Five-year olds can have some trouble with games. Their fingers aren’t as dextrous as older siblings, their ability to perceive what’s happening on the screen is limited, and their reading is too weak for on-screen instructions. That said, there are plenty of games that five-year olds can enjoy alone or with parents—and they’re not as bad as you probably think. Here’s a quick numbered list of five PS4 games suitable for five-year olds.
Skylanders on PS4 has four games to choose from. From oldest to newest they are Swap Force, Trap Team, Superchargers, and Imaginators. Swap Force featured characters whose tops and bottoms could mix, giving kids the ability to create sort-of-custom skill sets between top and bottom skills. Trap Team allowed trapper Skylanders to capture enemies and use them to fight. Kind of like Pokemon, I guess. Superchargers featured cars and in my kids’ experience, was the worst of the bunch because the car levels aren’t fun. Imaginators features completely custom characters stored in special crystals.
Skylanders is the original “toys to life” game, meaning you don’t just buy the game. You buy the characters. And there are hundreds of them. Older characters have been popping up at dollar stores for $4, including the rare and otherwise costly Giants characters. Skylanders is a yearly release, like sports games and Call of Duty, meaning a new one comes every holiday season. It’s hard to recommend Skylanders to parents because of the enormous cost of maintaining a collection, but my kids play with their Skylander toys much more than they play the actual game, so it feels like it’s still a worthwhile purchase.
Injustice 2 is rated “T” by the ESRB, so here’s a link to the Injustice 2 ESRB page. If it’s rated for teenagers, why include it in a “five-year olds” game list? Because a five-year old probably knows Batman or Superman by now, maybe the Joker or Harley Quinn. If not, he or she will learn quickly.
The game has a “very easy” difficulty setting where pressing nothing but square is enough to win. The game has weapons, a little blood, some alcohol references, and sometimes a bad word thrown in there, but it’s incredibly fun and has very memorable characters.
A fantastic game to play alongside your five-year-old. LEGO Worlds doesn’t have the recognizable LEGO sets, but it has a solid exploration and building mechanic. Unlike the licensed LEGO games (LEGO Batman, LEGO Marvel, etc), there are no primary objectives in this game. Like Minecraft, you explore, build, destroy, and discover new things before moving on to a new world. You do need to collect golden bricks to get access to larger worlds, and you obtain golden bricks by doing quests, defeating strong enemies, or digging deep into the earth to find buried treasure.
I feel like I’ve talked about Moon Hunters almost as much as I’ve talked about Crossout, but it really is an amazing game to play with kids. There’s a lot of reading involved, so it’s not good without an adult or older sibling, but the way Moon Hunters is designed it’s best experienced with your child anyway. Moon Hunters asks you to make ethical choices over and over again, giving you different character progression based on how you answer the questions. Choose to abandon a baby animal or take it with you. Or choose to kill a cultist or try to reason with him. Or choose to help the village burning or pursue the attackers, leaving everyone to fend for themselves.
The choices you make impact how the game plays out, and each time you play it only takes 30-40 minutes to reach the end. Each time you replay the game you’ll have a new experience, and your past experiences can influence your future games.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
This one might be a little difficult for five-year olds, but if he or she has a bit more dexterity this can be a really fun game to play together. It’s kind of like the old tower defense games everyone played, but it’s in a Plants vs Zombies world and in first person. The first person perspective is what makes it a little harder for kids. If Plants vs Zombies is too much for your little one, there’s always Peggle 2. But I can’t seriously recommend Peggle 2 because.. come on.. It’s Peggle 2.
Seriously though, Peggle 2 is pretty fun for kids.