When I was 18 I used work as a bingo caller and after work I loved playing the video games in the arcade. This was a long time ago and *gasp* there were no games consoles available to play at home. Well, actually there was the ZX Spectrum but it wasn’t really like the console gaming you see today. Think ‘Pong’
My favourite Arcade game was Dragon’s Lair featuring Daring Dirk on his amazing adventure through the lair to rescue his Princess Daphne from the Dragon. I completed the game Christmas 1983.
We didn’t really have a games console at home until the kids came along. First it was the NES, then the Super NES, then the N64, Gamecube, Wii and WiiU. It was a while before we started adding Playstation to the collection but we’ve had them all too, and the Xbox. The Nintendo consoles have always been the family favourites though as we’ve always enjoyed playing games together.
As the kids have grown and become more ardent gamers, they even play ones in Japanese because they’ve not been released in this country, we still make time to play together and include the little ones too.
So here is my list of our all time favourite family games. Yes, we do get the old consoles out sometimes but a lot of them can be downloaded on the newer consoles too.
1. Super Smash Bros
Super Smash Bros was realeased in 1999, followed by Super Smash Bros Melee in 2001, Super Smash Bros Brawl in 2008 and Super Smash Bros for WiiU in 2014.
This has to be the Little Man’s favourite family game. It’s basically a key bashing knock ’em out the ring game. There are tons of characters to choose from (well, 51 in the latest edition) and loads of different playing fields. You can even make your own.
All the family join in with the battles and we have loads of fun. I like playing a Villager (from Animal Crossing, another favourite game of mine) you plant a seed, grow a tree and then chop it down and throw it at your enemy! Of course, it is possible, if your enemy happens to be another villager, for them to catch the tree and put it in their pocket….then they can throw it back at you!
2. Mario Kart
Marion Kart is always a huge favourite. we started with Super Mario Kart back in 1992 and have since enjoyed Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8. It’s just a super fun family racing kart game with loads of characters to play on lots of different courses including the infamous Rainbow Road.
You start by choosing your character, then your kart and finally your course, or set of courses if doing a grand prix. Then it’s time to race avoiding obstacles like chain chomps, penguins and snowmen and picking up items from the item boxes which you can use to attack the other racers, like shells, or help your race, like speed-up mushrooms.
I remember my older kids mocking me in the earlier days because I would move my controller around like a steering wheel, but I had the last laugh when they brought out the steering wheel for the Wii remote, I’d had years of practice. We all get very competitive when playing Mario Kart, but it’s always good fun.
3. Mario Party
First released in 1989, Mario Party is now on it’s 10th Addition. We love it! A classic board game set up, you roll the dice take your move and collect things along the way. There are also mini-games galore where you all compete against each other (or with each other against the computer) and games of chance. Between the games you see most of Nintendo’s much loved characters such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Gumbas, Ba-bombs the list goes on and on.
As some of the games can be a little complicated they are not generally aimed at younger children but with the family helping out we’ve had no problems playing this together with the little ones so long as they know how to hold a controller. It also teaches kids about fair play, taking turns and what it feels like to lose…because not everyone wins, but playing is loads of fun.
4. Mario and Sonic Olympics
Mario and Sonic first appeared at the Beijing Olympics with a game released for the Wii in 2007. We didn’t catch up with them until the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010. The girls absolutely adore this game and still play it loads. They love the ice skating and have both gained a passion for Tchaikovsky because of this game. We also have Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics which is much played, we all get very competitive but just as in any sport we have different strengths and weaknesses. Ironically, I’m good at swimming and I can’t swim. We have yet to buy the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi but I’m sure we will.
5. Just Dance
There is nothing more fun than getting out our wii remotes and putting on a Just Dance Game. You can get a little exercise while you follow the characters on screen and bop along to some groovy tunes. With up to four people playing at the same time it’s a great family game but one that the girls particularly love as all little girls love dancing. There are plenty of versions available with songs old an new to choose from, and if you do well you get rewarded with more songs to dance to. The characters on the screen are fun and pretty easy to follow. You can choose to do a harder version if you wish or if you are feeling lazy like Daddy you can sit on the settee and wave the remote around and still score ok. The game is also fun at parties.
Do you have family gaming fun? What are your favourite games? Have you tried any of our favourites?