The 9 Best Xbox One Kids' Games to Buy in 2016

Shop for the best music, toy-to-life, superhero and puzzle-solving kids' games

When it comes to selecting a game for your kids, there's a lot to consider. You want to find something that's both entertaining and age appropriate, and it's a difficult balance to strike. So whether you're looking for the best superhero, old-school, puzzle-solving or toy-to-life game for your child, our top Xbox One kids' games to buy in 2016 will more than deliver.

Best Superhero: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
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The biggest and best superhero game on Xbox One is easily LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Featuring just about every beloved Marvel hero and villain you can think of – The X-Men, Spider Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four and more – LEGO Marvel Super Heroes gives you the massive, open world of Manhattan to explore while trying to stop an evil plot by Loki and Doctor Doom. Each of the characters has distinct skills and abilities – Iron Man can melt gold objects, Wolverine can slash through walls, Hulk can lift heavy items, etc. – that you use to explore the levels and solve simple puzzles. Having so many great characters all in one game makes LEGO Marvel Super Heroes a sure fire hit with kids and comic fans alike. Buy from Amazon »

Best Story: Minecraft Story Mode

Minecraft Story Mode
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Minecraft Story Mode takes place in the familiar blocky world players know and love, but features a large fully voiced cast of characters and a linear story about your character using their unique building abilities to seek out a mysterious group of heroes called the Order of the Stone and, eventually, save the world.

This is a story-driven game where you talk to characters, find items, and solve basic puzzles to access new areas and move the story forward; it's not an open world like normal Minecraft. It does have the traditional Minecraft crafting and building elements at key points in the story, however.

Even the most experienced Minecraft players will enjoy seeing all of the familiar items, blocks, locations and techniques presented in a new way here. The combination of the familiar Minecraft aesthetic with an actual story and cast of lovable characters make Minecraft Story Mode a must-play. Buy from Amazon »

Best Music/Rhythm: Rock Band 4

Rock Band 4
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Music games like Rock Band 4 are great for kids and the whole family because they allow everyone to play together with the guitar, bass, drums and microphone. Sure, the fake plastic instruments aren’t very close to the real thing in these games, but learning basic musical timing and rhythms and getting your fingers into shape playing Rock Band really does help when it comes to learning to play the real thing.

The music selection in Rock Band 4 is absolutely massive as well, thanks to the huge amount of songs in just about every genre that are available as downloadable content. So more than likely your favorite songs will be playable in the game. Creating music, even with toy instruments, is extremely satisfying, and sharing that feeling with kids can lead them to a lifetime of loving music. Buy from Amazon »

Best Toy-To-Life: LEGO Dimensions

LEGO Dimensions
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Toy-to-life games are awesome for kids because they’re really two toys/games in one. To start, you get real world toys and action figures that are fun to play with, but those special figures can also be scanned into a video game and played digitally as well. Our favorite toy-to-life game, LEGO Dimensions, takes it one step further by having you actually build the figures and playsets (which include licenses such as “Jurassic World,” “Back to the Future,” “Ghostbusters,” “Doctor Who,” “Scooby-Doo” and more) piece-by-piece with LEGO bricks. The video game levels based on those licenses are the same 3D action/platforming as other LEGO games, but you can swap any characters from any license in and out on any level, which creates some fun and funny crossover situations you’ll only find in LEGO Dimensions. Buy from Amazon »

Best Old-School: Mega Man Statue & E-Tank with Mega Man Legacy

Mega Man Statue & E-Tank with Mega Man Legacy
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One of the joys of parenting is being able to share the things you played as kid with the younger generation. Not every old-school video game has stood the test of time, but one series that has held up extremely well, and is playable on Xbox One, is Mega Man. Thanks to the Mega Man Statue & E-Tank with Mega Man Legacy Collection game, you can play through the Blue Bomber’s original six NES titles in one package. These games feature bright and colorful graphics, cute and lovable robots and simple-but-satisfying 2D action/platforming gameplay that is just as fun now as it was 25 years ago. Buy from Amazon »

Best Film-To-Game: LEGO Jurassic World

LEGO Jurassic World
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The “Jurassic Park” movies aren’t always exactly kid-friendly, but LEGO Jurassic World presents all four of the films in a light-hearted and humorous way where no one actually dies or gets hurt, and any violence is replaced with silly jokes. Not only does the game let you play through the plot of all four “Jurassic” movies, but it also gives you fully open world versions of the locations from the movies for you to explore.

Even better, along with the playable cast of human characters like Alan Grant, Dr. Sattler, Ian Malcom and more, there are also a number of playable dinosaurs including velociraptors, brontosaurus and T-Rex. The graphics are an interesting mix of realistic backgrounds with plastic characters that looks fantastic, and the sound effects/music were all taken directly from the movies. Buy from Amazon »

Best with Animals: Zoo Tycoon

Zoo Tycoon
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Zoo Tycoon is a zoo building/management simulator at its core, but its real appeal comes from the fact that it is a great way to simply observe and interact with animals. The free play mode allows you to ignore the management aspect entirely so you can just build a zoo with whatever animals you want, and it is in this mode where the experience really shines.

Lions, tigers, bears, elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees and many other species of animals are available here, and just sitting back and watching them as they run around and play is an absolute joy. The graphics are fantastic, right down to the soft- and fuzzy-looking fur on the animals that makes you want to reach out and touch. Buy from Amazon »

Best Puzzle Solving: Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations

Finn & Jake Investigations
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The best kids' games get them to think a little and maybe learn something new, and Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations does this very well. In this game, Jake (the dog) and Finn (the boy) have to solve mysteries all over the land of Ooo. You explore fully 3D versions of key locations from the show, like Treetrunks’ house or Princess Bubblegum’s palace, in order to find clues and items that you piece together to solve the mystery.

Things like combining a bottle+water+soap to make a giant bubble so you can float upward, or having to interview everyone around town to figure out who took a key item are just some of the puzzles. You really have to think critically and be smart, and solving the puzzles is really quite fun. All of the fan-favorite characters from the show are here, fully voiced by the real actors, and the presentation overall is top notch. Buy from Amazon »

Best Kinect: Fantasia: Music Evolved

Fantasia: Music Evolved
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Kinect for Xbox One was an undeniable flop, but if you do happen to have a Kinect you’re in for a treat with Fantasia: Music Evolved.  Fantasia: Music Evolved pairs the visual brilliance of the Disney “Fantasia” films with a motion-controlled music game where you create music like the conductor of a symphony. The game includes classical pieces from Mozart and Bach, as well as modern songs from David Bowie and Queen.

By moving your hands in different ways to mimic onscreen indicators, you bring the music to life. The gameplay is relatively simple and intuitive, but the challenge comes from making sure your hands and body are in the right position to complete the next series of moves, not just the current one, which is tougher than it sounds. Once you learn to play, though, Fantasia: Music Evolved is extremely fun and stands as easily the best Kinect game ever. Buy from Amazon »


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