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  • Dr. Siyuan Kennedy

10 Best Family Friendly Video Games

During and even after the pandemic, you may find your children, teenagers, or even yourself playing more video games than ever before. Video gaming has a bad reputation for being a distraction or addiction these days, but it still can become a great bonding and relaxing tool for family and friends if you know how to game wisely.

I have been working on increasing mental health awareness in the gaming community, as well as helping online gamers, since 2016. Here is my list of top 10 wonderful family-friendly video games that you can safely play with your children, teenagers, and adults at home. Having said that, please know that these are multiplayer video games which will allow more than one person to play together at the same time either local or online. The rating for these video games is "E" for Everyone.

1. Animal Crossing New Horizon (Nintendo Switch) The most relaxing, chill, creative, cute, fun, and beautiful video game on the market. Be aware that it allows for only one island for each console, so if you want to play with others, you will either have to buy another console to play at the same time, or be content to take turns.

2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) This is the most fun racing game, both local and online. You can choose many well-known characters and well-designed tracks. This makes for a lot of fun with family and friends.

3. Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Nintendo Switch) Luigi is Mario’s brother. He explores the haunted mansion to save Mario and Peach Princess. There are local and online multiplayer features. Puzzles are smart and fun. The haunted mansion is not scary at all, instead it is spooky and cute in a kid-friendly way.

4. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet/Sword and Shield/Arceus (Nintendo Switch) If your children and teenagers love Pokemon, this one is the best. It values personality, cooperation, healthy competition, and creativity. You can play with others both local and online.

5. Overcooked! 2 (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC) You play as a cook, preparing different dishes with others both local and online. It is the most fun and chaotic experience you can imagine. Communication is the key to success. It really challenges players on how to talk to each other effectively in order to complete the task

6. Minecraft (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC) You probably already know a lot about Minecraft after hearing about it almost everywhere. Players collect, create, build, and repeat. Be careful, this game does offer an online server feature. Make sure the one you join is safe in which to play.

7. Fall Guys (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, PC) You compete with 59 other people online on different obstacle courses. No particular skills are involved. Just appreciate the cuteness factor of your character, and the funny nature of the whole experience.

8. Untitled Goose Game (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC) You and your friends are geese, playing and messing around together. Puzzle solving and being creative are essential. But more importantly, have fun barking and walking like a goose.

9. Unravel Two (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC) It is an adventure between two yarn friends. Have fun exploring and discovering what is waiting for you. Of course, helping each other solve puzzles is part of the fun.

10. Any LEGO series (PS5, Xbox Series X&S, PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC) LEGO has produced many video games based on great movies, including Harry Potter, Lord of the Ring, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, LEGO movies, Marvel super heroes, and Jurassic Park. It is funny and entertaining to solve puzzles with family and friends locally.

Now you have a list of many wonderful video games, it is time to plan a video game night and have some wonderful fun with your family and friends!

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