Video Games We Recommend This Year [Holiday Gift Guide 2014]

List by Samuel Huang, Jonathan Baez, & Mike Bitter

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This year is a bit different from previous years when it comes to gaming. Why is that? Well, this is the first year really where all three next gen consoles (WiiU, PS4, and Xbox One) are all available in abundance and the first year where there are actually a lot of games to choose from and not just the handful of titles last year. This year, you’ll be worried less about trying to find an actual console and more about actual games. That means this year’s G Style gaming guide will focus more on the games and less on the consoles themselves since we already know what consoles are hot right now.

That’s not to say there aren’t any fantastic console deals this holiday season. There are. Both PS4 and Xbox One have multiple bundle deals this year as does the WiiU. Xbox One in fact even has some aggressive price cuts this year so it will definitely be interesting to see what consumers pick up this holiday season. But again, since we’re not talking about the consoles this year, let’s jump straight into your top picks this holiday season for games.

Sony PlayStation 4

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Our #1 game recommendation for PS4 is Destiny, by famed Halo creators, Bungie. Despite all the many great games out right now and coming out for the PlayStation 4, we chose Destiny because it’s a game you will spend hundreds of hours of your life playing. Though this game has garnered some pretty low scores from many gaming outlets due to what many believe to be a lack of story and content, it’s hard to deny how fun the game is to play, especially if you have friends to play. Not only that, there are tons of gamers still playing this game since launch and more will probably continue playing once the expansion packs hit. Whether you play PvP or PvE, Destiny has a little bit of something for everyone. Even solo players will find much to do in this game that does not require online matchmaking.

The core game is one of the most solid FPS games you can buy with end game content that is by far, the most exciting FPS experience you could possible have with a team of six. The end game strikes and raids are well worth the price of admission with more to come once the DLC’s hit.

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Winner: Destiny
Runner Ups: The Last of Us Remastered, Grand Theft Auto V, LittleBigPlanet 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition

Microsoft Xbox One

Halo-Master-Chief-Collection

The quintessential game for Xbox owners from the very first Xbox console. Whether you’ve ever played Halo or not this is THE collection of games to have if you’ve played Halo or you want to play Halo. You get Halo 2: Anniversary, along with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4, new digital series, Halo: Nightfall, and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Beta. It doesn’t get better than this collection if you have an Xbox ONE. Seriously

Winner: Halo: Master Chief Collection
Runner Ups: Grand Theft Auto V, Sunset Overdrive, Forza 5, Horizon 2

Nintendo WiiU

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While the Wii U may not boast as an impressive line up of third party games as it’s competitors have, one thing the do better than everyone else is first party titles especially when it involves their rich heritage of characters. Right on time for this holiday season is perhaps the most anticipated game of the year, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Gaming icons like Mario, Mega Man, and Pac Man duke it out in this fantastically fun experience for the entire family. Boasting the largest roster of characters in the series on top of biggest selection of game modes, stages, and now number of simultaneous players (up to 8 at the same time!) makes this a must have not just for any fan of the series, but any Wii U owner – period. Few games pack more depth, while appealing to casual and hard core gamers alike all the while sacrificing nothing in what is both a testament to gaming history and a sign of its future. We couldn’t recommend a better game for the Wii U.

Winner: Super Smash Bros.
Runner Ups: Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Disney Infinity 2.0, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

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Nintendo 3DS

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When it comes to Nintendo’s pint sized portable consoles, nothing rules quite like Pokemon does. Ever since the days of the original Gameboy, there has always been a Pokemon game available, if not several at a time. Despite all these different versions, gamers still flock to these games in hopes of “catching them all.” The latest games in the series is that of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. These games are based on the original Ruby and Sapphire games from 2002. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will take players back to the region of Hoenn but the area has been completely remade to take advantage of the new 3DS with completely redone 3D graphics and new gameplay elements. Despite these two games being remakes, old and new Pokemon fans should still enjoy these.

Winner: Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Saphire
Runner Ups: Pokemon X/Y, Super Smash Bros, Pokemon Art Academy, Tomodachi Life

Sony PS Vita

LEGO-Batman-3-Art_mini

The Lego games have continued to impress and the latest iteration is no exception. Lego Batman 3 Beyond Gotham is the most ambitious title yet, with tons of DC characters including everyone’s favorite Lego dynamic duo, and the man of stee…ummmm legoes? The comedy is ramped up keeping the laughs spread throughout the game which plays with the tested and true formula of building new and amazing things to solve the games clever puzzles. With hours upon hours of content and game play that adapts well to the Vita controls, you can’t g wrong with Lego Batman 3. This a perfect pick for the Vita especially if you happened to own the new PlayStation TV and want to enjoy this game on your television at home when not playing it on the go. We recommend for the fun loving PlayStation Vita owner in your life.

Winner: LEGO Batman 3
Runner Ups: The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead: Season 2, Borderlands 2, Minecraft

 


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And that’s it folks. Though there were a ton of games available this holiday season, these are the ones we thought would make the best gifts to you and your loved ones. We tried to base our choices on personal experience as well as hype and what other had to say about each game. It was a very tough choice choosing just one winner for each category which is why we also included the “Runner Ups” category because these are other games you should definitely not miss.