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83 Great Games Like Subnautica

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Subnautica. We also offer games selected by matching genre and age rating.
 

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 deeper into the sea. As you do things get eerie and the game reveals itself to have thrilling horror elements.

Unfortunately, Subnautica is not available on Android, Mac, 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 7+

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

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

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: @UnknownWorlds

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Hand Picked Games Like Subnautica

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

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: @Dan_Games

Players: You can play this with 5 players online

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

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

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

This game 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 the passage of the sun and moon...

Raft

Raft

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 23/05/2018

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @RedbeetOfficial

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Raft is a survival game where you work to build a raft while stranded at sea. You start the game on a small raft with only a hook made of old plastic, with which you use to pull in floating barrels and planks of wood.

Stranded Deep

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 21/04/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: @BeamTeamGames

Players: This is a single player game

Stranded Deep is a survival game set in the Pacific Ocean. Taking a cue from films like Cast Away, you survive a plane crash and face life-threatening scenarios in a large open world. As the weather and time of day changes with the hours, you explore...

Rust
PEGI Rating 16+ for Rust

Rust

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: @FcPnchStds

Players: You can play this with 250 players online

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Ark: Survival Evolved

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Price: 44% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @Survivetheark

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: @ConcernedApe

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Slime Rancher (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @MonomiPark

Players: This is a single player game

Slime Rancher is a farming simulation with a difference. Rather than chickens, sheep or cows, you farm slimes. You explore the open world from a first-person perspective to find and collect slimes. As you develop your farm in numerous ways you generate...

PixArk
PEGI Rating 12+ for PixArk

PixArk

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 31/05/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @SnailGamesUSA

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

PixArk is an adventure game similar to the more complex (and violent) game Ark: Survival Evolved. With a simpler interface and Minecraft=style block building, it's a survival game that never gets too scary while also inviting ambitious play and...

Phasmophobia

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: @KineticGame

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Phasmophobia (Phasmophobia VR) is a horror survival game where you and your team investigate paranormal activity. It focuses on creating a realistic world built to get your heart racing, through the interactive ghost hunting equipment and teamwork.

Sea of Thieves

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 20/03/2018

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: @RareLtd

Players: You can play this with 24 players online

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...

The Forest

Content Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @EndNightGame

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

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

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: @SteelWoolStudio

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Valheim

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 02/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @ValheimGame

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online

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...

Moonglow Bay

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: @CoatSink

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

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @HinterlandGames

Players: This is a single player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

No Man's Sky

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2016, updated in 2018

Price: 48% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @HelloGames

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 32 players online

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...

Astroneer

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

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

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

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

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: @SES_dev

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Journey to the Savage Planet

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 28/10/2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: @Typhoon_MTL

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Journey to the Savage Planet is an adventure-shooting game played from a first-person perspective. You explore a planet to catalogue various alien flora and fauna and collect the resources you need to craft items and upgrades like jetpacks and grappling...

My Time at Sandrock

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 31/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @PatheaGames

Players: This is a single player game

My Time at Sandrock is a life-simulating role-play game where you restore a run down town. It's set in the same wholesome yet post-apocalyptic world as My Time at Portia. You start by working as a builder, but soon...

Surviving Mars

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @HaemimontGames

Players: This is a single player game

Surviving Mars is a colony simulation game based on the real geography of Mars. You build and maintain a liveable habitat while balancing resources and researching new ways to adapt to the hostile environment. You receive occasional rockets from Earth...

Scrap Mechanic

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 20/01/2016

Platforms: PC

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

Developer: @AxolotGames

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 5 players online

Scrap Mechanic is an open world-building game. You collect materials that are used to design machines, vehicles and buildings. You start at the site of a crashed spaceship, with just a few items and must hunt for supplies, fuel and food in order to...

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 10/02/2012, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @ReckoningGame

Players: This is a single player game

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is an adventure where you set out from the vibrant city of Rathir to rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war. Along with its huge scale, the game offers nuanced character development and a political system where you...

Endless Ocean

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/11/2007, updated in 2010

Platforms: Wii

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @Arika_co_jp

Players: This is a single player game

Endless Ocean (Endless Ocean: Blue World in the US) and its sequel Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep are versions of a diving adventure game where you explore the Manaurai Sea to identify different fish and recover artefacts. As experience is...

TerraTech

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 04/07/2018

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

Genres: Action, Creative, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @PayloadStudios

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

TerraTech is a construction game where you create vehicles to explore the environment, find resources and craft upgrades. It includes a modular building element where your decisions affect the performance of what you make. Each building block has its...

Penko Park

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure and Simulation

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: @GhostButter

Players: This is a single player game

Penko Park is an adventure about exploring an abandoned wildlife park, taking photos of the weird and creepy creatures which you find. Like exploring a children's story book world, you collect these snapshots along with fur samples and fossils to add to...

Okami

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 20/04/2006, updated in 2012

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: @PG_kamiya

Players: This is a single player game

Okami (Okamiden on Nintendo DS) is an unusual action-adventure. Combat is via interactions that are achieved with brush strokes rather than weapons. It has a unique visual style that invites you to inhabit its painted world with brushstrokes of your...

Beyond Blue

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 22/04/2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @ELineMedia

Players: This is a single player game

Beyond Blue is an underwater exploration game where you play Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. You see, hear, and interact with the ocean and the creatures in it as you discover an untouched world.

Dwarf Fortress

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 08/08/2006

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: @Bay12Games

Players: This is a single player game

Dwarf Fortress is a longstanding strategy game set in a fantasy world where you control a group of dwarves wanting to construct a wealthy fortress. It's unusual not only for it's text-based appearance but for it's expansive scope, and intricately...

Fable (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2004

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @WeArePlayground

Players: This is a single player game

This is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

Risk of Rain 2

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 30/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Shooting

Accessibility: 15 features

Developer: @HopooGames

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Risk of Rain 2 is a multiplayer adventure game where you have to fight to survive and escape a planet you've crash-landed on. It's formatted like a 'Roguelike' game: an iterative game that requires multiple goes to complete a level and where your...

Koral

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/05/2019

Price: 90% off

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @CarlosGameDev

Players: This is a single player game

Koral is a diving exploration game where you play the sea current. This sounds a little odd, playing a flow of energy, but works brilliantly.

Everspace (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 25/05/2017, updated in 2021

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Shooting

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: @RockFishGames

Players: This is a single player game

Everspace 2 is a space shooting and exploration game. You travel star systems, gaining goods and items from the planets you find, but soon encounter a unravelling narrative that draws you in. Unlike other space games, it combines elements of open world...

Burly Men at Sea

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 29/09/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Brain_And_Brain

Players: This is a single player game

Burly Men at Sea is an adventure where you play three seafaring brothers who explore the Scandinavian seas. It's novel because it requires multiple playthroughs to discover the full narrative. It has a unique cyclical gameplay loop that remembers your...

In Other Waters

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 03/04/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @JumpOvertheAge

Players: This is a single player game

This is an underwater exploration game where you play an Artificial Intelligence assistance to a stranded xenobiologist in a mysterious alien ocean. The world is not seen except through the instrumentation available to you. This creates a non-violent...

Factorio

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 14/08/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @FactorioGame

Players: You can play this with 700 players online

Factorio is a construction strategy game where you crash-land on an alien planet and must harvest resources to create industry to build a rocket to escape (or fall in love with running your factory and stay on longer).

New Pokemon Snap

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 5 features

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

Players: This is a single player game

New Pokemon Snap is the latest in the series of Pokemon Snap games. It's a puzzle safari where you are guided through the natural world of Pokemon creatures to take pictures of them in the wild. The aim is to time your photos to capture them in specific...

The Swapper

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 30/05/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @FacePalmGames

Players: This is a single player game

The Swapper is a platform-adventure where you explore a damaged space station to collect orbs that open doors into other areas. Unusually, you can clone your character multiple times and then control it to help you solve puzzles and progress in various...

Until Dawn (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 25/08/2015

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action and Narrative

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: @SuperMGames

Players: This is a single player game

Until Dawn is a narrative horror game about eight friends staying in a mountainside lodge. As they settle in they are attacked by a foreboding figure that seems to have been following them. You choose how characters interact, where they go and how they...

Dish Life: The Game

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 24/02/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @DishLifeGame

Players: This is a single player game

Dish Life: The Game is a puzzle narrative game where you play a stem cell researcher, managing a laboratory and growing stem cells.

Horizon Zero Dawn The Frozen Wilds

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 07/11/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Shooting

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: @Guerrilla

Players: This is a single player game

Horizon Frozen Wilds extends the Horizon Zero Dawn post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating...

Starbound

Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

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

Developer: @ChucklefishLTD

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

Starbound is an action-adventure similar from the same developer as Terraria. It takes place in a two-dimensional, procedurally generated space universe where you can explore and discover new weapons, armour, and items. You can also visit towns and...

Days Gone

Content Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 26/04/2019

Price: 63% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @BendStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Days Gone is a survival adventure game set in a post-pandemic Oregon. You roam an open world pulsing with life (and zombies). It's unusual for its scale and sheer number of enemies. Add to that the changing light and weather and Days Gone creates a...

Wizard With A Gun

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: @DevolverDigital

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Wizard with a Gun is a survival game where you play a wizard in a magical wilderness wrought with dangerous creatures and arcane mysteries. Either alone or with other players online you embark on a journey to collect, craft, and outfit your wizard to...

Harold Halibut

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Slow_Bros

Players: This is a single player game

Harold Halibut is a narrative adventure set on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean, after fleeing the Earth 2050 years ago. It's beautifully created with real puppetry and fully voice-acted. The result is a filmic adventure where you...

The Signifier

Content Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 15/10/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @Play_Me_Studio

Players: This is a single player game

The Signifier is a horror adventure game where you explore a murder victim's memories to discover how they were killed. As the memories you visit disintegrate you pass between the real and the badly remembered to piece together a narrative that is...

Granny

Content Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 24/11/2017, updated in 2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure and Role-Playing

Developer: @_DVapps_

Players: This is a single player game

Granny is a horror adventure game where you are locked in a house by a creepy grandma. You wake up in a dark room and have to carefully work your way through the house to escape without being caught. It's noted for the tense gameplay and jump scares.

Games Like Subnautica Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to Subnautica. This includes games from the Simulation, Action, Adventure, Strategy and Open World genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

Subnautica 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 Subnautica in the following lists:

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 
Shu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Shu
Fuel
PEGI Rating 7+ for Fuel
Hades
PEGI Rating 12+ for Hades
Haven
PEGI Rating 12+ for Haven
Ete
Pine
PEGI Rating 12+ for Pine
Fe
PEGI Rating 7+ for Fe

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.

 
Hades
PEGI Rating 12+ for Hades
Roki
PEGI Rating 12+ for Roki
Halo
PEGI Rating 16+ for Halo

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.

We go through some really good examples of these exciting, fast-action game for a range of ages. They are all PEGI 12 or under, apart from Halo, which we have included as this is a lower ESRB TEEN rating in the US for the latest release and mostly features space-themed rather than realistic violence.
 

Survive The Night

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.
 

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 Collosus 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
Hades
PEGI Rating 12+ for Hades
Qomp
Ord
PEGI Rating 3+ for Ord
Rust
PEGI Rating 16+ for Rust
ITTA
PEGI Rating 12+ for ITTA

Space For Loneliness

In a culture that often assumes that the route to happiness is with another person, it can benefit us to acknowledge that being alone is not always a bad thing. We teamed up with Courtney Garcia’s Screen Therapy channel to curate a list of games that give us a chance to experience being alone in different ways.

Garcia’s Screen Therapy project employs Positive Media Psychology research to highlight and interpret meaningful experiences with games and movies. “With mindfulness, there are even more benefits to gain from intentional consumption of media,” she says, “games can be tools we use to recover or grow, psychologically, and our time with them isn't wasted if they provide us insights or rest we need.”

This list was inspired by the experience of playing the unusually solitary (and long) game The Longing and the Twitter thread that followed. In it, you spend 400 elapsed days waiting for the King to wake up and living at a slow pace. The other games offer their own lens on loneliness and solitary seasons of life. These games offer us insight into the benefits of appreciating time alone, such as opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the chance to curate enriching experiences or environments for ourselves.

Some of the games, like Never Alone, Journey and The Long Dark place you in a harsh environment that emphasises your diminutive size when faced with the expanse of nature. Other games in the list, like Thomas Was Alone and Bird Alone offer you the chance to reflect on friendship and the need to nurture relationships. Then there are games we included like Shadow of the Colossus that let you get lost in the vastness of its landscape. Finally, a few of the games like The First Tree and Sunlight invite you to make a connection to other players, once you have come to terms with a journey on your own.
 

Virtual Reality Games

Video games take you to virtual worlds for adventures, challenges and stories. Virtual Reality games extend this experience by putting the world right in front of your eyes and then matching your motions and head movements with the game.

VR is an experience that's hard to describe. Putting the headset on is like stepping into another room. This not only makes existing games more immersive but also opens the door to new types of experience.

While this can be quite expensive, it has become more affordable over the years. The main options for VR are as follows:
  • Oculus Quest 2 - Is self-contained so doesn't need lots of wires or setting up. You can also purchase a (costly) cable to tether the Quest to a PC for more demanding games.
  • HTC's Vive Cosmos - Is a PC-tethered system that supports motion controls. It supports games on SteamVR as well as its own Viveport online store.
  • Valve Index - Is a high end PC-tethered system with more advanced controllers.
  • PlayStation VR - Uses PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 hardware to offer a wide range of interesting highly polished experiences.

 

Games from Taming Gaming Book

When we wrote the Taming Gaming book we packed the second half with full colour game ‘recipes’ as a resource for parents and families. They are grouped in categories depending on the style of game you are looking for, whether you want to play on your own, or with your family and friends.

The Family Gaming Database grew out of the book. At first it was just going to be a way to search the 60 or so games in the book. With 1000’s of parents soon using the database it became clear we should grow it to cover more games. So, today we have 1306 games.

Here are all the games from the book:

Games for non-gaming grown-ups

These games are perfect if you have never played one before. They open the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers.

Nurture child-like imagination

These games are for children under seven years old who will, with some help, discover activities they want to try that will expand their imaginations, while establishing the role of your guidance and engagement as part of the gaming world as they grow up.

Nourish Youthful Ambition

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fabs for the latest titles. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects.

Laugh at Silliness

Video games have their roots in fun and play. This makes them an excellent way to forget the worries of the day and dive into some silly fun together. The games on this list have been selected because they get players doing absurd activities and chuckling together.

Inhabit Another World

The games in this list invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character.

Compete on the Couch

Raucous, unbounded, exuberant all-age, competitive fun is something video games are known for. These games can play a bit-part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat.

Work Together to Thrive

Play is more fun when it’s shared. Along with team work the games on this list use the fact that the players are all sitting next to each other. The fun is often as much about the conversations (and arguments) that happen in the room as what’s happening on the screen.

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. These games offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other to the games people play.

Wake up Your Emotions

Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the players emotions as much as their dexterity. The games in the following list create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts.

Matinee Fisticuffs and Shoot-outs

Sometimes you just want to play the hero. These games are violent and include shooting but as with B-movies and 1980’s TV series, it’s as much about the quips, characters and fantasy settings as it is about the killing.

Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from another perspective. This can be lighthearted but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences. These games each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first hand experience of what it’s like.

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. The following games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique first-hand sleuthing challenge.

 

Get Children Into The Environment

It’s easy to assume that video games are all about building big cities or running successful economies. There are, however, many games that offer quite the reverse. These games encourage players to consider the impact of their actions on the environment, as well as their interconnectedness to the world in which they live.

The games in this list take inspiration from Alenda Chang’s Playing Nature book. They offer a chance to consider play from an ecological perspective. As she quotes, “games of environmental responsibility animate our capacity to respond, to affect and be affected, to engage with others: other species, other people, and the otherness of our own planet.”

This might be how a game like Terra Nil makes the land itself a character in the experience. Or it can be how a game like Eco establishes the connection between your actions and the other aspects of the environment. Other games, like The Wandering Village underline how our location in the world impacts on us and others. One family told us about Final Fantasy 7 Remake's commentary on corporations and ecology. Then there are games of dire warning that let us step into a future where humanity is all but disconnected from the wider environment and hangs on just by a thread.

Other games let us experience our connection to the environment by adventuring in it. From getting lost in Shadow of the Colossus to finding our way in Journey, games underline the importance of the spaces in which we play. Experiences like Cloud Gardens or Viva Pinata extend this by using play to put us in charge of tending to the natural world. Games like Eastshade or The Long Dark invite us to linger in these places and gain an understanding that is crucial to our survival.
 


Image of the cover of the hardback edition of the Taming Gaming book  by Andy Robertson List of logos of the supporters of the Family Video Game Database  Playability Initiative  AskAboutGames  Parent Zone  Game Well Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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