The holidays are upon us once more and that means lists have to be filled out and then checked off. The question arises, "What should you get for that Xbox 360 gamer in your life?" Lucky enough, Game Rant is here to help provide a buyer's guide as to what games and accessories that that special someone in your life would love to have.
This edition covers the Xbox 360, covering the games and accessories that every Xbox 360 owner on your list will love. Read on for our Holiday Guide with every 360 gamer's wants and needs, right below!
Loved one not an Xbox 360 gamer? Check back with Game Rant later this week as we put up Holiday Gift Guides for the PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and mobile gaming!
The Xbox 360 has been around for several holiday seasons, but should you have gone through the years without a 360 of your own then there's no better time to pick one up. Bundles that combine the 360 with quality games like Alan Wake and Project Gotham Racing, or the brand new Kinect are cheaper than ever before.
250GB Xbox 360 Holiday Bundle
The Xbox 360 Holiday Bundle caters a little more to the hardcore than the others, and includes much more than the standard offerings found in the basic packages. For the exact same price as the normal non-holiday bundle gamers get a sleek whisper-quiet Xbox 360 system, a built-in 250GB hard drive, built-in wifi, a controller, a headset, and two games. The games included are the popular Microsoft pack-in Forza Motorsport 3 and a download code for the newly released action-thriller Alan Wake. This is one of the better deals in recent memory and any gamer will be more than ecstatic unwrapping this stellar package.
Kinect Xbox 360 Bundle
Price: $299 - $399
The Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle comes in two hard drive sizes - 4GB and 250GB. The 250GB bundle is the better deal if you plan on using the Xbox 360 for something other than Kinect games, because game dowloads, patches and installs will fill up 4GB very quickly. Then, if you decide to get a hard drive later on it's going to end up costing you more than the additional $100. The bundle comes with the latest edition of the Xbox 360 S, but also includes Microsoft's latest gaming innovation -- the Kinect. That's not all though, as you'll also receive Kinect Adventures absolutely free. It's a decent deal and it's certainly a gift that everyone in your family will enjoy.
Sorting through the essential must-own games of 2010 is a difficult task for any holiday shopper, but that's why Game Rant is here! Here's a list of the best games of 2010 that any Xbox 360 owner would be happy to own.
Bungie's last Halo game was certainly one that got people talking. The story is well-considered and the multiplayer is chaotic and very enjoyable. The game has a ton of multiplayer options that will ensure that you and your friends will be playing this title for months, if not years, to come. The game also saw some recent DLC, titled the Noble Map Pack, which only adds even more entertainment to the title. If you own an Xbox 360 then Halo: Reach is a must own.
Alan Wake is a thriller that features a writer of the same name. He heads to Bright Falls to get away from the world so he can focus on completing his novel. Brightness Falls doesn't stay very bright for long, however, and Alan's wife goes missing. The town is now surrounded by darkness and it's up to Alan and his handy dandy flashlight to find out what's happening in this town and to find his wife before darkness consumes the town and him.
Head back to the kingdom of Albion for a third time Fable 3. The third Fable game in the always enjoyable series, straight from Peter Molyneux and his band of merry man at Lion Head Studios, is an enjoyable one to say the least. As the child of the hero from Fable 2, you must ascend to the throne by gathering supporters. This is done by completing tasks that are given to you throughout your journey. You can go through the game being as evil or kind-hearted as you wish and your followers will treat you accordingly depending on which way you decide to act. Will you rule your kingdom with an iron fist or spread wealth and prosperity among the populous?
Check out our review of Fable 3.
Mass Effect 2
Sure, Mass Effect 2 came out of the beginning of this year and it may be considered a little old by some, but you'd be in the wrong to overlook the title just because it has had a few extra months of shelf time compared to the other games on our list. This game returns you to the boots of Commander Shepard once more as he or she is put on a mission to find out what is abducting entire human colonies. Shepard must work with Cerberus and put together a squad of the best the universe has to offer to find out who or what is behind these abductions and put a stop to it.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Ubisoft's latest extension of the Assassin's Creed franchise, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, is easily the best one yet. The game's main story re-introduces the player tp the assassin from Assassin's Creed 2. Ezio is attacked by the Templars and he once again loses everything he holds dear to him, but he's not alone. Ezio must get a group of other highly lethal assassins together to strike back at the Templar Order. After you've managed to get through the lengthy campaign you can head online and play some multiplayer with your friends. This is the first time an Assassin's Creed has brought multiplayer to your home console and it's a gargantuan amount of fun.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
The annual blockbuster franchise has returned again with Call of Duty: Black Ops. This year it's World at War developer Treyarch's turn at bat and they've hit another home run. Black Ops offers an interesting story, which isn't common for the series, and the same multiplayer that everyone loves with some added tweaks. There are also wager matches that will allow you to put in-game money you earn on the line in an attempt to win back even more. Zombie mode also makes its triumphant return which many fans will obviously be happy with.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar, the creators of infamous series such as Grand Theft Auto and... Rockstar Table Tennis have created yet another runaway hit called Red Dead Redemption. Players go back in time to the days of the wild west and land firmly in the cattle hyde boots of John Marston. The ex-gang member will be forgiven for all of his crimes if he is able to track down all of his old friends and either capture or kill them. The government has both his wife and son in their custody and John won't be able to see them until he's completed his missions. Steal horses or tie women to rail road tracks, the West is yours in this open-world cowboy game.
Rock Band 3
Ever wanted to rock out on stage, but never took the initiative to actually learn how to play a real instrument? If you answered yes, then you're going to love Rock Band 3. You and up to three of your friends can take control of drums, bass, guitar, microphone, and now keyboard in Harmonix's latest music game. Rock Band 3 does require special instrument shaped controllers to play, but odds are you might have a couple laying around somewhere. If you don't then they are relatively inexpensive, so quit reading this list and go rock out to the massive library of songs from artists like John Lennon, Deep Purple, The Police, Def Leppard, Slipknot, and many, many more.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
It's baaack. Need for Speed has finally returned in the form of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and it feels like it's been a long time coming. This critically acclaimed racing game allows players to go through careers as both racer and police officer. Each challenge you complete is sent to a global leaderboard where you can compare your time to your friends', and a little friendly rivalry is never a bad thing. Connect with friends and race online or play dirty and total their car in some wonderfully diverse locations ranging from deserts and beaches to forests and mountains. It's your city so race the way you want.
While you're looking at our fabulous guide you should hop on over to the next page and see our favorite titles available on Kinect and Xbox Live Arcade.
What kind of Holiday list would it be without making mention of Microsoft's brand new motion camera, Kinect. The technology is truly amazing and will have children and adults literally jumping for joy, along with shifting, dancing, and kicking. There are a few titles currently available for the Kinect that are must-owns and we'll get to them soon enough, but first we're going to explore the actual Kinect device that many will be unwrapping this Holiday season.
Kinect Sensor w/ Kinect Adventures
Xbox is finally entering the casual market with the new Kinect device. The camera tracks your entire body's motion and you and a friend or family member can enjoy it simultaneously. The Kinect comes bundled with Kinect Adventures which includes several different types of games that people of any age will enjoy, and the game is also a great way to become accustomed to the device's tech. The Kinect is one of the coolest devices ever to hit the market and it's only available on the Xbox 360.
Check out our review of the Kinect hardware.
The Kinect may be an extremely cool add-on for your Xbox 360, but a peripheral is only as good as the games available for it. Sure, you get Kinect Adventures with your shiny new Kinect camera, but the more the merrier! Lucky for you, there are a few standout games that made our list that will keep children, dance enthusiasts, and sports fans more than satisfied. Check out our top three Kinect games just below.
Dance Central comes from Harmonix, the people behind the Rock Band series, and it's a toe-tapping title to be sure. Dance to all kinds of songs from chart topping artists like Lady Gaga, Nelly Furtado, and Solja Boy Tell 'Em. Odds are that you've always wanted to learn how to dance like the stars, or maybe you'd just like to see your friends embarrass themselves at your New Year's party. The game is actually a lot of fun and as long as you don't mind looking like a fool it's even more fun with friends.
Soccer is a game that could never really be played in other games, because of the lack of leg sensors. Instead of being able to actually kick a soccer ball games usually require the player to tap A, but now that the Kinect is around that's all about to change. Kinect Sports is developed by Rare and is for exclusive use with the Kinect. It includes sports like bowling, boxing, table tennis, volleyball, and five different track and field games. If you own a Kinect then this is a great game to go with it.
If you have little children in your home or you just want to give your friends or family a gift that they will love unconditionally then Kinectimals is the way to go. Kinectimals lets players get their very own cuddly kitty cat to care for, but the game doesn't just leave you at "look after this cat". There are new levels and items that can be unlocked after completing challenges and some Halo fans will be happy to know that vehicles from the popular series can be found within the game. Kids and crazy cat ladies everywhere will love Kinectimals.
Xbox Live Arcade Games
Most of our readers probably have their Xbox hooked up to the internet and make use of Xbox Live. If this is the case for you or someone on your holiday list then there is a whole new world of games that become available. At the very least you'll know what you can and should spend your points on if you receive an Xbox Live points card. We've selected three games that many will find quite enjoyable.
Super Meat Boy
Price: 1,200 Points ($15)
Super Meat Boy is one of the most difficult platformers ever made and it will have you swearing and rage quitting more often then any other game, but it's some of the most fun you'll ever have playing a game. Players take control of Meat Boy as he tries to rescue his girlfriend Bandage Girl from the evil clutches of Dr. Fetus. Yes, the storyline sounds messed up, but it's the gameplay that will really draw you in. Every level you beat feels extremely rewarding and even though the levels may seem ridiculously difficult at times, they aren't nearly as impossible as you may think.
Check out our review of Super Meat Boy.
Price: 1,200 Points ($15)
LIMBO is a dark and creepy puzzle/platformer that will surely capture your heart. Your character's sister has gone missing in Limbo and he has to find her, but just like Super Meat Boy you won't be playing the game for its storyline. There are tons of sneaky and gruesome traps that players will have to navigate through, and the haunting environment will surely keep players revisiting this title long after they've completed it.
Price: 1,200 Points ($15)
Comic Jumper is a game straight from the crazies at Twisted Pixel (the same guys who worked on The Maw and 'Splosion Man). Comic Jumper follows Captain Smiley and Star as they have adventures through different genres of comic books. The humour within the game can be considered borderline offensive at times, but it's one of the most comical games of 2010. Capt. Smiley and Star will have you laughing throughout the entire game and that warrants a purchase in its own right.
That's the end of Game Rant's 2010 Holiday Shopping Guide for the Xbox 360 Gamer, but don't you worry because there is still plenty more where this came from. Next up is the PS3 Holiday Shopping Guide, so if you don't own an Xbox 360, or just don't like Microsoft then sit tight because we'll be getting around to fans of every system shortly. In the mean time we hope that you found our guide useful, and feel free to comment and leave suggestions that we may have forgotten to list so that you can assist other gamers in need.
Thanks for reading and you can look forward to more in the near future.