10 Best Games For Kids To Play This Summer

Now that summer is finally here, kids across North America are out of school and itching for something to occupy their time. Luckily for them, there are dozens of games to sink their teeth into! Regardless of which console you own, there's something for every kid this summer.

With such a huge selection available at your fingertips, it may be hard to know what to play next, though. These are the very best games to occupy and entertain kids this summer, whether they're summer-themed or just new releases!

Super Mario Sunshine (3D-All Stars)

Genre(s) Platforming Action-Adventure
ESRB Rating E for Everyone
Platforms Nintendo Switch

There's no way to deny that Super Mario Sunshine manages to capture the free-spirited vibe of summer in a way no other video game has managed to do. Since it was rereleased for the Nintendo Switch as a part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, you don't need any old tech to give a kid in your life this classic experience!

In the game, Mario works out of the hub world called Delfino Plaza. He goes to lots of places and uses his robotic backpack (named F.L.U.D.D.) to clear up the gunk and help him access new areas. It was only the second ever 3D Mario game, so it's reminiscent of the first one (Super Mario 64), but with loads of new and improved mechanics.

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F1 22

Genre(s) Racing Simulation
ESRB Rating E for Everyone
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Windows

Does the kid in your life love fast cars, adrenaline, and sticking their head out the window on road trips? F1 22 might be the game for them! It's a classic racing simulator that released this summer on June 28, 2022.

Inspired by Formula One racing, the game includes a diverse set of tracks to experience and tons of unique cars! The physics got an update in this year's edition, and even included dynamic weather conditions that affect your race. It's among the best games for kids to play on any PlayStation 5.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Genre(s) Social/Adventure Simulation
ESRB Rating E for Everyone
Platforms Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch is a family console, and therefore boasts some of the very best games to entertain your kids. Unsurprisingly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is among your best options. The gameplay changes with the seasons, and summer is one of the most engaging times!

You'll spend your time picking up Summer Shells on the beach to craft unique DIY projects, redecorating your personal home or your villagers' for the season, swimming and fishing to catch unique sea creatures, and much, much more! Plus, there are some bugs and fish that are only available during the summer months, so players need to be diligent in order to fill up their logbooks.

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Genre(s) Card Tabletop
Age Recommendation 10 and Up
Players 1-5

Not all the best kids games are digital! Parks is a card game that can be played alone or with up to four others that brings summer alive with its beautiful artwork of the National Parks of the United States. You play as hikers, journeying across the gorgeous landscape.

Since the game is basically just cards, it's really easy for children to pick up. It focuses on collecting resources to reach each of the National Parks. As further proof of it's excellence, the game has been nominated for and/or won several awards, including the 2021 Palme d'Or Award for Best Illustrations.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Genre(s) Platforming Action-Adventure
ESRB Rating E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
Platforms Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

The Skywalker Saga came out in Spring 2022, but players are still gobbling it up! After all, it's a large game that spans all three Star Wars trilogies (and beyond!), so it's bound to keep the child in your life occupied all summer.

If you're not familiar with the LEGO game format, they basically take recognizable characters and stories, turn them into LEGOs, and put a goofy twist on it all. There have been multiple LEGO Star Wars games before this one, and each one has been beloved by children and remembered fondly for generations.

Get it on Amazon here! RELATED: Free Video Games That Will Keep Kids Entertained For Hours

Pac-Man Museum+

Genre(s) Casual Action
ESRB Rating E for Everyone
Platforms Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

Pac-Man Museum+ is a wonderful game that combines all of the Pac-Man classics into one convenient place! They include…

  • Pac-Man (1980)
  • Super Pac-Man (1982)
  • Pac & Pal (1983)
  • Pac-Land (1984)
  • Pac-Mania (1987)
  • Pack-Attack (1993)
  • Pac-In-Time (1995)
  • Pac-Man Arrangement (1996 & 2005)
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition (2007)
  • Pac-Motos (2007)
  • Pac 'n Roll Remix (2007)
  • Pac-Man Battle Royale (2011)
  • Pac-Man 256 (2016)

Needless to say, there are more than enough games to keep a child entertained as they bounce back and forth between them. It's a wide variety of games, too, from the original Pac-Man that we played in arcade machines to 3D and puzzle game spin-offs.

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Genre(s) Indie Adventure Simulation
ESRB Rating E for Everyone
Platforms Nintendo Switch, Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Amazon Luna

Abzu is a stunning underwater adventure game that brings the wonder of summer swimming to any platform it's experienced on. It earned a 5 out of 5 stars from us, and we're sure the child in your life will adore it too.

There's lots to do in the game – a story to follow, things to collect, those sorts of things – but it's best experienced with an open mind and a free heart. This is unlike any other video game on the market today. While Abzu doesn't have a physical edition yet for the Nintendo Switch, it'll be getting one soon.

Get it on Amazon here!

Azul: Summer Pavilion

Genre(s) Puzzle/Strategy Board Game
Age Recommendation 8 and Up
Players 2-4

Another summer-themed board game enters the ring! Azul: Summer Pavilion is a puzzle and strategy game from designer Michael Kiesling, also known for working on the board games 'Tikal,' 'Vikings,' and 'Heaven & Ale.'

In this board game, the players act as artisans who are attempting to build a summer pavilion for the Portuguese royal family with limited time and resources. Games are short, with only six rounds, so you're not likely to bore a child (or, if you do, it won't be for too long).

Get it on Amazon here!

Rune Factory 5

Genre(s) Role-playing Adventure Simulation
ESRB Rating T for Teen
Platforms Nintendo Switch

Rune Factory games have been beloved for generations. They focus primarily on farming, taming monsters, and building relationships with the local townspeople. If the child in your life doesn't feel like doing any real gardening this summer, maybe you can at least tempt them with Rune Factory 5.

This game was generally praised for its combat mechanics, but it does all the other parts of the Rune Factory franchise justice too. It was released in Japan in May 2021, almost a full year before it was available in North America and Europe.

Get it on Amazon here!

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Genre(s) Sports/Action
ESRB Rating E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
Platforms Nintendo Switch

In the case of Mario Strikers: Battle League, Nintendo had their finger on the pulse of their fans. This soccer game came out in June 2022, just as we were all ready for some exciting summer gameplay! Mario Strikers is best played with friends, but can be just as fun on your own, too.

At it's core, this is a five-versus-five game that pits the various Mario characters against one another on the soccer field. It's no ordinary soccer game, though, as it includes the special items from the Mario franchise, an electric fence around the field, and a variety of themed stadiums.

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