By now, your child should well on their way to knowing their way around fighting games and platformers. Next up, the racing game.
Now, I'm not talking about something bland like Gran Turismo here. I'm talking fun, fun and more fun. And that means Mario Kart.
The Third Game (ages 9-13)
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003)
Mario driving. Luigi shooting. In a totally non-gay way.
Mario Kart purists will probably tell you that the Nintendo 64 version of this game is the one to play. You know what? Purists are a bunch of losers who whinge about anything because their lives are filled with resentment and crippling loneliness. Double Dash!! (yes, with exclamation marks) is where it's at. For the sheer exciting mix of fast-paced racing and colourful violence, this game delivers in spades.
You child will be two steps ahead with this one. They already have a deep familiarity with these characters from the Mario universe and that will be a plus. Also, any character in Super Mario Bros that your child hated can now be the subject of violent retribution in the form of a turtle shell.
Eat shit and die, Bowser.
That's right, in order to win your child can choose the path of clean, slick racing talent or the more common 'how about a big fucking shell in the back of your head?' type option. Whenever they feel the need (and after picking some up on the track) they can fire a colossal array of weapons towards the other racers to disable their karts. Weapons include banana peels, shells and lightning. Yeah, lightning. The most annoying lightning ever devised.
The game moves at a thousand miles-per-hour and the amount of shit happening on screen at once will stimulate your child's senses better than a dozen bags of Wizz Fizz and endless hours of soulless R&B music videos combined. The excitement will be unparalleled.
Before Mario Kart
After Mario Kart (that's pure excitement coming out of that house)
There is one downside however. If you haven't witnessed your child's frustration before, you will after they play this game. Whether they grind their kart into the guard rail on every track, get hit by every banana peel or wind up in a pool of hot lava just moments before crossing the finish line, the results will always be the same. Your child's vocabulary will transform to that of a hot and bothered truck driver who's just found out his wife has cheated on him and been told he has to transport a million Crazy Frog records across the country. Words such as 'bullshit', 'bastard' and 'cocksucking motherfucker' will probably rear their ugly heads but fear not. It's all in good fun and you child will get over it. Just be sure to have spare controllers handy because they'll smash them regularly.
When you hear the words 'Fuck you Yoshi!', hand one of these babies over.
Again, this one's two player. So get in on the action and enjoy racing time with your kid. You'll have an insane amount of fun and the bonding time between your and you little one will be priceless. Just be prepared to be called a 'fucking cocksmoker' or something equally as hilarious during the game.
Where to get it: Well, here's the easy part. Since you should already own a Nintendo Wii, you've jumped the biggest hurdle. Double Dash!! was originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube but the Wii is backwards compatible which means it is able to play games from the previous Nintendo console. But if you can manage it, track down an actual Gamecube on Ebay. They're great. As for the game itself, again with the Ebay or some outlets of EB Games still stock a few select Gamecube titles. Ask the clerk about Gamecube titles and if they say try Ebay, then do so. After spitting in their unhelpful faces.