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Good PS4/5 and Xbox games for younger kids


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Hi,

 

My nearly 5yo son has played iPad games for a while like CBeebies, etc... and got very confident with them and has over the past few months taken much more interest in my consoles. We have played through things like Journey, Abzu and Flower together on the PS4, and with the new PS5 he has got totally hooked on Bugsnax and is really starting to like using twin sticks to move around the zones on his own and attempt to do things (even if his hands are far too small for the pad to be able to do them that effectively).

 

I was considering getting a Switch Lite that he could then use sometimes, but knowing what he is like I worry a bit he'll just want to play on it all the time (and take it everywhere), whereas with my consoles we can play together and it's much less of a battle to turn it off and move onto something else when his time is up. Plus my wife isn't that keen on the idea.

 

So instead I was thinking it might be nice to get him a game or two for Christmas/Birthday (it's in very early Jan) that he can play on either my PS5 or Xbox and realised I don't really know much about younger gaming titles.

 

After a quick search the Gigantosaurus game looks like a good option. He watches the TV programme and it sound like the sort of thing he could just wander around in.

 

He is also crazy about Lego so I was wondering about one of those but I have no idea which are any good, however I'm not sure I want to go down the full Lego Worlds route as although it sounds pretty good I'd absolutely hate for him to get into the mindset where he would want to build stuff on the PlayStation instead of playing with his actual bricks. It's also the reason I wasn't sure about Minecraft yet.

 

Another route I was considering was call on my own youth and maybe getting Sonic Mania, but I'm not sure he's quite got the control to enjoy a full platform yet, he's more into exploring at his own pace and getting used to using the pad.

 

I'm also wondering if a fun driving game would be good, basically a Mario Kart alternative, Sonic Racing perhaps?

 

I kind of feel we are solidly in Nintendo territory here so I may have another chat with my wife about it, but in the meantime can anyone recommend anything else?

 

Cheers.

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My 5yo loves the Lego games. They're all basically the same, but I would recommend Lego City Undercover, and the Marvel Super Heroes games (the second has better flying IMO). There's a new Lego Star Wars game coming out in the new year also.

 

He also loves Untitled Goose Game and Bomberman (which he calls Bummerman).

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In my experience with my nephews, LEGO City Undercover, LEGO Batman 2 and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO Jurassic World are the favourites. I have to play co-op with them (or on my own to get the unlocks), but they love the open world stuff. They don't get on with LEGO Worlds at all. Minecraft is definitely better there.

 

For racing, Sonic All-Stars Transformed seems to be their favourite Mario Kart-like game. They probably love Forza Horizon the most, although I have to enable all the driving assists for them.

 

Untitled Goose Game is a great shout. One of my nephews discovered Goat Simulator as well and was in hysterics.

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If you end up going Nintendo, definitely buy a full-fat Switch so that you can play the likes of Mario Kart and (next year) Super Mario 3D World together on the big screen to negate the ‘just playing on his own’ problem of the Lite. I would say that the latter in multiplayer will be an unbelievable experience for someone of his age. The Wii U version was how my now 8 year old learnt how to do 3D platformers when he was of a similar age to your child, and playing with his dad just made it even better!

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My 5 year old loves the lego games, Disney Adventures, Disney Rush, Totally Awesome Delivery Service, Goat Simulator, and bizarrely Forza Horizon 4 (you'd think it would be too complex but it's a sandbox game). 

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Agreed on getting the full Switch, or if you play on PS/XB an extra controller if you don't already. My son is going through a phase right now of only wanting to play local multiplayer and doesn't touch it much in single player.

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Nintendo is not the magic bullet for child gaming it's set as. Often the games are super tricky and restrictive in ways my lad didn't enjoy butting up against at that age.

 

Open world gaming where they can play how they want to play seems to be the go to these days. It's why Minecraft is grand - and the very best thing about Minecraft is you can play it with them split screen. In my experience, their interest in Minecraft and Lego are unique, doing one does not preclude an enjoyment of the other.

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This is all great stuff, thanks all!

 

I think Lego Undercover looks ideal so that's definitely going on the list. 

 

I'll grab Super Luckys Tale, Goose Game and Minecraft on GP (because why not :)), and FH4 already for me (I'd just never thought about him playing that).

 

Is LittleBigPlanet3 any good for a little'n? I've not played any of them before but noticed I have it on PS+

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Lego City Undercover is great for kids, because they can just run around the open world doing whatever. The co-op mode on the missions is perfect for parent & child gaming as well, as the child can flail around doing what they like, while the adult can do any tricky bits - it seems carefully designed to avoid the need for both players to do something precise or finicky, so it's actually fun for players of hugely differing skill. The Lego Star Wars games are much less child friendly, as there are some fairly tricky boss battle and vehicle sections that can be quite frustrating.

 

Untitled Goose Game as has been mentioned is also great, especially given that it's got a co-op mode. You can do the challenges, or you can just mess around in the open world - my son loves doing stuff like stealing everything from the garden at the start, or putting a sandwich in a bin, or whatever. It seems well set-up to let kids create their own fun, which is really rewarding.

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Spinning off some of the suggestions re: a full-fat Switch, an alternative option which would completely negate the issue of potential portability, and also has the advantage of being cheap, would be grabbing a Wii U (or even a Wii). That'd give you access to games like Nintendoland and NSMB/3D World on the one, or games like (yet more) NSMB, Mario Galaxy, plus GC compatibility for e.g. Billy Hatcher.

 

I doubt the slight drop in resolution is going to phase your son, and you could get him a nice mini-library of games to play.

 

Obviously that's quite different from your request for modern console games, but it might be another alternative to the Switch Lite idea!

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Gang Beasts, it’s like a fighting game but it’s got that janky feel similar to Goat Simulator where the controls don’t always work but that makes it funny. You can play it two player and kids love it.

 

If you can find one cheap a Wii U will have loads of Nintendo games, including a few great ones that they’ve not gotten round to porting to the Switch yet.

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By the time he was five my son was playing mario kart and winning races and had finished super mario odyssey with remarkably little help from me. 
 

He’s also finished most of the Lego games, and his favourite was definitely Lego City Undercover, but he also likes Lego Worlds as he can just mess about on it. 
 

He’s seven now and his favourite things to play are moving out, overcooked, plants vs zombies battle for neighbourville, crash team racing and animal crossing. 

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Another shout for the Lego games my youngest loved them and they have a co-op mode on most of them. Played through Star Wars and most of them in the end. 

 

Just been playing Phug! on the Xbox last night and looks to be a fun co-op physics puzzler. Currently on GamePass too.

 

Bit of a left field suggestion here but have you thought about a Wii? They can be picked up for little money these days but have a ton of awesome games on there that are very social orientated? They also have lego games on them. Depends if you are happy with pre-owned though and you'll need to get a HDMI adapter. Been playing mine in lockdown. Wii Sports still hits the spot so do all those awesome Mario games. Of course there is Zelda too which is a good puzzler etc. Even get a balance board and do some Wii Fit too! Great lockdown machine. Worth a thought.

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Lego games are the perfect entry in my opinion - totally safe, wholesome and always a good co-op experience.  Whilst the most recent ones are undoubtedly the best games, for a 5 year old you might want to ease him in with the original lego star wars (via ps now, xbox backwards compatability, or on ipad/tablets) or lego batman & lego batman 2.  The mechanics on those ones are more straightforward making it easier to learn the basics of controls, buttons, etc.

 

My eldest is 6 and it's only in the last month that my Mrs gave me the go ahead to introduce him to playing on the playstation.  He's had about a year of playing lego star wars and lego batman on an old amazon fire tablet, and that seems to have served as decent grounding, as he's got his head round using a Dualshock/Dualsense quickly and was able to jump straight in to solving puzzles and enjoying the better quality of Lego Force Awakens.

 

PS Now has pretty much all the lego games on it, whereas Gamepass has none that i'm aware of at the moment, so a cheap sub to that (available for the cost of one game) could give access to all he'd need for a long time (even streaming the old PS3 games runs like a dream on my PS5, with a wired internet connection).

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Farming Simulator 19 was on ps plus so if you have that get him into it. My 5 year old has enjoyed countless of hours this past year. 

Bugsnax, Fornite party mode, need for speed, king oddball, kung fu panda, Astros playworld others he enjoys. 

 

edit: there a unlimited money mod of farm sim so they can buy everything its brill.

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So had a chat with my wife last night and our (mainly her) decision is that he is probably a bit young to have his own dedicated console just now, especially as there is plenty to play on the existing two we have. 

 

However, as I think the Xbox pad size will suit his smaller hands more than the PS5 DualSense - and there is a fair bit on Game Pass to play - I have ordered him a lego vinyl skin sticker for one of my Xbox pads so it can be 'his' and I've also just setup the Microsoft family account and added him as a new gamertag to the box so he can have his own achievements, etc... 

 

I've also bought him Lego City Undercover as a digital code (because I'll be getting a Series S in the play room fairly soon anyway so don't want to be tied to disc) and we are going to make a little card for that and put it in a box with the stickered up control pad under the tree as something from Father Christmas.

 

In the meantime I've also grabbed:

  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Phogs
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Minecraft
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise (as I figured it's a bit like Bugsnax which he likes)
  • NFS and FH4 (both already on there)

Also I think his Granny is going to get him the Lego Jurassic World game for his birthday which is in the first week of Jan.

 

I think that's a pretty impressive pile of shame for a soon to be 5 year old to work through. Demon Souls can wait till he's 6. :) Thanks for the recommendations everyone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This turned into a bit more of a faff than I planned as it turned out the second controller featured a totally broken right bumper so I ended up desoldering and replacing the switch inside the pad. To my surprise, it actually worked! So I've stickered up the pad ready to go under the tree with his Lego City Undercover game.

 

IMG_0193.thumb.JPG.4b7a19b5099dee5ad56b0b5b1be48cf8.JPG

 

I think he'll be made up. :) 

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On 04/12/2020 at 19:30, FiveFootNinja said:

So had a chat with my wife last night and our (mainly her) decision is that he is probably a bit young to have his own dedicated console just now, especially as there is plenty to play on the existing two we have. 

 

However, as I think the Xbox pad size will suit his smaller hands more than the PS5 DualSense - and there is a fair bit on Game Pass to play - I have ordered him a lego vinyl skin sticker for one of my Xbox pads so it can be 'his' and I've also just setup the Microsoft family account and added him as a new gamertag to the box so he can have his own achievements, etc... 

 

I've also bought him Lego City Undercover as a digital code (because I'll be getting a Series S in the play room fairly soon anyway so don't want to be tied to disc) and we are going to make a little card for that and put it in a box with the stickered up control pad under the tree as something from Father Christmas.

 

In the meantime I've also grabbed:

  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Phogs
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Minecraft
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise (as I figured it's a bit like Bugsnax which he likes)
  • NFS and FH4 (both already on there)

Also I think his Granny is going to get him the Lego Jurassic World game for his birthday which is in the first week of Jan.

 

I think that's a pretty impressive pile of shame for a soon to be 5 year old to work through. Demon Souls can wait till he's 6. :) Thanks for the recommendations everyone.


 Add Human Fall Flat to the list crazy physics platformers that the under 10s appear to find irresistible (well my two do anyway).  Oh and Roblox because they also seem to love that junk too.

 

5 is still prime Nintendo fare mind...a Pokemon obsession is probably only a simple purchase away...

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