The 10 best PS4 games for kids
If you have kids, you’ll be relieved to learn that the best PS4 games for kids are, in some cases, also the best PS4 games for teens and adults. While many games for kids are simple shovels, designed to distract young minds without rewarding them, there are some real gems as well.
The team at Tom’s Guide have rounded up 10 of our favorite PS4 games for kids – and we promise we’ll happily sit back and play one of them ourselves.
Most of the games on this list are platform games, since the “mascot platform game” has been a kid’s favorite ever since Super Mario crossed the Mushroom Kingdom in 1985. But if your kid prefers racing games, the bins interactive sand or open-world adventure games, we’ve got them covered too.
If none of these titles pique their interest, there is always the Family & Kids section in PlayStation Store. Just be aware that some of these games are real clunkers.
1. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
If you grew up playing Crash Bandicoot games on PlayStation, you’ll be happy to know that your kids can now do the same on PS4. (You may also be shocked at the rapid and relentless passage of time, so fair warning.) The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brings together the first three games in the series into one collection, adding improved graphics and smoother performance.
While the games can be quite difficult, they are also bright, colorful, and good-natured. They can also give your child a slight edge in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as Crash appears in a memorable level of this game.
2. Unleashed Hot Wheels
Children love racing games; kids also love die-cast cars. Hot Wheels Unleashed combines these two venerable hobbies with a fast paced arcade racing game that can get surprisingly deep. You can race against other miniature cars; you can develop your skills in a single player campaign mode; you can test your speed in time trials; you can even create your own levels, thanks to a robust track editor.
Hot Wheels Unleashed has 60 playable cars, and since it’s based on a real line of toys, some of your kid’s favorites may be in attendance. With split-screen multiplayer, parents can also get behind the wheel.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Marvel’s Spider-Man is cheating a bit, as the game is rated T and definitely has an older audience in mind. However, if you don’t mind a bit of violence and language, Spider-Man is also suitable for tweens.
Even more than recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Spider-Man on PS4 captures the true essence of the character, forcing him to make tough moral choices while protecting the city he loves. The canvas sling is absolutely perfect, from daring jumps to quick dives, and combat offers difficulty options to suit all skill levels.
Minecraft is a game that does not need to be introduced. If your kid likes to commandeer your phone to build their own blocky utopia, think about how much happier they’ll be when they have a big screen to explore. (And how much happier you will be to get your device back.)
For those who have never tried it, Minecraft is a creative simulation game in which players explore a pixelated fantasy world, search for resources, and use what they find to build spectacular structures. It’s kind of like a digital version of the game with Legos – if you could use Legos to build life-size castles.
5. New Super Lucky Tale
There’s nothing healthier than a good old-fashioned cartoon platformer, and that’s exactly what New Super Lucky’s Tale is. You play as a hooded fox named Lucky who travels through a colorful fantasy world to protect the mighty Book of Ages from an evildoer called Jinx.
New Super Lucky’s Tale features a ton of variety, with 2D and 3D levels, and a variety of puzzles to solve. The best part about New Super Lucky’s Tale, however, is that it’s just a good game with length and difficulty well suited to its young target audience.
6. Lego DC Super Villains
Lego DC Super-Villains is one of the newest licensed Lego adventures out there, but in reality you can pick almost any Lego game for this slot machine. There are Lego games that cover Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Avengers, and many other popular franchises.
Still, there is something deliciously sinister about Lego DC supervillains, which allows you to teach benefactors a lesson for a change. You take on the role of the Joker, Lex Luthor, Cheetah, and other fan-favorite villains as they take on the Justice League in a surprisingly good original story. Like most Lego games, this one is cooperative, so you and your child can play together.
7. Ratchet & Clank (2016)
Ratchet & Clank (2016) isn’t just one of the best PS4 games for kids; it’s one of the best PS4 games, period. This reboot of the classic Insomniac franchise ties into the ill-fated film of the same name, but don’t worry.
While the Ratchet & Clank movie seemed heavy and predictable, the Ratchet & Clank game had plenty of time to let the story breathe, along with a variety of exciting worlds to explore and rewarding gadgets to collect. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself creating your own backup file, however; the game has a bit of risky humor that young children may not fully understand.
8. Sackboy: a great adventure
LittleBigPlanet has been a mainstay in the family since the PS3 era, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure is its latest entry. You take control of the titular adventurer as he winds his way through a series of 3D platforming challenges.
There’s a simple story, but it’s not really the draw. Instead, Sackboy: A Big Adventure relies on creative and memorable visuals to get its point across. Everything in the game seems to come out of a colorful craft store. Up to four players can work in tandem to make their way through each challenging level, which is great news for siblings who like to play together.
9. Ultimate sound colors
Sonic the Hedgehog has been a mainstay of kids ‘games since the’ 90s, but not all Sonic games are created equal. In fact, most of them are downright forgettable (to put it politely). Sonic Colors Ultimate, however, generally finds the balance between fast side scrolling and more open 3D environments.
This time around, recurring foe Dr. Robotnik has built a dastardly amusement park, which Sonic must survive, taking on a series of tough bosses along the way. There aren’t too many surprises here for longtime Sonic fans, but it should appeal to young players who may not have experienced the Blue Blur antics before.
10. SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for the rehydrated bikini bottom
For the record, SpongeBob Squarepants was a bit after my time. That’s why I was impressed when I first started using SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated and found it to be a great platformer on its own. If your kids like SpongeBob SquarePants to begin with, then this is probably an even better experience.
In this 3D action game, you take control of the titular sponge, who jumps through different levels, collecting trinkets and fighting simple enemies and the occasional boss. If you played this one back then you’ll be happy to know it’s still fun.