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Feature: For the Buyers - Push Square's PlayStation Christmas Shopping Guide

Posted by Sammy Barker

Gift ideas for the gamer in your life

The awful celebrity autobiographies filling every square inch of advertising space and tinny, outdated tunes on the radio can only mean one thing: Christmas is coming. It’s now just over two weeks until the big day, and you’re no doubt panicking over the fact that you haven’t picked up any presents yet. Don’t worry if you’re struggling to come up with compelling gaming gift ideas, though, because we’ve got your novelty jumper wrapped back covered. From families to kids through to explorers and petrol heads, allow us to introduce our definitive PlayStation Christmas Shopping Guide...

For the Connoisseurs

Every year there are dozens of great games that arrive on the various PlayStation platforms. This section is dedicated to the best-of-the-best titles, all of which you simply must play before singing Auld Lang Syne with your embarrassing in-laws.

BioShock Infinite (PS3): As pretentious as it is utterly explosive, Ken Levine’s sky-high opus fuses politics with plenty of firepower – and wraps it all up in a plot so brain draining that you may struggle to move upon reaching its numbingly nonsensical conclusion.

Tomb Raider (PS3): An absolutely non-misogynistic portrayal of everyone’s favourite video game heroine, this exotic excursion sees poor Lara Croft ship-wrecked, shot at, and scranning on wild deer. Despite all of this, the heroine still manages to retain her luscious looks.

The Last of Us (PS3): Naughty Dog’s excellent exclusive succeeds where virtually every other game fails: it makes you care about its characters. Granted, you’ll be spitting spores when you witness the infuriating ending – but it beats stumbling to the credits like a disinterested clicker.

For the Petrol Heads

There are plenty of people who live life in the fast-lane, and fortunately there are dozens of games to keep them occupied. This area considers the best racing experiences that you can buy, without needing to shell out on one of those extortionate track day tickets.

Need for Speed: Rivals (PS4): Chock-a-block with cars cooler than Jeremy Clarkson’s garage, this arcade racer sees you outrunning the law – or enforcing it. The connected component keeps your friends close and adversaries closer, so you’ll never run out of expensive sports cars to smash.

Gran Turismo 6 (PS3): Kazunori Yamauchi’s freshest wet dream pressed onto a Blu-ray, Polyphony Digital’s latest racer is so exhaustive that it even lets you drive on the moon. Improved physics and enhanced presentation round out the package – and the menus actually work this time around, too.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Vita): The inhabitants of Green Hill (and Wreck-It Ralph, for curious marketing reasons) unite for three hot laps around the character select screen from Golden Axe. What more could you ask for?

For the Competitors

Some people just can’t resist confrontation. If the gamer in your life happens to have a bit of a competitive streak, then you may want to service that with one of these white-knuckle titles. Just remember to stay out of the way when they’re losing.

Battlefield 4 (PS4): Filled with more frightening hardware than a DELL manufacturing plant, DICE’s latest first-person shooter gives you all the equipment that you’ll ever need to bring a skyscraper to its knees. We hope that the owners have got insurance.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (PS4): A dog is for life, and not just for Christmas – but fortunately we’re informed that army animals can fend for themselves. Take little Riley for a walk through war-torn environments in the latest – but not greatest – entry in Activision’s annual curse-‘em-up.

Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4): It’s still got a narrative about as interesting as Jennifer Lawrence wearing coveralls, but Guerrilla Games hasn’t forgotten how to make guns growl. Plus, this looks just as good as the abovementioned actress – with her ostentatious outfit removed, obviously.

For the Fighters

Not everyone wants to make peace at Christmas – just ask that drunk dude with gross teeth from The Pogues. If you happen to be more of a fighter, this category should fill your holiday with all of the knuckle sandwiches that you crave.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (PS4): The re-release of NetherRealm’s critically acclaimed DC Universe dust-up comes with a bunch of downloadable content and the same enormous single player campaign from the original version. Plus, Harley Quinn is in it. Just saying.

SoulCalibur II HD Online (PS3): Combatants from the old days may remember Namco Bandai’s seminal sword-‘em-up. This downloadable re-release comes with glossed up graphics, allowing you to examine Voldo’s crotch in crystal clear clarity.

Dead or Alive 5 Plus (Vita): Bouncing onto your favourite portable platform like... No, the Harley Quinn reference was already too much. This is a direct port of the latest entry in Tecmo Koei’s completely clean fighting franchise. Ahem.

For the Sporty

Why get tired and sweaty when you can live out all of your on-field fantasies on the couch? This category considers the various sports titles that are currently top of the league – well, until next year’s updates roll around, anyway.

FIFA 14 (PS4): With the firepower of a fully fit Real Madrid and the passing prowess of Barcelona, this is the best digital facsimile of the beautiful game yet. Sure, the players still look like lumps of meat – but some may say that’s an improvement in Wayne Rooney’s case.

NBA 2K14 (PS4): The title that will make you wish that your knowledge of basketball extended beyond Space Jam, Visual Concepts’ latest game of hoops scores a slam dunk largely because of its ridiculous visuals. Kobe Bryant’s never looked so good.

Passing Time (Vita): Something for the casual sports fans, Honeyslug’s soccer simulation sees you tapping on your console’s touchscreen to bend it like Keira Knightley in that movie about David Beckham. It’s not the deepest game that you’ll ever play, but it’s perfect if you think that football is a sport that you play predominantly with your, er, hands.

For the Open World Explorers

There’s no doubt that the seasonal spirit can be a bit fatiguing at times. As such, if you’re looking for a place to getaway, this list of open world excursions should transport you to a location free from family feuds over the Christmas Countdown Conundrum.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4): While you watch innocent snowflakes send the media into a frenetic frenzy throughout the holidays, you may be wishing that you were living life as a pirate in the Caribbean. Fortunately, the folks over at Ubisoft had a similar idea.

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3): Los Santos would certainly resemble Sunset Boulevard if it wasn’t for all the sexual predators, gun-for-hires, and downright dorks. Good thing this game lets you clean up the sun soaked streets with a grenade launcher, huh?

Gravity Rush (Vita): Hekseville is more colourful than Disneyland when observed through a kaleidoscope, and represents the perfect place to while away the bleak weeks of December. Just try not to keep any spare change in your pocket when a blonde haired superhero and her black cat pass by.

For the Bandwidth Busters

If you haven’t got time to wrap up Blu-ray cases, then know that there’s a growing catalogue of gifts available directly from the PlayStation Store. This little selection of downloadable hits packs a real punch – and best of all, you can easily squeeze a PSN voucher into a Greetings Card.

Resogun (PS4): An eye-melting excursion into a spherical world, packed to the rafters with next generation explosions that will turn your copy of FantaVision green. Voxel this about, then? Who cares, it’s awesome.

Guacamelee (PS3): Filled with more gaming references than a complete collection of EDGE magazine, this Mexican-inspired Metroidvania dishes up a buffet of throwback action spicier than a bowl of Chilli Con Carne.

Rainbow Moon (Vita): Not so much a bandwidth buster, and more of a clock blocker. Convince yourself to go in search of this game’s gold and you won’t be emerging for a decade or two. See you in 2036.

For the Kids

When it really comes down to it, Christmas is all about the kids. But once you tire of the tears over absent ponies, hyperactivity, and snooping, you may be in the market for a little something to keep your youngsters quiet. These should do the trick.

Knack (PS4): The punching bag of the PS4’s launch lineup, but a fine foray into a technicolour world. This may not be the best game available for Sony’s next generation console, but the simplistic combat and vibrant visuals make it a great option for 'the boys'.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (PS3): Packed to the brim with more bricks than any toy cupboard could hold, Traveller’s Tales’ latest blockbuster just so happens to be populated by the stars of the Marvel universe. Our awesome sense is tingling. Sorry.

Tearaway (Vita): Teenage tearaways need not apply to the creative world of, er, Tearaway. This innocent handheld adventure offers a landscape constructed entirely out of paper, and sees you employing all of the format’s unique functions to unfold its refreshingly personal adventure.

For the Parents

Gaming’s not just for the youngsters anymore, as Mum and Dad may like to get involved, too. This category hones in on the products that even your cardigan adorning parents will appreciate.

Beyond: Two Souls (PS3): A title that has you talking to ghosts one minute and eating chicken curry the next, Ellen Page stars in this outstanding spiritual adventure that lets you play with a smartphone if you’re yet to master the DualShock 3.

Rayman Legends (PS3): All marriages hinge on good co-ordination, so this is the perfect package to turn the air toxic on Christmas Day. Instead of sitting down for some evening Downton Abbey, let your ‘rents attempt to work through a level of Ubisoft’s newest platformer instead – and watch the fireworks fly.

The Walking Dead (PS3): Brimming with death, decay, and difficult decisions, there won’t be a dry eye in the house as your Mum and Dad battle to keep poor Clementine safe. Just make sure that no one’s eating turkey sandwiches during Episode Two.

For the Whole Family

Gaming can be quite a solitary experience at times, but there will inevitably be occasions over the Christmas break where you’ll want to have some fun with your whole family. This category is committed to the titles that everyone can play – even Grandma after she’s had a sherry or two.

Just Dance 2014 (PS4): Festive frolicking is a staple of the seasonal spirit, and Ubisoft’s latest boogie-‘em-up will give you all of the excuses that you need to practice your twerking performance in front of family and friends.

Angry Birds: Star Wars (PS3): Rovio’s fowl flinger can be purchased for stocking stuffing prices on a smartphone, but this edition comes with some nifty multiplayer features. Feel the force in co-operative and competitive modes – and teach those Storm Trooper-disguised pigs a lesson in the process.

Buzz: Quiz TV (PS3): It’s older than Jason Donovan’s pop career, but Relentless Software’s seminal interactive quiz remains the perfect trivia-laden companion for festive family get-togethers. Impress your other half with your agricultural awareness – and even create custom questions based upon the anatomy of an onion.


Are you giving any gaming related gifts this Christmas? Have you asked Santa for something to pop into your favourite PlayStation platform? What titles are you hoping to finish over the winter break? Share your festive plans in the snowy space below.

Are you giving any gaming gifts this Christmas? (27 votes)

Yes, I'm buying various games and accessories for friends and family

56%

Hmm, I haven't really thought about presents just yet

26%

No, I'm honestly not really buying anything gaming related this year

19%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (26)

TasukiStaff

#1

Tasuki said:

@get2sammyb: Thank you very much for the write up Sammy. This will make it easy to give relatives ideas for gifts for my son and I. I am really looking at Lego Marvel for the PS4.

Just one question isn't Resogun free?

Also I was just thinking what about for the sports lover? Any recommendations for them?

Ginkgo

#2

Ginkgo said:

Wonderbook Walking with Dinosaurs,for my dinosaur obsessed 5 year old. Not to mention the PS4 itself, which is kinda an early Christmas present.

get2sammybAdmin

#3

get2sammyb said:

@Tasuki No problem. I did think about sports, but I figured that it pretty much comes down to what sports you like. I suppose there's some choice between FIFA/PES and NBA 2K/Live, but other than that, I kinda felt it didn't need its own category. EDIT: Alright, sports probably does need its own category. It's added. :)

As for Resogun, I suppose it's feasible someone might not have a Plus subscription. In which case, they should buy it damn it.

RaymanFan2

#4

RaymanFan2 said:

Now just what is that about The Last of Us's ending?
Some of us LIKED that ,y'know, Sammy!
Also you really shouldn't be encouraging anyone to buy Angry Birds on a console...

TasukiStaff

#6

Tasuki said:

@get2sammyb: Ok that makes sense and actually that was one of the things I was trying to figure out which one of the basketball games to get 2K or Live lol. Guess I will rent them and see for myself which one I like better.

As for Resogun PS4 does come with a free month of PSN Plus which if they dont get Resogun with that then there is no hope for them, lol.

RisefromAshes

#7

RisefromAshes said:

Am playing Guacamelee right now. Great game.

Can you please categorise it as (PS3/PS Vita). It will help any casual gamer realise that they can get it on PS Vita too.

TasukiStaff

#9

Tasuki said:

@get2sammyb: Ok thanks I will look into it. I also asked the question in the PS4 recommendations thread too. So I will take in account all answers I get. I apologize for giving you more work, but thanks for adding that to the wright up. That is one reason I really enjoy this site. I just don't know how else to thank you for adding that.

Bliquid

#11

Bliquid said:

I need a 4th option on the poll: buying tons of games for my grinchy self.

Squiggle55

#12

Squiggle55 said:

For anyone that has a ps3 but no playstation plus, a year of PS+ is the gift that keeps on giving. Always a great choice.

ThreadShadow

#13

ThreadShadow said:

The "For the Whole Family" section is pretty poor. For the love of high school football throw Sonic Racing into that section and help it out!
Imo, unfortunately for Playstation only households, this is an area of gaming that Sony doesn't seem to "get" and Nintendoes. There's just no contest. That's a big detriment to Sony and I hope they really work on that, but not in boardrooms and committees, but by letting creative devs make " whole family" games when they have a spark!
Mark Cerny is in the right head space and his heart seems to be in the right place with regards to Knack and family interaction, but a whole family can't have much fun at the same time with Knack, but the concept is heading in the right direction. Family members in the same room having fun together playing a game at the same time.
And Sony shouldn't be content to sit back and let third-parties try to fill that space. Let's face it most third-party attempts are garbage and not worth the discs they're stamped on. Sony needs high quality first-party family games. And the benefit of being Sony means that a great family game doesn't have to be stuffed with fluff and mascots, just creativity and fun for multiple players children and adults alike.

@ThreadShadow Okay, you're talking too much!

Sorry!

get2sammybAdmin

#17

get2sammyb said:

@ThreadShadow I agree with the overall sentiment of what you're saying. It was quite challenging to come up with the 'Family' section without delving into the archives and pulling out stuff like Start the Party and Rock Band. However, I'd argue that Sony was very strong in this area on the PS2 - particularly in Europe. Games like Singstar, Buzz, and EyeToy Groove were absolutely massive in the UK — I don't know if they took off elsewhere — and paved the way for a lot of the Wii's success in my opinion. They dropped the ball when their next console cost $600, though.

Gamer83

#20

Gamer83 said:

I always enjoy this time of year in part because of the gift guides. Glad to see PushSquare make one, thanks to the staff for doing so I'm sure it took some time to put together.

@Tasuki
MLB The Show and NBA 2K are always good bets for sports fans. Madden is competent enough as well but no longer as great a series as it was in the PS2 era.

Spidernoir

#21

Spidernoir said:

Mom got me FF Reborn early (along with PlayStation Plus for a year, so I bought the game for 10.00) for my ps3 so I can continue it on my PS4 when it comes out.

Loving it so far.

I already got my friends a few games as well.

Grockumus

#22

Grockumus said:

I'm just getting friends and family I know who have a PS3 or Vita a 3 month PS+ card. That's like $100s of dollars worth of games :D

odd69

#24

odd69 said:

Bioshock infinite, now that is one wicked game. My partner is playing it and it reminds me of the original which was oh so good. I can't wait til i am able to start playing it. I'm bombarded with games at the moment so watching it is good enough.

DHW

#25

DHW said:

I got my friend Rayman Legends
I got my Step-Dad MGS Legacy Collection
I got my brother TMNT on 3DS (He's a huge Turtles fan)
I got my sister Sonic Lost World (She's a huge Sonic fan)
I got my other friend GTA V and Sly 4
I got my other brother Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
I got my mom Super Mario 3D World (She's a huge Mario fan)
I got my grandma a PS3 (for media and communication purposes)

I think I did good for Xmas. Spent about $470 overall. It's always worth it on Xmas day when everyone starts opening up their presents though.

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