It's almost that time of year again. You know the one; it's a season of fat, jolly men in red suits, a season of screaming shoppers and ridiculous family reunions. It's Christmas!
I can almost hear your sighs of joy - or are they sighs of resignation?
Let's face it, very few people actually enjoy shopping for Christmas gifts (unless you're shopping online). The closer you get to the Holidays, the more crowds, stress, and chaos you're going to have to deal with. If you go in with no idea of what you're getting beforehand, you're gonna have a bad time.
Right, I suppose I should get to the point. I'm a gamer. Many of you probably aren't. At the same time, many of you probably have at least one gamer on your Christmas list - and absolutely no idea of what to get them. Don't worry, folks. So many fantastic titles released this year, you're bound to find at least one they'll like. Plus, you've got me here to help you along a bit.
We'll start with Rockstar's open-world crime-simulation (it's more fun than it sounds, really). This is one gift you literally cannot go wrong with, unless the person you're buying for already owns it. It was, after all, one of the highest-grossing games to ever exist. Seriously. It broke several Guinness World Records.
Grand Theft Auto V puts you into the shoes of three separate criminals: retired bank robber Michael De Santa, repo man Franklin Clinton, and blight on society's seedy underbelly Trevor Phillips. With a world larger than any Grand Theft Auto game in existence (it actually feels like a real city), a twisted sense of humor, and incredible gameplay, whoever you gift the game to will have hours of entertainment.
One thing, though: it's rated M. That means you shouldn't buy it for your kids.You can get it for cheap here.
Next up on the list is Irrational Games' Bioshock Infinite, which puts players into the shoes of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt as he ascends into the clouds, to the flying city of Columbia. There, he'll have to confront good, old-fashioned American racism and nationalism as he makes a desperate bid to rescue a young girl from the clutches of her fanatical father.
Along the way, you'll pick up a whole host of pseudo-magical powers (referred to as "vigors" within the game universe) and a varied selection of weapons with which you'll fight off Father Comstock's forces. Oh, it's a narrative-driven first person shooter, by the way. Make sure whoever you're buying it for is into shooters. Oh, and this one's not really for kids, either. Buy it here or download it here.
What's better than a ninja? A ninja assassin belonging to a secret society spanning back through the centuries. What's better than that? An assassin who also happens to be an infamous pirate captain, sailing the high seas. Assassin's Creed IV takes the best elements of the third game (basically, the naval combat), and mixes in some swashbuckling shipside fights set in an open world.
Basically, if you've ever wanted to be a dashing rogue sailing the high seas, Black Flag might be as close as you're going to get for a very long time. I'm not really sure how well the story plays out (I'm given to understand it feels a bit forced at times), but that hardly matters. You're a pirate ninja assassin. What more could anyone ask for?
Again, M rated. Not for kids. You can buy it here.
While I'm not personally a fan of the Call of Duty series myself, it's such a popular franchise that I wouldn't feel right excluding it from this list. Basically, it's a military-themed, squad-based shooter with a huge focus on multiplayer. From what I've heard, the single-player game this time around is vastly improved over previous titles, with a story that's actually halfway decent.
Again, this one's rated M. Not for kids.Available for cheap here.
Ghosts also features a bunch of new game-modes, one of which allows players to build a "Squad"consisting of either themselves and several computer-controlled allies or a group of their friends.Said squad will then compete online against other squads in a number of different game-modes.Chances are pretty good that if the person you're buying for spends a lot of time playing military shooters, they'll appreciate this gift. That said, don't confuse Call of Duty with the next item on the list...
You can be forgiven for confusing this one with Call of Duty: Ghosts, at least in my eyes. although the two games are fairly distinct from one another once you dig a little, on the surface they look virtually identical (particularly to an untrained eye). That's not an accident: as a franchise, Battlefield can be said to be in direct competition with Call of Duty; both games feature many of the same tropes.
One of the most unique features (and something which sets BF4 apart from Ghosts) is the inclusion of something known as "Commander Mode." Basically, one player gets to see a top-down view of a combat area, which they can use to give orders to their team.
Oh, there's also destructible terrain and stuff. Buy it here. Download it here.
Have you ever wondered what might happen if you took a bunch of characters out of famous fairy tales, re-imagined them, and then forced them into the real world? You might want to try reading the Fables comic book series It's pretty much what I just described.
The Wolf Among us is a fantastic point-and-click adventure game(basically, an interactive storybook) set in the Fables universe. More specifically, it's set in an area of New York known as Fabletown; where all the Fables (former residents of a region known as The Homelands). Players step into the shoes of Sheriff Bigby Wolf (formerly known as The Big Bad Wolf), whose job it is to keep the other Fables of Fabletown in line. It's not an easy job - particularly in The Wolf Among Us, where a serial killer has recently surfaced. The catch? This killer is targeting fables.
Oh, even better? The Wolf Among Us is developed by Telltale Games, creators of The Walking Dead: The Game. Look them up - they're kind of a big deal.
I figured I should include at least one sports game on here. It may well be the most comprehensive soccer game ever made, allowing people to take on the role of both player and manager. It looks good, it plays smoothly, and, aside from a few issues with movement, it's probably one of the most excellent soccer games yet.
I don't have enough space to explain all the intimate details of FIFA 14, but suffice it to say, it's good.
Fans of sports games should greatly enjoy it.
Next up, we've got a game for all the racing aficionados out there. Need For Speed Rivals is the latest installment of the immensely popular Need For Speed series.The game looks extremely sharp and incredibly realistic,and a whole host of social features adds an entirely new dimension to the experience. If ever you've wanted to feel the thrill of the open road as you blaze down it at inhumanly-unsafe speeds, this game's the closest you're going to get without breaking several different traffic laws.
Keep one thing in mind, though: it's for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One; make sure whoever you're buying it for has the console, or they won't be able to play.
Last, but definitely not least, there's Pokemon X and Pokemon Y for the Nintendo 3DS. I don't think I need to do a whole lot of explaining for this one. After all, It's Pokemon.This one's a near-perfect gift for a gamer of pretty much any age. Even better, you can pick up a bundle which includes one of the two games along with a Nintendo 3DS.
That's all for now, folks. Tune in tomorrow, and I'll bring you even more game-related gift recommendations.
SEE ALSO: 5 Fantastic Video Game Christmas Gift Ideas