The Best Family Games Available on Xbox One in 2018

By Mark Delaney, 3 months ago
Whether with siblings, kids, parents, or even grandparents, playing video games with your family can be one of the best ways to spend your time together. With games you can share stories, overcome challenges, get competitive, and declare all sorts of victories. Today's gaming landscape doesn't seem to make as much development time for family gaming, as much of the kids demographic has migrated to tablets and smartphones. Thankfully, there are still several games designed specifically with kids and families in mind, and several others that end up being great options for family gaming nights too.

Here are our favorite games to play with the whole family. We've broken them down into three different categories so you can pick from those that represent how you most like to play together. Of course, some of these games offer more than one mode of play, so we put them where they fit best.

Cooperation Is Key

The LEGO Series

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 releases November 17th

Perhaps the longest-running family game series ever, the LEGO games consistently make great excuses to go shoulder to shoulder with your kids, parents, and other loved ones. They've tackled most every popular license one could ask for, including Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, Harry Potter, Jurassic World, and many more. If you're looking to relive classic scenes with the LEGO twist, Traveller's Tales has you covered.

Download from Microsoft Store

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

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Lovers is a lesser known indie title that is overflowing with cuteness. With cartoonish animals like rabbits and kittens all colored in pinks, greens, blues, and purples, it's like playing a children's cartoon. Beneath that fuzzy and warm aesthetic is a legitimate co-op game too. Allowing for up to four players, you and your family will embark into space aboard a spacecraft that requires smart and quick-thinking controls as you scan the galaxy for lost animals and fight off villainous aliens. With several difficulty modes, it works for nearly any age range too.

Download from Microsoft Store

Overcooked

Level 2-2

Like Lovers, Overcooked is an adorable indie with serious co-op bona fides. This one may get too difficult for some skill levels as the game goes on, as the frantic gameplay deliberately tries to overwhelm players with a smile on its metaphorical face the entire time. In Overcooked, players must cooperate to cook meals as quickly and mistake-free as possible. Running around the various kitchens while obstacles and intrusions get in your way provides a great one-more-try element even as you and your family may collectively lose your minds — in a fun way.

Download from Microsoft Store

Minecraft

Minecraft

Perhaps the grandest of all co-op family games, Minecraft is the canvas on which you and your family can paint whatever your hearts desire. Build new worlds, reenact scenes from other stories, play with the game's survival mechanics, create mini-games, or even achievement-popping Rube Goldbergian worlds, whatever you have in mind, it's possible to bring it to life in Minecraft. Kids of all ages have been obsessed with the platform for years now, and adults love it too. If you haven't merged those two worlds just yet, we highly recommend it.

Download from Microsoft Store

Let's Get Competitive

Rocket League

Rocket League

In the opinion of this author, there's no better game ever made, so the fact that Rocket League offers all kinds of modes for families just makes it even better. While it's a great co-op game as well, we think the most family fun comes from playing Rocket League competitively. If you're unfamiliar, it's soccer with rocket-powered, acrobatic cars. That's the pitch and it's even better than that may sound. It controls smoothly, offers almost limitless customization, and makes an amazing pick-up-and-play experience for any age group in your family. Parents versus kids, brothers versus sisters — however you split it, Rocket League is an amazing game that only gets better when you're taking on your family and housemates for bragging rights.

Download from Microsoft Store

Just Dance 2018

JD2018

It's the dance game that refuses to go away, and that's a good thing. Just Dance has survived the post-Kinect world to remain an annual staple of family gaming. This year they've even added a kids mode to accommodate the less than well choreographed in your family. Take on rivals in your house to the beat of many popular songs you know, and probably even learn of a few new favorites. It also gets you up and moving, which we know is important for some families deciding to game together.

Download from Microsoft Store

Peggle 2

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Arguably PopCap's greatest hit, Peggle is The Price is Right's Plinko meets pinball. The idea is pretty simple, but it brings a subtle level of challenge to the whole experience. Aim a ball at a field of dots and try to clear the field quickly and with a bit of flair. It's a classic arcade experience that will have you competing for high scores like the arcade cabinets some in your family may even be too young to have seen, but the competitive drive is timeless and Peggle 2 plays upon that with great effect.

Download from Microsoft Store

Cars 3: Driven to Win

Screenshot

We've written previously about how we long for the days of the movie tie-in games. Those days have all but disappeared in this post-original THQ world, but we are still occasionally treated to another. Last year's Cars 3 tie-in game brought with it a bounty of game modes and features a respectable roster of the Disney-Pixar franchise's favorite characters. For those just getting into games, titles such as Cars 3 make a fantastic entry point.

Download from Microsoft Store

Trivial Pursuit Live!

trivial pursuit

This one may be too tough for the youngest kids in your family, but anyone of a certain school year and above can have a lot of fun competing in this trivia game on Xbox One. If your family has played mobile's Trivia Crack over the past few years, you're already familiar with the Xbox game, as Trivia Crack is actually an imitation of Trivial Pursuit. Perhaps you've played the tabletop version too. It's all that, but with customizable avatars and achievements. We think that's a pretty fun proposition and the way the game alters the way you play each round is a nice twist too.

Download from Microsoft Store

Pass The Controller

Zoo Tycoon

Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection

What little kid doesn't love animals? In Zoo Tycoon, you get to create your own zoo, manage the animals, staff, and guests, and even play with the animals in a first-person perspective. This game originally launched at the start of the Xbox One's release, and that version still hols up. However, if you want more animal breeds in your experience, we recommend the newly released Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection, which brings a lot more content into an updated version of the game. If you have two Xboxes in the house, you can also play this one in co-op.

Download from Microsoft Store

Unravel

Splash

In this author's home, Unravel is one of the most cherished family games ever made. It's a side-scrolling puzzle platformer where you take on the role of a yarn doll, simply named Yarny, as he(?) explores his little-big world of birds, trees, fish, and other obstacles. The game's themes play on the importance of both the family and a clean environment, so it's doubly poignant and will make you smile and cry at different moments.

Download from Microsoft Store

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island

Clover Island, June Images 3

The 3D platformer has seen something of a renaissance lately, as those kids that grew up on them 20 years ago are now all old and skilled enough to make homages. Skylar & Plux isn't an exceptional game for the adults looking to relive that nostalgia, but its relative simplicity makes it a great experience for kids just getting into games. We bill it as a sort of "Baby's First 3D Platformer," which is meant as a compliment. Of course, when you're ready to graduate you can try something different below.

Download from Microsoft Store

Super Lucky's Tale

Super Lucky's Tale screen 6

This Microsoft exclusive is the unexpected sequel to a VR game, but Super Lucky's Tale needs no glasses, goggles, or peripherals. It's a colorful and very family-friendly 3D platformer that will challenge families a bit more than others at times. With an adorable mascot, a color palette brighter than the sun and different themed worlds ready to explore, it is one of the greatest examples of a game designed specifically for everyone in your family to play "pass the controller."

Download from Microsoft Store
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.