This upcoming holiday season will be especially busy for the video game market. Not only are a bunch of high-profile franchises set to receive sequels, but we’re also getting two brand-new game systems in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
However, if you’re not ready to upgrade or can’t afford it, don’t fret. There are still plenty of games coming to Xbox 360. It’s time to see what holiday 2013 releases will stand out.
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games, September 17th)
Even though it’ll come out sooner than most of the blockbusters on this list, Grand Theft Auto V will still leave its mark well into November and December. With three characters to choose from, hours’ worth of missions to complete and the ability to play online with or against others, it’ll be a favorite for months to come.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision, November 5th)
Call of Duty has left a significant mark on the Xbox 360, between such releases as the Modern Warfare trilogy and the most recent Black Ops II. Ghosts should be one of the biggest titles yet, with gameplay segments that take the series in an all-new direction, such as the introduction of your faithful canine Riley. Multiplayer should also play a huge part with this sequel, complete with various maps and modes that will keep players busy.
Batman: Arkham Origins (WB Games, October 25th)
You’d be a fool to deny the Dark Knight another place in your game collection. His previous two adventures, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, have been nothing short of legendary, and the premise for this prequel sounds just as exciting, if not more so. You’ll fight against deadly characters like Deathstroke and Deadshot while trying to stop the vile Black Mask and the returning Joker from overtaking the city. With a number of wonderful toys to choose from as well as smooth combat and a new area of Gotham to explore, Origins should be a must-buy.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft, October 29th)
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has aged well on the Xbox 360, culminating with the release of 2012’s AC III. However, Black Flag should be even bigger, putting you in the shoes of a half-pirate/half-assassin as he sails to new islands and hunts various targets in the hope of building his notoriety. Though some folks may hold out for the Xbox One/PS4 versions of the game, this edition should fare just fine – and will come with multiplayer modes that will put your already-established friend list to good use.
WWE 2K14 (2K Sports, October 29th)
When it comes to wrestling action, the WWE franchise already bills itself as the “best of the world,” if we may borrow a line from superstar CM Punk. Now in the hands of its new publisher at 2K Sports, WWE 2K14 should flourish even further with new wrestlers, modes and improvements to gameplay and graphics. Throw in the inclusion of the just-announced Ultimate Warrior and you have a series that can’t lose.
FIFA 14 (EA Sports, September 24th)
EA Sports has a number of fantastic games coming our way – including NHL 14 and Madden NFL 25 – but if you want one that’s going to have worldwide appeal this holiday season, you have to go with FIFA. This best-selling series has become a big hit thanks to its user-friendly gameplay, robust online and career modes and its fantastic presentation. Even non-soccer fans may feel the need to try it out. Who knows? You just might get a kick out of it.
Disney Infinity (Disney Interactive, August 18th)
Here’s another early title that’s going to see a strong finish around the holiday season. One major reason is the outpour of Disney franchises going into Infinity, ranging from Pirates of the Caribbean to Cars to The Lone Ranger. However, even more are likely to be introduced, either to tie in with home video releases or to simply bulk up the number of adventures players can have. There’s something here for everyone, so don’t be afraid to pick up a few figures and see where the magic of Disney Infinity takes you.
Watch Dogs (Ubisoft, November 19th)
We’re thrilled to see what we can do in Watch Dogs. The world is your digital oyster as you can hack almost anything you can get your eyes on, whether it’s a traffic light to create a huge pile-up or a small distraction to slip unnoticed into a secret location. With expansive gameplay and a presentation that will hold up quite well on current generation hardware, Watch Dogs should be a hit.
Saints Row IV (Deep Silver, August 20th)
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got Saints Row IV, which goes so far off the wall it’s practically in its own time zone. Relax, that’s a good thing. In this latest edition, you’re ruling the United States but find yourself on the presidential assault when aliens invade your city. What follows is sheer madness, between superhuman capabilities, some awesome new weapons – like the Dubstep Gun – and the ability to just go wild. Plus, you can modify your character however you wish, even if it’s a crazy lingerie-clad female who speaks like voice actor Nolan North. Yes, this is totally an option.
Let us know what holiday releases you’re looking forward to.