What if, instead of being cozied up next to an open fire with chestnuts roasting and a hot cup of cider in hand, you were trapped on an island by yourself, and all you could bring were several video games to tide you over until New Years Day? This may sound like a dream scenario to some, but with the abundance of video game releases this year, I’d imagine making a decision on what to bring would be somewhere in the realm of a nightmare. But lucky for you, we’re here to serve as your Cortana, and guide you in your quest to build your very own video game paradise.
Sunset Overdrive Xbox One Bundle: Sunset Overdrive provided one of the freshest takes on sandbox-style games in quite some time, with its radiant color schemes and pants-pissingly hilarious dialogue. Microsoft even said, “We’ll give you the game for free if you purchase one of our consoles.” As one of the Xbox One’s stand out first-party titles, it only made sense for Microsoft to include this in an Xbox One bundle, which has been made even sweeter with its inclusion of a limited edition white console. You can grab one of these bad boys at your local retailer for the slim price of $399, but keep in mind, this bundle doesn’t come with Kinect 2.0, for those looking to utilize the camera’s many handsfree features.
PlayStation TV: Not many people know about the PlayStation TV, Sony’s set top box made to rival other television devices like the Roku and Apple TV. Just like most set top gadgets, it allows you to stream content to your TV via a slew of entertainment apps such as Hulu, Netflix and many more. It can also stream PlayStation 4 content without being in the room with the console and play full-fledged PlayStation Vita titles. Gravity Rush on the big screen, anyone?
Dragon Age Inquisition: Have you been starving for a next-gen RPG? Were you disappointed by Dragon Age II? Bioware has got you covered on all fronts with their recently released game of the year contender Dragon Age: Inquisition. This game will keep you in front of your television for at least 20 hours, with loads of side quests and explorations to take part in. There’s also a nice co-op mode for folks looking to share the joy of slaying goblins with their buddies.
SteelSeries H-Wireless Headset: Audiophile or not, a video game’s sound is always integral to getting that all-immersive experience, and the SteelSeries H-Wireless headset is pretty much all you need when it comes to gaming audio. The headset comes with a wireless transmitter that plugs into hardware via USB, next-gen consoles included. It also comes with two batteries, which can both be charged via the transmitter’s built in battery charger. Add in the fact that the headset is extremely comfortable, boasts efficient nose cancellation, and has superb wireless range and you’ve pretty much got yourself a video game headset dream come true.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U: Super Smash Bros. Wii U is the ultimate party game for those looking to host parties over the holidays, or for anyone who’s looking to ruin their friendships over some good old fashion couch competition. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you know what we mean. If anything, Super Smash Bros. Wii U is a stellar family game and just so happens to be the only game not rated “M for mature” in this guide–something parents may want to keep in mind when shopping for their youngsters.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the best Assassin’s Creed game to ever exist, without actually being a part of the Assassin’s franchise. You’ve got a combat system similar to that seen in the Batman: Arkham series, a fresh story in the world of Tolkien lore, and one of this year’s best innovations in gaming with the Nemesis system. We gave it 4.5/5 burritos, and for a good reason. I highly recommend that fans of action games, be you a Tolkien or non-Tolkien connoisseur, pick it up this holiday season.
PlayStation 4 Destiny Bundle: If you’re planning on picking up a PlayStation 4 this holiday, you may want to feast your eyes on the Destiny Bundle. It’s glacier white and comes with the high selling persistent first-person shooter Destiny. The game’s a great entry level shooter for people new to the genre and offers tons of hours of gameplay to anyone who’s willing to buy into the Destiny ecosystem. Check out or full review of the game here.
Astro A40 Headset: I mentioned how badass the SteelSeries H-Wireless headset was before, but for those who want to go with a wired solution, it doesn’t get much better than the Astro A40s. The headset comes with a sweet MixAmp, allowing users to control sound settings down to a T, a detachable microphone, and detachable speaker plates, so you can accessorize your headset like a true G (Gamer).
Pokémon Omega Rudy/ Alpha Sapphire: If you have a Pokémon itch that is in severe need of scratching, then Pokémon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire is definitely worth picking up. This is the game to have right now on the 3DS outside of the portable version of Super Smash Bros.
The Last of Us Remastered: How do you make a game as sexy as The Last of Us even sexier? You put it in luscious 60 frames per second, which is what Naughty did when they rereleased their 2013 game of the year award vacuum for the PS4. The Last of Us Remastered is the definitive post-apocalyptic video game experience, and a must-own for anybody with a PlayStation 4 console.
Halo: Master Chief Collection: Microsoft upscaled, polished and rereleased all of the famed Halo games of the last 10+ years earlier this month, and there’s enough nostalgia in this bad boy to make you want to throw on a Blockbuster t-shirt and wear your Tech TV baseball cap. Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, all running in gorgeous 1080p and 60 frames per second, can now be yours if you own an Xbox One. The only thing that could make reliving the glory days of Halo better would be if Microsoft found a way to time warp me back to my college dormitory when the game was in its heyday.
Gift Certificate: Last but not least, is a handy dandy gift card to the Nerdist store. Not exactly a video game, but it will give you access to tons of lovely Nerdist apparel and accessories. Then you can purchase some awesome Nerdist gear and when people ask where you got it from, you can reply, “I woke up like dis.”
What are some of the things on your holiday wish list? Is there anything in this guide that you are dying to have? Let me know in the comments below! And for any video game holiday shopping consultation, I’m only one tweet away @Malik4Play.
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