Best Video Games of the Year: 2021

With the recent release of the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch OLED, this year gave us plenty of new ways to make memories as a family. Jeff Haynes, Senior Editor of Video Games & Web, has gathered his favorite games of the year for kids and teens. Whether you're looking for a little family-friendly competition, a soothing wilderness adventure, or a creative game-making outlet, these games are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Don't miss the rest of our 2021 favorites: Movies | TV Shows | Books | Apps

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure Poster Image
GAME

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

age 5+

Charming, relaxing adventure game with positive message.

See full review
TOEM Poster Image
GAME

TOEM

age 5+

Short and sweet adventure about the value of helping out.

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Windows (2021)
See full review
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Poster Image
GAME

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

age 8+

Kid-friendly classic gets fun add-ons for a new generation.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2021)
See full review
Dragon Quest Builders 2 Poster Image
GAME

Dragon Quest Builders 2

age 8+

Terrific building game with positive messages and teamwork.

See full review
Wonderbox: The Adventure Maker Poster Image
GAME

Wonderbox: The Adventure Maker

age 8+

Ambitious adventure title lets you create, share games.

Platforms: Apple Arcade (2021)
See full review
The Oregon Trai‪l‬ (Apple Arcade Edition) Poster Image
GAME

The Oregon Trai‪l‬ (Apple Arcade Edition)

age 10+

Stellar (and more accurate) reboot of a simulation classic.

Platforms: Apple Arcade (2021)
See full review
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Poster Image
GAME

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

age 10+

Spin-off sequel is rich, fun chapter to franchise lore.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows (2021)
See full review
Game Builder Garage Poster Image
GAME

Game Builder Garage

age 10+

Get tools to make your own games in stellar design package.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2021)
See full review
Psychonauts 2 Poster Image
GAME

Psychonauts 2

age 13+

Great tale explores mental health in fun yet sensitive way.

See full review
Demeo Poster Image
GAME

Demeo

age 13+

Tabletop adventure is the next best thing to being there.

Platforms: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows, HTC Vive (2022)
See full review
Life Is Strange: True Colors Poster Image
GAME

Life Is Strange: True Colors

age 16+

Narrative adventure deftly balances life's beauty and pain.

See full review