by Kevin P. McGrath
Give your kids what they really want this Christmas with one of these top video games. The best games will not only entertain your children for hours on end, but they'll also help educate and even improve motor skills. Whether you have an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Wii U, these are the games your kids will be asking for this Christmas.
Get up and move: Loved by children and applauded by parents, new interactive video games make use of the players' own body movements to control game play. This is done through the use of cameras connected to game consoles such as the Xbox Kinect, the Sony PlayStation camera, or Nintendo Wii sensor bar. This encourages kids to get off the couch and get moving with games that let them dance, run, and even do entire workout routines.
Portable games: For younger children, nothing is better than having your own personal gaming system. Nintendo DS, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo 3DS XL are small but powerful devices that kids can take with them in the car or slip into their backpack anywhere they go. The portable Nintendo DS systems will give your kids all the must have classic video games, like Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon. The PlayStation Vita gives you updated games like the "LEGO Movie Videogame," "FIFA 14," and the Ninjago games.
Puzzles and sandbox: Puzzles and open sandbox games are great to let your kids explore new worlds and put their creativity to use. "Minecraft" is among the most popular sandbox games. Kids can build endless structures and explore open-ended worlds. Puzzle games, like "Brain Age: Concentration Training" for the Nintendo DS or "Portal 2" for the PS3, will stretch the brain even further with hundreds of evolving puzzles.
Action and adventure: Some of the most popular video games among teens and young adults are first person shooters, like "Call of Duty: Ghosts," or adventure games, like "The Last of Us." These games pride themselves on cutting-edge graphics and constant excitement. Many of these games can also be played online with friends and family; try buying two copies to keep playing even after the holidays are done and out-of-town relatives have returned home.
Driving and sports: "Mario Kart 8" for the Nintendo Wii U is sure to be a big hit this holiday season. Building on past popularity, it has a lot of what people have loved in the Mario Kart series, along with the addition of new cars and drivers. Sports games are always popular and enjoyable for the whole family. This year, look for new releases of classic sports titles, including "Madden NFL 15," "FIFA 15," and "NBA 2K15." Each will have the latest teams, players, and music.
Update your console: Don't see any of the video games your kids are asking for? It might be time to upgrade your console. The newest generation of video game systems, which includes the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Wii U, will make a great gift that can be enjoyed for years to come. These new consoles will also help update your home entertainment system with a new way to watch streaming movies, browse the Web, and even video chat with your family.