Non-FPS Xbox (or PS?) game suggestions for 16 & 12 yr old brothers?
November 23, 2016 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for Xbox games that are not so violent, and definitely not FPS, as we're thinking of updating our antique Wii with an Xbox this xmas. Kids have gotten lots of mileage out of Super Smash Bros, Kirby, Mario Bros, Lego games on the Wii in the past few years. .

They are both intrigued by Skyrim, but I suspect it's not appropriate for the 12 yr old. They are both intrigued by Little Big Planet, but since that is PS only, is that a reason to go Playstation? Not sure why I'm leaning toward Xbox - mostly from general articles I've read, but not wedded to it. I would love game suggestions and reasons to go Xbox or PS4... - signed, mostly clueless dad
posted by chr1sb0y to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh yeah - and I'm cheap and am disinclined to pay for a monthly service for whatever system we get... Does that affect this decision?
posted by chr1sb0y at 11:45 AM on November 23, 2016

You'll find that both consoles require an online subscription to do just about anything (even if you're not inclined to "be online" with your console). In the grand scheme of things, the subscriptions are about $5-6 per month.

I'd advise you that at the very least, your 16yo has played games elsewhere that you may not deem "appropriate." Obviously, there is a line between GTA and Battlefield/COD/most FPSs, but I would hope that your 16yo would be able to handle what's offered in those games.

Do they enjoy sports? You'll find that FIFA/NBA 2K??/Madden look a whole lot better on the latest-gen consoles than they would on a Wii. Also allows for co-op play...

As far as which console to buy, there's nothing that puts one ahead of the other, IMO. I've always been a PS guy, but my 14yo son has always been an XBOX guy (and we will probably always buy along those lines). They may find the XBOX controllers to be a little clunky after playing with Wii controllers.
posted by kuanes at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have all of the consoles and my kids play the Wii U and PS4 much more than the Xbox. All else being equal, I would suggest one of those two consoles.

Or wait for the Nintendo Switch, which comes out in March. It looks pretty awesome.
posted by tacodave at 12:34 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've had a PS3 since launch and I've never paid for a subscription to anything. Also, LBP is available for PS3, which you can get a refurb at any GameStop for ~$125ish.
posted by rhizome at 12:43 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

A bunch of the lego games are out for Xbox. Also, Portal (and portal 2, which offers co-op)
posted by softlord at 12:47 PM on November 23, 2016

Civilization: Revolutions. I mean, technically there's sort of combat, but it's not really /violent/ combat and there's peaceful ways to win. But that's only if you're getting an Xbox360 and not an Xbox One. There aren't as many games for the Xbox One yet.
posted by corb at 1:09 PM on November 23, 2016

What systems do your sons' friends have and what are they playing? That'll strongly influence how receptive they are to whichever console/games you end up picking.

I think Skyrim might be fine for your 12-year-old. The violence is comparible to what you get in games like Halo and I don't recall there being any sex scenes or profanity. If he watches TV and uses the internet like most boys his age do and has a variety of friends who play games, I doubt he'll even blink at Skyrim.
posted by christopherious at 1:44 PM on November 23, 2016

This was a lot different in the past, but PS(n) vs XBox(n) these days is mainly a battle of what UI you like and if you actually care about console exclusives (which are rarer these days). For console pick, I'd second christopherious' point and ask your sons what systems their friends have. If you wind up buckling on the online subscription bit, this will become one of the most important elements of which console your sons will get the most enjoyment out of.

I'd also ask you to think about what your line on violence is. Is it character death? Is it blood and gibs? Is it realistic weaponry? You already have a slight toe across the line with Smash Brothers, what with it being a fighting game and all. This will affect what games I'd recommend.

Discounting the above, some games that are on most consoles that I would recommend: I second softlord's recommendation of Portal 2. I'd add Rocket League to that (cars that can jump and fly playing soccer), as well as Guacamelee (a brawler, but co-op and cartoonish instead of realistic).

Personally, as a gamer, my PS4 sees nightly use, while my XBox One and WiiU are gathering dust in their boxes - I never even bothered to hook them up after I moved. That being said, a lot of that has to do with MY friends primarily playing on PS4 if they're on a console game. Network effects are strong, yo.
posted by isauteikisa at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Go PS4. Get Rayman Legends and Origins (seriously, these are gorgeous), Child of Light, the Ratchet and Clank titles, the new Ico follow-up (The Last Guardian).

Note that you can get all but the last of those on a PS3 - they look almost as good, and will be a fraction of the price, and the console doesn't require a monthly subscription.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I second obiwan - those are some great suggestions. There's lots of stuff available on the online store, including Portal 2, Fez, Rocket League, maybe Spelunky or Super Meat Boy if they are masochists. Ooh, and Dance of the Necromancer (retro 'pixely' graphics where you get the best score by moving your character from square to square with the beat).
Ratchet & Clank is one of my favorite series. There's the big evil overlord, and his henchmen are mostly robots who break into nuts and bolts when defeated.
Also, if you have a Wii, I'd recommend Okami. One of my favorite games and just beautiful.
posted by queseyo at 9:13 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

While you're considering the PS4, don't forget the impressive video library.
posted by christopherious at 11:25 PM on November 23, 2016

I vote PS4 - I've gone both routes at different times and the PS4 has always seemed to offer a wider variety of experiences. If you're married to nonviolence, games like Journey and Abzu are always good (and even have very positive messages about cooperation and stewardship of the environment and not judging a book by its cover) but short. I can't think of any reason Skyrim would be inappropriate, and it's very long and immersive and fun. There's some violence but it's mostly pretty cartoonish, and there's not much in the way of sexual or vulgar language... certainly nothing on the order of GTA.

Regardless, you're going to be stuck paying a monthly fee no matter what you choose. Personally I think PS4 provides the most for what it asks.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 11:38 PM on November 23, 2016

My son is twelve, and loves PS4. The main games for him & his friends are Rocket League & FIFA - online multiplayer is a very big deal for them. So check what your sons' friends play, as others have mentioned. My son pays for his own PSN subscription, from his pocket money. It's very good value in his opinion.

For local co-op play, I second Rayman & Child of Light - although we didn't get on so well with LBP. Many other non- or less- or less-realistically-violent indie games are available.

From the outset, I made a strict rule about sticking to the published age recommendations for games. So all FPS games are out for a few more years yet - except Plants vs Zombies, which he had a brief thing for but I don't think has played for ages.

Can't speak for Xbox - except to say that amongst my son's friends, there are roughly as many on Xbox as on PS4 - but that the Xbox players don't play online anywhere near as much. Maybe that's just those kids though, rather than anything about the platform.
posted by rd45 at 3:41 AM on November 25, 2016

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