The PlayStation is a surefire way to stave off boredom over the holidays, not least of all – in fact, maybe most of all – for your children. The medium is known for its less-than-child-friendly genres though, so you’ve got to be vigilant when picking your poison. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the best PS4 games for kids, so you can rest easy that they’re not immersed in a virtual dystopia. We bring you the best in show from the world of kids’ gaming, from energy-sapping Just Dance to crowdpleaser Little Big Planet 3.
We will be updating this page with more games in the future, so stay tuned for more family fun!
Best PS4 games for kids
Hasbro Family Fun Pack
This retro game marries the old and the new, importing all of your family favourites (think Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Monopoly) to the big screen. A 21st century reworking of the old classics, this PS4 game brings board games into the digital age. Eight-year-olds who might otherwise see Scrabble as a fusty old game of yore will be transported into a luminescent world of interactive fun. Plus, squabbles over who has to be the banker in Monopoly will be confined to the past – let the PlayStation do the financial heavy-lifting. Christmas fun for all the family.
Just Dance 2018
Who says gaming means a bunch of sedate kids slumped on the sofa, staring idly at a screen? Just Dance 2018 – widely acknowledged as one of the best music dance games for PS4 – is just the ticket to get kids moving. Exercise dressed up as interactive gaming is no-brainer for savvy parents, particularly in the winter months when attempting to coax children into subzero temperatures rarely pays dividends. With big hits like “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, Just Dance 2018 is sure to be a crowdpleaser. And with the news that the average Brit consumes 5,200 calories on Christmas Day, Just Dance is the perfect antidote to festive gluttony.
For many families, settling down to Blue Planet 2 on a Sunday night has become a sacred ritual. Abzû, though not a game explicitly for children, brings that culturally revered underwater world to life. It’s a nonviolent game, with no real threat or even goal, freeing participants up to “swim” round the serene blue depths at their leisure. The technicoloured oceanic underworld will mesmerise kids, and gliding through the marine life is a perfect de-stresser for adults too. Unconventional, but you’re guaranteed a whale of a time.
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Little Big Planet 3
A revered Sony franchise, this game is engineered to foster creativity in children everywhere. The protagonist – the adorable and now-iconic Sackboy – is enlisted once more to save the universe, but it’s the players who have the real agency: kids can customise costumes and use stickers with abandon. Real creativity comes to the fore as they’re permitted to design and build their own levels within the game.
The visuals are stunning, and the voiceovers, featuring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, don’t disappoint either. The only caveat is that young players might struggle getting to grips with the game’s more technical elements. But then again, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you… into a creative wunderkind, no less. Little Big Planet 3 is engaging, endearing and educational – the holy trinity of kids’ gaming.
As a recent graduate, it’s hard to overstress the importance employers place on teamwork as a life skill. Why not instill this invaluable competence in your children from an early age, with tools such as Overcooked, the PS4 cooking game that permits up to four players to try to rustle up a meal in a haphazard environment.
Teamwork is vital; form a cohesive unit and your culinary endeavours come to spectacular fruition. Fail to do so, and you end up with a hot mess. Literally. Overcooked provides a vibrant, high-pressure environment for kids to practice the fine art of working with other people to achieve an overarching goal. It’s a win-win – yours develop confidence and communication skills, and you’ve engineered the PS4 into a hub for personal development.
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