14 Must-Play Video Games

Video game experts and Family Circle editors select the best kids' video games for Wii, Xbox, PS2, PS3, and Nintendo DS.

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Disney Sing It: Pop Hits


Turn your living room into a lively karaoke club. Become a trained vocalist — Disney Channel star Tiffany Thornton teaches proper pitch techniques — and harmonize together to dozens of popular tunes.

Rated E; Wii, PS3, $40; PS2, $20

Recommended by Dana Jongewaard, executive editor at whattheyplay.com, an online guide with extensive info about the latest family-friendly video games in stores

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Academy of Champions: Soccer


Offensive and defensive players alike have a ball at Brightfield Academy, learning magical maneuvers from soccer superstars Mia Hamm and Pelé. When match day arrives, gamers form a world-class squad to defeat rivals.

Rated E; Wii, $30

Recommended by Dana Jongewaard, whattheyplay.com

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MySims: Agents


Think Clue for 2010. Armed with sophisticated gadgets and sneaky spy skills, kids can jet off to exotic locales, hunt for evidence, and interrogate suspects in an attempt to unravel the mystery at hand.

Rated E; Wii, $50; DS, $30

Recommended by Dana Jongewaard, whattheyplay.com

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Mixmaster wannabes combine rock and R&B or hip-hop and electronica by tapping the turntable and sliding the crossfader. There are nearly 100 original mixes, some created by famous disc jockeys like Grandmaster Flash, to get the party started.

Rated T; PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, $120; PS2, $100; all prices include turntable

Recommended by Ben Silverman, senior editor at Yahoo Games, a Web site where readers can preview trailers of upcoming releases and find need-to-know news

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Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues


A Harrison Ford-led cast wanders through the jungles of South America battling villains — sound familiar? But in this virtual adventure, Lego versions of your favorite characters can build their own levels brick by brick to recreate memorable scenes from the timeless four-film saga.

Rated E10+; Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, $50; PSP, DS, PC, $30

Recommended by Ben Silverman, Yahoo Games

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Players use the stylus — and their imagination — to swiftly solve each puzzle. Jot down the word for any object that can help the main character, Maxwell, get to the next level. The sky's the limit in this addictive handheld game.

Rated E10+; DS, $30

Recommended by Ben Silverman, Yahoo Games

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Madden NFL 10


Football fans don't have to wait for the official kickoff to get their gridiron fix — they can draft a team from more than 200 pro athletes, enter a packed stadium, and tackle their opponents to keep the action alive until next season.

Rated E; PS3, Xbox 360, $60; Wii, $50; PS2, PSP, $40

Recommended by Andrew Bub, video game blogger AKA GamerDad, the go-to source for gaming questions and reviews of the newest titles for teens and tweens

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New Super Mario Bros. Wii


In this twist on the classic Nintendo title, up to four players navigate Mario and Luigi's side-scrolling worlds simultaneously. Gamers can save one another from a bottomless pit — or toss opponents into it — en route to rescue Princess Peach.

Rated E; Wii, $50

Recommended by Andrew Bub, AKA GamerDad

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Lego Rock Band


Build a Lego-fied band with the likes of David Bowie and Pink. Jam along with current hits and retro faves to complete challenges and advance your group beyond small-scale local gigs to mega stadium shows.

Rated E10+; Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, $50; DS, $30

Recommended by Andrew Bub, AKA GamerDad

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Hasbro Family Game Night 2


When you can no longer get your family to the table for a rousing round of Pictionary, try remixed virtual versions of childhood favorites like Connect 4, Bop It, and Jenga.

Rated E; Wii, Xbox 360, $40; DS, $30

Recommended by Family Circle editors, who run the gamut from casual gamers to don't-get-between-me-and-my-Wii fanatics.

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Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage


Winter athletes grind and grab air like pros as they shred across the globe. Kids can test their snowboard skills on eight professional peaks without fear of frostbite or wipeout.

Rated E; Wii, $50

Recommended by Family Circle editors

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DanceDanceRevolution: Hottest Party 3


Your living room's no mosh pit, but you can follow onscreen gyrations to get into the groove. In workout mode, swap traditional dance steps for hip rolls and punches to whip your body into shape.

Rated E10+; Wii, $70

Recommended by Family Circle editors

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We Cheer 2


This G-A-M-E lets girls (and boys!) perform to the latest pop songs by artists like Vanessa Hudgens and Demi Lovato. They must master cheer moves, pom-poms in hand, perfect a routine, and lead their squad to victory at the big competition.

Rated E10+; Wii, $40

Recommended by Family Circle editors

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Nerf 2: "N-Strike" Elite


On a covert operation to eliminate enemy robots, players decode secret messages and solve complicated puzzles. Gamers will revel in rail-shooting action — and blast their way to victory.

Rated E10+; Wii, $60 with blaster

Recommended by Family Circle editors

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New from Sony


PSPgo. Store music, videos, and photos on this pocket-size system, the smallest and lightest portable gaming device yet. You can even download games via Wi-Fi. ($250)

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New from Nintendo: Wii MotionPlus


Attach this accessory to the end of your remote to track movements more precisely — and bring the game to life. Compatible with titles like Academy of Champions: Soccer. ($20)

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New from Microsoft: New Xbox Live features


Update Facebook and Twitter while you play or instantly watch movies and TV episodes in high definition. Music buffs can stream songs by their favorite artists — there are nearly three million tunes to choose from. (Xbox Live Gold membership, $50/year)

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Originally published in the March 1, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.

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