Holiday season is upon us. While you may be thinking it’s a little early for Xmas you might be right, however, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big holiday shopping days so if you’re planning on getting a game or two because of the upcoming holiday deals then the GSG gang has a few games that you shouldn’t use a subscription service like Game Pass or Playstation Now to play. No knock to either service, they’re both great but these games are games you should own because they’re that good and they offer so much replay value that leaving it to be played on a subscription service that may ultimately remove it in time isn’t what you want.

2021 was an excellent year to be a gamer and there were so many incredibly dope games to play. Some of them we reviewed and some of them we played on a personal level. After an entire year to consider what games you should buy for the holidays. Here is what we the GSG gang came up with.

DEATH’S DOOR

The sleeper hit in our opinion for 2021. While this game doesn’t offer anything revolutionary in terms of gameplay as it’s a Zelda style dungeon looter. Death’s Door has a very unique and beautiful art style. A character that is relatable and a story that pulls you in and really engages you to want to solve the mystery of Death’s Door. It’s a game that won’t cost you a lot right now at about $20 bucks, so you can probably expect it to be even cheaper when the deals roll around. Death’s Door is a MUST own and if you don’t like then hey, it didn’t cost you much. This game is available for Xbox and PC and soon to be on PS5. Check our review of it HERE as well just in case you’re undecided.

FORZA HORIZON 5

The best arcade racing game series there is, that title belongs to Forza Horizon 5. It’s no mystery why this game even though it’s newly released has generated more buzz than probably any game this year not named Halo (which won’t be on this list). Forza Horizon 5 is one of the most gorgeous games ever made. Forget about it being a racing game. That’s just an added bonus. Fans of the series are devoted to this game for a reason. A wealth of the world’s finest cars, exotic locations and driving gameplay unlike any other driving game on the market right now. This is not a game we believe you should play on Game Pass as part of a subscription but this is a game you should BUY if you can. Its going to have at least 2 years of replay value considering Forza Horizon isn’t updated every year like Madden or 2K so that means you’ll have a ton of time to complete all of the events, collect all of the cars and a great game to play even if you decide not to re-up on Game Pass. You can our review of it HERE.

RATCHET & CLANK: A RIFT APART

In our personal opinion. Ratchet & Clank is the first true gen experience. The look and feel of the game is unlike like any other 3D platformer available now or really any other game. It’s probably the most visually impressive game we’ve seen in the next gen era. It makes the best use of the PS5’s fantastic controller. The combat system is so much fun and with the variety of weapons you have available to you, there is NO WAY possible that you cannot have fun with this game. Oh, and the story is kind of heartwarming. I don’t care what anyone says. Anyone that speaks negatively about this game has either never played it or has some weird agenda to find something about this game not to like. You don’t believe me? Watch the trailer and you’ll know this is a game you have to BUY.

RETURNAL

Returnal is one of those games that you play if you’re sado-masochistic. It is a game that is not for the feint of heart. It is not for the impatient and it’s certifiably a controller breaker because you’re going to want to throw your controller somewhere when you fail 100 times like we did. Sounds bad right? Doesn’t sound like a game anyone would want to play right? Wrong. Returnal is one of the best games of 2020/21 and the reason for that is its addicting nature. You can’t help but want to search that next cave or fight that next enemy and beat that level boss. It’s a visually stunning game with a very minimal learning curve but a ton of weapons, powerups and caves to explore all wrapped in a very interesting story. This game was once plagued with an issue of not being able to save which made the game somewhat of an unplayable experience but with a recent update and I’m sure more to come that’s over. You can now save your progress and try to beat one of the most fun but seriously challenging games to come out. It’s currently available for the PS5 and should go on sale this holiday season. It’s a must buy game in our opinion.

PSYCHONAUTS 2

A fantastic 3D platformer from the crew at Double Fine. The first game when it debuted back in 2005 16 years ago was kind of a weird and obscure game but, it was a hit. This version of the game is thoughtful, visually beautiful, easy to play and the story is one of the most unique I’ve ever encountered. This is a game that deserves your dollars in ownership if you can swing it. I personally played it on Game Pass and enjoyed it so much that I actually bought the game for my PC. I’ll repeat this phrase again. Psychonauts 2 is a MUST buy in terms of a game you should own. Please pick this one up. I don’t care what platform.

Why buy these games?

Ownership is good thing. While I’m huge fan of game streaming and game subscription services i.e Game Pass or Playstation Now. There’s nothing like owning one of your favorite games and being able to download it on multiple machines if you’re a digital game buyer or having that physical copy that over time will be even more valuable when it becomes a game that you can’t really get anywhere else. These are the best games in our view to own for the holidays and I’m quite sure they’ll be some great sales in regards to these games. These games will make your holidays better for sure.

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