Here Are the Top 10 Must-Have Games for Holiday 2011 (If You’re a Parent, That Is)

on November 2, 2011 4:30 PM

I wonder who decides when to dedicate an entire month to a cause? For instance, November is Family Video Game Month and I didn’t even know. And I love video games! I know: Shocker.

Anywho, the folks over at Family Friendly Video Games have compiled a list of the top ten family-friendly titles currently out or that will be out in time for the holiday season. I shared the same sentiment as one of our DualShockers editors when I saw the list and thought “Wow, this is a surprisingly good list.” Yes, there is some obligatory kid-friendly fare in this list — but I wouldn’t shy away from a good Sesame Street game that explored The Count’s past. You know the guy’s done a person or two in.

But enough of my rambling. Hit the jump for the full list (in alphabetical order.) If for nothing else, you can intercept your parents/grandparents/uncle and aunt (you get the idea) and point them toward some of the more inspiring titles on the list.

Camping Mama – She’s made cakes, tended to gardens and even taken the odd babysitting job or two, but now it appears Mama’s about to start roughing it. (Nintendo DS. ESRB: E)

Disneyland Adventures – If you can’t go to Disneyland, bring the Magic Kingdom into your living room. The only downside? No churros. Well, at least there’s a zero percent chance you’ll go flying of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Then again, in a video game, that would actually be pretty awesome.  (Xbox 360 [Kinect]. ESRB: E)

Everybody Dance – This is where things get edgy. As the only T-rated game on the list, Family Friendly Video Games advises parents to make sure their children are at least in middle school before playing. I totally agree: When I have kids, there will be a strict “no gyrating of any sort until you’re in sixth grade” rule in my house. (PS3 [Move]. ESRB: T)

Just Dance 3 – Family Friendly Video Games tells parents to watch out for the “handful of songs with colorful lyrics.” Let’s just be glad there’s no old-school Blink-182 track pack to download (for the children’s sake, of course. I personally can’t get enough of “The Party Song.”) (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii. ESRB: E10+)

Mario Kart 7 – The worst we’ve ever seen in a Mario Kart game is blue shell explosions, so it’s understandable that Mario and company’s next foray into the racing scene is appropriate for everyone. (Nintendo 3DS. ESRB: Pending, but Family Friendly Video Games is expecting an E here)

Rayman Origins – With up to four-player cooperative play, this is an obvious title for the list. The one thing Rayman  would have on 2009’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii might be the fact that the latter title caused more fights and shoulder bruises than any other game in history according to a survey I did on my family that Christmas. (PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS. ESRB: E10+)

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster – Kinect controls help you navigate Cookie Monster and Elmo through a story-book inspired narrative. What Family Friendly Video Games doesn’t know is that Cookie Monster flies into a rage whenever Elmo tells him cookies are only a “sometimes food” and mild-to-ridiculously violent sequences ensue. Disclaimer: I like to lie about games to get a laugh. (Xbox 360 [Kinect]. ESRB: E)

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure – Finally, Spyro gets a game where you scan toys in order to play with them in the game world. What? Am I the only one who was looking forward to this? Did you even try the AR card games on your Nintendo 3DS? (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS. ESRB: E10+)

Sonic Generations – The Blue Blur’s return to form is definitely colorful and kid-friendly. The most I see this game getting away with is flatulent chili-dog humor. That’s how edgy Sonic has become. (PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS. ESRB: E)

Twister Mania – As we reported, this title allows you to play Twister-themed mini-games with your Kinect. I’d expect the folks at Family Friendly Video Games to give this title a warning that stands in contrast to the one for Everybody Dance: No playing with anyone outside the family when Mom and Dad are out if you’re over the age of 12. (Xbox 360 [Kinect].ESRB: E)

So there you have it. Is anyone else baffled that Battlefield 3 didn’t make the list?

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.