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As with any commercial media, it's common to make use of an existing franchise for characters, worlds and stories. Video games based on franchises are often popular because of the association. The best examples of these are also popular because they are also good games in their own right. This list includes 142 games from the last 31 years, with 3,862 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your favourite franchise.
Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...
Release Date: 28/04/2017, updated in 2022
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a go-kart racing game where you race against Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power-ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic but still requires skills to do well.
Release Date: 19/11/2020
Out Now: PS5
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Marvel's Spider-Man is a series of superhero adventures where you swing through an open-world city fighting crime and advancing a film-like story. Play is a combination of exploration, taking on fights and collecting items. There are also many side...
Release Date: 27/10/2017
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Super Mario Odyssey is a running and jumping game in the long-running Mario series where you save Princess Peach from Bowser. While it's a familiar setup, here you explore vast open worlds and use your hat to help you get around, fight, and even possess...
Release Date: 05/04/2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks and Cartoon
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the latest in a series of Star Wars-themed games where you run, jump, break and build worlds made of Lego. You work your way through all nine of the Star Wars films unlocking new locations and characters as you go...
Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Game Boy and Switch
Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to characters and winning turn-based battles with the...
Release Date: 19/05/2015
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action-adventure game where you play monster-hunter Geralt in a vast open world as he searches for his missing adopted daughter. The game responds to your actions and has dynamic environments, weather and day–night...
Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fighting-adventure game set five years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 14 years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Young Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is hunted through the galaxy by the...
Release Date: 30/11/2012
Out Now: Wii U
Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person
Nintendo Land is a collection of Nintendo games that was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen...
Release Date: 08/02/2023
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world role-play game set in the world of Harry Potter. You control a wizard character who starts as a student at Hogwarts and then ventures out on a dangerous journey with a mystery to solve. You design your character, learn...
Release Date: 04/04/2017
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Open World
Lego City: Undercover offers an open world to explore. While most Lego games have an open-world element in at least some areas, this one keeps play open throughout so that children can enjoy exploring at their own pace.
Release Date: 14/10/2016
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Skylanders uses toy figures to unlock characters and save progress. It is no longer manufactured but can be found second-hand quite cheaply and is a lot of fun for young players, particularly when played in cooperative two-player mode.
Release Date: 20/10/2023
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Super Mario Bros Wonder is a running and jumping game that evolves the classic 2D Mario genre in weird and dream-like directions. You play with up to four friends, each picking from Mario, Luigi, Toad, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Yoshi and other...
Release Date: 28/01/2022
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game in the longstanding Pokémon series of role-playing games where you collect and battle Pokémon. Like the other games, you compete in turn-based battles and try and collect as many Pokémon as you...
Release Date: 28/04/2023
Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a fighting-adventure game and a sequel to 2019's Jedi: Fallen Order. As in that game, you explore and fight enemies with your lightsaber and force powers, but here you also have a...
Release Date: 20/12/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Blocks
Lego Builder's Journey is a narrative puzzle game but isn't what you expect it to be. Rather than a brick-based puzzle for kids, it's more like a thoughtful and nostalgic work of art for adults. You work through abstract levels by following instructions...
Release Date: 19/05/2023
Lego 2K Drive is an open-world racing game made out of Lego. There are races, as you'd expect, but you can also freely explore each of the worlds, collect parts and upgrade your cars. It stands out for updating the popular Lego destruction and...
Release Date: 21/07/2023
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Day and Night
Pikmin 4 is an action strategy game where you direct tiny, plant-like creatures to clean up the world and collect treasure. Different coloured Pikmins have different abilities, with several new types in this fourth game. The challenge is using the right...
Release Date: 06/12/2023
Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night and Open World
Lego Fortnite is an adventure survival game that brings classic brick building to one of the Fortnite islands. Play is more like Minecraft than Fortnite (and perhaps could have been better named). Rather than shooting other players, you collaborate on...
Release Date: 10/06/2022
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Mario Strikers Battle League Football is a sports action game and the latest in the Mario Strikers series. Like the previous games, it offers a five-on-five battle sport that combines football and ice hockey with...
Release Date: 09/12/2022, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC and Switch
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
Dragon Quest Treasures is a lighthearted and more approachable version of the popular Dragon Quest role-play games. Along with the exploration, light battles and resource collection is a central monster-hunting hide-and-seek challenge where you get...
Release Date: 01/12/2009, updated in 2011
Out Now: DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On, Grid and Pixels
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is a strategic battle puzzle where you position units to form patterns that determine how they behave. The play combines the simple matching of Candy Crush with the complex strategy of Advance Wars or Fire Emblem. It...
Release Date: 28/07/2023
Disney Illusion Island is a running and jumping game where you play Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald in an original adventure. As you explore, you use their unique abilities to traverse water, land and air. It's Cuphead meets Rayman but with the charm,...
Release Date: 10/09/2015
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U
Components: 2D Side-On
Super Mario Maker is a game-making system. It’s simpler than tools like Dreams or Roblox but still offers a huge array of ways to create running and jumping platform games that can then be shared online. You can play hundreds of games that other...
Release Date: 08/10/2010, updated in 2013
Out Now: Switch, Wii and Wii U
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Dice
Mario Party is an interactive board game. Players roll dice to move around a board and then compete in different mini-games to earn the chance to throw again or earn points. You play as Nintendo characters and take on challenges that make use of the...
Release Date: 17/11/2009, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds
Just Dance 2022 is part of a physically active rhythm game series. Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even...
Release Date: 29/08/2017
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Grid
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a chess-like strategy game where you control cartoon rabbits (the Rabbids) and Nintendo characters in turn-based battles with fantastical weapons through four different worlds.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is the action-adventure sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales where you shoot webs to swing around New York and defeat...
Release Date: 16/10/2020
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a kart racing game with a difference - You play on the Switch but use it to control a real-life Mario Kart that races around the floor of your living room. You see the race from the view of the car beamed back to the...
Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has been developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a world made of...
Release Date: 15/12/2020
Out Now: Android, Switch and iOS
Pokémon Cafe Mix is a puzzle game. Similar to the icon-connection challenge of Disney Tsum Tsum, you play as Eevee and deliver orders in a cafe by linking Pokemon icons in a ring. It's a low-pressure puzzle with a swirl-to-connect interaction that is...
Release Date: 06/11/2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay is a running, jumping and exploration game. It expands this platforming action towards a full 3D world while keeping accessibility focused on younger players.
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is a pirate adventure where you run, jump and explore the world of the film. You play as either Pinky or Veronica and join the legendary pirate Captain Sabertooth’s crew on the hunt for a mysterious magic diamond.
Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a light-hearted cartoon-style brawling game where multiple players choose well-known video game characters to fight. Play involves using your character's move-set to outwit and beat your opponents. You wear down their...
Release Date: 09/10/2020
Ben 10: Power Trip is an open-world action game where you run, jump and explore to save the day. It's simple platforming and brawling that you can play alone or in split-screen more with another player as Kevin Levin.
Release Date: 12/11/2007, updated in 2020
Super Mario Galaxy is a running, jumping and exploration game that takes Mario to hundreds of different planet-shaped levels as you race to save Princess Peach from Bowser's claws. It stands out for the way the mind-bending physics and ever-changing...
Release Date: 26/10/2016, updated in 2017
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
Lego Worlds takes virtual building back to the classic bricks with familiar figures, buildings and challenges from other Lego video games in an open world where your imagination can go wild in a bottomless bucket of bricks.
Release Date: 22/10/2021
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Day and Night
My Friend Peppa Pig is a narrative role-play game. It recreates the TV show Peppa Pig and features a few of the voice actors from the programme. Unlike the show, you are in the cartoon, controlling a character you create. You play with Peppa and her...
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Marvel's Avengers is an action-adventure game based on the Avengers. You control the heroes from a third-person perspective on your own or with friends. Together you assemble a team of heroes to take on the game's main storyline, where you must clear...