The Best Xbox One Family Games
There's more to the Xbox One than violent shooters. Microsoft's home console is host to a wealth of great family-friendly games, from the toys-to-life action of Lego Dimensions and Skylanders to raucous multiplayer experiences like Rocket League and Overcooked. Whether you're looking for a great game to play with your kids or want something fun to play during your next gathering, here are our favorite family games for the Xbox One.
Playing with Legos is an age-old family activity, and Lego Dimensions recaptures that same joy in video game form. The $90 starter pack of this toys-to-life game gets you Batman, Gandalf, and Wildstyle from the The Lego Movie, and you can add in characters from franchises such as DC Comics, Ghostbusters, Harry Potter and Scooby-Doo, thanks to a variety of expansion packs that start at $12. Dimensions' story missions allow two players to solve puzzles both in-game and with real toys, while its Battle Arena mode lets four players duke it out as Batman, Marty McFly, E.T. or whichever other plastic figure you choose to scan into the game.
The smash multiplayer hit of 2016, Overcooked tasks up to four players with preparing the perfect meal in a chaotic kitchen where everything can go wrong. Overcooked is a fantastic party game for get-togethers, offering great satisfaction when everything clicks with you and your fellow chefs, and a hilarious sense of disaster once your key ingredients start bursting into flames.
Rocket League is one of the most popular multiplayer games around, thanks to its offbeat soccer-with-cars gameplay that's easy to pick up but hard to master. While there's plenty of depth for those who want to get competitive, it's also a great game for crowding around the couch with four players to see who can score the most goals with their ridiculously tricked-out rocket car.
The latest installment in the toys-to-life behemoth, Skylanders Imaginators mixes things up by finally letting you create your own characters with special "Creation Crystals" you can scan into the game. Custom characters aside, Imaginators offers more of the colorful worlds and fun hack-and-slash gameplay that the series is known for, and even lets you play as classic gaming mascot Crash Bandicoot. The $75 Imaginators starter pack gets you two figures and a Creation Crystal, with extra figures available for around $15. Fortunately, you can carry over toys from any previous Skylanders game.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is the rare shooter that the whole family can enjoy. Instead of firing bullets, you'll be waging war with vegetable guns and laser blasters with over 100 characters taken from the popular Plants vs. Zombies series. Garden Warfare 2 offers lots of ways to play as a group, both competitively and co-operatively, and the game has gotten a ton of free content updates since launch.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the best Lego games yet, retelling the story of the hit movie with hilariously charming cutscenes and excellent two-player co-op gameplay that includes puzzles, tense shootouts and thrilling flight sequences. And being able to unlock hundreds of characters from the entire Star Wars saga is a nice bonus. If Star Wars isn't your thing, Lego Marvel's Avengers and Lego Jurassic World are also excellent.
Rare Replay is hard to top in terms of sheer value -- this collection packs 30 classic games from the past few decades, many of which are multiplayer-friendly and suitable for all ages. Highlights include classic platformer Banjo-Kazooie, cooperative beat-em-up Battletoads and lighthearted life simulator Viva Pinata. Just be sure to keep your little one away from Conker's Bad Fur Day.
Rock Band 4
Few activities bring the family together like banging on a bunch of plastic instruments. Rock Band 4 delivers more addicting music-game action than ever, allowing up to four players to jam out to dozens of hit songs on drums, vocals, bass and guitar -- now with freestyle solos. Rock Band 4 offers over 1,800 additional songs for purchase, and you can carry over the tracks you bought for the Xbox 360 version of the game. Rock Band 4 by itself can be found for as low as $25, and you can nab a Band Kit that includes the game, a guitar and a drum set for $99.
You can't talk about family games without mentioning Minecraft, which has become one of gaming's biggest goliaths, thanks to its expansive world-building gameplay that's suitable for just about anyone. Minecraft lets you play with up to four players locally, whether you want to casually create your own pixelated kingdoms in Creative Mode or fight for your life in Survival Mode. The base Minecraft game offers virtually endless possibilities, and the title continues to get significant free updates and themed add-on packs.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
It's easy to pass off Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a Mario Kart clone, but it's actually a fantastic racer with a style all its own. Iconic characters such as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all have unique cars that can transform, leading to thrilling races that take place across land, air and sea. Racing Transformed supports four-player split-screen, making it perfect for some friendly competition. This classic Xbox 360 title is backward-compatible with the Xbox One, and can be found for next to nothing.
Rivals of Aether
If you're looking for the Xbox One equivalent of Super Smash Bros., Rivals of Aether is that game. Rivals borrows the accessible-yet-deep gameplay of Nintendo's hit fighting series and injects it with an original cast of characters and a beautifully pixelated art style. The game is simple enough for raucous four-player free-for-alls, but also has enough competitive options for when the kids go to bed and things get serious.
One of the best platforming games on any console, Rayman Legends marries a gorgeous hand-drawn art style with some of the tightest 2D action gameplay around. With two-player co-op support and a dizzying amount of unlockables, this inviting and addicting adventure will keep you and your child, friend or spouse busy for dozens of hours.
Power Rangers Mega Battle
Power Rangers Mega Battle is a glorious callback to the great beat-em-up games of the ‘90s, allowing up to four players to bash their way through waves of baddies as the iconic TV superheroes. Mega Battle's pick-up-and-play combat makes it a game the whole family can team up on, while its intricate combo system and character customization will satisfy more serious players. Did we mention that each level is inspired by an episode of the original show?