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Best Overall: Rayman Legends at Amazon
"The colorful, fun characters and scenery combined with the satisfying platforming makes Rayman Legends fun for both kids and parents to play."
Best 3D Platformer: Yooka-Laylee at Amazon
"Players take on the role of the two titular characters making their way through massive, colorful worlds."
Best Superhero Game: LEGO Marvel Collection at Amazon
"Each game has LEGO's signature slapstick humor and seamless drop-in/drop-out multiplayer."
Best Film Adaptation: LEGO Jurassic World at Amazon
"LEGO Jurassic World recreates the events of the first four Jurassic Park films with TT Games’ signature humor."
Best Family Game: Overcooked! 2 at Amazon
"Similar to games like Diner Dash, Overcooked! 2 has you and up to three friends chopping, sauteing, and serving your way to success in a number of hectic kitchen scenarios."
Best Sandbox: Minecraft Master Collection at Amazon
"One of the most influential games ever made comes to Xbox One with the Minecraft Master Collection."
Best Sports Game: Rocket League Collector’s Edition at Amazon
"Best described as a cross between a demolition derby and soccer, Rocket League is a fast-paced, crazy good time."
Best Multiplayer: Fortnite Deep Freeze Bundle at Amazon
"Fortnite is not only the undisputed king of battle royale games, it absolutely dominates the kid-friendly game market."
Best Pinball: Yoku’s Island Express at Amazon
"Yoku’s Island Express is a far cry from your typical pinball video game, and features a unique fusion of pinball and side-scrolling platforming mechanics to explore a Metroidvania-style open world."
Best Shooter: Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville at Amazon
"Improves on the best ideas of its predecessors and adds a massive amount of new content"
Four player co-op and competitive mode
Fun for parents and kids
Can be played entirely offline
May be difficult for very young children
Released in 2017, Rayman Legends was the highest rated platformer of the year. It's a direct sequel to the 2011 game, Rayman Origins. You play as the titular character as he navigates an enchanted land on a quest to defeat dragons, sea monsters, and evil luchadores. Along with the main, single-player story mode, Rayman Legends also features four-player co-operative and competitive play. The multiplayer mode allows players to drop in and out seamlessly, without interrupting the flow of the game.
For parents worried about little ones playing online, the game can be played completely offline in single-player or four-player local co-op. For older children, there are online challenges and leaderboards they can use to show off their platforming skills and item collections. The colorful, fun characters and scenery combined with the satisfying platforming makes Rayman Legends fun for both kids and parents to play. The Xbox One version also has exclusive Far Cry 3 skins for Rayman and Globox.
Single and multiplayer modes
Xbox Live not required
May be frustrating for very young children
Camera doesn’t always cooperate
Yooka-Laylee by Playtronic Games is a spiritual successor to the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie. Players take on the role of the two titular characters making their way through massive, colorful worlds. The core gameplay revolves around collecting several kinds of in-game currency, each of which is used to unlock different things. Pagies are used to unlock new worlds and expand ones you’ve previously played. Quills, Mollycools, and Playtonics are used to learn new combat moves, transformations, and ability modifiers. Ghost Writers and play tokens add challenges and arcade games to bulk out the content.
Along with the single-player story mode, Yooka-Laylee has a two-player local co-op and four-player competitive arcade mode, making it great for siblings, parents, and friends to play together. Just like Rayman Legends, Yooka-Laylee can be played 100 percent offline, so parents don’t have to worry about little ones being exposed to the cesspool of console voice chat.
Three games in one collection
Confusing installation process
Framerate issues with LEGO Marvel Avengers
The LEGO Marvel Collection is a two-disc set containing three games: LEGO Marvel Superheroes, LEGO Marvel Avengers, and LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2; the collection also includes all DLC for each game, making it a perfect choice for completionists. LEGO Marvel Superheroes is the best selling LEGO video game of all time, and it has 27 main story and side missions for you to complete.
LEGO Marvel Avengers features over 200 playable characters with over 800 unique "buddy" moves to help progress through boss battles and puzzle sections. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 gives players the ability to manipulate time, features a four-player competitive battle mode, and features 17 different locations from the Marvel film franchises. Each game has LEGO's signature slapstick humor and seamless drop-in/drop-out multiplayer.
Features key scenes from first four films
Free play mode
Poor sound mixing in some levels
LEGO Jurassic World recreates the events of the first four Jurassic Park films with TT Games’ signature humor. The game has 20 levels that have you solve puzzles, navigate platforms, and collect all kinds of items. There are 100 unlockable playable characters, including over 20 dinosaurs that let you wreak havoc on Isla Nublar and Isla Soma. One of the collectible items is LEGO amber, a substance that lets you alter dinosaur DNA to create your own creatures to put on display in the parks.
Like its LEGO game predecessors, LEGO Jurassic World features drop-in/drop-out multiplayer that allows you to smoothly join and exit games in progress. There's a free-play mode that has you explore both islands and create your own park with real and DNA-altered dinosaurs. You can even free roam around the overworld for more low-stakes fun.
New levels, costumes, and recipes
4 player co-op
Great party game
Gameplay might be overwhelming for very young children
Similar to games like Diner Dash, Overcooked! 2 has you and up to three friends chopping, sauteing, and serving your way to success in a number of hectic kitchen scenarios. Overcooked! 2 features both local and online multiplayer so you can play with friends on your couch or in different cities. This game features new kitchen themes such as a sushi restaurant, a magic school, and even a mineshaft. Some levels have hazards like moving floors to add new layers of challenge.
There are also plenty of new recipes to cook, and chef costumes to customize the adorable characters. Overcooked! 2 also introduces an ingredient tossing mechanic, allowing you to throw food or pots and pans to expedite the cooking. With the four-player co-op mode, it’s a perfect game for sleepovers, birthday parties, or for parents and kids to play together.
Plenty of DLC included
1000 Minecoins included
DLC content may not be shareable between Xbox One profiles via Game Pass
One of the most influential games ever made comes to Xbox One with the Minecraft Master Collection. Not only do you get the base game, but this deluxe edition also includes the Starter Pack and Creator Pack DLC, and 1000 Minecoins. The Starter Pack includes a Greek mythology mash-up, plastic texture pack, a variety of player skins, and a villains skin pack. The Creator Pack adds an Adventurer’s Dream mash-up, Winter mini-games festival, Relics of the Privateers, PureBDcraft texture pack, pastel skins, and Savanna wildlife.
The Minecoins allow you to purchase additional skins, textures, and even new worlds from the in-game marketplace. The Minecraft Master Collection allows crossplay between Xbox One, mobile, and Windows players, so no matter what platform your friends use, you can play together. It also allows split-screen local co-op for fun at home.
Online and local co-op
May be too complicated for younger children
Best described as a cross between a demolition derby and soccer, Rocket League is a fast-paced, crazy good time. The Rocket League Collector’s Edition for the Xbox One includes the base game alone with three differed DLC packs and four extra cars. Rocket League gives you over 100 BILLION different customization options with your cars; everything from paint jobs to spoilers, chassis upgrades, and wheels.
The game has a split-screen local co-op mode that supports up to four players and an online mode that supports up to eight players. You can also track your personal stats and check out leaderboards for extra challenges. Rocket League features crossplay with every platform, so regardless of whether your friends play on PC, PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch, you’ll be able to enjoy all the silly fun together.
Cosmetic items and in-game currency included
May not be appropriate for elementary school children
Fortnite is not only the undisputed king of battle royale games, it absolutely dominates the kid-friendly game market. With the Fortnite Deep Freeze Bundle, not only do you get the base game, but you also get the Frostbite player skin, Freezing Point back bling, the Chill-Axe pickaxe, and the Cold Front glider. If not of that appeals, you can burn the included 1000 V-Bucks on additional skins and items at the in-game marketplace.
In the main game, you’ll face off against 99 other players as you shoot, glide, and build your way across the map in a bid to be the last one standing. Fortnite also has crossplay available now, so friends playing on different consoles or even on PC can enter duo and squad matches together. There's also a creative mode that lets you and your friends peacefully build platforming obstacle courses or your own battle arenas.
Non-linear open world
Unique fusion of pinball and platforming
Backtracking may become tedious at times
Occasionally unclear progression requirements
Yoku’s Island Express is a far cry from your typical pinball video game. This game features a unique fusion of pinball and side-scrolling platforming mechanics to explore a Metroidvania-style open world. You play as the titular character, tasked with saving an island and its deity from an impending calamity. Since your character cannot jump, there are plenty of bumpers, tracks, and ramps that help you properly utilize the pinball mechanics.
The gameplay is non-linear, allowing you to forge your own path in order to progress through the story and environment. Not only do you bounce around to defeat enemies, but you also collect a variety of fruit to use as in-game currency in order to unlock new abilities and combat moves. You can even use exploding slugs to create distractions or open up new areas. The game has you play across many different environments like beaches, jungles, mountains, caves, and even hot springs!
Lots of game modes
Split-screen for all game modes
Online and offline multiplayer
Single-player content gets repetitive
PopCap’s flagship series is back with Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. The third entry improves on the best ideas of its predecessors and adds a ton of new content without tampering with the key formula that made the original Garden Warfare so successful. You'll still be blasting cartoony zombie monsters and anthropomorphized plants in over-the-top arena-based combat, but Battle for Neighborville also adds a slew of new single-player content and game modes.
Popcap has also added limited-time events to the formula with challenges and exclusive rewards, incentivizing players to keep coming back even after they've exhausted the vanilla content. There's more to do than ever before, but the core zombie/plant blasting action is as delightful and addictive as it's ever been.
Our writers spent 60 hours researching and testing the most popular Xbox One games for kids on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 10 different games overall, screened options from 19 different brands and manufacturers, read over 1500 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 3 of the games themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.
Activity level - Some games are more active than others. A few will even work up as much of a sweat as playing a game of tag outside. To help your child get adequate exercise, look for a game that keeps him or her moving, such as Dance Dance Revolution.
Educational level - Video games don’t have to be purely recreational. Some can supplement math and science subjects that your child is learning in school or even delve into an entirely new topic that he or she might not have explored otherwise.
Creativity level - Sometimes, educational games teach a child to think in a new way or solve puzzles with abstract thinking. Plenty of games, such as Minecraft, offer a more creative spin than those with more traditional approaches such as times tables and science experiments.