Best kids' video games for Christmas 2012

Stuff rounds up the games that Santa should be bringing down the chimney for junior

If you're looking for a gift for the junior gamers in your family, we've compiled a list of five video games that don't contain guns, violence, sex, swearing or nudity – but are plenty fun all the same.

Rayman Legends

£TBC, Wii U, Out 2012

What Rayman lacks in physical limbs, he more than makes up for with sheer charm. Rayman Legends marks the return of the unlikely hero, and with it comes new control methods granted by the Wii U's fancy controllers. It's still the 2D platformer we fell in love with all those years ago but the visuals are superb and a game that makes you use your noggin can only be good for young minds. If this doesn't captivate, we don't know what will.

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Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes

£25, Xbox 360/PS3/PC, Amazon UK

Chris Nolan's Batman films are rather dark, making them about as suitable for children as the Joker's magic trick. But Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes makes the awesome but ultimately troubled superhero palatable for kids of seven years and up. Batman and Robin must team up to save the city from Lex Luthor and the Joker, a task you can achieve with a numbero of cool gadgets including an Electricity Suit and cooperative play. Throw in some humour and you have a fun and child friendly way to introduce the young 'uns to some of your childhood heroes.

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Kinectimals

£15, Xbox 360 (requires Kinect peripheral), Amazon UK

Kinectimals isn't new to 2012 but its cutesy nature and intuitive Kinect control system make it an absolute winner with even the youngest onlookers. There's no real game as such, or indeed a narrative. But looking after your chosen feline – or bear cub, a recent addition – proves compelling and the visuals are mesmerising. Throw in some mini-games and pet customisation and you have a winner for animal loving kids.

Dance Central 3

£30, Xbox 360 (requires Kinect peripheral), Zavvi

Although Dance Central 3 is 12-rated, owing to what is apparently some 'suggestive' material, this is a gem of a game when it comes to family get-togethers. Adults plied with drink will dance like loons and kids will naturally get involved to show up the oldies.

New Super Mario Bros. U

£45, Wii U, Amazon UK (out November 30)

Just in time for Christmas is New Super Mario Bros. U and the pricey but cool Wii U console. Because of that new-fandangled controller, Mario now features multiplayer shenanigans including a Boost Rush mode that involves completing levels as quickly as possible with up to three other players. Later levels will probably go beyond the skills of a really young child – but for everyone else, Mario will have never looked and played so good. Who's this present for, again?

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