Minecraft is in These Lists
In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Minecraft in the following lists:
As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fads for the latest titles. These are a lot of fun, but children’s choices can end up being narrowed down to big-budget or on-trend games. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects. While offering age-appropriate alternatives to older-rated games, they are still exuberant, intriguing and create raucous gaming fun that fires the imagination of children aged 7 to 12 years old.
These are games that involve actual Lego bricks or offer an experience that has the same plug and play building and creating as the classic toy.
These games have an educational element to them, but also offer experiences that are good games in their own right. This isn't busywork to trick you into learning, but clever and innovative ways to encounter history, physics, engineering, maths, geography and language subjects without feeling like you are in school. They also teach softer, deeper skills like long term strategy, planning, balancing systems, emotional intelligence, compassion, team-work and self-care.
Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that provides 100 top-tier games. Once subscribed you can download the game at no extra cost. Of the 100 games available the ones in our recommended database are listed below.
You cannot play games you install when your Xbox Game Pass expires, although you do keep any games you have purchased at a discount with your membership. You will need to purchase any in-game extra content in addition to the subscription, although some games include this content for free.
Xbox Game Pass £7.99/month
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate including Xbox Live Gold for online play £10.99/month
Xbox Game Pass PC £7.99/month
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also enables you to stream over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles, similar to the service offered by PlayStation Now, on mobile devices. Xbox Live Gold
usually costs £6.99/month and is the Xbox service that lets you play with others online. It also offers a few free games each month and substantial discounts.
Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.
If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse
, organising your island in Animal Crossing
, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways
or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization
the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
Most online games only work if the person you are wanting to play against has the same system that you have, console, PC or smartphone. There are, however, a growing library of games that offer what is often called cross-play. This lets you play with people on different systems.
These games are a good way to extend the list of friends and family that you can play with. It also makes it less critical which system you have in your home, even if your friends have a different one.
Online games are great because you have a world of opponents to take on and defeat (or be defeated by). But beyond the competitive element of these games are often a strong sense of community and camaraderie.
Players enjoy making new connections in these games, as well as connecting with wider family and friends. Listen to the chatter while children play these games, and you hear as much talk about homework, television, YouTube or what's happening in the world as who to shoot in the head next.
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 burder 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 co-operating with each other with in-game purchases you give away, and interactions that start limited and expand as you gain experience. Then there are co-operative 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.
Some forms of play are timeless. Running around with a stick pretending to be in the army. Chasing each other in games of tag. And, of course, hide and seek. The games in this list offer digital ways to play hide and seek with a variety of different twists.Hide In A Crowd:
There are games like Spy Party
, Thief Town
, Hidden in Plain Sight
, that let you play as a range of characters and then challenge another player to find you amongst a computer-controlled crowd, from what way you move and interact. The Fruit game
in Game and Wario
on Wii U has the same mechanics, with one person trying to steal fruit without the other players working out who they are. Wii Party
offers hiding in its Spot the Sneak mode where one player has a secret advantage in the mini-games that the other players have to spot. Another great example is Wii U Party
, Lost and Found Square mode
. One player stands in a crowd of identical people and uses the Wii U gamepad to look around and describe their location to other players, who use the TV to explore and find them. At the end, you see a map of where the players had run. Prop Hunt:
There are games with "Prop Hunt" modes where you can change into the items in the world to hide. Fortnite
has a great Prop Hunt mode, as does Minecraft. Then there are games like Witch It
designed around this idea of transforming into normal items and hiding in a game world. Separate Screens:
There games like Mario Chase and Luigi's Ghosthouse in Nintendoland
, or Pac-Man Vs
where one person has their own screen while the others team up to hunt for them use the main TV screen. Or games you play online where everyone has their own screen and try to hide from a particular character like in Secret Neighbor
is a twist on this, where you share the same screen and try to shoot each other, but your characters are invisible.Hidden Objects:
Or there are hidden object games where the computer hides things that you have to find, like Hidden Folks
and Hidden Through Time
. There's a hidden object mode in Mario Odyssey
where you hunt online player's hidden balloons. A twist on this is Here Kitty
where one person hides a phone that then makes cat noises until the seeker has found it.Open World Hiding:
You can use pretty much any open-world game to make your own hiding fun. You can hide in Minecraft
(having turned nameplates off), sneak around on public transport in
or simply count to 10 while visitors hide in Animal Crossing New Horizons
It can seem like making a video-games is only possible with a degree and lots of complicated equipment. The games on this list let you design and share your own levels just using your controller and tools like Scratch.
You can unleash your creativity with these games that enable you to make your own games. Start with something familiar and try making your own levels in Mario Maker or get to grips with building in Minecraft. Build your confidence and creativity and soon you’ll be creating more complicated games in Dreams or LittleBigPlanet.
We put this list together with the help of the brilliant National Videogame Museum, (NVM). The World's First Fully-Playable Cultural Centre Dedicated to Games. If you want more information about making your own videogames, the NVM has free resources
to get you started.
Surviving in games is often a key element. Some games, however, make it the main focus. With minimal resources and little light can you make it through to the morning? Can you prepare a shelter as the daylight dwindles in time for you to cope with the lurking creatures of the dark?
Whether this is as simple as closing the door to keep the zombies out in Minecraft or as complex as crafting food, clothing and medicine to cope with the freezing blackness of The Long Dark these games are exhilarating as they pose a strategic puzzle with personal consequences.
Many of these games offer an open world in which to survive, which opens up more ways of preparing for and then making it through the night time. This, of course, leads to another day where you need to spend time and resources wisely while exploring your surroundings.