Best Video Game Consoles for Kids

The video game industry is rife with great consoles for little ones. Brands like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo embrace the latest trends in the gaming industry. If you are looking for the best video game console for kids, then you’re in the place. We compiled the best consoles for kids in 2020.  

Keeping up with the best game console for kids is becoming harder for parents. It is a challenge to choose the best console while taking into account the perfect game for kids should not contain adult content or too much graphic and violent content. What’s more, it can even be challenging to find the best console if you are not familiar with consoles.

Fortunately, we have a scoop on what to look out for to get the best game console for kids. The best gaming system for kids depends on the interests and age of your kid. We did the heavy lifting to make it easy to choose the best game console for 8 year old and below. In this article, you get the best consoles for kids 3-8 years old in 2020. Regardless of whether you want a digital educator, a new family pastime, or a portable entertainment system, we’ve got you covered.

Quick Summary

  • Nintendo Switch is the perfect game systems for kids with support for use at home and on the go making it the best gaming system for kids. Nintendo is known for creating the best gaming consoles for family and friends. The Nintendo Switch lives to this expectation. It works as a stationary console by docking with your TV or as a portable video game console.
  • PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB game console is the go-to game consoles for kids if you want to enrich your child’s gaming experience. It comes with premium features such as HDR and 4K gaming technology. These features are important if your child prefers to play the latest games. With its multiple parental controls that let parents manage game time, spending limits, web browsing, and age limit, this PS4 Pro recommended for parents who keep tabs on their children’s gaming activities. It is one of the game systems for kids that give parents full control over what their kids play.
  • With Xbox One X 1TB, you get the most powerful video gaming console. It gives your kid access to multiple high-quality games and supports multiplayer online. Xbox X is perfect if your kid prefers action, sporty, adventure, or thriller games. Although most of the games on this console are for adults, there are many games designed for youngsters. If you are looking for the best video game consoles for kids, consider Xbox One X.
  • The Nintendo New 2DS XL is arguably the best game console for your kid. Regardless of whether the little gamer is ready to upgrade his/her gameplay or they want a bigger game display, this console provides a decent option. The clamshell design of this console provides a touch screen at the bottom with a high-resolution screen at the top. Although it can’t display 3-D images, it allows kids to play 3DS games. It includes educational games like Disney Art Academy that offers different art lessons varying from beginner to advanced. The capabilities of this console put it among the best game consoles for kids. It gives parents full control of what their kids access on this gaming console.
  • LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition provides a dynamic and impressive gaming experience. This is not a typical gaming console. It has a curriculum on which games and programs depend on. The games increase in difficulty to correspond to the skill-level and learning advances making it one of the best game systems for kids. LeapFrog remembers progress which helps keep your child engaged since it gives them a fresh experience whenever they pick the game up. This allows you to introduce this console to your kids as early as 3 years compared to other devices since it grows with them. So, it is the best game console for 3 year old.

Does Your Daughter/Son Really Need An Video Game Console?

Do your kids show interest in video games? If they are at the right age, you should consider buying them a game console. Video game console provides fun for the entire family, from your little gamers to parents who sneak in occasionally to play.  

Getting your child a video console is a great option if you don’t want your kid playing games on your tablet or smartphone. Video games on smartphones and tablets promote addictive behavior. You don’t want your child addicted to gaming at this age. Most publishers of video console games tend to avoid this business model. So, your child will be safer playing on consoles than on smartphones since consoles offer games designed for short, robust play sessions.

Gaming is now a popular and safe pastime among youngsters. Besides, some games like puzzles can improve problem-solving capabilities while cooperating games help youngsters build their social skills. Also, platformers can enhance spatial reasoning. So, your kid can learn a lot from playing video games on consoles.

How We Picked the Best Video Game Consoles for Kids?

To pick the best video game console for kids, we looked at the E-Rated games provided by each console, technical specifications, multiplayer functionality, educational content, and parental control.

E-Rated games

As part of evaluating the best gaming system for kids, we looked at the games available. There are age-appropriate choices that are popular. To make sure kids of different ages can play, we looked at the E-Rated games provided by each gaming system. It was clear Nintendo provides popular content among youngsters, while PlayStation is popular for fantasy content among teens. The best console will provide different E-rated games. However, some of the top picks provide excellent content for older children.

Technical specification

Reliable gaming consoles can run games without maxing out storage, glitches, or lag. Our favorite video game consoles can last years and support different entertainment avenues such as browsing and streaming videos. The consoles we recommend in this article will be an investment your child will grow with and will last at least a decade.

Multiplayer functionality

We looked for the best game consoles for kids that support multiplayer modes for both local and online games. Playing with imperfect teammates can help kids deal with frustration, disappointment, and develop patience. Team sports foster social skills so multiplayer games on video consoles try to accomplish the same. These games provide kids an opportunity to develop team-building skills.

Educational elements

Children learn continuously from their environment by absorbing information from all the things they play with. Some video games can teach kids language, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and logic among others. Some games provide explicit educational content that teaches kids new skills. Here, we favor gaming consoles that offer unique games, opportunities, and educational elements.

Parental control

To ensure your kids play age-appropriate games, we looked for game systems for kids that provide parental control. This prevents your kid from playing without authorizing them and ensures the consoles don’t run games above the specified age. Also, parental control restricts access to the internet and disables in-game purchases.

Best Video Game Consoles for 3/4/5/6/7/8-Year-Old: Our Picks in 2020

1. Best Console for Families with Young Children: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has built a reputation over the past three decades as a family-friendly console. So, having Nintendo Switch as the best game console for 4-year-old and above is no surprise. This is a hybrid console that acts as a portable system and a home console. Nintendo Switch can dock with television to allow kids to play in HD; also kids can play in handheld mode. In tabletop mode, Nintendo Switch allows children to play with others. It comes with Joy-Con grips that can function as one or two conventional controllers.

With Nintendo Switch, kids can challenge other users to compete online or connect up to 8 systems to play. Nintendo Switch provides the best video game console for kids and families. Its parental control feature allows parents to manage how children play. What’s more, it has activity logs that let you track what video games your little one is playing, and at what time. It has a numeric child lock. In the package, you get two controllers, grip, dock, AC adapter, HDMI cable, and wrist straps.

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What We Like:

  • Versatile console – Switch is a travel-friendly console that supports gaming at home and on the go
  • Includes favorite games for kids – It comes with classics such as Pokemon, Splatoon, and Mario
  • Has parental settings

What We Dislike:

  • It has limited power – This limits the games children can enjoy on this console

2. Best for Enriching Gaming Experience: PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console

With PlayStation 4 Pro, you get a slimmer and lighter game console for kids than any other PlayStation console. Also, its impressive 1TB storage packs a punch. It is appropriate for the entire family, from youngsters to experienced gamers. This console provides insanely crisp and detailed imagery for the vast game library of video games for kids. Besides, the console supports streaming services for movies, TV channels, and Spotify music. So, PS4 Pro doubles up as an entertainment center with its PlayStation Store. The exclusive games on this console are mainly role-playing and fantasy-oriented compared to Nintendo and Xbox. Some of the popular games include God of War, Spider-Man, Persona 5, Yakuza 6, and The Last Guardian among others.

Parental controls in this console let you decide if your child should access online features. Also, you get to set the age rating level, which allows you to customize its use to your kid’s personality and age. PS4 Pro allows you to set a restriction passcode. What’s more, PS4 Pro supports 4K and HDR TV for interesting family fun. Its faster frame rates and graphics rival the settings of most intense PC gaming units. PS4 Pro is a plug-n-play game consoles for kids that makes it easy to use. The package of this app contains a controller, power cable, USB cable, HDMI cable.

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What We Like:

  • Supports both gaming and streaming services
  • Has high graphic processing power
  • PS4 Pro is the best game system for 7-year-old

What We Dislike:

  • Doesn’t support previous-generation games

3. Best for Gaming and Streaming: Xbox One X 1Tb Console

Arguably, Xbox One X is the most advanced video game console for kids available. Its crystal clear playback feature makes all characters appear realistic. The resolution in this console is 40% more than in any other video game console available. What’s more, it is powered by an 8-core AMD CPU that clocks 2.3 GHz. Also, it is equipped with 12 GB RAM memory. These features make this gaming console great for children and adults. Also, it includes 4K and HDR graphics in addition to Dolby Atmos surround audio. The setup brings gaming to life.  

The exclusive game catalog for Xbox has more genre compared to Playstation. It has some of the favorite games for both kids and family, such as Forza Horizon 4 and Sea Thieves at the top of its charts. The ecosystem appeals to casual gamers. Other popular games on Xbox include Halo Wars 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Halo 5: Guardians, and Sunset Overdrive. So, if your kids are into racing and techy warfare games, then Xbox is the best console for them. Xbox One X is the best game console for 6-year-old  and also the best game system for 7 year old who likes playing tech-focused games.

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What We Like:

  • The most powerful console available in terms of processing power
  • Supports multiplayer gaming online
  • Besides gaming, Xbox supports streaming on Netflix and Twitch

What We Dislike:

  • It is an expensive console

4. Best for Gaming on the Go: Nintendo New 2DS XL

If you want the best video game console for kids which is portable, then the Nintendo New 2DS XL is a decent choice. It has a clamshell closure that protects its screens. Although it can fit in your pocket, it is quite big. If you are looking for the best game system for 5-year-old, then Nintendo New 2DS XL is a good choice. The console enjoys a longer battery life that allows your kid to enjoy gaming on-the-go. This console will be a darling for your child. Besides, the console comes with enough suite of games, both new and old. Some of the child-friendly games include Super Mario 3D, Detective Pikachu, Mario kart 7, and iterations of Pokemon and Zelda. Also, it allows you to install apps such as Hulu, web browser, and Netflix. All the content is regulated through parental control settings.

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What We Like:

  • Backed by a huge library of child-friendly games
  • Budget-friendly
  • Perfectly portable console

What We Dislike:

  • Doesn’t support 3-D

5. Best for Educational Content and Young Kids: LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition

Leapfrog Epic Academy Edition functions as a learning console for kids. The design of the content on this console is aimed at helping children learn skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, mathematical reasoning, music and rhythm, and coding. It comes with books, games, art, videos, and puzzle apps that supplement your kid’s learning process. LeapFrog Epic allows you to purchase and download apps that come with your kid’s favorite characters from popular programs like PAW Patrol or Frozen.

It transcends the standard subject matter to provide programs that support the development of daily routines, social-emotional development, understanding health and wellness, and recognizing facial expressions. LeapFrog Academy Edition comes with a parent dashboard for accessing insights into your child’s progress as well as specific skill levels. Also, if you have several children sharing the same console, LeapFrog lets you set up to 5 profiles.

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What We Like:

  • Heavy-duty design – This console is as child-proof as possible. It comes with a screen that is shatter-proof and protective silicon that will protect it from toddler tantrums.
  • Versatile – It can be used by your kid from the age of 3 years to over 8 years. So, it literally grows with your kid.
  • Provides unmatched learning content of any gaming console

What We Dislike:

  • LeapFrog is an outlier in the video game console industry – It can’t compete with mainstream gaming consoles
  • Costs add up quickly with monthly fees and purchase of additional apps

Conclusion

If you are already in the market for the best video game console for kids (3-8 years old), you may be overwhelmed by the multitude of consoles available. Fortunately, we have shown you the best video game consoles for both boys and girls. Chances are, your daughter or boy will play with it more often than you. So, you should ensure the console provides your child with hours of fun. Also, it should be child-friendly enough to support parental control. Go ahead, pick the console you feel suits your child based on their interests and age.

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