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The holidays are upon us and with that means lots of gift shopping. It’s hard enough to figure out what to get mom or dad let alone that hardcore gamer on your list. Don’t you fret, because I got you covered when it comes to Xbox One games, be it for the die hard fan, your fun loving little cousins and everyone in between.

Xbox exclusives that are a notch above the rest

Many of the games that come out these days are released simultaneously on all current consoles along with handheld and mobile spin offs to boot! Still there are those console exclusives that help define a brand and make a console stand out and the Xbox One has some great exclusives.

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Halo 5: Guardians

Why it’s a great Holiday gift: The Master Chief has become one of the most recognized video games characters of all time, some would say he even rivals the likes of Mario and Sonic. His exploits in the Halo games have help usher in some of the greatest advancements in gaming history, seamless online multiplayer and co-op action are just a few examples and this latest entry in the series is no different. Halo 5: Guardians, is the next chapter in series and certainly is one to take note. As you play through the campaign, you will control the Master Chief and Spartan Locke as you fight to find the truth. Also with some amazing fast paced online multiplayer action, this is a great Xbox One exclusive and a great game for the first person shooter fan on your holiday gift list. Check out the review here.

Rise of the Tomb Rainder.jpgRise of the Tomb Raider

Why it’s a great holiday gift: When we first laid eyes on the latest take of the Tomb Raider series in 2013 we were blown away and this year’s follow up is no different. A much more realistic take on the idea of Lara Croft as a tomb raider was a welcome breath of fresh air and the latest instalment in the series is an Xbox exclusive as well. Rise of the Tomb Raider, continues the story of the last game as Lara sets out to clear her father’s name. With improved combat, stealth and crafting make this third person action adventure game a must have for fans of the series and Xbox owners alike. Check out the review here.

Gears of Was Ultimate Edition Xbox One.jpgGears of War Ultimate Edition

Why it’s a great holiday gift: Just like the Master Chief, Marcus Fenix and the rest of the COG soldiers in Delta Squad have become hugely recognizable and fan favourites to say the least. The series blew fans and critics away on initial release with its quick and intuitive third person cover based shooting gameplay along with its gritty and over the top style. The Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a great way to revisit the series on the latest console or for first time players, it’s a great value for all the games in the series. Co-op campaign, white knuckle multiplayer action, great value and if you get it now before the end of the year you will also get access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta next year, all make this a great gift. Check out the review here!

The Xbox One’s family and kid friendly too!

All three of the games I mentioned above offer great gaming experiences on the Xbox One, be it alone, with a friend on the couch or online with and against other players, however they are all rated M and are all somewhat violent in nature to say the least. So where are the games for my little cousins or something I can play with the family around, you ask. Well don’t worry because those are coming right up!

Minecraft Story Mode.jpgMinecraft Story Mode

Why it’s a great gift: If you haven’t played Minecraft by now, you are very much missing out. Minecraft is a huge hit and still to this day has a huge online following of fans young and old alike. With its two main modes you can attempt to survive in a unique Overworld, different every time you start a new game or just have at it in freemode and build whatever you can image. Unlike the original game which has no story, Minecraft Story Mode is all story. Developed by Telltale Games, Minecraft Story Mode will take you through an adventure to save Overworld, yourself and all your blocky friends. Great for all ages, Minecraft Story Mode will be sure to delight anyone who gets it this holiday season. Check out the review here.

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Skylanders SuperChargers

Why it’s a great holiday gift: Another long running franchise, Skylanders uses a USB portal and RFID enabled figures to add and remove playable characters, equipment and more when placed on the portal into the game. It’s a great idea and lots of fun to collect all the figures but the real genius is that as long as you have figures from previous games they are all playable on the latest iteration of the series. That means hundreds of figures to swap out and play with. For the first time ever in the series Skylanders SuperChargers let’s your in game Skylanders control vehicles, in the all new Race Mode.  This series is always lots of funand will be sure to delight fans young and old. Check out the review here. 

Guitar Hero Live.jpgGuitar Hero Live

Why it’s a holiday great gift: The Guitar Hero games, along with their iconic guitar controllers have been a staple of living rooms for years now.  If you are an actual guitar player or just an arm chair veteran, Guitar Hero can make us all feel like gods of rock and roll. The latest iteration in the series puts you at the front of a rock band and lets you play along to some iconic tracks, old and new. Not only is this a great game to play, it’s also a great game to watch others play especially at holiday gatherings. Check out the review here.

Don’t forget about the Xbox 360

It’s also worth mentioning that with the new backwards compatibility of the Xbox One to play Xbox 360 games, more and more amazing games are becoming available to play. Many of them are still available to purchase at Best Buy and offer some great gaming experiences across the board. For more information on the feature check out the article here.


Regardless of age or gaming preference the Xbox One has games for everyone this holiday season. Do you have any specific Xbox games on your wish list or do you already have a game you’re going to be playing over the holiday season? Let me know in the comments below.



Brad Pajuluoma
Being a child of the 80s Brad grew up playing any and all video games he could get his hands on from the 8 and 16 bit era. As he grew older, video games turned into a life passion. He now works as the QA Lead for one of Toronto’s leading mobile developers. Aside from playing any and all video games he can fit into his hectic schedule, Brad is also a DJ. He enjoys playing some of today’s latest and greatest electronic dance music at clubs here in the city.