The holidays are upon us once again, and that means it’s time to start rounding up gifts and other goodies for the important people in our lives. Of course, what better gift to give than one of the year’s hottest new games? Whether you’re a gamer or simply shopping for the gamer in your life, any one of these games is sure to bring a smile to anybody’s face.
The 10 best new games to gift for the holidays
10. Life is Strange 2
For: Fans of deep stories, choice-based adventures
Life is Strange 2 is the latest installment in the hit franchise. A departure from previous games, this entry follows brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz. After an incident in their neighborhood goes horribly wrong and leaves a police officer dead, Sean and Daniel are forced to go on the run. You’ll take control of Sean as he makes his way across the United States, keeping his brother out of danger and interacting with the colorful strangers you meet along the way. This isn’t your average road-trip story, though: one of the brothers has supernatural powers. Currently, only the first episode has been released, with four more due later in the year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
9. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
For: Retro gamers, fans of colorful and cartoony adventures
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a love letter to any fan of the original Spyro series. Sure to bring a rush of nostalgia flooding back, the trilogy has been treated to an almost note-perfect next-gen remaster. Fans will be able to experience the games exactly as they remember, but with an update for modern consoles. The original voice actors have returned and even the soundtrack has been given a remaster. These little details are sure to please the die-hards, but the Reignited Trilogy would also make a perfect gift for the younger gamers in your life.
8. Just Cause 4
For: Fans of explosions, chaos, and destruction
Just Cause is a series that is known for absolutely no-holds-barred, over-the-top destruction. Playing as Rico Rodriguez, you’ll go up against a high-tech mercenary unit known as The Black Hand in the diverse environments of South America. You’ll get to use tricked out cars, powerful weapons, and even extreme weather events like tornados and hurricanes to topple The Black Hand’s regime. Every explosion is rendered with gorgeous, jaw-dropping graphics, and the world is yours to save (or destroy) in whatever way you please.
7. Detroit: Become Human
For: Fans of sci-fi and choice based adventures
The creators of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are back with Detroit. In the near future, hyper-intelligent androids have become an integral part of our society. You’ll take control of three of these androids and shape their stories. Kara is a housekeeper android who goes on the run with a little girl to save her from an abusive father. Markus is a personal aide turned rebel leader, fighting for android independence. Connor is an agent of CyberLife, tasked with rooting out and eliminating any deviant androids. You have total control over the stories of these three characters and how they weave together. There are hundreds of outcomes and paths to take, meaning every experience and playthrough is totally unique.
6. Battlefield V
For: Multiplayer fans, history buffs
Battlefield is jumping from the trenches of World War I to the expansive theaters of the Second World War in Battlefield V. Multiplayer is back, of course, and looks better than ever with revamped modes and mechanics. There’s even Battlefield’s take on a Battle Royale mode that’ll be introduced down the line. On the other end of the spectrum, single player War Stories take an in-depth look at the untold stories of the War. The campaigns are long and engaging, letting players connect with characters and discover whole new facets of the conflict as told from new perspectives.
5. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
For: RPG fans, stealthy gamers
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the long-running franchise. The story takes players back to Ancient Greece, a place where myth and legend meet. Aside from gorgeous environments, you’ll get to meet and interact with famous figures and shape the course of history. New RPG elements, such as the addition of dialogue choices and the ability to choose a character, make the experience more personal for each player. Combat mechanics are also more polished and fluid than ever before, making each carefully executed assassination all the more satisfying.
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
For: Fans of multiplayer and battle royale
Call of Duty is trying out a bold strategy with their fourth entry in the Black Ops series. This game has done away with single player entirely to focus solely on multiplayer modes. The gamble seems to have paid off. Taking center stage is CoD’s take on Battle Royale, dubbed Blackout. Players will drop into the largest multiplayer map in Call of Duty history and fight to the death with familiar Black Ops characters and an arsenal of tactical weapons and upgrades. Classic multiplayer also returns sporting flashy control and mechanic upgrades that make gameplay feel much more intense and fluid. Finally, Zombies is back in grand fashion with multiple modes, characters, maps, and stories that more than make up for the lack of a classic campaign mode.
3. God of War
For: Fans of deep story and emotionally driven narratives, gorgeous worlds
The latest entry in the long-running God of War franchise has been met with universal critical acclaim and many awards and honors, and for good reason. God of War sports a much deeper tone than any of the previous entries. Many years have passed since protagonist Kratos exacted his revenge on the old gods in Greece, and he’s now living in ancient Norway. After the death of his wife, he embarks on a journey with his son, Atreus, that will take them through the realms of the Norse pantheon and also put their relationship to the test.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
For: Spidey fans and fans of all things Marvel
Marvel’s Spider-Man might just be the perfect superhero game. Players don the mask of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, swinging through the skylines of New York to put a stop to a colorful gallery of rogues and villains. The graphics are bright and colorful, and the game feels like a comic brought to life. From the beautiful and fully realized rendering of New York to the fighting mechanics to menacing-yet-deep antagonists, this is the perfect game for any armchair hero in your life.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
For: Gunslingers, outlaws, and other such desperados
Red Dead 2 is easily Rockstar’s best game to date, and perhaps the best game released this year. Players take the reigns as Arthur Morgan, an outlaw in the waning days of the Wild West. You’ll have an incredibly rich and insanely detailed world at your fingertips. Customize your guns down to the engraving, catch and care for your horse, totally customize your outfits, rob banks, hold up stage coaches, hunt legendary beasts, search for hidden secrets, or enjoy the game’s amazing story. It’s an entire world to do with as you please, and whether you live by a code of honor or go full black hat is entirely up to you.
If you’re still struggling with what to grab for gifts this year, consider your struggle over. Take your pick of the titles above, and check one more holiday task off your list.