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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best Xbox One games for families

Last Updated May 2019

Video games for families are more important than you might think. The more violent games enjoyed by older teens and adults aren’t suitable for younger players, and many of the brain-numbingly easy games intended for children aren’t particularly engaging for anyone over ten years old. Family video games have that perfect balance of accessibility – safe yet likable content plus something to do that’s genuinely fun for anyone who can operate a controller – and Xbox One delivers.

Since the Xbox One has a fairly large catalog of top-tier games for families, trying to find the right ones to entertain your loved ones could be a little intimidating.

That’s why we at BestReviews have put together this guide to help you to find the best games to enjoy with your family. We cover the key features to look for and the price you can expect to pay. We’ve even included a few of our favorites, too.

If you’re looking for a new Xbox One game to enjoy with the family, keep an eye out for games rated “E for Everyone.” This rating signifies that the game’s content is suitable for all ages.

Key considerations

Get everyone involved

Single player games have their place, but when the whole family gets together, everyone’s going to want to play together! Remember that multiplayer gaming doesn’t necessarily mean competitive play. For example, up to four players can team up to explore the vast wilds of Minecraft at once to find that many more diamonds, fend off herds of pesky skeletons and spiders, and uncover extra secrets together.

Find suitable content

Family-friendly video games feature little that would be seen as objectionable content, and the harshest content descriptors these titles get often include cartoon or fantasy violence.

Take the motion-controlled Kinect Sports, for instance. Its “E for Everyone” rating includes a note for “mild violence” because, during the rock climbing game, players can grab and pull other climbers to force them to fall from the wall in the game, which makes unlucky players harmlessly dissolve into a burst of colorful pixels before reappearing moments later to desperately climb faster and make up for lost time.

Have fun!

Just because a game is kid friendly doesn’t mean that all kids will find it entertaining, much less fun for the whole family. Take the time to research a game’s major selling points, such as accessibility, creativity, and replay value.

We consider the Xbox One exclusive Zoo Tycoon to be an excellent example of a child-friendly and fun game with loads of inherent value because there’s so much to see and do to keep players engaged for a long time. Between completely customizing your private zoo’s layout, selecting which animals to adopt, wandering about the park as a zookeeper, and personally grooming and feeding realistic wildlife, kids and families alike who love animals will be occupied with this game for quite a while.

EXPERT TIP

If someone in your family is having a difficult time with part of a game, turn on Copilot mode to link two controllers and help out when needed. Simply press the Xbox button and navigate to System, Settings, Ease of Access, Controller, and turn on Copilot to play together!


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

We recommend becoming familiar with the Xbox One’s privacy and online safety controls to limit access to certain types of games, movies, shows, and other content when you aren’t around to supervise your child’s playtime.


Staff  | BestReviews

Xbox game features

Since the concept of a “family” game is so open-ended, you’ll find all kinds of games from many different genres under this umbrella term, ranging from puzzle titles, cartoon platformers, epic adventures, and beyond. However, because we’re talking about family games on the Xbox One, there are a few exciting universal features to seek out when comparing new games:

Xbox One X Enhanced: Some games like Slime Rancher and Super Lucky’s Tale take full advantage of the Xbox One X by featuring superior load times, smoother animation, and more texture and detail, as well as gorgeous 4K visuals.

Single-player content: Family night with the Xbox One is great, but there are still plenty of outstanding single-player games out there, too. For instance, Slime Rancher boasts an impressively lengthy single-player adventure, and it’s just as fun to find and collect weird slimes by yourself as it is with your entire household cheering you on.

Xbox Play Anywhere: By buying certain digital games, such as Super Lucky’s Tale, you’ll have the ability to play them on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as long as you’re logged into your Microsoft account.

DID YOU KNOW?

From your Microsoft account, you can set screen time limits for your kids by navigating to the family page, the Screen Time option, and clicking on your child’s name. Don’t worry, they’ll be notified in-game before their time runs out!

Xbox game prices

One of the best things about shopping for family-friendly games for the Xbox One is how relatively inexpensive they are. While brand-new video games released by the biggest publishers usually sell for $60 and up, the average price for family games tends to be anywhere from $20 to $40. Even then, the newest family games on the Xbox One don’t tend to linger at that $40 price point for long. If you can wait a month or two, chances are pretty good that you’ll find it on sale before you know it.

Tips

  • Don’t get discouraged if you get stuck. If you or your kids get stuck on a certain part of a game, simply search online for your specific problem. There’s probably a video guide that explains exactly how to overcome your challenge!

  • Mute the mic. If you’re playing over Xbox Live and encounter another player who is talking inappropriately or abusively, you can simply mute them from your mic. Press the Xbox button and navigate to Recent players, find and select the foul-mouthed player, and press Mute. It’s as easy as that!

  • Go for multiplayer games. Unless you know that your kids are excellent at sharing, it might be beneficial to buy some multiplayer games instead of single-player games.

  • Teach your kids about the importance of online safety. It is important to note that the rating of an Xbox One game only applies to its local single-player content and doesn’t take into account online interactions.

Other products we considered

Customize your favorite cartoon golfer with hundreds of unique clubs and balls as you play through a handful of exotic 18-hole courses in Powerstar Golf, a family-friendly sports game that’s easy to learn yet tough to master. Test your golfing abilities against your significant others’ and top-tier golfers from around the world as you rise up the global leaderboards. Don’t take our word for it – you can download a free sample on Xbox Live! Donut County is a sweet and silly physics-based puzzle game in which you play as a remote-controlled hole while strategically moving the black void underneath all kinds of random objects to steal them for the horde of thieving raccoons plaguing Donut County. (Did we mention this game is silly?) If you get stumped by one of the cute puzzles, pass the controller and see if someone else can figure out how to grow the hole and engulf everything on the screen to advance Donut County’s delightfully enjoyable story.

Don’t be put off by games rated “Everyone 10+.” They’re almost as inoffensive as E-rated games. The biggest difference is that there might be some core in-game mechanics that younger players could have difficulty with.

FAQ

Q. How do I create an Xbox One passkey?
A.
A six-digit Xbox One passkey provides an extra layer of security to keep your children from attempting to sign in as you to change parental controls and make unapproved purchases. Here’s how to set up a passkey for your Microsoft account:

  • Press the Xbox button.

  • Navigate to System, Settings, Account, Sign-in, Security & passkey.

  • Select Create my passkey.

  • Enter and reenter your preferred six-digit code to create your passkey.
     

Q. What accessories do you recommend for family gaming on the Xbox One?
A.
Ultimately, it would be nice to give everyone their own designated controller, or at least have enough controllers in the home so that anyone can pick one up and play. Don’t forget to stock up on enough AA batteries and controller chargers to keep everyone in the game! Other optional and premium add-ons to improve family time with your Xbox One include a Kinect for active motion-controlled gaming, and a 4K TV for a prettier and more immersive experience overall.

Q. My family’s favorite game offers some bonus downloadable content for sale. Should I buy it?
A.
Maybe! Downloadable content, or DLC, brings fresh content, characters, levels, and all-new ways to play to some of your favorite games. For instance, Super Lucky’s Tale offers a DLC add-on called Gilly Island, which features a tropical paradise filled with seaside puzzles and oceanic action levels. If your family really enjoyed the main game and absolutely wants to play some more, we encourage you to extend the excitement by grabbing some brand-new DLC!

The team that worked on this review
  • Arnold
    Arnold
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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