The best open world games for kids

Buying a game for a child is difficult. There is a lot of information and even more opinions about which games are suitable and which are not. The ESRB rating, which indicates a general age range for which a particular video game would be suitable, is useful but not flawless. Many players – parents and non-parents alike – disagree with his recommendations.

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To help you find the perfect game for the kid in your life, we’ve broken down some of the best open-world video games kids can play. We’ve organized them based on our age recommendation, but there are plenty of games in the lower categories that would be fine for older kids as well. Use your best judgment!

Video games for children 2 to 4 years old and over

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game - Geese disturb a woman

  • ESRB Rating: E for everyone
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS

Untitled Goose Game is all about the titular goose that disturbs the inhabitants of their small town. Want to steal their phones? Ended. Do you just want to honk your horn? Ended. Want to waddle around their gardens in search of good things to eat? Ended. It’s as simple and adorable as it sounds!

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It’s a bit controversial to include this game on an open world title list. Some people see it as one, some don’t. Can a game still be open-world if it’s broken up into chunks, like Dragon Age: Inquisition? How open should the pieces be – a lot of people would notice that the Inquisition pieces are much bigger and more open than the ones in Untitled Goose Game. Either way, the child in your life won’t make a difference.

A short hike

a silver feather wristwatch for a short hike

  • ESRB Rating: E for everyone
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch

In A Short Hike, the player literally climbs a mountain. Although there is one destination to be reached – the top – it is considered an open world game because you can spend time exploring the entire backcountry, meeting other hikers, making time for fishing, and more!

The added bonus is that unlike other open worlds a kid will only spend a few hours in this game. Need to go through a long drive? Set it up on Nintendo Switch and drive in silence!

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Video games for children aged 5 to 7 and over

Shadow East

Eastshade - gameplay screenshot of painting in progress

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS

In this game, you play as a painter exploring the titular island you landed on: Eastshade. It’s populated by anthropomorphic owls, monkeys, bears and more! “Painting” is the game, it’s a bit like taking a screenshot; your character recreates everything on your screen in an oil painting style.

Some mature themes appear when talking to characters in the game, hence the higher ESRB rating. It would probably go over the heads of most young children, but, of course, use your own discretion.

Astroneer

Astroneer Split Image, walking towards the spaceship (left) picking up the object (right)

  • ESRB Rating: E for everyone
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

In Astroneer, the entire universe is your open world! The player controls an astronaut jumping from planets trying to survive with whatever resources they can find on these unknown worlds.

It’s not only a great open world game for kids, it’s also a great way to introduce them to the survival horror genre! In the game, you will use your resources to build machines to aid you on your journey and bases to lay your head down and drop your loot!

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Video games for children 8 to 9 years old and over

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey - Mario in a city on the left, Mario in a desert on the right

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Odyssey is an open world sandbox game perfect for any kid with a Nintendo Switch. In this 3D Mario game, her hat is actually a creature called Cappy, and the couple must travel to save Cappy’s sister and Princess Peach from Bowser!

Like Untitled Goose Game, it’s debated whether or not it counts as an open-world game. Again, however, a child won’t know or care about the difference. There is a lot of potential to roam freely in the attractive surroundings, and that’s what matters!

Burnout Paradise remastered

A screenshot from Burnout Paradise Remastered

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Many players have fond memories of playing a Burnout game as a child. For many of them, it was the first time that they were all allowed to drive a car (even if it was a digital car).

Let the child in your life be a part of that legacy with Burnout Paradise Remastered! In Burnout games, you are driving a car in a city. As easy as that. The city is populated with everything you would expect – pedestrians, other drivers, buildings, trash cans … it’s up to the kid to decide if he wants to participate in races or just drive around the city shooting down streetlights.

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Video games for children aged 10 to 12 and over

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Breath of the Wild - link in a forest on the left, link using his glider above a fire on the right

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is considered by many to be one of the best open world games. Period. And it’s suitable for children! In it, you play as the non-titular hero, Link, exploring the fantasy land of Hyrule.

This game is an amazing learning tool for kids, all wrapped up in one deceptively fun video game. This is because it involves so many mini puzzles and a complete physics system.

The physical system means that the elements interact with each other. The rain will extinguish your torch! Fire creates updrafts of wind with which you can soar! You can cut down a tree with your sword and get wood! If you wave a large sheet hard enough, you can put wind in the sails of a small boat!

Mini puzzles take the form of “shrines” – they’re hard enough to be challenging, but not so hard (or long) that your child will be frustrated. There is also no punishment if you decide to leave and try again later.

Minecraft

characters walking with animals in minecraft

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Java, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Raspberry Pi

Even if you haven’t heard of any of the other video games on this list, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Minecraft. It became a Western cultural phenomenon years ago and has evolved into a community of millions of gamers participating in projects like a huge game library!

Whether or not you want to get involved with the wider community and all the mods, shaders, and skins it has to offer, the base Minecraft game has a ton to offer. Inside, players explore a grimly empty open world environment, scavenging resources to survive. Once done, they can start investigating bigger projects, like making concrete or raising bees!

Slime Breeder

Slime Rancher - a pink slime outside Beatrice's house

  • ESRB Rating: E10 + for all 10 years and over
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux

Slime Rancher is an adorable open world title that lets you breed a farm full of different types of slimes! It’s loved by kids and adults alike, so you might find yourself borrowing this game from the kid in your life!

Player ccontrols the farmer, Beatrice, as she raises her slimes, helps the locals, and ventures into the open world to find new slimes and resources!

NEXT: The Best Xbox Games For Kids To Play


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