to one thing: the end-game crisis. How well you handle it will depend on how formidable, dangerous, and defendable you’ve made your empire.
Our Life: Beginnings & Always
Our Life: Beginnings & Always is a visual novel game. That means that the player just chooses dialogue options as the story goes on in front of them. You’re put in the role of a local from the town of Sunset Bird, having just met the boy who moved in down the street: Cove.
As you and Cove grow up together, you’ll be faced with all the trials and tribulations of life. Cove can become a childhood crush, a lifelong partner, an old best friend, or simply an acquaintance, all depending on your choices. The way Cove grows up – along with other characters in the story – will depend on you, too.
Psychonauts is a cult classic game that first came out for the original Xbox. With a version easily available on PC, though, and a second game finally released, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be introducing it to the next generations.
Psychonauts is about a young boy named Raz who runs away from his family circus to attend a training camp for child psychics. Hijinks ensue when he figures out that the other children seem to be losing their minds… literally!
NEXT: The Best Accessories For PC