Need a gift for a gamer in your family, or just can't decide what games to ask for this Christmas? Use this holiday buying guide as a reference to the most acclaimed titles of the year.
XBOX 360 "Bastion": Recover the world piece by piece in this action RPG that features dynamic narration throughout your journey. (Rated E10 ) "Gears of War 3": In this, the conclusion of Marcus Fenix's epic trilogy, you'll put a stop to Earth's alien invasion once and for all and find out the truth about your father. (M) "The Gunstringer": Put on a play for a live audience as you control an undead marionette bent on revenge in this Western shooter. It's an on-rails game, meaning your character moves along a pre-determined path. Requires Kinect controller. (T) "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary": Relive the magic of the groundbreaking "Halo: Combat Evolved" with optional Kinect controls plus all new achievements and stunning high-definition graphics -- or switch to the classic Xbox graphics with the press of a button. (M) "Kinect: Disneyland Adventures": Travel to a virtual Disneyland to ride the rides, meet your favorite Disney characters and even have your picture taken with them! Requires Kinect controller. (E)
"Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten": The acclaimed "Disgaea" series is back and better than ever with a hilarious story involving faith and corruption, as well high resolution 2D sprites, an online map creator and more than 1,000 hours of content! (Rated T) "The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection": Get two of the most critically acclaimed games of all time on one disc. Rescue a helpless princess to safety and discover the meaning of friendship in "Ico," then take down 16 mammoth Colossi to resurrect your dead love in "Shadow of the Colossus." (T) "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception": Third time's the charm, and Nathan Drake will have to locate the Atlantis of the Sands, fight off old enemies, reunite with old friends and overcome his deepest fears if he hopes to save the world. (T)
WII "Kirby's Return to Dreamland": In this all-new platform jumping adventure, you take control of the iconic pillowy pink hero who has a knack for stealing his enemies' abilities. (Rated E) "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword": You'll follow Link on his adventure to rescue his longtime friend, Princess Zelda; save the world from the evil Ghirahim and take to the skies in this epic Nintendo adventure set at the start of the 25-year-old "Zelda" franchise. Requires Wii Motion . (E10 )
NINTENDO 3DS "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D": Zelda flees from her princess duties as Ganondorf takes over the land of Hyrule, and it's up to Link to set things right. He'll travel across two different time periods as he does in this updated remake of what's been called the greatest game of all time. (Rated E10 ) "Mario Kart 7": It's a fast and furious race to the finish line as Mario and the gang take to the land, sea and sky in this action-packed arcade racer that features Nintendo's most robust online system yet. Create your own racing clans and prove you're the best kart driver in the world. (E) "Star Fox 64 3D": Star Fox and his crew take up to the challenge of stopping the evil Andross from controlling the galaxy in this high flying arcade-style space shooter. (E10 ) "Super Mario 3D Land": Mario's back, and this time in a whole new dimension! Guide him across multiple worlds that mix the best elements of the best games in the series, such as "Super Mario Bros. 3" and "Super Mario Galaxy 2." (E)
NINTENDO DS "Aliens: Infestation": Playing like an old-school "Metroid" or "Castlevania" game, this love letter to the 16-bit gaming period pits space marines against the infamous xenomorphs as well as other alien creatures -- and their lives are resting in your hands. (Rated T) "Kirby Mass Attack": Ten Kirbies are better than one, or at least that's what Kirby hopes to prove after the evil Necrodeus splits him into 10 different copies of himself. Utilize the powers of the Kirbies to solve puzzles and face challenges in this highly original platform jumping game. (E) "Professor Layton and the Last Specter": The titular professor must solve the mystery of a supposed specter determined to destroy the village of Misthallery in this prequel set before the events of the previous three games in the award-winning "Professor Layton" series. He'll do so by solving more than 170 riddles and brainteasers! (E10 )
PLAYSTATION PORTABLE "Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection": Shunned Dark Knight Cecil Harvey is on a quest to save the world in this timeless Japanese RPG classic, which contains the original "Final Fantasy IV," a new game entitled "Interlude" and the episodic "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years." (Rated E10 ) "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 -- Innocent Sin": In this classic RPG, the city of Sumaru is cursed and every rumor is coming true. The only way to stop the madness is to fight the demons (or persuade them to help you). (T)
MULTI-PLATFORM "Assassin's Creed: Revelations": In the conclusion to Ezio Auditore's trilogy, the assassin will have to discover the missing link between he and his ancestor Altair while their descendant, Desmond Miles, is trapped in his own subconscious. (Rated M) "Batman: Arkham City": Following the events of "Arkham Asylum," Gotham's most notorious villains are locked away in a super-prison in a secluded part of the city. After his alter ego Bruce Wayne is wrongfully imprisoned, Batman has 24 hours to save Gotham. (T) "Dark Souls": Take on the role of a nameless warrior as you battle your way across a vast and dangerous world in one of the hardest and most fun games ever made. (M) "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim": Dragons are appearing over the region of Skyrim, and it's up to you to figure out why these legends are coming to life. (M) "L.A. Noire": Join Cole Phelps as he makes his way through the ranks of the Los Angeles police department and solves unforgettable cases in this video game noir's open world. (M) "Metal Gear Solid HD Collection": It's time to experience the epic (albeit preachy) "Metal Gear Solid" series all over again with this collection, which contains "Peace Walker," "Snake Eater" and "Sons of Liberty." (T-M) "Rayman Origins": Rayman and his friends must rescue a race known as the Electroons in this highly artistic, gorgeous platform game that critics are calling an absolutely thrilling and fun feast for the eyes. (E10 ) "Saints Row: The Third": The Saints are back, and this time, they just want to have fun. Featuring a ridiculous plot and cast of characters, this is an insanely creative and fun adventure that captures the spirit of gaming. (M)