Top Must Have Video Games for the Holiday Season 2012

ajg-vert-holiday-logoThe holidays are here and you have a gamer you have to buy a gift for. But what to get them? Although it is highly subjective as to what type of gamer they are you do know it’s going to be a video game! But no worries for I am here to help! Here is my list of Top Must Have Video Games for the Holiday Season 2012

Note: I have tried to do my best at categorizing these so they would be easier to get to. But I have not ordered them otherwise. Also instead of listing the price? Due to the holidays they change so fast – assume they are $59.99 or less. :-)

First Person Shooters

Of course these are the hottest sellers every year. This year is no exception. Take a look below and make that gamer happy by helping him frag his way into the New Year!

Halo 4

The long awaited release of the continued HALO saga continues. Now created by 646 Studios they have updated the story, graphics, and multi player sure to make even the hardest core HALO fan happy.

  • The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Humanity and the universe will never be the same again.
  • The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends
  • Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4’s Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system.
  • Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4’s graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies*
  • *Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately).

Call of Duty Black Ops II PC, Xbox 360, PS3


This has been the highest anticipated FPS of the year. It has already sold $500 million on opening day. If your gamer loves FPS shooters set to the not to distant future with fast action and I forgot ZOMBIES? Then Call of Duty Black Ops II will be the perfect gift for them!

  • An all-new Call of Duty – Black Ops storyline featuring new characters and returning characters
  • Unique single-player campaign that contains two time periods linked by characters and their actions
  • Special Strike Force missions, in which the players action affect the outcome of gameplay and the overall campaign
  • Special game Mode Zombies – Tranzit, Grief, and Survival
  • Multiplayer Gameplay Online

Far Cry 3 – Xbox 360, PS3, PC

This game has been dubbed “If Call of Duty and Skyrim had a Love Child it would be Farcry 3″ (me :-) ). This game seems to have it all. An epic storyline, co-op, and now multi player? Can you save your friends and girlfriend from being sold into the Slave Market? You’ll have to use all of your wits and weapons at your disposal to do it! Note: Rated M due to gratuitous violence, language, and nudity.

  • Use an arsenal of weapons and explosives to run gun-first into the action, take down nearby adversaries with your blade or snipe unsuspecting enemies from a distance
  • Explore an island playground as stunningly beautiful as it is diverse from mountain ranges to swampy grasslands and white sandy beaches. Fight your way through the island’s towns, temples, river ports and more
  • Encounter a diverse and realistic cast of characters as you dive into this deep and enriching story, where morals are questionable and hope is all but abandoned
  • Far Cry 3 is being developed by the world-class game designers who brought you such critically acclaimed titles as Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and World in Conflict
  • Innovative multiplayer modes, maps and features reward both individual skill and team play. After each match, choose to punish or humiliate your foes in fun and twisted ways with interactive cutscenes.

Read More: Far Cry 3 Release Date 12/4/2012

Medal of Honor Warfighter – PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Running the Frostbite engine used by Battlefield 3. This game was over shadowed by Call of Duty and HALO.  This game is probably the most hard core shooter created to date. It tries to bring to realities the horror of war as well as how it affects both the soldier and the family. So if your looking for just a straight FPS shooter? This might not be the one for you.

Taken from Amazon:

In the single player campaign, Medal of Honor: Warfighter tells the story of US Tier 1 Operator, call sign “Preacher” as he returns home from overseas only to find his family torn apart from years of deployment. Trying to pick up the pieces to salvage what remains of his marriage, Preacher is reminded of what he’s fighting for – family. But when an extremely deadly explosive (PETN) penetrates civilian borders and his two worlds collide, Preacher and his fellow teammates are sent on missions to real world incursions to solve the problem. They take the fight to the enemy and do whatever it takes to protect their loved ones from harm.

Stealth/Assassin

Assassin’s Creed III Xbox 360, PS3 -WiiU

My favorite assassin game now has a U.S. History twist where your helping America win the Revolutionary War!  You fight as a Native American where you have to stealth or rush through epic battles on ships, villages, and the battlefield! U.S. History was never this much fun!

  • As a Native American assassin, eliminate your enemies with guns, bows, tomahawks, and more!
  • From bustling city streets to the chaotic battlefields, play a critical role in the most legendary events of the American Revolution including the Battle of Bunker Hill and Great Fire of New York.
  • Experience the truth behind the most gruesome war in history: the American Revolution.
  • Introducing the Anvil Next game engine, the stunning new technology that will revolutionize gaming with powerful graphics, lifelike animations, immersive combat, and advanced physics.

Hitman: Absolution PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Agent 47 is back and badder than ever. Betrayed by those he trusted and loved and hunted by the Police. It will be your job to find out a way out of this mess. And you’ll have to decide just how to do it. Will you use disguises to help stealth through, or will you blast your way through levels not caring who sees you?

  • Contracts Mode-Create your own custom hits by choosing the level, targets, weapons and the rules of assassination in an innovative new online mode where created contracts can be shared and the money that you earn will unlock weapons, upgrades and disguises
  • Freedom of Choice – Stalk from the shadows or rush in guns blazing thanks to fully-evolved game mechanics and a sophisticated AI-System that responds realistically to every tactic you employ
  • Experience a Living, Breathing World – Robust and memorable characters spring to life on the screen with an outstanding cast of Hollywood performers, ensuring every moment becomes a story in HITMAN: ABSOLUTION
  • Disguises – A huge variety of disguises, you can impersonate your victims and blend into the world around you, affording you new actions, options, and the element of surprise
  • Instinct Mode – Predict enemy patrols, identify weapons and escape routes, and temporarily enhance your disguise–even engage in ?Point-Shooting,? making full use of your skills as an expert marksman to clear entire rooms with stylish efficiency

Dishonored PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Your a futuristic Assassin in the Steampunk Whaling City of Dunwall out for Revenge!

  • Improvise and Innovate: Approach each assassination with your own style of play
  • Use shadow and sound to your advantage to make your way silently through levels unseen by foes, or attack enemies head-on as they respond to your aggressiveness.
  • Action with Meaning: The world of Dishonored reacts to how you play. Move like a ghost and resist corruption, or show no mercy and leave a path of destruction in your wake. Decide your approach for each mission, and the outcomes will change as a result.
  • Supernatural Abilities: Combining your suite of supernatural abilities and weapons opens up even more ways to overcome obstacles and eliminate targets. The game’s upgrade system allows for the mastery of deadly new abilities and devious gadgets.
  • A City Unlike Any Other: Enter an original world envisioned by Half-Life 2 art director Viktor Antonov. Arkane and Bethesda bring you a world where industry and mysticism collide, creating an atmosphere thick with intrigue. The world is yours to discover.

RPG (Non MMO)

These are the popular RPG’s for 2012. Some have been around for a bit so will probably be a little bit easier on your wallet then the newer ones! All are a winner for those who love RPG type games!

Borderlands 2- Xbox 360, PS3, PC

The much anticipated sequel to Borderlands. This is a complete overhaul from the original. With upgrade able everything, online co-op, and a huge world to explore? Time to get shooting!

  • Brand new environments on Pandora: Hunt through entirely brand new areas of Pandora that are more alive than ever!
  • 87 Bazillion Everything: In addition to the new gun system, you will lust after procedurally generated shields, grenades, Alien Artifacts, class mods and much, much more. And you thought the original Borderlands had a ton of loot!
  • World Connected Story: You will find yourself left for dead in the frozen tundra of Pandora as you begin your quest of revenge and redemption.
  • Dynamic Co-op online, split-screen and LAN: Share your adventures with friends both online and via LAN. Borderlands 2 features a seamless system enabling you to drop in and drop out of a campaign without ever having to restart the game.
  • New Badass Gun System: An entirely new take on the groundbreaking procedural system means millions upon millions of possible weapons. The variety and style of guns in Borderlands 2 is staggering.
  • An entirely new take on the groundbreaking procedural system means millions upon millions of possible weapons
  • Choose from all new characters and classes including the Gunzerker, who can dual-wield any two weapons in the game
  • Improved story integration which finds you left for dead in the frozen tundra of Pandora as you begin your quest of revenge and redemption
  • In addition to the new gun system, players lust after procedurally generated shields, grenades, alien artifacts, class mods and much, much more
  • Share your adventures with friends both online and via LAN with a seamless co-op system enabling you to drop in and drop out of a campaign without ever having to restart the game

Darksiders II Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU, PC

This is another Hack N’ Slash game that isn’t technically an RPG. But it has RPG aspects to it. Read the features below!

  • Become the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen, able to destroy entire worlds and battle forces beyond Heaven and Hell
  • Explore startling gameworld environments reminiscent of heaven and hell
  • Customize your experience with varied armor sets, weapons, and skill trees allowing players to create their own Death
  • Explore a vast open world, complete dozens of side quests and customize your Death with a full leveling system, skill trees and endless equipment combinations
  • Death is a nimble and agile character capable of incredible acrobatic feats allowing the player to explore the world like never before

Mass Effect 3 – Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Finalize the story as  Commander Sheppard and find out how this series ends. Although it has been patched to offer different endings. The first one is always the best :-)

  • Battle as Commander Shepard on many worlds across the galaxy as you unite the ultimate force to take back the Earth before it’s too late
  • Enormous enemies and take on a smarter type of foe that will consistently challenge your best combat tactics and put you on the edge of your seat
  • Customize your Commander Shepard, your squad and weapons to engage the enemy on your terms
  • Allows the option to import decisions from both of the previous games into the new game, but can also be played as a standalone game
  • Experience a new emphasis on melee combat, movement and an improved cover system

Diablo III: Standard Edition – PC Only

Although we had to wait over 10 years for this game? It was in actuality kind of a let down. But it is still some great mindless fun for dungeon trolling. Though not “technically” an RPG I guess? I still stuck it here :)

  • Five new character classes, including the otherworldly Witch Doctor, or with re-imagined warriors from Diablo’s past, like the powerful Barbarian
  • Experience a new approach to in-game health as the previous reliance on mana and potions is appended by resource types unique to each class, as well as health globes
  • In single player quests utilize up to three AI followers, from three different classes who can be equiped with basic items and leveled up
  • Sell unique items found within the game for in-game gold or real money via online Auction House functionality
  • The new Rune System in which skills and abilities are now automatically unlocked as you level
  • 1-on-1′ dueling system coming into play.
  • The Barbarians will have a variety of revamped skills at their disposal based on the use of their incredible physical prowess.
  • The Witch Doctor is a new character reminiscent of the Diablo II Necromancer

MMO RPG

Yup, this is your online RPG Category. If you want to immerse yourself into an online world these games will fit that bill nicely!

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria PC Only

World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria might be dubbed the “Kung Fu Panda” or “Pokemon” edition. It is still yet another expansion for the most popular MMORPG. Now you can play a Monk and capture pets and put them to battle!

  • Battle to level 90 – Ascend to new heights of power as you explore the verdant reaches of the Jade Forest, war with the terrible Yaungol on Kun-Lai Summit, and unlock the secrets of the Mogu’shan Vaults.
  • Unleash the Mighty Pandaren – Set out as a member of the enigmatic Pandaren — World of Warcraft’s first neutral race — and join the ranks of either the Horde or Alliance as you enter the conflict brewing on Pandaria’s shores.
  • Discover a Lost Continent – Explore the ancient kingdoms of Pandaria and mount your defense against a newly awakened evil stirring in the continent’s dark corners.
  • Master the Path of the Monk – Learn the mystic powers of the Monk, World of Warcraft’s newest playable class. Destroy foes with the Windwalker’s devastating attacks, replenish allies with the Mistweaver’s spiritual energies, and shrug off enormous damage with the Brewmaster’s unyielding strength.

Guild Wars 2 PC Only

Guild Wars 2 is touted as being a true “WoW Killer” for 2012. But it hasn’t succeeded yet. What is has done though is offer an awesome online experience without the Online Subscription Fee! If your looking for an MMORPG – this is most likely the one to get!

  • Guild Wars 2 provides a massive, online persistent world.
  • Free online play. No monthly fee.
  • Players have the freedom to play together even if their friends are at a much higher (or lower) level.
  • Players will be able to engage in organized, balanced PvP (similar to GvG in the original Guild Wars) without needing to first level up characters, find equipment, or unlock skills.
  • You will be able to advance your character to the maximum level without ever joining a group if you so desire.

Star Wars: The Old Republic PC Only

This is the Star Wars MMO we’ve all been waiting for. They really took their time and did this one right! What makes it even better? There is no longer a monthly subscription fee to play the game online!

  • Define Your Star Wars Saga – Choose from one of eight iconic roles
  • Choose the Light or Dark Side – Meaningful choices throughout your journey will determine the light or dark side
  • Adventure with Companions – Build or break meaningful relationships with your companions
  • Engage in Heroic Star Wars Combat – Fight against reactive enemies battles
  • Pilot Your Personal Starship – Earn your own ship which is your base of operations
  • An interactive storyline with cinematic dialogue and full voiceover for all in-game characters
  • Discover a Fully Featured MMO and much more

Sports / Racing Games

Forza Horizon – Xbox Only

Forza is doing what the Need for Speed series has been doing forever. Now with online game play and open worlds with different game modes. Forza has some amazing looking cars and customization’s. If your a fan of the Xbox 360 – this is probably the racing game for you!

  • COMPETITION MEETS CULTURE: rivalries and leaderboards baked into the world, online playground games like “cat&mouse” or “tag”, never made more sense, and set in an automotive music festival, find multiple radio stations curated by Rob da Bank (BBC One DJ and festival promoter).
  • FREEDOM OF THE OPEN ROAD: race on some of the best driving roads in the world including pavement and dirt, explore reimagined Colorado with broad environmental diversity – red rocks, aspen reservoir, and small towns, and discover hidden challenges and collectables like barn finds.
  • THIS IS ACTION RACING: smash through fences and picnic tables or drift through civilian traffic at high speeds to gain fame, race against planes and helicopters in showcase challenges, and race at night with full 24hr light cycle for the first time in the Forza franchise.

FIFA Soccer 13 – Xbox 360, PS3, PC

If your a fan of the “original” football game? Then this is the Soccer game for you!

  • Attacking Intelligence – All-new positioning intelligence wires attacking players with the intelligence to analyze plays, and to position themselves to create new attacking opportunities.
  • FIFA 13 Complete Dribbling – Make every touch matter with the control to be more creative in attack, and the freedom to exploit 1v1 opportunities.
  • FIFA 13 1st Touch Control – A new trapping system eliminates near-perfect control for every player by creating uncertainty around trapping.
  • Player Impact Engine – The second generation of the award-winning physics engine expands physical play from collisions for the ball to off-the-ball battles, giving defenders more tools to win back possession.
  • New Passes – Two new passing options give players the ability to dink passes over the outstretched leg of a defender or loft through balls to teammates.
  • Complete Authenticity – Over 500 officially licensed clubs and more than 15,000 players.
  • FIFA 13 Fundamentals – Essential elements have been refined to make the experience more authentic. Referees will now make better decisions awarding fouls and cards, goalkeeper intelligence has been improved, and Tactical Defending has added lateral mobility for players in defensive containment.
  • Tactical Free Kicks – Create dangerous and unpredictable free kicks utilizing the most skillful players on the pitch. Position up to three attacking players over the ball and confuse opponents with dummy runs, more passing options, and more elaborate free kicks.

Madden NFL 13 – Xbox, PS3, WiiU, PC, Playstation Vita

The latest update to the Madden franchise is running the new “Infinity” engine which is supposed to make this the most life-like experience ever made for a sports video game. Couple that with a “live” experience at being at the stadium, and the ability to create your own dream team? You have a killer new game for the series.  Too many features to list on here you’ll just need to click on the link to find out more!

 Need for Speed: Most Wanted – Xbox 360, PS3, PC

I can tell you that the cars and the environments look awesome. Getting chased by the cops is still a blast. And they brought the NFS series back down to its roots with this game. Which means it is AWESOME!

  • Limited Edition Perks – Get double Speed Points for your first four hours of multiplayer and get early access in online multiplayer to two of the world’s hottest cars complete with the exclusive Satin Black livery and the latest performance modifications.
  • Beat Your Friends – Autolog 2 ratchets up the intense competition with personalized race recommendations and feeds broadcasting all of your most newsworthy scores, speeds and times to your friends. Earn Need for Speed points at all times on any system as you try to outdrive your friends and become the Most Wanted.
  • Non-Stop Multiplayer – Pick a car, hook up with friends and jump into a non-stop playlist of tight, competitive events. No lobby screens means the action never stops. Score big, rank up and earn endless rewards and upgrades. Keep the fierce rivalries going between events with endless opportunities to race, battle and explore in a huge open world.
  • Open World Action – Lose the cops – your way. Hit jumps and shortcuts, lay low, or shake the cops in surroundings that play to your car’s unique strengths. Freedom is everything. Drive anywhere with your friends, discover hidden gameplay or utilize your knowledge of the city to beat them in a never-ending supply of challenges.
  • Racing Without Rules – It?s survival of the fastest as “Need for Speed Most Wanted” fuses the franchise?s, authentic “real car” feel with the intense speed and aggression of Burnout. Power down, slide out, and battle your way past cops and rivals using pure driving skill, and heavy doses of nitrous.

Indie Favorites / Misc Picks

As if this list isn’t large enough? I’m going to add a little more to it!

Journey Collector’s Edition

This is one of those hidden gems. This simplistic game where you travel through a fantastic desert land. It is just too epic to write about. You just need to get it!

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter [Download] – PC

SS is one of those awesome endless carnage shooter games. Now available to run on Windows 7? You can re-live all of it now. Get this pack on the cheap or get the 4-pack and re-live the entire series again!

  • Developed by Croteam and powered by the next-generation Serious Engine 3, Serious Sam HD features beautifully rendered, high-resolution visuals and lushly redesigned environments to create the most astonishing Serious Sam game ever.
  • Return to the golden age of frantic, non-stop action with Serious Sam’s trademark onslaught of enemies rushing towards you at every turn. From the charging Sirian Werebull to the screaming Headless Kamikaze and the multi-story Ugh-Zan, all of the infamous minions of Mental have been spectacularly redesigned for Serious Sam HD.
  • Fire up one of the greatest arsenals in gaming history by wielding demon-stopping revolvers, lead-spewing miniguns, and monstrous cannons for when you absolutely, positively, have to kill every enemy in sight.
  • More than 14 levels of bedlam set against the expansive backdrop of ancient Egypt with every square inch upgraded and reworked to create one of the most visually stunning game experiences.
  • Embrace the mayhem with up to 16 players in co-op mode.

Lollipop Chainsaw – Xbox or PS3

Yes I’ve listed it. Yes it is gratuitous in every way possible. And yes I thought the game was awesome. The cheerful cheerleader killing zombies with her boyfriends head on her hip. It is over done but was a lot of fun!

  • Juliet Starling is an 18-year-old student with a dark secret- zombie-hunting with a killer chainsaw in hand. Juliet must balance the drama of high school while carrying out her zombie-hunting lineage.
  • Celebrated game developer SUDA 51 brings his unique creative style and vision to the gameplay design, taking players through a wild ride of zombies, chainsaws, and rainbows.
  • Through an adapted script by James Gunn, Juliet must uncover the root of a colossal zombie outbreak at her school, San Romero High, but soon realizes the horde is only the opening act to a festival of zombie rock lords determined to take her down.
  • Players will hone their cheerleading acrobatics and chainsaw skills to string together devastating combo moves, taking out hordes of the undead.
  • San Romero High’s zombie jocks and undead faculty are the least of Juliet’s concerns when she soon realizes that she faces a bigger challenge, zombie rock lords that add a new ‘beat’ to SUDA 51’s over-the-top boss battles.
Well this was a HUGE list!  And I’ll still need to add more as I get to it. Hopefully you can get some ideas this holiday season on what to get that gamer in your family!  And of course if that doesn’t work? There are always Gift Cards or Microsoft Live! points for the Xbox 360.
  • Wade

    I actually broke down and got The Amazing Spiderman, I know, I know,…I came out of the closet on that one, but it’s actually not too bad. All of these games are great, except Halo, I don’t like that game for some reason. And Hitman is next on my list!

    You should do a post about headsets!

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Wade, Yea I’m not a huge Halo fan myself. Too slow for me. I didn’t even think about the Spiderman game – the last one I played was OK but not fantastic.

      As for headsets? I have the PS3 one – and I have for “How to PLay COD” series. I need to get my hands on a few though to really do an article on them by themselves.

      Thanks for stopping by!