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The best video games for kids

Your ultimate list of the season's hottest video games for kids.

By Nadine Silverthorne
The best video games for kids

The best video games for kids

New video games

We've got the top recommendations for the little gamer in your life!

Here are 8 brand new video games that will put a smile on your kid's face. From pint-sized princess lovers to little Lego fanatics, we've got everyone covered for the holiday.

A version of this article appeared in our November issue with the headline "Toy Guide: Video Games," pp. 112.

The best video games for kidsPhoto: chuckcollier/iStockphoto

Lego Lord of the Rings

The Lego suite of games lets you play through the storylines from some of the world's most-loved series, including Batman, Harry Potter and now, Frodo, Gandalf and friends. Featuring "cartoon violence," meaning bad guys getting smashed into Lego pieces (no blood or gore,) you complete puzzles to battle evil forces. 

NOTE: We had originally published a December 31st release date, but we're pleased to announce that the game will be available on November 13, 2012.

Ages: 10+
Available for: Nintendo 3DS, Playstation 3, Wii and XBOX 360, from $30-60
Where to Buy? futureshop.ca

The best video games for kids

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Just Dance 4

The Just Dance franchise gets better with each release, and this one boasts 2011/12 hits like "Call Me, Maybe?" and "Moves Like Jagger." Fun dance moves and catchy tunes get us working up a sweat in a game we can play together. No points for eye rolling, but you can always challenge your kid to a dance-off in battle mode to work out your frustrations. 

Ages: 10+
Available for: Playstation 3, Wii, Wii U and XBOX 360 Kinect, $40
Where to Buy? thesource.ca

The best video games for kids

Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition

The little pink ball that could, Kirby, turned 20 this year (meaning some of us actually played the original!). To celebrate, Nintendo has released many of the historic Kirby games in one anthology for the Wii, complete with a book of Kirby's history for super fans. 

We love the co-operative multiplayer gameplay and the retro Nintendo cuteness of it all. 

Ages: 10+
Available for: Wii, $40
Where to Buy? Amazon.ca

The best video games for kids

Skylanders: Giants

With collectable toys that connect with your console and come to life onscreen, the original Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure became an instant hit with the tween set. Now, Skylanders: Giants promises to be bigger than the first, both in the size of the characters and in popularity. Those who have the first game can still use their original character packs. 

Ages: 10+
Available for: Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Playstation 3 and XBOX 360, $75
Where to Buy? futureshop.ca

The best video games for kids

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Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure

In this easy game for young princess lovers, players get to be a fairy godmother-in-training. After making a magical mishap, our heroine goes through various Disney Princess storylines to correct her mistakes. The game includes customizing your character and earning points towards upgrades to wardrobe or room decor.

We love that we get to swim alongside Ariel and hang with the mice from Cinderella. 

Ages: 6+
Available for: Nintendo 3DS and Wii, $40
Where to Buy? thesource.ca

The best video games for kids

Kinect Nat Geo TV

Learn about North American wildlife from the experts at National Geographic, then become a beat like a wolf or a bear and run across the snowy tundra. Perfect for the kid who always has his or her nose buried in books about animals and nature.

Ages: 10+
Available for: XBOX 360 Kinect, $30
Where to Buy? Indigo.ca

The best video games for kids

Sesame Street TV

With Kinect's ability to put players right in the game (it scans your body with a two-camera system,) this is the ultimate entry-level game. Add the fact that Sesame Workshop is involved and you have one educational, active game that gets kids interacting with Big Bird and the gang. 

When Elmo asks for a hug, kids can now feel like they've jumped into the screen to give him one! 

Ages: 3+
Available for: XBOX Kinect 360, $30
Where to Buy? Indigo.ca

The best video games for kids

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NHL 13

New technology makes the skating in this game highly realistic and gives kids the ability to be strategic as they trade players like pros. But what got us the most excited was the ability to choose female athletes Hayley Wickenheiser and Angela Ruggiero for the first time ever. 

Ages: 10+
Available for: XBOX 360 and Playstation 3, $60
Where to Buy? futureshop.ca

The best video games for kids

More video game ideas

The best video games for kidsPhoto: lisafx/iStockphoto
This article was originally published on Oct 25, 2012

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