Looking for some amazing games to keep your kid(s) occupied while off school? We've rounded up some of the best PC titles they'll likely enjoy when not absorbing information in class. We'll include RPGs, action platformers, open-world, sports games, and more.
Minecraft (opens in new tab)
This wouldn't be a kid's PC games collection if we didn't have Minecraft included. This creative greenhouse allows one to lose countless hours adventuring into the procedurally generated unknown, crafting countless items, taking down enemies and bosses, and even building cities with hundreds of different blocks.
Keep Your Head Up
Cuphead is one of those gems, taking us back to the 1930s with stunning visuals, thanks to the hard work poured into painstakingly painting backgrounds and other assets. It's all about defeating unique bosses and overcoming platforming sections, but it's not easy, far from it.
Rocket League is simply bags of fun. Think of it as football, but instead of players who prefer to dive around on the floor, you've got customizable RC cars and a massive ball. The aim of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team while defending your own goal should they go on the offensive.
Ever played Sim City? Cities: Skylines is the spiritual successor. If not, this is a city management game where the objective is to start with a fresh plot of land and build a city of your own. You'll be responsible for roads, power generation, water, sewage, zoning residential, commercial, and industrial, as well as dealing with tragic disasters that can occur at any given moment.
Forza Horizon 4 is an incredibly beautiful racing game set in the stunning Scottish countryside. Playground Games did something magical by improving this online game's social aspect, making it more fun to team up with friends or new people in an open-world arcade racing experience.
The Spyro Trilogy makes a return in this remastered collection, featuring the purple dragon with an attitude of the same name. The Spyro series (and there are three games in this package) include some light-hearted humor, memorable characters, fun platforming, and simple puzzles to keep even adults entertained for hours.
Live Another Life
If your child enjoys losing their mind into vast open worlds where they can immerse themselves and live a virtual life, you'll want to get them on the next available bus ride to Stardew Valley. This indie classic is a beautiful, pixel art PC title with plenty to do, including fishing, mining, exploring the world, growing crops, raising animals, and much more.
Dig & Explore
Terraria is a little like Minecraft, but so much more in its own right. It may have come out in 2011, but this game still holds out to this day, attracting thousands of players daily. It's an open-world RPG where you need to survive, craft more than a thousand items, defeat bosses, build your own house and a home for some friendly companions, and so much more—a must-have for any RPG fan.
SEGA tried repeatedly to keep the famous blue hedgehog alive in modern games. Still, they just never clicked with the community and broader gaming world like the original series in the 90s. That is until Christian Whitehead entered Act 2 with a pitch to create an entirely new adventure in 2D. It's amazing!
Overwatch is one for the older kids. It's a family-friendly multiplayer shooter that rewards teamwork above all else. As a class-based shooter, players must work together to overcome the enemy across various six-versus-six objective-oriented game modes. Overwatch's colorful cast of Pixar-style characters is unique in various ways, and it synergizes with other players' abilities and skills.
Be The Best!
Chances are, your kid is already playing (or has played at some point) Fortnite. It's a massive game worldwide, especially with the younger audience. The popular battle royale mode's goal is to land on a map with countless other players and battle it out in cartoonish graphics to be the last-man-standing. The best part? It's free!
Stay Out Of The Kitchen
Ever heard the phrase "too many cooks in the kitchen"? Well, that sums up Overcooked! 2 in a nutshell. This hectic restaurant simulator tasks you and up to three friends to manage the runnings of a kitchen with plenty of orders rolling in. The thing is, not every level is a walk in the park, and the Ever Peckish monster is threatening to destroy the world.
Into The Depths
Subnautica is an exceptional exploration game, crash-landing the player on an unknown planet with unfamiliar terrain, unexplored depths, and strange wildlife. While some smaller creatures will appear more afraid of you, it's the larger predators that will make your oxygen levels quickly drop with the increased heart rate.
Minecraft met Diablo
Minecraft Dungeons is a unique experience. It's what Diablo would be like if Mojang developed it. Think action RPG with plenty of loot to obtain, but with all the aesthetics of the block world. It's not perfect but will keep your kid entertained for hours.
Sea of Thieves is an action-adventure game developed by Rare. You're to assume the role of a pirate and complete voyages from different trading companies to become the ultimate pirate legend. Just watch out for other players. Best for your kid to play with friends!
If we're to make a few suggestions...
Honestly, everyone loves Minecraft (opens in new tab) and for a very good reason. There's just so much to do in the game. If you need to buy a PC game that will occupy your kid's time and has no age requirement, you're good to go with Minecraft. The community is also mostly supportive and welcoming, which will serve as a testbed for playing online with others.
My second recommendation goes to Sonic Mania, the 2D successor to Sonic The Hedgehog 3 we've all been waiting for. Most kids these days won't get the chance to play the original trilogy, but Sonic Mania is almost as good with a killer soundtrack. Gotta go fast!
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.