The Xbox has an extensive library of games that can satisfy gamers of all ages. These include AAA blockbuster adventures or charming little indie darlings that can teach us meaningful life lessons. And if a child somehow comes across a violent title without your notice, you can use the Xbox’s parental controls to protect your kid. However, since there are so many video games to choose from it can be difficult as a parent to determine which game is right for your kid. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
We have rounded up all the best Xbox games you can buy for kids of any age in 2021. While most of our picks cater to younger children, we have included some titles for the older kids. These are family-friendly joyrides that prove that video games can be made for everyone. Without further ado, here are the best kids games for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and xCloud.
Source: Windows Central
Who would’ve thought this humble, charming game about building blocks by Mojang Games would become one of the biggest video game franchises on the planet? Minecraft is a 3D survival game where you can do whatever you want, thanks to this game’s procedurally generated maps.
You can craft weapons and armor to fight your way through the Nether and slay the Nether Dragon in survival mode. Or you can kick back and relax in passive creative mode to build whatever your mind can conjure up. Towns, castles, mountains, monuments, you name it, you can create it. The sky is the literal limit.
- In-depth crafting system
- Huge, charming world to explore
- Memorable monsters to fight
- Cross-platform and multiplayer support
- Steep learning curve for beginners
Minecraft leans heavily on exploration, team play, cooperation, and Lego-like creativity. Kids will find the emergent gameplay exciting, resulting from the game’s procedurally generated maps. If survival mode is too stressful, Minecraft also has a passive creative mode to let your imagination really come to life and an educational mode that teaches chemistry!
2. Minecraft Dungeons
Source: Windows Central
Minecraft Dungeons is an unexpected, action RPG take on the Minecraft universe. Shifting the focus from peaceful crafting and building to dungeon crawling for powerful loot and stopping the evil Arch-Illager from conquering the world.
While Minecraft Dungeons takes inspiration from popular dungeon crawlers like Diablo, it manages to stand on its own merits with great presentation, polished combat, and a character development system that will keep you and your kids busy for hours.
- Endlessly satisfying, polished combat
- Great performance and optimization
- Tons of possible gear combinations
- Great art and music
- Great price
- Some minor bugs in the PC client, with disconnects and memory drain
- Barebones story treatment is a missed opportunity
Minecraft is a legendary franchise loved by millions worldwide, and it’s already begun spawning off other titles ideal for family play. Minecraft Dungeons takes the popular building sim and condenses the experience into 1-4 player action combat scenarios, with scaling difficulty for everybody from the youngest to more skilled older teens. From the end of October, Minecraft Dungeons will also feature crossplay between Xbox and Nintendo Switch!
3. Kingdom Hearts III
Source: Square Enix
The Kingdom Hearts series is a wild and epic crossover that combines the worlds of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series with that Disney’s most popular movie franchises. These games have you assume the role of Sora, a young boy that has been gifted with a magical weapon called the Keyblade. With this weapon and aid from Donald and Goofy, Sora travels to each of the Disney Worlds and defends them from the wrath of evil creatures known as the Heartless.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is the epic conclusion to a storyline that has been in the making for over a decade across the entire franchise. The Kingdom Hearts’ series staple hack-and-slash gameplay has refined and improved to extraordinary levels — allowing players to pull off attacks that are a grand spectacle to behold. Complimented with an extensive roster of Heartless monsters and classic Disney villains to fight.
If you and your kid are Disney fans, you will love the representation of the Disney worlds on display, from classic worlds such as Hercules, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Toy Story to modern Disney favorites like Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Frozen. Each world is so well designed and faithful to the source material — it makes you feel that you jumped into your TV screen and became part of your favorite Disney movies.
- Streamlined combat that is easy to learn for beginners
- Lots of Disney and Final Fantasy references
- Excellent music and vibrant visuals
- The plot can be confusing to follow, especially if you haven’t played the previous games
- Cutscenes can drag on for a bit too long
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III is an epic brand mashup from Disney and Square Enix, combining the worlds of Final Fantasy and some of Disney’s biggest franchises. Teaming up with Donald Duck and Goofy, Sora battles across various Disney worlds, meeting some of the company’s most famous characters.
4. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Spyro the Dragon was a series of 3D platformers that debuted back on the original PlayStation. They were fun adventures filled with memorable characters, brain-teasing puzzles, and vibrant, magical locales that were a delight to explore.
Many years later, a new generation would get to experience Spyro’s adventures with a fresh new coat of scales in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. This collection contains the original PlayStation trilogy of Spyro games: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon. But all three games have now received visual HD upgrades, re-recorded voicework, and a redone soundtrack.
The gameplay, however, was left unchanged because it still holds up even after 20 years. If you’re an old fan looking for a nostalgia trip back to the 1990s, or you want a light-hearted romp to introduce your kids to the platforming genre, look no further than the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
- Beautiful art design
- Tight platforming gameplay
- Fun story
- A huge variety of unique levels
- Occasional camera issues
- Questionable Xbox One X support
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy remasters classic platforming games featuring the eponymous purple dragon, with attitude. Spyro games are full of light-hearted, memorable characters, fun platforming missions, and simple puzzles, and this pack comprises three games, which should hold a youngster’s (and frankly, an adult’s) attention for quite some time.
5. Sonic Mania Plus
There was a time when the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was the hottest series of platformers on the market. The original trilogy of SEGA Genesis Sonic games was so polished and well received that they rivaled the Super Mario Brothers during the height of the ’90s console wars between Nintendo and SEGA. But ever since the Sonic series made the transition to 3D, the quality and focus of the games have radically fluctuated with each new entry.
Fans of the older games had wanted a return to 2D for the blue speed demon because they believe that’s when Sonic was at his best. They would get their wish with Sonic Mania, a Sonic the Hedgehog game that feels like a long-lost sequel to the classic SEGA Genesis Sonic games.
It features everything that made the classic Sonic games great. A gorgeous art style that mimics the 16-bit graphics of the Genesis era. Tons of well-designed and creative levels to blaze a trail through. And challenging boss fights that will surprise even veteran Sonic fans. Not only is this game great for Sonic fans, but it’s also great for kids too. Not to mention this game has a co-op mode where you and your kid can join forces to defeat the evil Dr. Eggman.
- A true return to form for Sonic
- Excellent and creative levels to race through
- Beautiful graphics that mimic the original 16-bit games
- The bonus stages can be tough for younger kids
- Many gameplay features would benefit from an in-depth tutorial for new players
6. Stardew Valley
If you’re looking for a title that will teach your older kids the values of hard work and resource management while also being fun, give Stardew Valley a try. Stardew Valley is a farming simulator where you play as a farmer who has inherited a farm from your grandfather. It is up to you to restore the farm to its former glory and help the nearby community of Stardew Valley prosper.
This is a laidback and relaxing game where you can cultivate crops, raise cute farm animals, and explore caves filled with treasure and monsters to slay. You can also interact with the nearby town’s locals and help out by selling your crops or doing them a favor. The best part is this game has cooperative multiplayer, so you can help your kid create the best farm in the land.
- Open-ended gameplay
- Detailed pixel art
- Tangible goals
- Relationship options
- Lack of NPC diversity
- Short days
One game that parents and older relatives should look into for older children is Stardew Valley. Stardew Valley is an easy-going RPG with simulation elements. To escape the monotony of his 9-to-5 office life, the main character takes over his grandfather’s derelict farm to reconnect with nature and a sense of community.
7. New Super Lucky’s Tale
Source: Playful. Corp
New Super Lucky’s Tale is an indie platformer that follows the adventures of Lucky Swiftail. He is an optimistic fox who is on a journey to help his sister Lyra retrieve the Book of Ages from the evil cat wizard, Jinx. If Jinx isn’t stopped, he will use the power of the Book of Ages to reshape the world to his liking.
It is a fun and jovial platformer where you will hop and dig your way through colorful and wacky worlds within the Book of Ages. This journey is jam-packed with addictive gameplay, funny characters, delightful visuals, and hidden collectibles that will keep your kids busy for hours on end.
- Gorgeous visuals
- Addictive gameplay
- Collectibles and secrets that offer lots of replay value
- Relationship options
- Relatively short length
8. Slime Rancher
Source: Monomi Park
Ever wanted to raise a farm of adorable slimes? Have your kids try out the light-hearted, sci-fi, farming simulator, Slime Rancher. In this game, you play as Beatrix LeBeau, a young rancher who ventures off into space to start her own farm on the “Far, Far Range.” With her trusty vacpac, you will help Beatrix explore wild, untamed lands and gather resources to build your ranch where you will raise your slimes.
Slime Rancher is an incredibly adorable farming simulator that will teach your kid resource management skills while putting a big smile on their face. With Slime Rancher 2 on the horizon, now is the perfect time to jump in and learn what it takes to be a Slime Rancher.
- Dozens of hours of content
- Relaxing and fun simulation experience
- Rewarding exploration
- Cute slimes
- Lacks decent “endgame” content
- Unengaging story
Slime Rancher is a super cute farming simulation game with an edge of sci-fi fun. In Slime Rancher, your job is to cultivate a slime farm in outer space. You grow specific foods to meet the needs of specific slimes, explore large alien sandboxes, discover new cute slimes to wrangle back to your customizable farm, all while trying to turn a profit. Slime Rancher is a fun and light game for players of all ages.
9. Unravel Two
Unravel Two is a whimsical and heart-warming platformer where you play as living creatures made of string called Yarnys. On this adventure, you have been separated from your owner after a terrible storm. With the help of another Yarny, you two will work together to solve puzzles and traverse precarious obstacles to find your way back home.
While this game has a strong single-player campaign, Unravel Two is best experienced playing with your kid in its split-screen co-op mode. In this mode, you and your kid can experience the engaging gameplay and a stunning presentation of this larger-than-life world together.
- Strong gameplay
- Amazing level design
- Excellent presentation
- Bizarre lack of online co-op
- The story feels really short
Unravel Two tells the heart-warming tale of Yarny, a creature made entirely of string. In this adventure, you must guide multiple Yarny characters on a quest through dangerous lands. Using your string-bound body as a tool, Yarny can swing from trees, pull objects and even hitch a ride on the wind in this completely non-violent game, in singleplayer or two-player local co-op.
What are the best games for my kids?
What’s great about the Xbox’s huge library of games is that many of the most popular games are non-violent and appropriate for children. Not to mention many of the best games on Xbox are available at cheap prices on Xbox Game Pass. So if you have a subscription, you can take advantage of the best deals on Xbox Game Pass for your kid’s gaming experience.
Take Minecraft for instance. Minecraft has been one of the best games to introduce your kids to gaming for over a decade. It is a charming and fun sandbox game where you can build anything your heart desires. The levels of creativity this game’s building system provides is on par with that of Lego. The cherry on top of this blocky cake is that this game has online multiplayer and cross-platform support across all Microsoft platforms. This means that you can play Minecraft together with your kids anytime and anywhere.
If your kid likes Minecraft but prefers fighting instead of crafting, I would also recommend Minecraft Dungeons. This spinoff title has all the charm and creativity of traditional Minecraft, except now you get to fight hordes of enemies and creepers with magical powers and weapons. This game also features cross-platform support and multiplayer (both local and online), so you can save the world from the evil Illager together with your kids. Plus, if it gets too challenging for your child, you can adjust the difficulty setting to their liking until they’re ready to take on bigger challenges.
We will update this list with more games as time passes. So keep this page bookmarked to stay up to date with the best Xbox games for kids.
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