What to Look for in a Family Gaming Console

Each of these video game systems can host games the whole family will enjoy.

Two boys playing video games
Find a bonding opportunity in sharing screen time.Pexels/Jessica Lewis

Modern-day video games and the accompanying technology are connecting people in ways we haven’t seen before. Gaming no longer needs to be a solitary activity, with consoles and games that allow the whole family to get in on the fun.

The Pro-Quality Gaming Console

PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console
The PlayStation 4 is the fourth-best-selling game console of all time and the best-selling of this gaming generation.PlayStation

With its long-standing history of video-dominance dating back to the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 4 continues Sony’s storied tradition of delivering excellence through top-notch exclusive games and powerful specs. One feature that makes it great for families is the capability to be an all-in-one entertainment hub where the whole family can access streaming TV and movies, music and more.

Digital Console

Xbox One S 1TB All-Digital Edition Console (Disc-Free Gaming)
If you have an Alexa in your home, the Xbox One S is compatible with it.Microsoft

As Sony and the PlayStation 4’s primary competitor, Microsoft and the Xbox One S consistently gives its Japanese counterpart a run for its money, boasting a prominent, dedicated fan base—for good reason. This version of the Xbox One S grants gamers immediate access to a variety pack of games, including the kid-friendly Minecraft and the ever-popular Fortnite. You can also purchase any variety of bundles with other popular kid- and adult-friendly games.

Retro Gaming Consoles

Nintendo Entertainment System NES Classic Edition
The remastered Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) comes with 30 preloaded games, including classics like Super Mario Bros. and the family-favorite PAC-MAN.Nintendo

Maybe you’re not into having your children play new games with hyper-realistic graphics and the complicated control systems. Perhaps today’s games are too fast-paced for your younger kids, and you’re looking for something that’s a little easier to grasp. Thankfully, Nintendo brought back the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short. The nice thing about this version is it’s more compact than the original, and you can forget about the bulky game cartridges, too—it’s all digital.

The Portable Player

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red
The Switch is among the most unique gaming consoles ever created, granting the same quality of play on the go and at home.Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch has become one of the most popular gaming consoles to have ever been created—and its popularity isn’t waning. With its ability to maintain gameplay quality on the move and at home, combined with its unique collection of family-friendly games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there’s something for players of all ages and experience levels.