For the festive gamers – some of the biggest and best games of the year, which should be on every gamer gift buyer’s list…
33. Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III is a third-person Action-Adventure game in which players take on the role of an assassin hunting remnants of the ancient Templar order, hiding in plain site against the backdrop of the American Revolutionary War. The game is the fifth overall release in the Assassin’s Creed franchise and the first to include significant use of firearms. Features include: an all new assassin character, a link to the modern Desmond Miles character from earlier games, gameplay spread over decades, naval combat, Native American weapons, new physics, animation and weather systems, and intense multiplayer featuring new characters.
The American Colonies, 1775: A brave young warrior fights to save his homeland. But what begins as a struggle over territory turns into an extraordinary journey that will transform him into a master assassin – one that will forever change the destiny of a newborn nation.
You are Connor, warrior son of a Native American mother and British father. As the colonies draw closer to revolution, you will dedicate your life to the freedom of your clan, becoming the spark that ignites the revolution into a full blaze. Your crusade will lead you through blood-soaked battlefields and crowded city streets, to the perilous wilderness and stormy seas. You will not only witness history… you will make it. Set against the backdrop of one of the bloodiest Revolutions in world history, prepare to be drawn back into the centuries old battle between the Assassin’s Order and their sworn enemy, the Templars. Unleash lethal new skills and experience a stunningly realistic world created by Anvil Next, a new engine that redefines gaming. Welcome to an entirely new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed saga.
34. Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2 furthers the distinct blending of First Person Shooter and Role Playing genres to create the true evolution of the Role Playing Shooter. Team up with up to three other players for four-player online goodness or go old-school with two-player split-screen couch sharing mayhem as you spend hours leveling up your character and equipping them with one of the millions of badass weapons. Borderlands 2 features a new visually stunning array of procedurally generated guns, shields, grenades, artifacts, enemies and more.
Choose one of the four new character classes to be taken through a carefully crafted and connected story to all new and surprising environments across the living planet of Pandora. Make new friends, arm them to the teeth and fight alongside them on your relentless quest for revenge and redemption.
35. Halo 4
“Halo 4” marks the much anticipated return of the iconic character, the Master Chief, in the blockbuster franchise that has shaped entertainment and gaming history for more than a decade. Set four years after the events in “Halo 3”, Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. A highly successful billion dollar franchise, and the first video game launch to break Hollywood box office records, the next installment, “Halo 4”, takes the franchise in a bold new direction by delivering the most epic and explorative campaign yet; an emotionally resonant story; a groundbreaking score from Neil Davidge, the producer of Massive Attack fame; and a revolutionary multiplayer offering unlike anything before it. Called Spartan Ops, this story-driven and episodic multiplayer experience is free for everyone who purchases the game. It’s built like a TV series, as Season One blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized offering.
Halo 4: “Forward Unto Dawn” is a live-action series that takes fans back to the terrifying beginning of the Human/Covenant war, when the Master Chief inspired a young cadet who would eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC’s greatest vessel: the UNSC Infinity in Halo 4. Created in partnership with top Hollywood talent from film, television and new media, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn brings a brand new ‘Halo’ story to life on a scale never before seen in the universe. The series will debut 5th October on Machinima Prime and on Halo Waypoint as a five episode series. The “Halo 4” Limited Edition game (£69.99 ERP) will also include access to the Forward Unto Dawn’ Special Edition via Halo Waypoint, with never-before-seen bonus footage, as well as exclusive fiction and behind-the-scenes content.
36. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Pushing the boundaries of what fans have come to expect from the record-setting entertainment franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into a near future, 21st Century Cold War, where technology and weapons have converged to create a new generation of warfare.
Combining incredible high-dynamic range graphics and sensational new gameplay, Black Ops II sets you off on secret operations as Frank Woods – the protagonist from the original Black Ops game.
The non-linear storyline will see you battling during a futuristic Cold War, as well as tackling flashbacks from historical missions and playing as various members of the Mason family. Every decision you make during this story will affect future consequences, giving you a different experience every time you play.
With new futuristic weapons, the chance to master a number of different vehicles and modes of transport, and a mysterious villain – known simply as Raul Menendez – Black Ops II is set to be the ultimate Call of Duty game.
Alongside the epic Campaign and branching story is the all-new Multiplayer mode. New maps, new game-styles and new perks make this the most engaging Multiplayer yet!
The fantastic Call of Duty Elite service is provided for free alongside the action-packed game, allowing you to use a number of incredible features which will enhance and extend your Multiplayer experience.
Zombies Mode also makes a comeback with a series of challenging maps and missions that enable you to fight off the dead in even more ways.
37. Forza Horizon
Combining the legendary “Forza Motorsport” authenticity with a festival atmosphere and the freedom of the open road, “Forza Horizon” is a high- intensity, action-racing game set against the backdrop of the world’s most unique motorsport party. Featuring an expansive landscape, daring driving manoeuvres to master, a rousing soundtrack curated by Rob Da Bank, and visceral moment-to-moment gameplay, “Forza Horizon” offers an immersive pick-up-and-play experience while retaining the unrivaled realism, diversity and innovation that are hallmarks of the “Forza Motorsport” racing game franchise.
38. WoW: Mists of Pandaria – Collector’s Edition
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the long-awaited fourth expansion pack in the World of Warcraft series. This follow-up to Cataclysm, opens up a number of new and exciting features that players of the epic MMORPG have been calling out for.
Alliance warships prowl the seas. Horde armies thunder across Kalimdor. Tensions between these factions edge closer to erupting in a savage war that threatens to consume all of Azeroth. Against this backdrop of impending conflict, an uncharted island mysteriously appears.
Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures — including the enigmatic pandaren.
All but the bravest pandaren explorers have been hidden from the world for thousands of years. Now, in the aftermath of the events of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Pandaria’s heroes are stepping forward to declare their allegiance to either the Alliance or the Horde and share the extraordinary secrets of their ancient martial arts with the world.
The Collector’s Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus and in-game items:
- World of Warcraft In-Game Mount: Take to the skies of Azeroth astride the mystical Imperial Quilen flying mount.
- World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: Journey across Pandaria with the Lucky Quilen Cub at your side.
- StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits: Bring the Horde and Alliance rivalry to the far reaches of the Koprulu sector with exclusive Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar Battle.net portraits.
- Diablo III Banner Sigil and Accent: Display your status as a hero of Pandaria with the iconic markings of World of Warcraft’s newest playable race, the pandaren.
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray: Learn about the creation of Pandaria with this two-disc set featuring over an hour of commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.
- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Experience 20 orchestral pieces from Mists of Pandaria.
- The Art of Mists of Pandaria Book: Explore this 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen pieces from the expansion, from early concepts to final 3D renderings.
- Chen Stormstout Mouse Pad: Equip your desk with this special-edition mouse pad featuring the legendary pandaren brewmaster.
39. Guild Wars 2: Collector’s Edition
Enter the ever-changing fantasy world of Tyria, where you control the story and your actions shape the world around you!
Heroes from the five great races – charr, asura, norn, sylvari and humans – must set aside their differences and unite against the Elder Dragons who have woken from their slumber, reshaping continents and corrupting the land and its inhabitants. Together these champions are the last, best hope for Tyria.
Guild Wars 2 is redefining the future of online role-playing games with intense, action-oriented combat, customisable personal story, innovative dynamic events that have a real and persistent effect on the surroundings, world-class PvP and no subscription fees.
The Collector’s Edition includes the following physical and digital contents:
CE Physical Contents
- 10-inch Figurine of Rytlock
- 112-page Making of Guild Wars 2 book
- Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD
- Art Portfolio and Five Art Prints
- Custom Art Frame
CE Digital Contents
- Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill This unique elite skill allows the player to summon a temporary Mistfire Wolf pet for use in combat.
- Miniature Rytlock
- Chalice of Glory
- Tome of Influence
- Golem Banker
40. Resident Evil 6
It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place in the belief that it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity. Due to be by the President’s side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S. Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a President transformed beyond recognition and make his hardest ever decision.
At the same time, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance member, Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack. With no country safe from these attacks and the ensuing outbreaks, the entire world’s population is united by a common fear that there is no hope left.
In a first for the franchise, Resident Evil 6 sees series favourites Leon and Chris come together to face this unprecedented threat. They will be joined by new characters, each with their own unique perspective and involvement in this relentless dramatic horror experience enacted on a global scale.
41. Dead Or Alive 5 Collector’s Edition
In Dead Or Alive 5 players will once again take on the roles of the cast of Dead Or Alive fighters in an intense, action-packed brawler set in visually striking locations from around the world. The famed Dead Or Alive hand-to-hand combat returns, supported by completely new 3D stages that update the series’ characteristic style with a fresh look and feel.
Dead Or Alive 5 stages are more than spectacular visual backdrops, instead playing to a fighter’s strengths. As a fight progresses, the backdrop will change and interact with players. Skilled fighters will be able to utilize these dynamic stages to pit their opponents against fresh obstacles to create a new fighting experience. This fusion of combat and dynamically changing backdrops is a formula for the evolution of fighting games as “Fighting Entertainment”.
With a sensual yet realistic style, Dead Or Alive 5 characters are rendered in incredibly lifelike detail. From smooth, lithe muscles to emotive facial expressions, every character comes to life. Characters can even perspire as they fight, with realistic depiction of wet skin, damp hair, and moist, semi-translucent clothing as the match progresses.
The collector’s edition includes:
- Dead or Alive 5 Game
- Premium embossed steel case packaging
- Exclusive hardcover art book
- Premium swimsuit costumes for the full cast of female playable characters
- Official game soundtrack CD
- Dead or Alive 5 Poster
Introducing the next stage in the evolution of the guitar game. Rocksmith is the first and only game where you can plug ANY real guitar into your console and actually LEARN while you PLAY. Nothing plastic. Nothing fake. Just the most authentic guitar experience in music gaming. By plugging your electric guitar into your console, you’ll develop real skills and real styles while playing real music.
Featuring gameplay that automatically adjusts to your personal ability, and innovative game design that makes playing music visually intuitive, Rocksmith will engage experienced musicians as well as those who have never picked up a guitar before in their life.
You’ll unlock mini games to hone specific skills. You’ll be able to choose from a large catalogue of songs in different styles. And you’ll experience it all with an actual guitar. Nothing compares to playing a real guitar. Except playing Rocksmith.
The game will include the brand new Bass mode, offering players the opportunity to play bass guitar on all supported on-disc and downloadable songs. Not only can players play the bass parts of songs, but bassists of all experience levels can also improve their skills with dedicated bass technique challenges and tutorial videos. Players can even use any 6-string guitar to emulate a 4-string bass. Tracking their learning has never been easier as bass progression is tracked separately from guitar progression.
Last but not least, all songs can be played in multiplayer with one person playing the bass part and the other the guitar part.
43. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
Dark Souls is the new action role-playing game from the developers who brought you Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware. Dark Souls will have many familiar features: A dark fantasy universe, tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and unique online interactions.
Prepare for a new, despair-inducing world, with a vast, fully-explorable horizon and vertically-oriented landforms. Prepare for a new, mysterious story, centered around the the world of Lodran, but most of all, prepare to die.You will face countless murderous traps, countless darkly grotesque mobs and several gargantuan, supremely powerful demons and dragons bosses. You must learn from death to persist through this unforgiving world.
And you aren’t alone. Dark Souls allows the spirits of other players to show up in your world, so you can learn from their deaths and they can learn from yours.
44. We Sing 80s (Nintendo Wii)
30 awesome 80s hits! including many No.1 Hits! The very best of 80s MUSIC, from the World’s biggest artists. Blind & Expert Mode available in Solo game play. Featuring original artists and videos.
Party like it’s 1985 with the latest game in the million-selling We Sing franchise – featuring 30 of the biggest songs from one of music’s best-loved decades! Featuring era-defining artists and a host of fantastic multiplayer features, We Sing 80s will have you singing into your hairbrush all over again.
45. LEGO Lord of the Rings
LEGO The Lord of the Rings is based on The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy and follows the original storylines of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Now the entire family can team up in pairs as adorable LEGO The Lord the Rings minifigures to experience countless dangers, solve riddles and battle formidable foes on their journey to Mount Doom.
Explore Middle-earth in an epic and thrilling LEGO videogame adventure for the entire family! Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group today announced LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™, the latest addition to the wildly successful LEGO videogame series that brings to life the legendary fantasy saga by J.R.R. Tolkien. The game will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 system, the Wii™ system, the Nintendo DS™ hand-held system, the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, PlayStation® Vita system and PC.
46. Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Written by U.S. Tier 1 Operators while deployed overseas and inspired by real world events, Medal of Honor Warfighter delivers an up close and personal look at today’s battlefield and the fight against the ongoing global terror threat.
Medal of Honor Warfighter puts players in the boots of today’s most highly trained and skilled warriors to experience missions that have a dotted line to real world terrorist threats. This is Tier 1 on a global scale, featuring real world hotspots in the single-player campaign and introducing international Tier 1 Operators in multiplayer. This move puts gamers in the boots of Tier 1 Operators from 10 different nations around the world. Gamers can represent their nation’s Special Operations Forces on the multiplayer battlefield where the world’s best-of-the-best warriors go head-to-head in online competition.
47. Need For Speed: Most Wanted
To be Most Wanted, you’ll need to outrun the cops, outdrive your friends, and outsmart your rivals. With a relentless police force gunning to take you down, you’ll need to make split second decisions. Use the open world to your advantage to find hiding spots, hit jumps and earn new vehicles to keep you one step ahead.
In true Criterion Games fashion, your friends are at the heart of your experience. In an open world with no menus or lobbies, you’ll be able to instantly challenge your friends and prove your driving skill in a variety of seamless multiplayer events. Your rivals will do everything they can to stop you from getting to the top. In this world, there can only be one Most Wanted.
48. FIFA 13
FIFA 13 captures the drama and unpredictability of real-world football. The game creates a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, delivers freedom and creativity in attack, and connects fans to the heartbeat of the sport – and to each other – through EA SPORTS Football Club. FIFA 13 features five breakthrough gameplay innovations which revolutionize artificial intelligence, dribbling, ball control and physical play, as well as engaging online features and live services.
FIFA 13 with Kinect enables you to use voice commands to manage your club’s line-up and tactics without pausing the game, shout directions on the pitch in Be A Pro, and forces you to temper the way you talk to officials.
49. NHL 13
Featuring the biggest innovation for the franchise in six years, NHL 13 accurately captures the speed, creativity, and strategy of today’s NHL with revolutionary True Performance Skating. Sync up with friends with the real-world of hockey in GM Connected, the first-ever online multiplayer dynasty mode with cooperative and Online Team Play, or relive the greatest moments from today’s NHL in NHL Moments Live.
With core gameplay innovation, connected experiences, and the deepest feature set ever, NHL 13 is the definitive hockey experience.
50. Madden NFL 13
With Physics You Can Feel, Madden NFL 13 delivers next generation gameplay today. The all-new Infinity Engine delivers real-time physics, ensuring no two plays will ever LOOK or FEEL the same. Madden NFL 13 revolutionizes the way sports video game career modes are played with Connected Careers—a completely new and fully connected universe defined by deep gameplay, unique storylines and social integration.
With cutting-edge Infinity Engine technology, revolutionary Connected Careers and a complete audio and visual overhaul that delivers best in class presentation, Madden NFL 13 is undoubtedly the greatest entry in the franchise’s celebrated history.
A modern day reinvention of one of the most critically acclaimed arcade franchises of all-time, EA SPORTS™ SSX will allow players to experience the franchise’s signature fun and adrenaline-packed gameplay across iconic mountain ranges all over the world.
Using NASA topographical satellite data, we’ve mapped out a Massive World for players to explore. Throughout nine expansive mountain ranges, SSX packs reality-defying gameplay into every run letting players Race, Trick, and Survive down huge open mountains. In addition, Explore, Global Events and RiderNet – SSX’s recommendation engine – headline an online feature set that will revolutionize social competition for gamers, making it fun and easy to compete with friends on your schedule.
52. Thundercats – DS
THUNDER, THUNDER, THUNDER, THUNDERCATS HO!
The hit animated high-action series claws its way onto the Nintendo DS™! After generations of prosperity and peace, Thundera has fallen into despair. The once proud nation was led into ruin by the Lizard army and its leader, the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra. Become Lion-O and battle Mumm-Ra and his evil forces as you run, jump, and slash your way through action ripped straight from the new animated series. Wield the incredible power of the Sword of Omens and call upon your faithful companions in this epic side-scrolling adventure.
53. iCarly Groovy Foodie – DS
iCarly: Groovy Foodie! is the riveting action-puzzle game based on iCarly, Nickelodeon’s popular live-action series for kids and teens, available exclusively for Nintendo DS. In iCarly: Groovy Foodie!, Carly and Sam get into mischief at a local hot dog stand and could face time in juvie, unless they complete community service by feeding the citizens of Seattle! Play as the duo and help them out of trouble by serving wacky dishes to crazy customers in a fast-paced, action puzzle game that dishes out all the random hilarity from the show!
54. NBA 2K13
NBA 2K13 is the latest instalment in the best-selling and highly rated NBA videogame series. NBA 2K13 is the best way to plug into NBA culture. It’s the most fun, authentic NBA videogame experience and is for any sports fan with that competitive fire who wants to play the best NBA simulation on the market.
55. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown will place you in control of a secret paramilitary organisation called XCOM. As the XCOM commander, you will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics. The original X-COM is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made and has now been re-imagined by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth. You will control the fate of the human race through researching alien technologies, creating and managing a fully operational base, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in battle.
56. Painkiller Hell and Damnation – PC
Evil has returned! Demonic powers are manifesting themselves as a myriad of dark creatures, fighting over the fates of imprisoned souls caught in Purgatory. Once again, it is up to Daniel Garner, in the unenviable position of being the Curse of Darkness and the Toy of Light, to fight his way past hordes of demons and fiends. Questions remain…“Can he stop the powerful creatures that stand in his way? Will he ever leave the hell of Purgatory and be reunited with his wife Catherine?” Painkiller Hell & Damnation is a fast-paced, thrilling modern remake of an all-action shooter Classic!
57. Kylie Sing & Dance (Nintendo Wii)
Take to the stage with Kylie!
Kylie Sing & Dance will feature 26 of Kylie Minogue’s globally recognised smash hits, including chart toppers such as ‘The Loco-Motion’, ‘Tears On My Pillow’, ‘Spinning Around’, ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, ‘Better The Devil You Know’, ‘Especially For You’, ‘Get Outta My Way’, ‘Time Bomb’ and Kylie’s latest 2012 single ‘Flower’.
This year will mark Kylie’s 25th year in music and her first fully dedicated video game, Kylie Sing & Dance. Players will be able to sing or dance alongside Kylie by progressing through the career mode. Featuring official videos and music, Kylie Sing & Dance is the first officially licensed Kylie game and the perfect way to celebrate 25 years on top. The two player singing mode and four player dance mode means that Kylie Sing & Dance is the ultimate party game for 2012!
58. Farming Simulator 2013 (PC)
Farming-Simulator 2013 gets you in the boots of a real farmer of a 21st Century farm!
Vehicles from the biggest brands faithfully reproduced down to the last detail!
Grow and sell what you’ve been harvesting in order to buy new vehicles and new animals to breed
Tractors, harvesters, balers, seed drills, plough, cultivators, tows… every single vehicle has its own function !
Play in cooperatively on LAN or on the Internet with up to 10 players ! Help one another to obtain the best of your crops, produce as much milk as possible, hire new work force and grow your vehicle pool!
This article was first posted on November 15, 2012