Close search results
:
Layout - grid Layout - list

First Steps Into Online Video Games

One of the most exciting aspects of modern video games is playing with other people online. It's a big step from playing something like Mario Kart with family and friends in the same room to going online to play with people you don't know.

With the benefits and opportunities of online play come the issues and potential dangers of children interacting with people they don't know. We've worked with the Breck Foundation to create this list of games that are great for parents, carers and children to take first steps online together.

The Breck Foundation is a charity founded by Lorin LaFave after the tragic murder of her 14-year old son, Breck Bednar, in 2014, through online grooming. Breck was groomed while enjoying his passions of computing and gaming. The foundation aims to ensure that no child is harmed through grooming and exploitation while enjoying their time on the internet.

After speaking with Lorin on BBC Radio, together, we hatched an idea to offer this resource to help anchor online gaming as a part of family life. By playing online with your child from an early age you create a context where mistakes are made together. This establishes an open conversation where your child is more likely to tell you if something happens online that doesn't feel right, and more likely to listen to your ongoing advice and guidance.

This works with Breck Foundation's, ‘Play virtual, Live real’ motto that reminds children to never meet up alone in a private place with someone they have met only online, to ensure that online play is safe, enjoyable and connected to attentive adults.

The games in this list offer small steps to go from local play to online play. Some games, like Roblox are designed for young players with lots of special safety settings. Other games, like Sky, are designed to lead players into cooperating with each other with in-game purchases you give away, and interactions that start limited and expand as you gain experience. Then there are cooperative games like Ibb and Obb where you work together and communicate with gestures on the screen.

You can use Family Settings and Parental Controls on your system to limit how your child interacts with other players online. As well as finding the right games to get them started, it's also important that you play with them and keep game screens in shared family spaces so you can see what they are doing.

This list includes 52 games from the last 30 years, with 2,097 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to dip your toe into online games.

×
Play YouTube video

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 2,097
 

 

Apico

Release Date: 20/05/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Apico is a simulation game where you play a beekeeper and conservationist. You explore environments, breed rare bees and release them into the wild, while growing your business. There are no enemies, time constraints or set objectives so you can focus...

The Tomorrow Children

Release Date: 06/09/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Tomorrow Children is an online strategy game where you collaborate with other players to build, explore and develop communities. Unusually, it uses social economics and a Soviet Union-themed post-apocalyptic dystopia as the setting. You play a...

The Crew 2 (Series)

Release Date: 02/12/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

The Crew is a series of open-world racing and exploration games set in a scaled down version of the United States. The emphasis is on enjoyable and exciting driving more than realism. It's a lot like Forza Horizon, although can be played on PlayStation...

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.

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Just Dance 2022 (Series)

Release Date: 17/11/2009, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even grandparents off the couch and dancing along with the on-screen moves....

Splatoon 3 (Series)

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

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Release Date: 04/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a whacky obstacle race where up to 60 people compete to get to the end of the course and advance to the next round. Drawing on TV shows like Takeshi's Castle, Wipeout or It's a Knock Out you have to control top-heavy...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Roblox (Series)

Release Date: 15/06/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

In this game, amateur game-makers create simple online games that often mimic real-world grown-up scenarios, like working in a pizza restaurant, surviving natural disasters, escaping prison, scuba diving or playing hide-and-seek. The library of games is...

MeepCity (Roblox)

Release Date: 23/02/2016

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

MeepCity is a popular Roblox Game. It's a social game where you role-play a character to interact with other people and customise their look. Like Toontown Online or the now defunct Club Penguin, MeepCity is an evolving virtual space for players to...

Royale High (Roblox)

Release Date: 04/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Royale High Roblox is a role play game about a fantasy school. You dress-up, visit different themed realms collecting items and interacting with other people. It draws inspiration from the pageantry world and integrates it with different locations to...

Super Mario Bros. 35

Release Date: 01/10/2020

Platforms: Switch

Super Mario Bros.35 is Mario combined with Fortnite's battle royale online competition. You play a Mario game, but as you score points you send one of the other 35 players enemies and hazards. Jump on a Koopa and send it to the leader on points or...

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

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...

Farm Together

Release Date: 25/02/2018, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Farm Together is a low-pressure farm simulator. You develop your farm by yourself or cooperate with your friends. Starting with an empty plot you can grow crops, plant trees, take care of the animals, add buildings and facilities, and unlock new items...

FIFA (Series)

Release Date: 15/12/1993, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, Megadrive, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Pieces: Cards

FIFA is one of the two main football video games (the other being Pro Evolution). Each year it's released with improved visuals, more realistic physics and enhanced competitive play. For those that follow the game closely and play it a lot, it offers a...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Feather

Release Date: 05/04/2019

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

This game brings you, as a bird, to a beautiful island. You can explore freely, collecting items and soaring on the breeze. Often, other players will join you to create a flock of birds to fly together, making music on the wind. Communication is kept to...

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.

Ibb and Obb

Release Date: 01/08/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Ibb & Obb is a puzzle game where you run, jump, land on enemies and solve momentum puzzles. The novelty is that it's a game designed for co-operation. One player controls the green creature, Ibb, and the other controls the pink creature, Obb. The world...

Bad Business (Roblox)

Release Date: 29/05/2019

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

Bad Business on Roblox, is a first-person shooting game. It's similar to Call of Duty and Battlefield with shooting, running and sniping with different weapons.

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox)

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox) is a strategy game where build your ship (or anything else) from different materials and set sail for adventure. Doing this successfully earns new items and materials for your next build. Although this churn does...

Star Stable

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Star Stable Online is a hugely popular adventure game where you care for horses, take on daily challenges, solve mysteries and explore a fantasy online world. Originally only available for PC and Mac, it's recently come to mobile devices. Star Stable...

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...

Hypercharge: Unboxed

Release Date: 31/01/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Hypercharge: Unboxed is a shooting game where you play a small toy from the 1990s in human-sized arenas like a toy shop, back garden and a garage. It combines base defence play with exploration and collection running and jumping in a wide range of...

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...

Temtem

Release Date: 21/01/2020, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Temtem is a role-play game like Pokemon but played online against loads of other players. You collect and train Temtem creatures (of which there are 161) while exploring the world. You encounter other creatures controlled by human or computer players...

KartRider (Series)

Release Date: 31/05/2020

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

KartRider is an online kart racing game. You race and customise your kart on a variety of different circuits. Along with the usual fantasy vehicles this includes real cars. It's similar to Mario Kart and has power-ups and drift...

Railbound

Release Date: 06/09/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Railbound is a track-bending puzzle game where you lay track, switch points and use tunnels to get the carriages to the engine in the right order. Although it's the puzzles that keep you playing, there's also a real joy in connecting tracks and seeing...

Orchids to Dusk

Release Date: 03/12/2015

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.

Tetris 99 (Series)

Release Date: 20/09/2019

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tetris is a longstanding puzzle game where you make horizontal lines by placing different shaped tiles in a well. It's simple and fun, but as the pieces speed up it gets increasingly difficult.

Clash Royale

Release Date: 02/03/2016

Platforms: Android and iOS

Pieces: Cards

Clash Royale is a real-time strategy game where you collect cards to gain units and powers for a player vs. player battle. It's like a simpler version of Clash of Clans.

Core Keeper

Release Date: 08/03/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Core Keeper is a life-simulation strategy game set in a vast cave system where you construct a sprawling base. It crosses the exploration and discovery of Stardew Valley with the camaraderie and adventure of [link to...

Sticky Terms

Release Date: 01/03/2020

Platforms: Android and iOS

Sticky Terms is a puzzle game where you construct words from other languages with portions of letters. You rotate, drag and overlap the different elements to create words, once you do you are rewarded with a drum hit and a definition of the word.

Work At A Pizza Place (Roblox)

Release Date: 28/03/2008, updated in 2021

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Work At A Pizza Place is a strategy game where you take on the role of a team member in a pizza restaurant. When you start you choose a role and work with other online players to fulfil orders, cook pizzas, manage stock and other aspects of the business.

DotA 2

Release Date: 09/06/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Mac and PC

DotA 2 (Defence of the Ancients) is a series of fighting and shooting games where you battle enemies and human-controlled characters in online matches. The aim is to destroy the other team's Ancient artefact using one of the many characters. Similar to...

Knight Squad 2 (Series)

Release Date: 28/05/2014, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Knight Squad and Knight Squad 2 are a series of short fighting games where you battle other people to win the most rounds. Like other fight games it's fast-paced, lighthearted, and chaotic. More unusual are the novel modes and themes: from football to...

Clubhouse Games (Series)

Release Date: 29/09/2006, updated in 2020

Platforms: DS and Switch

Clubhouse Games, is a series that offers classic board and card games in one large bundle. It's not only great value but introduces children to a wide range of real-world games to play with the family.

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.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Subscribe
PlayStation
Carina Initiatives
Xbox
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter
Discord
Contact Us
About