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PS 2 Game Recommendations for Children Under 8? (As of 12/2006)

Here’s a list of game recommendations for my nephew. Surprisingly, it took a long time to compile a kid-friendly game list. (Or I could have asked someone at a used game store–nah, that would have been too easy). He already owns Harry Potter (so so), Lego Star Wars (super great!), NBA Basketball (great!), Jak & Daxter, and a drag racing game. Feel free to add titles here. See also this discussion and this reference guide . Here’s a good list of child-friendly games. Of course, one great thing about doing the research is that I end up playing these games too.

I ended up going with Kingdom Hearts 1. Simpsons Hit & Run and Stuart Little 3 Big Photo Adventure. Here is my list:

  1. Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal (well-regarded and cheap; other games in the series are supposed to be good too). One advantage is that it allows multiple players.
  2. Jak & Daxter, cheap, 3 in the series. also highly regarded. Start with the first episode if you can. Update: They say to avoid Part 2 and Part 3.
  3. A Dog’s Life (definitely the most interesting sounding game, but also $30). You play a dog roaming through the city. Recommended, but some felt the game was too short, and way too much bathroom humor for young people.
  4. Stuart Little 3 Big Photo Adventure (based on the famous children’s novel by EB White). I eventually bought this. Some expressed reservations about the gameplay.
  5. Cookie & Cream; innovative game that needs 2 players. One is a bunny, the other is a teddy bear, and together they must solve problems. Might be a little above an 8 year old’s level, but doesn’t sound too much above. Update: This probably is NOT a good game for an 8 year old.
  6. Madagascar (well regarded, $25),
  7. simpsons hit n run ((somewhat mature and based on cartoon, but very imaginative and intellectual). Recommended. I bought this. Update: My nephew loves this game, but I didn’t find it particularly interesting. There’s a lot of movement and crashing, not much strategizing. Still, there’s a lot of complexity which is not too challenging. One player only.
  8. Sonic Mega Collection plus–not too stimulating intellectually, but very fun; classic games from the 1990s.
  9. shrek 2 (well-regarded, but some disagreement, cheap!)
  10. Godzilla Saves The Earth (rated teen, but supposed to be good clean fun suitable for younger ages,). expensive $30
  11. Kingdom Hearts & Kingdom Hearts 2, a cross between Final Fantasy using Disney characters. Supposed to be innovative and fun, though gaming purists decry the merging of these two disparate worlds. (the original was supposed to be more fun, though the sequel has better graphics and was shorter). Update: Even though I ended up buying it, I later found out it is too complex for a child of that age. I looked at it again; it is a decent game, but you have to do a lot of reading–which might weary a child who cannot read well. Also, there were a lot of cut scenes–this grew old quickly! One player only!
  12. Mega Man Anniversary Collection, a collection of several games popular in the 90s.
  13. Ico, a visually rich game about a boy trapped inside a castle who needs to solve puzzles to escape. More of a puzzle game than a twitch game. Update: A person who played it said it is too hard for an 8 year old.
  14. Mister Mosquito, innovative premise where the character is a mosquito who sucks/bites members of a Japanese family. Reviewers applaud the overall concept, though they say the novelty quickly wears off and gameplay is limited. Update: A person who played it said it is too hard for an 8 year old.
  15. Magic Pengel, innovative game with a cool effect where a creature you draw will appear to come alive and be your pet throughout the game. Some have complained about gameplay, though overall it has positive reviews.
  16. Spyro (any). Young dragon has to save friends/world from various meanies. Platformer like Mario, and perfect for the under-10 set.
  17. Worms 3D
  18. SSX. first is best.
  19. Katamari Dimacy
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • kplawver 12/12/2006, 6:29 pm

    The two Katamari Damacy (Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari) games are great for little kids. I wouldn’t get them either Kingdom Hearts game. They’re both too long, and some of the controls are frustrating for little kids. Ico is probably a little too hard, creepy and slow moving for little kids as well. I haven’t played the others, but my seven year old son loves the Hot Shots Golf games and this silly little Japanese automotive RPG called ChoroQ.

  • rjnagle 12/12/2006, 6:32 pm

    Thanks. I forgot to mention he already has Katamari Damacy. Well, I already bought Kingdom Hearts 🙂 Maybe I’ll be playing more of it than my nephew will. My nephew is a precocious 6 year old. He just zipped through Harry Potter; I couldn’t believe how fast he did it.

  • Jim 12/12/2006, 7:25 pm

    A good strategy for identifying kid’s games is to look first at the Nintendo Gamecub and Wii selection — then try to find the same titles for PS2. Nintendo’s systems are much more kid-friendly (and girl-friendly) than the Playstation and Xbox.

    As for Katamari, I love it too — but haven’t tried We Live Katamari.

  • PSP Games 6/6/2008, 2:30 am

    Thanks for the list dude, really useful.

  • Speed up Windows Vista 6/26/2008, 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the list. I have a 7 year old boy and he has a PS2. Just tell him that there’s PS3 out or won’t be wanting to play Madagascar lol

  • Shopping UK 8/8/2008, 4:03 am

    I’d agree with Simpson’s Hit and Run, my son absolutely loved it. We’re thinking about getting a Wii now, any recommendations for that?

  • Lonni 8/12/2008, 12:31 pm

    Nice list. The bad thing is that kids very often preer to play games that are absolutely not for their age. My son keeps getting games from his friends. So it is higly recommended to ALWAYS control carefully what games your kid is playing.

  • Jason Chalky 11/17/2009, 12:24 am

    We need to get an updated list for the new systems.Their is hardly any games to play that are actually good games for younger children.

  • Diesel V. 2/8/2010, 3:45 am

    A Dog’s Life – I think this is a best game for children. It learns them care and resprect of another peoples, and even animals. 🙂

  • david 2/14/2015, 9:38 pm

    Kingdom hearts is not a kids game either is mega man my brother and myself are gurus at mega man and still have problems

  • Jellyflop491 1/17/2017, 10:29 pm

    Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal is definitely not a game for 8 year olds, that would make the rating ‘E’, besides the first three Ratchet games are for 12 year olds and Deadlocked being a game for 13 year olds. They’re purely Teen-Rated.

  • MARIOfanatic 1/17/2017, 10:43 pm

    How the fuck is jak and daxter a kids game? they have like full on adult humour and shit like that, same as the R&C games but only one step higher, they didnt even put sly cooper on the list and all of that are for like 4 year olds. If your talking about the first jak game then my bad cos’ thats a little kids game.

  • Jellyflop491 1/18/2017, 1:25 am

    Ratchet and Up Your Arsenal is not a game for 8 year olds, besides the first three games are for 12 year olds and Deadlocked being a game for 13 year olds. They’re purely Teen-Rated.

  • Isa The King of Rebels 1/18/2017, 2:22 am

    Well you could try getting your 8 yr old nephew Jak and Daxter, but I wouldn’t let him get Jak II or 3 until his a teenager.

  • Unknown Caller 5/18/2017, 11:42 pm

    I definitely agree with Jellyflop491, Ratchet & Clank is not a kids game, it’s got quite a lot to be rated Teen, and especially this Ratchet game, is the one of the most adult ones.

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