There are thousands of kids video games released every year for consoles and computers. With big marketing budgets to push their games, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what’s available.
If you’re anything like us you then you want to ensure the video games your kids get are appropriate for their age, family friendly and have some added value – either through a massive fun factor or by giving something educational. Ultimately, all of that has to be weighed up against what your children want!
Like our other Parent Guides, this Roosterbank Video Game Guide is designed to help you understand how games are rated, what you should be looking out for when either approving something your kids are saving for or indeed what the best games are if you want to get them a present.
Included in this guide is a directory of of the most popular games in specific categories, such as ‘Games for Girls’ or ‘The Best Football Games’. What makes these lists different with lists provided in catalogues or via the media is that children themselves have voted on which games are their favourites, so these selections are chosen by kids for kids. We of course moderate all their choices to make sure that they are appropriate. We think this gives a much better guide for picking a game and makes loads more sense than reading reviews done by adults!
How do I know that the game is suitable for my child’s age?
Computer games are rated in a similar way to films, however instead of using U, PG etc. they use the PEGI Rating System. Quite simply, in the same way that an 18 film is wildly unsuitable for a child under that age a game Rated 18 is too. Ultimately, your choice of game is down to what you are happy for your child to use but if a child hankers to play games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty then we recommend you look carefully at the rating and content as much of it is as graphic (if not more) than a film with a similar rating.
Top games by age:
What are the best game consoles for my child?
The ‘Big Four’ consoles are currently the XBOX 360, PS3, Wii U and Nintendo DS. If a child owns any of these consoles then buying games for them will be relatively easy as many suitable titles are available. You can check out the most popular games for each console in these handy guides, we also made up a guide to games consoles in general which gives the latest prices and package details of what’s currently available. There are other contenders out there – the reasonably priced Ouya is another option, particularly if your child has shown you a geeky side as you can programme your own games for it.
Our console top guide lists:
Our Top Tips:
The early bird doesn’t catch the worm: As you are probably well aware, the console itself is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to budget. Many of the big games of the moment such as Skylanders or Disney Infinity start at £50. The new consoles, namely the XBOX One and PS4 consoles cost north of £300 and it all starts to add up. If your kids already have a console and you, or they, are considering getting a new one, consider holding off until the end of next year, when demand will be more steady, bigger discounts can be had and the games available for the consoles are more plentiful.
Second hand can save your serious money: If you’re kids are dying to get a game console and a new one is out of reach, make sure you get onto Ebay and check out second hand deals. Shops like Argos are also well known for flash sales of old stock in preparation of Christmas or new releases, so being savvy my save you £100’s of pounds and still mean your kids get their hands on a half decent bit of kit.
Think about who is paying for what: It’s worth considering how you approach the purchase of consoles and games. Buying a console together can be a good way to ensure you child gets the right one – consider making them save up for the games themselves – they will think harder about what they purchase and care for them more when they get them.