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The (All Too) Usual
Suspects
 

If you ask for suggestions of video games for your children to play there's often a strong response on social media - all the more so if you are a non-gamer. Although these suggestions are often helpful, they circulate the same small pool of popular games, often at the expense of less familiar titles.

We've created this list of popular family video game suggestions so you can find them in one place. Also, it lets us offer you suggestions that avoid these usual suspects in favour of something a bit more off-piste and adventurous.
 
This list includes 90 games from the last 33 years, with 6,514 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to avoid the popular games.

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Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real-time the impostor...

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Release Date: 25/04/2020

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where you live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Out Now: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...

Subnautica

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try their...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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.

It Takes Two

Release Date: 26/03/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells the story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly traps the clashing couple in them. You and a friend...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Out Now: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

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.

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Rocket League is a sports action game where you drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It's a game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What's not obvious from the...

Terraria

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Blocks, Day and Night, Persistant World, Pixels and Weather

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block-building game. To the world-crafting and survival, it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Super Mario Odyssey

Release Date: 27/10/2017

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

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...

Bugsnax

Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Day and Night

Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

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...

Pokémon (Series)

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Game Boy and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

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...

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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...

Minecraft Dungeons

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Blocks

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Minecraft universe. You explore various dungeons to complete missions and collect new gear by exploring and finding treasure chests, or by defeating enemies...

Wii Sports

Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014

Out Now: Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offers is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require...

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Release Date: 10/05/2023

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is part of a long series of Zelda adventure games. As well as exploring Hyrule you can also take to the skies in an expanded world full of secrets. The game stands out for how heavily it leans into crafting and...

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Release Date: 19/11/2016, updated in 2017

Out Now: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is an action-adventure game set several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. You play Nathan Drake, a happily married former treasure hunter coaxed out of retirement by his brother. This leads into another...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character who can absorb enemies to gain their abilities and powers. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming skills to collect...

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Release Date: 24/03/2003, updated in 2013

Out Now: GameCube and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Release Date: 13/10/2009, updated in 2015

Out Now: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure game that puts you in the role of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. You head to Nepal looking for the lost city of Shambala, unfortunately, you're not the only one looking for it. On your journey, you'll...

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Release Date: 23/08/2017

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure game where you Chloe Frazer and your counterpart Nadine Ross seek the Tusk of Ganesh. Set in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India in the midst of a civil war, it's the first Uncharted game not to...

Super Mario Bros Wonder

Release Date: 20/10/2023

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Release Date: 28/01/2022

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Lego Fortnite (Fortnite)

Release Date: 06/12/2023

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Fortnite is an online multiplayer shooting game where 100 people compete to be the last player standing. You stealthily traverse the world to collect weapons, out-maneuvering and out-gunning your opponents, while a storm gradually shrinks the playable...

Overwatch 2

Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Overwatch 2 is a shooting game where the focus is on teamwork and skill rather than violence. In teams of five, you communicate and work together to take out the other team and complete your objective. Along with games like Rocket League, it has...

Game Builder Garage

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Game Builder Garage enables anyone to make video games. Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The cute Nodon characters that power the visual drag-and-drop construction, enable players...

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a running and jumping game. It's a spinoff of the LittleBigPlanet series and follows Sackboy and three friends as they explore, collect and battle their way through a fantasy world. It stands out for the simple exuberant...

Ratchet & Clank (Series)

Release Date: 04/11/2002, updated in 2016

Out Now: PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5 and PSP

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ratchet & Clank looks more cartoony but still offers the B-movie-style action. As Ratchet, you explore planets and space stations, battling enemies with a variety of weapons and gadgets. Sidekick Clank sits on Ratchet’s back and offers more abilities,...

Unravel Two

Release Date: 09/02/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Unravel Two is a jumping and swinging platform game where you control a character made out of wool. As well as making him look super cute, the wool is used to swing around and interact with objects.

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Untitled Goose game is a tongue-in-cheek puzzle game where you play a dastardly goose intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. Play involves working out the right order of interactions and distractions to let you steal...

Mario Party (Series)

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...

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date: 11/06/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game that lets the heroic duo jump between parallel worlds. Play is similar to other Ratchet & Clank games, retaining the dodging, gunplay, bold collection and upgrading weapons. Here...

Subnautica Below Zero

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light...

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Release Date: 23/11/2011, updated in 2021

Out Now: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure game in the Zelda series. You navigate the floating island of Skyloft before diving down to explore, escape dungeons and bring balance back to the world. It stands out not only for the cleverly designed...

Dreams (Dreams)

Release Date: 14/10/2019

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Dreams is a creative game where you make your own games and play other people's creations. It's easy to dive in and create something simple using the basic controls, then as your skill and imagination grow the complexity and detail of your games can...

Roblox (Series)

Release Date: 15/06/2016, updated in 2022

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Roblox is a series of games where amateur game-makers create simple online games that often mimic real-world grown-up scenarios, like working in a pizza restaurant, surviving natural disasters, escaping prison, scuba diving or playing hide-and-seek. The...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Minecraft is an open-world adventure where you collect, craft and construct structures and items. Play involves exploring the world to find resources and good locations to build. Some of the best aspects of the game are less well known; along with the...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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