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Exuberant Games For Pre-16 Year-Olds

There's a gap when children are starting to outgrow PEGI 12 rated games but aren't necessarily ready for PEGI 16 rated shooting and fighting experiences. The games in this list offer some options that are genuinely exuberant and exhilarating but with lower levels of violence.

It's important to say that parents should take a close look at the rating information for these games and make their own judgement on appropriateness for their child.

These are intended as good first steps into older rating games, when you think your child is ready. We go through some really good examples of these exciting, fast-action game for a range of ages. They are mostly all PEGI 12 or under, apart from games like Halo or Jedi Fallen Order, which we have included as this is a lower ESRB TEEN rating in the US.

This list includes 122 games from the last 29 years, with 3,318 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to dip toe in older teenage games .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Battle, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 3,318
 

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Teardown

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Hello Neighbor (Series)

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Hello Neighbor is a stealth survival game with a horror feel. You try and sneak into the basement of their neighbour’s house to uncover a "horrible secret". The game responds to your strategy by setting traps along paths the player followed in...

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you are a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Halo (Series)

Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fighting-adventure game set five years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 14 years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Young Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is hunted through the galaxy by the...

Griftlands

Release Date: 14/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Hand-Made

Griftlands is an adventure game where you use cards to fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. You will die or fail often, but then use your knowledge and growing deck of cards to have a better chance of survival on your next...

Phantom Abyss

Release Date: 21/06/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Phantom Abyss is a running and jumping game where you charge through temples to get to the exit. Your only tool is a whip that interacts with objects and can propel you forward. Along the way are numerous traps and difficult jumps to avoid. There are...

Steamworld Heist

Release Date: 16/11/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PS Vita, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Pixels

Steam-powered robots fighting for space supremacy sounds like the script for a 1950s B-movie. As in those matinee hits, the point here isn’t realism but interesting characters. Like the related games (SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Quest), SteamWorld...

Metroid Dread

Release Date: 08/10/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Metroid Dread, the latest Metroid game, is a running, jumping, exploring and fighting game where you progress through levels, fight challenging bosses and uncover secrets. It returns the franchise to the 2D side-scrolling style of...

Ratchet & Clank (Series)

Release Date: 04/11/2002, updated in 2016

Platforms: PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5 and PSP

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ratchet & Clank looks more cartoony but still offers the B-movie-style action. As Ratchet, you explore planets and space stations, battling enemies with a variety of weapons and gadgets. Sidekick Clank sits on Ratchet’s back and offers more abilities,...

Superhot

Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.

Forza Horizon 5 (Series)

Release Date: 05/11/2021

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

Invisible Inc

Release Date: 12/05/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Invisible Inc is a tactical adventure where you direct espionage agents in covert missions to acquire resources and support to relocate your agency's computer system to a safe haven within a limited amount of time.

Elite Dangerous

Release Date: 15/12/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Open World

Elite Dangerous is a new version of the classic 1980s space game Elite. Like the original it’s a space exploration, trading and combat game that provides a huge and rich universe rather than a specific story. You can trade goods, become a bounty...

Biomutant

Release Date: 25/05/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Biomutant is an open world role-play adventure game where you play a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of Zelda Breath of the Wild, but in a broken down steampunk...

BedWars (Roblox)

Release Date: 19/01/2017, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft (since 2017) or Roblox servers (since 2021). It's a team game where you start on an island and must protect your bed and build bridges to attack other teams' beds. The trick is the ecosystem of items and crafting...

Krunker

Release Date: 29/01/2019

Platforms: Web

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Blocks

Krunker (Krunker.io and Krunker Free) is a shooting game where you compete against online opponents on various maps. As you level up you unlock weapons that help you in the game. It's unusual because you play it in any web browser with no need to...

Overwatch

Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Overwatch is a shooting game but with the focus on teamwork and skill rather than violence. Along with games like Rocket League it has professional e-sports competitions where players compete for prizes.

Astroneer

Release Date: 16/12/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Astroneer is an open-world space adventure where you colonize planets by creating habitable structures, farming and mining resources. There is no specific story, although the challenges of each planet give rise to struggles of achievement to placate the...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

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

Components: 2D Side-On

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.

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Free Fire (Series)

Release Date: 29/10/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Components: 3D Third-Person

Garena Free Fire (also called Free Fire Battlegrounds, Free Fire, Garena Free Fire-New Beginning) is a shooting game like Fortnite but only played on mobile phones and tablet devices. It is highly popular for its online battles where 50 players search...

Plants Vs. Zombies (Series)

Release Date: 04/09/2019

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare is a series of third-person shooting games about the battle for supremacy between weaponised plants and attacking zombies. It's good for families because the comedic zombies and funny plant powers keep things away from...

Hogwarts Legacy

Release Date: 08/02/2023

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world role-play game set in the world of Harry Potter. You control a wizard character who starts as a student at Hogwarts but then ventures out on a dangerous journey with a mystery to solve. You design your character, learn...

War Thunder

Release Date: 21/12/2016, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

War Thunder is a shooting game where you drive a range of vehicles in warfare combat. Similar to Wargaming's World of Warplanes it creates realistic battles on air, land, and sea. The attraction of the combat is that each vehicle or craft’s...

No Man's Sky

Release Date: 10/08/2016, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

No Man's Sky is a space simulation about exploring endless planets and galaxies. It invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a...

Brawl Stars

Release Date: 14/06/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Brawl Stars is a fighting game where you battle the computer or other players in all against all and team matches. You can play as any of the game's 50 plus characters, called "Brawlers", in an arena. The cartoon style lends the game a more lighthearted...

Subnautica Below Zero (Series)

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light...

Valheim

Release Date: 02/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Valheim is a Viking inspired strategy game for up to 10 players. You build, survive, conquer, and explore the world. It's popular because it combines strategy of building your town stronghold with tough adventures and encounters with the enemies of the...

Grounded

Release Date: 28/07/2020, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World

Grounded is a survival game where you are tiny and find yourself in someone’s back garden. It’s like Honey I Shrunk The Kids meets Fortnite. Ants, cockroaches, and bees pose a threat along with environmental hazards like water, tall grass and large...

Star Wars Battlefront II (Series)

Release Date: 17/11/2017

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

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person

Star Wars Battlefront II is a shooting game based on the Star Wars films. There have been four games in the series and is similar to the main Battlefield series. The latest version is Star Wars Battlefront II that features...

Undertale

Release Date: 15/09/2015, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Undertale is a 2D adventure game where you don't have to kill anyone. Providing you unique ways to avoid combat, from dancing with a slime to whispering your deepest secret to a knight. However, you could just ignore this option and rain destruction...

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Series)

Release Date: 14/08/2014, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

The Hyrule Warriors series of games are hack and slash action games, set in the Legend of Zelda Universe and focussed primarily on close combat against large groups of enemies. The latest in the series Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, merges the...

Crossout

Release Date: 15/05/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Crossout is an online vehicle combat game set in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic world. Players design modular vehicles combine weapons, armour and engines. As you progress in the game you earn currency to upgrade components and access more powerful parts....

Bully

Release Date: 17/10/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Bully (Canis Canem Edit in Europe) is a role play adventure from the people who make Grand Theft Auto. You play juvenile delinquent student Jimmy Hopkins who aims to rise through the ranks of the school system in order to put a stop to bullying.

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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