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Compete on the Couch

Raucous, unbounded, exuberant, all-age competitive fun is something video games are known for. Find the right games for your family and you can create important and healthy ways to let off steam, excel and persevere as you sit next to each other on the sofa. These games can play a big part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat. Kids love competing online, but the games here focus on battling in the same room. Played with multiple controllers and a shared screen, they offer challenges that require real skill and give everyone a chance to rise to the top of the family pile.

This list includes 149 games from the last 30 years, with 1,865 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to compete on the couch.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 1,865
 

 

Ico

Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Platforms: PS2 and PS3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls...

Cruis’n Blast

Release Date: 14/09/2021

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Cruis’n Blast is a brash over the top racing game based on a series of big arcade machines. Competing with games like Ridge Racer, OutRun and Daytona USA, it offers whacky racing with big and bombastic visuals and characters.

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Nintendo Land

Release Date: 30/11/2012

Platforms: Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nintendoland is a collection of Nintendo games was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen while the...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Series)

Release Date: 27/08/1992, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Mario Kart is a go-kart racing game on Nintendo systems. You race against other Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic, but still requires skills to do well at.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Release Date: 16/07/2014, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

This unique battle requires keen observation rather than quick reflexes. Up to four players fight to protect or assassinate the king, catch a thief or race across the screen without being stopped. The twist is that you each have numerous...

Tricky Towers

Release Date: 05/07/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

This battle puzzle uses shapes but instead of creating lines you must balance them in towers that mustn’t fall over. Real-world physics apply, along with wind and attacks from other players to make your stack topple. Up to four players can race to...

Impostor (Roblox)

Release Date: 17/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Impostor is a space survival game like Among Us. It is a community created version of that official game on Roblox as Impostor, but also on Minecraft as a couple of minigames called Among Us and Impostor. The Roblox game is a version of Among Us for...

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Mario Kart Live, MarioKart Home Circuit) is a kart racing game with a difference. You play on the Switch but use it to control a real life Mario kart that races around...

Bake 'n Switch

Release Date: 10/09/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Bake 'n Switch is a puzzle fighting game where 2-4 players are apprentice bakers fighting the "Mould" and taking on various Guardian bosses. It's ridiculously cute and a lot of silly fun, as you catch, merge and sacrifice the anthropomorphised dough...

Hot Lava

Release Date: 19/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and iPhone, iPad

Hot Lava is a running and jumping game where you mustn't touch the floor because it's covered in lava. It takes the childhood playground game online as you work to cross nostalgia-filled maps on your own or with other players

Wii Sports (Series)

Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offer is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require considerable...

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Platforms: Switch

Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a fighting game where you battle mechanical dinosaurs based on the Zoid series. You need to learn the special moves and button combinations to pull off just the right attack at the right time. Each different Zoid and...

Boomerang Fu

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Boomerang Fu is a fighting game where you control small food-like characters. Using your boomerang the aim is to slice the other players with ranged or melee attacks. You can use a large range of power-ups such as: explosive boomerangs, disguise and...

Pac-Man Party Royale

Release Date: 21/10/2019

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Pac-Man Party Royale is a four player version of Pac-Man. You must be the last man standing to win. You eat pellets to speed up and aim to eat the Super Pellet first to send opponents and ghosts running. There's a twist though, each opponent you eat...

Cars 3: Driven to Win

Release Date: 13/06/2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Cars 3: Driven to Win is a racing adventure game based on the 2017 film. You explore the world of Radiator Springs and other locations from the film. As you do, you meet the other cars, collect items and unlock new areas.

Gang Beasts

Release Date: 12/12/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gang Beasts is an over the top brawling game where you play wobbly characters who kick, throw, push, pull and pummel up to seven other rivals to win. The game models real physics so you have to work with the grappling and jelly-like bodies to both get...

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Series)

Release Date: 13/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a shooting game. It's a direct sequel to the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will have a Campaign, Multiplayer, Zombies, and integration into Call of Duty: Warzone. It's a game that...

Mario Party (Series)

Release Date: 08/10/2010, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Pieces: Dice

Mario Party is an interactive board game. Players roll a dice to move around a board and then compete in different mini-games to earn the chance to throw again or earn points. You play as Nintendo characters and take on challenges that make use of the...

New Super Mario Bros. U

Release Date: 18/11/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

New Super Mario Bros. U is platform game where you play with 4 main players (and an optional assistant player) to traverse from one side of the level to the other. Along with the usual running, jumping, stomping and collecting you are racing other...

Hotshot Racing

Release Date: 10/09/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Hotshot Racing is a simple and fast racing game. You have to drift round corners, hit the apex on razor-sharp bends in coastal, jungle, alpine and Las Vegas desert environments.

That's You!

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

That's You! is a family quiz game played on the PlayStation using Android or iOS phones/tablets as controllers. The game displays a challenge on the main TV screen that each player tries to complete on the device in their hand.

Super Mario 3D World

Release Date: 21/11/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this co-operative and competitive play makes it great...

Monster Prom

Release Date: 27/04/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Monster Prom is a role-playing game set in a high school for monsters where you are looking for love. You make choices about the dating-focused narrative by exploring the campus and talking to different monster characters. It has some light...

Sonic Racing (Series)

Release Date: 23/02/2010

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Team Sonic Racing is the latest kart racing game in a series featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and other Sega characters. Like Mario Kart, you control one of 15 characters in races using fantasy sports cars, while performing tricks,...

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

Release Date: 10/08/2010, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is an arcade-style fighting game. In the game, you take control of one of seven playable characters from the comic book series and travel through Toronto, Canada facing the seven evil exes of Ramona Flowers.

Forza Motorsport 7 (Series)

Release Date: 03/10/2017

Platforms: PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Motorsport 7 immerses players in the exhilarating thrill of competitive racing. From mastering the new motorsport-inspired campaign to collecting a wide range of cars to experiencing the excitement of driving at the limit, this is Forza reimagined.

Blur

Release Date: 25/05/2010

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Blur is a four-player racing game with many Mario Kart-style features but with customisable real-model cars. The combination of such cars as the Dodge Viper, Ford Transit and Lotus Exige (to name a few) with weapons, stunts and power-ups is both unusual...

Crossy Road Castle

Release Date: 28/02/2020

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Crossy Road Castle, is the follow up to the simple frogger Cross Road game. You play pixilated animals racing to the top of various towers that change every time you play.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Release Date: 29/08/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a chess-like strategy game where you control cartoon rabbits (the Rabbids) and Nintendo characters in turn-based battles with fantastical weapons through four different worlds.

Otterman Empire

Release Date: 02/07/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Otterman Empire is a fun shooting game where you battle anthropomorphic characters in Splatoon-like arena encounters.

Hogwash

Release Date: 22/11/2019

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Hogwash is an action battle game where you play as the farmer or as one of three pigs. The farmer's goal is to capture the pigs while the pigs aim to cause mayhem and get three specific areas on the farm covered with mud.

Horizon Chase 2 (Series)

Release Date: 08/11/2018, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Horizon Chase 2 is the latest game in the Horizon Chase series of arcade racing games with a focus on competitive fun rather than realism; its graphics make it look like it was plucked from the nineties’ arcades, with a nod to Outrun and Lotus Turbo...

Party Animals

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Party Animals is a fighting game where wobbly animal characters go toe-to-toe. Like Gang Beasts, the novelty is in the game physics that recreate realistic movement and impact with a cartoon rag-doll feel.

Unrailed!

Release Date: 23/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Unrailed! is a co-op strategy game where you work with friends to build a train line across endless landscapes. Along with finding the resources to build track, bridges and tunnels you need to deal with local inhabitants, upgrade your train and watch...

Alpaca Ball: Allstars

Release Date: 15/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Alpaca Ball: Allstars is a football (soccer) game played with four legged furry animals. Rather than kick the ball you whack it with your head and long neck. You can also block and ram your opponents, or dive-kick them out the way.

Battloon

Release Date: 28/02/2019

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Battloon is a colourful battle game, where each of the four players controls a balloon-like creature. You try and bounce the other players into spikes on the arena walls by puffing out air to propel yourself in a direction.

Out of Space

Release Date: 25/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Out of Space is a co-operative game about living together on a space ship. You and your cohabitants have to build a sustainable spaceship, as well as making it a cosy home. All is not plain sailing though, as you come across deadly alien infestations, a...

Dreams Party! (Dreams)

Release Date: 17/03/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Pieces: Dice

Dreams Party is a turn based family board game for up to 4 players. There are two boards to choose from, Welcome Garden and Halloween. Like Mario Party, it creates the fun of a real board game but combines it with mini-games when players land on the...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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