If you're wondering what to get your tykes when it comes to Christmas time, don't work that brain too hard. Whether it's your kids wanting something to occupy them, or whether you've got to get presents for the Satanspawn that your favorite relatives are dragging around with them, we've got you covered. Here's our list of the best kids games this holiday season.
Best Kids Games for the Holidays - Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
How could we make a list like this without including two of our most beloved childhood mascots that have stood the test of time? Yes, we're talking Mario AND Sonic. The dynamic duo. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is set to be the family event of the holidays, and honestly, it's cheaper than getting everyone to Japan for the festivities. For those wanting a full experience, it's going to have mini-games based on real-life Olympic events like hurdles, archery (thank god we have joy cons), and swimming. This Switch-exclusive is going to include all new Olympic additions like surfing, rock climbing, and skateboarding too, so you won't want to miss this.
Best Kids Games for the Holidays - Star Wars Pinball
With the Switch being so prevalent in a lot of households, is it any surprise that we've got yet another Switch title lined up for you here? We're talking another beloved franchise, this time in the form of Star Wars Pinball. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is likely a bit mature for the 6-year-olds in your life, but virtual pinball has no such limitations. You can get Star Wars Pinball at retail and on the Nintendo eShop, and the title has 19 Star Wars tables which fully utilize the Switch's bells and whistles in a fun, competitive take on pinball that everyone can enjoy at the dinner table. Best of all, it's only $29.99.
Best Kids Games for the Holidays - Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure
Scrat's Nutty Adventure might seem like a bit of a sleeper pick, but only if you haven't kept up to date with the latest happenings in the Ice Age franchise. Scrat has made an appearance essentially in every Ice Age movie, and we're pretty pleased that this good boy has a game now fully dedicated to what seems like his backstory. In case you're wondering what that entails, we're talking a super advanced squirrel civilization, powerful nuts, and a fun platformer to get you there. It definitely has a bit of a retro vibe, so if your kids have missed out on classics like Spyro, this is as close as you're gonna be able to get with a parallel franchise on Xbox, PS4, Switch and PC.
Best Kids Games for the Holidays - Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy
Let's do a bit of a pivot from platforming to puzzle games. Yes, we're talking a long-time favorite in the genre: Professor Layton. Here, we get a bit of a cast change and an update which puts some modern touches on the usual mystery formula. We're talking Katrielle being the protagonist, and we can't think of many cooler role models for young girls. Featuring plenty of thrills, spills, puzzles and deductive reasoning, this game is both fun and a great brain teaser to keep young minds occupied. You can get Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy on the Nintendo Switch, the 3DS, and on mobile app stores.
Best Kids Games for the Holidays - Untitled Goose Game
This might be a slightly controversial pick, and we're going to recommend it with a small caveat: do not give to any impressionable kids who are bound to honk nonstop. However, the Untitled Goose Game has been a smash hit this year and honestly, its sassy take on being fowl is family-appropriate and hilarious. Not sure you want your kids running and gunning through something like Fortnite? Take away the weapons, and sit them down with Untitled Goose Game for a catharsis that's same same, but different. You can get Untitled Goose Game on Mac, Windows, and the Switch for maximum fun.
Now that you've got our top picks for the best kids games for the holidays, grabbing a gift for the special little one in your life should be a piece of cake. We've also compiled some other gift suggestions for you if you're coming up short, so check out these recommendations if you're left scratching your head when it comes to the family's presents: