Console gaming doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These cut-price gems will keep kids happy for hours
Older kids will have very definite ideas on the video games they do and don’t want to play, but when they’re at primary school age (or younger) their gaming habits tend to be a bit more flexible. That’s good news if you want to treat them to a new game for their console of choice; instead of taking a deep breath and sinking 50 quid on the latest AAA title you can shop in the bargain bins.
But don’t feel cheap about it! Cut-price doesn’t have to mean low quality. We’ve picked out some of the best gaming bargains you can find right now – some top-notch titles, each of which can be found online for less than a tenner. And, as well as being cheap and cheerful, all of them are thoroughly family-friendly.
If your kids aren’t old enough to be fussy about having the very latest version of a particular game series, then you’ll be able to find great value in picking up big-name titles that are a year or two old. The current version of this basketball franchise is still NBA2K15 (the ’16’ version doesn’t come out until 29 September), so this game isn’t all that far out of date but can nonetheless be bought at pocket-money prices. Features include an in-depth career mode that will keep any basketball fan busy for weeks – kids from age eight upwards will probably get the most from the gameplay.
£4.33 Xbox One, £9.69 PS4, £8.04 PS3, £9.99 X360, Amazon
Angry Birds Star Wars
Howls of derision greeted the original release of this title, a console version of a free app that initially went on sale at full game price. It’s heaps cheaper now, so is this now a bargain, or is it still overpriced? There’s no doubt that £6.99 is cheap for any Xbox One game and, perhaps most importantly, this console version is entirely devoid of ads that plague the app. It’s probably worth the entrance price for that alone. As an added bonus, the console version comes with an additional 20 exclusive levels. Kids of any age will be able to get along with the needs-no-explanation Angry Birds gameplay.
£6.99 Xbox One, PS3 £7.49, Nintendo 3DS £9.99, Amazon
The Lego Movie Videogame
You simply can’t go wrong with a Lego videogame – and this tie in to last year’s Lego Movie is a corker. The PC version is currently available cut-price, perhaps the only issue with that is that your laptop might soon be getting monopolised by a Lego-crazed youngster. Gameplay is simple and pitched at younger children, with the storyline closely following that of the movie itself. If they loved the film, they’ll be delighted with this.
£5.24 PC, Amazon
As with the NBA2K series, FIFA is about to get its ’16’ release, which means the price of this two-year-old game is dropping through the floor. But if you’re buying for a footie-mad youngster who’s not going to be bothered by the number of the front of the box, this faithful recreation of the beautiful game will do very nicely. FIFA’s wide range of skill levels make this one suitable for more or less any age.
£9.99 PS4, Amazon
The Wii U is stacked with family-friendly gaming options, but this is one of the best-value titles available for that platform right now. Funky Barn is a sim-style management game that puts you in the place of a farmer and charges you with developing your farm and keeping its animal residents cheerful. It’s full of the sort of simple-yet-addictive gameplay that will keep kids going for weeks.
£6.40 Wii U, Grooves Inc
Another current Wii U bargain, Planes gives gamers the chance to take the controls of Dusty, the main character in this Cars spin-off movie. It’s aimed squarely at kids, which means frustration-free controls and simple gameplay. And if your kids are fans of the film – well, it’s a no-brainer.
£9.99 Wii U, GAME