Christmas gift ideas: top Christmas gifts for 2014

Our pick of the best new games for PS4 and Xbox One as well as the titles that owners of Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii and Wii U will love playing this Christmas.

Gifts for PlayStation 4 owners

Ever since its exciting reveal back in February, the world has been clamouring to get hold of the new home console from Sony.

And Microsoft's U-turns on the particulars of the Xbox One have brought it more in line with Sony's sleek new machine, the PlayStation 4 still stands as an exciting new gateway to the future of home gaming. Here's our pick of the best PS4 games.


Killzone: Shadow Fall - £49


One of the most visually impressive launch games for the new generation of consoles, this sixth entry in the Killzone series is set 30 years after the events of Killzone 3. You play as Lucas Kellan, a member of a military intelligence unit known as the Shadow Marshals. A new warrior for a new era of war, Kellan's missions range from quiet infiltrations to all-out combat.

While the single-player campaign promises cinematic thrills and spills unlike anything we've seen on consoles so far, Killzone: Shadow Fall also has a multiplayer mode that's going to be huge. With the PlayStation 4's new social features, along with the ability to quickly and instantly join your friends in any online match, Killzone: Shadow Fall has a real chance to be the next big online shooter.

DriveClub - £49


DriveClub's focus is on fast, fun and arcade-like road racing. It isn't about technical details and accurate car modelling - for that you'll want to wait for Gran Turismo - but it's more about the visceral thrills and spills of racing around the tarmac in some of the fastest and most powerful cars ever made.

The PlayStation 4's social tools are given prominence, with multiplayer games and team racing modes available. Using the PlayStation Plus network and the Share features of PlayStation 4, you'll be able to manage and create teams with other players, no matter where they are in the world.

Every detail of high-speed racing has been painstakingly recreated to give you an authentic and thrilling first-person driving experience.

Knack - £49


While Killzone has the guns, and DriveClub brings the cars, Knack offers a gaming experience for all the family. It doesn't mean it's any less action-orientated, with it being described as a cross between Crash Bandicoot, Katamari Damacy and God of War.

Every new console needs to have an action platformer in the proud tradition of Sonic and Mario, and Knack could prove to be one of the PlayStation 4's most popular titles.

You play as Knack, a fantastical creature created by a scientist, who can bind himself together using ancient relics littered around various stages. Knack starts off small but the more relics you incorporate into his body, the larger - and stronger - he becomes.

Incorporating the PlayStation 4's graphical might with Knack's stunning style creates a quirky and unique platform adventure game that is a breath of fresh air.

Minecraft - price TBA


Minecraft is one of the biggest indie success stories in the history of computer games. From humble beginnings as a PC game, it has gone on to sell over 20 million copies over a number of different platforms. The announcement that it will be a launch title for the PlayStation 4 is quite a coup for Sony.

You start out on an open world, with the potential to build your own structures using rough 3D cubes made of various materials.

There are hardly any limits to what you build, and the Minecraft community has shown the possibilities of what you can create. Minecraft is a unique - and addictive - experience that lets your imagination run wild.

Hohokum - price TBA


Much has been made of Sony's indie push for its new console, which has resulted in a range of weird and wonderful games. Hohokum is one of the most unique - and charming - games to be announced for any of the next-gen consoles.

The idea of the game, which is a collaboration between artist Richard Hogg and Honeyslug, a London-based game studio, is to make a whimsical and colourful game with an emphasis on exploration and creativity.

One of the aims is to create something where the usual pressures of videogames are absent, with rewards and secrets unveiled by exploration.

Gifts for Xbox One owners

Xbox One

When Microsoft first entered the console scene back in 2001 with the original Xbox, it was a relative newcomer in a playground dominated by Sony and its swanky PlayStation 2 machine. 12 years and another console later, however, and Microsoft has crafted a brand and an experience that's both exciting and hugely rewarding.

From the sturdy reliability of the online gaming environment of Xbox Live to the universally preferred controller design of the Xbox 360, Microsoft's Xbox has become a defiant force in modern gaming. Microsoft has launched its latest machine, the Xbox One, alongside a new version of Kinect and a great line-up of games - and it could well be the gaming platform that you have always dreamed of.

Dead Rising 3 - £49

Dead Rising 3

The original Dead Rising was a brilliant showcase for the then newly-launched Xbox 360, throwing hundreds of zombies at you to mow down in increasingly ludicrous ways. While Dead Rising 2 might have gone multi-platform, Dead Rising 3 has returned to its rightful place as an Xbox One exclusive.

Thanks to the extra power of the new Xbox One console, the undead threat has been increased substantially, with more zombies than you can shake a chainsaw-cum-stick at.

Coupled with an open world that's larger than the worlds of Dead Rising 1 and 2 combined, along with SmartGlass and Kinect functionality, Dead Rising 3 is the perfect game for showcasing what the Xbox One is capable of. It's just as well that it's a hell of a lot of fun as well.

Forza Motorsport 5 - £45

Forza 5

Microsoft's racing sim series has been building a steady following since its launch, so anticipation for the first entry on the Xbox One is sky high, especially as Forza 5 will be taking advantage of the Xbox One's online cloud computing powers, which come in the shape of the brand new feature, the Drivatar.

This feature learns from your driving style, creating a realistic AI computer opponent that you and other Forza 5 players can race against.

When the game launches, there will be 29 cars, and four tracks to race around - the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Prague Circuit and Spa-Francorchamps. And Forza Motorsport 5 is going to keep growing, with the promise of a steady stream of new cars and tracks being added in the future.

Crimson Dragon - £55

Crimson Dragon

In many ways the spiritual successor of the cult Sega Saturn game Panzer Dragoon, this on-rails shooter for the Xbox One features six types of dragons, over 100 skills and three-player online co-op. You can level-up dragons by feeding them between missions to make them more powerful.

Designed to be played with a controller and the Kinect camera, the game promises to be an experience like none other, with Yukio Futatsugi, creator of Panzer Dragoon and other much-loved Japanese games, helming this exciting title. The idea is to really make you feel as though you are flying a powerful dragon through the air.

Zoo Tycoon - £55

Zoo Tycoon

At first you might think that a zoo-building simulation game is an odd choice for a launch game to herald in a powerful new console, but Zoo Tycoon is an inspired choice on Microsoft's part. It manages to highlight some of the Xbox One's greatest features, such as an improved Kinect, cloud processing and enhanced graphical might.

It's also a welcome reminder that Xbox, which is so often associated with violent first and third-person shooters, has plenty of games that will entertain the whole family.

You can create and fill your zoo with over 100 animals, and then spend your time walking around your zoo in 3D, admiring your work - and the animals.

Zumba Fitness: World Party - £60

Zumba Fitness World Party

Combining fun and exercise has led to the Zumba Fitness franchise selling a staggering nine million copies worldwide, so its debut on the new Xbox One console is bound to be a huge seller.

Using the new and improved Kinect camera to track your movements, Zumba Fitness: World Party takes you on a whirlwind tour of the world, using beautiful settings and new cultural dances as well as over 40 new routines and more than 30 dance styles.

You can get your dance on to some of the most popular songs from artists such as Lady Gaga, along with original Zumba tracks as well.

Peggle 2 - £55

Peggle 2

The sequel to one of the most popular puzzle games of all time comes exclusively to Xbox One. While keeping the peg-popping addictive gameplay of the original, Peggle 2 offers all-new levels, new and improved power-ups, fantastic multiplayer modes, gesture controls with Kinect, the ability to customise the Peggle Masters who host the game, and more.

As in the original, Peggle 2 combines elements of pinball, pachinko and billiards, as well as a whimsical style and extremely fun gameplay that offers just enough challenge to keep you coming back for more. It's as fun as it is addictive.

Ryse: Son of Rome - £49

Ryse: Son of Rome

Originally penned as a Kinect-only game for the Xbox 360, Ryse: Son of Rome has had its ups and downs in development. One thing's for sure, though, with Crytek, the studio behind the visually stunning Crysis games, developing the now Xbox One-exclusive game, this is going to be a treat for the eyes.

You play as a Roman general, with the game following him from childhood. Use the Kinect to shout orders, while using the Xbox One's controller to hack and slash your way to victory.

Gifts for Wii U owners

Wii U

Released in November 2012, it's safe to say the Wii U hasn't been the runaway hit that the original Wii was. This is partly down to a lack of marketing on Nintendo's part as well as it lacking any real killer game titles that people expect from Nintendo.

However, that is set to change over the coming months with the release of some quality titles for the Nintendo faithful. We have rounded up our selection below as well as when your likely to get your hands on them.

The Wonderful 101 - £35

The Wonderful 101

The Wii U is quickly becoming home to some truly unique and quirky games. In The Wonderful 101, you control a gang of superheroes who can morph into various objects to help battle against their opponents, move about levels and solve puzzles.

Known as Unite Morph forms, they can be upgraded using the game's currency, O parts. You can draw the shapes you want the Unite Morphs to take on the Wii U's GamePad. For example, you could draw a sword on the GamePad and your diminutive heroes would form the corresponding shape, letting you cut your way through your enemies.

The game is packed with charm, with a huge story to play through that will keep you glued to your Wii U.

Skylanders Swap Force - £50

Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders has established itself as a bona fide phenomenon, combing real-life collectable toys with fun and frantic video game action. As with the previous Skylander games, Spyro's Adventure and Giants, you use a portal to bring real-life action figures to life in the video game.

This new game introduces the Swap Force, 16 new figurines, which brings a totally new element to the game, letting you swap and mix the top and bottom halves of each figurine, allowing for up to 256 combinations.

Mix and match their powers and moves for even more ways to play, with new abilities such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing and teleporting. These new powers let you explore previously unreachable parts of the Skylands universe.

Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD - £45

Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker first appeared on Nintendo's GameCube, and its charming cartoony style set it apart from other games. But this re-release isn't just about updated HD visuals, because there are loads of new features that take advantage of the Wii U's hardware.

For example, the Wii U GamePad and touchscreen can be used as a map or to check your inventory, and you can use the motion controls to control the wind baton, as well as aim weapons.

You can also use the Off-TV Play mode of the Wii U, which enables you to play the game on the Wii U GamePad, while someone else uses the TV.

Another cute implementation of the Wii U's features is that you can send messages in a bottle to the Miiverse online community. Other areas have been improved to make sure that this is the definitive version of Legend of Zelda Wind Waker.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Lost World - £35

Sonic the Hedgehog: Lost World

If you'd told us 20 years ago that Sega would be making exclusive games for a Nintendo console, we'd have laughed, but here we are. Taking equal inspiration from Sonic's classic 2D games as well as Nintendo's groundbreaking Super Mario Galaxy, Sonic the Hedgehog: Lost World mixes 2D races through familiar worlds and 3D dashes through spherical levels.

Multiplayer is supported with a second player using the Wii U GamePad, and Off-TV and Miiverse functionality is also included. A version is also being released for Nintendo's 3DS, which will be able to interact with the Wii U version as well.

Rayman Legends - £34

Rayman Legends

After Rayman's triumphant return in Rayman Origins, the 2D platform hero is back in a visually gorgeous adventure that lets you and three friends play through a number of fun levels. Players can use the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen to take out enemies or clear paths, and use the gyroscope technology to manipulate and rotate platforms on the TV screen.

The Wii U controller also allows players to continue the adventure on the controller's screen even while the television is off. The game comes with over 120 levels, including 40 remastered levels from the already-classic Rayman Origins. Once completed, you can play remixed levels with new enemies and objectives.

Scribblenauts Unmasked - price TBA

Scribblenauts Unmasked

As with previous Scribblenauts games, you play a boy called Maxwell, who can create any object or person using his magical notepad. You use the Wii U's GamePad to draw the objects and characters you want to appear in the game, and with Scribblenauts Unmasked you also have access to almost every character from DC Comics, such as Superman and Batman.

You can create your own Super Hero or Super Villain using any item from the DC Universe, then set properties for how it behaves, changing its appearance and powers. You can then share your creations with the community.

Just Dance 2014 - £30

Just Dance 2014

The fifth game in the popular Just Dance series features more than 40 new tracks, ranging from chart-topping hits to classic party tracks. Whether it's pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B or funk, there is something for everyone. There are new modes called World Dance Floor and On Stage Mode, with the former being the first online multiplayer mode in the Just Dance franchise.

Players can also track their standing on global leader boards, check out stats about other players around the world, and see community updates. On Stage Mode enables a player to own the spotlight by dancing the starring role in a song.

Wii Party U - £30

Wii Party U

If you've got a load of friends over, you're going to want to make sure you've got Wii Party U. This multiplayer game takes the form of a board game which contains over 80 different minigames. Each one has been designed for the Wii U's GamePad and it will ensure that this game is the ultimate party entertainment for people of all ages.

Perfectly encapsulating the design ethos of easy to play, hard to master, Wii Party U will appeal to anyone no matter how good they are at computer games.

Gifts for Xbox 360 owners

Xbox Live remains number one for online gaming, and the Xbox 360 is about level pegging with the PlayStation 3 for classic titles. It also has the award-winning Kinect to play with. Here are the new games we recommend for the Xbox 360.

Halo 4 - £24

Halo 4

The Halo series has helped redefine the Xbox 360 and the dynamic world of first-person shooters. Halo 4 follows Master Chief, a superhuman soldier tasked with protecting his people in the aftermath of an inter-stellar war.

But when the flagship of the human armada is brought down in ruins, Chief must once again suit up and uncover a new threat to humanity. If you pick up a copy of Halo 4, you not only get a 12-hour single-player campaign, but you also get the addictive Spartan Ops missions, and the endless fun of the multiplayer modes.

Forza Horizon - £25

Forza Horizon

With the most recent Gran Turismo title for the PlayStation more than missing the mark, the Xbox 360-exclusive series Forza has risen to the forefront of modern driving simulations.

Based at the fictional festival Horizon, Forza Horizon gives you access to hundreds of miles of Colorado terrain - every turn is littered with races, time trials and other vehicular events for you tackle and dominate. It also saves your best times and shares them with your friends.

The game takes on a great social dynamic when you log in and find one of your friends has beaten your time overnight!

BioShock Infinite - £20

BioShock Infinite

Hailing from Irrational Games, the same studio that brought us the award-winning BioShock in 2007, BioShock Infinite is a wonderful experience that combines first-person combat with a rich story that spans time, space and the human heart.

Set on the floating city of Columbia, BioShock Infinite follows the story of Booker DeWitt, a private investigator who enters the skyward utopia to rescue an imprisoned young woman.

But as Booker delves further into the world of Columbia, he discovers a realm divided by social, racial and political turmoil. BioShock Infinite is also available for the PS3 and PC.

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - £40

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

Set in the Caribbean during the 'golden age' of piracy, you take on the role of Edward Kenway, a selfish privateer drawn into a secret war between a brotherhood of assassins and a league of nefarious Templars.

The naval combat from Assassin's Creed 3 returns, only this time you'll be able to seamlessly sail a ship into battle, board another vessel or disembark on to strange new lands, all in real time. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is also available for PlayStation 3 and PC.

Gifts for PlayStation 3 owners

if you're buying for a PS3 owner, then how about one of these games?

The Last of Us - £38

The Last of Us

Like BioShock Infinite before it, The Last of Us brings an interactive experience that's as heartfelt and emotionally resonant as any film, book or TV show. Society has all but collapsed as an unknown fungal virus decimates the population.

Set 15 years into the outbreak, survivor Joel struggles to exist in a world divided by politics and social problems. Tasked with protecting a rebellious young girl who could hold the key to humanity's survival, the two characters must find a way to survive.

The Last of Us is a cinematic story that combines intense action, tense stealth mechanics and a level of production to match even the biggest blockbuster.

Mass Effect Trilogy - £56

Mass Effect Trilogy

The Mass Effect Trilogy is less a game and more a giant space opera that spans entire galaxies. The Mass Effect series is an experience that adapts to your decisions and actions.

Choosing to save certain characters or failing to meet certain objectives can have a huge effect on the outcome of your journey.

Even how you speak and interact with other characters can affect how they see and work for you. Each game in the trilogy saves your progress, creating a consistent universe that reflects your good or bad decisions. Bold, beautiful and thoroughly entertaining, the Mass Effect Trilogy also comes with the excellent multiplayer modes from Mass Effect 3.

Grand Theft Auto V - £40

Grand Theft Auto V

The fifth Grand Theft Auto looks to rejuvenate the franchise once again, with a graphical presentation that pushes the PlayStation 3 to its limits, plus three brand new characters and an entire state's worth of things to do/eat/buy/shoot.

Los Santos is a thriving and dynamic world, and you can switch between any of the three main characters - Trevor, Michael and Franklin - at any time with the touch of a button.

You also get access to Grand Theft Auto Online, a dynamic multiplayer mode that's packed full of things to do. Grand Theft Auto V is also available for Xbox 360.

FIFA 14 - £40


Once upon a time, Pro Evolution Soccer was the benchmark in football sims, but in recent years the FIFA series has risen to the top.

FIFA 14 is the first to appear on both current and next-gen consoles. Apart from classic FIFA features such as Be a Pro, the time-consuming Ultimate Team mode also returns.

It combines the addiction of collecting football stickers with the impeccable online capabilities FIFA is renowned for. FIFA 14 is also available for Xbox 360 and PC.

Gifts for Nintendo Wii owners

Is a friend or family member a Wii gamer? Then make their Christmas with one of these top Wii games.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - £34

Super Mario Galaxy 2

The Wii gave us some truly great gaming moments - case in point: Super Mario Galaxy 2. The iconic Italian plumber has had a mixed run of games in the 32 years since his first appearance, but the two Super Mario Galaxy games are some of his best.

And while some games used the Wii Remote's motion controller as a cheap gimmick, Nintendo crafted a Mario experience that was tailor-made for it.

Beginning with some classic side-scrolling action, Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses size, depth and verticality to challenge your platforming skills like never before, and each topsy-turvy level is bursting with the innovation and charm that makes Nintendo games so unique.

Wii Sports Resort - £30

Wii Sports Resort

Think Wii - think Wii Sports. The image of Mum, Dad, Grandpa and co having a bash at tennis or a round of golf has now become as synonymous with the Wii as Mario himself.

The 2009 sequel, Wii Sports Resort, includes the sports from the original, along with a treasure trove of new activities. Now you can try a little wakeboarding, let loose a few arrows in archery, or riposte in a bout of fencing.

Wii Sports Resort was also one of the first games to use the Wii Motion Plus - a device that fits on to the base of your Wii Remote, providing a whole new depth of precision and control.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - £20

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Remember that Wii Motion Plus you picked up with Wii Sports Resort? It's time to break it out again. The previous Zelda title on the Wii - 2006's Twilight Princess - struggled to fit into the Wii's control system, but Skyward Sword delivers not only one of the best Zelda experiences ever, but one of the best Wii games ever.

Skyward Sword combines action and adventure with role-playing and puzzle elements, creating an intense but safe experience for young and older gamers. It may not be the HD quality Zelda experience fans have been crying out for, but it's one of the most entertaining, engaging and lovingly crafted titles on any console.

Super Smash Bros Brawl - £33

Super Smash Bros Brawl

Super Smash Brothers Brawl is all about scale. Up to four players can scrap it out on screen at once, leaping between multiple platforms, collecting power-ups and genuinely laying the smackdown on one another.

The roster is packed with familiar faces, so whether you're a Mario kind of guy or a Pikachu-loving Pokémaniac, there's bound to be a character to suit your tastes. The Wii is a perfect family console, and Super Smash Bros Brawl is great for playing with friends or relatives.

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