People might be gearing up to carve turkey and stuff their faces this Thanksgiving, but the holiday season kicks into high gear with Black Friday the next day. Don’t waste your time buying lemons – our 2021 holiday video game gift guide will make sure you steal the show.
Oh, and we won’t make you click through five pages to look at the entire list.
For the true believer comic book junkie: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
In the last 10 years, moviegoers have gotten a chance to know (and love) Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon on the big screen through Marvel Studios’ stellar Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
While James Gunn has established a strong foothold on the big screen, we’re bold enough to say that Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix have managed to one-up his renditions with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
This single-player narrative experience follows the same cast, but takes the formula to new heights.The cast is incredible from beginning to end, the voice acting and script are absolutely flawless, and the banter remains fresh throughout. Of course, its gameplay meets these high watermarks as well, with action-packed animations and explosive abilities. There’s even a rockin’ soundtrack with some rockin’ tunes from Rick Astley and Mötley Crüe – what more could you want?
You can read our review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy here.
For the indie lover looking for something new: Death’s Door
It seems these days that indie games are a dime a dozen – there’s no doubt countless titles gathered from bundles and sales that sit idly by in Steam libraries the world over.
However, Acid Nerve and Devolver Digital stand head and shoulders above the pack with their indie darling Death’s Door.
Players will be able to live out their macabre dreams as a crow reaper, one which has been sent out to collect souls. As players explore its ruined world in a hunt for the titular Death’s Door that serves as the endpoint for all life, they’ll be treated to top-down action RPG rife with things to see and things to do. The soulslike elements are just icing on the cake, always being fair while providing a challenge.
You can read our review of Death’s Door here.
For the board game and roguelike aficionado: Roguebook
With the backing of the developers of Faeria and Magic: The Gathering’s Richard Garfield, you just know that Abrakam Entertainment and Nacon’s Roguebook will be one to remember right from the offset.
Trapping players within the pages of a magical book, players must seek out a way to escape through the use of rewarding roguelike and collectible card game mechanics. This title takes the foundation created by titles like Slay the Spire and runs with it, providing a level of satisfaction and discovery that is rarely seen in current games. It has everything needed to set the genre on fire, and is quickly shaping up to be a game of the year contender.
You can read our review of Roguebook here.
For the fighting game fan with a pocket full of quarters: Guilty Gear -Strive-
There’s no shortage of fighters these days, from 2D stalwarts like Street Fighter V: Champion Edition to the 3D limb-based movement of Tekken 7. However, a new challenger comes forth with the release of Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear -Strive-.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the series or if you’ve been Roman cancelling with the best of them – this reconstruction of the franchise manages to be beginner friendly while still providing plenty of death. The game grows with you and encourages you to be better, with plenty of tutorials and guidance to get players up to speed. Of course, the fact that it’s a looker certainly doesn’t hurt; it’s flash makes this a worthy showpiece for anybody’s 4K setup.
You can read our review of Guilty Gear -Strive- here.
For the horror fan who wishes it was Halloween year-round: Resident Evil Village
Capcom’s Resident Evil series has been a gaming staple since the 90s, when gamers were feasting on Jill sandwiches in the Spencer Mansion.
You’d think a formula that’s eight mainline entries deep would be stale at this point, but this year’s Resident Evil Village easily proves otherwise. Transporting players to a remote village, Ethan Winters must contend with unspeakable horrors as he takes on Mother Miranda and the Four Lords. This title features an action focus that harkens back to its finest entries while still keeping the exploration, puzzles, and frights intact. Its detailed next-gen world seals the deal too, providing a worthy showpiece for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
You can read our review of Resident Evil Village here.