Many of the most popular video games these days are decidedly R-rated. From Call of Duty to Grand Theft Auto, these games come packing just as much violence and foul language as a marathon of Tarantino movies.
Wasn’t there a time when games used to be appropriate for the whole family?
We’re here to show you that they still are — you just have to know where to find them. Here are five modern games that are fun for players of all ages, and kid-friendly enough that you can play them with the whole family.
Super Mario 3D World
Of all the major consoles, the Wii U is by far the most family friendly. After all, it’s made by Nintendo, and no one makes family-friendly games like the Mario company. When it comes to unbridled fun and clever gameplay, Super Mario 3D World has it all.
Set in the brightly colored Mushroom Kingdom, this game has you navigate three-dimensional levels, hopping on enemies, leaping over pits, collecting coins, and grabbing all manner of crazy power-ups. Best of all, up to four players can work together to complete the levels, which makes it a perfect choice for family game night. Buy Super Mario 3D World for Wii U here.
If you’re looking for a game that’s overflowing with cartoonish fun, look no further than Rayman Legends. Like the best Pixar movies, this run-and-jump side-scroller is packed with personality. From the hand-painted backdrops to the lovingly exaggerated animations, Rayman and his pals are here to maximize the joy in your life.
Each level has you make your way from point A to point B, but what you’ll find in between is always bizarre and charming — whether it’s a tickle monster, a giant luchador, or the song “Eye of the Tiger” being played on a kazoo. Better yet, four players can romp through the game world at the same time. Select your platform of choice below to purchase Rayman Legends:
Mario Kart 8
If racing is more your style, Mario Kart 8 is the cream of the crop. The tracks are just as colorful as any Mario game, but here the focus is on the need for speed. The game is stuffed to the sunroof with zany courses, memorable characters, and projectiles you can fire off at your opponents just as they’re about to cross the finish line.
And since the Wii U supports full HD, the graphics are incredible — filled with so many clever details that you’ll find new things even on your umpteenth lap around the tracks. Pick up Mario Kart 8 for Wii U right here.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Calling this a fighting game makes it sound violent, but the brawls here are more Looney Tunes than Mortal Kombat.
With a wide array of famous characters — from Mario and Link to Pikachu and Kirby — in Super Smash Bros. you’ll punch and kick your way to victory (or defeat) in a huge assortment of levels. Various modes accommodate players of any experience level, from total newbies to hardened pros. The graphics are better than ever, and the roster spans four decades of Nintendo history.
The best part is that you don’t have to know what you’re doing — even players who just mash the buttons can have a blast. And with the ability to have up to eight players in the game at once, the whole family can play together. Buy Super Smash Bros. for Wii U here.
Minecraft is one of those ubiquitous games that nearly everyone under 20 has played and loved. Kind of like a digital set of LEGOs, Minecraft gives you the tools to create anything you want on your own swath of land.
People have used Minecraft to build amazing creations, from cities and castles to working roller coasters and graphing calculators. It’s incredible what you can build with a little planning and artistry. Unlock your kids’ imaginations by buying Minecraft on the platform of your choice below: