In the last few years, it is safe to say that video games have quickly become one of the top picks for entertainment among tweens. As video games’ technology and capabilities in offering new and exciting experiences develop, so do their audiences.
Most families in the United States own a gaming console, and most kids play video games at some point. As such, parents will want to find the right games for their tweens to play. The gaming industry is at a crossroads right now, and many titles are currently being published for adult gamers.
However, that is not to say that there aren’t many family-friendly video games currently on the market. Following is a guide to some of the best video games for tweens – that’s broadly your 9-12-year-old group – that are engaging and fun!
Best Video Games for Tweens
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The Marvel films have taken the world by storm, with much of the focus being on an all-star ensemble of heroes known as the Avengers. Now, Earth’s mightiest heroes have their own video game that your tween is sure to leave.
Featuring awesome third-person action, Marvel’s Avengers lets you play as a variety of classic Marvel characters. Players will battle it out against an insane cast of Marvel villains as they fight to save the world.
Featuring single and multiplayer missions plus tons of challenges to do and gear to collect, your child is sure to love this game. If your child is a fan of fun action games or the Marvel universe of characters, then this game is absolutely for them.
Rated Everyone / PEGI 7
The release of Super Mario 64 was a landmark event in the gaming industry. The Super Mario franchise practically wrote the book on what it meant to be a 3D game and what modern platformers should look like.
Now, Nintendo has re-released Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy all in one game. The Super Mario 3D All Stars collection of games brings back three legendary Mario games.
Now you can introduce your kids to all of the action of these classic titles. Players will jump, climb, race, and fly across all kinds of colorful worlds. There are loads of enemies to face, secrets to collect, and challenges to complete!
The Super Mario franchise is renowned for its ability to appeal to just about any age of gamer. As such, the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection of games is a fantastic pick for your tween.
The Avengers might be Earth’s mightiest heroes, but who will protect all of the other planets? That is where the Guardians of the Galaxy come in! Plus, they have become exceedingly popular since the release of their first film in 2014.
Now, in their new game, players can take control of Starlord, the leader of the Guardians. Players will battle it out across a variety of locations and against some of the baddest enemies the Marvel universe has to offer.
Players will get to work with other Guardians of the Galaxy and other heroes as they fight to save the galaxy from evil. Whether your tween is a fan of the Guardians or a fan of action and shooter games, this game is perfect for them!
Rated Everyone 10+
We could put every game by the LEGO company in this entry, so why not all of them? Since the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, LEGO has consistently released quality games based off of classic franchises.
If your tween is a fan of LEGO City, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, DC or Marvel Superheroes or any of the other stellar properties that have been turned into LEGO games, this series is perfect for your child.
In the LEGO games, players will complete levels, explore worlds, collect characters to play as, solve puzzles, and build with LEGO bricks! Their lighthearted and quirky storylines will have fans laughing.
Plus, the simple action and fun puzzles are enough to keep any gamer coming back for more. If you are looking for a simple solution to your tween’s gaming needs, the LEGO franchise is always a safe choice.
Like its predecessor Jurassic World: Evolution, Jurassic World: Evolution 2 once again allows players to build their very own dinosaur theme park. Just like in the movies, players will have an entire island at their disposal and will need to manage resources and build their ultimate dream dinosaur park.
There are several modes to the game and all kinds of dinosaurs to collect and bring into your park. The fun of the game comes from managing guest happiness and the well-being of your dinosaurs.
Watch out, though, as failing to comply with the needs of your dinosaurs could cause them to become aggressive and attempt to escape from their enclosure. Like in the films, a dinosaur breakout spells disaster for all of your guests.
If your tween loves simulation or building games, or just dinosaurs in general, then this is the game for them, hands down.
Rated Teen / PEGI 16
It is safe to say that the Star Wars franchise has retained its popularity even with the first film being released in 1977. Now, the newest Star Wars game puts players into the perspective of Cal Kestis, a Jedi who lives in hiding from the empire.
Players will engage in awesome lightsaber combat as they traverse through familiar and beloved planets from the Star Wars universe. Meet new and old characters and get some backstory on what happens between episodes three and four of the Star Wars film series.
There are tons to do in this game and it features one of the most engaging single-player storylines in recent gaming history. Plus, there are loads of challenges to do, gear to collect, and skills to unlock.
If your tween loves third-person action and adventure games, or anything to do with Star Wars, then this is absolutely a good choice for them.
Rated Everyone / PEGI 3
The Mario Party franchise has become a party game mainstay since the first entry was released for the Nintendo 64 back in the 1990’s. Now, millions of gamers compete against one another in this zany virtual board game.
In Mario Party, players will battle against one another for board game supremacy. Players will have to collect coins and other items and traverse through a board. In addition, gamers can compete against one another in the many fast-paced video games.
Super Mario Party was the first entry of the series on the Nintendo Switch, and it brought everything that is loved about the Mario Party franchise to a new generation and a portable console.
Now, players can take all of the wacky fun of Super Mario Party with them wherever they go. In addition, Mario Party Superstars was released this year and brings all new maps, minigames, and other things to do to the franchise.
If you have several children or if your tween loves party games, the Mario Party franchise is a must-have. There are few games that are as immediately accessible and fun as Super Mario Party and Mario Party Superstars.
The Halo franchise is back and better than ever. Before we dive into the specifics, it is worth noting that this entry is moreso for more mature tweens.
Halo is a first-person shooter (FPS) game wherein players will fight against one another in multiplayer to win objective-based matches. Additionally, there is also a campaign that sees the hero, Master Chief, fighting against evil aliens for the good of the universe.
This particular entry is rated T for Teen and contains less blood and strong language than previous games in the franchise. As such, it can be a good median between more child-oriented games and the wide world of adult-oriented shooter games.
On its own, Halo Infinite is tons of fun, and the multiplayer is totally free to play. Gamers who pre-order Halo Infinite will have access to tons more content including another entry in the critically acclaimed Halo campaign
There are tons of things to unlock through challenges and many ways to customize your player. Plus, the gameplay is fresh, fast-paced, and sure to offer hours of fun. If your tween is a fan of previous Halo games, or the FPS genre, then this is absolutely a good fit for them.
In the current gaming market, there is, unfortunately, a rift between kids’ games and adult games. As such, it can be hard finding the right game for tweens, as it needs to be intelligent but not too mature.
There are plenty of games currently available and coming out soon that fit the bill, however, and this was a sampling of some of those titles. Ultimately, the perfect game will depend on what genres your child is interested in.
With the titles on this list, you are well on your way to finding the perfect game for your tween that is sure to offer hours of fun.
If you’ve still not found the perfect tween game or are nervous you’ll make the wrong choice, why not settle on a gaming console gift card? All you need to know is what type of video game console your tween is using:
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