Game safely: The best console games for kids from 3-16

From cartoon fun to space adventures, we’ve got your Christmas games shopping list for all ages sorted.

You want to get your kids the best games, but how do you know they’re appropriate for their age?

Like movies, every video game released in the UK is given a PEGI age rating. These are 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 and represent the appropriate age level for the game.

Use these as a guide to determine if a title is suitable for your child, and read reviews from websites such as Common Sense Media. Each boy and girl is different, so if you don’t think a game is suitable for your child, don’t buy it.

Most games consoles like the Nintendo Wii, Xbox One and PS4 have parental controls, which let you keep your children safe by restricting what games can be played and setting time limits. Internet Matters, a not-for profit e-safety organisation has an interactive Parental Controls tool that shows you how to turn these settings on.

We’ve rounded up the best games for all ages and all consoles. Let the games begin!

3+

Paper Mario Colour Splash

Paper Mario Colour Splash game

Step into a world made of paper, where, armed with his trusty paintbrush, Mario has to add some colour to areas that Bowser’s minions have made look drab. Sure to brighten up any day.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii U

 

Just Dance 2017

Just Dance 2017

With songs from Justin Bieber, Queen, Sean Paul, Major Lazer and more, this rhythm game is sure to get the whole family up and moving. Even Granny.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii

 

FIFA 17

FIFA 17

The best football game in the world is back. New additions include story mode, which lets you live like a Premiership footballer, and the new Frostbite engine, which makes for a more realistic playing experience.

Game

Xbox One (also available on Xbox 360)

 

Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure

Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure

Snoopy is on a mission to be reunited with the rest of the Peanuts gang, and it’s up to you to help him. Find the hidden Beagle Scouts and you’ll unlock a special surprise.

Amazon

PlayStation 4

 

7+

Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero

The Lylat system is in danger from an evil empire. It’s up to you to step into the boots of legendary space pilot Fox McCloud and blast through foes in an effort to save the universe. No pressure.

Game

Nintendo Wii U

 

Planes: Fire and Rescue

Planes: Fire and Rescue

This game is based on Disney’s Planes film, and is just as much fun. It sees you teaming up with Dusty and his friends to extinguish fires across Piston Peak Park.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii

 

Lego Marvel Avengers

Lego Marvel Avengers

What’s more fun than Marvel’s Avengers family? The Avengers family in Lego form! Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor are all here in brick-based glory. Hours of fun.

Tesco

Xbox One (also available on Xbox 360)

 

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

This game gives you an entire universe to explore. It’s up to you whether you fight, trade, or just go off exploring. A serene sci-fi smash.

Amazon

PlayStation 4

 

12+

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

Originally released in 2006, this critically acclaimed instalment gets an HD makeover 10 years on. It’s also playable using certain Amiibo figurines.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii U

 

Brave

Brave game

A flame-haired princess is on a mission to rid the land of an evil taint created by a supernatural bear named Mordu. The slick game mechanics put it a step above the usual film tie-in fare.

£13.84, Amazon

Nintendo Wii

 

ReCore

Recore

Made by the people behind the legendary game Metroid Prime, ReCore sees you play one of the few remaining humans alive who must team up with robotic pals to save your lives. Hectic stuff.

Game

Xbox One

 

Knack

Knack

Knack can go from three feet to 30 feet tall using mysterious relics – you’ll need plenty of them if you want to slay the Goblin army and save humanity.

Game

PlayStation 4

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16+

Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins

Ever wanted to play as the younger Batman? Now’s your chance in this rip-roaring fighting game. There’s also an arsenal of Batty’s patented gadgets to help you on your way.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii U

 

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Six months after the events of the third film, Marty must travel back to 1931 to save his pal Doc. Even if your child is too young to remember the films, this game has plenty to entertain them.

Amazon

Nintendo Wii

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Destiny – The Collection

Destiny The Collection

With five adventures in one, this collection is unbelievable value, especially if you’re yet to experience the thrills of the Destiny universe. First-person shooters don’t come much better.

Game

Xbox One

 

Aragami

Aragami

A stealth game with a difference, this sees you having the ability to control shadows. You can also make weapons appear and even summon a shadow dragon. Should help you on your quest.

Amazon

PlayStation 4

Get more e-safety advice tailored to your child’s age from Internet Matters

For a comprehensive and easy to use resource of the most up-to-date information for keeping your child safe online, check out Internet Matters.

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