SuperParent’s 2020 Xbox One Games Holiday Gift Guide

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 7:39 am

SuperParent-approved games for everyone in the family.

This holiday shopping season, SuperParent is here to help you find the perfect family-friendly video game for the kids and teens in your life. If someone you know owns an Xbox One, or they’re receiving a new console this holiday season, here are some of the best games you can pick up this year.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix
Rated E for Everyone

If your family is familiar with games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, you’ll feel right at home when you start Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix. The game lets you compete as 30 different Nickelodeon characters (stars from Rugrats, SpongeBob SquarePants, and more) in both single-player and multiplayer races (the game supports four-player local and online multiplayer races). Once you hit the track, you can pick up offensive and defensive items that you can use to mess with your opponents or give yourself an edge, and as you complete events, you’ll unlock over 70 different “pit crew” members that you can mix and match to create an experience that suits your individual playstyle. For more information about Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix, check out our review.

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is a music rhythm game that challenges players to press the correct buttons in time with the music as symbols appear on the screen. The game features more than 140 songs taken from throughout the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and you can play through them in a variety of modes. The game’s story mode — narrated by Kairi — allows you to relive major moments from past Kingdom Hearts games, and you can also test your skills in a free play mode, a cooperative multiplayer mode, and an online battle mode that pits you against other real players. Learn more about Melody of Memory in our review.

Katamari Damacy Reroll
Rated E for Everyone

Originally released on Switch and PC in 2018, Katamari Damacy Reroll is a remastered version of the original Katamari Damacy, which was released on PlayStation 2 in 2004. Katamari Damacy Reroll asks you to help the Dashing Prince roll up everything in sight using a sticky ball known as a katamari, in order to turn those items into stars and constellations in the night sky. The Katamari Damacy games are colorful, wacky, and simply amazing, and we can’t recommend this one enough. Katamari Damacy Reroll will launch on Xbox One on November 20.

Minecraft Dungeons
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Even if you’re a gaming parent, eventually you’ll have to come to terms with the cruel passage of time. Some new property is going to hit big with your kid(s) and you’re going to utterly fail to relate. Minecraft Dungeons is an excellent remedy to one such generational divide. A kid-friendly Diablo clone at its core, Minecraft Dungeons is easy to pick up and play with up to four people locally or online, and is just complicated enough to introduce the ARPG genre without overwhelming the younger crowd. Dungeon crawling usually pairs gory violence with chunky guitars or orchestral excess, but here it’s the pleasant musical breeze and silly sound effects of Minecraft. It totally works, even if you don’t know what a Creeper is. Learn more about Minecraft Dungeons in our review.

Rated T for Teen

This beautiful management simulation game asks you to complete the final requests of friendly spirits before guiding them to the afterlife. As you meet new characters, you’ll be able to customize a large boat, as well as do some farming, fishing, cooking, and more. Spiritfarer can be a genuinely emotional experience, and it’s only recommended for teens and older players. While Spiritfarer may not be appropriate for littles, we appreciate the game’s potential to be used as a conversation starter with teens about its themes of loss and death. To learn more (and see the game in action), check out our SuperParent First Look.

Marvel’s Avengers
Rated T for Teen

Over the course of ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced a number of comic book heroes to the wider culture, so much so that almost everyone now knows Iron Man, Captain America, and the Incredible Hulk. Now imagine being able to play as all of these characters and new ones, most notably Jersey City’s own Kamala Khan, introduced here in a gorgeous storyline that is worthy of the Marvel label. In Marvel’s Avengers, each character is honored with their own special moves, making you really feel like Thor with his ability to throw Mjolnir (his hammer) or Black Widow with her expert gunplay. The game’s varied stories touch on all of the characters, and the gameplay couples action with RPG (role-playing game) elements to give it a deeper take than many other comic book games that have come out over the years. Marvel’s Avengers continues to add more characters and features, so you’ll never run out of ways to save the universe (just be mindful that much of the additional content is tied to paid DLC).

Planet Coaster
Rated E for Everyone

Planet Coaster is a wonderful amusement park simulation game that allows players to construct their own theme parks. You can place each and every ride and decoration (this includes the option to build new roller coasters piece by piece), lay path tiles to allow your guests to move around, hire and manage staff, construct shops, restrooms, and other facilities, and much more as you work to build the amusement parks of your dreams. The game includes pre-built scenarios with specific goals to complete, as well as a sandbox mode that allows you to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with the game’s tools. While Planet Coaster is rated E for Everyone, the gameplay may be a bit too complex for the youngest players in the family.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Rated E-M

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn’t a game, but hear us out. This monthly subscription service gives you unlimited access to over 100 games on both Xbox One and PC, and it also includes Xbox Live Gold, which you’ll need to play games online. Plus, just in time for the 2020 holiday season, the service has been upgraded to include access to EA Play, Electronic Arts’ own subscription service, which includes even more games. (EA Play is now available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers on Xbox consoles, but this benefit won’t be available on PC until December).

If you decide to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate this holiday season, here are just a few of the family-friendly games you can check out (not all of these games were released in 2020, but we wanted to highlight the variety of available games):

Ticket to Ride (Rated E for Everyone) – This digital version of the tabletop game of the same name allows players to place train cars on a map  of the U.S. (and parts of Canada) to create train routes and earn points.

Disneyland Adventures (Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+) – Explore a digital version of Disneyland amusement park as you complete mini-games and interact with characters like Buzz Lightyear, Snow White, and Mickey Mouse (among many others).

Moving Out (Rated E for Everyone) – One to four players become furniture movers in this whacky party game.

Untitled Goose Game (Rated E for Everyone) – Become a mischievous goose and cause chaos around a small town as you complete the required tasks with the help of clues.

(Note: Xbox Game Pass includes many M-rated games, but you can use Xbox’s parental controls to prevent your children from accessing these mature titles.)

Disclosure: SuperParent received Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix and Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory for coverage purposes. Our coverage remains objective.

Brandy Berthelson, Lucas White, and John Benyamine contributed to this article.

Top image © olgaarkhipenko / Adobe Stock

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