10 Best PS4 Video Games for Kids
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of modern video games. Genres such as the first person shooter, high fantasy JRPG and online MMOs continue to gain popularity, leaving video games for kids in somewhat of a niche.
To help parents decide which PS4 video games are best for their kids, or which games can be played with as a family, IGCritic has put together a list of what we consider the 10 best video games for kids available on PlayStation 4 in 2016.
Let’s start off with one of the most charming and creative entries on this kids video games list. LittleBigPlanet 3 successfully innovates on the addictive create and share formula successfully established within Media Molecule’s first two games to deliver the ultimate in side-scrolling platforming. Although it might appear daunting at first to dive in and create your own levels, on show here is a near-unlimited supply of well-built levels, provided by a dedicated and talented community of Little Big Planet players.
The game’s story mode may be short, but is both sweet and whimsical largely thanks to the stellar voice work of Stephen Fry and High Laurie. With many additional loveable characters such as Swoop and Toggle this time in the mix, an enjoyable time will always be had in this highly entertaining and child friendly PS4 video game.
Just when we thought that our favourite purple dragon had fallen off of the face of the earth, Spyro returns with a bucket load of friends in the form of Skylanders, a Diablo-like dungeon crawler that sees players protect the Skylands. The first in the increasingly popular toys-2-life genre, Skylanders reinvented the way kids play video games, setting in place a creature collection addiction the industry hadn’t seen since Pokémon.
With plenty of worlds to explore and plenty of creatures to collect, it’ll be easy for kids to get caught in the Skylanders mindset, now being able to customise, trap and even create their own characters.
Allowing anyone to dive in with their favourite Disney franchises which in recent years had spread further to include Star Wars and Marvel (you might have heard of them), Disney Infinity 3.0 makes for a great platform in which to play. Coming complete with a plethora of story and add-on packs, a sand box toy box mode in which you can create your own world and a gigantic character roster.
With the recent reports that Disney Infinity will no longer be supported, don’t let that prevent you from diving into one of the best toys-2-life PlayStation 4 game options around, and at the lowest price out of the three major players, it is still one of the best kids video games available.
Hohokum is without doubt somewhat of a special game, even more so when you consider that it’s not for everyone. Allowing players to control a multicoloured serpent character gliding through various inventive worlds, the video game doesn’t task the player with doing anything per say, instead leaving it up to your imagination to relax and discover more.
It’s impossible to talk about this kids game without mentioning it’s soothing yet diverse soundtrack, constantly propelling you forward as young gamers will find that the lines are blurred between the game and interactive experience.
Insert LEGO game here
Well, they had to appear on this list somewhere, and rather than fill this list with 90% LEGO games we’d thought it best to clump them into one solid entry. Of course, the LEGO video game title you choose will be largely dependent on your affiliation to the franchises available, but no matter which Lego title you pick up you can always expect an enjoyable co-op smash and build adventure. In some instances, picking up the LEGO equivalent of Jurassic World might even serve as a great entry point to the IP.
Of course, for those feeling particularly generous, TT Games’ wildly successful toys-2-life version LEGO Dimensions is always on offer. Providing a well thought-out and deep story campaign that is sure to have something for kids as well as older audiences and a great PS4 family game, LEGO Dimensions may be a concise way to grab a taste of most LEGO licences providing you have the budget.
Originally an exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld, Tearaway Unfolded continues Media Molecule’s flair for creativity to use the PS4’s touch controller that will have kids tapping, drawing and shaking in a way no other video game will have them doing. Not only is Tearway Unfolded’s story charming with a sense of adventure, but it’s full of memorable characters that never fail to make players chuckle or smile as you make your way through creative environments fully realised in paper.
Despite not presenting much in terms of co-operative play or replay ability, Tearaway Unfolded is a show stopping visual treat sure to spark the imagination of any young PS4 gamer.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Acting as somewhat of a “Silly simulator”, Octadad: Dadliest Catch is an oddly novel experience that isn’t so much of a video game as it is a series of hysterical scenarios, tasking players to step into the life of an octopus pretending to be a human. What makes it one of the best PS4 games for kids to play is that it can quite easily result in utter chaos, turning even the most mundane of tasks into an enjoyable thrill.
When combined with the unique one controller co-op feature that see’s one player control Octodad’s left side and the other control the right, it sparks a unique back and forth between both players that requires clear communication and cooperation. It’s only brief, so it’s perfect even for those with a short attention span and the humour never outstays it’s welcome.
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Providing a unique and family friendly spin on the modern online first person shooter, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is the brainchild of Popcap entertainment and their successful attempt to provide a safe environment in which kids can play online. Taking the Plants Vs Zombies franchise everyone loves and providing a deep, but not too complex upgrade system that will have young ones dominating the battlefield (pardon the pun).
This sequel successfully iterates on the first Plants Vs Zombies game roster of fun characters, letting players play as either a plant or cartoony zombie as they attempt to destroy the opposing team. What’s on offer here may even surprise older audiences, being a game with tight shooting mechanics, oozing charm and a game that provides a different type of aesthetic for those tired of gritty shooters. Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is also a great addition if you have more than one child at home as it was also one of our best couch co-op games to play.
The second entry in an underappreciated franchise, Rayman Legends is much more artistic and creative than its dull title would have you believe. Capable of accommodating up to four players simultaneously, the child friendly PS4 game is good old fashion 2D platforming plain and simple set against a beautiful backdrop of paint-like settings that are just gorgeous to look at.
You’ll play over 120 legends in which the soundtrack will move along with you, introducing more and more gameplay ideas that ranges from simple running and punching to boss chasing and puzzle jumping. There’s not much story on show here, but its whacky and vibrant tone more than makes up for it. A treat for younger gamers.
Minecraft takes our top spot as the best PS4 video game for kids, and rightly so. What can we say that hasn’t already been said about this phenomenon of a game? Minecraft isn’t just a game, but a platform in which kids can let their imagination run wild and create whatever they can think of in low-res block form. It’s highly likely that any young gamer you ask is already schooled up on Minecraft, now being available on almost every platform known to man.
The fact is that wherever you choose to play Minecraft, it has to be experienced to be fully understood. There are plenty of exciting worlds and lands to discover if you don’t fancy yourself as an expert builder, and jumping in with a friend to essentially play LEGO never gets old.
Disclaimer: please be sure to refer to the Entertainment Software Rating Board for advised age ratings.