Just like you enjoy that animated movie as much as the kids it was made for, the world of video games has some great titles that appeal across ages.
There are games made for adults that kids particularly enjoy — Mortal Kombat and God of War come to mind first. And the reverse holds true as well. Just because something is made for a kid does not mean it can’t be entertaining for an adult.
In case you dismissed a game with the notion that it’s meant for kids, you might have denied yourself some cool and fun times. But it isn’t too late. Here are some of the best children’s video games that adults will enjoy too.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the finest games in recent times, and the Game of the Year edition was worth the wait. And that’s because it recreated the dark and gritty nature of the comics and movies. Lego Batman goes the other way and infuses cartoony fun into the Batman franchise, but the gameplay is surprisingly deep and compelling. Both Batman and Robin have a variety of suits with different abilities that you can employ for different tasks, but the cool part is that Lego Batman lets you play as the villains! That’s right, you will be setting up elaborate plans to take out Batman — ultimately unsuccessful, of course, but it is unique and enjoyable. And in case that’s not enough for you, check out the sequel, Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes to play as Superman, Wonder Woman and other cool characters you’ll know and love.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
The Lego Harry Potter series can quickly become one of your guilty pleasures. The title makes it seem like it shouldn’t be a game you enjoy so much, but play it for a while and you’ll be hooked. Years 5-7 is the second part in the series, but I’d recommend you start here since it has most of the enjoyable elements of the first one (Years 1-4) and adds more. Most of the game is about solving puzzles and beating the bad guys, but there’s one aspect that makes it special: the broomstick levels where you have to collect coins across jolly old England. It’s a major rush!
While it’s tempting to include more Lego games in this article, we’ll stop here. Most of the Lego video games (Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings) are a lot of fun for adults, so don’t be afraid to fight your kid for the controller. Plus, the Lego series is cross-platform, making them among the best Mac games for kids.
Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Nintendo Wii U
There is a manic, frantic pace to the Rayman games that none other quite captures, but the reason that you will end up going back again and again is the music. That Mariachi band with their high-pitched singing is perhaps the best background score in video games — and gets hilarious when they try it out with classics like Eye of the Tiger. This is, at its core, a platform adventure where it’s all about getting from point A to point B in any level, and ideally running at breakneck speed while you do it. Rayman Legends mixes it up with some rhythm-based levels and a few that require you to sneak past traps and lasers, but the most fun part of this game is in multiplayer mode with the soccer mini-game. Except this isn’t any ordinary soccer game, it’s Rayman’s wacky take on soccer, where apart from trying to outscore the opponents, you are also trying to literally beat the opponents so they don’t score against you. Super, super fun! Oh yeah, and its mobile counterpart Rayman Run Fiesta is just as much fun and one of the best Android games of 2013.
Mario Kart Wii
Platform: Nintendo Wii
How can anyone not love Mario Kart? The Super Mario Kart series redefined racing games and made them incredibly enjoyable, and is among the best Mario spin-offs. Mario Kart Wii took this fun game to new heights with better graphics, more players, more cars, Nintendo Wii’s motion-sensitive controller, and a bucketload of new power-ups and boosts. But hey, the classic “throw a banana” is still very much alive so that you can spin your opponents off track! Of course, Mario Kart Wii is now a little old and the new Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Wii U is getting rave reviews, so if you have the new console, that’s the game you should go for.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4
Octodad made it to our list of the 10 funniest video games of all time, but it’s also immensely enjoyable as a game for the whole family. Octodad is an octopus raising a family in the suburbs and trying to blend in as a human — yup, it’s as funny and crazy as it sounds. Controlling Octodad’s limbs to make him move around is the challenge, and you have to do it in a way so as not to arouse suspicion from onlookers. And all the while, you have to do mundane tasks like going to the supermarket. Best played with a controller, but a keyboard and mouse will do just as well.
Which Kids’ Games Do You Play?
Apart from being informative, this list also made me nostalgic about some of the old games I still play, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NES emulators or the old Cricket 2007 PC game. So tell us, which made-for-kids games do you still play, or just a game you played as a kid and still enjoy revisiting?
Image Credits: spsarge Via Flickr