Video Games For Road Trips


If you’ve already discovered the peace that a DVD player brings to long car rides, try the fun your family will have with these Video Games for Road Trips.

Like many families, we take a lot of long trips by car: 21 hour drives to see the grandparents, eight hour trips to the see the pandas at the zoo, five hour trips to go camping. I can remember the first year we travelled with a DVD player in the car. It was like night and day compared to previous trips, so much easier. When the kids got old enough, as in able to read on their own, we started having them bring their handheld gaming systems, and it was even better.

Between movies, games, books, and watching the world fly by out their windows, the kids gave us some pretty peaceful car rides. Their dad and I are usually able to have a book on tape going in the front, or music depending on our mood, and the kids entertain themselves peacefully in the back. Sometimes if they are playing a cooperative game, I will break out my 3DS and join them. Now that’s fun. If you like video games, I definitely recommend that.

Our road trip games are required to be low frustration, high engagement, and mentally challenging. I’ve pulled together a list of games that fit this criteria. Personally, I recommend 3DS games over Vita because the library of games for the 3DS is bigger and the possibility for cooperative play is greater, but a few Vita games are included at the end. Video games that are better for older kids are starred. (Links are for Amazon, but I highly recommend checking GameStop for used copies.)

Here’s a round-up of our favorite

Video Games for Road Trips


Brain Teaser/Puzzle Games:Mario vs Donkey Kong 2

Time Management/Town Management/Farming Games:914wwIu3ZuL._AC_SL1500_

Cooperative Games:91+ZVMp3I6L._AC_SL1500_

Strategy Games:91f6zYaD9lL._AC_SL1500_

Role Playing Games:81dj6E0hqAL._AC_SL1500_

Adventure/Platformer Games:

Vita Games:81iDFyqqzSL._AC_SL1477_


Not Recommended

There are three kinds of games I definitely do not recommend for road trips. While they may produce great games, the following styles do not lend themselves to playing in a car. The listings include series as well as individual games.

Competition Games: While I make exceptions to the no competition rule at home, there are no exceptions on a car trip. Feelings can easily get hurt and there is nowhere for frustration to go when you’re stuck in a car.

  • Mario Kart
  • Super Smash Bros.

Motion Games: No one wants a kid to get car sick. We avoid all games that include gyroscope motion play (tilting the game system) and fast in-game motion.

  • Gravity Rush (Vita)
  • Katamari (Vita)
  • Metroid Prime Federation Force
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon
  • Star Fox
  • Tearaway (Vita)

Drawing Games: It is simply too difficult to draw with a stylus on a screen on any kind of road surface. Too many bumps; too much frustration.

  • Art Academy
  • Okamiden


Road Trip Gear

The last thing to considerPikachu 3DS Case is the gear each kid will need:


That does it for this listing of great video games for road trips. If there are any games not listed here that you are curious about or any other questions that you have, leave a comment and I will let you know what we think. I hope that your road trips are filled with fun!

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