Whip out your controllers and prepare to get sucked into your screens.

By Gianluca Russo
Updated November 06, 2020
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Credit: MStudioImages / Creative #: 1128680571

As social distancing becomes the reality for many of us for the foreseeable future, downtime at home is an inevitable factor to avoid. Yet for those thankful to be quarantined with their family, there’s no shortage of ways to pass the time. One you may not have thought of: video games.

Though they may not seem like the go-to way to spend time with your family, there are an abundance of video games now available that your entire squad will love, even if they’re non-gamers. You don’t need to be a Mario professional to enjoy them, and these entertaining games we’ve rounded up are sure to bring joy to your family’s faces during these troublesome times. 

1

The newest addition to the Nintendo family, Pikmin 3 takes place on the mysterious planet of PNF-404. Your job is to investigate this new planet’s bountiful resources—decoding puzzles along the way—with a crackerjack team of explorers and a legion of adorable tiny Pikmin. Choose to trek the adventure alone, or squad up and explore with friends for co-op play in story and mission mode.

Available on the Nintendo Switch

2

Fans of Ghostbusters and all things spooky will love this action-packed video game starring Mario’s favorite sidekick. Contrary to other Mario games, you play as the anxiety-riddled brother as he defeats ghosts with his trusty vacuum pack. Everyone in the family can have a blast solving the puzzling contraptions and battling mischievous bosses on each themed floor.

Available on the Nintendo Switch

3

Whether or not you consider yourself a chef in the kitchen, you and the entire family can partake in and enjoy playing Overcooked! 2. This cooking simulation video game allows up to four players to assist each other in cooking for a plethora of different restaurants and kitchens. It’s not as easy as cutting vegetables, however. Just like in a real kitchen, you must deal with problems like bumping into each other, lack of space, running out of time, and ensuring that none of the food burns.?

Available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch 

4

Because of the newly introduced multiplayer function, your entire family can now take part in the fun of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You don’t need multiple consoles to play together, however: With the Nintendo Switch, you can all play on the same one, helping each other to cultivate and run your virtual island town. Because of the game's simple controls, you can easily guide your non-experienced video gamers along the ride smoothly. The overall experience is a wholesome and entertaining one for everyone, whether young or old, experienced or not.?

Available on the Nintendo Switch

5

If you’ve run out of murder mystery films to watch with your family—though who could watch Knives Out too many times, right?—there’s no need to panic: Murder by Numbers, a game available both on the Nintendo Switch and for download on Microsoft Windows, is here to fill that gap. The story follows detective Honor Mizrahi as she attempts to solve a series of different murders, but there’s a catch: Not only must you interview suspects, but to find clues and answers, you must solve a series of puzzles to unlock the keys to move forward. This makes it the perfect whodunit game for the whole family, working together to solve these puzzles and move forward in the case.?

Available on the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows?

6

Car racing games may be challenging for those who have yet to master the controls, but Rocket League makes the entire process fun, whether or not you know how to drive your virtual car just yet. You’re not racing, however: You’re playing soccer, but instead of kicking the ball with your feet, you're embodying a car. Rocket League is a fun way to get the whole family to work together on winning the game.?

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

7

What’s more family friendly than a classic Mario adventure? Super Mario Party is a modern take on a Mario-themed monopoly game: Each player rolls the dice and decides which direction to move in. But it evolves from there with different challenges and minigames arising depending where you land. Not only is it a game of luck—the dice are unpredictable, after all—but also of strategy as unlike Monopoly, you’re allowed more freedom in where you want to move throughout the map. Each minigame within Super Mario Party is easy to follow and sure to induce laughs throughout the family.?

Available on the Nintendo Switch

8

The beloved Sonic tale takes new form in Sonic Mania Plus, a competitive multiplayer option for both parent and child. Choosing between Sonic, Tails, & Knuckles, players travel fast through the different zones and scenes to tackle a different adventure—or evil boss—around the corner. Sonic Mania Plus is not only family friendly, but also available on a handful of different consoles.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

9

Another classic: Mario Kart. And this new, updated version features new maps, cars, and characters to choose from, allowing you to design the perfect character to race with. With one gaming console, four players may play at a time while playing online (or with multiple consoles), up to 12 players can battle it out for the title of winner of the race.?

Available on the Nintendo Switch

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