- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Top Xbox 360 Games for Kids
ESRB Game Ratings
Family, Kids, and Xbox Video Games
Deciding whether or not to get an Xbox or what Xbox games would be good for children can be difficult, especially if you don't already own the system or have never played kid games. Maybe your even thinking kids shouldn't play video games, which I totally get where your coming from.
Let's face it though - it is all but impossible to keep TV and video games completely out of a child's life. Almost every kid these days has a game system or plays games, especially boys. Even if you avoid having a system in your house, your child will undoubtedly have friends with one. If the system and games are in your house at the very least you will have a clear idea of what is what. So, everything in moderation, right?
Xbox 360 when utilized correctly can be a great system for a family with kids. While there are many aspects of this system geared towards adults there is also a nice little niche for children. Here are some tips for families with kids who are considering Xbox 360.
The first thing you want to do before deciding what game to buy for your child is to look at the back cover of the game to see the rating letter. The ESRB rating is a letter given to the game reviewed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Depending on the age of the child the letter can be used to decide whether or not the game would be appropriate. To the right of the letter there will usually be a description of any negative content- only if there is any. Examples of negative content descriptions that can be found with ratings are violence, blood and gore, strong language, suggestive themes, etc. As your child ages this can be valuable to determine whether or not to allow them a higher rated game.
EC(Early Childhood)- This rating signifies games with no unsuitable content for children. I have never seen this rating on an Xbox 360 video game.
E(Everyone)- Most common rating on Xbox 360 games for kids. According to ESRB this represents games for child ages 6 and older and may contain a small frequency of mild fantasy, language, or cartoon violence.
E10+(Everyone 10 and older)- Titles may contain more frequencies of mild fantasy, language, or cartoon violence but have been reviewed as appropriate for ages 10 and older.
T(Teen)- I included a description of this rating because you may come across a game to consider that is rated T. These games have been reviewed as suitable for teenagers due to the content which may include some violence, gambling, or infrequent use of language. Although most of these games are not something a child would even be interested in, some are.
If you are considering a game and it has a T rating, read the negative content description and also read a review before you decide.
Adult Ratings: M(Mature) and AO(Adults Only)- games with this rating usually contain suggestive themes, adult themes, violence, blood and gore, and crude language. Some shooter games are rated M, if your child is older and you are considering one of these games it may be a good idea to rent it to try out first yourself. This way you can gauge exactly how inappropriate the content is according to what you would allow.
You can buy games new or used (Gamestop, Amazon) or you can also rent through places like Blockbuster and Gamefly. I would suggest buying used as kids can ruin the discs.
You can buy systems used as well but I don't recommend it with the Xbox 360 as the newer systems have better upgrades. I would try to purchase as a bundle and include the Kinect. The Kinect is the Xbox motion control system and they have some really good kids games.
If you choose to go with the Kinect you will need to setup the Xbox somewhere will you have room to move around.
Families, Xbox 360 Systems
Xbox Games for Kids According to Age
Xbox 360 has some really great variety as far as kids games go, and there is also some games that are fun to play as family which according to researchers may actual prove to be good for your children. I have organized some game suggestions according to ages. These are games I personally allowed for my little guys, I recommend you check out them out first to see if it is what you would allow for your own home.
Games for 5 and Up (all rated E)
Xbox 360 Arcade Dashboard- Feeding Frenzy: This game be found on the Xbox 360 dashboard under Downloads. It is very straightforward and simple, you only task being to eat your fishes smaller than you to continue to grow your size, and avoid the larger fishes who would eat you. You can also grab stars and pearls when they appear for extra points.
Mini Ninjas: Don't let the title deceive you this game, this is a great game for little guys. The main character is Hiro fighting against an evil warlord trying to take over the world. You have six ninjas in your group each with special moves and powers. When you defeat characters they turn into animals.
Spongebob: Truth or Square: I know what you're thinking- Spongebob? That was my first thought too, but this game was surprisingly well reviewed as a kids game on the net and well received in my home. Little guys can travel through bikini bottom doing different activities and exploring.
Kinectimals: This is the popular kid game which premiered with the release of the Kinect. Since the game goes with the Kinect system, it is controlled by motion. It can be a little hard at first for little ones to pick up but it is a great opportunity to help them learn how to control the game and play with them. Once inside the game, there are different activities like throwing pigs to knock over totem poles, and driving a race car, all done with relatively simple movements. You can also pet, wash, and feed your cat. Little ones will be delighted and entertained by the cats alone.
Games for 10 and Up
Lego Star Wars, Complete Saga (E10+): With the renewed popularity of Stars Wars due to the newer movies and addition of the animated Clone Wars, this game is quite popular with young kids. Playing as Lego versions of the movie characters from the original Star Wars movies, kids can play through the movie adventures.
My Sims, SkyHeroes (E10+): Expanding on the Sims franchise this newer version allows you to play as a pilot gaining recognition and becoming a hero. Take on challenges and bosses and eventually the game culminates in you defeating Morcubus and his evil droid army.
Star Wars The Force Unleashed, Ultimate Sith Edition (T, Violence): This game is based off the originally released game Star Wars: Force Unleashed but with 3 added levels. It plays from the prospective of the evil storyline of the Star Wars movies with you play a Darth Vader's apprentice completing missions to destroy the rebel alliance.
Transformers, War for Cybertron (T, Violence): This game based off the popular comic and cartoon series from the 1980s as well as the newer movies. War for Cybertron takes place on the planet Cybertron. You play as Autobots or Decepticons amidst a civil war over the planet before they ever came to Earth.
Games For Xbox 4 Kids
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