Christmas is a special time of year. For the most part, people come together with the ones they love and celebrate just being together. The hard part comes before all of that though. Before the guests come over, before the food is served, and before you fight the fine line between blacking out and pushing through another discussion of politics with your Uncle Roy who is so ass backward the sight of him gives you a migraine. You’re faced with a choice. What in the name of Crowley am I supposed to get these people? Well since a hellhound puppy isn’t a viable option, consider getting some of the games below for the people in your life.

Kids (Up to Ten Years Old)

Kids around this age are kind of hard to shop for if they are gamers. I mean if their parents are super strict about the ESRB ratings (which they kind of should be) you run a high risk of getting them a game that’s almost the equivalent of diarrhea on a disk. Grab one of these games below and you won’t know the little munchkins as “The relative who doesn’t know games”.

Rocket League (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)

Rocket League has taken the gaming scene by storm since it’s release. Launching a competitive slot in leagues the world over the consistently addicting gameplay of Rocket League is sure to keep children of all ages busy for quite a while. The game essentially boils down to a cross between demolition derby and soccer. Teams of player controlled cars of all kinds compete to score goals on one another, at the end of the allotted time, the team with the most scores wins. The Psyonix team updates the game constantly so there is always new content to enjoy. Since launch, they have added a hockey based mode, basketball and a multitude of new maps. If your kid is a sports fan, a car lover, or just a kid who like video games, finding Rocket League under the tree is sure to bring a smile to their face. A smile will be on your face too when you realize it only cost twenty dollars.

Minecraft (PC, Mobile, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, PS3)

It was once said, Men build things, then we die. It’s in our f*cking DNA! That’s what we do! And when it all falls down? We build it right back up again. But this time bigger. BETTER! Never has there been a more fitting statement for a game. Minecraft is all about unleashing your inner architect and building the wildest creations that come to your twisted little mind. But it is so much more than that, the amount of exploration and the fight for survival that goes into discovering every nook and cranny is sure to keep children of all ages busy for hours on end. In high school along I dropped close to four hundred hours, and that was just in the vanilla Xbox version. The game has had several updates since and almost feels like an entirely new game. For the most part, Minecraft will run you about twenty dollars. The only exception to that is on mobile where the dumbed down version only cost about seven dollars.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)

This game has been affectionately referred to as XCOM with Mario characters. That is a pretty accurate statement, in general regards. Player take turn vs the AI moving around the area and attacking enemy characters when within range. The battle ends once one side has eliminated the other and the story continues. Speaking of the story seems to consist of Mario and friendly Rabbids taking on some not so friendly other Rabbids that have caused a ruckus in the Mushroom Kingdom. The Rabbids playing for team Mario all cosplay different characters from his world; Peach, Luigi, etc. The game will run you about forty-five bucks, but that’s a small price to pay to bring joy to a loved one.

Teens (Ages Twelve to 16)

Overwatch (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

There are a few games on this list that I have talked about multiple times over the past few years, but damn it they are good. If you haven’t heard of Overwatch, it’s a 6 vs 6 objective-based multiplayer games constructed by the geniuses over at Blizzard. The game boasts nearly 30 unique characters and about twenty maps across a handful of different game modes! The game gets frequent and free updates; which are awesome for players like me who can’t afford to fork over cash for a season pass. It has brought myself and many of my peers’ thousands of hours of entertainment! I highly recommend dropping the thirty dollars for this game it has yet to get boring in over a year of it being released.

Fortnite: Battle Royale (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

Fortnite has changed a lot since it originally came out early this year. The lads over at Epic Games are huge fans of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and have cited that as one of the reasons they went ahead and made a battle royal mode for Fortnite. A hundred players spawn on a bus in the sky and jump off at will to different points on the map to scavenge for different loot and fight to the death. The last individual standing achieves Victory Royale. Whether you like to go lone wolf, as a duo, in a squad or want to try your hand at the 50 v 50 big team battle style mode Fortnite has something for every fan of the genre. The game manages to make itself stand out with its almost cartoon-like visuals and its unique weapons tiers. Most games in the genre have different guns do different levels of damage based on their gun type, I.E. Shotguns are less effective at long range than an assault rifle. In Fortnite different colors indicate a guns strength. So, in theory, a purple (legendary) Scar should do more damage than a blue level M16. I say in theory because Legendary items seem to be cursed for me and I die almost as soon as I touch them. The best part about Fortnite: Battle Royale is that it is 100% free to play and does not require the base game to play.

Adult (Every Other Poor Sap on Your List)

Gears of War 4 (PC, Xbox One )

The Gears of War series will always hold a special corridor in my cold and dying heart. Now that Marcus and Dom’s story has come to a conclusion with the end of Gears of War 3, we look to the future as JD Fenix’s story is brought to life in the first installment of a whole new Gears of War trilogy. This story focuses on JD and his unit leaving the COG to live as outsiders during a new war with new enemies. The new enemies The Swarm take the place of The Locust from the previous installments. I am eager to get my hands on this game because it also explores some of the political and side effects of the outcome of the previous trilogy. A true fan of the Gears of War franchise would be more than happy to get this for Christmas. Better yet it only costs around twenty to twenty-five dollars.

Call of Duty: WWII (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

World War 2 was a staple of gaming in the early 2000’s then one of the biggest dogs in the yard started clumsily going through the future and the whole series just got convoluted and stale.  I am talking about the Call of Duty franchise that thankfully returned to its boots on the ground roots this past November. The multiplayer feels way better than the past few games, leaving behind the asinine jetpacks and wall running for good old fashion dolphin diving. By the way, if you ever want to feel like an action hero enable the perk that allows you to shoot while diving. It makes you feel god-tier when you do it with a double barrel shotgun. The story is superb, feeling way more fleshed out than the past few installments. It manages to put us in an ineptly familiar space while feeling completely unique. It even allows a very pleasant mission where you play as a lady from the French Resistance. This Call of Duty also brings a fresh face to the Nazi Zombies mode. As someone who doesn’t like having to rely on others to try to enjoy the zombies’ stories for each map, I loved the prologue in this one that allows players to play for as long as they care to alone. It was a nice change of pace from having to find people who don’t annoy me and hoping we can get through the map without RNG screwing us. Head back to the trenches for as low as forty bucks. COD: WWII also made it on to our Gift Giving Guide, run over there and take a look, I’ll wait.

Nazi Jump Scares

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Gold Edition (PC, Xbox One, PS4, PSVR)

Much like the Call of Duty series the most recent entry sort of takes the series back to where it all started. Focusing on the infection surrounding the Baker family the game sort of acts as a reset button for the series. Ethan ends up at the Baker house in search of his long-lost wife, Mia. Things quickly go awry as an infection of the Bakers sends Ethan on an absolutely horrific adventure that I highly recommend. This particular version of the game gives players access to all the delicious DLC including the newest one focusing on Chris Redfield. The new narrative based DLC titled Not A Hero leaves Ethan and his horror in exchange for an action-oriented tale that hits all the notes the previous action entry Resident Evil 6 missed. There is also a DLC that came out called The End of Zoe and brings the character’s story to a close. The game is well worth the fifty dollar price point and I look forward to opening it this Christmas.

So much nope!

Dead By Daylight (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

Killing people is generally frowned upon, but if you are looking forward to delivering a few season’s beatings this year fear not, Dead By Daylight has your back. For as low as twenty dead souls you can have access to a wide variety of psychos to slice and dice strangers with. The game is a 4v1 horror mode where four players work to escape the map and one player hunts them down and murders them. It works pretty well and doesn’t get stale as easily as other games of the same genre. Dead By Daylight recently added Freddy Kruger to its roster complete with his own map! This game is perfect for those people in your life who need to blow off some steam. Instead of facing time in court or prison for losing your cool and stabbing people just grab a copy of Dead By Daylight where it’s encouraged to disembowel people and hang them from hooks.

 

At this point in the article, I am really beginning to be saddened by the fact that I can not wake up Christmas Day to a hellhound puppy under my tree. Listen Muffins might be from hell but he is full of love and damned if he isn’t the cutest thing. Regardless, whether you are buying for your little cousin or your significant other the games in this month’s Games for Budget Gamers is sure to bring joy to your loved ones this holiday season.