If your kids are old enough to play video games, it can be overwhelming to comb through all the different consoles available on the market today. How do you know which one is right for your child and your family? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Below, we have rounded up the best consoles for kids and families alike who don’t want to invest in a gaming laptop, gaming mouse, and gaming chair just for a kid to lose interest immediately.
From young kids whowant to learn about the world around them to serious teen gamers who want to build an awesome gaming rig, there are consoles available for all sorts of gamers.
Best for young kids: LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition
Billed as a learning tool rather than just a console or toy, the LeapFrog Epic Academy can help add a layer of fun to gaining new life skills. Designed to help kids gain knowledge about a variety of subjects like reading skills, music, spelling, science and coding, this gaming system is a great way to get your children excited about learning.
At your children’s fingertips are tons of books, puzzles, videos, games, and creative apps that can help stoke your kids’ curiosity.
One of the best parts of the LeapFrog is that it can easily grow as your child matures. The curriculum and games ramp up in difficulty and sophistication as your child begins to learn, so they’ll never get bored. In fact, the LeapFrog can be used by kids from age 2 all the way to age 10.
If safety is a concern, there are plenty of ways for parents to monitor their children’s digital activities thanks to a suite of parental controls.
Best for teen gamers: PlayStation 4
If you have a teen who is begging for the best console on the market, you may want to consider picking up a PlayStation 4 to satisfy their gaming needs. Capable of handling even the most demanding games, the PlayStation 4 boasts impressive visuals compared to its competitors. It has HDR visuals for deeper blacks and bright whites that provide you with incredible visual contrasts. Paired with a 4K display, you can enjoy an entirely new, immersive experience.
In addition, your teen may love the fact that there are many games that are created for PlayStation only. For example, God of War, Street Fighter, The Last Guardian, and Yakuza 6 are just a few of the games you’ll only be able to play on PlayStation.
If virtual reality (VR) is on your radar at all, you’ll be pleased to know that the PlayStation 4 is one of the only consoles that has an affordable VR headset. This delivers an entirely new, feature-rich experience that can take gaming to an entirely new level.
Best for mobile gaming: Nintendo 2DS XL
With games like Zelda, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7, you and your children will have a blast with the handheld Nintendo 2DS XL. The clamshell design holds up well during travel and is great if you’re planning on a road trip or have other travel plans where keeping the kids entertained will be a priority.
It conveniently fits right into your pocket and can also be loaded with other apps like Netflix and Hulu that truly expand its capabilities.
Best for families: Nintendo Switch
The best part of the Nintendo Switch is that it can be used as both a controller or can function on its own as a handheld gaming device. There are plenty of family-friendly games that you can play on this device like Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Mario, for example.
Using multiplayer mode, you can up the ante (and the fun) and take turns battling it out or racing alongside each other.
There are also plenty of parental controls for worried parents who want to make sure their children stay safe while they’re gaming. Plus, it’s incredibly budget-friendly at under $200 and games typically cost around $40 each. Perfect for the family on a tight budget!
Wrap-up: gaming for everyone
Whatever device you choose for your family and children, you’ll have to take a few factors into consideration. Is the console age appropriate? Is it mobile friendly? Can I load other apps on it? But once you have the answers to these questions and do your due diligence by reading reviews of various consoles, you’ll be on your way to an entertained, happy gamer.