Gaming

2018 holiday video game gift guide

spider-man

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

life is strange 2 sean and daniel diaz
Image courtesy Square Enix
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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

spyro reignited trilogy
Image courtesy Activision

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

just cause 4 screenshot
Image courtesy Avalanche Studios
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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

detroit become human conor
Image courtesy Quantic Dream

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

battlefield 5 soldier battle
Image courtesy EA
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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

assassins creed odyssey
Image courtesy Ubisoft
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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

call of duty black ops 4
Image courtesy Activision
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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

god of war
Image courtesy Santa Monica Studio

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

marvel's spiderman
Image courtesy Insomniac

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

red dead redemption 2 screenshot
Image courtesy Rockstar Games
Red Dead Redemption 2 DOWNLOAD NOW
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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.

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