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14 Videogames Not To Miss This Holiday Season

October 14, 2011  |  9:22am

We know it’s still way too early to be thinking about Christmas presents. But it’s never too early to think about all the great video games that are going to be coming out toward the end of this year. As with film, the end of the year is always stacked with videogame releases. But with so many games and so many options out there, where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

14. Just Dance 3
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii
Genre: Music/Dance
Release Date: Available Now

With all the heavy games on this list, there had to be room for at least one game you can play with your girlfriend. The Just Dance games have brought more families, females, and all around non-traditional gamers in front of TVs more than Wii Sports ever could. While Just Dance 3 doesn’t have the best tracklist in the world, it does feature the awesome inclusion of “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae, which is the kind of song you won’t feel embarrassed to dance to.

13. Gears of War 3
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Release Date: Available Now

Played enough games with muscle men blowing up aliens with huge guns? Didn’t think so. If you’re one of the people who have held out on this cover-based shooter, the final chapter of the trilogy is in many ways the best realization of the series and promises all that same tactical, gory, multiplayer fun that Gears of War has become known for, now painstakingly refined just for you.

12. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection
Platform: PS3
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release Date: Available Now

This HD re-release of the two classic games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, is absolutely a must-buy for both players who never played the PS2 originals and fans who want to revisit these beautiful creations. Both are considered to be some of the most artistic games—both fun to play and incredibly thoughtful. The remastered version includes a graphical overhaul as well as giving the games HD, stereoscopic 3D and surround-sound support.

11. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, and PC
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: November 8

The Call of Duty series has gone from a cinematic WWII shooter to one of the most successful multiplayer franchises of all time in seemingly a matter of a few years. With a new version of Call of Duty coming out each year, the Modern Warfare setting has become a favorite with Infinity Ward constantly bringing forth fresh ideas and balanced multiplayer experiences.

10. Super Mario 3D Land
Platform: 3DS
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: November 13

When Nintendo teased that they were bringing back the Tanooki (Racoon) suit from Super Mario Bros. 3, fans went nuts. When they revealed it would be an original game and a cross between 2D and 3D Mario games, fans went even more nuts. Hitting the 3DS as soon as this November, Super Mario 3D Land looks like it will be just what Nintendo needs to put the 3DS back on track for this holiday season.

9. Dark Souls
Platform: PS3
Genre: Action-RPG
Release Date: Available Now

Are you looking for an old-school challenge that modern games are afraid to deliver? Dark Souls is the sequel to 2009 instant classic Demon Souls, which featured devilishly hard action/RPG sequences with a great online component to boot. If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer, this is already being called one of the most challenging modern games of all time.

8. Minecraft
Platform: PC
Genre: Open-World Sandbox
Release Date: November 11

While the official release of Minecraft won’t really be very different from the beta in that it will constantly be updated, Minecraft is truly an achievement in independent gaming. Besides the fact that it was crafted originally by one single person, Minecraft inspires imaginations with tools that put games back in the hands of the users. The official release is as good a time as any to jump on the bandwagon!

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