Lazygamer’s holiday shopping guide for games

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It’s nearly that time of year again. A time for family, for tons of food, and for finally getting a bunch of hours and days of game time. However, whether you’re buying a game for yourself or for friends and family, it can be hard to pick out the right title. We strive to make that a little bit easier with our shopping guide, just in time for some (hopefully) awesome Black Friday specials.

Recommended on PS4

Bloodborne 23

There are plenty of excellent games that have come to a variety of consoles this year. This isn’t where you’ll find those games. These are titles that are only available on PS4 and are not only excellent, but might be so great that you should go out and get the console if you don’t already own it.

  • Bloodborne: “While it’s certainly not for everyone, Bloodborne is amazing. It’s beautiful and brutal and it actually loves the player more than it lets on. It wants you to succeed. It wants you to keep getting better at the game. It wants you to explore the world and uncover all its secrets.”
  • Until Dawn: “Until Dawn gave me plenty of scary experiences for a good couple of hours. However, it simply couldn’t maintain that fear factor for the full game and the replay elements aren’t as compelling as I’d hoped they would be. If you are keen for a heart-pounding horror game, you could do far worse than Until Dawn, even if it doesn’t fulfill its true potential.”
  • Helldivers: “Helldivers is hopelessly addictive and brilliantly brutal. You will find yourself playing with a gleeful smile throughout, either thanks to crushing foes with your drop shipped turret or because of shooting your enemy with bullets full of freedom. Fast-paced and humorous with deep combat, this space romp should be required in every PS4 owner’s library.”

Recommended on Xbox One

Ori 1

It’s a bit trickier with Xbox One because so many “exclusives” also come to PC. However, if you own an Xbox One, or are looking to get one this holiday season, these 2015 titles should be included in your library.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: “Crystal Dynamics have effortlessly done the impossible with Rise of the Tomb Raider, crafting a sequel that is superior to their reboot in every single way possible. It’s a bigger, more expansive experience that has a captivating narrative, engrossing gameplay loops and an absolutely stunning presentation. Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best action games ever crafted, and a generational leap forward as the series looks towards the horizon.”
  • Forza 6: “Forza 6 is one of the very best racing games available on any system. If you are a fan of cars and racing then this is absolutely something that you need to play. I still can’t decide whether I preferred the classic racing or taking dedicated racing cars around the larger tracks, but it was all incredible, offering the perfect balance between simulation and accessibility.”
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: “As a complete package, Ori just dazzles in every way possible. It looks gorgeous, plays even better and it never ever feels like its wasting your time while it provides a balanced challenge. Ori and the Blind Forest doesn’t add anything new to the genre of gaming that it was inspired by, but few other games can match the polished gameplay and humbling difficulty of this charming little fella.”

Recommended on PC

Homeworld 2

There are plenty of PC gaming titles out in the wild, and it’s almost impossible to curate these in a short list. However, these are some top titles released this year that really should be a part of your collection.

  • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void: “Its mere existence proves that the RTS genre, despite the flood of MOBAs in recent years, is very much alive and well. It’s clear that Blizzard have poured every resource at their disposal into making the definitive StarCraft II experience. The result is something truly special. Legacy of the Void should not be missed.”
  • Homeworld: Remastered: “The huge amount of work that went into modernising and reinterpreting the many visuals, from the ships to the wonderfully abstract nebulous backdrops feel like a massive love letter to both the original game, and to the fans who love it.”
  • Anno 2205: “Anno 2205 is a solid city-building and economic management game, one that provides an addictive experience. As the end game draws on however, some players may experience fatigue and move on. Fans however, will find a sim that will eat up dozens of hours of their time, especially if they are out to establish a perfectly balanced economy.”

Recommended on old-generation consoles

GHL 2

The older consoles might not be what they used to, but that doesn’t mean all is lost if you haven’t upgraded. There are still some titles worth buying on PS3 and Xbox 360 if those are your only options.

  • Guitar Hero Live: “The new guitar refreshes the whole experience, even for me, a franchise veteran. The Live component, though short, provided a fantastic experience – one that I really enjoyed. GHTV is a phenomenal feature, or at least, it could be with some fine tuning. The fact that is free is a nice incentive, but the extra-fact that it isn’t friendly to those who want to perfect certain songs really needs to be addressed in the future.”
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: “Crystal Dynamics have effortlessly done the impossible with Rise of the Tomb Raider, crafting a sequel that is superior to their reboot in every single way possible. It’s a bigger, more expansive experience that has a captivating narrative, engrossing gameplay loops and an absolutely stunning presentation. Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best action games ever crafted, and a generational leap forward as the series looks towards the horizon.”

Top 5 must own in 2015

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Various types of enemies require different approach

There are some games that deserve awards each year, and those will probably top your shopping list. Some of those games are below. However, there are some games that won’t win awards, but are still a whole bunch of fun to play and should be in your library. These are the top 5(ish) games that you should own (or buy for loved ones) in 2015. We are hoping to avoid double mentions here, so just assume that any titles that are recommended on PS4/Xbox One/PC would also be on this list.

  • For shooter fans – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “In the end it is still Call of Duty and if you aren’t a fan of the run and gun mechanic then you are probably not going to be a big fan. However if you’ve ever enjoyed any Call of Duty game since World at War you are going to love this. Easily the best multiplayer I’ve experienced in years along with a strikingly unique single player campaign plus a bucket load of extras and a massive community to enjoy it with. You can’t go wrong picking it up this year.”
  • For RPG fans – The Witcher 3 “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an impeccable role-playing game, and one of the finest games ever created. Whether it’s as large as tracking the Wild Hunt or as small as delivering a love letter, The Witcher 3 makes Geralt’s actions count in the most incredible ways – creating a world begging to be explored for countless hours on end.”
  • For more RPG fans – Fallout 4 “Despite itself however, Fallout 4 manages to be an engaging adventure. It actually looks and sounds fantastic, and while some textures and most character models are downright ugly (I actually mistook a few human characters for Feral Ghouls), it still has a really good art direction and the dynamic effects help greatly in making up for its graphical shortcomings. I may have found it hard to overlook some of its flaws, but it’s still a world I want to get lost in and even as I write this and look back at all the frustrations I had, this game is still on my mind, and I can’t wait to hop back in.”
  • For open-world sandbox fans that aren’t satisfied with RPGs – Assassin’s Creed Syndicate “While the franchise still needs to overcome some inherent flaws, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate feels refreshingly different and a joy to play. With believable characters and fluid gameplay that feels trimmed of its excess fat, it is the best Assassin’s Creed game to come out in years.”
  • For sports fans – FIFA 16 “EA Sports have taken a fantastic game and tweaked it to make it just that little bit better. The passing mechanic feels slightly worse but in the end that is also forcing players to utilise the entire range of passing abilities so it is possible that this is by design. FIFA 16 is the best FIFA to date.”

Last Updated: November 26, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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