There has been a lot of talk recently about the amount of violence in video games kids play.In the wake of the Newtown school shooting last month, Connecticut's governor criticized video games for destigmatizing violence, and President Obama recommended that Congress authorize $10 million for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to conduct research into a link between violent video games and real-world violence.The controversy surrounding video game violence is nothing new, dating back to a 1976 arcade game called Death Race (based on the movie Death Race 2000), in which players ran over stick-figure "gremlins" for points. In the early 1980s, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop vilified such seemingly innocuous coin-op titles as Asteroids and Space Invaders, saying, "Everything is eliminate, kill, destroy. Everything is zap the enemy."While it's true that many video games, especially today's photorealistic first-person shooters ( Call of Duty, Halo and the like), have death and destruction as key gameplay elements, there are plenty of great nonviolent games crowding store shelves. Here are 10 of the best titles for current consoles.NBA 2K13From 2K SportsPlatforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo WiiPrice: $59.99 for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U; $39.99 for WiiESRB rating: EveryoneNBA 2K13 is a stellar hoops title oozing with jaw-dropping realism, especially for those of us who grew up playing such relics as Basketball for the Atari 2600 and Double Dribble for the NES. In fact, the crowd, court and players look so realistic that you may at first glance mistake the game for an actual NBA telecast.Executive-produced by rapper Jay-Z, who hand-picked the game's soundtrack, NBA 2K13 offers a number of improvements over the already terrific NBA 2K12, including a superior MyCareer mode and enhanced defensive controls. Plus, thanks to a suggestion by Jay-Z, current NBA squads can now take on the legendary 1992 Olympic Dream Team.LEGO Batman 2: DC Super HeroesFrom Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment,Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiPrice: $29.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3; $19.99 for WiiESRB rating: Everyone 10+Incorporating virtual LEGOs into video games dates back to the late 1990s, with such titles as LEGO Island and LEGO Racers, but those niche-market releases have nothing on the current line of expansive, immersive, super popular games that feature hundreds of characters from such properties as "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars" and DC Comics.The sequel to LEGO Batman: The Videogame, DC Super Heroes lets players guide Batman and Robin through a building-block version of Gotham City, collecting items, constructing objects, solving puzzles and engaging in lighthearted battles with Joker, Penguin and the like. Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman and other heroes guest-star.Dance CentralFrom MTV GamesPlatform: Xbox 360Price: $19.99ESRB rating: TeenDesigned for the Kinect, Dance Central is a controller- and mat-free dancing sim featuring 32 licensed songs, including such hits as Brick House by the Commodores, Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang, and Maneater by Nelly Furtado. With more than 650 dance moves spread over 90 routines, the game will keep high-stepping players busy for months, mimicking the onscreen actions of eight in-game avatars.A special Workout Mode lets players track calories, while Dance Battle lets gamers go head-to-head (or should that be feet-to-feet?) in this refreshing change of pace from the "Dance Dance Revolution" series.Donkey Kong Country ReturnsFrom NintendoPlatform: Nintendo WiiPrice: $29.99ESRB rating: EveryoneUnlike the original "Donkey Kong Country" trilogy, which breathed new life into the aging Super Nintendo, the sequel, Donkey Kong Country Returns, was just another first-party title in the Nintendo Wii library, at least in terms of historical importance. However, like most Nintendo-published games, it is a polished, highly entertaining game.Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong run, jump, climb, ride mine carts, swing on vines and otherwise make their way through beaches, jungles and other gorgeously rendered areas, searching for hidden items, grabbing bananas and pouncing on enemies. Several new techniques have been added to the cute, side-scrolling formula, including shaking the controller to blow air. One caveat: The game is old-school difficult.Journey Collector's EditionFrom ThatgamecompanyPlatform: PlayStation 3Price: $29.99ESRB rating: Everyone 10+Published by indie developer Thatgamecompany, Journey is a Zen-like expedition through a desert world. Guiding a nameless man wearing a robe and a trailing scarf, players traverse caves, ancient ruins and sand dunes to reach a mountain in the far distance. The scarf, when charged by floating pieces of cloth, enables players to fly.There are light platforming maneuvers and puzzles to solve along the way, but, as the title suggests, the emphasis is on the transcendental experience of the journey itself. Online gaming allows for a second player to join, but that person remains anonymous. The package also includes the games flOw and Flower, along with such bonus content as a making-of documentary, soundtracks and creator commentary.LittleBigPlanet 2From SonyPlatform: PlayStation 3Price: $19.99ESRB rating: EveryonePioneered by Super Mario Bros. for the NES way back in 1985, cartoonish, side-scrolling platformers have been a staple of the video game industry ever since, peaking during the 16-bit era of the early 1990s. LittleBigPlanet 2 carries on that tradition, but, like the original LittleBigPlanet, it sets itself apart from the pack by providing tools that let players design their own levels. In addition, gamers can go to the social-networking site LBP.me and access millions of levels created by other users.Unlike LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2 gives players the ability to create other genres of games, including puzzle, racing and action/adventure.New Super Mario Bros. UFrom NintendoPlatform: Nintendo Wii UPrice: $59.99ESRB rating: EveryoneBowser has once again captured Princess Peach, but this time in HD, resulting in a gorgeous game. Players guide Mario, Luigi, Toad or a custom Mii character on a quest through the Mushroom Kingdom, collecting coins, jumping on platforms, discovering secrets, pouncing on enemies and bumping blocks. If these elements sound familiar, they should, as New Super Mario Bros. U evokes previous 2-D games in the series.Ample new features do abound, however, as players can now float through the air from a Balloon Baby Yoshi and use the Flying Squirrel suit to glide and cling to walls. A fifth player, utilizing the Wii U GamePad, can join in to create blocks to help or harass other gamers.Namco Museum: Virtual ArcadeFrom Namco Bandai Games AmericaPlatform: Xbox 360Price: $34.99ESRB rating: Everyone 10+The problem: Your teenager has an Xbox 360, and you want to enjoy it with him or her, but you don't like blood, gore or games with complicated controls or confusing, open-ended worlds. The solution: Pick up a copy of Namco Museum: Virtual Arcade, a blast from the past featuring more than 30 arcade classics.The disc includes such simple-to-learn yet hard-to-master favorites as Galaga and Pac-Man, along with obscurities like Baraduke and Bosconian. Plus, there are two excellent, modernized sequels: Galaga Legions and Pac-Man Championship Edition. There's shooting involved in many of the games, but it's of the impressionistic or surreal variety that bears no resemblance to real-world violence.Nintendo LandFrom NintendoPlatform: Nintendo Wii UPrice: $59.99ESRB rating: Everyone 10+The pack-in game with the black Wii U Deluxe Set, Nintendo Land (which is also sold separately) doesn't really act as a stunning showcase for the new system, but it does let players have a little fun while getting acquainted with the controls. It's a collection of 12 mini-games, each inspired by a Nintendo property, set in a virtual theme park.Standouts include Takamaru's Ninja Castle, in which gamers swipe their finger across the GamePad screen to hurl throwing stars; Donkey Kong's Crash Course, which involves tilting the GamePad to maneuver a little cart through a maze; and Luigi's Ghost Mansion, in which a fifth player, as a ghost, sneaks up on other gamers.Tony Hawk: ShredFrom ActivisionPlatforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiPrice: $59.99ESRB rating: EveryoneFeaturing drastic drops, super high jumps, wild spins and other crazy maneuvers (including roller-coaster grinds), Tony Hawk: Shred gets gamers up off the couch and onto a special floor controller, a motion-sensing device that, depending on the mode selected, simulates a skateboard or a snowboard. In addition to Tony Hawk, gamers can play as such extreme sports superstars as Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, Travis Rice and Torah Bright. Modes of play include Trick, Point Rush and Challenge.The game is fun, but consumers have expressed frustration with calibrating the controls. The solution is simple: If you clear the area, dim the lights and change out the batteries that came with the unit, you should be shredding in no time.