Best new video games for kids

December 7, 2012

Well, kids, it’s time to figure out which video games you want to put on your holiday wish list. It was a great year for gamers, so KidsPost asked video game expert Tom Ham to play with all the latest games to help you decide which ones are worthy of asking for — assuming, of course, that you’ve snagged a spot on the “nice” list.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Publisher: Nintendo of America

Platform: Nintendo Wii U

Rating: Everyone

Price: $59.99

This game lets players experience Mario in high definition for the first time. That means you get beautiful landscapes filled with rich detail and challenging platform puzzles. What’s even better is that now you don’t have to do it alone. Up to four friends can join in on the fun to help save Princess Peach from Bowser and his minions. Mario never looked so good.

FIFA 13

Publisher: EA Sports

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U

Rating: Everyone

Price: $49.99-$59.99

Just when we thought a soccer game couldn’t get any better, EA Sports releases one that is the most realistic ever. With the new First Touch Control feature, players react much more like real-life athletes, even making mistakes. Mess up a pass and watch as the other team uses that to its advantage. Combined with amazing animation and crowd sounds, this is soccer on a whole new level.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Rating: Everyone 10+

Price: $59.99

The latest racing game from EA has you competing against your friends and the police as you try to build up your racing reputation with some of the most exotic sports cars in the world. You can customize your car and even challenge other racers with voice commands (Microsoft Kinect required).

Wonderbook:
Book of Spells

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PlayStation 3

Rating: Everyone 10+

Price: $79.99 for the bundle

What happens when you put PlayStation together with author J.K. Rowling? You get “Wonderbook: Book of Spells.” Imagine interacting with a book that comes to life right in front of you. Watch dragons appear before your eyes. Conjure fire with a flick of your wrist. Learn the art of casting spells, with incantations — 20 in all — inspired by Harry Potter, including Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa and Expelliarmus. Would-be wizards must have a PlayStation Move controller to play.

LEGO The Lord of the Rings

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii

Rating: Everyone 10+

Price: $49.99

Players experience interconnecting story lines of all three J.R.R. Tolkien books (and movies) in one game. You can play as Frodo as he begins his quest to destroy the ring. But if you’d rather not be Frodo, this game has more than 85 playable characters, including Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Forge weapons, create magical items and take on the evil forces of Middle-earth in this epic ad­ven­ture.

Madden NFL 13

Publisher: EA Sports

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U

Rating: Everyone

Price: $49.99-$59.99

The latest Madden game features incredible player animation and realism. You will feel every hit and tackle. Connected Careers mode lets you build your own championship legacy team that will get analyzed by NFL coaches, experts and your friends. Throw in Kinect-enabled voice commands, and what you end up with is the best football game to date.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Publisher: Nintendo of America

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Rating: Everyone

Price: $39.99

When Bowser wreaks havoc at the Sticker Fest, it’s up to Mario and his friends to find and collect six Royal Stickers and set things right. Players familiar with the Paper Mario series will feel right at home where characters look like paper cutouts in a three-dimensional world. Solve puzzles, take down enemies and defeat Bowser. It’s all in a day’s work in the land of Paper Mario.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Publisher: Disney Interactive

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U

Rating: Everyone

Price: $49.99-$59.99

With the help of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon star, Mickey Mouse makes his way to Wasteland to put the Mad Doctor back on the right track. With the help of Mickey’s magical paintbrush and Oswald’s powerful remote control, players are able to create beautiful, colorful worlds and defeat enemies in Wasteland. Playing with a friend makes taking down the Mad Doctor a whole lot of fun.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen

Price: $59.99

This game unites popular characters from some of the biggest franchises in one epic fighting game. Imagine Sly Cooper going against the mighty Kratos. Or Nathan Drake against The Fat Princess. Play through 14 massive battle arenas alone or with up to three friends. Once you’ve built up enough skills, take on virtual opponents online.

NBA 2K13

Publisher: 2K Games

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U

Rating: Everyone

Price: $39.99-$59.99

Visually, there is no better basketball game than this. From the beads of sweat on the players to the realistic movement of the jerseys, you might think you’re watching a real game. A new control scheme allows ball control with the right analog stick, which creates more-intense one-on-one gameplay.

READ: Is the new Wii-U for you?

READ: Best toys for the holiday season

READ: Apps that kids will love

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