The 5 Best Video Game Consoles for the Family

Video games can be great fun for the whole family, but if you’re not a gamer, it can be tough to know where to start. Here are some video game consoles and games that the whole family can enjoy together.

What Are the Best Video Game Consoles?

Your average video game console has come a logn way from the days of Atari, classic Nintendo, or Sega Genesis. While your kids might still enjoy playing a retro game or two, today’s gaming consoles have a seemingly limitless selection of games, many of which you can play on a wide variety of gaming systems.

The definitive “best” video game console for you depends on your gaming needs, your budget, and overall interest. For many families, a video game console doesn’t even make sense, since they can play several different games on a PC or tablet. There are also factors like

So what are the best ones? Here are a few of our favorite video game consoles your whole family can enjoy together.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch, released worldwide on March 3, 2017, is a hybrid console. In portable mode, you can use it as a handheld console, almost like the retro GameBoy. By using a docking station, you can also connect the Nintendo Switch to a television. The docked mode is combined with the wireless Joy-Con controllers. So, you can have a multiplayer option with a parent and kid. Some games like 

Nintendo Switch also offers many exclusive games that are fantastic for the whole family, like Mario Kart or Super Mario Party. You can even find lots of classic titles in Nintendo Switch Online, like The Legend of Zelda or Donkey Kong. 

While the whole family (up to eight players) can enjoy some Nintendo Switch games together, only one person can use the portable Switch at the time. So some families end up purchasing more than one of these video game consoles so all their kids can have a portable Nintendo Switch.

PlayStation 5

Sony’s PlayStation 5 represents a new era of consoles, though many PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games are also compatible with this system. Its memory controllers which are called DualSense have an integrated touchpad, and a more sophisticated feel than the earlier DualShock from PS4. They have also a motion tracking system that is now more sensitive than those of the PlayStation 4’s. The PlayStation 5 also provides a virtual reality system that contains a headset, which features a 1080p display panel.

While many players digitally download games on this video game console, it also contains a disc drive that’s compatible with BluRay discs as wellas games. A control box processes 3D audio effects, as well as video output to the external display.

Xbox One

The Xbox One competes against the PlayStation 5 and is famous for its Kinect 2.0 sensor. This sensor features a wide-angle time-of-flight camera and a 1080p camera. It can process 2GB of data per second in order to map its environment. The Kinect 2.0 sensor is able to track up to 6 people simultaneously. So active gaming with the whole family is possible.

What Are Some Vintage Nintendo Video Game Consoles?

You can probably find these on eBay or maybe even Amazon, but these video game consoles are no longer being manufactured. You can also download most of these games from the Nintendo library until March 2023 when the Nintendo Digital eShop officially closes. Despite the many fans using some of these older platforms, over 90% of Nintendo’s users use the Nintendo switch. But if you’re in the mood for a vintage option, here are a few.

Nintendo 3DS Family

The Nintendo 3DS family is a group of handheld game consoles that are developed and sold by Nintendo since 2011. The Nintendo family consists of six different models: the original 3DS and its XL version, the Nintendo 2DS, the New Nintendo 3DS, and its XL version, and the New Nintendo 2DS XL. In comparison to the 2DS models, the Nintendo 3DS can project stereoscopic 3D effects without using 3D glasses or any additional accessories. You can also share game data with other players via StreetPass or play online against other players. Nintendo ceased production of these devices in 2020, but you can still buy games and accessories for this gaming system.

Wii

The Nintendo Wii was a game-changer with its motion-detecting remotes. This gaming console appealed to more casual gamers, as families could have a virtual tennis match, for example, rather than playing traditional video games. Their Wii Fit was fun for the whole family, and a pioneer in fitness technology. It even offered benefits for physical therapy and different clinical situations. In some sense, the Peloton craze owes its origins to the Nintendo Wii.

Wii U

wii video game console
Nintendo Wii U

The Wii U was famous for its GamePad and its existing Wii controllers. By combining both you have many new options for collaborated gaming. You can also use the GamePad while someone else is watching TV -thanks to its little-integrated display. Nintendo produced Wii from 2012-2017, but it only sold about 13 million units worldwide, compared with the over 100 million of its predecessor, Nintendo Wii.

Video Game Consoles for the Whole Family

There’s a huge range of different types of video games. While some of them are available for nearly every platform, others can just be played on one type of gaming console. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Racing games are perfect for a rainy Sunday at home. The game Ridge Racer is a wholesome, skill-based racing game. While driving on colorful and visually stunning race tracks, the player cannot attack other competitors. Ridge Racer is available for Nintendo 3DS.

Jump and Run games are perfect for playing with the family. Rayman is a very famous game series, and it’s available on many different platforms. During the game, you have to manage different levels which deliver much fun.

There are many LEGO video games made for children. One of the best is LEGO – The Incredibles. The game is inspired by the movie The Incredibles and is for children of at least 12 years. It can be played on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

You can download and play Overcooked! or Overcooked! 2 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One. It is made for kids of at least eight years old. Overcooked is about the Onion Kingdom, a land of only kitchens. When an enormous monster arrived that demands to be fed, the king sends you back to 1993 to run the full gauntlet of every kitchen.

Which Video Game Console Is Your Family’s Favorite?

All of these video game consoles have different helpful features, and the best of the best often depends on your personal preference. Most family-friendly games will be compatible with all of these systems, but if you really love Smash Brothers or Super Mario, go with Nintendo Switch. If Sonic the Hedgehog is a family favorite, PlayStation might be the best video game console for your family. If you plan to play Halo, the XBox will be your gaming system of choice, though

In terms of price, the base Nintendo Switch costs around $300, but extra joy-cons for multiplayer games could add up. XBox Series X is about $500, but XBox Series S is only about $300. PlayStation 5 costs starts at $400, but most of the list prices appear significantly higher, especially due to the global chip shortage. If you’re a serious gamer, though, the base cost pales in comparison to extra add-ons, like games, which tend to cost the same amount regardless of your gaming system.

What are your family’s favorite video games? Let us know, or chat about it on FamilyApp!

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