18 Nov

Microsoft’s console is celebrating its fourth year on the holiday market (its exact birthday standing at the 22nd of this November,) and is most likely the console you’ll see sitting in the entertainment center or dorm-room table of any gamer even remotely interested in online multiplayer and hardcore AAA titles. But with recent leaps made to the dashboard of the system, including integration of social networking staples like Facebook and Twitter, there has never been a better time to own an Xbox 360 for casual use as well. Regardless of how the gamer on your list plays, we have your entire holiday covered for Microsoft’s fragfest loving hardware.

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Action Fans: Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes of Liberty City and Batman: Arkham Asylum

gtaepisodes1gtaepisodes2Here at Elder-Geek.com, we advise Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes of Liberty City as the perfect hardcore gift for the holidays. This game was recently released and serves as a stand-alone expansion pack to Grand Theft Auto IV from 2008, although the game disc for GTA IV is not required to play Episodes from Liberty City. The game is classified as 18+ and contains strong violence and sexually suggestive themes. The game features two intertwining story lines that go above and beyond the quality found in most blockbuster movies, thereby making this game an unforgettable experience. The game contains over 40 hours of playable content but also retails below full price at around $40, making it especially attractive during the generally over-expensive holiday season.

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batmanaa1batmanaa2Batman: Arkham Asylum delivers on all accounts and is one of the greatest superhero video games available on the market. Easily a contender for a few game of the year awards, Batman: Arkham Asylum is sure to please any fans of the comics, television shows and movies that bare the Batman name. Even if your geek isn’t the biggest Batman fan, the beat-em-up / stealth gameplay delivers a cinematic experience that almost everyone will enjoy.

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Role-Playing Fans : Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2

marvel-21marvel-22This game pits many of the classic Marvel superheroes, such as Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man, against each other. The game is fairly easy to pick up and play, and can be played with up to three friend locally or online, which makes the game ideal for an evening of fun with friends and family. The game is rated Teen for mild language and violence. The Elder-Geek.com review of this game can be found here.

Not all gamers spend hours a day in front of the TV. The majority of gamers only play every so often and does not own an extensive collection of games. These type of players usually prefer games that can be played for short periods at a time and generally avoid games that require them to become a master of the controls. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is a prime example of that type.

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Shooter Fans: Halo 3: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

odst1odst2 Though Halo 3: ODST is a first-person shooter (which are generally found to be a hard genre to master for newcomers,) it also includes many different difficulty levels. Though the story of the game ties in with the rest of the Halo series, players who are unfamiliar with the other installments in the series will find little difficulty understanding what is going on. Halo 3: ODST also contains a second game disc that includes the full multiplayer experience of Halo 3, which is one of the most popular games available online. If you have a friend or family member you wish to turn into a gaming fanatic, Halo 3: ODST might be the best place to start.

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modernwarfare21modernwarfare22Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 puts you in the body of several different soldiers across the globe as they try to stop Makarov’s terrorist agency. The plot has more twists than a bobsled run and it’s sure to leave every gamer (and a few of their mothers) shocked  until the very end. But the true gem in Modern Warfare 2’s crown is the multiplayer gameplay. Perfectly balanced maps and a well thought out perk system will be sure to satisfy the PS3 shooter fan in your life.

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While this Holiday has great games in store across the board, the Xbox 360 has managed to carve out of the most envied back catalogs of this or any previous generation of video game consoles. These older releases are a haven for all shoppers, their reduced price making bargains inevitable, and many games having escaped the attention they deserved under the flood of amazing software the 360 has seen these past four years. Within all of these prior releases lay prismatic beacons of gameplay excellence, games that need to be in the disc tray of every single system at least once in this generation.

Stocking Stuffers (Great Games For $20 Or Less):


Mass Effect, Viva Piñata, Lips, Shadow Complex, Castle Crashers, The Orange Box

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Games that Xbox 360 fans should have:


Fable 2, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition, Gears of War 2, Castle Crashers, Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto IV

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Other services that Xbox 360 fans should have:

The Xbox Dashboard is leading the console charge in providing additional, alternative services to expand the at-home gaming experience. With social networks Facebook and Twitter making their way to the system, and music video streaming Last.fm making HD tunes and customizable radio stations just a few clicks away, it’s hard to settle on just one service that all gamers should take time to check out.

In the end, it was the most lauded service that got Elder-Geek’s vote. Live streaming of thousands of possible HD movie titles directly from your console is simply too convenient and awesome to be avoided. Subscription fees with Netflix are required, but integration onto your Dashboard costs nothing, leaving you free to load up your instant queue with a couple hundred of your favorite hits and have a movie marathon that could last for weeks. Its the largest step we’ve seen this generation in making video game consoles a truly one-stop entertainment hub for the whole family, and it’s the service that every gamer needs to have.

5 thoughts on “Xbox 360 Gamer Holiday Gift Guide”

    1. I guess I am on the other side… I found the game to really boring and slow… for a WRPG (which I tend to find slower and more methodical). I couldnt get into it… and I really tried to. I played for around 15 hours before I lost focus.

  1. I would add Splosion Man and Trials HD to the list of stocking stuffers… those games are amazing.

    I would also add Braid for games that every owner should have.

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