9 ideas for the gamers on your gift list

  • By Tom Ham The Washington Post
  • Sunday, December 20, 2009 9:02pm
  • Life

If it’s not too late for your Santa wish list, you might want to check out these suggestions for not-to-be-missed games. They were put together for by video-game reviewer Tom Ham (we know, you’re wondering, how do I get that job when I grow up).

Games are rated “everyone” unless noted otherwise.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen

Price: $60

Players take on the role of Nathan Drake, adventurer and explorer, as he follows Marco Polo’s footsteps in search of mythical treasure. This is the first game that really lets players feel as if they are a part of a Hollywood blockbuster — complete with cinematic gameplay, a fantastic musical score and action sequences that would make Indiana Jones nervous.

Super Mario Bros Wii

Nintendo Wii

Price: $50

The classic game everyone grew up with is finally coming to the Nintendo Wii with its own version. Play with up to three others for a fun mixture of competitive and cooperative gameplay. Mario has never looked better.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Sony PSP

Rating: Teen

Price: $60

When the Joker escapes custody and takes over Arkham Asylum, it’s up to Batman to save the day. Players step into the boots of the famed Caped Crusader to bring the Joker and his henchmen to justice. This is the best comic-book-based game ever.

DJ Hero

Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Rating: Teen

Price: $120 with turntable; $200 Renegade Edition

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a DJ? The latest rhythm game incorporates a very cool turntable controller that mimics scratching, tapping and cross-fading pretty darn well. Players will show their DJ skills on exclusive mixes from Queen, Herbie Hancock, the Black Eyed Peas and others.

Need for Speed: Shift

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Sony PSP

Price: $60

If driving fast is your thing, then the latest in the Need for Speed series is where it’s at. We especially liked the improved in-car view, which allows players to experience the feeling of driving some of the most exotic sports cars in the world.

The Beatles: Rock Band

Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Price: $60 for game, $250 for limited-edition bundle (drums, two guitars and microphone)

With 45 songs by the legendary British rock group, players are treated to a colorful and historical trip in which they’ll learn the history of the Beatles and get to play some of their most beloved songs.


Nintendo DS

Price: $30

The player with the most imagination will be the winner. Players control our hero Maxwell, who must collect objects called Starites, which are spread out over 200 levels. Type “sword,” and it appears in the game. Type “jetpack,” and Maxwell can use it to fly across the level. With more than 20,000 words, there is plenty to play around with.

Madden NFL 10

Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

Price: $40 to $60

If you think you can call better plays than Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher, then you may want to pick up the latest version of this famous game. Everything in the game has been revamped: pregame warm-ups, refs debating calls, players getting yelled at from the sidelines. And the player models are the best yet.

Ratchet &Clank Future: A Crack in Time

PlayStation 3

Price: $60

The universe is in shambles again thanks to Dr. Nefarious, and it’s up to Ratchet and Clank to set things straight. Adding to the frantic platforming action is all-new Clank gameplay where he can manipulate time to defeat his enemies. Imaginative players can design their own weapons by collecting mods spread throughout the game.

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