If you’re a proud parent and the proud owner of a PS4, then boy do we have an article for you. You’ve probably thought about combining these facets of your life and getting your offspring into gaming, but maybe you don’t know where to start. Perhaps you want a few tips for kid-friendly PS4 games.
If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Den Of Geek, we say start them young on all the nerdy delights of console gaming. But while the games to avoid are pretty obvious (it’s probably wise to steer clear of properly-scary horror games), the right games for little-uns can be a bit harder to spot.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that one writer picking his favourite kid-friendly games isn’t going to result in an all-encompassing list of every great title that’s suitable for young people. Please, if you have any ideas that we haven’t thought of, please do plonk them in the comments section so that other people can share the joy.
Without further ado, then, here are some suggestions for PS4 games to play with kids. We’ve split it up into sections for you…
Retro platforming fun
There’s something quite sweet about introducing a younger generation to the platformers of your youth, isn’t there? And thanks to a recent run of remakes and reboots, a fair amount of retro platforming icons have made it onto the PS4.
If you’re a Crash Bandicoot fan, for instance, you’ll find three classic games remade with modern graphics in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy from Vicarious Visions. Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped can all be found in this loveable remake, and there could be some family bonding to be found when you reach the more difficult levels. (And if your kids loved this, move them onto Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled next!)
There’s also Sonic Mania, by PagodaWest Games and Headcannon, which reimagines classic levels from the iconic hedgehog’s Mega Drive days while throwing in some new challenges too. And let’s not forget the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, by Toys For Bob, which brings Spyro The Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year Of The Dragon into the modern age.
If you’re looking for something with a strong co-op angle, it’s also worth looking in on Rayman Legends, which has loads of fun levels (including some truly brilliant musical ones) that you can tackle in partnership with your child. Or if you want three-player teamwork, Team Sonic Racing is built around just that.
So, you’ve got yourself a superhero fan
Perhaps more so than ever, kids love superheroes these days, from the cape-filled birthday parties to the Marvel-ous trips to the cinema. But if you’re looking for a superhero experience on PS4, you may want to be careful which one you choose.
There are four Batman games on PS4 – Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Knight and Arkham Origins – but we should warn you that these games are pretty violent and do have some scary bits (especially when the Scarecrow shows up). We’d say that you want to wait until your kid is getting a bit older before you introduce Gotham’s Dark Knight into the mix.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man PS4 is a bit of a safer option, but we should point out that even this game has a 16 age rating. The violence isn’t as hard-hitting here as it is in the Batman games, but there is still a lot of crime and a smattering of death.
If you’re looking for something that even the youngest of children can enjoy, we’d recommend the LEGO superhero games. Titles like LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO Batman will allow your kids to control their favourite characters without the violent combat, and the co-op controls will allow you to join in the playful fun too. (The Star Wars, Harry Potter and Jurassic World games in Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO franchise are also well worth a look.)
Bring the family together with Playlink
PlayLink is Sony’s scheme for the PS4 which allows groups of players to interact with party-style games using their phones. These games are generally quite cheap, and there’s often a free mobile app to go with them. These types of experiences can work wonderfully for family-friendly gaming nights.
That’s You is a nice slice of mildly-mischevious fun. This game allows two-to-six players to compete in a quiz about each other: it’s a bit like Mr And Mrs, as you have to decide who in your party would be most likely to do certain things. You’ll also snap pictures of each other and draw your own embellishment on the photos, which always results in a lot of giggling.
Knowledge Is Power, also for two to six players, is a super-easy trivia quiz with a twist. You can throw your opponents off the scent by sending obstacles onto their screens. The speed of your answer is what really matters here, and the quiz show vibe is reminiscent of the old Buzz! games on PS2, PSP and PS3.
Another fun game in the PlayLink catalogue is Frantics, which pits up-to-four players against one another is a series of 15 minigames. The art style of the animal characters is really engaging, and the games themselves are simple to pick up. All of these PlayLink experiences would be great for bringing the family together on the PS4.
How do you do, fellow kids?
If you want to play games with your kids that are very popular with other kids, just to show how cool you are a parent, we can point you in a couple of obvious directions. The car football game Rocket League, for example, is perennially popular. If your child likes footy and/or motors, it’s worth trying out.
A lot of youngsters really love Minecraft, too, with the online building game being rated appropriate for kids aged 7 and up. Jumping into the Minecraft world and working on projects with your little one could be a really nice way to spend some time. Or if you want some more story-driven building, try out The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame, which really captures the magic of those toy bricks.
Fortnite skews a little older, with an age rating of 12, but the cartoonish violence it offers is a very family-friendly option in the shooting world (definitely steer clear of Call Of Duty and its harrowing moments!). Fortnite also adds new content regularly, and it’s totally free to get started with. Another inexpensive online shooter to try would be Apex Legends – it has an age rating of 16, so if your kid gets a bit older and outgrows the Fortnite colour palette, they might want to try this option instead.
So, there you have it! Some recommendations for PS4 games to play with your kids. If you’ve got other suggestions, please do let us know in the comments…