Did Santa bring your a shiny new Wii U this year? Maybe a Xbox 360 Kinect found its way under your tree. Did you get upgraded to portable 3D gaming this year with the Nintendo 3DS? Very cool if you have jumped into the world of video game systems, you’ve got the hardware, now you just need to figure out the best family friendly games to play.
Our Unscientific List of Top Video Games To Maximize Fun For the Holidays
Here at Dad Does we are normally very methodical in how we review products. We spend weeks with a product, document the pros and cons and then come to a conclusion on the merits of the products. Today, we take a break from the normal!
When it comes to selecting fun video games, there really is no methodical objectivity. Some kids will love a video game where you run around and grab gold coins while others will prefer playing a soccer video game. Today we are presenting a selection of games we have played as a family and found fun. Have we tried every game out there? Let me answer that with another question, would you be able to tell your wife – “Honey, please don’t bother me for the next 5 days, I will be in the basement testing out all the video games on the market“? No, we have not tried all the video games, but from our experiences, here are our selections for fun family video games…
Nintendo Land – Wii U
If the kids were lucky enough to get a new Wii U for the holidays, you need to get Nintendo Land by Nintendo. If you got the Deluxe Wii U, you already have Nintendo Land, but if you got the basic unit, buying Nintendo Land should be high on your wish list.
Nintendo Land consists of a number of mini-games that make perfect use of the GamePad controller with a built-in screen. The whole family will have a blast playing games like Mario Chase and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion. Simple hide and seek games take on a whole new dimension of fun when you play with two screens. Simply put, if you have the Wii U, you need to have Nintendo Land.
Nintendo Land is $39.95 At Amazon.Com
Funky Barn – Wii U
If the kids are into animals and farm games, then Funky Barn for the Wii U is a great choice. In Funky Barn you need to take a run down farm and build it up into something pretty and nice. Yes, there are plenty of animals, which you can pet and groom via the Gamepad, but the real fun comes in building crazy contraptions to help you out on the farm. Really, what kid wouldn’t love a giant robot that collects the egg for you?
Funky Barn for the Wii U, by 505 Games, is about $29.95 At Amazon.com
Funky Barn 3D also available for the Nintendo 3DS – $23.95 At Amazon.Com
NBA Baller Beats for the Xbox 360 Kinect
Check out our full review of NBA Baller Beats. NBA Baller Beats has quickly become one of our favorite Kinect games because it teaches real basketball skills and most importantly, it is fun. Do cross-overs, pump fakes and more – all with a real basketball. Think Guitar Hero, but your instrument is real basketball. An excellent choice if you have a Kinect and kids who love hoops.
NBA Baller Beats for Xbox 360 Kinect Sells for $38.95 at Amazon.Com
Wipeout 3 for Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS
Do you dream about Big Balls? Wait, don’t answer that, that just sounds strange. Anyway, if your family is into the craziness of Wipeout, with the Big Balls and Sweeper Arms, then they will love Wipeout 3 by Activision. The game is made for many different video game systems, but we find the Xbox 360 Kinect version to be the most entertaining. Just be careful, my leg is still hurting from trying to do a split to get under the Sweeper Arm.
Wipeout 3 by Activision for various platforms. Purchase at Amazon.Com (from $20 – $40)
Spy Hunter for the Nintendo 3DS
The classic racing series is back again! Spy Hunter for the 3DS has something for everyone. Racing, crashing, shooting and now plenty of missions. I mean really, what kid is not going to like a video game with the Interceptor, a supercar that morphs into a jet boat and off-road vehicle? Yes there is plenty of crashing and blowing things up, but you also have some cool missions to complete, and that adds a good deal of play value to this video game.
A note of caution to parents, the game is rated 10+ and there is plenty of weapon use and crashing in the game. If you have younger kids, you will need to decide if this type of game play is appropriate.
Spy Hunter for the Nintendo 3DS sells for $29 at Amazon.Com
Midway Arcade Origins (PS3 or Xbox 360)
Midway Arcade Origins is one of those games we claim to get for the kids, but it is us Moms and Dads who can’t stop playing it. Not into the new fangled Spy Hunter 3DS game we have above, play the original Spy Hunter here! What, I don’t have to blow through a role of quarters to play Defender now? Man, life is good!
Tired of the kids beating you with all their new video games? Get Midway Arcade Origins and start kicking their butt in any of the included 30 classic video games. Oh wait, this is bad, my 8 year old just beat me in Defender…I used to be somebody…
Midway Arcade Origins for PS3 or Xbox 360, Sells for $29.99 on Amazon.Com
Skylanders Giants (Wii, Xbox 360, PS 3, 3DS)
Skylanders are back…and now they are Giants! Skylanders Giants are a huge hit with the kids. You get actual figures that you bring into the game with the included portal, all making for a very cool experience. Once in the video game world bring the Skylanders Giants back from banishment to join the Skylanders once again in this expansion pack that lets you expand your Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure gameplay and return to Skylands with the Skylanders Giants to engage in the ultimate battle.
If your kids were into the original Skylanders, you probably have a house full of Skylander Giants already. If your kids are new to all this, prepare for Skylanders to invade your house soon!
Skylander Giants From Activision. Various Prices and Options at Amazon.Com
Portal 2 for Xbox 360 and PS3
I know, I know, Portal 2 is in no way new. This game has been around forever and is becoming a classic. Still, if you just got a Xbox 360 or PS3, you need to get Portal 2. As a family, we loved playing this game. There are puzzles to solve, but the real fun is that it has hysterical scripting. If you don’t know anything about Portal 2, that is great, because it is best played without any spoilers. All I will say is that if you are looking for a fun and FUNNY game to play with the kids, Portal 2 is the way to go. As a bonus, because it is “classic”, the price has dropped to under $20!
Portal 2 for Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 is about $17 at Amazon.Com
miCoach by Adidas for Xbox 360 Kinect and Sony PS3 Move
Finally we are throwing in a game that is really more for us parents, miCoach by Adidas. miCoach feels like a glimpse into the future of training. I love basketball, but it is unlikely I could get Dwight Howard to come to my basement and workout with me. With miCoach I can have a virtual Dwight Howard come up with a basketball specific training program for me and then workout with me. Come on, you have to admit that is cool! Not a hoops fan? No problem, miCoach has 18 different athletes, in all different sports, that you can train with.
miCoach has endless possibilities to share data and work with other devices (it is compatible with ANT body monitors). Playing miCoach with the Kinect or PS3 Move allows the system to see your movements and offer tips and suggestions. miCoach shatters the idea that video games are a lazy activity you do while lying on the couch.
miCoach by Adidas for Xbox 360 Kinect and PS 3 Move Sells for $20 on Amazon.Com
You Want Even More Ideas?
If the above games are not enough to keep you busy, check out our full post on the new Activision Family Games for 2012. We also have our Video Game Reviews for Parents section you can check out. If you want to go with the games that the masses are buying, you can always check the Amazon Bestseller List. Finally, our video game reviews are far from done. We will be expanding our coverage, particularly of Wii U games, in the coming months. Now if someone could please explain to our spouses, playing video games is our work!