Best games to play with young kids - r/localmultiplayergames (2024)

There are 2 main sections :

  • A) Games I've tried (with my kids)
  • B) Games I've not tried yet

These 2 sections are divided into 3 main sub sections :

  • i) 2 players max
  • ii) up to 4 players and more
  • iii) online multiplayer

I've started to add the minimal age I recommend. If no age is speciied, then the minimal age is 6-7yo. All games are available on Nintendo Switch unless specified. I try to focus on games that gets above average reviews. I'm probably going to put this in an Excel spreadsheet at some point to make it easier to filter. Games with less than 300 reviews on Steam and less than 20 reviews on Metacritic gets the "LK" tag which stands for lesser-known.

2 players max

Great :

  • It Takes Two (8yo)
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker : action-puzzle
  • Luigi's Mansion 3 : action adventure
  • Snipperclips Plus : puzzle
  • BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! : puzzle
  • Portal 2 (8yo) : puzzle
  • Yoshi's Crafted World (5yo) : similar to Kirby Star Allies
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Guacamelee 1,2 : action-platformer
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land : platformer, a bit too easy and linear
  • Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (8yo) : platformer, a bit too hard before that age
  • Door Kickers: Action Squad (8yo) : side scroller, similar to Broforce, a bit violent for 8yo
  • Paw Patrol on a Roll (5yo) : action platformer, great for young kids
  • Unravel Two : puzzle platformer
  • Racing games : Forza, Gran Turismo, F1, NFS Hot Pursuit, Dirt, etc. Rarely on Switch.

Not bad :

  • A Hat in Time : 3d platformer, cute for kids but the second player is limited a bit
  • Portal Knights (8yo) : mix of Minecraft and RPG
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 : graphics are meh in split screen on Switch so go PS5/etc
  • Kinect Disneyland Adventures (5yo) : action adventure (PC+XBOX only)
  • Stick Fight The Game : fighting, repetitive but funny! similar to Duck Game

Not a fan :

  • Chicory A Colorful Tale (PS5)
  • Cat Quest 2 : action RPG similar to Minecraft Dungeons
  • Monaco (8yo) : top down stealth
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (10yo) : beat em up
  • Diablo 3/4 (12yo)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (13yo) : not really my cup of tea but it's popular
  • Phogs! : puzzle, movements are limited by the other player, it annoyed me
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle : turn based strategy game, not my cup of tea
  • Animal Crossing New Horizons : very popular but I don't like it, not enough action
  • Chess Ultra : I prefer to play on a real board, this video game does not add anything imho
  • Asterix and Obelix: Slap them All! (8yo) : beat 'em up
  • 20xx : run&gun, looks cool and could be great but was average

Up to 4 players or more

Great :

  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury : platformer
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe : platformer
  • Sackboy : platformer (not on Switch)
  • Just Dance (5yo)
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate : fighting
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder : platformer
  • Horizon Chase Turbo : arcade racing
  • Boomerang Fu (5yo) : fighting
  • Duck Game : fighting
  • Towerfall Ascension : action
  • Hidden in Plain Sight : stealth party (great especially with kids)
  • Broforce (8yo) : run&gun, a bit violent/gore but my 7yo liked it
  • Trine 4 : side-scrolling, platform-puzzle
  • Sport games : NHL, FIFA, etc
  • ARMS : fighting
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (8yo) : space shooter, a bit too hard before that age
  • Littlebigplanet 1,2,3 : platformer, a bit too hard before that age (PS4/PS5 only)
  • Rayman Legends (8yo) : platformer, a bit too hard before that age
  • Tricky Towers : similar to Tetris
  • Mario Kart 8 : it gets repetitive quickly imho but I liked it when I was a kid so
  • Ultimate Chicken Horse : competitive platformer

Not bad :

  • Overcooked (8yo)
  • Moving Out (8yo)
  • Nobody Saves the World (9yo) : action RPG dungeon crawling
  • Minecraft Dungeons (8yo) : dungeon crawler
  • Untitled Goose Game : puzzle stealth
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredders Revenge
  • Tetris Effect Connected
  • Mario Party Superstars : not a fan but my daughter likes it
  • Super Mario Party : see above, Superstars is the newest edition
  • Cake Bash : fighting, not a fan but my daughter liked it, she can play solo

Not a fan :

  • Astro Bears Party : snake game (might be funnier with 8yo+ kids)
  • Fly Punch Bloom : fighting
  • WarioWare Get It Together!
  • Gang beasts : fighting
  • Urban flow : a bit like with Phogs!, when too much cooperation is needed, it kills it for me

Online multiplayer (ranked)

  • Fortnite (8yo)
  • Palworld : only on xbox/PC
  • Rocket League
  • Minecraft
  • Fall Guys
  • Roblox : not a fan but my kids like it (on iPad)
  • Genshin Impact (8yo)
  • Sky: Children of the Light : did not like it

Single player games to play with kids (not multi but can be great to compete or watch) :

  • Super Mario Odyssey : there is a coop mode but the 2nd player is limited (cappy)
  • Astro's Playroom
  • Lonely Mountains Downhill
  • Ring Fit Adventure
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King
  • Super Mario Maker 2 : there are some coop levels apparently
  • Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  • Stray (PS5)
  • Little Nightmares : 13yo+ in theory but I think it's fine for 7yo
  • Shovel Knight : very good game but might be a bit hard for kids
  • Pac-Man
  • Zelda BOTW
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered
  • OlliOlli World
  • Pinball FX 3

Solo Puzzle games (can work together since it can be complicated for young kids) :

  • The Talos Principle
  • The Witness
  • Baba is you (9yo)
  • The Incredible Machine : old classic PC game but still worth it
  • Aqua Kitty UDX : arcade shooter
  • Astral Chain (10yo) : hack & slash
  • A Way Out (14yo) : not on Switch
  • BattleBlock Theater : only on PC/xbox, up to 4 players in Arena mode
  • Borderlands (13yo) : might be good with mouse/kb but not a fan of FPS using controllers
  • Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer (9yo)
  • Dodgeball Academia (7yo) : sports RPG
  • Fitness boxing 2
  • Goat Simulator (10yo)
  • Golf Story (7yo) : golf RPG
  • Haven (12yo) : third-person RPG with survival game elements
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (10yo) : hack & slash
  • Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition (10yo) : hack & slash
  • Hyper Light Drifter (11yo) : 2D action RPG
  • Katamari Damacy REROLL (7yo)
  • Knack 2 (8yo) : PS4/PS5 only
  • Knights and Bikes : action-adventure
  • Kingdom Two Crowns : side-scrolling micro strategy game
  • Pang Adventures : collection of arcade video games, LK
  • Pokemon Let's Go
  • Pikmin 3 (8yo)
  • Salt And Sanctuary (11yo) : 2D action RPG
  • SEGA Genesis Classics : compilation of over 50 retro games
  • Spiritfarer (10yo) : tried it solo, did not like it
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas : open world space combat
  • The Adventure Pals (5yo) : platforming with beat 'em up style combat and light RPG elements
  • The World Ends with You Final Remix (12yo) : action RPG
  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (13yo) : similar to Borderlands, not available on Switch
  • Unsighted : top-down hack 'n slash mixed with shoot em up and RPG elements
  • Vitamin Connection (7yo) : LK
  • Wand Wars : fast-paced, top-down, magical sports game, LK
  • What the golf? : silly physics-based golf parody
  • Wild Guns Reloaded (9yo) : fast-paced arcade-style shooter
  • Yooka-Laylee : second player limited gameplay

LEGO games, the best ones on Switch seem to be (ranked) :

  1. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  2. DC Super Villains
  3. City Undercover
  4. Harry Potter Collection
  5. Marvel Super Heroes 1
  6. Jurassic World

Puzzles :

  • Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons (10yo)
  • Biped (8yo) : action puzzle, requires a lot of collaboration
  • Never Alone : puzzle-platformer
  • Part Time UFO (8yo) : physics-based puzzle
  • Pikuniku (7yo) : puzzle-exploration
  • Pode (7yo) : puzzle exploration
  • Shift Happens : puzzle-platformer

Platformers :

  • Cave Story+ (7yo) : 2D platformer
  • Explosionade DX : 2D shoot-em-up platformer, LK
  • Mutant Mudds Collection
  • Sonic Colors Ultimate
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Super chariot : 2D platform, LK
  • The Smurfs - Mission Vileaf : 3d platformer
  • VVVVVV : 2d action platformer

Fighting :

  • BLAZBLUE CENTRALFICTION (12yo)
  • Mortal Kombat 11 (16yo) : great single player
  • Pocket Rumble, LK
  • Pokkén Tournament DX
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (9yo)
  • Nidhogg 2 (10yo)
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV (13yo)

Run & gun : I would say minimum 9 years old

  • Blazing Chrome (10yo)
  • Blaster Master Zero
  • Bleed 1,2 (9yo)
  • Contra Anniversary Collection
  • Cuphead (9yo)
  • Huntdown
  • Metal Slug X
  • Metal Slug 1,2,3
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection (12yo)
  • Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 (11yo) : up to 4 players
  • Gunstar Heroes : not available on Switch
  • Sunset Riders : up to 4 players, LK

Shoot em up / bullet hell : I would say minimum 9 years old, all lesser-known unless specified

  • 1993 Shenandoah
  • AngerForce: Reloaded
  • Astro Duel Deluxe : up to 3 players
  • Binarystar Infinity
  • Blazing Star
  • Crimzon Clover World EXplosion : relatively popular
  • Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
  • Deathsmiles : relatively popular
  • DoDonPachi Resurrection : very popular
  • Dragon Blaze
  • G-darius hd
  • Gunbird 2
  • Ikaruga : very popular
  • Jamestown+ (10yo) : up to 4 players, relatively popular
  • Mushihimesama : most popular
  • Nuclear Throne (10yo) : most popular
  • Psyvariar Delta
  • Raiden IV x MIKADO remix
  • R-Type Dimensions EX (7yo using Infinite Mode) : relatively popular
  • Shikhondo Soul eater : relatively popular
  • Shoot 1UP DX
  • Sky force Reloaded : very popular
  • Sky Force Anniversary : very popular
  • Space Invaders Invincible Collection (7yo)
  • Steredenn: Binary Stars
  • Super Hydorah
  • Strikers 1945
  • Tengai
  • Zero gunner 2

Twin stick shooters (8-9 yo) :

  • Archvale
  • Assault Android Cactus Plus : up to 4 players
  • Geometry wars 3 : not on Switch
  • Helldivers : not on Switch
  • Neon Chrome
  • Neurovoider
  • Nex Machina : not on Switch

Games with roguelike elements : I would say minimum 9 years old

  • 2 players :
    • Blazing Beaks : roguelike shoot em up
    • Caveblazers (12yo)
    • Crypt of the Necrodancer : hardcore roguelike rhythm game
    • Children of Morta (12yo) : story-driven action RPG
    • Enter the Gungeon : bullet hell dungeon crawler
    • Kingdom: Two Crowns : side-scrolling micro strategy game
    • One Step from Eden : combines strategic deck-building and real-time action
    • Wizard of Legend : fast paced dungeon crawler
    • Young Souls (9yo) : 2D brawler with story-rich action RPG.
  • 4 players :
    • Binding of Isaac (13yo) : randomly generated action RPG shooter
    • Crawl (12yo)
    • Death Road to Canada (12yo) : randomly Generated Road Trip Action-RPG
    • Lost castle (9yo) : action RPG beat'em up
    • Moon Hunters : roguelike action RPG
    • Nine Parchments
    • Spelunky 2 (9yo)
    • Streets of Rogue (12yo)
    • Vagante
  • Art of Balance : physics-based puzzle, LK
  • Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly (7yo) : air combat, up to 8 players, LK
  • Collection of Mana : up to 3 players
  • Conga Master Party : snake game, LK
  • Death squared : puzzle
  • Flat Heroes (7yo) : puzzle platformer with bullet hell elements
  • Fly Together! : explosive airplane action
  • For the King (9yo) : up to 3 players, strategic RPG that blends tabletop and roguelike elements
  • Just Shapes & Beats : action rhythm
  • Killer Queen Black : platform strategy game
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (11yo) : top-down dungeon crawler
  • Mini metro (7yo) : strategy subway puzzle simulation
  • Mr. Driller DrillLand : action puzzle
  • PICO PARK : cooperative action-puzzle
  • Pix the cat : mash-up of Snake and Pac-Man
  • Radical Rabbit Stew : competitive arcade action, LK
  • Retimed : arena shooter, LK
  • Shipped : naval game
  • Skies of Fury DX : flight simulator
  • Stardew valley (8yo) : farming simulation RPG game, can also play online!
  • Super Bomberman R : action-maze game
  • Taiko no Tatsujin Drum 'n' Fun! (7yo) : rythm music party
  • Tales of Berseria (13yo) : JRPG, not available on Switch
  • Tales of Vesperia (12yo) : JRPG
  • The Ascent (16yo) : action-shooter RPG
  • The Escapists 2 (7yo) : prison escape strategy sim
  • Tower of Babel - no mercy : physics-based tower building, LK
  • Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 (12yo) : trivia
  • Wargroove : turn based strategy
  • Worms WMD : 2D artillery turn-based tactics

Board games :

  • Billion Road : LK
  • No Time To Relax
  • RISK Global Domination : board game of strategic warfare
  • Wingspan : bird board game

Platformers : (6yo)

  • Kirby Star Allies (6yo) : platformer
  • Heave Ho : platform party
  • Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Party Edition : platform puzzle, LK
  • Human: Fall Flat : platformer
  • N++ : momentum-based platformer
  • Runbow : platform racing
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania : platform party game
  • Super One More Jump : arcade platformer

Sports : (6yo)

  • Golf With Your Friends
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Stikbold! : over-the-top action dodgeball game
  • Super Mega Baseball 3 : up to 2 players
  • Windjammers 2 (7yo) : up to 2 players, flying disc sport game

Mixed reviews or lesser-known but I will give them a try :

  • 1-2-Switch
  • ClusterPuck 99 : up to 8 players, soccer game
  • Disc Jam
  • Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands (7yo) : open-world skiing & snowboarding
  • Instant Sports Plus
  • Instant Sports All-Stars
  • Mario Golf : Super Rush
  • Mario Strikers Battle League
  • Nintendo Switch Sports
  • RetroMania Wrestling
  • SpiritSphere DX : tennis fighting
  • Super Beat Sports
  • Super Blood Hockey (16yo)
  • Super Sportmatchen
  • Super Tennis blast : up to 2 players
  • Super Volley Blast
  • Wrestledunk Sports

Party / mini games

  • 12 Orbits (7yo) : up to 12 players, LK
  • Big brain acadamy (8yo)
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
  • Drawful 2
  • The Jackbox Party Pack (3 and 7 are the most recommended)

Beat em ups : (9yo)

  • Castle Crashers (9yo)
  • Full Metal Furies
  • Okinawa Rush : up to 2 players, LK
  • Rampage Knights (9yo) : up to 2 players
  • River City Girls (9yo) : up to 2 players
  • Son of a Witch (9yo) : LK
  • Street of Rage 4 (10yo)

Fighting : (7yo)

  • Brawlhalla
  • Kirby Fighters 2
  • Knight Squad 2 : LK
  • Hyper jam : LK
  • Invisigun Reloaded (8yo) : stealth battle
  • Lethal League Blaze (7yo)
  • MultiVersus : platform fighter (similar to Smash Bros), not available on Switch
  • Nickelodeon All Stars Brawl (7yo)
  • Tilt Pack : LK, mixed reviews
  • Treadnauts : LK
  • Unspottable : LK

Racing : (6yo)

  • Fast RMX
  • GRID Autosport : up to 2 players
  • Hotshot Racing
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed : up to 2 players
  • Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2
  • Riptide GP Renegade
  • Speedrunners
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Trackmania Turbo : up to 2 players, not available on Switch
  • SEGA AGES Virtua Racing

Multitasking / coordination / simulation / time management games: (8yo)

  • Conduct Together! : LK
  • Good Job! (2 players)
  • The Stretchers (2 players)
  • Tools up : mostly positive reviews
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service : mostly positive reviews
  • Unrailed! : too repetitive imho, a bit hard and stressful for young kids

Games that requires the most collaboration :

  • the multitasking ones from the category above
  • Overcooked
  • Moving Out
  • Snipperclips Plus
  • BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!
  • Portal 2 (Portal Companion Collection)
  • Trine 4
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
  • It Takes Two
  • Biped
  • Phogs!

F2p cross platform online multi :

  • Knockout City
  • Super Animale Royale
  • Overwatch 2
  • SMITE
  • DKO Divine Knockout
  • Among us

Online multiplayer :

  • Valheim (9yo)
  • No Man's Sky (limited mp apparently)
  • Terraria
  • ARK Survival
  • Monster Hunter Rise (11yo)
  • Roboquest
  • Stardew valley (can also play local coop)
  • Baldur's Gate 3 (13yo)
  • Risk of Rain (9yo) : action platformer (local mp on Switch only)

Games not yet categorized :

  • Kirbys Dream Buffet
  • Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader
  • Lego Brawls
  • The Game of Life 2
  • Frogun
  • Indivisible
  • DRAGON BALL FighterZ (11yo)
  • Legend of Mana
  • Let's Sing 2022
  • Gigantosaurus The Game
  • GO VACATION
  • Monopoly Madness
  • Super Kirby Clash
  • Fort Boyard 2022
  • Garfield Lasagna Party
  • Winter Games 2023
  • Paw Patrol Grand Prix
  • Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series : very limited coop
  • Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx
  • Advance Wars 1 Plus 2 Re-Boot Camp
  • Trinity Trigger
  • Lara Croft Collection

Anything I should add to this list ? ;-)

Best games to play with young kids - r/localmultiplayergames (2024)

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