Not ones to rely on hype, we went hands-on with the newest crop of video-game titles to find the coolest releases for the holiday season.
For: Xbox 360
A mysterious race of mechanized aliens keeps Master Chief on his toes in this long-awaited sequel. Beyond the expected quest and multiplayer modes, Halo 4 will also serve up free weekly episodes that can be played with friends. A revamped design mode, along with the new aliens’ technology, add enough explosive juice to re-excite this veteran franchise.
Available Nov. 6
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
For: PlayStation 3
Sony borrows liberally from Nintendo’s beloved Smash Bros. franchise in this cartoony beat-’em-up. Four friends can face off as familiar PlayStation favorites, such as PaRappa the Rapper, Sly Cooper and Nathan Drake.
Available Nov. 20
Kinect Sesame Street TV & Kinect Nat Geo TV
For: Xbox 360
This year’s coolest Kinect titles aren’t necessarily games nor TV shows but a creative combination of the two. These motion-controlled takes on PBS favorites invite parents and kids to answer questions, turn into wild animals and play with the likes of Cookie Monster and Elmo.
Ongoing through the fall
For: PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/PC
Stylish Victorian backdrops and mystical espionage fuel this deadly first-person adventure. Much like fan-favorite Bioshock, this title forces players to make tough moral choices and juggle magical moves — only this time, stealth rules the day. The game’s emphasis on decision-making and sneakiness makes this a truly replayable romp.
More, More, More
Which other games promise to be hot this winter?
For family-friendly fun, check out:
For bigger kids, check out: