20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Top 20 PS4 Games For Kids

Though Nintendo is often the choice console for children’s games, there are plenty of options on the PS4 too. All of the following games are rated Everyone or Everyone 10+ and will be labeled accordingly. That said, do not let the ESRB rating dictate whether a game is appropriate for your child, only you as the parent or guardian know what is best. If a game is rated for Everyone but you see something that your child isn’t ready for, the ultimate decision is up to you.

As such, please treat these 20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018) as a list of suggestions and not concrete requirements. Each game will have a small summary on the game itself, and then what the game can do or teach your child. Most of this will have to do with spatial awareness and dexterity; all video games teach the latter at very high levels. If you are wondering what such skills can translate to in childhood development, there are plenty of studies out there on the subject like this TED Talk, this book, and this research paper.

Besides education and childhood development, video games are also a lot of fun! What better way to spend a rainy afternoon or cold winter evening than with something than can provide hours of entertainment. On this 20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018) list you will find a selection of games ranging from simple button-press mechanics, exciting platform adventures, and inspiring gameplay – you are sure to find one to your liking!

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

This is a game purely about exploration. The controls are very easy to learn, there is no combat whatsoever, and the story is not unlike one you might find in Paw Patrol. Yonder introduces the player to a beautiful world of natural wonders. If you need a reason to head towards the horizon, Yonder is packed full of collection tasks that lead to a variety of rewards, like character customization, new tools, raise class levels, and materials to build pathways to new lands.

The story itself is entirely safe for children. It is about the player character curing the land of dark forces, unlocking them as they find various sprites around the world. The ending is something that children may not be able to understand on their own, but rest assured it is a happy one.

In addition to fitting its rating, Yonder is a simplistic game; so much so that children can be free to play it and make up their own stories as they explore the virtual world around them. It is easy to play Yonder and get lost in captivating environments filled with mysterious creatures, plants, and stones (all of which are entirely collectible).

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Skylar & Plux is colorful 3D platformer inspired by Megaman and Ratchet and Clank. Controls are easy to learn and intuitive for young players. The logic of the game and general collision detection is intuitive as well, allowing players to overcome challenges with ease. The cartoon characters are theatrical and quite hilarious, especially the villain.

Most, if not all, are jokes that will land with children from ages 6-10 and will get quite a laugh out of them. Players will follow the tale of Skylar Lynxe and Plux Owlsey as they work against the mysterious CRT – the apparent villain of the story. CRT has been trying to destroy the lovely Clover Island, supposedly because he can, while Skylar and Plux work to save their homeland.

They must traverse “tropical beaches, volcanic caverns, snowy mountain tops, merciless deserts” and find powerful equipment to help them win against CRT himself. The equipment the player will find adds challenge to future puzzles and excitement to old and new levels. The Time Orb is especially fun, as you can freeze enemies in their tracks and escape otherwise impossible situations.

Trailblazers

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Trailblazers is a recently released racing game with a very unique gameplay mechanic; not only do you race to the finish line in the best car possible, you must also paint the track in your color as much as possible; it’s like if Splatoon were a racing game and a little more simplified. The more you cover with your color, the faster you and your team will go.

You can have in teams of three with local co-op up to four players in total, so the whole family can play and work together for victory. Trailblazers is not just a one-off either, the more you play, the more you will be able to level up your skill points. These will come in handy for the much tougher online matches with up to six players.

This game will have kids racing at top speeds and beyond, offering the thrill of racing to the finish line and beating their friends or AI. In order to do this, Trailblazers offers cross-platform play between PC/Mac/Linux players to either the PS4 or Xbox One/Nintendo Switch.

That said, Trailblazers is a fun way to teach children about cooperation, being a team player, working in groups, and sharpening their reflexes to a hair trigger. Play with your child or watch them play by themselves, the game will be entertaining for all.

Gorogoa

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Gorogoa is a game created and illustrated by Jason Roberts. He uses a theme of frames and puzzles therein to tell a wordless narrative. Each frame is related in some way and must be arranged accordingly to solve the puzzle. As Roberts states, the puzzles are not just within the game, they are beyond the frame so to speak. What he means by this is that the player must think outside of the box in order to solve the puzzles, resulting in unique gameplay seen nowhere else.

The logic of Gorogoa may be difficult to grasp at first, but it is a game that tells a kind of fairytale; a boy in the search of a mystical figure called Gorogoa. As always, one’s life is made ever the richer by such journeys to unknown lands. This is a game where parent and child can work together, solving each puzzle and sharing in the feeling of triumph and unlocking the next part of the story.

As a lot of these puzzles require abstract thought with items and logic not overtly presented in the game, it is important to keep in mind that Gorogoa is better meant for children ages 10 and up. The decision rests with the parents, however, and you can be assured that there is no violence, fantasy or otherwise.

One Eyed Kutkh

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

One-Eyed Kutkh is inspired by “far North” mythology, presumably from the indigenous peoples of Siberia. There is absolutely nothing complex about this game, however, and both parents and children must keep that in mind. This is an adventure with very simple controls, puzzles, and an even simpler story. As such, One-Eyed Kutkh is perfect for children under ten; parents can teach them the association between button presses and on-screen movement without any in-game pressures.

Using the joystick for the first time is easy in this game as well, not nearly as confusing as having to coordinate both just to face the right direction and move. This is often why so many children’s games are platformers where the camera orientation doesn’t matter.

As such, if you are looking for something more in-depth and complex for your child, One-Eyed Kutkh is not what you need. This is a game made for younger children by expert puppeteers who wanted to tell stories from the far North in video game form and reach a wider audience.

InnerSpace

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

The only problem with InnerSpace in regards to the children that might play it, is that the controls are difficult to master. Much like Abzu, children are more likely to find themselves in corners and walls than flying gracefully. This hitch comes from the 360˚ world of InnerSpace, where gravity is a mere pipe dream. Oceans are wherever they like, rocks float somewhere in-between, and fish rarely follow the laws of physics.

Other than that, InnerSpace is a game about exploration and unlike Abzu, has neither linear environments or a concrete story to tell. InnerSpace relies heavily on vague attributes and references to something greater without telling the player outright. This is where children can fill in the gaps and make up their own stories. It can be fun to explain why the world is the way it is and what the player character is doing in it.

If you want something more linear and a lot less confusing, Abzu is the game you’re looking for. However, InnerSpace has the advantage of being just for fun. The point is to have fun without the laws of physics to guide you.

Knack

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone 10+

Knack may have its fair share of problems from the adult perspective, such as a lack of consistent narrative tone and repetitive gameplay, but these aspects matter a little less for kids. The point for kids is that you can wander around as a giant, crushing enemies in your way, or be three-feet tall, dashing through security systems without a care.

In Knack, you play as a creature that can grow by collecting a variety of items, like wood or mirrors. The more damage you take, the smaller you will become. You cannot always choose your size when approaching a level, however, as the design will often require the player to be a specific size for combat and solving puzzles. Nonetheless, Knack is filled with hilarious cartoon characters and exciting battles, perfect for whiling away those rainy days.

LocoRoco 2

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

LocoRoco 2 is the sequel and remaster to the PSP classic, a game perfect for kids. The bright colors bring the world to life as play what is essentially a small blob. You can make yourself bigger by eating certain fruits or become smaller on command to squeeze through small spaces.

The controls are very easy to learn and the game is remarkably fun for how simple it looks. Everything is just so endearing, from the characters that you play to the music, it is hard to put this game down – adult or not. There are even musical mini-games that are so catchy, you’ll be singing along to the nonsense-words in no time.

There is not much of a story here, beyond a vague evil trying to take over the world and little friends that the player needs to collect on each level. As such, parents can be assured that there is very little cartoon violence in LocoRoco 2 if any. Besides all the fun, LocoRoco 2 can teach children spatial awareness, puzzles solving, and not a little bit of physics as gravity certainly plays a part in the game.

De Blob 2

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Another blob related game. De Blob 2 is a 3D platformer where the player controls a Blob, a character that can take on and mix colors in order to paint the town, as it were. Each level, or city, has been turned into a blank canvas by Comrade Black.

It is up to the player to return color to the world. As you do this, levels and quests are unlocked like timed races and liberating certain landmarks. It is the player’s choice to complete these quests or not, so if your child finds them too challenging they can come back to them later.

De Blob 2 also features a two-player local co-op mode, where you can play alongside your child. You would take on a Blob character named Pinky, a member of the Color Underground. This mode (and Pinky) is a great way to help your child overcome those challenges and show them how working together is so important.

Some levels and boss fights require innovative gameplay, like special maneuvers and combinations. Any child able to use a controller will have a great time learning how to beat such challenges and bringing color to the in-game world.

Poi

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone 10+

Poi is a fairly well done Super Mario 64 clone. This is something to keep in mind when purchasing this game, especially if you already own a Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Odyssey is just as kid-friendly and fun; however, Poi has the advantage of being significantly cheaper and being on a console you probably already have.

If you haven’t played Super Mario 64, Poi is a 3D platformer based almost entirely on obstacle courses rather than puzzles. There are many unique ways to move, like the classic three jump, sideways jump, and backflip.

The story is not particularly in-depth like other games on this list. Poi is almost entirely focused on collecting specific medallions, coins, and life hearts. There is some cartoon violence in the way of boss fights and other enemies that must be fought, but there is no version of blood and the like.

Oure

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Another simplistic game that parents mustn’t expect much depth or complexity from. Oure is focused entirely on exploration while being a dragon. There are Titans that the player needs to defeat and objects to collect, but the majority of the game is flying with no real destination in mind. Some players have described Oure as a much less exciting Shadow of the Colossus, a game that has lost its sense of direction and tone.

For children, especially those under 10, Oure can present an opportunity to learn controls while participating in a mild narrative. Before a certain age, associating button presses from a controller to something happening on a screen a few feet away can be a difficult task. As such, it important to have simple games like Oure available where your little gamer can practice to their heart’s content without in-game consequences.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone 10+

A legendary platformer for anyone that owned a PS1 back in the day, now on the PS4 for new audiences to take in their fill. The Precursor Legacy is the best game in the series; it is not as difficult as Jak II and Jak 3, nor is it as badly made as The Lost Frontier.

The game might be a bit dated in graphics, but the gameplay still stands the test of time. It is one of the most dynamic open world 3D platformers since Banjo Kazooie. Each region is distinct in both level design and environment; one day you might be in a lush forest, the next in a desert filled with spiders.

The Precursor Legacy also benefits from a lack of loading screens. This may just be a quality of life aspect, but it was remarkable at the time and certainly is today too. It keeps gameplay smooth and with very few pauses in the story to wait for cutscenes.

This game may not be quite as rude as Banjo Kazooie, but it is still a product of its time. As such, be prepared for well-endowed cartoon women and a sprinkling of adult jokes that will go over children’s heads. Both adults and children will be laughing, however, as all character in Jak and Daxter are very cartoonish in both looks and attitude.

Sonic Mania

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Sonic Mania is another blast from the past, a remake of the highest quality – made by developers who loved the original games as much as we did. Again, the graphics might not be up to today’s standards on the PS4, but there is no other game quite like it. As we know, Sega and plenty of other developers have tried, but it never quite worked out.

Sonic Mania maintains the same thrill of speed, puzzles, and challenge as the original games. If your kids enjoy platformers, they are sure to love Sonic Mania. It’s a thrill that can be found nowhere else. Children will learn dexterity, thinking fast on their feet, and how to use the unique strengths of each team member.

Seasons After Fall

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Seasons After Fall is a short game, about 4 hours, but it makes up for it in art, audio, and gameplay. The art style of Seasons After Fall is well suited to the forest theme, making each area and level appear lush and full, teeming with flora and fauna.

You play the part of a little fox, and then later the spirit of that fox, on a mission to complete the ritual of the seasons. To do this, the fox must collect orbs from the guardians of each season – granting the player the ability to control that season. These powers unlock new areas and puzzles, accessed by backtracking through each of the four regions. For example, you can use winter to freeze water in order to make or reach new platforms, or spring to grow flowers to new heights.

As you run, jump, and bark your way through the stunning world of Seasons After Fall, the player is accompanied by a lovely string quartet. The music truly encapsulates the mystery and emotion of your journey. The story might be a little abstract for some children, even some adults for that matter, but it nonetheless heartfelt and rewarding in the end.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

It’s Stardew Valley without any of the adult themes – no homeless, single moms, or depressed people here; Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is the safer option between Minecraft and Stardew Valley. The great gameplay elements remain, with some minor changes. Your child can learn the very basics of farming as they collect materials, buy seeds, plant seeds, wait, harvest the crop, and either craft or sell for profits.

That’s just the planting side, there are plenty of other things players can do with the materials they collect, like building animal shelters (then acquiring and taking care of said animals) or improving their own home. Once the player has a good head start on the farm itself, it’s time to start meeting the townspeople. The player can form many friendships by simply talking to everyone or fetching whatever materials they require. If the player chooses, they can choose a romantic partner as well. There’s an adorable wedding and everything once this is achieved.

Harvest Moon can teach your child patience (eg. waiting for plants to grow or animals to grow), farming on the most basic level (seeds lead to plants, etc), and creativity (designing their own farms on the land given). Very little dexterity is required to learn the controls so even the youngest gamer can have fun.

Secret of Mana HD Remaster

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone 10+

Secret of Mana is a successful remaster of a SNES game, inspired by other titles like The Legend of Zelda series. Remarkably, Secret of Mana is even more child-friendly than Zelda is; the game sports enthusiastic and funny characters, eager for adventure and making friends along the way. In addition, every creature and person in Secret of Mana is very cute, even the enemies (save for very few); all characters are fluffy or have large eyes that make them positively endearing.

What really puts Secret of Mana above other games like it, is the local co-op feature. Parents can jump in and help their kids with up to three players in total. This will be particularly helpful when the difficulty spikes, which is an unfortunate feature that they kept from the SNES version; save often, even when you have help. Co-op play also makes managing your team easier, so you don’t have to micromanage what each member is doing per combat situation.

As you might be able to tell, Secret of Mana is a great way for kids to learn teamwork, spatial awareness (key to solving any dungeon or navigating the open world). So if you want a safer version of a Zelda game, Secret of Mana is for you.

Slime Rancher

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

First and foremost, Slime Rancher is extremely cute. Slimes are these various colored blobs that seem to insist on being happy, save for very few circumstances. Secondly, Slime Rancher is surprisingly difficult to put down – by which I mean the gameplay is a lot of fun and there always seems to be one more region to unlock or thing to craft.

Gameplay consists mostly of farming, with very little combat (only happens at night), and lots of collecting and crafting to achieve a variety of things. Certain slimes give you in-game currency and crafting materials, which are used to build better pens for your slimes and gardens to feed your slimes.

Again, there is so much more to the game than collecting slimes, there is always a goal the player can set for themselves and work on achieving. For example, exploration is fun and exciting when the graphics are so smooth and stunning, especially the glass desert region.

Tearaway Unfolded

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

The first game was originally made for the PS Vita and utilized the console to its fullest potential, Unfolded does much the same for the PS4. The controls are extremely interactive, dynamic, and innovative. The player can use the touchpad to create a crown for a character, design your own snowflakes, and so much more. These controls encourage creativity like no other game can, allowing the player’s own creations to appear in the game.

In addition, Unfolded is all about adventure and solving puzzles in dynamic and different ways from normal games. There are even some points where you need to use the controller’s gyroscope to make new paths and unlock new regions, the lightbar as a flashlight in game, or even blow into the speaker to clear obstacles.

Needless to say, Unfolded in innovative and perfect for children, encouraging them to think outside the game to solve puzzles and create their own solutions.

Little Big Planet 3

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone

Little Big Planet 3 may not have the dynamic controls of Tearaway but really comes into its own with an awesome creation mode. The latter is a little overwhelming at first, however, the tutorial is quick to soothe any fears and helps players get the hang of it fast. In creation mode, not only can you create your own levels, you can make up your own power-ups too.

If you are not too keen on creating your own level, there are more than enough built by other players for you to play. So once you’re done the game (which is fairly beefy in its own right) you can take on the challenges made by other players. If you want a simpler version of Super Mario Maker on the PS4, Little Big Planet 3 is the way to go.

Little Big Planet 3 is a game made by parents for children. The story and world are filled with a childlike wonder that can be found nowhere else. The characters are especially charming and hilarious. If you would like to join in on the fun, there is a co-op mode. It is said that the mode isn’t as smooth as it could be, but there are at least one or two levels that really make use of the game’s creativity and level design.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

20 Best PS4 Games for Kids (2018)

Official Rating: Everyone 10+

If Secret of Mana is the safer version of Zelda, Oceanhorn is the direct clone. Down to the narrative, world design, and even some of the art style, fans of Zelda will be sure they’ve played this game before. Luckily, you probably haven’t inflicted Phantom Hourglass on your child yet, making Oceanhorn the much better and easier version.

There is Wind Waker, of course, but if your child doesn’t want to wrestle with the Gamecube controller or motion controls of the Wii systems, Oceanhorn is much more straightforward: X to jump, square to attack, and circle for bombs.

There is nothing exactly unique about Oceanhorn, all the puzzles are solved in much the same way as they would be in a Zelda game. That said, if you want to get your little gamer into Zelda before introducing them to the heartbreak of Breath of the Wild, Oceanhorn is a great start. It’s fun, the puzzles are dynamic, and the gameplay is very easy to learn.

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