Top of the season to all you Pixel Cereal readers. With Black Friday almost here and Christmas right around the corner, this is my list of must haves for the gamer on your list of people to shop for.
Let’s start off with Microsoft’s Xbox One line of consoles.
- Assassin’s Creed Origins – As the Xbox One X is now the most powerful console on the market to date, I would like to start my list with 1 of the best examples of the amazingly the new Xbox One X Enhanced games. Origins tells the story of Bayek, the first true Assassins in the series. The game looks fantastic on the Xbox One S and even better on the Ps4 Pro, but on the Xbox One X it truly shines and you see the game that developers wanted you to play.
- Gears of War 4 (Ultimate Edition if you can find it): One of Microsoft’s best exclusive series, second only to Halo, Gears 4 moves from Marcus Fenix to his son J.D. Fenix. It is without a doubt the prettiest and most fluid Gears of War I have ever played. Multiplayer is as well back and Horde Mode 2.0 and a lot more fun than ever before. Great if you have a bunch of friends on Xbox Live and want to rock. The Ultimate Edition as well includes all the DLC.
- Cuphead: This soon to be classic platform title had been in the works a long time, and now that it is here, it totally lives up to all the hype. The entire game was hand drawn by Studio MDHR, and playing the game it’s easy to see and feel the love, sweat and tears the team poured into it. However, it can be a very hard game. So be mindful of that when picking this title. It’s likely a little too difficult for most younger gamers.
- Xbox Elite Controller: is a fair bit more expensive than the normal Xbox controller, but this is for good reason. It really is the best of the best. These controllers let you customize your controller to your liking with different sized thumb sticks, the direction pad and interchangeable back paddles that makes it easier to reload that weapon or duck around cover faster. They also have a much better build quality behind them, you just must feel to believe.
- Turtlebeach Headset: I couldn’t decide which way to go for this, so I opted to include option a and b in this category based on what your budget may be. If money is no object and pure unadulterated sound/comfort, I recommend the Elite Pro Optic Edition. This Headset is the cream of the crop for Turtle beach from what I have tested/seen. As someone who wears glasses, I really appreciate that this one was designed to with that in mind. They are super light on the head to be able to play for hours upon hours and still keep your ears cool. For the More Budget friendly Option I would pick the Stealth Series the 700 or the 600. They both have wireless connectivity with 10-15 hours of use on a single charge, and come with the same amazing Turtle Beach build quality we have enjoyed for years.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: There is a reason this is on so many Game of the Year lists. This is the Story of Aloy and her survival and discovery of who she is and where she belongs in a far future world. Think open world exploration type sort of like Assassin’s Creed or Infamous, but with giant robot creatures. A list voice acting and an amazing story makes this the must have PS4 Exclusive. New DLC just released for it as well, begging people to come back to the Frozen Wilds.
- Nier Automata: Another game that will no doubt appear on many game of the year lists. It features a bunch of Hack and Slash bits, think Devil May Cry or God of War, it’s an RPG, it also has bits that remind you of the old R-Type games where you fly around enemies come at you from all different directions. It has spawned some amazing Cosplay and makes you keep thinking about the game once you finish. When I say finish, I mean see all 26 endings, a truly impressive feat but also a testament to it’s incredible replay value.
- HellBlade – Senua’s Sacrifice: This game was created by Ninja Theory, who are known for Heavenly Sword and the rebooted Devil May Cry, DMC. Many have called it a walking sim, and it is very much one, but it’s so much more than that. The main theme explores mental illness and features some of the best sound engineering in 2017. Ninja Theory also donated all the proceeds ($100,982 CAD) for the game purchased on world health day to mental health charities. Who doesn’t love that?
- PSVR: To be completely honest, I have yet to play this, but it is on my list of major wants. The line up has grown a lot since this was released last year. We have gotten a few free PSVR games for our PS+ as well, which helps with getting more people to try it. From Batman VR to Star Trek Bridge Crew, It’s easy to see that the game devs have really embraced the technology and in turn, we’re receiving a solid number of great licensed properties coming to the platform. With the updated headset to be launching soon, the PSVR is still the cheapest VR headset out there.
- Sony Platinum Wireless Headset: This is Sony’s Own branded headset, and it just oozes quality. As they are Sony based they have an app for the PS4 that enables you to launch different 3D audio profiles, which help enhance the game you are playing. They are very comfortable on the ears for long periods as well and are solidly built.
Last but certainly not least Nintendo.
- Super Mario Odyssey: Easily the best 3D Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine, Odyssey is a Game of the Year contender and it is one of the most best examples of what the Switch can do. Odyssey also seems to be one of the few games that Xbox and Ps4 players love just as much as their own exclusives. The collecting person in me loves the grind to collect all the moons. You could see a lot of people on the morning commute playing this one on the train as well it’s so addictive.
- Splatoon 2: Following up on the success of the original game, Splatoon 2 takes the action on the go with the Switch hardware. Nintendo has also done themed events for it randomly since release, and its fun to watch the twitter wars over #TeamMustard or #TeamKetchup. The game is a huge success for Nintendo and I’m hopeful that they continue to support these events in the future.
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Yet another Game of the year contender, Zelda: BotW has amazing gameplay, and a great story. Many Zelda fans agree this is the best since the SNES classic Link to the Past. It has everything that a Zelda game should have. Puzzle solving, unforgettable bosses, and Link saving Hyrule again. There are also 2 DLC packs planned for it, the first one has released and we are awaiting the second.
- Simple Carrying Case – This is a very generic item but it is very much-needed as the Switch is a portable system and you really do not want to damage this amazing console.
- High Capacity Micro SD Memory Card – As the Switch only comes with 32GBs of internal memory, you will need to get a Micro SD Memory card. I would recommend as does Nintendo a UHS1 with the most capacity you can afford, keep in mind that the higher the GB usually is a better value.
That’s it for my list. I hope I was able to help you decide on what to get for the gamer in your life.
Im a 37 year old Male from the Golden Horseshoe in Ontario. Been gaming all my life. I’m a Husband and father as well.