8 Video Games You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty Buying as a Gift

8 Video Games You Don't Have to Feel Guilty Buying as a GiftBuying video games as gifts can be a touchy subject for some…because as much as we’d like our children to lead active lives outside the digital worlds of Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and other handheld devices – video games play a significant role in the lives of many youths. In an effort to cut down on the violence and adult content found in some of the most popular game titles around, you can still choose fun options that not only entertain, but also sneak in a little education here and there. Below are a few video games that you don’t have to feel guilty giving as a gift:

Zoo Tycoon Video Game

1. Zoo Tycoon

Full of positive messages, Zoo Tycoon blends animals and business simulation within a zoo-management theme that is fun for all ages. Players develop a better understanding on how zoos operate, as well as increase an appreciation for all creatures big or small. Since basic economics play a role in the game, you may want to save this title for ages 10 and up. Players also spend their time designing animal enclosures, learning about their basic needs… and with the Kinect sensor (which is required for play) – interaction can also take place with animals.

Ideal for an animal lover, this game is available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One game systems.

2. Scrabble

You Can Buy a Scrabble Video Game for KidsClassic games make ideal gifts that the entire family can enjoy, and Scrabble not only enhances the spelling and vocabulary capabilities of players, but also involves a bit of mathematics and strategic wordplay. Up to four players can engage in head-to-head competition with various game mode options and levels of difficulty.

Kids can compete against friends and family both in person and online, with a multiplayer experience that connects players with opponents demonstrating similar skill levels. To elevate the gameplay, three different modes are available: Classic; Time Attack (45-second timed turns); and Score Rush (the first player to reach a specific score wins).

Most recently, the game has become available for download in the U.S. through the Hasbro Game Channel, Xbox Live for Xbox One, and on PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 4.

3. Family Game Night 4: The Game Show

Family Game Night 4 - The Game Show Video GameTo enhance family game night, an oldie but goodie is Family Game Night 4: The Game Show, which is sold on Amazon.com. Two-person multiplayer allows family members to go against one another, as they compete in five different Hasbro-branded games:

  • Connect 4 Basketball
  • Yahtzee! Bowling
  • Scrabble Flash
  • Bop It Boptagon
  • Sorry! Sliders

Those with an existing PlayStation Move system can connect to enjoy an elevated level of play. Winners receive trophies, which are applied online to profiles set up on the PlayStation Network. Participants also have a chance to win Monopoly Crazy Cash upon completion of each game.

This title is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii.

4. Project Spark

Project Spark Video GameCatering to the 10-year-old age range, Project Spark offers a game builder platform that encourages kids to explore the depths of their imaginations. Players work on creating their own virtual ‘worlds’ and games within a space-and-alien theme, which introduces young minds to simple programming, tech skills, and realistic game design. In the meantime, they’ll use problem-solving skills, logic, and smart decision-making to advance.

Young players can interact with remote users and their content. Parents also have the option to modify the settings of the game to restrict a child’s access to only developer-moderated content.

This game is available for Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

5. Monopoly Family Fun Pack

Monopoly Family Fun Pack Video GameBased on the classic board game that never goes out of style, the extra modes for this version of digital play Monopoly especially increases the fun, which is geared towards 8 year olds and up. The overall game is easy to get the hang of, and offers plenty of helpful tutorials along the way. While younger kids might need the help of parents and older siblings to purchase and rent properties, it’s a game that appeals to all ages.

You can feel good about gifting Monopoly because it encourages kids to exercise their critical-thinking skills, and sees youths learning how to strategize, negotiate, and take on the role of entrepreneur.

This game is available for PlayStation4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

6. ScreamRide

ScreamRide Video GameFor a thrilling experience, consider purchasing this roller coaster sim. Players participate in a game that promotes the design, building and testing of their roller coaster creations. A blend of construction and destruction takes place because poorly built structures may bring chaos and people can get hurt – carts can go off the rails. However, it’s a game that utilizes and strengthens both math and science skills. Players feel challenged to build the best and most efficient roller coaster – something that also incorporates architecture, physics, tech skills, and engineering.

As far as privacy and safety goes, ScreamRide ranks high for parents who would like to limit the amount of online mingling their child engages in. There are no concerns in this department. This game is geared towards 10-year-old players and up, and is available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

7. LittleBigPlanet Game Series

Available exclusively for PlayStation 3 and 4, the LittleBigPlanet game franchise currently has three installments that follow a puzzle format, with the latest being released in November 2014. Allowing single play and multi-players, LittleBigPlanet 3 has new characters, tools and power-ups backed by inviting graphics that encourage creative pursuits. Players assume the role of Sackboy or Sackgirl, a creature that resembles a plain-looking stuffed-animal. Kids can customize their character by selecting costumes and various features.

Little Big Planet Video Game

The game also involves user-designed worlds, which can be shared with other online players. Puzzle-solving plays an important role in LittleBigPlanet 3.

8. Any LEGO Video Game

From Batman to Marvel Super Heroes, the LEGO video game franchise has a knack for offering kid-friendly action fun associated with significant pop culture characters, cartoons and movies. The games are released for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and other older platforms.

LEGO Video Games

Do you have any video game recommendations for kids?


About Yona Williams

In addition to being a freelance writer, foodie, art lover and book hoarder, Yona also enjoys researching and sharing the many different ways one can surprise or amaze loved ones with unique and unexpected gift ideas.

28 comments on “8 Video Games You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty Buying as a Gift

  1. We would love that Zoo Tycoon! I wish it was available for Wii platform!

  2. The lego games must be awesome. My girls will love them!

  3. Great list of games – I’ll have to try them out! The Scrabble and Monopoly would be huge hits in my house!

  4. These are great picks. I never bought games for my kids, but I wouldn’t mind paying for these games.

  5. These are great ideas. I wouldn’t mind buying any of these games for my kiddos.

  6. I always go by the rating. It’s not always a hit. That means I appreciate your suggestions. :)

  7. I’m of the same mindset where I want to see some sort of educational value in the game. These are excellent suggestions.

  8. May it be for adults or kids – you would find Scrabble always worth the penny. :)

  9. These are great suggestions. I really enjoy playing scrabble. It’s been too long since I’ve played.

  10. I love fun and education games. I didn’t know there was a Scrabble video game – I will have to get that soon!

  11. I love all of these ideas. Giving games as gifts is so fun and these are some great ones.

  12. Gosh – there are some games here I would enjoy – especially Scrabble – when I get in my 80’s and can spend time! My son would have loved these, also, when he was younger – thanks for sharing :)

  13. My son really likes Monopoloy and Trivia Pursuit actually on the Xbox! He thinks they are fun to play!

  14. Family game night 4 sounds like the perfect game addition for my family. Thanks for the roundup. Helpful as always.

  15. I love all of these games! I am totally all for buying games like this vs the violent games. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Now that my son is getting a little older he;ll definitely be playing video games! These ones look like a good choice!

  17. We love games in this house as well. My kids love sports, problem solving and action games. Love Family Game Night too!

  18. These are definitely perfect titles you can give as a gift guilt free, in fact I may have to pick up the scrabble one for myself! :-)

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  19. What great games you have highlighted and sometimes it is not the easiest to give family oriented gifts! You have nailed it and off the the shops to buy one for my nephew!

  20. What a nice selection of video games. I don’t play them but my boyfriend and teens do.

  21. My boys love the Lego games. We just got my 4 year old the Lego movie version. He also loves Mario Cart. :)

  22. Those are some good games. Great idea for gifts. Thank you for sharing.

  23. We have scrabble and monopuly at home. They are great board games to have.

  24. I would say Minecraft would be a good addition to this list. Although it can be a touch addictive, you have to think about what you’re doing, what’s around you, what you need to find and craft, and what you want to build.

    • I agree…my nephew plays that game a lot, and he’s sharpening his architecture skills and creativity. My Mom brought up the other day how kids are also learning how to code from Minecraft. And yes, it is addicting…for him at least…I tried to play it, and was not as amused as him – with the exception of the pigs and other animals you can have roaming around.

  25. I had no idea Monopoly is a video game. I learned a lot about money playing that game as a child.

  26. Great ideas! These are great video games that you suggested. I try to avoid buying games with fighting in them. Thanks for your choice picks. I like Family Game Night and Scrabble.

  27. Great to know! I don’t think I’ve ever bought a video game as a gift, but I never really thought about it either. These are great to keep in mind!

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