The holidays are here and if you’re struggling to figure out what to get for the gamer in your life, we’ve got you covered. With our holiday gift guide, you’ll find 12 of some of the hottest games of the last two years. We’ll also include hyperlinks to our reviews of the title where applicable.
For All Ages:
This category will give you ideas for gamers of all ages. All the games in this section are rated E for Everyone – T for Teen, so they’re largely appropriate for just about anyone.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Star Wars is booming this year. We have the ninth and final chapter in the “Skywalker Saga” coming later this week at the time of writing, The Mandalorian on Disney+, and the acclaimed Jedi: Fallen Order.
This game from Respawn Entertainment carries the spirit of the beloved sci-fi franchise while blending thoughtful gameplay that accurately depicts the feeling of a Jedi. While it’s not as flashy and over the top as the prequel films, it brings back that more methodical, Samurai-esque lightsaber combat of the original trilogy.
Jedi: Fallen Order is the perfect game for any Star Wars lover or anyone really just looking for a really engaging third-person action game.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Nintendo Switch
Mario’s brother, Luigi, is a coward and Luigi’s Mansion 3 is all about exploring just how much of a scardey cat he is. Luigi is inside a very layered haunted mansion, each floor with a different theme. The iconic Italian twin must face his fears and save his friends from the ghosts that have trapped them inside said mansion by catching ghosts, solving puzzles, and getting caught up in all kinds of hijinks.
Nintendo’s threequel garnered incredible review scores and even took home the award for Best Family Game at the 2019 Game Awards.
Marvel’s Spider-Man – PlayStation 4
Spider-Man is one of the most accessible superheroes with his relatable problems, witty humor, and captivating array of powers and rogues gallery of villains. Marvel’s Spider-Man captures the very essence of the hero in every capacity by giving players a story worthy of the wall-crawler’s cinematic adventures and gameplay that makes you feel the adrenaline rush of being a superhero.
If you have a kid who jumps off the couch, pretending to fight crime, sit them down with this game and watch them live out their superhero dreams without wrecking the living room or breaking any bones. With that said, Marvel’s Spider-Man will still satisfy anyone you give it to with its high-quality storytelling, movie-like performances from its actors, and gripping gameplay.
Concrete Genie – PlayStation 4
Concrete Genie is one of 2019’s underrated gems. While mechanically simple, it’s an incredibly wholesome game that preaches a message of positivity. In a medium that features games that tackle its problems with violence and destruction, Concrete Genie uses pacificism, creativity, and more to rebuild instead of destroy.
Concrete Genie is a wonderful, beautiful game that makes a wonderful addition to any PS4 player’s line-up.
Super Mario Maker 2 – Nintendo Switch
Let your imagination run wild with Super Mario Maker 2. The Italian plumber is known for starring in countless games with fun, challenging levels but Mario Maker allows you to be the creative genius behind those levels.
With tons of tools and assets, Nintendo lets you create authentic Mario worlds that both you and others around the world can play. If you’re not feeling creatively adept, Super Mario Maker 2 lets you play other players’ levels, basically doubling the game as a never-ending Mario game.
For Mature Gamers:
This category is exclusively centered around games rated M for Mature and includes games with graphic violence, strong language, and nudity. That said, these are some of the best titles of both the last couple of years and the generation.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
From the creators of Grand Theft Auto, players fill the shoes of outlaw Arthur Morgan as the days of the Wild West are coming to their rightful end. America is moving past the days of gunslingers and becoming far more civilized, this is the tale of a group of outlaws who are trying desperately to cling on to the past and survive in a world that is seeking to make them go extinct.
It’s a powerful story that digs deep into its characters and makes them feel consequences for their evil deeds rather than thrive. This open-world western also features one of the most incredibly interactive and thriving worlds ever made in a video game. On top of all the killing, stealing, and chaos you cause, players can go hunting, fishing, be a hero and help those in need, and redeem themselves for their lawless actions.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the densest and richest games ever created and is an absolutely essential title for any gamer’s library.
Metro Exodus – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Metro Exodus is yet another rich story but trades cowboys and revolvers for Russians and gasmasks. Players must survive the harsh conditions of a world devastated by a nuclear war which has killed the majority of humans and left monsters in its wake. Using survival tactics like scavenging, crafting weapons and tools from scrap, and managing resources, Exodus creates a tense and always engaging gameplay experience.
The story is also just as captivating as you cling desperately to a sign of life outside of the crummy metro systems people have been surviving in for years. It may be hopeless and you may get all of your friends and loved ones helping you killed in the process but it’s all you’ve got left.
Resident Evil 2 Remake – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Resident Evil 2 Remake revives a survival horror classic and polishes it for the modern gamer. With top-tier graphics, horror that gives you an uneasy feeling in your stomach and makes you panic, and gameplay that makes your palms sweat as you use your precious limited ammo to take down zombies, it’s a must-play for horror fans.
Resident Evil 2 Remake also has all kinds of replayability with multiple campaigns and different modes to challenge you. It’s the kind of game that keeps you coming back even after you’ve rolled credits for the first time.
The Outer Worlds – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
The Outer Worlds is one of the best RPGs in the last few years simply because of how well it builds its universe with incredibly layered characters. It’s some of the most fun I had all year with a game thanks to its oozing charisma and undeniable personality. If you want something you can get lost in, this is exactly that.
If you’re shopping for someone who’s a fan of the Fallout series, The Outer Worlds is a perfect buy as it’s made by the folks who brought us the best game in that series: Fallout: New Vegas.
God of War – PlayStation 4
God of War reboots a once-beloved yet slightly juvenile PlayStation franchise under a new lens. Greek god Kratos has fled Greece and gone into hiding with a wife and child but once his wife dies, he’s tasked with taking her ashes to spread them with his son. Trouble quickly arises on their journey and Kratos must unleash the man he’s been trying to hide deep inside himself for so long.
It’s a tale of a parent trying to prevent their child from becoming just like them, trying to raise them in a world that they still don’t fully understand themselves, and dealing with their own demons. It’s a brutal, emotional story that is widely regarded as one of the best games available on PlayStation 4.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Call of Duty is a series known for its multiplayer. It’s fast, well-made, and always gives you that much-needed hit of dopamine. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has gotten a mixed reception from fans but in a pinch, it’s still a satisfying shooter. With a short but enjoyable cinematic campaign, great gunplay, and a multiplayer that’s filled with all kinds of variety, Modern Warfare is a worthy pick for any shooter fan.
Grand Theft Auto V – Xbox One, PS4, and PC
This is the only game on the list that’s older than 2018 but it’s a game that is still incredibly relevant. Rockstar’s open-world crime epic has both an incredibly enthralling single-player mode but also a vast, sprawling online mode. Pull of heists with a crew of your most trusted friends, run a business that sells and smuggles illicit goods, gamble away your millions in the game’s casino, stack up a garage of luxury cars, the opportunities are endless.
Grand Theft Auto V has sold over a hundred million copies, making it one of the best selling games of all-time and it continues to get new content on a regular basis. It’s the gift that keeps on giving year over year and is Rockstar’s magnum opus.
On a personal note, I gave this game to someone as an early Christmas gift this year and she looked me in the eye and told me “This is the best gift I’ve ever gotten.” Her dad bought her a Jeep and she still said that with an incredible level of sincerity to me. True story. So, if you’re looking to give a highly desired gift, Grand Theft Auto V is the way to go.
Amazon and each platform’s respective digital store are holding all kinds of deals on games so we highly recommend giving them a look so you can save on these titles.
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