The best game consoles for kids of all ages

Whether you’re choosing your child’s first game console or your deciding whether they can have a PS4 yet, there’s plenty to consider. From thinking about how safe the games they’ll have access to are, how much to spend on the device, as well as how age-appropriate everything is.

Plenty of parents have questioned if gaming from a young age is safe, and a positive pass-time for the child. The truth is, that as long as it’s kept in moderation, games can help children develop certain skills such as problem-solving, and can help improve their hand-eye coordination.

Additionally, plenty of current developers and publishers are aware of their growing demographic and are providing to meet those needs, ensuring that the consoles are safe.

So, as long as it’s done under supervision, especially for younger ages, gaming can be an entertaining, safe, and fun way for your children to pass the time. That’s why we’ve decided to round up the best game consoles for kids of all ages; we’ve included devices for children just over five, up to consoles for 16-year-olds.

Our roundup includes a wide range of prices, too, so whether you’re looking for a terrific birthday present or you’re on a stricter budget, we’ve got you covered.

Related: The 18 best games on Xbox Game Pass to play right now

Best game consoles for kids shortlist:

• Nintendo Switch

• Nintendo Switch Lite

• PS4

• Xbox Series S

• SNES Classic Mini

• Nintendo 3DS XL

Best game consoles for kids in full:

Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch
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It comes as no surprise that this is the first ranked in our best game consoles for kids. It’s an intuitive and easy-to-use device, so it can be used from ages four upwards. For concerned parents, the Switch has activity logs so you can keep an eye on what your child is playing. You can also have parental controls to restrict what they do online.

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite
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An excellent and compact device for kids of all ages. It’s comfortable and incredibly portable. The only slight fallback is that you are restricted to handheld games. Additionally, this offers the same activity logs that the Switch does, so you’ll be able to monitor your child’s online activity and the content they access.

Best games for Switch and Switch Lite:

For a full breakdown, make sure you check out or best Nintendo Switch games guide.

Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S
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Now, you may think that this is one for the older ages, but Microsoft does have a wide range of safety features for younger kids. These include restricting online content, having filters to prevent them from accessing inappropriate content, and even blocking online purchases.

Best sports games for Xbox Series S:

For the full run down, make sure you check out our best sports games guide.

PS4

PS4

PS4
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The standard PS4 model is a great choice for children of all ages, although the newer model, the PS4 Pro, has HDR TV support and 4K. These added features are best suited for adults, and won’t really be appreciated by younger kids, so that’s why we recommend the PS4. It also has settings so you can block and restrict online content, set specific spending levels and limit them to age-appropriate content.

Best sports games for PS4:

Best racing games for PS4:

Need more options? We’ve rounded up the best racing games here and the best PS4 games here.

SNES Classic Mini

SNES Classic Mini

SNES Classic Mini
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We’ll admit, this is quite a retro console, but its easy-to-use and the simple controls make it an ideal game console for younger children. Lacking the digital and online aspect that other game consoles boast, there’s little to no need for parental safety features.

Best games for the SNES Classic Mini:

Nintendo 3DS XL

Nintendo 3DS XL

Nintendo 2DS XL
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The design may give you old-school vibes, but there’s no denying the appeal of retro and classic games. It’s also got a pretty attractive price tag, so if you’re looking to buy on a budget, this console is ideal. For concerned parents, the Nintendo 2DS XL also offers activity logs, similar to the Nintendo Switch. It’s incredibly sturdy, too, so you don’t need to be as careful as you would with other consoles, the only slight issue is the short battery life.

Best games for the Nintendo 3DS XL:

FAQs:

At what age should a child have a games console?

For them to have a good understanding of what they’re doing and easily be able to use the controller, we’d recommend no younger than five or six years of age.

Which console is more child-friendly?

The Nintendo Switch is definitely one of the most kid-friendly choices out there. If you’re looking for a console for a very young child, the SNES Classic Mini is also an excellent option.

What to read next:

The best rally game on PS4 and Xbox One

The 19 best Switch games for kids

Best tablet for kids

Isabel Martins is a Commercial Content Writer for What’s The Best, specialising in technology.

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