A group of kids playing video games

Video games are frequently trashed as a thoughtless time-waster, but they can also be very engaging and educational for children when used appropriately and with some thought. They can help children to develop hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, creativity, sportsmanlike behaviour, and encourage physical activity, among others.

It is important to note the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of a game before purchasing in order to ensure it’s appropriate for your child. Ratings are based on a number of factors including whether or not the following is included in a game: violence, sexual content, language, controlled substances, gambling, etc.

In no particular order, here are 40 of the video games we consider to be the best, highest-rated and most popular for kids based on available features and average customer ratings and reviews.

1. LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack – PlayStation 4

The whole family will have fun with this popular video game that features many different LEGO characters joining forces to battle in worlds outside of their own. It features the Dark Knight, a Wizard, and a LEGO Master Builder that allow you to let your imagination run wild.

Key features:

  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Expansion packs available

Cost: *Est. $99.88

2. Warner Home Video – Games LEGO Dimensions, Dr. Who Level Pack

This expansion pack unlocks the exclusive Doctor Who “An Adventure in Space and Time” level in the LEGO Dimensions game. You can help The Doctor rewrite the future and save the day by rebuilding the TARDIS into a Laser-Pulse TARDIS and Energy-Burst TARDIS.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Recommended for those aged 7-14

Cost: *Est. $29.96

3. Back to the Future Level Pack – LEGO Dimensions

Head back to the future with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack that lets little ones build Marty and activate his special Sonar Smash ability. You can even add the rebuildable 3-in-1 DeLorean Time Machine and Hoverboard in to the game.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Recommended for those aged 7-14

Cost: *Est. $29.89

4. Ghostbusters Level Pack – LEGO Dimensions

You won’t be afraid of no ghosts after unlocking this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack which includes Peter Venkman, Ecto-1 and Ghost Trap. It unlocks a mission-based video game level and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older

Cost: *Est. $29.96

5. Midway Retro Gamer Level Pack – Lego Dimensions

Unlock over 20 classic arcade games with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Gamer Kid, G-6155 Spy Hunter and Arcade Machine and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $29.99

6. Warner Home Video – Games LEGO Dimensions, Portal Level Pack

Unlock an all-new game level with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Sentry Turret, Chell and Companion Cube and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $29.95

7. Warner Home Video – Games LEGO Dimensions, Simpsons Level Pack

Unlock an all-new game level in Springfield with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Homer, his car and a Taunt-o-Vision television set and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $29.99

8. Scooby Doo Team Pack – LEGO Dimensions

Help Scooby Doo and his friends solve mysteries with this popular LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Scooby Snacks and the Mystery Machine and is a video game recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $24.96

9. DC Comics Team Pack – LEGO Dimensions

Wreak havoc on Gotham City with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Joker and his helicopter, plus Harley and her Quinn-mobile and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $24.96

10. Warner Home Video – Games LEGO Dimensions, Jurassic World Team Pack

Stay safe from the dinos with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Velociraptor, Owen, ACU and a Gyrosphere and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $24.99

11. Ninjago Team Pack – LEGO Dimensions

Take part in incredible battles with this LEGO Dimensions expansion pack. It includes Cole and his Boulder Bomber, and Kai and his Blade Bike, and is recommended for those aged 7-14.

Key features:

  • Compatible with the LEGO Dimensions starter pack
  • Suitable for multiple gaming systems
  • Build and rebuild the game pieces

Cost: *Est. $24.96

12. Super Mario Maker – Nintendo Wii U

Super Mario Maker is still super popular and allows gamers to build and play the levels of their dreams to play a nearly limitless number of levels while flexing their creative muscles.

Key features:

  • Suitable for players of all ages
  • Transform into different characters
  • Switch between 4 themes

Cost: *Est. $56

13. Just Dance 2016 – Wii

The whole family will get in on the dancing fun with the 2016 iteration of the Just Dance series. You can challenge friends from all over the globe and even battle in karaoke mode.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Personalize your workouts and track calories

Cost: *Est. $38.84

14. Super Smash Bros. – Nintendo Wii U

All your favorite Nintendo all-stars have assembled for the biggest battle ever. Trick out your fighters to perform powerful attacks to send your rivals to the curb with this popular video game for kids.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple Nintendo gaming systems
  • Amiibo figures sold separately

Cost: *Est. $59.48

15. Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Star Wars Saga Bundle – PlayStation 4

Now your favorite Star Wars characters can join forces with the other 3.0 characters in your toy box to complete interesting challenges. Enjoy story-driven gameplay featuring Twilight of the Republic, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Rise Against the Empire, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Boba Fett.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Compatible with older portals

Cost: *Est. $99.12

16. Skylanders SuperChargers: Racing Sea Pack

Enjoy high octane undersea races with this set that includes deep dive gill grunt, a sea trophy and reef ripper with all new tracks so the fun never stops.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 6 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Not fully compatible with older portals

Cost: *Est. $33.97

17. The LEGO Movie Videogame – Xbox 360 Standard Edition

Everything is awesome in this LEGO version of the popular LEGO movie that lets your little one play the role of Emmet – the most unlikely special person and the key to saving the world.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Includes 90 playable characters

Cost: *Est. $22.50

18. Cars 2: The Video Game – Nintendo Wii

Your little one will enjoy playing as their favorite Cars characters such as Lightning McQueen or Mater while performing super spy maneuvers like backwards driving, air tricks, sidestepping and even two wheel driving.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Includes 20+ playable characters

Cost: *Est. $18.44

19. Minecraft

This popular game is loved by both kids and grown-ups alike and allows users infinite possibilities to create the world of their dreams where imagination is the only limit.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Combine local split screen and Xbox LIVE play for up to 8 players

Cost: *Est. $16.99

20. LEGO Jurassic World – Xbox 360 Standard Edition

Your favorite Jurassic World characters get the LEGO treatment in this adventure-packed game. Choose and customize from 20 different dinosaurs for one frightfully fun playtime.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Play with family and friends

Cost: *Est. $41.08

21. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Suitable for 2-4 players, tackle new and exciting levels that allow players to use the motion capabilities of the Wii Remote controller to complete play. Choose from multiple playable characters like Mario, Luigi and two Toads.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Suitable for Nintendo Wii gaming systems
  • Available in a special edition gift set

Cost: *Est. $25.49

22. Splatoon

One of the most popular and highest-rated video games this year, set your little artist loose in the city to create a colorful and fantastic splatter of paint splats that lets them be as messy as they want without any mess for you to clean up!

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Suitable for Nintendo Wii U gaming systems
  • Online play

Cost: *Est. $61.80

23. Just Dance 2016 (Gold Edition) – Xbox One

The whole family will get in on the dancing fun with the 2016 iteration of the Just Dance series featuring over 150 hits and new titles. The Gold Edition features the game plus a 3 month subscription to Just Dance Unlimited at 33% off.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Personalize your workouts and track calories

Cost: *Est. $50

24. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – PlayStation 3

Go beyond protecting Gotham City to the various Lantern worlds including Zamaron and Odym where you can battle with Batman and his allies in outer space. Unlock 150+ characters and more while completing various challenges in this popular video game.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Available in standard, deluxe and season pack configurations

Cost: *Est. $17.79

25. Lego: Marvel Super Heroes, XBOX 360

Everyone’s favorite Avengers get the LEGO treatment in this action-packed multiplayer game. No one will be safe from your child’s path of destruction as they smash, swing and fly their way through the many levels.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Hours and hours of fun and replay ability

Cost: *Est. $19.50

26. Madden NFL 25 – Playstation 3

Your little football lover will enjoy playing this game that celebrates 25 years of innovation, that unlocks all the moves of the NFL ball carrier. You can unlock 30 new moves and devastating combos thanks to the all-new precision modifier.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Choice of two bundles

Cost: *Est. $12.49

27. Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game Starter Pack – Xbox 360

Everyone’s favorite Avengers get the LEGO treatment in this action-packed multiplayer video game. No one will be safe from your child’s path of destruction as they smash, swing and fly their way through the many levels.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Choice of three bundles

Cost: *Est. $30.88

28. Yoshi’s Woolly World Bundle – Wii U

This cute little gift set lets your little one ravel and unravel their way through all sorts of adventures to uncover hidden gems and goodies and includes the Green Yarn Yoshi amiibo.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for Nintendo Wii U gaming system
  • Choice of two bundles

Cost: *Est. $59.88

29. NBA 2K14 – Xbox One

Build your ideal lineup to compete in different challenges and tournaments in this exciting basketball game. The player-driven narrative experience keeps things exciting both on and off the court.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Online play

Cost: *Est. $9.48

30. LEGO Lord of the Rings – Nintendo 3DS

Your little one will get a kick out of exploring the open expanses of Middle Earth while battling Ocs, Uruk-hai, the Balrog, the Witch-king, and more.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • More than 60 playable characters

Cost: *Est. $8.85

31. Need for Speed Rivals – Xbox 360

Your kid will love racing around the track in this high stakes rivalry where racers must work on their own to outmaneuver and outdrive each other and the police in this no-holds-barred need for speed.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Multiplayer option

Cost: *Est. $18.99

32. LeapFrog LeapTV Sports! Educational, Active Video Game

Your little one will get a kick out of playing one of these 9 active and fun games and you’ll feel good knowing that they’re learning something at the same time. It teaches addition, subtraction, shapes, patterns, number recognition and more, all while getting your little one moving.

Key features:

  • Recommended for children age 4-7
  • Works on any TV
  • Educator approved

Cost: *Est. $13.40

33. Mario Party 9

It’s a multiplayer party in this popular game where players take turns being the driver and with 80 all-new minigames, it’s sure to provide your child with hours of fun. Earn Party Points that can be used to unlock special items and features.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for Nintendo Wii gaming system
  • Backwards compatible

Cost: *Est. $34.99

34. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

Help Mario’s sidekick take on ghosts, puzzles, and himself in this spooky adventure filled with hidden passages and bone-chilling challenges. Upgrade Luigi’s gadgets by collecting coins, cash, and other treasures.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for Nintendo 3DS gaming system
  • Compatible with Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, and New 3DS XL

Cost: *Est. $35

35. Toy Story 3 The Video Game – Xbox 360

You’ve got a friend in Woody and Buzz thanks to this this fun game kids of all ages are sure to love. Ensure that no toy gets left behind as you dive into all new heroic adventures sure to take you to infinity… and beyond!

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Multiplayer option

Cost: *Est. $9.99

36. Madden NFL 16 – PlayStation 4

Your little football lover will enjoy playing this game that allows them to take total control of the ball, game, and every move their player makes. It features a brand new scouting and draft system and lets users build their ultimate team with players from the past and present.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Play online with friends

Cost: *Est. $52.50

37. Farming Simulator 17 – PlayStation 4

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Can’t get enough of Farmville? Take your farming addiction one step further with this game that lets you build and grow a working farm where you can tend to crops, harvest their bounty, and sell those wares in order to level up.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Available online play

Cost: *Est. $37.99

38. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 – Nintendo Wii

This installment of the LEGO-fied Harry Potter franchise sees Harry and his friends return to Hogwarts where they must attend 16 lessons and complete 24 story events. Master your spells in order to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone aged 10 and older
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Play with family and friends

Cost: *Est. $9.89

39. Angry Birds Star Wars – Nintendo Wii

Everyone’s favorite angry birds have been given the Star Wars treatment in this fun and exciting game that features over 25 hours of engaging gameplay. Fly your way through 20 console-exclusive new levels all from the comfort of your couch.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for multiple gaming systems
  • Choice of several bundle packages

Cost: *Est. $9.67

40. Pokémon X

Bring your favorite classic and several all-new Pokemans to life in this fun and interactive game. You can pet, feed, and play with your Pokemon before setting out to new frontiers to capture, train and battle even more Pokemon characters.

Key features:

  • Suitable for everyone
  • Available for Nintendo 3DS gaming system
  • Connects with other players around the world

Cost: *Est. $32.99

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