Just like the Wu-Tang Clan, there are plenty of games available on the Xbox One that are “for the children”, as ODB famously said. And yes, some of those games aren’t Fortnite, as shocking as that might be to believe right now, though this isn’t a tips article on how to get your child to stop playing free-to-play battle royale games, or how to stop them maxing out your credit card with microtransactions without your permission. You’re on your own there.
The fact is, there’s plenty of games that are suitable for children available on the Xbox One, and pretty much all of them support local multiplayer too, allowing to enjoy spending some quality time with your kids without worrying about 99 other players and a closing circle. With that in mind, here’s 15 of the best Xbox One games for kids (that aren’t Fortnite).
The Best Xbox One Games For Kids
1. All The LEGO Games
Developer: TT Games Publisher: TT Games
We ended our Xbox One Co-Op games list with all of the LEGO games, so why not start there? TT Games seems to have their fingers in every single pie imaginable, as there are LEGO games based on so many different games. If your child is a fan of anything, there’s a good chance there’s a LEGO game about it, even if it’s just the tie-ins to the films.
Factoring in backwards compatibility and re-releases, there are LEGO games about Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, The Incredibles, Marvel, DC, Jurassic World and Indiana Jones. If your children are more creatively inclined, LEGO Worlds allows players to let their imaginations run wild. Essentially, there’s an article’s worth of games you could pick from here, and we’ve only just started.
2. Overcooked/Overcooked 2
Developer: Ghost Town Games Publisher: Team17
If you ever wanted to teach your children the value of teamwork and cooperation, Overcooked and Overcooked 2 are the games for you. Just be warned that you might pay the ultimate price in trying to teach your children that lesson, and they might even learn a few bits of colourful language in the process.
Up to four players take control of different chefs as they work to create specific meals in order to please a growing list of diners. While the game starts out simple enough (well, aside from the apocalyptic flash forward in the first game), players have to contend with environmental hazards and constant miscommunication that’ll push any close-knit group to their limits.
3. Super Lucky’s Tale
Developer: Playful Corp. Publisher: Microsoft
A throwback in perhaps the best way possible, Super Lucky’s Tale is a classic 3D platformer in a similar vein to those of the N64/PS1 era. Think of it as a blend between the likes of Banjo-Kazooie and Crash Bandicoot; mostly linear platforming levels but with plenty of collectibles to find.
You play as Lucky, a cute little fox that must stop the nefarious Jinx from stealing the ancient Book of Ages. It’s a simple premise that’s ideal for children, and while the game does get progressively more difficult, it’s nothing that a young’un couldn’t handle. If you’re looking for an old school platformer, and don’t want to subject your kids to the horrors of Crash’s The High Road level, Super Lucky’s Tale is a good pick.
Developer: Mojang, 4J Studios Publisher: Mojang, Microsoft
What is there to say about Minecraft that hasn’t been said already? The worldwide phenomenon has probably already been installed on every available platform in your house already, and rightly so. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than spending a relaxing afternoon mining resources to build your giant volcano fortress.
Playable both online and via local splitscreen, Minecraft again allows the more creative minds to build their wildest fantasies, both in survival and creative mode, while the adventurous can explore and see everything that the world has to offer. With regular updates still being developed, there’s always reasons to come back to Minecraft.
5. Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure
Developer: Asobo Studio Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Disney and Pixar fans should be pleased with the next two entries, once you’re done playing LEGO The Incredibles anyway. First off, Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure, which is ideal for the five people left who actually own the Xbox Kinect. You know you are, and you finally have a reason to dust it off now, you lucky devils.
Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure compiles the worlds of Cars, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Finding Dory, Up and Ratatouille, offering a variety of platforming, racing and puzzle levels that’ll keep the wee ones entertained. It’ll even give them some exercise if you’ve got that Kinect lying around. Seriously, what else are you using it for?
6. Disneyland Adventures
Developer: Frontier Developments Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Look, another Kinect supported title. Two in one article, who would have thought? Seems like we’re supporting the peripheral more than Microsoft is at this point. Anyway, Disneyland Adventures features a recreation of the famous Disneyland resort in California, though with a few omissions. No Star Wars content here, unfortunately. This is just classic Disney.
Players can explore Disneyland, interact with a variety of characters and fellow park attendees, find secrets and take on plenty of minigames. With support for 2 player co-op, Disneyland Adventures is the perfect way to trick your children like the evil mastermind that you are. “C’mon kids, we’re going to Disneyland!”, you say, as you corral your tykes in front of the TV.
This one might come with a bit of a caveat: Rocket League is a perfect game to play with your children, just be careful if you decide to play it online. The unholy fusion between football and cars that works in such a way that makes you wonder how it hasn’t been done before, Rocket League will satiate your child’s more competitive side.
With support for 4 players locally, Rocket League has enough replayability to remain a key fixture in any family game night, and Psyonix are still offering new modes and updates to all players. You can even take the game online with split screen support, but make sure to mute the voice chat and in-game chat. Things can get a little bit toxic.
8. Hasbro Family Fun Pack
Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit have been mainstays as the go-to choice for game nights for years now, and it’s easy to see why. Personally, me and my family were always partial to a game of Frustration, or Trouble as it’s known in America, but considering we don’t have digital versions of that game, we’ll have to make do.
Trivial Pursuit is the quiz show that doesn’t require you to apply to be on TV, and the digital version gives a new interactive element that refines the classic formula. Risk will let you live out your megalomaniacal fantasies, while Scrabble/Boggle (depending on UK or US release) will give anagram enthusiasts their fix. Meanwhile, Monopoly Plus allows you to instill the life lessons of Monopoly that life isn’t fair and you will probably lose all of your money without the threat of one of the kids flipping the table when they don’t win.
They’ll just put their controller through the TV instead.
9. Infinite Minigolf
Developer: Zen Studios Publisher: Zen Studios
Minigolf is a brilliant family activity, particularly if you’re on holiday I’ve found. There’s plenty of childhood memories of my Dad flexing on me and Mum during a trip around the course. Yeah, we get it Dad, you played actual golf. Infinite Minigolf is the closest you can come to replicating those memories without shelling out for a family holiday to Gran Canaria.
On the surface, Infinite Minigolf appears to be just a run of the mill minigolf title, but the “Infinite” in its name isn’t just there for show. Players can create their own holes with a range of obstacles and hazards to navigate before sharing them online for others to player, allowing for potentially limitless replayability.
Developer: Frontier Developments, Asobo Studio Publisher: Microsoft Studios
You might have noticed a certain theme that some children’s video games allow your children to experience things that might be logistically impractical for some. Not everyone lives near a minigolf course, not everyone can afford a trip to Disneyland, and not everyone can do a Matt Damon and say “We Bought A Zoo”. But you can build one in Zoo Tycoon.
While the more dense managerial aspects of the game might fly over the heads of most kids, Zoo Tycoon allows players to learn and interact with a wide range of wild animals, and the freeform mode lets kids build the zoo of their dreams with no consequence. There’s even Kinect functionality, which you may as well make the most of considering you dug it out for those Disney games.
11. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Developer: PopCap Games Publisher: EA
All of the games on this list have that hidden danger that you’ll recommend them to your kids, only for you to end up playing them yourself more than they do. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is possibly the most surprising instance of that, as it’s an underrated banger of a title, offering a bit of something for everyone.
Taking the Plants vs Zombies series into the world of class-based third person shooters, Garden Warfare 2 improves upon the first game with a bunch of new features. The Backyard Battleground hub world is filled with quests and hidden collectibles to find, while the mix of co-op and competitive modes ensure that all your gaming needs are met.
12. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Developer: Sumo Digital Publisher: SEGA
Nintendo and Xbox’s relationship has become pretty cosy as of late, with previous Microsoft exclusive Cuphead now making its way to the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, we doubt that their sudden romance will lead to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe making its way to the Xbox One, so we’ll have to settle for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
We say “settle”, but Sonic & All-Stars is more than a worthy alternative to Nintendo’s original offering, combining some of SEGA’s biggest mascots in a kart racing game for the AGES. Though the 4 player local multiplayer might get a bit competitive, maybe even a little salty, you and the kids will find yourselves coming back for more every time.
A more recent addition to this list, largely because it only came out about two days before this article got published, Gang Beasts is another one for those more competitive and rambunctious children out there. Better they try and batter each other in a video game than them trying to actually throw each other down the stairs.
The physics-based brawler that’s been a huge phenomenon the world over, Gang Beasts is like a lot of the other games on this list, as it’s perfect to play as a family. With enough controllers, the entire family can get involved, and the unpredictable nature of the game ensures that no one person will dominate the game.
14. Human: Fall Flat
Developer: No Brakes Games Publisher: Curve Digital
Another physics based title, Human: Fall Flat is for those that would rather work together rather than try to throw each other off ledges, though there’s still room for that too. A unique 3D platformer, Human: Fall Flat features a number of levels and puzzles, but gives you no real indication on how to solve them.
Oftentimes, there’s more than one way to finish a level, with players coming up with some truly creative ways to reach the end goal. With support for local multiplayer for two players, along with online multiplayer for 8 players, the whole family can work together to take on Human: Fall Flat’s challenges. Now that the Xbox One has also received some free levels on top of the base game, Human: Fall Flat is even more of a great deal.
15. Sonic Mania Plus
Developers: Christian Whitehead, HeadCannon, PagodaWest Games Publisher: SEGA
Despite not being developed by SEGA, Sonic Mania Plus is the best Sonic game in recent memory. If you ever felt like giving your children a lesson in how games used to be, stick them on Sonic Mania Plus. You might hear some complaints about the old style graphics or “the lack of a battle royale mode” (that’s what the kids like, right?), but they’ll come around in time.
A retro game from a modern studio, Sonic Mania Plus continues the same legacy built by the first four mainline Sonic games, so expect 2D platforming at its finest with no hint of Big The Cat in sight. Sonic Mania Plus is a stellar family game, offering retro thrills for the old folks while keeping things fresh for the younger generation.
16. TrackMania Turbo
Developer: Nadeo Publisher: Ubisoft
The appeal of racing games is that anyone can understand the key premise of the genre: be the fastest. TrackMania Turbo is one of the purest racing game experiences you can play, largely due to the fact that your only opponent is yourself. Instead of racing against others, you’re competing for the best time across hundreds of tracks.
The low-intensity of TrackMania makes it a perfect fit within a kid’s game library, particularly if they’re a budding petrolhead, but the real attraction of TrackMania Turbo is the track creator. If you want your children to exhibit some creativity in different ways than usual, give this one a whirl.
Developer: Playtonic Games Publisher: Team17
While Playtonic’s original offering might not have set the world on fire when it launched, there’s no denying that Yooka-Laylee is a fun old time that’s ideal for the tykes. As the titular chameleon and bat combo, you explore a host of worlds and try to stop the villainous Capital B and evil organisation.
The bright colours and silly humour of Yooka-Laylee makes the throwback platformer feel right at home as a kids game. With a co-operative multiplayer mode for two players, and a host of minigames for up to four, Yooka-Laylee can cater to an entire family when it comes to game night.
18. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Developer: Toys For Bob Publisher: Activision
We’ve already mentioned the difficulty of Crash Bandicoot, so if you’re looking for a remastered trilogy of platformers for your kids that won’t make them want to launch their expensive controllers at the wall, you’ll want to go for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
A collection of the first three games in the series, remastered to look absolutely beautiful on currently generation hardware, the Reignited Trilogy is a faithful recreation of the timeless classics. The wonderful and varied worlds, the constantly evolving gameplay and the slapstick humour make for a set of perfect family adventures.
19. Supermarket Shriek
Developer: Billy Goat Entertainment Publisher: Billy Goat Entertainment
Most of the time in gaming, you look to play something refined, maybe even sophisticated, but sometimes you just want something that’s a little bit daft. Supermarket Shriek is that kind of game, as you control a man and a goat, stuck inside a shopping trolley using their voice to propel themselves through a series of intricate levels.
While Supermarket Shriek can be enjoyed perfectly fine as a lone player, the game comes into its own as a co-op title, as two players can utilise the simple control scheme to escort our heroes to the finish line. With an 8-player party mode to boot, along with plenty of secret levels parodying other video games, Supermarket Shriek is a hell of time.
Developer: DoubleDutch Games Publisher: TinyBuild Games
Perhaps the most non-traditional racing game ever made, SpeedRunners is as competitive and enjoyable as they come. Up to four players compete to run faster than the competition in a 2D platformer/racing game hybrid, with those unable to keep up forced off-screen to sit out until the next round.
While SpeedRunners might not sound impressive on paper, the reality is that the game is basically a platforming version of Mario Kart, complete with power-ups to really turn the tide of the race. While SpeedRunners might cause tensions to run high during a family game night, it won’t be long before you’ll be playing it again. It’s that good.