Holiday Gift Guide: Games

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Musical merrymaking

Music games are still a big part of the family entertainment scene, and with The Beatles: Rock Band, Lego Rock Band, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero and DJ Hero all out this year, it's fairly hard not to find an offering that will please the music lovers in your home. All the music games support the plethora of plastic instruments out there, so those who own previous band games will be happy with a new disc.

Family frenzy

A standout option for younger gamers is the recently released Lego Indiana Jones 2, with new levels inspired by the classic films. We Cheer 2 is also a good girl-centric pick for the Wii featuring licensed music and using motion gameplay to simulate cheering with pom-poms. The latest Spongebob title, Truth or Square, features the whole Bikini Bottom gang in multiplayer action.

Massively multiplayer magic

Shopping for the next lifetime devotion? Consider some of the new online game offerings, like Champions Online, The Siege of Mirkwood expansion for Lord of the Rings Online and the recently launched Aion for your PC gamer.

Action & adrenaline

Assassin's Creed 2 punches up the pacing a bit, putting players in the role of a member of a league of assassins in Renaissance Italy. Borderlands brings action shooting to the first-person-shooter market, while Tekken 6 brings the brawling back to the consoles with its broadest cast of characters yet. And God of War returns to the PS3 with the God of War Collection - two of the best games made for the PS2 upgraded to HD resolution.

Blockbuster bonanza

Most years, the August-through-November release period floods the market with big titles, but this year many of the expected blockbusters have been pushed into early 2010. But there are still some great games that everyone will be playing, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Uncharted 2, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Forza 3.

Gaming on the go

Mobile gaming continues to take off with the DSi, PSP Go and iPhone. Don't overlook games like The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS; LittleBigPlanet, Dissidia Final Fantasy and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines for the PSP; or Zenonia, Star Defense and Squareball for the iPhone.