Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Dec 182014

If you celebrate Christmas, like me, or if you celebrate another winter holiday, have friends with December/January birthdays, or just want to spend this time of year shopping, there’s still time to pick up some great video game gifts! What do I recommend this year? Well…

Give the Gift of Ace Attorney!

Logo for the Ace Attorney series

If you didn’t see this one coming, where have you been? I have an entire hub page dedicated to this series! Whether you’re the one who hasn’t experienced this fantastic series or you just have some unlucky friends, this is the perfect time to get into Ace Attorney.Why? Because the Phoenix Wright Trilogy is now available on the 3DS eShop. As long as you don’t mind digital games, you can get the first 3 Ace Attorney games for $29.99! The amazing fifth game, Dual Destinies, is also available on the eShop, and you can also get a digital copy of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright (which was also excellent).

The Trilogy collection and Dual Destinies aren’t available as retail copies, so if you intend to give them to someone as a gift, your best bet is to give them an eShop card and tell them to buy Ace Attorney. (Alternately, you can just buy the original DS copies of the first, second, and third games, but there is no physical option for Dual Destinies at all.)

You can get a physical copy of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright or buy a digital code from Nintendo’s website to give to a friend.

Now, you might have noticed that I’ve been talking about the first 3 games, the fifth game, and the crossover. The fourth game, Apollo Justice, and the spin-off, Investigations, are still only available as physical copies. Still, no matter where you or your friends are in the Ace Attorney series, these games will make excellent gifts.

Need more convincing? A critical case in the first game is set during Christmas!

Hershel Layton, of the Professor Layton seriesChristmas Reminds Me of a Puzzle…

I love the Professor Layton series almost as much as I love Ace Attorney. The crossover was a dream come true for me. Now, I tend to recommend Ace Attorney to everyone. Professor Layton, on the other hand, I recommend only to people who enjoy puzzles.Do you or the people you’re shopping for like puzzles? Lots and lots of puzzles? Great! Other than the crossover, the excellent sixth game is the only one you can buy a code for, but the fifth game is also on the eShop.

Physical copies of those and all the others are also available.

If I’ve confused you at all about which Ace Attorney and Professor Layton games to purchase, here’s a guide to the order you should play them.

All right, so now that you have a couple of great series to potentially add to your holiday shopping list, but I’m not through with recommendations yet.

Bayonetta 2!

Bayonetta 2 is a wonderful holiday gift to get for the Wii U owners you know, as long as the Wii U owners in question have no problem with M-rated games, of course. Not only is it great, but it includes the first game! A physical purchase of Bayonetta 2 will get you a physical disk of Bayonetta, while an eShop purchase of either one will grant you an automatic discount on the other. No matter how you do it, you can get two games for the price of one.As far as I’m concerned, the first game alone is well worth the price, and most people feel the second game is even better. How can you go wrong?

Plus, guess what time of year it begins at…

Rodin dresses as Santa Claus in the Bayonetta 2 prologue

This actually happens.

But This Gift is for Someone Who Doesn’t Have Nintendo Consoles!

Depending on how close you are to the person and how much you’re willing to spend, you could fix that, you know. The Wii U has a slate of great recent and upcoming titles, and the 3DS is packed with great games.3DS + Ace Attorney games = amazing fun!

All right, but moving along to video game gift recommendations that don’t involve Nintendo… what about PC games? The Steam holiday sale is expected to start December 18, and you know what that means…

Lots and lots of great sales!

Personally, I recommend you grab Hatoful Boyfriend when it goes on sale, because that unexpected gem is better than it has any right to be. It’s partially set during Christmas, too, and there’s also Christmas-related music tossed in as character themes! You’ll never hear some songs in the same way ever again…

If you like board games, you might also check out The Witcher Adventure Game. Maybe it’ll tide you over until The Witcher 3 releases in May, right?

A lot of the games I love are available on Steam (and several of them are available on consoles, as well). You could pick up To the Moon, which is absolutely amazing, or one of my other favorite games from last year.

If PC is the answer, though, and you can only pick up one game… it should be Psychonauts. Everyone should play Psychonauts. Technically you can get it for consoles, but… yeah, Psychonauts is one of those old, rare games where you’re better off getting a PC download code.

Any Other Recommendations?

Of course!

A great PS3 gift is Tales of Xillia, which I quite enjoyed. It put a whole new series on my list…

JRPG fans, especially if you’re already a fan of the Tales series, don’t miss out on the one!

(And if you’re just a fan of Gaius, you’ll like my review.)

I’m afraid I haven’t played my Xbox 360 in a while, and I don’t have the PS4 or Xbox One yet, so I’m running out of immediate game recommendations. This is far from an exhaustive list of good games to buy as gifts, however. Check out my reviews for more ideas–as well as some games you should stay away from!

And if you’ve arrived here with non-gamer friends on your list who happen to like to read, I’ve written a few stories

Well, I hope this has helped you with your holiday video game shopping. Did anything on this list catch your eye? Did I miss anything that should have been there? Feel free to share your own game gift recommendations in the comments below!

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