Video Games on Holiday Wish Lists 2010

Holiday Gifts For The Gamer
Retail sales might be in the tank, but that doesn’t mean 2010 has been a year of bad video games. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. While shoppers have been more picky about what they buy – and spending more time with games that have extensive multiplayer elements – there are a lot of highly-rated titles on shelves and others coming soon. The good news? That makes it easy for gift-buyers to find something for everyone. Here are some suggestions that can't be overlooked.
Photo: Activision

Retail sales might be in the tank, but that doesn’t mean 2010 has been a year of bad video games. It’s quite the opposite, in fact.

While shoppers have been more picky about what they buy — and spending more time with games that have extensive multiplayer elements — there are a lot of highly rated titles on shelves and others coming soon. The good news? That makes it easy for gift buyers to find something for everyone.

Here are some suggestions that can't be overlooked.


By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 2 Nov 2010

Halo: Reach
Publisher: Microsoft System: Xbox 360This prequel to the “Halo” series might lack the Master Chief, but it has plenty of action. The game also offers more personalization than previous “Halo” titles and has a heavier focus on cooperative play. It’s the last “Halo” game by series creator Bungie Software – and it’s their best one yet.
Photo: Microsoft

Publisher: Microsoft
System: Xbox 360

This prequel to the “Halo” series might lack the Master Chief, but it has plenty of action. The game also offers more personalization than previous “Halo” titles and has a heavier focus on cooperative play. It’s the last “Halo” game by series creator Bungie Software — and it’s their best one yet.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Publisher: Activision Systems: Xbox 360, PS3, PC“Call of Duty” is the hottest franchise in the industry right now, and “Black Ops” seems poised to continue to deliver the intensity and frenetic pace of its predecessors. Like “Modern Warfare,” the single player game is a cinematic experience and the multiplayer components are extensive.
Photo: Activision

Publisher: Activision
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

“Call of Duty” is the hottest franchise in the industry right now, and “Black Ops” seems poised to continue to deliver the intensity and frenetic pace of its predecessors. Like “Modern Warfare,” the single player game is a cinematic experience and the multiplayer components are extensive.

Fallout: New Vegas
Publisher: BethesdaSystems: Xbox 360, PS3, PCTwo years ago, the post-atomic action role-playing game “Fallout 3” was a hit with players. Now it’s time to go back to wasteland. “New Vegas” doesn’t deviate much from the hit formula, but it seems much more vast. Plus, it kind of figures that the only thing to survive a nuclear war would be Las Vegas.
Photo: Bethesda

Publisher: Bethesda
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Two years ago, the post-atomic action role-playing game “Fallout 3” was a hit with players. Now it’s time to go back to wasteland. “New Vegas” doesn’t deviate much from the hit formula, but it seems much more vast. Plus, it kind of figures that the only thing to survive a nuclear war would be Las Vegas.

God of War III
Publisher: SonySystems: PS3Sony’s most popular action series wraps up its first trilogy in epic style. Players once again assume the role of Kratos, an ancient Greek warrior battling the gods of Olympus. It’s a visceral battle – but it’s also the best looking game on the PS3 to date.
Photo: Sony

Publisher: Sony
Systems: PS3

Sony’s most popular action series wraps up its first trilogy in epic style. Players once again assume the role of Kratos, an ancient Greek warrior battling the gods of Olympus. It’s a visceral battle — but it’s also the best looking game on the PS3 to date.

Mass Effect 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts Systems: Xbox 360, PS3Though it was released in January, this role-playing game is a strong contender for many “game of the year” lists. It revolves around a deep, strong story, has plenty of action and doesn’t require you to have played the first game to understand what’s going on.
Photo: Electronic Arts

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3

Though it was released in January, this role-playing game is a strong contender for many “game of the year” lists. It revolves around a deep, strong story, has plenty of action and doesn’t require you to have played the first game to understand what’s going on.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Publisher: Activision-BlizzardSystems: PCTwelve years after the original “Starcraft” redefined the strategy genre, avid fans finally have their sequel. Players control troops and build out bases from a top down view as three factions battle it out in a series of missions – which are interspersed with the best storyline cinematics in the industry, keeping people playing for hours at a time.
Photo: Activision-Blizzard

Publisher: Activision-Blizzard
Systems: PC

Twelve years after the original “Starcraft” redefined the strategy genre, avid fans finally have their sequel. Players control troops and build out bases from a top down view as three factions battle it out in a series of missions — which are interspersed with the best storyline cinematics in the industry — keeping people playing for hours at a time.

Epic Mickey
Publisher: Disney Systems: Wii Mickey Mouse has never been a big video game hero before, but in this platformer that’s exclusive to the Wii (due Nov. 30), players will finally have the chance. Mickey inadvertently causes trouble in a land of forgotten and rejected Disney creations (all taken from the company’s actual archives) and must make things right – using paint and paint thinner.
Photo: Disney

Publisher: Disney
Systems: Wii

Mickey Mouse has never been a big video game hero before, but in this platformer that’s exclusive to the Wii (due Nov. 30), players will finally have the chance. Mickey inadvertently causes trouble in a land of forgotten and rejected Disney creations (all taken from the company’s actual archives) and must make things right — using paint and paint thinner.

Red Dead Redemption
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive Software Systems: Xbox 360, PS3Westerns haven’t had a lot of luck with gamers, until the company behind “Grand Theft Auto” gave one a try. Ignore the “Grand Theft Horse” jokes. This is a stirring action game with a good story and enjoyable characters. Critically, it’s the fifth highest rated Xbox 360 title of all time. And it’s one of the year’s best-selling games.
Photo: Take-Two Interactive

Publisher: Take-Two Interactive Software
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3

Westerns haven’t had a lot of luck with gamers, until the company behind “Grand Theft Auto” gave one a try. Ignore the “Grand Theft Horse” jokes. This is a stirring action game with a good story and enjoyable characters. Critically, it’s the fifth highest rated Xbox 360 title of all time. And it’s one of the year’s best-selling games.

Kinect
Publisher: MicrosoftSystems: Xbox 360Microsoft’s trying to woo the Wii audience with this motion capture device, but it’s doing so in a unique way. Letting players use their bodies as the controller is a novel enough play style that it has captured people’s imagination. The device comes with a game included, but grab a copy of “Dance Central” as well – easily the best of the peripheral’s launch lineup.
Photo: Microsoft

Publisher: Microsoft
Systems: Xbox 360

Microsoft’s trying to woo the Wii audience with this motion capture device, but it’s doing so in a unique way. Letting players use their bodies as the controller is a novel enough play style that it has captured people’s imagination. The device comes with a game included, but grab a copy of “Dance Central” as well – easily the best of the peripheral’s launch lineup.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Publisher: UbisoftSystems: Xbox 360, PS3Ubisoft’s most popular franchise is back (due Nov. 16), and gamers couldn’t be more excited. Set at the turn of the 16th century, players will journey to Rome to set up an army of assassins to fight the Borgia family, a powerful (and real) Italian family from the Renaissance.
Photo: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft
Systems: Xbox 360, PS3

Ubisoft’s most popular franchise is back (due Nov. 16), and gamers couldn’t be more excited. Set at the turn of the 16th century, players will journey to Rome to set up an army of assassins to fight the Borgia family, a powerful (and real) Italian family from the Renaissance.