What to do after Christmas lunch: Our pick of the best family console games

Okay, you’ve all waited hours for the turkey to cook and you’ve polished it off along with all the trimmings. You’ve had the Christmas pudding with brandy butter and followed it up with a glass of sweet sherry.

So, what to do now to entertain the family? Well, lots of us will be gathering round the console to play some of the latest family-friendly games. Here’s our pick of the best to get everyone involved in a bit of after-lunch fun.

Mario Party 9

As Nintendo puts it: “The party is back and bigger than ever in Mario Party 9”. Up to four friends or family members can play this one together. You pick a stage to battle through, with all players working together to get through the challenges. There are lots of fun mini games along the way, when you can compete against your fellow players to snag the most mini stars. The only question is who gets to play as Mario?

Just Dance 4

One which cuts across platforms, you can enjoy Just Dance 4 on Wii, Xbox Kinect or PS3. As you’d expect from the popular franchise, it’s all about the tracks that are your guilty pleasures. And, best of all, there’s the move that has taken the world by storm, the Gangnam Style, along with old-time classics like Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock, and Barry White’s smooth You’re the First, the Last, My everything.

Zumba Fitness: Join the party

Apparently Christmas dinner can contain 3,500 calories, while the recommended calorific intake for women is 2,000 per day for women and 2,500 for men. So, quite a few excess ones to work off then. That’s where Zumba Fitness comes in. There are 30 routines, broken into four or five minute segments, set to Latin music like samba and merengue, with a bit of belly dancing thrown in. The colour changes according to how well your Kinect thinks you’re doing, from green for spot on to red for way off.

Nintendo Land

There are only so many times you can play the sports games that came free with your Wii package, so why not try Nintendo Land, which has been designed to be just as family friendly, to get everyone involved. You get to choose from 12 different attractions from the plaza which serves as a kind of hub. Six of those are multiplayer so you can play with friends and family.

Now! that’s what I call music: Dance and Sing

I have to admit to a bit of a fondness for the series, having bought Now That’s What I Call Music 7 (Remember A-Ha’s Hunting High and Low and David Bowie’s Absolute Beginners anyone?) as one of my first LPs, so I won’t be passing up the opportunity to sing along to this one. Like bringing the karaoke bar into your own home, Now! That’s What I Call Music features everything from dance to pop, hip hop to disco. There’s a four player mode where you can challenge others on their dancing and singing abilities, to the likes of Tinie Tempah’s Written in the Stars and Aloe Blacc’s I Need a Dollar.

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