Despite the word "game" in the name, video games are largely created with adults in mind. But more and more, some fantastic games are coming out meant to be played by a younger audience — or even for adults and kids to play together.
This year's already brought us many awesome games kids can enjoy and even learn from. We went through the year's offerings and brought you the best of the best in video games for kids (presented here in no particular order).
For each game, you'll find its price, rating from a reputable source, a link to buy it, and a recommended age. We based the recommended age on ESRB ratings, ratings from kids and parents, and this writer's own personal experience as a parent.
So cook up some fun, run your own space station, and, always, save the world with these nine 2018 games perfect for kids!
Don't see the game you're looking for here? Check out our other best games lists here:
LEGO The Incredibles
This fun couch co-op game is perfect for playing with the kids. The open world offers plenty of side-quests and tons of things to find, collect and do, with all the usual silliness we've come to expect from LEGO games.
Kids will love the chance to replay the events of the Incredibles movies as their favorite characters from the franchise. Other familiar faces from the Pixar family make an appearance, as well, making this extra fun for the adults playing along, and for young Pixar fans.
Kerbal Space Program
Kerbal Space Program is not a kid's game. In fact, it's a pretty complex physics and science-based space exploration simulator that encourages strategic and critical thinking.
But that's what makes it so appealing to kids: They're free to discover it however they want, without it being oversimplified for a younger audience. Get this one for kids who welcome a challenge and like to analyze and really think about things.
Based on reviews from actual kids, this game not only teaches concepts like physics, problem-solving and task management, but it's also actually really fun!
De Blob 2
Enter the whimsical world of De Blob with this fun sequel. The sequel is a great standalone game that holds its own without needing to play the first, though you may want to after playing this second installment.
In this 2D platforming puzzler, you play as the titular Blob, who is on a quest to restore color to his home of Prisma City. It's like finger-painting on a video game: leave color wherever you touch and write your own adventure.
Split-screen co-op means a sibling, friend, or parent can hop in and play along.
Scribblenauts meets Mario Party in this party game, meant to be played by families together. Some reviewers were disappointed in the game's repetitive nature, but as a family-friendly "together time" game, it's definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon.
The game marks a stark departure from the usual style of Scribblenauts and instead uses 25 mini-games to pit players against each other in a race to the finish.
The game does retain certain aspects of the Scribblenauts franchise, though, like the ability to write practically anything to life. This makes it a good way for kids to practice their writing skills and outside the box thinking.
The Swords of Ditto
The Swords of Ditto isn't perfect, but it's a fun little game in the spirit of the Zelda games that's definitely more fun to play co-op.
Upon pulling a magical sword from a grave, you're tasked with becoming stronger so you can take on the evil enchantress Mormo and bring peace back to the land.. at least for the next 100 years.
The game is procedurally generated and technically uses permadeath, but is set up in such a way that you're able to enjoy it without frustrations. Kids will enjoy the whimsical cartoon-like visuals, the literal "toys" that the characters attack with, and the cute kazoo-based soundtrack.
We set the recommended age a bit higher for this one (it's rated ESRB-10) because despite the cutesy visuals, some of the puzzles are not always clear and there's a bit of reading. Also, you pull swords out of children's graves. It's kind of morbid in that regard, but not much else.
Yoku's Island Express
In this game, you play Yoku, a little dung beetle postmaster tasked with making some important deliveries and saving the day. Cue the poop jokes.
Okay, aside from the unfortunate nature of the main character (and hey, the ball he rolls around is white!), this fun little game is an odd mix of Metroidvania platforming and pinball.
That means that it's challenging, at times to the point of frustration. Yoku can't move much on his own, so he just rolls around and relies on the player to use pinball flippers to fling him around to new destinations.
The game is rated 10+ for cartoon violence and crude humor (see: poop jokes) but it's the challenge that really makes this one better for slightly more seasoned little gamers.
Super Bomberman R
Everyone's favorite little bomb-spewing guy is back, and he's got all his friends with him! The classic gameplay returns in this great game, which is reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons.
Bomberman and his friends are up against some tough opponents this time, and each baddie comes with his own special skills (a la Megaman). Blast your way through stages, gather powerups, and take down the enemies.. but try not to blow yourself up while you're at it.
This game receives a higher than usual recommended age because, while the idea is simple, it can get tough! It also, quite obviously, features exploding bombs and some silly violence in the cutscenes.
This sweet game captivated players with the original, and the sequel adds the ability to play with a friend (or a parent). Make your own Yarny, then embark on an adventure that promotes teamwork and friendship.
Guide your Yarnies through an adventure in a side-scrolling puzzle world that's buzzing with life. Playing together, each player controls one of the characters; alone, you can switch between them at will.
It's heartwarming and fun, but it can also be challenging in a great way at times, all of which makes it a perfect game for little gamers to cut their teeth on!
The Onion Kingdom needs your help again! Work together in local or online co-op to cook up dishes and serve them up to save the world.
This standalone sequel is a fun and frantic dash to get things done. Children can have fun and hone their communication skills, while the game's requirement of teamwork, as well as simple controls and gameplay make it a perfect game to play with kids.