As the holiday season approaches, the easiest people in the world to find a present for are videogame players. This is a fact. So many wonderful titles are being released in time for Christmas, the only real worries – next to their cost – is whether or not you’ll have enough time to play them all. Below we list the top tier-titles for the gamers in your life. You might even want to pick a couple up for yourself…
Halo 5: Guardians
The latest instalment in Microsoft’s flagship shooter sees the galaxy facing a new threat just as the iconic Master Chief disappears.
Players take on the role of Spartan John Locke who goes in search of MC, encountering numerous bad guys along the way. It’s pure space opera featuring tons of new enemies, a superb multiplayer mode and guns, guns and more guns. A must-buy for any Xbox One owner.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
In a move that will probably have fans of this series wetting themselves, Ubisoft has moved the action in Assassin’s Creed to Victorian London for Syndicate.
Players take on the role of two siblings fighting against the city’s oppressive Blue-Blooded overlords using a variety of steampunk gadgets. Expect rooftop running and contract kills aplenty.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops III
The latest iteration in Activision’s shooter behemoth is set in the future where technological advancements have led to AI-controlled military machines and cyborg soldiers battling for control of the globe.
The story has a toe-hold in modern reality and the action set-pieces contain enough testosterone-fuelled explosions to send Michael Bay into orbit. The game also has a multiplayer deep and layered enough to suck years off your life.
Probably the most hotly anticipated game on this list, Fallout 4 returns players to the post-apocalyptic wastelands of the USA, which is simply bursting at the seams with content.
There’s a story underpinning all the action – and we’re betting its a doozy – but between the RPG levelling, weapon and gear crafting and the oodles and oodles of activities players can take part in, plot might be the last thing on your mind. Notify your next of kin if you get this game – they will likely miss you for months.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Lara Croft returns in a new adventure that builds on 2013’s gritty reboot of this series. This time, her adventures centre on discovering the source of the supernatural evil that she confronted in the last game.
Fans will recognise a lot here; third-person-cover-based shooting, puzzle solving and platforming are all present and correct. Even though it does take a lot of cues from its predecessor Rise Of The Tomb Raider offers high adventure at its best. Where do we sign up?
Star Wars Battlefront
Developed by DICE, Star Wars Battlefront is the perfect compliment to the Star Wars mania set to hit planet earth this November.
Unlike a lot of Star Wars games, however, this one is rather decent; side with the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance and then proceed to blast your chums online on a series of maps that recreate some of the film franchise’s most iconic battle. You even get to be Darth Vader occasionally. Tell us you’re not interested in that.
Starcraft II: Legacy Of The Void
The second expansion in Blizzards sci-fi Real Time Strategy (RTS) series aims to wrap up the story of the ongoing war involving the Humans, the nightmarish Zerg and the ethereal Protoss and focusses on the third race in that trifecta.
Players will be able to engorge themselves on the game’s lengthy campaign with its splintering narrative and its fascinating online multiplayer. Like every Blizzard game that rolls off the assembly line, Legacy Of The Void looks gorgeous, is meticulously balanced and boasts an in-game experience that borders on addictive.
Just Cause 3
Rambunctious, chaotic and anarchic, Just Cause 3 is possibly the most fun you’ll have this holiday season. Players are let loose on tropical island that’s being ruled by a dictatorship and they’re charged with taking down the government one gun battle at a time.
Players can travel about the island in a variety of ways, but our favourite involved the protagonist’s grappling hook and parachute that allows players to sling shot themselves over vast areas of terrain. Chuck in vehicles, weapons and tons of opportunities to wreak havoc and Just Cause 3 boasts an appeal that’s positively Bacchanalian.
Need For Speed
EA’s premier racing series is getting a reboot this year as Ghost Games is placing its arcade racing action on a vast open world for players to tool about in.
Customisation options for your ever-increasing garage of cars border on the fetishistic and the Frostbite Engine powering the game make everything look near-photo-realistic. You’ll need an online connection at all times to play it, but that’s a small price to pay for some of the best racing action on a console.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
A shooter for the hardest of the hardcore, Rainbow Six: Siege takes Ubisoft’s FPS military shooter right back to its tactical-based roots from the late 90s.
Two teams square off – one defending a structure, the other trying to break in – and then a tense, white-knuckled game of cat and mouse ensues. Rainbow Six: Siege is unforgiving; it’s one-shot-one-kill so make sure if you pick up a copy that your markmanship is honed to a diamond-tipped edge.