Chances are you have at least one video gamer left on your Christmas shopping list. And not just kids either; plenty of adults love playing the sophisticated games of recent years.
But unless you’re a devoted gamer yourself, you may not know which are the hot new video game releases that everyone’s talking about this holiday season. If you’re looking into video game gifts this year, this list might help you focus on some of the most sought after games:
1. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Xbox)
Set in Rome, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood puts you in the shoes of Master Assassin Ezio Auditore as he sneaks around the Eternal City, going about his dirty business. Recruit and train additional assassins as your assistants. The main innovation for this version of Assassin’s Creed is the enhanced multiplayer options.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (PlayStation, Wii, Xbox)
Call of Duty: Black Ops, the seventh installment of this megapopular franchise, is most analysts best bet to be the number one video game seller this Christmas season. Once again set in the Cold War era, the game takes players all over the globe, from urban to the most remote locations, to battle the enemy. In addition to the perspective players are used to from past versions of Call of Duty, this year’s Black Ops adds new first person scenarios.
3. Civilization 5 (Mac, PC)
The latest edition of the Civilization franchise bumps up the difficulty level and puts a higher value on sound strategy, with its hexagonal instead of the previous square tiles, and no more unlimited stacks. The goal remains to use research, diplomacy, trade, expansion, and military conquest to lead your civilization from the prehistoric era to a modern day superpower.
4. DC Universe Online (PlayStation)
Set in the imaginative world of DC Comics, DC Universe Online is a massive multiplayer role-playing game where you interact not only with each other, but with Superman, Batman, and other classic characters.
5. Fable III (Xbox)
The exotic Medieval land of Albion is again the setting of this action-packed role-playing game. Face all the challenges of winning the crown of a kingdom, and holding onto it.
6. Fallout: New Vegas (PlayStation, Xbox)
Following 2008’s successful Fallout 3 comes Fallout: New Vegas, an inspired choice of a setting that allows for both the fast-paced action and crowds of the Vegas Strip, and the desolation of the tiny towns and empty desert around it. The role-playing game is similar to previous versions in its targeting system and use of skills and in-game reputation, but adds some fancy new weapons and other elements.
7. Gran Turismo 5 (PlayStation)
At a reported cost of $60 million to develop, and with some of the most impressive graphics of any video game, Gran Turismo 5 is the ultimate auto racing adventure. Players pick from over 1,000 cars and travel around the world to real and fictional locations. New with this version, up to 16 players can race each other in online events.
One caveat with this one though: The release to the public of Gran Turismo 5 has already been delayed multiple times, and now is projected for just after Christmas. So you can order it for the holidays, but likely will not be able to get it until a little after.
8. Halo: Reach (Xbox)
Projected to be one of the highest selling video games of 2010, Reach is the latest version of the Popular Halo series of first-person shooter games featuring the Master Chief super soldier and his artificial intelligence enhanced companion Cortana.
9. NBA 2K11 (PlayStation, Wii, Xbox)
A hot item for sports fans, NBA 2K11’s new features include the ability to control passes and an opportunity to interact with the NBA Draft Combine. Most intriguingly, it brings Michael Jordan back to the league, enabling you to see how the vintage Jordan would have fared against the stars of the current NBA.
10. Rock Band 3 (PlayStation, Wii, Xbox)
Once again players will have a chance to live out their rock and roll fantasies in this game featuring the Beatles, the Doors, and Queen, among others. This new and improved version of Rock Band includes guitars and keyboards that are closer to real instruments, and that better allow a player to actually learn through practice some of the skills necessary to play real instruments.
Whichever of these your gaming giftee unwraps on Christmas morning should bring a big smile to his or her face.