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9 Video Games for the Whole Family

My four kids are pretty close in age — 6, 8, 11, and 11 — but they still have very different ideas about what makes for a good TV show or a good movie. The same applies to video games. It gets a wee more complicated if we also want something that isn’t completely irritating to us as parents.

There are a few things we’ll always agree on, though. Star Wars and Harry Potter, for example. And, happily, the games I’ve listed below. I think a lot of families with an even wider age range of kids would still like these.

Regarding the ratings, many of the games I’ve included are rated E for Everyone. Some are rated E10, which means they’re for ages 10 and up–but I still let my six- and eight-year-olds play them. The National Geographic game, for example, is rated E10 for “Mild Violence.” I can tell you that when they say “Mild,” they mean really, really mild. Like, fending off magpies mild. It’s nature, people. Animals do eat each other.

Two games I included are rated T for Teen. One is a Star Wars game, which has Star Wars-y violence. We decided we’re okay with it, pretty much because we’re all Star Wars geeks. The other is Dance Central 3, and that’s rated for teens because it includes songs that are on the radio. You can skip any songs you don’t like, of course. Dance Central 3 has LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” which may not exactly be appropriate for all ages. However, it also has Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” which is hilarious. Between that and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” I was sold.

Check out my family’s picks for Xbox 360 games for kids of almost any age (and their parents).

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  • Dance Central 3 1 of 9
    Dance Central 3
    The latest in the Just Dance series brings you new songs from a range of artists including Usher, LMFAO, and Kelly Clarkson. Plus, you can blow your kid's mind when New Kids on the Block's "Right Stuff" comes on. Also, good news! You can download more songs, including Psy's "Gangnam Style," because we all know you haven't heard that song nearly enough. Rated T (Teen).

    Available on Microsoft Store, $49.99.
  • Harry Potter for Kinect 2 of 9
    Harry Potter for Kinect
    Be sorted by the Sorting Hat, play Quidditch, mix potions, and more! Rated E10 (Everyone 10+).

    Available on Microsoft Store, $49.99.
  • Just Dance Disney Party 3 of 9
    Just Dance Disney Party
    Dance along with classic songs from The Aristocats, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Muppet Show, Hannah Montanta, Phineas and Ferb, and tons more! Rated E (Everyone).

    Available on Amazon, $29.96.
  • Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure 4 of 9
    Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
    Go on missions that make you feel like you're in the worlds of UP, Cars, Ratatouille, Toy Story, and The Incredibles. Rated E (Everyone).

    Available on Amazon, $50.55
  • Kinect Star Wars 5 of 9
    Kinect Star Wars
    Okay, this game is rated for teens and up, so if you're not okay with seeing your kid fight General Grievous, this ISN'T the game for you. On the other hand, if your family feels that Star Wars isn't just a movie, it's a lifestyle, you should probably check out this game. Rated T (Teen).

    Available on Amazon, $19.99.
  • Kinect Adventures! 6 of 9
    Kinect Adventures!
    This the game that really showed me what makes Xbox 360 with Kinect different from other gaming systems: there's jumping. This game is perfect for keeping the kids active even when it's raining out. Rated E (Everyone).

    Available on Amazon, $23.95.
  • Kinect Sports: Season 2 7 of 9
    Kinect Sports: Season 2
    Includes tennis, skiing, baseball, football, golf, and darts. Warning: darts is surprisingly addictive. Rated E (Everyone).

    Available on Microsoft Store, $29.99.
  • Nat Geo TV: America the Wild 8 of 9
    Nat Geo TV: America the Wild
    This isn't just a game, it's more like watching an educational show that you're in. This really holds my kids' interest, even the ones who have short attention spans. It's hosted by the National Geographic Channel's Casey Anderon. Rated E10 (Everyone 10+).

    Available on Microsoft Store, $29.99.
  • Angry Birds Trilogy 9 of 9
    Angry Birds Trilogy
    Why would you buy a video game when you can play it for free on your phone? Because you want your phone back, that's why. If you're tired of asking your kids for your own phone back so you can, you know, make a phone call, this game is for you. Just as addictive as the app, and you can play with or without Kinect. Rated E (Everyone).

    Available on Amazon, $39.99

 

Thanks to Xbox for sponsoring this campaign. Visit xbox.com to learn more. Click here to see more of the discussion.

(All Photos: Xbox)

Read more from Joslyn at Strollerderby and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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