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Best Game For Families: Rayman Legends at Amazon
"It’s a Pixar movie on a PS4."
Best LEGO Game: LEGO Worlds at Amazon
"Gives your child the opportunity to be a LEGO God by exploring a galaxy of worlds made of LEGOs."
Best Comeback Game: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy at Amazon
"Offers a ton of gameplay with over 100 levels and two playable characters."
Best Game For Creative Kids: Minecraft at Amazon
"One of the greatest survival/crafting games ever made."
Best Arcade-Style: Lego Marvel Heroes 2 at Amazon
"This is a great way to get your superhero fix."
Best Action Game: Ratchet & Clank at Amazon
"The cartoony art style and silly tone are perfect for kids."
Best Music Game: Just Dance 2018 at Amazon
"Includes a variety of modern day and older songs, including 'Despacito' by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, 'Shape Of You' by Ed Sheeran."
Best Import: Rocket League at Amazon
"A physics-based sports game that’s best described as 'soccer with cars.'"
Best Remake: Spyro Reignited Trilogy at Amazon
"All three of Spyro’s original PlayStation adventures have been remade in beautiful HD for this collection."
Best 2D Platformer: Sonic Mania at Amazon
"A love letter to the glory days of Sonic."
The PlayStation 5 might be around the corner, but that doesn't mean there's any shortage of games on the PS4. Kids in particular, have a wide range of options to pick from, from old classics like Sonic Mania and Spyro Reignited, to creative builders like Minecraft, and fast-paced games like Rocket League. Our reviewers have evaluated each game for their plot, graphics, gameplay, and child-friendliness so you're sure to find games suitable for any child, from the creative types to the twitchy adolescent.
For a look at non-kid specific PS4 games, check out our list of our best PS4 games or our best PS4 action games.
Unique art style
Plenty of extra content
Fun co-op gameplay
Requires internet connection
The best PS4 game for kids is one that excites 65-year-olds as much as it does 5-year-olds. Welcome to Ubisoft’s stunningly vibrant, funny and creative world of Rayman. The fifth main title in the Rayman series echoes old-fashioned platformers as far back as Super Mario Bros., but it has its own non-stop energy at the same time.
The “plot” isn’t as important (it rarely is in platformers) as the fact that you can collect different characters and items throughout the game, making it incredibly replayable just to unlock new elements of the experience. And Rayman is consistently surprising when it comes to its vibrant colors and unique level design. Our reviewer particularly enjoyed the sound and music, deeming it one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game.
You simply have to play it just for the musical levels, ones in which your movements are timed to covers of hit songs like “Black Betty” and “Eye of the Tiger.” What really makes Rayman Legends such a perfect game for the family is that it has entertainment value for kids of all ages. It’s the Pixar of the PS4.
"Rayman Legends isn’t focused on plot; it’s more interested in providing outstanding gameplay." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
Lots of building options
Unique LEGO-inspired worlds
Frustrating building controls
Does your kid love LEGOs, but you hate the mess (or even worse, stepping on a block?) LEGO Worlds gives your child the opportunity to be a LEGO God by exploring a galaxy of worlds made of LEGOs. The open world environment game allows players to manipulate and alter the planets they visit by dynamically populating and building with LEGO blocks and models.
Similar to MineCraft, LEGO Worlds allows you to create anything you want, one brick at a time. The creatures and characters in these user-made worlds have a mind of their own and interact with one another and the player. Players can explore the worlds they make by riding in helicopters, on dragons and gorillas and driving motorbikes. Our tester enjoyed both the creativity of the world and the humor of the narrator. She found it especially good for kids who want an adventure that never ends.
"The game has a great sense of humor. A charismatic narrator tells you where to go, what each of your tools does, and even cracks the occasional joke." — Kelsey Simon, Product Tester
Lots of content and competition
May appeal to parents more than kids
Parents who were original PlayStation 1 gamers can rejoice, as Crash Bandicoot has returned. The 90s PlayStation mascot returns with PS4 updated graphics and animations. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is three games in one, featuring modernized versions of the original Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot Warped games.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy offers a ton of gameplay with over 100 levels and two playable characters. The difficult action adventure games includes time trial modes and leadership boards, so you can see where you stand with the competition. Parents who want to show their kids the games of yesteryear without the signs of aging should go for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
Fun sandbox gameplay
Easy to grasp
Lots of depth and content with multiplayer and mods
No PS4 marketplace
Not very plot driven
Minecraft has been a massive phenomenon for the last decade now, and it shows no signs of slowing down. One of the greatest survival/crafting games ever made, Minecraft gives players the power to build almost anything they can imagine. There are endless possibilities with Minecraft’s enormous assortment of crafting materials. If you think of it, you can most likely build it, which makes it perfect for kids looking to stretch their creative muscles.
Apart from the creation aspect, Minecraft also touts an incredibly deep survival mode. Dropped into the middle of nowhere with nothing but your wits, you’ll battle to stay alive in a dangerous world by building bases, mining precious metals to upgrade your weapons, and hunting for food to manage your hunger. Minecraft’s randomly generated worlds are always fun to explore thanks to the wide variety of enemies and elements you encounter along the way. Minecraft also has a robust multiplayer mode, so players can fight, build, and explore together on PS4.
"My six-year-old son has become obsessed not only with playing Minecraft and experimenting within, but also reading about the ecosystem in books and gaining ideas for his next session." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
Fan-favorite Marvel characters
Single and multi-player options
To be fair, most of the console-compatible LEGO games out there are just as enjoyable for adults as they are kids. With tactile gameplay, a satisfying “break everything to get coins” technique and the nostalgia-inducing franchises they have access to, LEGO has released some of the most successful arcade-style games around, and Marvel Heroes 2 is no exception.
This time-traveling take on the Marvel Universe lets you play as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Thor, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Green Goblin and what they promise are dozens more characters. You’ll fight through the adventurous, time-jumping world of Chronopolis where you can play both as heroes and villains, and you’ll visit different places including ancient Egypt, the Old West and NYC circa 2099. You can play with (or against) other people, or as a single-player adventure. If you’re a kid who simply can’t wait for the next MCU movie to come out, this is a great way to get your superhero fix.
Less gameplay content than original
Like Spyro, Ratchet and Clank are pillars of PlayStation’s library, with a handful of memorable adventures on both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. After a brief hiatus, the duo returned on PS4 with a reimagining of the original game in the series, appropriately titled Ratchet & Clank. The 2002 original isn’t very playable by modern standards, so the 2016 remake was a welcome installment for fans of the franchise. It updated the story, weapons, and gameplay to better suit a modern audience.
In Ratchet & Clank, you make your way through futuristic cities, leaping and blasting your way past colorful, charismatic enemies. Kid-friendly violence is a bit of a rare find on the PlayStation store, so Ratchet & Clank is a gem for parents looking for something they don’t have to worry about their kids playing. Players use guns, bombs, and blasters to take out enemies, but the cartoony art style and silly tone are perfect for kids. Our reviewer played the game with his six-year-old and didn't have a problem with it. However, his one caveat was that the single-player game can be challenging at times, which might require some parental assistance for particularly young children.
"Most of Ratchet & Clank takes the form of an action-platform game, with a mix of wrench-swinging and gun-blasting combat, plus a fair bit of exploration and leaping around hazards and obstacles." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
Fun group gameplay
Good mix of modern and classic songs
A little dated these days
Just Dance 2018 is considered to be one of the best music dance games for the PlayStation 4. It also happens to be one of the best PS4 games for kids, including a variety of modern-day and older songs, including "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, "Shape Of You" by Ed Sheeran. Users don’t need to rely on a PlayStation Camera to capture their movements, but instead, can use the free Dance Controller app on their smartphones.
Both parents and kids can enjoy this music game together in both cooperative and dance-off modes. The game includes a 48-hour trial of its on-demand dance streaming service as well, allowing users to access a library of over 300 songs.
Fun, fast-paced gameplay
One of the most popular games on PCs today is Rocket League – a physics-based sports game that’s best described as “soccer with cars." Kids can enjoy all the aspects of the PC version with the PlayStation 4 port of Rocket League with its Collector’s Edition series.
The fast-paced game includes all the latest DLC content you’d find in its PC version, along with four new vehicles. Kids with a love of creativity and action will take joy in the game’s extensive battle-car customizations, eight-player online versus mode and up to four players offline split-screen modes. The game also comes with a Season Mode for a full single-player experience.
Three classic games in one
Great for kids
Updated graphics and sound
Simplistic and repetitive gameplay
Spyro the Dragon was one of the most iconic video game mascots on the original PlayStation, and his original outings are lovingly recaptured in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Following in the footsteps of Crash Bandicoot’s HD trilogy, all three of Spyro’s PlayStation adventures—Spyro the Dragon, Ripto’s Rage, and Year of the Dragon—have been remade in beautiful HD for this collection.
The first Spyro game helped pioneer the collectathon 3D platformer genre, and the gameplay largely holds up today. Using Spyro’s array of skills, including dashing, fire-breathing, and gliding, you’re tasked with hunting down lost dragons all across the world. Blasting enemies with fire always feels good, and smart world design keeps each level fresh. Our tester thought the remastered package would be a particularly good option for young kids thanks to the simple, cartoony gameplay. Spyro 2 and 3 open things up a bit, introducing more playable characters and collectibles across the more expansive levels. There’s plenty to do in each Spyro game, and apart from a few tough bosses, the difficulty won’t keep younger gamers from having a great time.
"All three games are lovingly revamped with beautiful new graphics while keeping the original framework of each adventure intact." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
Nostalgic 16-bit recreation
Frustrating old-school lives system
Sonic’s four main games on the Sega Genesis are seen by many as the pinnacle of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Tight platforming, creative level design, and a true sense of speed defined these classic games, and Sega was able to recapture that charm in 2017’s Sonic Mania, a love letter to the glory days of Sonic. With multiple playable characters (each with unique playstyles) and the inclusion of a versus mode, the challenge continues even after you beat the game.
Sonic Mania takes players through sidescrolling Sonic zones, old and new, in a familiar quest to gather the Chaos Emeralds and stop Dr. Robotnik. Along the way, you’ll race through classic Sonic locales like Green Hill and Chemical Plant Zone, as well as new zones like the skyscraper-filled Studiopolis. Younger fans will get to experience the most iconic levels in franchise history with a fresh coat of HD pixelated paint. Our tester thought the new levels fit in so perfectly that they feel like lost levels straight from the ‘90s. Sonic Mania is the best place for kids to jump into the series because of how it honors Sonic’s past while also pushing the series forward.
"Sonic Mania looks like a pixel-perfect 16-bit release from the early 1990s." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
The PS4 isn't dead yet, and its lineup for kids proves it. If you're looking for something everyone in the family can play, you won't do better than Rayman Legends, a game that inspires as much nostalgia in adults as it excites kids. For the more explorative and creative types, Minecraft and LEGO Worlds will scratch the itch to build.
Andrew Hayward has been covering video games since 2006. He's previously written for publications like TechRadar and Polygon to covering gaming and esports, is a gamer himself, and reviewed many of these games with his six-year-old son.
Kelsey Simon has been a gamer her entire life and written for Lifewire since 2019, covering a wide variety of games across numerous platforms.
Gameplay - When looking at child-friendly games, you want to get one where the gameplay isn't too complex, but at the same time it's not too simplified that you'll lose your child's interest. There's also different sorts of games, from adventure-driven platformers like Spyro Reignited, to open world sandbox games like Minecraft. Adventure games might have a bit more plot to them, while the sandbox lets your child be their creative self and explore the world.
Graphics - There are lots of different art styles in games, but when it comes to kid-focused ones you tend to find a mix between retro and cartoony graphics. The retro graphics in games like Sonic Mania might appeal to parents as well, bringing about a hint of nostalgia, while the cartoon 3D graphics you see on games like Rachet & Clank help keep violence from seeming too real. It's rare to find a child-friendly game with ultra-realistic graphics.
Kid-Friendliness - How child-friendly a game on can depend on many things, from complexity of plots and concepts, to the level of violence. Most kid-friendly games keep violence at the cartoon level with minimal shows of blood and no gore. These games might have some naughty jokes, but they tend to be amusing puns or potty humor, rather than outright profanity.