A kid-friendly PlayStation 4 game needs to be engaging, entertaining, and age-appropriate. Since modern kids spend a lot of time in front of screens, games must be worthy of the entire family’s attention.
There are many different game genres, including sandbox, co-op, building, adventure, mental, and physical games. In most cases, you can find a game that fits both your and your child’s requirements.
We spent several days testing out the top PS4 games. After painstaking consideration, we’ve narrowed our selections down to a brief list.
That lineup includes 13 of the best games for kids. Stay tuned for our unbiased reviews and buying guide. Then check out our number-one pick!
In this article:
How to find age-appropriate PS4 games
While PlayStation has released several kid-friendly video games, it can be challenging to weed out the truly great ones. We used the following list to help us identify our front runners.
- Activities and skills: Each video game encouraged children to stretch a particular skill set. In some games, the goal was just to get from one point to the next. In others, players had free reign to design characters and landscapes. During our quest, we made sure to scout out games that encouraged children to develop positive life skills. In some games, players are encouraged to work in teams. In others, they are rewarded for their problem-solving skills, endurance, and confidence. Of course, we didn’t want any of the games to feel overly educational. In most of the games, the lessons are learned rather than taught. As conscientious parents, we cannot resist finding a way to infiltrate our child’s playthings with positive teachings.
- Game genres: If you’re like us and know very little about video games, the genre terms in game reviews can be daunting. We’ve taken the time to interpret the most family-friendly video game genres. However, this list is not comprehensive, as there were many genres that we found inappropriate for children.
- Role-playing games: Put children in the driver’s seat. Players typically play a fictional character and traverse a fictional world. Role-playing games run the gamut, with worlds ranging from peaceful and serene to violent and tumultuous. Keep an eye out for over-the-top combat in this type of video game, but don’t stray away from the genre completely. There are plenty of child-friendly role-playing games. One that comes to mind is PS4’s Paw Patrol on a Roll.
- Sandbox games: A unique variety of role-playing games. However, sandbox games enable players to roam without restraint. Popular sandbox games include Minecraft and Lego Worlds. In sandbox games, children are often encouraged to develop characters, structures, and landscapes. These types of games tend to promote creativity and imagination.
- Co-op games: Encourage players to work with rather than against each other. There are plenty of kid-friendly co-op games on the market. We love the way these games bring children together.
- Action-adventure games: Encourage players to overcome hurdles. The hurdles may consist of gathering items, solving puzzles, battling scoundrels, or traveling to hard-to-access sites. Children enjoy dynamic storylines, especially when they relate to their favorite movies or themes. Beware of action-adventure games with violent or suggestive content.
- Sports games: From baseball to racing, there are lots of grand ways to feed your child’s craving for athletics. These games tend to be competitive, though, since they are virtual, are less competitive than conventional sports.
Our top picks for the best PS4 games for kids
Join your child as they create their own realm inside the legendary game of Minecraft. The PlayStation 4 edition of this sandbox game has bigger worlds and greater draw distances than previous releases. You and your child can build, explore, and conquer till you’re blue in the face.
In this version of Minecraft (check price on Amazon), you can access surplus content through the in-game Store. You can also play and share with friends by logging on to the internet. If you have enough controllers, you can bring up to four people in on the fun.
Creative Mode enables players to build and destroy. Every inch of this pixelated world is at players’ fingertips. Survival Mode grants a completely distinctive challenge.
You and your child can work together to battle mobs and Creepers while eating, building structures, and exploring the world of Minecraft. Children can also log on to the Minecraft server. While this setting enables them to connect with their friends, it also invites the risk of connecting with strangers.
What we love
- Improves problem-solving skills. Players can choose their own challenges and goals
- Promotes creativity, sharing and cooperation
- Children can become easily obsessed with this never-ending game
- Online interactions must be carefully monitored
Rocket League may be the most absurd video game concept ever, but we assure you it works. With billions of unique car combinations, setting your team is half the fun.
Each game poses a unique set of challenges, not to mention challenges for players of every skill level. If you’re looking for a game to play with your kiddo, the Rocket League: Collector’s Edition (check price on Amazon) is certainly worth a glimpse.
The graphics are superb. What’s more, the online playing modes are surprisingly challenging. Split-screen races provide hours of addictive entertainment for two or more players. Did we mention the graphics are out of this world?
What we love
- Can play with up to eight people when online and split screen for four players.
- New items, vehicles, and courses
- Highly addictive
Best budget buy
This video game follows Peter Parker as he develops into the hero we know as Spider-Man. Join him as he attempts to save Manhattan from the hands of evil villains.
The seemingly endless expanses of the New York City skyline prove to be an all-encompassing backdrop. There are also plenty of evil villains, fight sequences, and side plots to occupy your attention-lacking tween.
If you want an action-adventure game that isn’t dominated by violence, Marvel’s Spider-Man (check price on Amazon) is an excellent option.
What we love
- Lifelike graphics, smooth movements, and detailed plot lines with reworked characters
- A interactive world with surprises around every corner
- Lots of scenes with Mary Jane
Our fourth choice
Join Rayman and his friends on an epic adventure. The Rayman Legends – PlayStation 4 Standard Edition (check price on Amazon) is a family-friendly game that will have you skipping catchy rhythms.
This game lets you and three friends attempt to save the Glade of Dreams. This magical world is about to succumb to angry dragons, sea monsters, and other dangerous mythological creatures. Now its survival is in your and your fellow players’ hands.
There are over 80 levels built into this dynamic video game. As you progress to the higher levels, the nightmarish creatures multiply. If you want to protect the coveted Teensies, you’ll have to team up with your friends and family members.
Don’t despair if you can’t join your teammates in person. You can always play through the game’s online server.
What we love
- Tickle enemies into submission and learn rhythm and timing to beat the game boss. Battles are three-dimensional
- No online multiplayer option
Best PS4 game for builders
Your little Lego enthusiast will enjoy the unmatched freedom of this Lego universe. Lego Worlds (check price on Amazon) is your quintessential sandbox game. Players can build innovative creations with a never-ending supply of virtual Lego blocks.
There are also plenty of prefabricated Lego environments to explore. Players can make their way across Lego Worlds by riding on helicopters, dragons, motorbikes, and gorillas.
There are lots of buried treasures to unearth between your heated creation sessions. Children can also interact with their works. This game is like the Lego version of Minecraft. Whether your child chooses to craft Lego creations or explore the virtual Lego world, they’ll develop problem-solving skills.
What we love
- Large landscaping tools enable you to generate everything from islands to mountains
- Characters come to life and interact with you
- Controls are a bit awkward
Best PS4 game for family
If you’ve got young ones in your house, it is almost impossible to keep a traditional board game intact. Fortunately, Hasbro has combined four of its most popular games into a family fun pack for the PS4.
You and the kids can play Monopoly, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, and Risk. These classic board games have been transformed into three-dimensional experiences, each with their own unique rules and missions.
The Hasbro Family Fun Pack (check price on Amazon) is fun for the whole family. You can even keep track of stats with custom leader boards and trophies. There’s nothing like a little old-fashioned competition!
Parents, this is a video game that you have a chance of winning. If you want to connect with distant friends or family members, the online game mode is an excellent option.
What we love
- Four classic Hasbro board games rolled into one PS4 adventure
- Great family entertainment
- Slow load times for some games
Best PS4 game for Marvel Hero fanatics
Young Marvel Hero fanatics will love diving into the Lego version of their favorite comic series. In Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (check price on Amazon), players get to pick from over 100 of their favorite superheroes. The heroes must fight Loki and other Marvel villains. Like most Marvel stories, this one begins with the bad guys plotting to destroy the world.
Like most Lego games, this PS4 package has a few kinks. Still, we enjoyed the game’s stunning depiction of Manhattan as well as the recreations of other Marvel locations. There are plenty of grimacing bad guys and likable champions. Somehow, everything looks better when made from Lego bricks.
What we love
- Includes over 100 of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes
- The game spans the entire Marvel universe
- Some kinks in the game
Best for preschoolers
Join Ryder and all the puppies on 16 interactive missions. There are eight locations to explore when you’re trotting around Adventure Bay. Your little Paw Patrol (check price on Amazon) enthusiast will love using their pups’ special skills to complete rescue missions.
Don’t expect the challenges to be difficult; they’re designed for younger children. Little ones will love collecting pup treats and paw prints. Children get to play as three Paw Patrol characters at once, so there is scarcely a dull moment. Who said preschoolers were too young for video games?
What we love
- Eight notable locations in Adventure Bay
- Play as three Paw Patrol pups at once
- Uninteresting story lines
Best series PS4 game
Dive into the Disney Universe with all of the bravest Final Fantasy and Disney characters. This package contains nine previously released Kingdom Hearts adventures. Sora, Donald, and Goofy will lead you on missions to restore light in their magical universe.
There are some mild instances of violence and language. However, the Kingdom Hearts Game (check price on Amazon) is, for the most part, Disney-level PG. This is a role-playing game that the whole family can enjoy.
What we love
- Comes nine games from Kingdom Hearts ReMix and Final Chapter Prologue
- Combines both Disney and Final Fantasy characters
- A repackage of previously issued Kingdom Hearts games
Best for little racers
If your kids have a bit of a competitive streak, they’ll love Cars 3: Driven to Win (check price on Amazon), a racing game that centers around the Cars 3 movie. There are lots of tracks, events, and trophies.
Not to mention, there are 22 cars that players can unlock. Battle races are Mario Kart-inspired games where players must pull off complicated stunts to achieve high scores.
While the graphics are reminiscent of PS3 games, this Disney Racing Special shouldn’t be overlooked. If anything, the Cars characters make this a more intimate version of your favorite arcade racing game, though, thankfully, this game doesn’t require a cup of quarters.
What we love
- Race through six thrilling game modes
- Excellent split screen play option`
- Poor textures
Best educational PS4 game
Knowledge is Power (check price on Walmart) is a quiz game that centers around the massive Pyramid of Knowledge. Players can use their phones or tablets to play along.
Since there’s no need for PlayStation controllers, there’s no strict limit as to how many players can join in the fun, part of which is choosing an avatar. The avatar options range from ridiculous to bizarre.
If you don’t have extra smart devices lying around your house, this game is going to be a massive disappointment. Players get to choose their quiz categories and Power Plays.
Power Plays are attacks that take the form of distractions that are layered on top of a rival’s tablet or phone screen. Quiz answers range from the obvious to the obscure. Each player gets a good chunk of time in the limelight.
In the end, there’s only room for one winner. Overall, the content is aimed at older children, teens, and adults. However, the bright graphics and playful avatars may pull in some intelligent grade-school kids.
What we love
- You don’t need a DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
- Beat your friends with the power of raw intelligence`
- Choose a character that bests suits your vibe
- You need smartphones or tablets to play
Best for culinary enthusiasts
Is your little gamer also a fan of cooking shows? Overcooked (check price on Target) is a game that takes place in the kitchens of a make-believe world. Here, a dark AI overlord made of spaghetti and meatballs attempts to overpower aspiring chefs. Players can work together to prepare meals and serve them to hungry recipients.
There are over 30 kitchens hidden throughout this video game. Each kitchen poses new challenges. While the food challenges are thrilling, the best part of this game is the need for player cooperation.
If you have kiddos that bud heads, this silly co-op game is bound to bring them together. Failing that, it could be the foundation for your child’s future in fine dining.
What we love
- Encourages appreciation for food service industries
- Real kitchen hazards serve as hurdles in the game`
- Teaches communication skills
- Not a fun game to play by yourself
Best music game
Just Dance (check price on Walmart) is a game that will get your couch potatoes up and moving. This game rewards players with a keen eye for rhythm and movement. Players select a song from a large library of pop hits.
Then, they must mimic the dance moves presented on their television screen. Unlike previous releases, players now have the option of using smartphones to track their movements.
Children will love hitting the dance floor to battle their siblings, friends, and parents. This game promotes healthy physical activity. As such, it’s a winner in our book. There’s even a kid-specific song selection available on the home page. Besides that, if you enjoyed lots of last year’s top singles, you’ll be thrilled with the game’s playlist.
What we love
- Lots of playful rewards to mark your achievements in the games
- Can be played with up to 6 players
- Promotes heart-pumping physical activities
- Songs can become a bit monotonous after a while
How to limit screen time
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In this case, we highly recommend limiting your child’s screen time. According to the American Heart Association, too much screen time can lead to weight problems and obesity.
Not to mention, excess video gaming can contribute to a long list of negative realities, such as inferior grades, poor attention span, and risky behavior.
If you want to cut down on your child’s screen time, we recommend you take the following steps:
- Set strict parameters: Don’t forget that you are the parent. Both you and your child lose out when you allow repetitive and unfavorable behavior. Set distinct limits, then stick to your decision. You may have to endure a few temper tantrums, but eventually you should be sailing on smooth water.
- Be a leader: If you’re like us, you spend too much time on your phone! It’s harder to lay down the laws when you are the one breaking them. When you are not whipping their butts on the PS4, encourage screen-free entertainment. Schedule a tech-free family night, go for a walk around the neighborhood, or share some childhood memories. Over time, your children will acquire a taste for the real world.
- Keep the screens confined: In our house, bedrooms are screen-free zones. We go there to unwind the old-fashioned way. Since our solitary television is in the living room, our children have no chance of sneaking in an extra round of video games. Screens should be a small part of your children’s lives. At night, it should be all about paperbacks, pillows, and peace.
And our winner is…
After looking at dozens of the best PS4 games for kids, we are happy to announce that Minecraft (check price on Amazon) is our top pick.
This incredible sandbox game promotes imagination and creativity. What’s more, it encourages children to work with their Minecraft-playing peers.
Minecraft encompasses an expansive world. It’s a place where problem-solving skills are essential to survival. It’s also a place where anything is possible. As such, players are encouraged to use their geometry skills to build or destroy grand creations.
We encourage parents to follow along on their gamer’s adventures. It’s astonishing to see what kids can produce with rudimentary tools and essential elements.
The biggest villains in this game are Creepers. These ugly green blobs are barely a threat. That’s because most players are so focused on their projects, they learn to look past the little problems in the game.
There are lots of positive lessons to be garnered from Minecraft. If you are willing to look past the ridiculously crude graphics, you might learn a few yourself.