Did you know playing video games can have serious cognitive benefits for kids? It’s true – you may not immediately think of video games as a growth aid, but they most certainly are. Playing video games can improve your child’s coordination, enhance their memory, improve their social skills and much more besides. Next time you read a scare piece about how video games are causing the collapse of society, keep in mind that they’re actually helpful – in moderation, of course.
With that in mind, we thought we’d collect all the best PS4 games for kids together in one handy place. We’re going to look not just at the best games your kids can play right now on Sony’s console, but also to upcoming games, titles that your kids will love when they debut in 2019. Let’s get started!
PS4 Games Your Kids Can Play Right Now
We’re starting things off with an old favourite. Minecraft isn’t the newest or most graphically advanced title on the market, but as a creativity sandbox it’s almost unparalleled. The main survival mode is the meat of Minecraft’s experience, but the creative mode is where your kid’s imagination can really shine – people have built working computers, giant fortresses and more in Minecraft. This wonderful experience is 2-player, as well, so your child’s friends can get in on the action.
If you grew up during the 90s, you’ll know the awesome power of the twin titans of PlayStation platforming: Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Both of these venerable franchises have had their first three games remastered for the PS4, and both remasters are gorgeous throwbacks that faithfully recreate the gameplay of the originals while smoothing down some of the rough edges. Beautiful to look at, compelling to play and addictive as ever, the Crash and Spyro PS4 remasters are triumphs.
We’re plumping for this LEGO title over the many others available on PS4, although they’re all excellent choices. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes isn’t actually based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe; rather, it’s a celebration of all things Marvel Comics, with a staggering 180 characters to choose from. The puzzles are quite basic in LEGO tradition, but the whole experience is presented with such love and care that it’s impossible not to fall in love with the brick-based representations of Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and many more.
This quirky, lovable 3D platformer didn’t get anywhere near the love it deserved on release, so we’re recommending it right here. A Hat In Time is quite a difficult game, so it’s perhaps best for the slightly older kids, but it’s an unforgettable experience whatever your age. Its strong writing, incredible gameplay variety and perfect length all go together to create a game that doesn’t just rival the 3D platformers of yore but might just be better than most of them.
There are few multiplayer experiences on PS4 that top Rocket League. Very few people expected a sequel to the rather cumbersomely-titled Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars, but Rocket League iterates on and improves on its predecessor in every conceivable way. This is a wonderfully enjoyable title that is a constant delight to play thanks to its madcap physics engine and range of unlockable cars and flags.
Upcoming PS4 Games Your Kids Will Love
We spent many an afternoon learning the original PS1 Crash Team Racing’s many secrets and mechanical tricks, so we reckon the upcoming remaster is an essential purchase for any child. Development duties for this one go to Beenox, who did an excellent job on 2016’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. CTR might be better than Mario Kart, so we’re excited to see its diverse tracks and wonderful roster reappear on our radar in June 2019.
Finally! A release date! Kingdom Hearts III will be with us in January 2019, just in time for the post-Christmas slump. Even if you need an encyclopedia the size of the UK just to know what’s going on in the Kingdom Hearts storyline, this third instalment offers even more opportunities to go delving into beautifully-realised Disney worlds. This time around we can look forward to seeing worlds based on Toy Story, Big Hero 6 and many more great Disney movies.
Team Sonic Racing
We’re big fans of the underappreciated Sega All-Stars Racing titles here. The first one was a very solid Mario Kart clone with a fantastic single-player mode, and the second one genuinely surprised us with its track design and expanded campaign. Team Sonic Racing takes things back to basics, only offering characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise rather than the previous games’ Sega smorgasbord, but we’re excited nonetheless. This one comes out in May 2019.
Depending on where Tim Schafer and company decide to head with this sequel, this might be a game strictly for the older kids. Psychonauts was an underrated joy, with characteristically sharp LucasArts-style writing combined with well-designed and constantly innovative 3D platforming. The sequel promises to be just as good, and with the first Psychonauts also available on PS4, there’s never been a better time to get stuck in. No concrete release date for this one as yet, so stay tuned.
Described by creators Experiment 101 as an “open-world, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG”, Biomutant looks like a PS2 throwback in the best of ways. Its genre-blending gameplay looks like it’ll go perfectly with the game’s decidedly cartoonish aesthetic, and we’re excited to get acquainted with its beautifully rendered world. Biomutant hits shelves in Summer 2019, so make sure it’s on your radar.