Five must-have video games for this holiday season

A gaming computer mouse is a great gift any PC gamer can use. (Photo Illustration by George Walker | The Collegian)

‘Far Cry 4’
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

A beautiful, open-world set in the snow-packed Himalayas. A crazed leader who’s style would confuse you for a fashion designer. “Far Cry” has never been this good — or this deadly.

“Far Cry 4” takes what made the previous installment so great — a vast sandbox worth exploring — and tacks on even more crazy. It’s an experience that you could easily put 100 hours in and barely scratch the surface of the main story, and it’s one of the best games this year.

Price: $60 for all platforms on Amazon.

‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

In few video games does death really matter. But in “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,” it’s everything. Your demise could mean the rise in ranks for your foe, and down the road they’re bound to remember you.

“Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” does a fantastic job of blending the combat of the “Batman” video game series — fast and fluid, focused on countering — with the traversal of the “Assassin’s Creed” series. The result is excellent gameplay, an intriguing and familiar setting, and a nemesis system that’s never been seen before in a game.

Price: $25.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, $53.75 for PlayStation 3, $41.99 on Xbox 360 and $54.28 for PC on Amazon.

‘Super Smash Bros. for Wii U’
Nintendo Wii U

Seeing Mario and Pikachu duke it out is a joy. Seeing the two Nintendo icons go toe-to-toe in the Wii Fit Trainer’s world? Hysterical.

“Super Smash Bros. for Wii U’s” lineup of 30 characters spanning the entire Nintendo universe is worth the price tag alone. However, it just so happens that the roster of characters, the various stages for combat and the online multiplayer make for one of the most enjoyable Smash Bros. experiences to date.

Did we also mention that it’s one of the best party games — regardless of whether or not alcohol is involved?

Price: $59.96 for Nintendo Wii U

‘The Walking Dead: Season Two’
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita

TellTale Games broke into the limelight last year with “The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season,” a spinoff series based on the Walking Dead comic books. After an emotional ending to the first season (which I won’t spoil), season two takes you on an adventure with a new playable character in a terrifying world.

You don’t have to play season one to pick this one up, but I’d recommend it. Your decisions in the game help shape the various outcomes along the episodic adventure. With an outstanding cast of characters and excellent writing, “The Walking Dead: Season Two” is bound to tug at your emotions.

Price: $28.49 for Xbox One, $27.49 for PS4, $29.99 for Xbox 360, $28.50 for PlayStation 3 and $14.99 on PlayStation Vita on Amazon

‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Few video games can get away with the kind of things “South Park” does, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been doing it for years with the television series.

“South Park: The Stick of Truth” tackles issues like religion, abortion, global warming and more in a hilariously-written role-playing game that (surprise!) is actually a fun game to play. It’s not as big of a game as say, “Far Cry 4,” but it’s enough to enjoy the ride as a South Park newbie or longtime veteran.

Price: $26.15 for Xbox 360, $38.19 for PlayStation 3 and $27.99 for PC on Amazon.

Tate Steinlage is a junior in mass communications