HollywoodJesus.com: Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
MoviesDVDsMusicBooksComixTVGamesSportsThe Hit ListWeekly Sweeps at HJHWJ Blogs
Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Subscribe | About

HJ Live!  Search HJ Live! Advanced SearchLogin
Share This!

Click Icon >>

Christmas Movie Eliminator
The Galactic Gazette: Star Wars News at HJ
Focus on the Force: Star Wars Commentary and Analysis at HJ
The Pipeline: What's In Store for Faith and Film
Film Festival Roundup
HJ's iON Comic-Con
Bagshot Row Bulletin: News of the film, commentary about the book
News from the Playbox
The Best of 2008
For December and Beyond...

Yeah, Christmas is almost here! Oh, what a wonderful time for gamers, especially with so many top-quality games to find under the tree.

Now, if you’re shopping for the gamers in your life, you may be wondering what’s the best thing you can put under the tree for them. Well, I thought I’d help you out with your holiday gaming shopping with these five recommendations, my top five picks from 2008. They’re listed in no particular order and represent what I thought were among the best games with the broadest appeal for gamers today.

  1. Burnout Paradise (Xbox 360/PS3) – Not only is this a great racer in its own right, but Criterion has done an amazing job of keeping the experience fresh with new add-ons. They’ve added new events, new cars, new motorcycles and next year they’ll add a new island and some new offline, multiplayer modes. The speed is intense, the challenges are fun, the online integration is second to none; if you have a gamer who loves to race, this is THE game to get for them this Christmas.
  2. DeBlob (Wii) – Gamers often lament the amount of sequels turned out by the gaming industry and how there aren’t enough original games. Of course when an original game does come out, gamers don’t buy it because it isn’t simply more of the games they’ve already played and love. Well, DeBlob is one of the best third-party, original games to come out this year. It’s a bright, colorful platformer with some decent puzzles and some seriously addictive and fun gameplay. Add in some interesting multiplayer components, and you have a game the whole family can enjoy and a new character they’ll all love.
  3. Boom Blox (Wii) – Take the game of Jenga, mix in some Steven Spielberg, and you get one of the best party games of the year. Spielberg’s game makes excellent use of the Wiimote’s motion capabilities and is full of unique, fun puzzles of a Jenga fashion. When you get four people together to play, you have one of the best multiplayer games currently available on any system.
  4. Madden 09 (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) – For the sports lover you can’t go wrong with Madden. This year’s edition is one of the best so far this generation. Sharp visuals, deep gameplay, the all-new Madden IQ and adaptive AI and gameplay, smooth, fluid animations; Madden 09 is the ultimate football-lover’s game. It’s not all rosy, however, with some minor limitations in uniforms and customizing online games, and a throwaway online league setup. On the Wii, you get stellar motion controls, unique and really fun multiplayer modes, the actually-pretty-good All-Play mode so even noobs can enjoy the game, and all of that in addition to what the other versions offer. Granted it doesn’t look as sharp, but it’s the fun party version out of three.
  5. Prince of Persia (Xbox 360, PS3) – For the adventure lover there’s this excellent reboot of the Prince of Persia series. To be honest, this was a toss up between the Prince and Tomb Raider, but the unique, fluid movements through the levels combined with some truly lovely visuals and engaging combat gave the edge to the Prince. Lara’s new adventure is decent, and to be honest has better, more challenging puzzles, but it doesn’t compare with the grandeur of the Prince’s adventure. Some of the unique changes may be tough to get used to, but I think you should at least give the Prince a chance.

So there are my top picks of the year to help with your Christmas shopping. Now, I’m sure some of you are probably wondering “Where are the REAL big hits from the year? Where are the GTA IV’s, the Gears of War 2’s, or the Fallout 3’s? These are the games everyone is raving about.” True, but to be honest, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend those games to anyone. You can see why in my full reviews at the HJ Playbox, but suffice it say that some (like GTA IV) aren’t as good as everyone says, and the others just don’t seem like they would make good gifts during a holiday that’s celebrates joy, generosity, kindness, light, and life.

It was incredibly difficult to narrow my list to just five games as so many top-notch games released this year, but as 2008 comes to a close, these are the ones that stuck the most in my mind.

Well, hope you all have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and lots of fun gaming during this awesome holiday season.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe without commenting


Click Icon >>

The Hobbit... Whole: Movie and Book
Bagshot Row Bulletin: News of the film, commentary about the book
Hobbit Commentary
The Galactic Gazette: Star Wars News at HJ
Focus on the Force: Star Wars Commentary and Analysis at HJ
Narnia News, with Mark Sommer
Narnia Features
Hogwarts Expressions
The Lord of the Rings, with Greg Wright
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Click Icon >>

From the Top
eMPULSE: What's Hot In Electronic Media
Video Reviews
charActor studies
Sound Off
WWTD: What Would Tebow Do?
The Guide: Video Reviews of Hot Games at HJ
Church at Louie's
KJV@400: Not Just Any Old Book
Pokemon White: Catch 'Em All
Madden NFL Playoff Sims
The LOST Lockup: Archives
The Lost Library
Get Cupped Up: World Cup Coverage at HJ
Fan of the Flame
12 Days of Christmas Music
EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge
Wolverine Spotlight
Galacticana: Melinda Ledman on Battlestar
SteinWatch: News of Ben Stein and Expelled
Tales From The Front Lines: From the set of The Bill Collector
Yo's Animal Crossing Diary
Favre Watch at HJ
The Back Page: The Intersection of Culture and Spirituality
After Eden: Sifting the Gold From the Gutter
Mii Fit: Yo's 30-Day Fitness Challenge
The Blogger Archives
Danger: The Real Missionary Position
The Dark Corner: Philip Pullman at HJ

Click Icon >>

Reflections for Moviegoers, with Matt Kinne
The Virtual Pew, with Mike Furches
Hollywood Jesus Books