Playstation 2 game for a 9-year-old
December 12, 2005 6:23 AM   Subscribe

I want to give my 9 year old nephew a Playstation 2 game. Any suggestions? Preferably one he could play with his 13 year old sister.
posted by einarorn to Computers & Internet (28 answers total)
Katamari Damaci. Way out there acid-trip of a game with kid friendly visuals and an almost non-existent learning curve. There is a two player mode, but half the fun was watching my roomates plow through a level trying to trump my high score.

There is a sequel with expanded multiplayer, but I'm not sure what that entails.
posted by GilloD at 6:29 AM on December 12, 2005

Katamari Damaci 2
posted by k8t at 6:29 AM on December 12, 2005

The Harry Potter games are fun puzzle and action games and interest a really wide range of ages (hell, I still play it with kids that age!)
posted by sian at 6:29 AM on December 12, 2005

If you don't get a good direct suggestion here, GamerDad is a great review site for video games of all types, from the angle of families who enjoy videogaming. They are sure to have reviewed something to fit the bill, but you might have to poke around a little bit.
posted by chr1sb0y at 6:30 AM on December 12, 2005

My daughter (11) loves the SSX snowboarding games - she's been playing them since she was 9 or so.
posted by SashaPT at 6:31 AM on December 12, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks :-)

I forgot to mention that I need a game for the European system. I don't know if Katamari Damaci is available in Europe.

At least I can't find it on
posted by einarorn at 6:32 AM on December 12, 2005

Destroy All Humans! You play an alien who must ... uh.... extract brain stems from humans while laying waste to anything in your way. You get a spaceship and everything! Rated T for Teen!
posted by Makebusy7 at 6:38 AM on December 12, 2005

The first Katamari game never made it to Europe, I don't think. The second one is coming out, but won't be released until February. Too bad, because the second game would have been my recommendation too. It has cooperative multiplayer, so the two could play together. Or they could beat each other up on competitive. The modes aren't as outstanding as single-player, but single-player is so much fun that a second player can almost just sit and watch.
posted by cacophony at 6:41 AM on December 12, 2005

My bad. For anyone who was interested, here's a not-broken link.
posted by cacophony at 6:42 AM on December 12, 2005

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe! If he's into hockey or basketball or baseball or football, those games. Tony Hawk and SSX for sure. Viewtiful Joe. Reading through IGN's Editor's Choice listing: WWE Smackdown, Guitar Hero, Ratchet and Clank, ATV Offroad Fury, Need For Speed: Underground, Escape from Monkey Island,

9 and 13 are old enough to handle the gameplay in pretty much anything, I think. It's just the content that might be inappropriate.

Note that cooperative multiplayer in Katamari is not what most people think of "cooperative multiplayer": you can't do much unless both players agree to go the same way. It's designed to be frustrating, and when I'm playing it in cooperative mode with nyxie we're calling each other katamarifuckers* regularly while playing. "Fuck. No no no nonononono! This way. Go. This. Way. Argh!"

(* It all started with someone playing Donkey Kong in Mario Kart being a "monkeyfucker".)
posted by mendel at 7:08 AM on December 12, 2005

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe is a really great idea, although it might get a little frustrating for a 9-year-old. The two(+)-player minigames in it are fantastic fun, though, so there's always something to do. In fact, the more I think about it, the better an idea it is.

If he's into Harry Potter, the games have been pretty damn good by tie-in standards - the difficulty's about the right level for kids, there's lots of variety and they look great, too (particularly the most recent one). No two-player mode, I don't think, but they can always work through the story together.

Ooh, how about an Eyetoy (a little webcam-type dealie that sits on top of the TV) and one of the minigame compilations (Eyetoy: Play and Play 2, Eyetoy: Groove etc) might go down well - I'm pretty sure there are two-player games on both Play discs, and the novelty of controlling a game by waving your arms around and seeing yourself on the screen is always fun. You can pick up the camera and a bundled game for not too much money nowadays - I'd go for Eyetoy: Play 2, since there's lots more variety amongst the games on the disc.
posted by terpsichoria at 7:37 AM on December 12, 2005

Super Monkey Ball.

I play this with my daughter quite often, and we both have a lot of fun. More of a puzzle/dexterity game, which I prefer over sword/gun/whip-carrying shoot-em-ups.

The name escapes me at the moment, but there's also a netflix-style service for video games now. A subscription to that would be pretty cool, too.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:12 AM on December 12, 2005

My daughter (8 years old) has been playing Super Monkey Ball for a year or so. She's pretty good. terpsichordia is right, the minigames are wonderful, and easily accessible.

Great play, cute (but not overly so) graphics.

If you can't tell, I really like this game.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:16 AM on December 12, 2005

Super Bust-A-Move seems like it would be an addictive, fun game...(I love it, at least).
posted by tpl1212 at 8:20 AM on December 12, 2005

WipeoutXL, for the original Playstation, could probably be obtained cheap and still has a lot of play value. Although I have not played it, I understand Kingdom Hearts is fun for the kids.
posted by Capn at 8:21 AM on December 12, 2005

Amplitude is one of my favorites, and the 2-player mode is pretty good (though 1-player is better).
posted by Aknaton at 8:28 AM on December 12, 2005

Wild_Eep: Gamefly might be the netflix-style service for video games that you were thinking of.
posted by HiddenInput at 9:31 AM on December 12, 2005

Beyond Good And is adorable and will turn your nephew into a crusading journalist.
posted by johngoren at 9:56 AM on December 12, 2005

Lego Star Wars has kept an 8-year old and an 11-year old busy for several weeks. It has a very cool 2-person mode where you play on the same screen (i.e., play at the same time without a split screen). It's an action game low on gore--when you kill someone, they just break apart into Lego pieces.
posted by ajr at 10:21 AM on December 12, 2005

Lots of good suggestions here, but I would warn against the Wipeout series if your nephew is easily frustrated; when I first got my Playstation I got Wipeout and thought it was the worst game I'd ever played. After a solid month (at least) I finally figured out how to pilot the antigrav craft, and now I adore the Wipeout series. But not even being able to complete the first track for the first couple of days is a sign that the learning curve is perhaps a wee bit steep.

Amplitude is a sequel to Frequency, which is also worth picking up. Along the same lines, don't rule out the Dance Dance Revolution games (obviously you'd need to get the floor pads for the full effect).
posted by chrominance at 10:28 AM on December 12, 2005

Jak & Daxter - The Precursor Legacy. First game in the series. Very different, easier, and superior to the others in the series.
posted by peep at 10:28 AM on December 12, 2005

Lego Star Wars is excellent. It is one of the few games that is designed for two players. The jobs are closely tied to the script. And everything is rendered as Legos.

My whole family loves Sly Cooper. It's fun, not too challenging, but challenging enough, and has a good story line. Sly Cooper 3 allows for some two-player action.

Both games have killing, but no blood. In Lego, people explode into tiny Lego pieces; in Sly Cooper they disappear in puffs of smoke.
posted by GarageWine at 10:46 AM on December 12, 2005

My wife and her ten-year old boy are really enjoying "Cookies and Cream," which we picked up for cheap. I think you probably need two people for it to be fun. Looks like it was released as "Kuri Kuri Mix" in Europe and Japan.

Yeah, the first Jak & Daxter is a blast. And the Ratchet and Clank series is fun.

If you are considering PS1 games as well, I stand by my utter devotion to Crash Team Racing.
posted by Otis at 10:57 AM on December 12, 2005

Guitar Hero, or Karaoke Revolution or DDR.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:06 AM on December 12, 2005

Damacy is spelled with a -y. Try looking for that. The sequel is called "We Love Katamari".
posted by knave at 11:46 AM on December 12, 2005

WTF?! Katamari for a NINE YEAR OLD?! You people are farking insane!

Dude, just get the 9yr old one of the many SpongeBob Squarepants games that exist for the Playstation 2. They're fun, familiar, and can hold the attention of a 9yr old for hours. (Believe me, I've done it.)

And when the kids go to sleep, the games are kind of fun to play for yourself. :-)

Katamari would very likely frustrate a child under 12. They'd lose interest with it really fast. And that crazy ass King of the Cosmos dude SHOOTS AT YOU if you fail a round. Might scare the 9yr old half to death.

I strongly suggest one of the SpongeBob Squarepants games. "Battle for Bikini Bottom" is a lot of fun.
posted by drstein at 12:46 PM on December 12, 2005

Best answer: Another vote for Lego Star Wars - it's incredibly addictive, has genuine teamwork and is the only game that my non-game playing girlfriend has played and actually enjoyed. We play it 2-player quite a lot - at the risk of gender stereotyping it has fighting/driving bits for me and puzzle bits for her, and you have to work as a team to get to the end of each level. I think it would go down really well with a mix of ages and genders like the one you describe.
posted by greycap at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2005

Sly Cooper (3 games!). Rachet and Clank (4 games, haven't played the last one yet). Mixed opinions on Ty the Tasmanian Tyger (3 games, haven't played the 3rd one yet). For family game action, Crash Team Racing. If the kids are into fantasy kinda stuff, Gauntlet Dark Legacy (teamwork helps). All this stuff should be available at the local Best Buy.
posted by ilsa at 7:48 PM on December 12, 2005

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