Getting a present for a gamer over the holidays isn't as easy a matter as it may sound. Sure, you want to get him or her a game to play, but which game? What system? You want to get them the right game for the genre they enjoy, and that's where we come in. In our 2008 Holiday Gift Guide all you need to know is what kinds of video games they play, and plan accordingly. Do they like shooting things? We've got some games for them. If they like racing, yeah, we've got the shopping list covered too. A bevy of genres for you to peruse lay below, so that you can rest knowing you're getting them the right gift this year.
Below you'll find our Holiday Picks for the PC. To check out our full guide, please visit out Holiday Guide Index.
For the Shooter Fan...
Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway
For those who prefer some great storytelling and a strategic slant to their shooter action would do well to check this title out. It may not be perfect, but BiA represents a genuniely enriching gaming experience. This unique approach to shooters may even be enough to bring you back for one more digital tour of duty with the 101st airborne.
Call of Duty: World at War
If you're sick of World War II shooters, you owe it to yourself to try this one out for three reasons. One, it has a fantastic and addictive co-op Nazi Zombie mode. Two, it's part of one of the most successful and critically acclaimed shooter franchises on the market. Three, it successfully replicates the success of last year's Call of Duty 4, including the amazing graphics, framerate, game engine, tight controls, and addictive multiplayer. Okay, so that was like eight reasons, but that just makes it all the more worthwhile for the WWII buff on your list.
Far Cry 2
The dawn breaks as you exit your safe house and gaze at the miles and miles of unfriendly African landscape. In Far Cry 2, you are a government mercenary sent to the war-torn continent to kill a weapons dealer known only as The Jackal. Traverse over fifty square kilometers of realistically modeled landscape as you bring down governments, collect conflict diamonds and generally just shoot at anything and everything. A new feature, the environment can be set ablaze, which will burn realistically and send the bad guys running.
This "go anywhere and do anything" approach means some time is spent driving, boating or hang-gliding to your destination. Still, the fun is in the journey, and this breathtaking game is a great gift for anyone who likes to keep a finger on the trigger and a grenade in the ready. Not ones for the kiddies, however!
For the Action Fan...
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto is back and tops the charts with 10's across the board. Although it's the ninth in the series, GTA IV is the first proper step into the next-gen gaming world. Of course it features much of the same style of gameplay; but if it isn't broken, why fix it? Give the gift of virtual crime and let someone drive, shoot, steal, stab, drink, race, and customize their way throughout the holiday season. But with well over 11 million copies sold, you might want to make sure the lucky recipient of this gift doesn't own GTA IV already.
Left 4 Dead
There comes a time when nothing can satisfy a gaming urge, and all that is wanted is to shoot the undead in the face while rescuing your buddy. Good news! There is a game perfect for such a time. Left 4 Dead combines co-op run-and-gun with zombies and more zombies. Bonus: Get a copy for yourself as well, and you can play alongside your friend!
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
If you're like us, then you love Black Suit Spider-Man. While the last movie may not have been a decent representation of our symbiont-fused hero, this game truly is. With the swinging system of Spider-Man 2: The Video Game still intact, a new Web Strike system that integrates web swinging and frantic mid-air combat and the ability to change between the two suits on the fly, if you say that you are a Spider-Man fan and don't have this game then you have obviously forgot to put this on the list to Santa.
For The Role-Playing Fan...
Worth playing just to explore the ruins of post-apocalyptic Washington DC, Fallout 3 mixes action and role-playing elements for an unforgettable experience. Play the game from infancy to your ultimate destiny as either hero of the people or villain feared by all. The remains of popular landmarks, art deco ruins, and cobbled together survivor settlements dot the bleak yet beautiful terrain. Horrible mutants and insane robots will be around every corner, but a cast of strange characters can be found to help you on your journeys. The combat system uses a turn based/real time hybrid that allows for stunningly bloody combats and is more forgiving for RPG fans who prefer Fallout's traditional turn based system. The PC version of the game is notable for easy use of modification tools to create and play user generated content.
For That Addicted MMO Gamer...
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
I know many of you haven't heard of this one, but hear us out. You might just find a hidden gem that will be your own little secret with this little ditty. Okay, I couldn't write that with a straight face...
Blizzard's second expansion to their mega popular MMO adds ten new levels and a plethora of new content for the adventurer's of Azeroth. Explore the epic continent of Northrend - the frozen wasteland situated atop the roof of the world, where the dreaded Lich King, Arthas, awaits both the Horde and the Alliance. Wrath adds more dungeons, more monsters, and more loot, and is more than a worthy expansion for the most played MMO on the planet. Buyer beware! The owner of this title must have both World of Warcraft and the first expansion, the Burning Crusade, in order to play this stellar addition.
Fun For The Whole Family...
The original Peggle might well have been labeled an illegal, controlled substance with its addictive nature. Simple goals melded with chaos meet cute little fuzzy creatures is a formula that make you want to play just one more shot, every time. And now there's a sequel! Extra levels, extra goals, and even an extra character all mean that 'just one more shot' is going to get you lost for the next few hours.
World of Goo
You might've built towers before. You might've played with goo before. But it's probable that you have yet to build towers with goo before! World of Goo, with its unique art style will keep your mind running to figure out how you're supposed to build around, over and through the myriad of obstacles placed in your way. Simply put, it's an enthralling physics based puzzle builder game that's really unlike anything else.
For The Racing Fan...
For those who love cars but don't have to time to put into a heavy sim like Forza Motorsport to Gran Turismo will love GRID. With a solid selection of real world cars and realistic yet forgiving physics, GRID is the perfect gift for the speed junkie in your life. Add in a fantastic rewind function and a load of different race types, you have a game that you can play for ten minutes or for hours on end.
To check out our picks across other platforms, please visit out Holiday Guide Index.