Your friendly nerdy blogger here offering up a guide to this year’s games for gifting!
The age distinctions are fluid, so when I say “& up” I mean it. We enjoy a lot of the “kids” titles but you probably don’t want to buy one of the violent games for littles or something that’s going to be too difficult, so that’s how Brandon and I approached the categories.
Kids & Up
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch — released Apr. ’17)
The game has a ‘smart steering’ option so that you don’t have to worry about falling off the track, making it easier for players of different ages and abilities to play together.
Lego Super Heroes 2 (Nintendo Switch, XBox One, Playstation 4 — released Nov. ’17)
My 6-year-old loves this, but even my 3-year-old likes to be Spider-Man and run around, so they can play together (split-screen).
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch — released Oct. ’17)
Wahoo! Fun for all with some clever throwback gameplay in there.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (iOS, Android — released Nov. ’17)
Free! Not really a present you can put under the tree, but do put this on your phone or your kid’s tablet. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it.
Teens & Up
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch — released March ’17)
You can never go wrong with a new Zelda title.
The Sims 4 (XBox One, Playstation 4, Mac, PC — released Nov. ’17 for consoles, 2014 for Mac/PC)
I don’t know why I never picked this up for our computer, but the console version has just been released. I introduced my 8-year-old to the game and we’re both super into it, but she’s a little young to play and needs some help. Meanwhile my in-game house is goood.
Stardew Valley (Nintendo Switch, XBox One, Playstation 4, PC — released 2017 for consoles, 2016 for PC)
Resource management, whee! (We debated putting this in the kids/teens category. Our oldest plays, and she’s 8.)
Assasin’s Creed Origins (XBox One, Playstation 4, PC — released Oct. ’17)
A fun addition to the series, this time set in ancient Egypt. Supposedly there will be a mode coming without fighting where you can just tour the location.
Wolfenstein II (XBox One, Playstation 4, PC — released Nov. ’17)
Very violent, but if you’re good with killing video game Nazis, there you go. Surprisingly moving at times.
Horizon Zero Dawn (Playstation 4 — released Feb. ’17)
An amazing game with a female protagonist set in a beautiful post-apocalyptic world.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Playstation 4 — released Aug. ’17)
Hey, more ladies! This is a spinoff from the Uncharted series, taking two ancillary characters and exploring their story.
Golf Story (Nintendo Switch — released Sep. ’17)
The 16-bit mechanics of golf with throwback 8-bit style and a fun story.