Looking for Games to Play With Your Kids? Try PS Now on PS4 or PC

I’m a PS Now advocate.  Having not owned a current-gen console since the Xbox 360, being able to stream PS2, PS3 and PS4 games straight to my gaming PC has been a revelation.

I’ve previously written about PS Now being a great deal whether you own a PC or PS4, and I’ve loved playing Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man and more on my PC over the past several months.  The service isn’t flawless by any means, but it is relatively cheap and has more games than you could possibly play, with more added every month.

Forgetting all of the PlayStation exclusives for gamers in general for a moment, PS Now is also a must-buy for adult gamers looking for games to play with their kids.

I mentioned in my previous article that the main reason I bought PS Now in the first place was that my 5-year-old daughter’s PS3 broke.  She loved playing Disney Universe and the Little Big Planet games (we were playing the Little Big Planet 3 at the time) and was devastated when she couldn’t play them any more.  When I saw that those games were included with PS Now, I signed up for the free trial and ended up being so impressed that I bought a year’s subscription for £40 (it has been cheaper since).

It turned out that Disney Universe and Little Big Planet 3 were only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kids games on PS Now.  There is a whole Family-Friendly section packed with great games – and some admittedly not so great games.

I’ll write about the games we have played together (and those that she has played by herself) in the future, but as here are just a few of the games on PS Now that you can play with your children:

  • Little Big Planet 3
  • Disney Universe
  • Overcooked 2
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • LEGO Batman 2
  • LEGO City Undercover
  • LEGO World
  • The LEGO Movie
  • …so many more LEGO games…
  • Cars 2
  • Rocket League
  • Sonic Generations
  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

That is just a snapshot and doesn’t include games that kids can play solo (though the games above can be played solo, too).  The PlayStation kids library cannot compete with Nintendo’s, but it is great value for £40 (or less) and you’ll have so many hours of fun playing together.

PS Now is accessible thanks to its relatively low barrier to entry.  You don’t need a PS4 or a beastly gaming PC to get in on the action, though if you’ve got a PS4 then that is undoubtedly the way to go.  If you don’t have a PS4 then most basic PCs and decent laptops will have the minimum PC specs for PS Now – an Intel Core i3 2.0 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.  The recommended specs are higher (3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster, and 2+GB RAM), but still achievable.  Your internet speed will need to be at least 5Mbps but obviously the higher the better – we’re blessed to live in an area with fast broadband, but your mileage will vary depending on the internet infrastructure in your area.

Games save to Sony’s servers so you could play with your kids at home with the PC hooked up to the TV, then go on a road trip and pick up where you left off on a laptop using a relative’s WiFi.

PS Now isn’t perfect.  On the PC, the experience is heavily dependent on the quality of your internet and the picture quality isn’t as crisp as if you were playing on native Sony hardware.  As a PC gamer with a decent graphics card and a 4K screen, I can honestly say it hasn’t bothered me or my daughter, but it will bother some people – try the 7-day free trial to see which camp you sit in.  I assume that the PS4 experience is significantly better, but cannot confirm.  Another point to note is that you won’t be able to play at all without an internet connection – so, no playing on a laptop in the car, as you would with any dedicated handheld gaming console.

It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re an adult gamer with kids and you’re looking for a relatively affordable bundle of games to play together on hardware that you likely already own, you could do a lot worse than buying PS Now.  Try the 7-day free trial to see what the experience is like with your internet connection and to see if your children enjoy playing the included games.  When you’re not playing together, your kids will be able to play the dozens of single-player kids games included and you can check out the games more appropriate for adult gamers, with another handful added on a monthly basis.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be covering more games to play with your kids and games for your kids to play solo across a variety of platforms, including some of the games covered above.  If there are any games for kids that you’d recommend, be sure to leave them in the comments and I’ll check them out.