Xbox One S: The Perfect Family Gaming System

xbox one s

It’s been a few months now that we have been fans of the Xbox One S and I think it’s time I put my thoughts on paper—well on the website at least. Both my husband and I were avid gamers before the kids came along and it pained us to put away our systems when they came along.

Now that the kids are older we are glad to share our love of gaming with them and actually really excited to have them get into the gaming spirit with us. When we had the opportunity to head to an Xbox event late last year with the whole family we got to witness the kids really get into it and we knew we were going to get the system. Xbox beat us to it and treated us to not only the limited edition Minecraft bundle but a slew of games to keep us all entertained.

Xbox One S: The Perfect Family Gaming System

The Xbox One S Difference

We have all of the Playstations, the Vita the WiiU, the original Xbox, and the Xbox360 at home so we are not unaware of what is out there. While the kids refused to play the PS4 my husband refused to play the WiiU, and the older Xbox’s stayed mainly in our oldest sons room so he could play Minecraft. We could not as a family decide on a system to stay in the coveted living room spot so we just opted out of having it.

But the One S converted us. We not only placed it in the living room we bought the 52′ curved 4K television to take advantage of its ultra-high definition 4K HDR. With it’s Ultra HD Blu-ray and video streaming family movie nights have really multiplied thanks to the great graphics.

We don’t have to toss the house anymore looking for a remote anymore because we packed away the ROKU, Apple TV and Google Chrome. The Xbox remote now controls Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Video and Spotify and I also just downloaded the Fitbit Coach app which has free workouts. I will keep you updated on that as I have yet to try it.

Kids Safety

My husband loves more adult games and to be honest I don’t want the kids playing them. I set up a family account that includes my husband and me as parents and our kids.  We can control what games our kids are allowed to play, even when we are not there to watch them. They need a password to get access to some games (and funds) so we are not left with surprises.

I also like that I can put time restrictions on each of the kid’s accounts and even block them from using certain browsers or websites. I get detailed emails of the kid’s usage of not only the Xbox but also other devices that they have logged into with their accounts weekly. So when I found out my oldest played a whopping 20+ hours of screen time in one week I could put in measures to stop it—much to his dismay.

Family Time Through Play Time

Tech can be a very isolating thing and yet somehow the Xbox has managed to bring us closer. Our older kids have finally found some common ground through gaming together. They enjoy playing together and working together to pass the levels. They are putting their strengths to work and as long as they are not fighting I let them have fun.

We work on taking turns when it is a single-player game and although this is not their preferred method of playing they do it. We use the times when we are not all playing at the same time to encourage whoever is playing.

We prefer to play together. Co-op mode lets up to four players play together at the same time as long as everyone has their own controller. The kids learn to play as a team and we learn to be patient while they learn. Each of our different strengths helps us meet our goals—aka unlocking achievements—and we battle it out as a family unit, together.

Digital Game Bundles on the Xbox One S

Since we have kids in the house and they have no idea how fragile a game disk is I prefer to buy the digital downloads of games. This takes out the possibility of a game being ruined because our LOs have no understanding of how delicate the discs are.

There is also the Xbox Game Pass which allows you to pay $9.99 a month to have access to over 100 games that are available to the Xbox One and Xbox 360. If you are new to gaming and still trying to figure out what type of games you like to play this is a great way to do it. You also save up to 20% on Xbox One game purchases and 10% on all related add-ons when you are ready to purchase.

Another great way to get access to games without buying them individually is EA Access. EA Access gives you the opportunity to play many popular EA games from franchises like Battlefield, FIFA, Dragon Age and most of the sports games. It is only $4.99 a month and also gives you 10% off of EA digital purchases.

Our Current Faves

We are always adding to our collection but these are the games that we have on rotation at the moment:

Minecraft: Both of our older kids love this game and they build worlds together. They are actually learning a lot of new words and items because they have to mine resources in this game and they have it set up on our computers, tablets, and the Xbox. Plus it is also pushing them to learn how to code and that is a huge plus for this mama.

Xbox One S: The Perfect Family Gaming System

Disneyland Adventures: Bring the magic of Disneyland right to your home with this game. It can be played with multiplayer and the players go around talking to Disney characters and checking out iconic attractions. The more they play the more achievements they get to unlock more of the park.

Rush-A Disney Pixar Adventure: Solve challenges with the characters from the “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up,” “Cars”, “Toy Story”, and “Finding Dory” to uncover hidden secrets. This is a hit with the whole family and even our youngest like to sit and watch while this is being played.

Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection: Our oldest daughter has a pretty great zoo going right now and she is really showing her caring and responsible nature with this game. She remembers to come back and feed and tend to her animals and this zoo reminds me of a much better Farmville.

Forza Motorsport 7: My son & husband fell in love with this game at the event we went to so this is one of the games they bought right away. It is exclusive to the Xbox One and the 4k graphics make it very enjoyable to play.

Xbox One S: The Perfect Family Gaming System

Super Lucky’s Tales: My fave and it’s more of an adventure game where you get more and more immersed as you play more. It has an old-school feel to it with new school graphics.

Super Lucky’s Tales Gilly’s Island: This is the new one that just came out and I am very quickly finding that I don’t even want to share with the kids. I like games that involve puzzles and challenges and this game gives me all the feels.

FIFA 18: I have mixed feelings about this game. My husband loves to play this game with our two oldest kids but he gets so competitive while playing. There is no ‘letting them win’ with FIFA. Plus side is the kids have gotten really good at the game and they really thrive off of the competition that their dad gives them.

NBA2K18: It’s basketball at it’s finest and although I can’t get into it the kids and my husband go OFF. It is the latest basketball game on the One S and we have it going several times a week while the family competes to be champions.

Batman Arkham Knight: This is one of the more adult games we own and it takes Batman as he battles all of Gotham’s super villains. I definitely think that to play this you need to be able to problem solve and follow directions, and adult supervision is a maybe.

Call of Duty WWII: I think the only reason my husband stayed team PS4 for as long as he did was because of the COD games and now that he has it for Xbox he is willing to admit that it is a better system. If you are into war/shooting games this one does not disappoint.

Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a great Lego-based game that that takes you on an adventure through 18 levels of Chronopolis. You can easily switch characters in the game and my daughter and I love this game.

Rocket League: This is a car game that is also a sports game and you can play soccer and basketball but cars are the players. My husband plays this game with the kids all the time and they have mastered it. There is a lot of screams of “GOAL” when they play so if you want a quiet game this is not it.

Purchasing Your Xbox One S

To get more information on the Xbox One S you can head on over to their website to learn more. You can also pick it up at most retailers that sell electronics.

We were gifted an Xbox One S and some games mentioned by Microsoft. We purchased other games ourselves and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Sandra Tang
    March 12, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    Looks fun!

  2. Calvin
    March 13, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Great I have the original xbox one, works great.

  3. Rosanne Robinson
    March 13, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    We have an X-Box and X-Box One and have enjoyed countless hours of fun playing games on both of them.

  4. BobbiJo Pentney
    March 14, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Thank you for this review. You never know as a parent which gaming system to buy prior to using it. I always worry about which games are appropriate or not.

  5. Donnas
    March 15, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I live with an avid gamer. He has a few Xbox systems, but plays Gears of War on the Xbox360. He’d be so happy to have this new system, especially that it’s 4K.

  6. Leanne
    March 15, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    Those games sound pretty neat. I like video games in the winter when it’s too cold to go out.

  7. Mike Gismondi
    March 17, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I think my kids would love this!

  8. Joanne C
    March 17, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    My youngest love Minecraft also, but she only uses the app on the iPad. Would consider getting for the Xbox.

  9. March 17, 2018 / 11:15 pm

    The kids play with Nintendo and I’ve always avoided Xbox because I figured they were geared more for the older crowd especially with online play and made me a bit nervous. Now that you say you can control accounts individually it would be much better and something to consider with more array of games.

  10. Holly
    March 19, 2018 / 9:00 am

    We have a PS4, which to be honest only gets used by me watching Netflix in my room, and my kids have the new classic Nintendo for play.

  11. Stacy Scott
    March 24, 2018 / 8:56 am

    With having 10 kids, They all want different systems, and reading this review, I think Hubby and I are going to go with the xbox one! Eeeeks I am not sure who is more excited, Them or Me Lol =)

  12. March 25, 2018 / 12:01 am

    This one has been great as it keeps all of us happy. I’m open to finding other systems that will do this but for now this is it

  13. LisaM
    April 1, 2018 / 8:26 am

    Thanks for the review – it’s so hard to pick!

  14. Nate
    April 17, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    I like the X-box its a great gaming system

  15. kathy downey
    June 16, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    I am so out of touch with gaming but the grandkids are teaching me something new every week!

  16. Sarah
    June 21, 2018 / 7:45 pm

    I love that there are parental controls available for some features. I have heard lots of positive things about this system 🙂 glad your family is loving it!