In case you haven’t noticed, gamers are everywhere these days. In fact, according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), two-thirds of US households play video games. That may be why developers are willing to spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars to produce some of the most popular games out there as kids and adults alike salivate at their every move.
If one of your friends or loved ones can’t put the controller down, a video game should be in your shopping cart on Black Friday and in their stocking this holiday season. Here are the top 10 you should consider.
10 – Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World is a safe bet for any Nintendo Wii user. It’s not so much a breakthrough game as yet another entry into a time-tested series that has become synonymous with Nintendo.
9 – Gran Turismo 6
The graphics in this auto racing game are simply unbelievable. The makers have thrown in plenty of new racetracks and a bigger variety of vehicles to choose from, so any racing game fan will certainly enjoy it.
Note that this game will only be available on PS3.
8 – Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed combines a selfish quest for treasure with brutal violence and excellent graphics as the protagonist travels the high-seas. While that may sound senseless to the average person, it’s a recipe for an exciting video game. Now Gamer gave it high marks, which should help ease the concerns of the many who were disappointed by the third entry in this series.
7 – Madden NFL 25
Madden NFL 25 is scheduled for release on November 12, just as the NFL playoff race heats up. It is the latest in an immensely-successful and top-ranked EA Sports series. If you have a football fan/gamer on your list, you can’t go wrong with this one.
6 – Killzone: Shadow Falls
For the gamer that can’t get enough explosions and guns, Killzone: Shadow Falls offers a Terminator-like experience and great graphics.
Note that this one will only be available on PS4.
5 – Batman: Arkham Origins
While this game isn’t hailed as a breakthrough in terms of never-before-seen material, it has been compared to its predecessor, Arkham City, in quality. That’s not so bad, considering Gizmag labeled Arkham City as “…arguably the best superhero game ever made.”
4 – Battlefield 4
You’ve probably noticed a trend by now: gamers like violence. Battlefield 4 offers plenty of that and has extremely realistic graphics.
3 – Call of Duty: Ghosts
The Call of Duty series is wildly-popular with 40 million active players worldwide. This, the tenth installment, should be no different. It’s yet another first-person shooter game, only the battle is underwater and the player now has a remote-control dog to sick on the bad guys.
2 – Grand Theft Auto V
This game would probably have made the top of the list if it weren’t only released on PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s the latest in the extremely popular series of games involving sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence…basically everything parents teach their kids to stay away from.
Sales reached $1 billion in the first three days, making it the first time that any entertainment property has sold so much in such a short time period. Still, you’ll only want to join the party if the recipient is responsible enough to handle the content.
The game has received excellent reviews, with CNET stating, “Its remarkable combination of action, storytelling, and relevant commentary makes it an instant classic and easily the best value in gaming you’re likely to find.”
1 – Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs offers a chance to become a hybrid of Edward Snowden and Neo.
The main character, Aiden Pearce, is a vigilante hacker who takes the law into his own hands in a dystopian Chicago run by a central operating system that controls virtually everything electronic. He fights against those who wish to inflict crime and punishment on the innocent, all while trying to manage his reputation, which is monitored throughout the game. Available tactics range from stealth to armed assaults and he can even operate in slow motion for extra effect.
For the gamer on your holiday shopping list, there are almost too many high-quality games to choose from. Most involve violence but, if you’d rather avoid that route, games like Gran Turismo 6, Madden NFL 25 and Super Mario 3D World are viable alternatives.
All games are or will be offered at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Target will carry most, as well, and of course, you can always check Amazon or local retailers if the mentioned stores are out of stock in your area.
Console image courtesy of Shutterstock.