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45 Great Games Like Rocket League

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Rocket League and have found the following:

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 can be achieved with the cars. Experts can use the cars’ jet-powered mechanics to fly and flip, and to dribble the ball with great skill – so much so that there are professional leagues where players compete for big prizes in front of huge crowds.

Unfortunately, Rocket League is not available on Android, PS5, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Costs: Free. Season pass and in-game purchases

45 Hand Picked Games Like Rocket League

These are our hand-picked games similar to Rocket League. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Rocket League. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Fortnite

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 9-13 year-olds

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Shooting

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Epic Games (@EpicGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 100 players online

Fortnite (sometimes misspelled Fortnight) rose to popularity via its Battle Royale mode where 100 players fight against each other in online battles to the death. While they play, using shooting, evasion and building skills to survive, a storm is...

Free Fire (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 29/10/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Free Fire NA (@FreeFire_NA)

Players: You can play this with 50 players online

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...

Crossout

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 15/05/2015

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Racing, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: Targem Games (@TargemGames)

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

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....

Dauntless

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/05/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Phoenix Labs (@PhoenixLabs)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Dauntless is an action fighting video game where you play a monster hunter in a fantasy world. Cataclysmic events have released Behemoth creatures that prey on the surviving humans. You play a monster hunter who hunts and kills large fantasy creatures,...

FIFA (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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

Price: 68% off

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

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: EA (@EA)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

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...

Knockout City

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/05/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Fighting and Sports

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Velan Ventures (@VelanVentures)

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

Knockout City is a futuristic sports game were rival crews take on dodgeball style battles. It combines arena battles with projectile combat. With the focus on the ball as much as the other players, this brings more strategy and a great emphasis on...

Legends of Runeterra

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/01/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Riot Games (@RiotGames)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Legends of Runeterra is a collectible card game that takes place in the League of Legends universe. You battle other players using the cards you've collected that bring in champions, creatures, weapons, and powers.

Paladins: Champions of the Realm

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 31/03/2017

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Evil Mojo Games (@EvilMojoGames)

Players: You can play this with 10 players online

Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a free online shooting game, like Overwatch that lets you play as different heroes in the battles. It's set in a world combining fantasy and science fiction, including medieval-looking...

Quantum League

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/05/2020

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

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nimble Giant Ent (@NimbleGiantEnt)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Quantum League is a shooting game where you go back in time when you die, to play through the same loop of the battle. You have three lives and so play through the same short gun-fight three times. But each time you have more knowledge about what the...

QWOP

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 21/12/2010

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Bfod (@Bfod)

Players: This is a single player game

QWOP is a sports game with a difference. You have to control each limb of your virtual athlete. This changes it from a challenge of hitting buttons to using the touch screen or keyboard to deftly co-ordinate movement to gain forward motion. It's really...

Alpaca Ball: Allstars

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Sports

Developer: Salt Castle (@Salt_Castle)

Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room

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.

Burnout Paradise (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/03/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: GameCube, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: Criterion Games (@CriterionGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

The Burnout series is an over-the-top racing game where you’re encouraged to crash, bash and ram other cars. Throughout the series the bravado and crashing increases, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/11/2007, updated in 2019

Price: 5% off

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

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Sports

Developer: Sega (@Sega)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a series of simple competitive sports games featuring characters from Nintendo and Sega. Each game in the series is themed around a different Olympic year and location.

Offroad Mania

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 10/02/2020

Platforms: PC and Web

Genres: Puzzle and Racing

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Active Games (@ActiveGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Offroad Mania is a physics focused driving game that has you trying to navigate difficult off-road terrain. It's unusual because of the focus on travseral, vehicle administration and driving skill.

Captain Tsubasa Dream Team

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 13/06/2017

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Sports and Strategy

Developer: Tsubasa DT EN (@TsubasaDT_EN)

Players: You can play this with 32 players online

Captain Tsubasa Dream Team (Captain Tsubasa Flash Kicker Dream Team on Android) is a game set in the world of a Japanese cartoon about football. It's a tactical rather than action game. You play as the manager rather than players, but then at key...

Gran Turismo (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: The Gran Turismo (@TheGranTurismo)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or super cars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

You Suck at Parking

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Racing

Developer: HV Games (@HVGames)

Players: This is a single player game

You Suck At Parking is a tactical racing game where the ultimate goal is to stop in a parking spot. The game features cartoon style parkour racing tracks with loops, sharp bents, bombs and other hazards, on the route to a parking spot.

Destruction AllStars

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 02/02/2021

Platforms: PS5

Genres: Action, Fighting and Sports

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Lucid Games Ltd (@LucidGamesLtd)

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

Destruction AllStars is a futuristic combat-destruction sports game. You compete in teams in a destruction derby arena battle and slam into other players' cars to disable them. It's Robot Wars and Battle Bots in style complete with special weapons and...

Drone The Game

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 02/08/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Racing, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Drone The Game (@Drone_The_Game)

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

Drone The Game is a shooting battle with a highly controllable drone against other online players in arenas like maps. It's unusual because you build and customize your drone by dragging and dropping functional blocks that affect how the drone will fly....

Mario Strikers Charged

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/05/2007

Platforms: GameCube, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting and Sports

Developer: Next Level Games (@NextLevelGames)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Mario Strikers Charged, also Mario Strikers Charged Football and Mario Power Soccer, was the sequel to Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube. It offers a fast and furious game of football staring Nintendo characters.

MXGP 2020 Official Motocross (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/12/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Racing and Sports

Developer: Milestone Italy (@MilestoneItaly)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 19 players online

MXGP 2020 The Official Motocross Video Game is an off road motorbike racing game based on the FIM Motocross World Championship. You compete in 19 muddy tracks from the competition, rain or shine, jumping huge hills and altering high-speed sections with...

Skate 3 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2007, updated in 2010

Price: 80% off

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: EA (@EA)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Skate is a skateboarding series with innovative controls. One stick is used to control the skater's body and the other his feet. This resulted in the need to quickly motion different patterns to intuitively achieve different tricks - what become coined...

Steep

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 02/12/2016

Price: 40% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Steep is an extreme winter sports game set in a fully explorable Alps. You can ski, snowboard, paraglide or wingsuit (fly) down various mountains, with alternate pathways to explore and create. You gain experience points from performing tricks and...

Videoball

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 12/06/2016

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Action Button (@ActionButton)

Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Videoball is a minimalist sports game for up to six players. The aim is to get one of the balls into the opponent’s goal by shooting it with triangles. It’s highly skilled, frantic and works brilliantly in a competitive family setting.

12 Orbits

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 27/04/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Uj Rom (@UjRom)

Players: You can play with 12 players in the same room

12 Orbits is a tactical game where you control a small coloured ball by pressing a single button. When you are over the grey circles you press to orbit that circle, otherwise pressing the button will dodge.

Absolute Drift

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/08/2016

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

Genres: Racing, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Fun Selektor (@FunSelektor)

Players: This is a single player game

Absolute Drift is a skill-based racing game where the focus is on accuracy and elegance rather than just speed. You aim is to use a controlled skid to get around corners with the perfect racing line and score more points.

Brawlhalla

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 17/10/2017, updated in 2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action and Fighting

Developer: Blue Mammoth (@BlueMammoth)

Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

Brawlhalla is an online fighting game where, like Smash Bros, the goal is to knock opponents off the stage. You do this by using your characters specific attacks to damage them until they can't get back to the platform.

HackyZack

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Spaceboy Games (@SpaceboyGames)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Hack Zack is a running and jumping game where you also have to hit a ball through the level to win. Because the game simulates real physics this can be quite a challenge. It's an unusual game that requires planning as well as careful execution.

Pyre
PEGI Rating 7 for Pyre

Pyre

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/07/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Role-Playing and Sports

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Supergiant Games (@SupergiantGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Pyre is an unusual mix of role-playing and action sports. It takes place in a fantasy world, where you guide a caravan of exiles during fantasy sports games called Rites. As you explore you build a party of characters who encounter other groups of...

Roller Champions

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: Coming soon

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Racing and Sports

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 6 players online

Roller Champions is a roller-skating sports game. It's a full-contact battle where you complete laps to score points while keeping opponents at bay. While it may sound a little goofy, considerable skill is required to manoeuvre your player and gain...

Drive Buy

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 20/02/2019

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting and Racing

Developer: Glitchers (@Glitchers)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Drive Buy is a vehicle combat game where you race around an arena world to make the most credits. The game is fast paced and strategic with a variety of power-ups, game modes, customisation, maps and the ability to play with others online. In this way...

Dunk Lords

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 18/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Sports

Developer: Story Fort (@StoryFort)

Players: This is a single player game

Dunk Lords is an over the top two-on-two basketball fighting game. While themed around the well-known sport, here it takes on a more aggressive and full-contact form. But the result is about the silly competitive dribbling, shooting and dunking rather...

Ear Hockey

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 14/12/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Hacksaw Unit (@HacksawUnit)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Ear Hockey is a bat and ball competitive game played by listening to the in-game audio alone; no screen required. It uses spatial audio cues to signal to the player where they are in the play-space and where the main game object, the ball, is travelling.

F1 Race Stars

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 13/11/2012, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action and Racing

Developer: Codemasters (@Codemasters)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 12 players online

F1 Race Stars is a racing game loosely based on the 2012 Formula One season. The tracks may have loops, jumps and short-cuts and the drivers may look a little stylised but the kart-style racing is actually pretty convincing.

HyperBrawl Tournament

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 11/06/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres:

Developer: Milky Tea Studios (@MilkyTeaStudios)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

HyperBrawl Tournament is a sports combat game. Played in futuristic arenas you must smash, brawl and score your way to victory in relentless, high-adrenaline player versus player battles. It's like an updated version of the classic Speedball or...

Regular Human Basketball

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 01/08/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Powerhoof (@Powerhoof)

Players: You can play with 10 players in the same room and up to 10 players online

Regular Human Basketball is a very different sports game. You play basketball by jumping around inside the robot players to control their moves. It sounds both strange and hard work, but in reality it's a lot of fun.

REKT! High Octane Stunts

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-12 year-olds

Release Date: 08/11/2019

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

Genres: Racing

Developer: Little Chicken GC (@LittleChickenGC)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

This is a stunt racing game for up to four players on one system. Players compete to chain tricks, to nail landings, drift corners and unlock more cars. The multiplayer game is where things really heats up, as players attack each other and score points...

Rocket Arena

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/07/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Shooting

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: FSG Multiplayer (@FSGMultiplayer)

Players: You can play this with 6 players online

Rocket Arena is online shooting game where two teams of three battle each other. The twist is that you never die and leave the action. To win you use your characters unique rocket attacks and abilities to champion the other team.

Rocket League Sideswipe

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Racing, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Rocket League Sideswipe is a competitive sport where you drive a car and aim to put a large ball in the goal. It's the mobile/smartphone version of the popular Rocket League esports game. Unlike the main game it is played in two dimensions, but still,...

Street Power Football

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Rhythm, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Gamajun Games (@GamajunGames)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Street Power Football (Street Power Soccer) is a rhythm and timing game where you compete in a range of competitions that require timing, quick reactions and finesse. Some of these are a pure rhythm action or aiming challenge while others offer a full...

Trailblazers

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 17/04/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Racing

Developer: Supergonk Games (@SupergonkGames)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

Trailblazers is a racing video game where you paint the track your colour to gain a boost. In multiplayer mode, this creates a uniquely co-operative race. There are 8 different vehicles to choose, each with different stats and capabilities.

Ultra Space Battle Brawl

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 05/07/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting and Sports

Developer: Mojiken Studio (@MojikenStudio)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Ultra Space Battle Brawl is a team competitive battle a little like Pong/Breakout. The aim is to smash a glowing disc past the opponents' defences, rather than directly hitting the other players which gives it a sports rather than combat feel.

Wreckout

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Sports

Developer: Huey Games (@Huey_Games)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Wreckout is a competitive sports game where you drive cars that catapult a ball into targets. Drawing on the classic Speedball games with a touch of Breakout, Micro Machines and Rocket League it offers a high octane and...

ClusterPuck 99

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 29/03/2018

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Sports and Strategy

Developer: PHL Collective (@PHLCollective)

Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room

ClusterPuck 99 is an 8 player sports game where teams bash and jostle each other to gain control of the puck. The aim is to work together to get it to your opponent's goal, while avoiding other players and spikes. You can use power-ups and speed boosts...

Sociable Soccer

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 08/11/2019

Platforms: Android and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Jon Hare (@JonHare)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Sociable Soccer is a fast-paced, quick to pick-up, slow to master, football game. Unlike the intricate lifelike simulation of FIFA, this game wants to recreate the frantic feel of classic arcade football games. It has its heritage back in Sensible...

9 Easier Games than Rocket League

If you like the sound of Rocket League but find it too complex or challenging, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with a lower Skill Rating required.
 

Rocket League 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 Rocket League in the following lists:

Nourish Youthful Ambition In 7-12 Year-Olds

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.
 
Arms
PEGI Rating 12 for Arms
Shu
PEGI Rating 7 for Shu
Tori
PEGI Rating 3 for Tori
Eco
PEGI Rating 7 for Eco

Play And Connect

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.

We’re supporting the Every Mind Matters campaign from NHS and bringing you some games that help you connect with friends and family while you look after your mental health.

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 much as how to win the next race in Mario Kart.
 
Haven
PEGI Rating 12 for Haven

Play With People On Different Systems

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.
 

Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Colossus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 
Ico
PEGI Rating 7 for Ico
Horace
PEGI Rating 12 for Horace
Qomp
Ord
PEGI Rating 3 for Ord
Rust
PEGI Rating 16 for Rust
ITTA
PEGI Rating 12 for ITTA

Get Children Taking (Healthy) Risks

Studies show that for inhabitants of the western world, life in the modern age has gotten progressively less dangerous and more comfortable with each passing generation. So why as parents do we all seem so afraid for our children? And how do we overcome this fear and let our kids take the necessary risks they need to take in order to thrive?

This is a list of games we have created with Digital Media Wellness Educator, Julia Storm, who founded ReConnect with the mission of providing parents a whole child approach to preparing kids for life in the Digital Age.

We are used to encouraging our children to take small risks in most areas of life; talking to a new child at school, trying out for a team or the school play, climbing a bit higher at the playground or walking to the market on their own for the first time. With every risk our children take they gain confidence in their own ability to navigate the unknown and to push themselves through difficulties.

But many of our kids also spend large amounts of time online and specifically playing video games. In this space, with horror stories in the press, both parents and children can become risk-averse. This can mean that children don’t have a chance to make healthy mistakes in safe ways in this part of life.

There’s an opportunity here for parents to leverage video games to help kids take safe risks and to learn and grow from these risks. This isn’t about using games as a safe version of risk-taking in real life, but discovering how they can be a wonderful compliment to this. (We also want to note, as with all multiplayer games, parents should be sure to talk to their children about best practices for staying safe when it comes to communicating with strangers online._

Collaboration: This might be working with another child in Minecraft to build something together. Or maybe playing Animal Crossing with someone who is new to the game and needs help. Or even, just allowing other players to help you in a game like Farm Together.
  • Generosity: This might be giving new players items they need to get started in a game like Adopt Me. It could be sharing some candles in Sky Children of Light. Or maybe it’s just letting a new player get a win in Drink More Glurp. This might be playing a game where you are rescuing another character, like Ico.
  • Ambition: This might be trying to play a game that seems too difficult, like Stormworks or Rocket League. It could be trying out a more mature game with a parent, like Spider-Man or Horizon Zero Dawn. It could be teaming up with friends for large challenges in Sea of Thieves or Dauntless. Or maybe dealing with real physics in Teardown or Noita.
  • Identity: This might be working out mental health scenarios in a game like Psychonauts 2. It could be learning to help others with their fears and anxiety in Rainbow Billy. Or maybe playing a game like Celeste that creates space to consider gender and self-doubt.

Playing these games with your child offers a unique way to start open and curious conversations about technology while they are still young and receptive. They are an opportunity for parents to be allies and mentors, not adversaries and monitors.
 

Esports Ambition and Talent

When a young child shines at activities like chess, playing the guitar, maths, tennis, football or public speaking parents and carers are used to recognising talent and helping them develop. However, when a child rises to the top of their age group in competitive video games we are often blind to their talent and opportunities.

The British Esports Association is a not-for-profit national body established to promote esports in the UK, increase its level of awareness, improve standards and inspire future talent.

It helps teachers, parents, carers and advocates distinguish between obsession and discipline in their children’s video game playing. This opens the door to the adults in children’s lives being ambitious about their game playing and celebrate successes as they would when children pass music exams, win at football and so on.

Esports offers an opportunity not only to prize money (at the top level) and status, but international recognition, travel, personal development and career potential. There are many roles in esports outside of the professional player position, such as coaching, content creation, management, commentating, production and more.

Below is a list of games that are all played competitively in competitions that require high skill, training and talent. Unlike other video games, Esports are typically played competitively with many people tuning in to watch tournaments online on livestream platforms such as Twitch.

British Esports also runs the British Esports Championships for school and college students aged 12+, and has also partnered with Pearson to offer the Level 3 Esports BTEC, the first qualification of its kind.
 

One Joy-Con Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games

The Switch console comes with one pair of Joy Cons. These are attached to the Switch in portable mode, and detached when playing on a TV. Some games support multiplayer modes with each player only needing one Joy-Con half to play. This offers a much more affordable way to accommodate more players.
 
Ink
PEGI Rating 3 for Ink

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.
 

Designed for Autistic Diversity

Autism affects the way people communicate and experience the world around them. It is a spectrum of developmental conditions, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Many autistic people play games to have fun, relax, connect with others and build skills. This is a list of games we have put together with some of Autistica’s Autistica Play Ambassadors, to highlight games that have been enjoyed by autistic people.

Autistica is the UK’s national autism research charity. It focuses on giving autistic people the opportunity to live long, happy, healthy lives. It does this by funding research, shaping policy and working with autistic people to understand their needs.

Cognitive Pressure: Some autistic people may take time to process information and could feel pressured by time limits. Games like A Short Hike or Roki let you progress at your own speed, without being on the clock. Other games, like Townscaper or Stardew Valley, help here by not making game tasks time-limited or requiring quick reactions. Then there are games, including Rocket League, Celeste and Eagle Island, that let you adjust the overall speed of play.

Difficulty Settings: Autistic people may prefer to tailor their experience based on how they are feeling. Some days they may want more of a challenge than others. Adjust how hard the game is. Some games like Subnautica or Bad North let you set the overall difficulty. Others, like Mario Kart or The Last of Us Part II let you adjust specific aspects of difficulty. Then there are games like Marvel’s Spider-Man or Immortals Fenyx Rising, that allow you to adjust the difficulty as you play.

Sense of Control: The real world can be an overwhelming place with constant change and unpredictable situations. Games like Viva Pinata, Civilization or The Sims let you play in a world where you control the variables. Other games, like Mini Metro, Traffix or Mini Motorways offer a chance to work with systems and see how changes impact outcomes. Then there are games that magnify this, like Factorio or Planet Coaster, by letting you create interconnect systems and tweak for the desired result.

As Autistica helpfully highlights, every autistic person is different. While many autistic people are able to learn, live and work independently, some have learning differences or co-occurring health conditions that require specialist support. Finding a game that can be a positive experience can therefore take some time and investigation.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from these categories:
  • The Family Games Award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.