Holiday 2016 Video Game Gift Guide

30 video games worth picking up this holiday season.

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As Christmas draws closer, many may find themselves looking for the perfect gift or gifts for the diehard gamer in their family. Despite some disappointing releases here and there, 2016 still proved to be an overall fantastic year for video games. With this in mind, we wanted to put together a comprehensive list of 30 games that are worth picking up this holiday season. These titles are all highly recommended and are guaranteed to keep gamers satisfied well into the first few months of 2017.

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Oxenfree

Oxenfree is a graphic adventure game created by independent developer Night School Studio. This beautifully designed 2.5D perspective title centers around a coming of age story between a group of friends as they experience supernatural elements while visiting an abandoned island. Oxenfree is out now for PC, Mac OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Linux.

Check out our interview with Night School Co-Founder Sean Krankel

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The Witness

The Witness is a 3D single-player puzzle game created by Thekla, Inc. This Myst inspired title allows players to solve puzzles while exploring an open world island complete with natural and man-made structures. The Witness is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS.

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XCOM 2

XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical game that revolves around an ongoing battle between a military organization turned resistance force and aliens trying to invade Earth. This title is the long-awaited sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown and is ideal for fans of challenging strategy games. XCOM 2 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X and Linux.

Check out our XCOM 2 Review

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Firewatch

Firewatch is a first-person single player adventure game that follows the expedition of a fire lookout shortly after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. This is the first title from San Francisco-based development studio Campo Santo and is without a doubt one of the best-looking indie titles of 2016. Firewatch is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X and Linux.

Check out our Firewatch Review

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Batman: The Telltale Series

Batman: The Telltale Series is an episodic point-and-click graphic adventure developed by the talented team over at Telltale Games. This particular version of the Batman franchise is based solely on the comic book series and allows players to experience the dangerous streets of Gotham and make choices as both Bruce Wayne and The Caped Crusader. Batman: The Telltale Series is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Check out our Batman: Episode 1 Review

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Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal is the latest installment in Ubisoft’s popular action-adventure series. With a Stone Age setting, various tribes to defend and fight against, and several wildlife creatures to tame, Primal is without a doubt one of the most immersive entries in recent memory. Far Cry Primal is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Far Cry Primal Review

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Hitman: The Complete First Season

Hitman: The Complete First Season are a series of episodic action-adventure stealth games starting the iconic Agent 47. This is the sixth entry in the series and takes place 7 years after Hitman: Absolution. Hitman: The Complete First Season is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Hitman: Episode 1 Review

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Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III is an action role-playing game and the fourth entry in the series developed by FromSoftware. This is already the fastest selling entry in the franchise and is ideal for fans of Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls. Dark Souls III is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Dark Souls III Review

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Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank is a 3D platform-shooter developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. This title has been classified as a re-imagining of the first game in the series and is one of the best PlayStation exclusives out this year. You can pick up the game now on PlayStation 4.

Check out our Ratchet & Clank Review

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the fourth and final installment in Naughty Dog’s iconic action-adventure series. A Thief’s End takes place several years after Uncharted 3 and revolves around Nathan Drake coming out of retirement for one final adventure with Sully and his older brother Sam. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is out now on PlayStation 4.

Check out our Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review

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DOOM

DOOM is a reboot of the original first-person shooter series and the latest release since the 2004 launch of DOOM 3. Despite having been in development since 2008, this mature rated shooter has surpassed everyone’s expectations and is easily one of the standout titles of 2016. DOOM is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our DOOM Review

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Overwatch

Overwatch is a futuristic multiplayer first-person shooter and a new IP by Blizzard Entertainment. This squad-based combat game pits teams of six against each other with four variety class types and three different game modes. Overwatch is out not for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Overwatch Review

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Inside

Inside is a puzzle-platformer adventure game developed and published by Playdead. This 2.5D sidescroller carries similarities with Limbo but offers much more once players dive further into the world. Inside is out now for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a cyberpunk-themed action role-playing shooter and the long awaited sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Mankind Divided takes place two years after the first game and allows players to use combat, hacking, stealth, and social interactions when tackling various types of situations. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review

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Madden NFL 17

Madden NFL 17 is the latest entry in the popular Football simulation video game series. Some of the new features in this year’s game include an upgraded ground game, a redesigned Franchise Mode, and further presentation improvements. Madden NFL 17 is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Check out our Madden NFL 17 Review

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NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 is a basketball simulation game and the 18th installment in the NBA 2K franchise. This year’s release includes a career story mode, expansion team creation options, and further presentation enhancements across MyGM, MyLeague modes. NBA 2K17 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Forza Horizon 3

Forza Horizon 3 is a racing game with open world elements that takes place in Australia and puts you in charge of the Horizon Festival. This title features cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10, has a four-player cooperative multiplayer campaign and includes over 350 cars.

Out now for Xbox One and Windows 10

Check out our Forza Horizon 3 Review

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Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 is an action-packed third-person shooter video game developed by the talented team over at The Coalition. Gears 4 takes place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3 and revolves around a new generation of fighters led by Marcus Fenix’s son. Gears of War 4 is our now for Xbox One and Windows 10.

Check out our Gears of War 4 Review

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Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is the PS4 release of the popular action-adventure video game that released last year as a timed holiday exclusive on Xbox One. This version of the game has a new DLC mission that can be played on PlayStation VR and multiplayer support for Endurance mode.

Check out our Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

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Shadow Warrior 2

Shadow Warrior 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital. This title takes place five years after the previous game and pits players against armies of demons. Shadow Warrior 2 is out now on PC and coming to both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One early next year.

Check out our Shadow Warrior 2 Review

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Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is a World War I first-person shooter and the fifteenth installment in the Battlefield franchise. The single-player campaign will allow players to experience various battles through the eyes of different characters while multiplayer modes are expected to support up to 64 players. Battlefield 1 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Battlefield 1 Review

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Civilization VI

Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy 4X video game and the latest in the iconic Civilization series. This title offers significant improvements over the previous games and makes terrain maintenance and technology research the core focus of the overall experience. Civilization VI is out now for PC, Mac OS X and Linux.

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World of Final Fantasy

World of Final Fantasy is a role-playing game that is set within the Final Fantasy universe but carries no connection to any other previously released entries in the series. This title has a more traditional gameplay style and revolves around using turn-based attacks effectively to defeat enemies. World of Final Fantasy is out now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Check out our World of Final Fantasy Review

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TitanFall 2

TitanFall 2 is the sequel to the popular mech-based first-person shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment. With a fantastic single-player campaign and ongoing free post-launch content, this is one shooter that is certainly worthy of both your time and money. TitanFall 2 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter developed by Infinity Ward and the thirteenth installment in the Call of Duty series. This year’s campaign takes place in outer space throughout various parts of the Solar system and allows players to manage a ship and participate in thrilling aerial dogfights with adversaries. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Check out our Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Review

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Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 is a stealth action-adventure game and the sequel to 2012’s Dishonored. The story takes place fifteen years after the first game and revolves around players trying to restore power to their throne after being overthrown by new adversaries. Dishonored 2 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Is Dishonored 2 The Perfect Sequel?

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Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 is an open world action-adventure game and sequel to 2014’s Watch Dogs. Players take on the role of a San Francisco-based DedSec hacker named Marcus Holloway and aim to take down some of the most advanced surveillance systems in the city. Watch Dogs 2 is out now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version launches on November 29th.

Watch Dogs 2 Is What The First Game Should Have Been

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Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 is an addictive first-person shooter developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. This title pits one to six players against hordes of zombie creatures following an outbreak that spreads rapidly across Europe. Killing Floor 2 is out now on PC and PlayStation 4.

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Pokémon Sun and Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are single-player/multiplayer role-playing games and the latest entries in the Pokémon franchise. This time around, players will be able to customize their Pokémon trainer appearances and use new Pokémon creatures and moves on the battlefield. Pokémon Sun and Moon are out now on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is an open world action role-playing game and the fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Having been in development for 10 long years under the title Final Fantasy Versus XIII, this rebranded entry features an improved action-based battle system and a darker atmosphere filled with rich and captivating characters. Final Fantasy XV launches on November 29th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This concludes our holiday 2016 video game gift guide. Are there any other games that you would recommend to others? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

About The Author
Richard Bailey Jr. Editor-In-Chief
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