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10 Best Games to Gift Young Players This Holiday Season

Not sure what to give as a gift this holiday season for somebody who plays games? This list can help!

Deciding which games to get for younger players can be tough. This is especially true if you aren’t as familiar with games yourself, in which case you might not know off-hand how appropriate each game is for different ages. But not to worry! Here’s a list of the 10 best games to gift young players for the 2023 holidays.

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This list contains games with limited violence, no sexual content, and no gore. The biggest risk comes from the online aspect that some games have, such as Roblox or Minecraft.

10. Roblox Robux

Santa by a Fireplace
Screenshot by GameSkinny

ESRB: Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up

Roblox is huge right now. And while it’s free and most experiences are also free, I felt that I had to include Robux on this list because it seems to be highly requested as a Christmas gift among the player base. Robux is a currency that can be used in different experiences for extra perks like more lives or special items. And considering how easy it is to make in-game purchases, a gift card is much safer than connecting a credit or debit card to a Roblox account to avoid unplanned charges.

9. Disney Speedstorm

Disney Speedstorm promo image
Image via Gameloft

ESRB: Everyone, generally suitable for all ages

Although it’s in Early Access, Disney Speedstorm is a great option for players who enjoy Mario Kart and love Disney. You get to play as beloved characters, and each one has a unique ability that sets them apart from other options. Also, since it’s Early Access, the game is continually being updated with content being added through patches. If you want more in-depth information, you can find my full thoughts on it in this Early Access review.

8. Disney Dreamlight Valley

A group shot of Disney characters including Gaston and Rapunzel
Image via GameLoft

ESRB: Everyone, generally suitable for all ages

I know, another Disney game. However, Disney creates incredibly family-friendly content, and these games are designed to be simple enough for younger players to enjoy. Disney Dreamlight Valley is like a blend of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing with the addition of familiar Disney characters and locations. It has an incredibly cozy feeling to it, and it’s also in Early Access. This means that it continues to receive new content and updates to improve it. Even if you’ve completed all the content available, you can still sink hours into the game through activities like farming and crafting!

7. Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Screenshot by GameSkinny

ESRB: Everyone 10+, generally suitable for ages 10 and up

Story of Seasons is a remake of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, but with a bit of a name change due to legal reasons. But putting that aside, this game has you run a farm and take care of animals while helping the villagers and forming bonds with you. As you grow closer with your neighbors, you have the option to marry one and start a family, continuing to take care of your farm in the next generation as your child as well. It’s a relaxing, low-stress game that’s easy for both adults and kids to pick up and play.

6. Born of Bread

Bread Golem sees a Dog
Image via Dear Villagers

ESRB: Everyone 10+, generally suitable for ages 10 and up

Born of Bread is brand new, and you play as a Bread Golem. This game is a lot like Paper Mario with a simpler style of turn-based combat and plenty of humor. You’ll find a lighthearted adventure with more action and combat for players who need a fast-paced game with more story elements and platforming than the games mentioned above. Yet, it’s still appropriate for younger players like Paper Mario. Although, older players might find themselves enjoying Born of Bread, too!

5. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Image via Nintendo

ESRB: Everyone 10+, generally suitable for ages 10 and up

Having won the award for Best Action/Adventure Game at The Game Awards this year, I don’t hesitate to recommend Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to anybody. Its open world makes it perfect for exploring, which you or your young giftee can spend hours doing. The puzzles aren’t as difficult as those in some other Zelda games, making it accessible to a wider audience. Of course, we also have the classic tale of Link saving Zelda and Hyrule from Ganondorf. Zelda has endured for decades, and Ocarina of Time was one of the first games I completed on my own as a child. And it’s an experience that helped shape the games I sought out growing up.

4. Lego Star Wars

Lego Anakin fighting Obi Wan Kenobi
Image via Warner Bros

ESRB: Everyone 10+, generally suitable for ages 10 and up

Lego adds humor to Star Wars, and this combination is perfect for younger players. It also gives you the option of playing with another player. Although there’s fighting and violence, there’s no blood. Instead, the Lego people break apart because they’re toys. The entire original trilogy and prequels are available in Lego form, and it’s a great action game with the adventure of being in space and seeing different planets. Plus, the co-op ability can make it a great game to bond over, no matter how experienced either player is with games!

3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario and friends on Rainbow Road
Image via Nintendo

ESRB: Everyone, generally suitable for all ages

Mario Kart is a classic, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the biggest in the series yet. You have dozens upon dozens of maps to race on and an almost overwhelming amount of character and car options. Unlike other games, you can race as Nintendo characters beyond the Mario franchise, such as Link, using Amiibo. You can play with players online, with people in the same room, or even alone, and the game is still fun. Mario Kart is timeless and great for players of all ages.

2. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros Wonder Cover Art
Image via Nintendo

ESRB: Everyone, generally suitable for all ages

Another winner at The Game Awards, Super Mario Bros Wonder received the award for Best Family Game. If you’re familiar with Super Mario Bros Wii, then you’ll love Super Mario Bros Wonder. It’s a platformer in style, and you can play it co-op with friends or family. You can work together, or you might end up using each other as jumping platforms to get extra height and avoid enemies. I’d recommend this one in particular if you’ll have a group of four playing it for the most fun!

1. Minecraft

Steve on a Mountain with Animal
Image via Microsoft

ESRB: Everyone 10+, generally suitable for ages 10 and up

Minecraft is a game that lets you make the experience your own, and that means it’s perfect for all ages. You can dive into creative mode and build elaborate structures. Or you can play in survival mode and survive against Skeletons and Creepers. If that’s not enough options, there are plenty of servers that you can join that use mods to create different experiences. Some of them are about role-playing, while others have you face off against other players in fights or games of survival. It still receives updates with new content. But even without those updates, you can play Minecraft for hundreds of hours without feeling bored.

And that wraps up my list of 10 best games to gift young players for the holidays of 2023! Hopefully, this helps you finish your gift shopping so you can relax and enjoy the season with the tough parts over. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year, and thanks for visiting GameSkinny!

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Image of Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.