Video games have appeared on Christmas wish lists since their beginning because they offer hands-on, enjoyable entertainment for all, but it’s difficult to choose what game to give. Whether for a younger sibling, a friend, or even for yourself, the following video games are appropriate and engaging for all ages. They are all newer releases or remasters, most from earlier this year.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix
Platform: PS4 | ESRB Rating: E10+
Kingdom Hearts is a very complicated game to follow in chronological order. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix contains six of the core Kingdom Hearts games, making it much easier to follow the plot. It also alleviates the pain of being forced to jump from platform to platform like previous Kingdom Hearts fans had to suffer through. It’s the perfect starter bundle for first comers or those looking to revisit the game on a current-generation console.
Japan pumps out some of the greatest games, and Kingdom Hearts is definitely one of them. The powers of Square Enix and Disney unite to produce this crossover RPG. Characters from Disney, Pixar, Final Fantasy, and The World Ends With You appear in the series. It’s a hack-and-slash game, similar to Final Fantasy XV. The fighting and general gameplay are enjoyable, as are the fantastical lands they take place in. The playable hero, Sora, is accompanied by Donald Duck and Goofy, making the combat much more lighthearted.
Kingdom Hearts has amassed a large fanbase of all ages.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Platform: PS4 | ESRB Rating: E10+
It’s the classic Crash Bandicoot experience remastered into a trilogy for PlayStation 4 gamers.
Jump and spin your way through obstacles and enemies in this classic platformer.
Crash translated beautifully onto the PS4, with the bright colors of every level made even more prominent than before. The trilogy offers a new playable character, Crash’s sister, Coco, and the addition of time trials.
Kirby Planet Robobot
Platform: 3DS | ESRB Rating: E
It’s the same pink bundle of destructive joy, but this time, he’s inside a mecha suit. Kirby Planet Robobot is the only game included in this list that was not released or remastered in 2017. However, I couldn’t resist including at least one Kirby game, and it hasn’t aged even two years.
Kirby Planet Robobot offers two unique minigames, one of which is multiplayer. Team Kirby Clash allows up to four friends to choose a class and battle through challenging enemies together.
The second minigame, Kirby 3D Rumble, is a battle against time and enemies. The game is simple: collect coins and defeat enemies in the normal Kirby fashion — inhaling and spitting. The faster the completion time, the higher the score.
The main storyline doesn’t require any previous knowledge of Kirby games to follow. Its story, graphics, and soundtrack are all adorable, making it a perfect addition to the cuteness overload that is the Kirby series. The combat style is easy to pick up. It’s a fairly traditional platformer, and it also includes environmental puzzles that makes it all the more engaging. The bosses in Kirby games are always something to look forward to, and Kirby Planet Robobot is no exception.
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Platform: 3DS | ESRB Rating: E10+
The Story of Seasons series is a collection of farming RPGs. It offers marriage options, a highly customizable house and farm, and an all-around pleasant experience. The game’s atmosphere is incredibly calming.
There are three unique towns available for exploration that offer a variety of crops and products, depending on what town you visit. The NPCs are each lively and you can get to know all the townspeople to make the game feel more personal. If you love animals, this game has all of the cutest pets that’ll accompany you as you progress through the game. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is simple in concept, but it has a lot to offer and is a very addictive game.
World of Goo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC | ESRB Rating: E
World of Goo is a puzzle game that uses living goo and other materials to build a path to the end of the level, marked as a pipe. Each level offers a distinct atmosphere with a variety of soundtracks and scenery. There are also special goos with abilities that can be utilized to complete the levels.
World of Goo Corporation is a mini game within World of Goo that allows players to compete for the tallest goo tower.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Platform: Nintendo Switch | ESRB Rating: E
Mario Kart is one of the most well-known multiplayer cart-racing games. You can play as all your favorite Nintendo characters on unique and often challenging race courses.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has all the great features of Mario Kart 8, but also includes the DLC characters, new vehicles, new characters, and new tracks. You can now hold two special items instead of one, and they may each be utilized to deter other racers or to boost yourself.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | ESRB Rating: E10+
De Blob was a fun puzzle-platformer game from 2008. This last year it has been remastered for current generation consoles.
Color has been declared a crime in Choma City, and now de Blob, the playable character, must splatter the city in color while watching out for the Inky soldiers who are trying to destroy color. De Blob rolls around the city to collect color and spread it. His color changes based on the color he collects. It’s this fun yet simple concept that makes de Blob so enjoyable.
Platform: Nintendo Switch | ESRB: E10+
Imagine a bunch of neon squid people shooting paint at each other. That’s Splatoon in a nutshell. However bizarre it may seem, the game is incredibly enjoyable. It is a third-person shooter offering a multiplayer and single-player campaign. The single-player option is called Hero Mode. In Hero Mode the player must battle Octarians, evil octopus creatures, to progress in the game. Splatoon 2 now offers new weapons to earn in the single-player campaign.
One multiplayer mode is Turf War, a 4v4 with the objective of covering as much ground as possible in your team’s color. There is also Salmon Run, a new addition to the Splatoon games. Salmon Run is a four-person co-op with waves of enemy Salmonoids to defeat. Multiplayer modes can be played online, but the game does not have split-screen capabilities.