Another decade has come and gone. We played more games than we could ever name, but there were ten of them that stood out above the rest. Take a look below for our list of the best family friendly video games of the 2010s!
The number one game on our list of the best family games of the decade is Minecraft!
It stands at the top, not just because it is one of the best selling video games of all time, but because it has managed to be the default game for so many of our kids for almost the entirety of the last decade.
Minecraft manages to be a learning game, a creative tool, and a survival horror game all at once. This is an unbeatable achievement.
Even more surprising is the fact that Minecraft has been continually evolving the entire time. Fans who step away from the game for any considerable amount of time return to find new systems and features. They added bees and beehives just this past month!
Minecraft is, without question, the only game that could sit at the top of this list. In fact, it’s arguable that it could hold a place at the top of the list if we extended it back to the beginning of video games. It is just that good.
Do I think Fortnite is a better game than some of the others on this list? No.
But, is stands at number two because of its unquestionable impact on the games industry and on our kids since it’s release.
Fortnite has provided a digital playground for millions of kids and let them connect with their peers in a more family friendly environment than in Call of Duty lobbies.
Our kids play the game. They do the dances. They compare achievements. And they have all collectively created a new language while they were at it.
Detractors will say it’s a bad game, but they are wrong. It’s a great game that commits to providing a consistent stream of content with a fun core mechanic. I’d say that everyone needs to give Fortnite a shot, but I have a feeling that everyone already has.
There is, arguably, no other game in history that has had the real world impact that Pokémon Go has.
Millions of players have caught Pokémon since its release and, while it has slowed down, it shows no signs of going away.
The summer launch of Pokémon Go caused huge crowds to assemble at parks, historical sites, and even businesses.
Pokémon Go players, in short order, logged enough miles walking to catch and hatch Pokémon that it equaled the distance to Pluto! (Which is very far away, obviously).
This kind of release will likely never happen again, and there is no doubt it was one of the best gaming experiences we’ve had this decade.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Long time EFG fans will know that this is one of my favorite games of all time and that means that the games above it have to be pretty significant in order to leave Breath of the Wild in the 4th spot. That isn’t to say that this isn’t one of, if not THE, best video games Nintendo has ever made though.
Breath of the https://engagedfamilygaming.com/reviews/family-video-game-review-legend-zelda-breath-wild/Wild was our game of the year in 2017 and it faced stiff competition from Horizon: Zero Dawn.
It earned its place because it took the Legend of Zelda franchise in a bold new direction by eschewing the linear path of item collection and temple dungeon completion in favor of an open world that could be tackled in any order. Open world games are by no means new, but this was a welcome addition to Zelda and I can’t wait to see where they take it next.
This wily Kickstarter from 2013 is still alive and kicking. In fact, Yacht Club Games just released the last parts of the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove this past month.
Shovel Knight does an amazing job of taking all of the things that we love about old school platformers like Mega Man, Duck Tales, and even Castlevania and smashing them together into a wonderful, cohesive whole.
Shovel Knight is a fun protagonist whose adventures are silly more often than not, but packs some serious challenge. The other games in the treasure trove are all wonderful and feature different knights from the first game in their own wild adventures; each with their own mechanics and stories.
It’s hard to find a better value than Shovel Knight Treasure Trove and it is easy to recommend it to anyone, especially folks looking for an old school challenge!
Spider-Man was our game of the year in 2018, and would easily hold its own against other games of the year that we’ve announced in the past.
Insomniac Games was the perfect developer to bring the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to life. They were able to capture the true essence of what makes Spider-Man a fun hero to watch and to play: the traversal.
Swinging around New York City looking for backpacks, finding crimes to fight, and battling with super villains was a blast from the very first second until It’s emotional end.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The phrase, “Let’s settle it in Smash!” is very common in our house, and I can’t imagine that it is uncommon elsewhere.
The Super Smash Bros. series has been around since the Nintendo 64 era and it continually grows in scope and in popularity. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to his name and its fan base is huge as it is the best selling fighting game of all time.
There are obviously members of the Super Smash Bros. community that prefer earlier games like Super Smash Bros. Melee. But, as far as we’re concerned it is the best game in the series.
It’s often difficult to recommend fighting games to anything other than fighting game fans. Smash is the exception I can recommend this game to anyone that owns a Nintendo switch and feel comfortable that they will enjoy it.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
This is an “oldie,” compared to some of the other games on this list, but it’s no less amazing.
Super Mario Galaxy flipped the Mario formula on its head by turning every level into a sphere (or series of spheres connected through space). This created all sorts of interesting design space for the designers to mess with.
Each new “planet” was a joy to behold.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 came along in 2010 and took that same formula and turned the volume up to 11. It improved the original in every single way AND added Yoshi to the mix.
I sit awake at night wondering why Nintendo hasn’t remastered this one and put it on the Switch, because it would be an amazing addition to the systems already stacked lineup.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Mario Kart series has slowly grown to be the biggest game in their stable of exclusives. Ever iteration is met with thunderous excitement and delivers fun that the entire family can enjoy!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive version of the very best that the franchise has to offer.
Every track is masterfully created (or recreated) and the music is jazzy and fun in all the right ways!
Not only that, but the deluxe version includes the DLC that introduced Link and Isabelle to Mario Kart and made the case for the next game to just be called, “Nintendo Kart.”
This is the first game I recommend to families who buy the Nintendo Switch. It is an absolute must own.
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
It is impossible to talk about the biggest family games of the last ten years without starting with Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and his friends kicked off the entire toys to life genre and initiated an entire generation of gamers with its light action RPG gameplay.
Countless families (including us!) still have bins upon bins of these figures just waiting for their kids to have a bout of nostalgia.
The Toys to Life craze is definitely over, and lots of parents are happy about it, but there is no denying the impact it had.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!
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