The holidays are almost upon us and it is time to start looking for gifts. Thankfully EFG is here to help! Take a look below for some great ideas for video game gifts!
Premium Gaming Service Memberships
Xbox Live Gold
These services started as novelties for anyone who didn’t play games online, but they are huge value propositions now. This is mainly because Sony, Microsoft, and EA all distribute games through them at no additional cost.
PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold are on largely equal footing. They both distribute a slate of free games each month that members can “buy” and play for as long as they are members.
EA Access is a bit different though because the free games included in the serve come in two forms. One being timed demos of their upcoming games. The other being access to the EA Vault which includes older games they have released. This service is getting better and better as time passes and more games are added to it. If you have an Xbox One owner on your list that doesn’t buy a lot of games, but has eclectic taste then this should be something to think about.
Some of the best games released this year didn’t come in a box and you won’t find them on store shelves. These games also tend to be cheaper than full retail releases as well. If you are looking for a smaller gift for the little gamer in your life these can be a great option.
Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One)
This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful games I played all year. You play as, essentially, a tree spirit as you travel around a magic forest helping protect it from evil. The plot sounds as “blah” as you can get, but it was gorgeous, challenging, and memorable.
Rocket League (PS4)
We’re talking about soccer as played by jet powered cars that can fly. What more do I need to sell this one for you?
Runbow (Wii U)
If you know someone who owns a Wii U and they regularly have friends over to play this is a must own. Runbow is a 9 player platforming game that will challenge every friendship they have in hilarious ways.
Madden 16, FIFA 16, NHL 16
There really isn’t much to say about these games other than the fact that the Madden, FIFA, and NHL games are the premier game experiences for fans of those sports.
Unlike the previously mentioned sports games NBA2K16 includes a cinematic story mode that was directed by Spike Lee. This might seem minor, but it adds a lot to the game. The single player mode is a compelling story about the importance of family and friendship in the face of stardom in the NBA. I enjoyed it a lot.
Transformers because…. Transformers
I said just about everything I could in my review. But, suffice it to say that this is one of the best Transformers games ever and is will be a guaranteed hit for anyone who loves Transformers (past or present).
You Can’t Stop the Music!
Guitar Hero: Live vs Rock Band 4
A lot of people are going to be looking at the music games this year and will be forced to make a choice between Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4 (click the links for reviews of each). Both of them are great games, but Rock Band 4 likely holds the edge if you are buying for someone who regularly plays with friends.
Toys to Life
Unless you have been under a rock, it’s likely that you have heard of Skylanders, the awesome game that brings “toys to life”. The newest installment, Superchargers, brings your favorite skylanders (and some new friends) back with a fleet of drivable vehicles that take to the land, air and sea and bring new life to the franchise. With new levels, new puzzles, new powers and the same old Kaos, Superchargers doesn’t disappoint!
Disney Infinity 3.0
Disney seems to own everything these days and all of that stuff is appearing in their flagship video game: Disney Infinity 3.0. The big focus this year is Star Wars (shocker. I know.) and there are a lot of really cool figures to go along with an interesting game. If your kids LOVE Star Wars then this is a great option.
What kid doesn’t like to play with LEGOS? I certainly can’t think of one and LEGO Dimensions give these kids the chance to play with their LEGOS inside of a video game. The gameplay is reminiscent of other LEGO games so families who have been playing them will be right at home.
The Nintendo Corner
Splatoon is Nintendo’s family friendly answer to the relentless request for a first person shooter on one of their consoles. It is an amazingly fun game where you play a squid kid or inkling whose goal is to defeat other players while covering the most turf with ink. There are many modes of play in this game and it is one of Nintendo’s few games that really integrates usage of the gamepad. This is a family favorite in our house and the variety of play choices have made it so the game does not get old. This may even be EFG’s game of the year.
Super Mario Maker
Have you ever wanted to play infinite levels of a Mario game? Did you ever want to create your own levels by adding enemies and blocks wherever you choose? Mario Maker allows you to do just that. You use the gamepad to create your own levels and you can play levels that have been shared around the world. This game is very intuitive and easy to use. Even our youngest players can make their own levels. This was a surprise hit in our family considering how poorly other level building games went over. This game also has DLC that is continuously keeping it fresh. Another must have on a holiday wish list.
Mario Kart 8
What can we say about this game that hasn’t already been said? Kart racing, our favorite Nintendo characters, and amazing graphics make this a given on any holiday wish list. There are plenty of new tracks in this game, along with lots of reimagined favorites. This is a great game to play as a family and if you don’t have it already, you should definitely purchase this one! DLC and updates keep this game fresh. Did we mention that you can race as Link? On a triforce motorbikes?
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