Which Minecraft game to choose on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation and PC?

Minecraft Featured Ecran Partage

The original Minecraft game is a three-dimensional sandbox game, officially released in November 2011. Created by Markus “Notch” Persson and developed by Mojang Studios, it holds the record for the best-selling video game. It is a game in which it is possible to explore, build, gather resources and meet multiple creatures. The visual signature of Minecraft is undoubtedly the cubic blocks that make up landscapes, characters and objects.

Since 2012, there has been at least one update every year (except for 2015), adding content to the original Minecraft game. Update 1.20 is scheduled for 2023. This game paved the way for a franchise that now includes other video games, a tabletop game, and a series of novels and comics.

Here are the games belonging to the universe of Minecraft.

This article may be subject to updates, when new Minecraft games are released.

Minecraft games are rated 10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)[1] and are generally considered appropriate for children over 7-8 years old.

Minecraft (2011)

This is the original Minecraft game. It is a sandbox game because it leaves players with endless possibilities to customize their world and their gaming experience. It has elements of adventure, action and simulation. Minecraft allows players to explore virtually infinite worlds, accumulate resources to build buildings only limited by imagination, engage in activities such as animal husbandry and fishing, and create surprising machines and tools.

Several game modes and difficulties are available, the mode and difficulty of each world created being independent:

  • The creative mode to have access to all resources and build structures with infinite resources
  • The survival mode to experience the aspects of exploration, adventure, resource harvesting and construction, it is the default mode of the game
  • Hardcore mode, the death of a player character is final for the selected world
  • The peaceful difficulty of not having to fight against hostile creatures
  • Easy (difficulty), hostile creatures appear but damage to player characters is reduced
  • Normal (difficulty), damage done to player characters is by default
  • Difficult (difficulty), the damage done to player characters is greater

Review: Minecraft explained to parents

Playable on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch. It is possible to play together online from a PC, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.

Playable from 1-8 people locally, ability to play online on private and public servers with a larger number of people.

There are two parallel versions of this game: Java and Bedrock. The differences between these versions are as follows:

  • The Bedrock version offers more parental control options and security features.
  • It is possible to choose to play with keyboard and mouse or with controller in the Bedrock version.
  • Only the Bedrock version allows you to play cross-platform, Java is limited to PCs.
  • Only the Java version allows you to download mods made by the community.
  • The cost of the Java version is fixed while that of the Bedrock version varies depending on the console.
  • They were coded into two different programming languages.
A sample of all blocks according to the update that introduced them 

Minecraft Dungeons (2020)

Minecraft Dungeons is a dungeon crawler game developed by Mojang Studios and Double Eleven. Unlike the original Minecraft game, it’s not an open world and the characters progress through a linear story. Players play heroes whose quest is to liberate villages and other places from the “Arch-illager” and finally confront him directly. To do this, they explore dungeons to fight monsters, solve puzzles and obtain various weapons and items. There is no class system in this game, characters can use all weapons and armor. This game also features six expansion packs that add to the rest of the main story.

Playable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch

Playable from 1-4 people, locally or online

The official trailer of Minecraft Dungeons 

Minecraft Legends (2023)

Minecraft Legends is an action-strategy game to be released in 2023, developed by Mojang Studios and Blackbird Interactive. During a Nether piglin invasion, it is up to the player character to unite the surface creatures to protect their habitat. Unlike other games in the franchise, this game allows the player character to have friendly interactions with the majority of usually hostile mobs such as zombies and zombie villagers, who can then become allies.

The available game modes will be as follows:

  • Solo, to experiment with the narrative and the game alone
  • Cooperative mode, to experiment with the narrative with friends
  • Competitive mode, up to eight people divided into two teams who can build their base and army in order to compete while beware of piglins

Playable on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch

Playable from 1-8 people

The official trailer of Minecraft Legends

Minecraft: Education Edition (2016)

Developed by Mojang Studio, Minecraft Education is a version of the original game that features educational features as well as course modules in areas such as science, math, computer science, history, and digital citizenship. It offers modules, tutorials and personalized content for teachers, parents, students and companies. Courses are classified by subject and suggested age groups. It is possible to download the trial version for free from the official website.

The list of courses offered

Guide to Creating a Multiplayer World

Downloadable on PC, iPhone/iPad and Android tablets.

Playable up to 30 people

The official trailer of Minecraft: Education Edition

Discontinued Minecraft games

Minecraft: Story Mode (2015–2019, discontinued)

Developed by Telltale Games, it was a “Point and Click ” narrative game, i.e. a game whose main interaction is when the player uses a cursor to select elements in the screen. Minecraft: Story Mode had two seasons of five episodes, available on phones (Android, iOS), Apple TV, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Netflix.

Minecraft Earth (2019-2021, discontinued)

Developed by Mojang Studios, it was a sandbox game in augmented reality and using geolocation. Minecraft Earth was available on cell phones, free on Android and iOS.

Which Minecraft game to choose?

Two games in the Minecraft franchise are available as of March 2023: Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons. They offer a very different gaming experience. One is a game that gives players free rein, allowing them to focus on survival, building, adventure or exploration. The other is a dungeon exploration game with a narrative.

We recommend Minecraft if you’re looking for a creative experience and an infinitely customizable environment. However, if you prefer a game that features a tracked story as well as more structured battles and dungeons, Minecraft Dungeons is a very good game. If you are looking for an educational game to allow a group of children to learn while having fun, Minecraft: Education Edition is an ideal option. We cannot comment on Minecraft Legends at this time since it is to be released later this year.

[1] Minecraft games, rated by the ESRB

Image credit: official promotional images of the games in the Minecraft franchise