The big Christmas release rush has come and gone, so with all this season’s major titles ready for the picking, here’s our rundown of what you should be hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
The definitive Wii adventure also just so happens to be one of the best platformers of all time. Added Yoshi and new abilities keep the gameplay fresh, and while it’s more of a reintroduction to the Galaxy… erm…. universe, than a reinvention, when that playground is already one of the cleverest, inspired and joyous gaming worlds out there, that’s no bad thing.
LucasArts’ brainlessly fun sequel to one of 2008’s best action games truly has something for everyone. Lightsabers for the kids, action for the Dads, and a (b)romance (take your pick – Vader and Starkiller’s on/off hook-ups, or Starkiller’s dead missus hang-up) for the ladies, it brings the Jedi fun in spades – it’s just a shame it didn’t last longer.
This year’s Wii Fit, Just Dance 2 is the perfect game to bring the whole family together after the Christmas dinner’s gone down. Silly, infectiously multiplayer and guaranteed to bring everybody down to the same ridiculous-looking level, it sure as hell beats Scrabble.
While it certainly had its faults, Eurocom managed the impossible by updating the N64’s most iconic shooter without disgracing it. Unanimously the Wii’s best shooter, it’s also one of the most ‘adult’ games for the system and a refreshing break from the shiny happy norm.
Not that we’d ever condone silently assassinating your annoying relatives, but Assassin’s Creed 2’s half-sequel is the ideal antidote to those niggling festive family foibles and a perfect way to de-stress after being forced to watch the Only Fools & Horses Christmas Special for the 32nd time.
It was finally unquestionably FIFA’s season, unanimously beating its rivals with its sumptuous visuals, exquisite gameplay details and absorbing Career mode. There’s no better game to simultaneously bring together and tear apart the family.
It may not necessarily scream ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’ but there’s simply no more exciting game to unwrap on Christmas morning. Treyarch translated the action blockbuster stylings of Infinity Ward’s all-conquering FPS with barely any let-up. Oh, and they also threw in a Zombie killing mode for good measure.
Sod yet another repeat of It’s a Wonderful Life and get better acquainted with the game that’s scooping awards by the bucket load. Rockstar’s Western epic lasso’s you in and doesn’t let go, with style, gritty beauty, superb gameplay and an astonishing level of depth. And just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about outlaw John Marston, along comes a bolt-on stuffed to the rafters with zombies.
For those who are just fed up with the whole holiday and merely want to lock themselves in a room until the whole thing goes away again, there’s no better life-suck than the immensely addictive World of Warcraft. With Cataclysm re-writing the WoW landscape, a host of new features and an epic retelling of the driving plot, it’s an ideal present for both new and old fans.
Gran Turismo 5 is an undoubted fan-boy nerdgasm for the die-hard car fans, but for everyone else interested in a rollicking, fun and most importantly fast racer, there’s no game better.