No doubt, the Xbox One is best known for gritty shooters like Gears of War and Halo. But if you have kids to entertain, you probably don’t want them to see you curb stomp a Locust before chainsawing its friend. Thankfully, you don’t have to. You’ll be pleased to know that the Xbox One is home to a number of fine, family-friendly titles you might have walked past on your way to pick up Mortal Kombat. So put aside the gritty shooters, hide the zombie kill-fests, and add these wholesome titles to your collection.
1. Disney Infinity 3.0
Kids love the new toys to life genre of games, in which you buy figures and “scan” them in to play as those characters. Of all the ones on the market, Disney Infinity is the most likely to appeal to kids and adults alike, thanks to its strong lineup of brands to choose from. You’ve got characters and settings from Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and Pixar to choose from. And if you really want to win over a kid, buy them the figure for their favorite character.
2. Hasbro Family Fun Pack
This collection contains four board games you’ve probably played before: Boggle, Risk, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit. Thankfully they’re all just as fun on a TV screen as they are on your kitchen table. They’re better, actually, because you don’t need to clean up when you’re done. If you don’t have kids and you’re getting it for your niece or nephew, know that this collection is best played with children 12 and up.
3. The LEGO Movie Videogame
Let’s get this straight: This is a video game based on a movie based on a toy. Despite that hall-of-mirrors setup, it’s actually a pretty good game, even for adults. The game follows the story of the film, so you’ll play as the hero characters as they break and build LEGO constructions in a variety of settings. Each character has unique abilities that you’ll have to use to progress, and the campaign is full of enjoyable mini-games. It’s a lighthearted romp that practically anyone can enjoy, regardless of age.
4. Rayman Legends
In this endlessly creative platformer, four players can hop and skip together through gorgeously drawn environments. Joy is the primary emotion elicited by this game. There’s always something new to do, so it hardly gives you a moment to think about how bizarre it is to be jumping on giant watermelons and tomatoes in one level and bouncing off squishy brains in the next. And this game is jam-packed with content, including a large collection of bonus levels from its predecessor, Rayman Origins. Kids love it. Adults love it. It’s just a great game.
5. Peggle 2
Popcap, the maker of classics like Bejeweled and Plants Vs. Zombies, has a surprisingly excellent pinball-style game on Xbox One called Peggle 2. Each level gives you a screen full of blue and orange pins that disappear when you bounce a tiny ball off of them. The goal is to clear the screen of orange pins before you burn through all 10 of your balls. Toss in some power-ups and a four-player mode, and you’re in for a great time, whether you’re 7 years old or 70.
6. Monopoly Family Fun Pack
We’ve all played Monopoly a million times, so you know the basic premise. What you might not know is that by turning it into a video game, the developers have made it a lot easier to play. Gone is the need to keep track of play money and real estate cards. The game keeps track of all of that for every player. They’ve even included a number of different modes, including one that speeds up the game considerably and one that lets you create your own board, re-naming streets and even customizing the rules. It’s perfect for kids and adults alike.