Gaming has become more popular than ever with kids and with the many different gaming consoles it can be hard to keep up! But if you have a computer, you’re covered. In fact, many popular video games are available on PCs and Macs, making it easy for kids to play the latest and greatest video games.
We know parents are more worried about screen time than ever, but many of these games are interactive and educational in addition to being entertaining. In fact, many of these games provide kids with the ability to brush up on their STEM and coding skills, meaning they won’t even know they are learning while they are gaming. From Sims to Minecraft we’ve got all the best PC video games for kids on this list. There’s even a vintage game or two for Mom and Dad!
We’ve rounded up the 10 best video games to play on the computer, below, for every interest and skill level, there are even games for the whole family and ones that kids can play virtually with others.
Few zoo simulators offer as much room for creativity as this one. As players load their virtual zoos with dozens of different species, the game’s “animal editor” allows kids to change not only the colors and fur patterns of their creatures, but the shapes and sizes of ears, noses, tails, paws and more. You want green and yellow striped giraffes? You got it. Once they’ve been created, interacting with and caring for the realistically animated animals is simple enough for even young kids to handle. [Also available on Wii]
Something suspicious is going on at a fancy-pants prep school, and everybody’s favorite teen sleuth is going to get to the bottom of it. One of the students really wants to be valedictorian, and is threatening to do away with her high-achieving competition, so Nancy Drew goes undercover. Players will help the girl detective scout out clues, moving from room to room and watching carefully for incriminating slips-of-thumb in text messages. As with the rest of the excellent games in the Nancy Drew PC series, players can get completely immersed in the mystery – and feel pretty darn good about finally catching the culprit.
Race for the title of “World’s Best Driver” in this fun, fast-paced PC game. Each car has its own special power and drivers can take part in special events and races in different locations across the world.
The video game that started the Lego revolution on consoles finally comes to PC. Players can re-enact all the Harry Potter films with cute Lego mini-figure versions of their favorite wizard heroes and villains. The magic combat and dark twists of the saga are made far more palatable to young children by the fact that the cast is made of toy bricks and simply break apart when they “die.” One of the coolest features has characters using loose Lego bricks to build new items during the course of the game. [Also available on Wii, Xbox 360 & PS3]
Virtual reality at its best. Kids can immerse themselves in their very own carnival and play games, earn tickets for virtual prizes and ride fun rides.
Appropriate for: Younger kids ESRB Rating: E for Everyone MySims arrives on the PC with loads of options. Up to eight players can take part in multiplayer sessions that include modifying each other’s architecture, playing minigames like hide-and-seek and tag, chatting and using emotes, and dancing. If you’re concerned about safety, don’t be: EA has included an invite-only multiplayer system, where players must manually add their buddies’ EA.com login names before they can play together online.
Kids will love the amazing graphics and the ability to play as some of their favorite NBA All Stars. Players can work on their virtual basketball skills with drills used by the actual pros.
This interactive game teaches kids coding skills and has become quite popular in the past few years. Kids place blocks in certain positions and go on adventures, creating their own world to play alone or with others. Kids can play in Creative Mode and have unlimited resources to build and create, or they can play in Survival Mode, where they have to defend against monsters and dig deep into the world to discover the rarest ores.