The holiday buzz is in the air, which for most of us means a lot of thinking about what gifts to get the ones we love. If you have a PlayStation gamer on your holiday shopping list and need to decide on a last-minute gift, I’ve prepared my top picks of the season to help you out. No matter what gaming genre they enjoy most, or how old they are, you’ll find a lot of great games available on PlayStation platforms.
PS4 & PS3 – top games this holiday season
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Available for: PlayStation 4 (regular edition), PlayStation 4 (Juggernog Edition), PlayStation 3
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Let’s take a look first at the most obvious game likely to be on your PlayStation gamer’s wish list: Call of Duty Black Ops III. This perennial first-person shooter series is always one of the hottest each holiday season, and this year is no exception. This latest entry is packed with features, including a four-player cooperative campaign, the return of the fan-favourite Zombie mode, and of course its signature, world-class competitive multiplayer. PlayStation owners can also enjoy all Black Ops III DLC 30 days earlier than on other platforms, thanks to the deal Sony inked with the game’s publisher, Activision. For more on this game, see our review of Black Ops III here.
Available for: PlayStation 4
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Another huge PlayStation title this holiday is Fallout 4, the next entry in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic action role-playing game series. Set 200 years after the nuclear war at the heart of this franchise, you emerge as a survivor of the bomb shelter Vault 111 and enter a Boston ravaged by the fallout. Features from the previous game, such as your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character stats and the VATS combat system return, along with an all-new crafting system and the ability to establish your own Wasteland settlements. This game offers literally hundreds of hours of entertainment, so this is a game where you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. See our review here.
NHL 16 & NHL Legacy Edition
Available for: NHL 16 – PlayStation 4 (regular edition), NHL 16 – PlayStation 4 (Deluxe Edition), NHL Legacy Edition – PlayStation 3
Why it’s a great holiday gift: NHL 16 is a return to form for EA’s long-running hockey franchise with most of the modes absent from last year’s edition back and better than ever. Returning is the fan-favourite EA Sports Hockey League modem, which lets your create your own competitive leagues with players from around the world. Tons of other fun modes round out the package, including 6v6 online team play, Be A Pro and Be A GM mode, and Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT). If your PlayStation gamer loves hockey, this is the game for them! See our review here.
Star Wars Battlefront
Available for: PlayStation 4 (regular edition), PlayStation 4 (Deluxe Edition)
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Star Wars “fandemonium” is in full effect this holiday with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Unleashed. Just prior to the movie’s release, EA and DICE gave us Star Wars Battlefront, an epic shooter game featuring intense 40-player online matches. Enter an authentic Star Wars universe and take control of iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett, as you do battle across a range of game modes. The graphics of this game are truly stunning with accurate representations of classic Star Wars locations like ice world of Hoth, and the forested moon of Endor. See our review here.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Available for: PlayStation 4 (regular edition), PlayStation 4 (Gold Edition)
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate brings this popular Ubisoft action-adventure franchise into the modern era during the peak of the Industrial Revolution in London. It’s a great setting, and with it comes new ways to traverse the city, such as using the rope-launcher to zip between buildings, or hijacking a horse-drawn carriage. The story, which revolves around the twin siblings Evie and Jacob Frye, lets you explore the London underworld and unify the street gangs under a single banner. This game is great for fans of action-adventure titles!
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Available for: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Why it’s a great holiday gift: From revered game producer Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the exciting conclusion to one of the greatest game series of all time. Picking up nine years after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, you play as Snake (aka Big Boss) on a quest through Afghanistan to take down those who nearly took his life. For the first time ever in the series, the game world is completely open, allowing you to approach missions in multiple different ways. With its photorealistic graphics and deep tactical gameplay, The Phantom Pain is sure to appeal to many PlayStation fans.
PS Vita – games to consider this holiday season
If the gamer on your list prefers playing on PS Vita, here are excellent portable games you may want to consider:
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
Available for: PS Vita
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a music rhythm game that offers an excellent 10-hour story mode that will keep you entertained from start to finish. The game has an outstanding soundtrack featuring new tunes, and tons of remixed Persona 4 favourites. When you add in a robust Free Dance Mode that lets you customize your characters and play each song at your own pace, you have one of the best music rhythm games to come along in years. See our review here.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Available for: PS Vita (regular edition), PS Vita (Lionheart Edition)
Why it’s a great holiday gift: Japanese role-playing game fans will want to take note of this next exciting entry in Nihon Falcom’s acclaimed Trails franchise. The story takes place on the same continent as Trails in the Sky, and will let you explore the powerful nation of Erebonia, and all its internal political conflicts, for the very first time. In the game, you’ll take on the role of specially-selected elite military students and engage in tactical turn-based combat with the newly-developed “ARCUS” system. The combat system is superb, and its charming story will captivate role-playing game fans for a long time to come.
I hope this PlayStation Guide has given you some new ideas to find that ideal gift for the PlayStation fan on your list. If you have any more game suggestions, be sure to let everyone know in the comments section below. Happy holidays!