The holidays are upon us, which means the shopping and gift-giving season is looming. For those looking for the perfect gifts for the gamer in their lives, the options out there are never-ending. With so many great pieces of hardware and software on store shelves and virtual markets, it’s hard to choose.
With ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Boxing Day’ around the corner, we’ve narrowed down a list of some of the best options out there in our ‘MobileSyrup Holiday Gift Guide for gamers’.’ This year’s list includes an assortment of new consoles, the best games to have been released this year, and more:
Xbox Series X Halo Infinite Limited Edition Bundle
First up, the Xbox Series X Halo Infinite Limited Edition Bundle is a great option for someone looking to step into the next console generation. On top of that, its design is inspired by and celebrates the launch of Halo Infinite. It offers all the bells and whistles of a standard Xbox Series X, including native 4K, up to 120FPS support, Quick Resume, and VRR technology.
The spattering of stars across the top of the console and metallic design stands out. The vent is complimented by a Cortana-blue-inspired colour. Additionally, the console will power on and off with Halo-themed sounds. It also comes with a matching Xbox Wireless Controller.
Availability of the console may fluctuate as the Xbox Series X has been notoriously difficult to get your hands on. However, we do have a few tips to help get a hold of a console this holiday season.
Forza Horizon 5
Sticking within the Xbox ecosystem, Microsoft’s latest highly touted game Forza Horizon 5 recently launched. The open-world racing game has received a lot of critical praise for its accessibility, visuals, and downright fun atmosphere.
Recently, we published our own review of the game. Although largely sticking to the Forza Horizon formula, this entry is buoyed by incredible graphics and leveraged by the Mexico backdrop and interesting biomes. It’s a must-play for Xbox players this year. It’s also worth noting that the game is part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription platform ($11.99/month).
Nintendo Switch OLED model
Nintendo recently launched its upgraded handheld-console hybrid. The Switch OLED model includes a vibrant 7-inch OLED display, improving the games’ colour and contrast. Additionally, the device has a wider adjustable stand when using the Switch in Tabletop Mode and enhanced audio. The new model also doubles the internal storage. Now, 64GB of storage is available for games. Finally, the Switch (OLED Model) supports a built-in wired LAN port for ethernet support when playing via the dock.
The new model serves as a modest upgrade to the base Switch, providing benefits to those who use it in handheld or docked mode. It’s also a great device for newcomers to the Switch ecosystem, providing the best features Nintendo offers.
Alongside the Switch OLED Model, Nintendo recently released Metroid Dread, a game in incubation for 16 years. A classic return to the 2D Metroid design, the game has been a critical success for Nintendo.
Metroid Dread offers new stealth elements as Samus explores the planet ZDR, which will help avoid the deadly EMMI robots. Featuring unique boss fights and puzzle mechanics, the game is a standout title on the Nintendo Switch this holiday season.
The PlayStation 5 has been a hot piece of hardware throughout the year and it would make for a fantastic gift this holiday season. Sony and its studios have only bolstered the PlayStation 5 catalogue with games like Returnal, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and more.
The PlayStation 5 provides a true current-gen experience with native 4K and up to 120Hz display. With an 875GB SSD, games can now provide nearly instant loading times. The console also supports 3D audio, is backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games and PSVR.
Due to component shortages, the PlayStation 5 has been difficult to find online and in stores. There are ways to be notified when online stock has been replenished, however.
The innovative DualSense controller was released alongside the PlayStation 5 and has been a real standout piece of hardware from Sony. Besides being an integral part of the moment-to-moment experience playing on the PlayStation 5, the DualSense brings some unique features to the table.
Sony has introduced Haptic feedback in the DualSense. Now, when playing games you’ll be able to feel specific actions and responses whether it be footsteps or otherwise. Adaptive triggers have also provided a new layer of immersion by way of the tension the triggers support. This year, Sony launched the new ‘Midnight Black’ and ‘Cosmic Red’ colour options. These will surely fit the aesthetic of whoever is lucky enough to be gifted one this year.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
When looking at the smattering of hardware and software Sony released this year, Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart deserves to be on the list. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart raises the bar in visuals, writing, and gameplay moments for platformers. The game has a lot of heart to it and can be enjoyed by players young or old.
It takes full advantage of the PlayStation 5 and uses the lightning-fast SSD in a unique way by incorporating seamless travel between dimensions. It’s a serious contender for Game of the Year. If the person you’re buying for hasn’t played this PlayStation 5 game, it’s one to go with from this holiday gift guide.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Canadian studio Eidos Montreal brought a blockbuster take on the fan-favourite group of Marvel misfits to consoles and PC this fall. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a story-driven epic centring on the adventures of Starlord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax.
The game features an original story while taking inspiration from the long-established comic’s run and combines it with odes to James Gunn’s MCU films. It takes the blockbuster moments fans of the films love and adapts that energy to an expansive cross-planetary journey for the Guardians as they save the universe. The writing is top-notch and offers some great story beats. It’s a quintessential fall game and makes for an easy recommendation on this year’s holiday gift guide for gamers. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is available on many platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch.
Far Cry 6
Rounding out the Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers is Ubisoft Toronto’s Far Cry 6. The game features Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian as villain Anton Castillo. Playing as guerilla fighter Dani Rojas, players will travel across the fictional island of Yara and dismantle Castillo’s empire.
Far Cry 6 offers familiar gameplay moments but expands on the customization and player agency. Fans of the series will likely be pulled into the story and amount of activities to complete in the sprawling, open map. Being a multiplatform title, Far Cry 6 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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