The Best Games of 2009 to Play With Your KidsS

Our finalists for Game of the Year have all been announced and continue to be hotly debated within Kotaku Tower as we try to come to a conclusion, but those three titles weren't the only ones of note in 2009.

We also have a slate of Editor's Choice awards to go through. Totilo talked about his Best Video Game Cut Scenes of 2009. Now I'm going through my pick for Best 2009 Games to Play With Your Kids.

Maybe this isn't relevant to all of you, but finding the sorts of gaming that I can and want to play with my 8-year-old son is a pretty big deal to me.

Winner: LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues

The Best Games of 2009 to Play With Your KidsS

Down time at the Crecente household for Tristan isn't all about video games. We keep a pretty tight lid on what he can play and for how long. That means no gaming during the week and limited gaming on weekends. It also means he really values the time he can spend playing a video game, which makes him pretty selective.

The game we played the most together this year? Probably LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. It's almost a cliche to say just how much I enjoy playing through a LEGO game with my son. Of course I do, but in this case neither Tristan nor I thought we were going to like the game.

At first blush it looks like a repackaging of the first Indy title. But the tweaks, most importantly the new split screen and build mode, make this game a vast improvement and one of the best in the series.

The one thing that hampered our enjoyment of the earlier LEGO games was the fact that you could accidentally (or deliberately) pull your co-op partner into danger and death. No longer with Indy 2, making this the perfect, fun and stress-free game to play with your children.

Runner-Up: Scribblenauts

The Best Games of 2009 to Play With Your KidsS

There is nothing better than having to tell your son to stop looking up words in a dictionary or using a thesaurus because it's time for him to go to bed.

Scribblenauts doesn't just encourage proper spelling and a broadening of your vocabulary, it also helps gamers young and old to think outside the box. And nothing says great family gaming like a set of good lateral thinking puzzles.

Honorable Mentions:

Flipnote Studio


This isn't a game, not really. But it's a great little application for the DSi, allowing you to quickly sketch and show off your illustrations and animations. It also encourages children to draw and think about basic story sequences. A big plus in my book.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The Best Games of 2009 to Play With Your KidsS


Fun to play alone and "delightfully" challenging to play with a rambunctious 8-year-old. This could have easily made the top of the list if it weren't for Tristan's penchant for grabbing me and tossing me off ledges at exactly the wrong moment... often.

The Beatles: Rock Band

The Best Games of 2009 to Play With Your KidsS

Tristan has long been a Rock Band fiend. He can't get enough of the game. It's the reason he hums bad 80s music everywhere we go and the inspiration behind nearly two years now of classical guitar lessons.

Even more, I love the impact the games have always had on his musical palate. So Trish and I, both big Beatles fans, were delighted when this game hit the house.

Tristan went from humming "Living on a Prayer" to learning the words to "I Am the Walrus."

Look for more special-category awards from the rest of the Kotaku team throughout the week.