According to the ESA, about 155 million Americans play video games. That’s basically 42% of the population. Whether or not you’re a gamer yourself or looking for some gift ideas for the gamers in your life, we’ve got some ideas for you here.We’ve included some of the year’s biggest games as well as some other recommendations.
We hope this will help you pick out gifts for others, fill out your Christmas lists, and – if you wind up getting a new console this holiday season – we hope this list might help you come up with some ideas for some games to pick up for your new pride and joy.
Keep in mind, too, that some of the best gifts you can give or receive as a gamer aren’t actually games themselves. Gift cards to various stores and Xbox Live or Playstation Plus subscription cards are great things to pick up, too!
You can also check out the Cheap Ass Gamer master thread which has all the best deals easily accessible.
Read on for our recommendations – and then list your own in the comments below. If you have any thoughts about any of the games we have on our lists or any that we may have left out, add those too. I’m sure folks will appreciate the help. There’s a lot of great games out there and only so much time before the holidays to sift through them all!
Pokemon Sun & Moon
What holiday gift guide would be complete without listing the Pokemon franchise? This year on November 18, 2016 what appears to be the craziest and possibly most unique addition to the series is going to be released.
Pokemon Sun/Moon take place in a brand new region of the Pokemon world – the Alola region. Not only do they have their own Pokemon there but they also have different versions of pre-existing Pokemon and their own unique take on the traditional Pokemon League. This game is going to be so completely different from any other main-title Pokemon game we’ve played so far. You definitely don’t want to miss it.
If you’re giving this as a gift, pair it up with a Pokemon plushie or other fun collectibles and you’ll be set. And if you’re thinking of getting someone a 3DS this year – you’ll want to make sure you pick up a copy of Pokemon Sun or Moon (and maybe Pokemon X or Y, too, just in case they don’t like this version).
I’ve been a huge fan of the Uncharted Collection since the very first game was released. I’ve picked up every game since at launch and Uncharted 4 was no exception. If you’ve recently gotten a PS4 or will be getting one this holiday season, Uncharted 4 is a must buy game.
This franchise is probably the best exclusive series the Playstation has to offer and you can get the whole franchise on the PS4 if you pick up the Uncharted Collection along with Uncharted 4. It’s fun, action-packed, and the stories have a great supernatural twist to them. I highly recommend these games to anyone. While there aren’t many deals for Uncharted 4 on Black Friday, the Uncharted Collection will be $15 at most retailers.
Watch Dogs 2
When the first Watch Dogs game was released in 2014, it was met with divided feelings. While we raved about the open world environment and hacking, the story ultimately fell flat. Watch Dogs 2 releases November 15 and while we’re teeming with excitement, we’ll reserve judgement until we get the chance to play it.
That said, first impressions for the game look great which earns it a spot on our holiday gift guide list. Players will be able to hack just about anything, including cars, electronics, drones, and more and the gorgeous open world of San Francisco promises hours of endless gameplay. If you’re a fan of open world action-adventure games this is the game to check out this holiday season.
Also, Watch Dogs will be just $8 on Xbox One and PS4 at Target on Black Friday so you can easily pick up both!
Gears of War 4
The Gears of War series was one of the greatest Xbox 360 exclusive series and it’s taken a while but we finally have a current generation sequel. Gears of War 4 is a great game and it mixes things up a little by being a third-person shooter rather than a first-person shooter. One of the best things about the game is that it has online co-op for the whole story mode. You can play online with someone from start to finish or at home on split screen just like with the original series.
If you’ve never played the original games, don’t worry. If you get Gears of War 4 by the end of the year you’ll also get the four other games in the series – Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War: Judgement.
On Black Friday, Gears of War 4 will be as low as $35 at some retailers. Pretty great price for five full games!
Titanfall was one first major exclusive games on the Xbox One but it’s online-only gameplay left some gamers underwhelmed. That said, it was a great online game and a sequel was pretty much guaranteed.
Titanfall 2 was only just released but it’s been getting rave reviews. Rather than being an Xbox One exclusive, it was released on Xbox One and PS4 this time around and comes complete with a single-player campaign. But the true heart of Titanfall 2 lays in it’s dynamic multiplayer experience which surpasses the original game by leaps and bounds.
You’ll definitely want to check this one out if you’re looking for an excellent online experience this holiday season! You can find it at most stores on Black Friday running between $35 to $40 which isn’t bad considering the game was just released a few weeks ago.
Battlefield 1 is a cinematic masterpiece. Both a sequel and prequel of sorts to DICE’s Battlefield series, Battlefield 1 catapults you into the trenches of one of the bloodiest periods of history – World War I. The developers have done history justice too, adding in unique WW1 weapons, vehicles, and more. Players can drive tanks, pilot biplanes, command zeppelins and battleships and my personal favorite, ride their trusty steed into battle while wielding a sabre.
The game gives you the option to play the popular multiplayer mode or if multiplayer isn’t your thing, play the game’s campaign mode where you play as six unique characters in a series of six chapters, each set in different exotic locations around the globe that played a role in WW1.
While the campaign is short lived, it not only is entertaining but it also teaches you a lot about WW1 and the realities of war. The online gameplay has earned rave reviews and you’ll likely see a massive surge in players around the holidays – so you definitely want to join them!
Paper Mario: Color Splash and Mario Party: Star Rush
It’s almost the end of an era with Nintendo announcing the new Nintendo Switch for sometime next year. The hybrid console intends to replace not just the WiiU as a home console but potentially the 3DS as a handheld console as well.
While I don’t necessarily recommend people pick up either of those two consoles until we learn a bit more about the Switch, if you’ve got them already there is no reason to neglect them. Paper Mario: Color Splash on the WiiU and Mario Party: Star Rush on the 3DS are both great new installments to a pair of beloved, Nintendo franchises. If you’re looking for something new for your Nintendo consoles this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with these two.
If you haven’t played the Bioshock games before then now is the time to do so. Remastered for the current generation, this collection includes all three Bioshock games – Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite. Live or relive through these iconic stories that terrified a generation of gamers.
If you’re not a Bioshock fan alternatively check out the Dead Rising Triple Pack which includes Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record.
Rainbow Six: Siege
I’m also going to recommend Rainbow Six: Siege even though it came out almost a year ago now. I’ve had nothing but great times playing it over the past year and the game periodically offers up new content to players free of charge.
The gameplay is entirely online and there is no single player story mode but this is the only game I’ve played where I haven’t considered that to be a hinderance. This game is best experienced when playing online with a full squad. So while it’s an older game it certainly has replay value. Plus it’s available at a lot of stores on Black Friday for $15 so it’s a great time to pick it up.