DualShockers’ Holiday Gift Guides 2020 — The Must-Have Games for Fans of Every Genre

DualShockers’ Holiday Gift Guides 2020 — The Must-Have Games for Fans of Every Genre

If you can't decide what to get, here are the best games of 2020 that you can pick up for those of all gaming tastes this holiday season.

The holidays are nearly upon us which means that it’s just about that time to begin scrambling to decide what you should be getting for those closest to you. Luckily, if you have any gamers in your life that you’re looking to hook up with a sweet video game this year, we’ve got you covered.

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2020 has been an extremely busy year for game releases with a multitude of standout titles releasing across numerous genres. Fortunately, we’re here to offer up some guidance when it comes to just which titles you should have an eye on. From shooters, to sports games, to even VR titles, here are the games you should be looking to potentially snag this holiday season for those closest to you.

If you’re looking for other gaming-related gift ideas, stay tuned for our upcoming gift guides this week on which collectibles and hardware/accessories you can also pick up this holiday season.


Action-Adventure

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a worthy follow-up to the previous installment, even if a lot of the core DNA has remained the same. Despite some rough edges, the experience as a whole is one that’s hard to put down once you get entrenched. This proves to be doubly true if you’re playing on PS5 and are really looking for a game that’s going to show you what this next-gen leap is all about.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5

The Pathless

the pathless

“At the end of the day, the traversal alone is enough for me to recommend The Pathless. It’s just fun to get from place to place using your bow; everything else is just a bonus. The overall story is good with performances from Laura Bailey and Troy Baker, the different environments are vast and beautiful, and while the puzzles have a wide range of difficulty, they’re still fun to figure out. It’s just a shame that there’s no synergy between each individual gameplay loop. The Pathless is absolutely worth your time if you’re looking for a game with a sense of adventure and a rich atmosphere.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC

Hades

Hades

Hades is the latest and arguably finest entry in [Supergiant Games’] pantheon of exceptional video games. It’s absolutely the most gameplay-focused and content-rich experience in their portfolio, and I’ve practically never found a dull moment within it. In every facet, Hades is an excellent video game, and one of the best roguelikes ever made.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PC, Switch

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an exceptional adventure that every Xbox One owner should play. Despite its technical failings, it is one of the best Metroidvanias I have played this generation (just behind The Messenger and Axiom Verge). Moon Studios’ sequel is filled with moments of beauty both visually and in its storytelling.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch

RPG

Persona 5 Royal

Atlus, Atlus West, Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal, PS4, Sega

Persona 5 Royal is the upgraded version of the immensely popular JRPG that originally released in Japan back in 2016. With this definitive edition of the game comes a variety of new changes which include two new characters and Confidants, a brand new semester and Palace that culminates in two new endings, new gameplay mechanics, and reworked dungeons and boss battles. There are also a variety of new minigames, gameplay balance fixes, expanded character scenes, and so much more. While it might still share much of the same DNA as the original Persona 5, Atlus has packed P5R full of new content that is sure to delight newcomers and veterans of the original with a far more robust experience.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy 7 Remake sales 3.5 million copies worldwide

“This is still one of the most excellently presented games I’ve ever experienced, and with a few tweaks for the next installment, that excellence might extend to gameplay and story too. Whatever misgivings I may have going into future releases, it’s undeniable that this was an enjoyable 42 hours marred by a single bad one. Even so, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is arguably the best non-MMO Final Fantasy game released in a very long time. Despite my qualms, it’s been a welcome Reunion.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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“For every minor gripe or negative I came across, there were a dozen positives that I could gush about for hours. Quite frankly, I love Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Everything about the heart and soul of the Yakuza series is here in full force, and the only time it ever really makes me stop smiling is to shed manly tears. Ichiban Kasuga is a fantastic protagonist, and his party is full of fascinating characters in their own right. This is a great story, a delightful open-world city to play around in, and a hilariously fun recontextualization of JRPG tropes in a real-world setting. It all just serves as another reminder that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios are still at the top of their game and that the Yakuza franchise is really something special.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Shooter

DOOM Eternal

Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks, doom, doom eternal, Google Stadia, id, id-software, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

DOOM Eternal might very well be the most intense video game I have ever played. Every single shootout that I experienced in my time with it demanded my full attention, but that attention was well-earned. Even though it doesn’t quite stick the landing, what’s included here is more than worthy of admiration, praise, and perhaps most importantly, your time.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War

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“Altogether, this year’s entry in the Call of Duty franchise is as solid it gets. It’s not bad, and it’s certainly not fantastic like last year’s Modern Warfare. Instead, it’s par for the course as Call of Duty games go; a great first-person shooter that just about anyone can spend way, way too many hours playing.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

Despite not releasing until next month on December 10, Cyberpunk 2077 is no doubt going to be one of the biggest games of this holiday season. Combining the first-person viewpoint with the RPG elements that made developer CD Projekt Red a household name with The Witcher 3: Wild HuntCyberpunk 2077 looks to give you a lot of bang for your buck and should certainly take quite a while to see all that it has to offer. Plus, the game also features Keanu Reeves in a prominent role, so you know that whoever you end up gifting this one to will find enjoyment with it.

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-Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

VR

Half-Life: Alyx

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“As an experience built from the ground up for immersion and creating a fully-realized world, Half-Life: Alyx is truly a game-changer for VR. This is not merely ‘Half-Life VR,’ but an incredibly crafted game that shows how VR can be used to elevate more in-depth narratives to even greater potential. And, as the game goes on, you’ll see how it becomes a crucial part of the Half-Life universe. It’s been a long 13 years, and yes, it may not be Half-Life 3, but I can assure you that Half-Life: Alyx is entirely worth the wait and is an experience worth seeing for yourself, if only to find out what comes next.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PC (Oculus Rift, Quest, Valve Index, HTC Vive)

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

oculus rift, Skybound, skybound entertainment, Skydance, Skydance Interactive, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, touch, TWD, VR, walking dead

Placing you in the center of the iconic world of The Walking DeadSaints & Sinners will have you shooting, chopping, and shoving hordes of zombies out of your way in the pursuit of survival. With an enjoyable story and a horde mode that will allow you to rack up as many zombie kills as possible, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is one of the most exciting VR games you can pick up right now.

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-Platforms: PS4 (PSVR), PC (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index), Oculus Quest

Iron Man VR

Iron Man VR

“Despite some technical issues and a decent story, Iron Man VR is a great game that makes you feel like Iron Man in the best way possible.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4 (PSVR)

Platformer/Family

Fall Guys

Fall Guys, Mediatonic, Devolver Digital

Fall Guys is absolutely the game fans of shows like Takeshi’s CastleNinja Warrior, and It’s a Knockout have been dreaming about. It’s like the team at Mediatonic took those shows, added a wacky color palette, and then just mixed it all together until they could bake a cake made out of pure bliss. Even in defeat, I always have this doofy grin on my face. Sitting here typing out this review, all I can think about is playing more Fall Guys.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PC

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS4, PS5, Sumo Digital

“There’s so much to love about Sackboy: A Big Adventure. The levels are so inventive, creative, and fun to play. The game is filled with so much content, including levels that continue to unlock once you’ve completed the main story. There’s also the ability to purchase costumes, re-do missions to get a higher score, and so much more. Levels are filled with so much variety yet each one fits into each world so well. […] While there are already so many great PlayStation 5 games to play, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is one you shouldn’t sleep on.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

“There’s no denying that a few improvements would have been nice and some more archival footage would make Super Mario 3D All-Stars feel like more of a celebration, but each one of these games is still a masterpiece and that’s what it’s all about. The fact that in 2020, we can play three of Nintendo and Mario’s best titles in one handy collection, both at home and on the go, is wonderful. I for one am extremely happy this collection exists.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: Switch

Strategy/Simulation

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

13 Sentinels Aegis Rim screenshots western version 6

Part strategy game, part visual novel, and part adventure title, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim tells a story that spans a number of different characters within an encapsulating sci-fi world. Despite being hard to say much about without spoiling what makes it so great, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is the perfect game for those looking to scratch their strategy itch while also bearing witness to one of the year’s best stories in gaming.

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-Platforms: PS4

Gears Tactics

Gears Tactics

“Despite playing in a completely different style compared to the core Gears games, Gears Tactics still feels remarkably in line with the rest of the series and is a thrilling, worthwhile experience that Gears fans and strategy game veterans will enjoy, while being completely accessible to newcomers. If you consider Gears as chocolate and XCOM as peanut butter, Gears Tactics is how they meet: a combination of ingredients you’ve likely had before, but together, they just work so damn well.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings, Crusader Kings II, Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury, Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon, Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics Expansion, Henrik Fahraeus, Linux, Mac, Paradox Development Studio, Paradox Interactive, PC, steam, Xbox One

Crusader Kings III is a game that you become completely engrossed in as you play, and obsess over when you’re not. I found myself constantly playing out scenarios and strategies for my kingdom, dreaming of the moment that I unite an entire country under my powerful rule, and celebrating the highs while cursing the lows of noble life. Even if you’re not a strategy game fan, the person-focused approach to the genre allows for players to build more intimate relationships with your family, allies, and greater kingdom. Not only is it fun, but it’s impactful and the experience stays with you long after you close down the game after a long session.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PC

Sports & Racing

Dirt 5

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Dirt 5 is a content-rich, diverse arcade racing game that is unlike anything else among racing titles this year. Codemasters’ new direction in the Dirt franchise might not be what veteran off-road enthusiasts would’ve expected. Still, Dirt 5 accomplishes its mission of expanding to a broader audience with engaging arcade-y gameplay, and sets the series off on an exciting new path.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, Bandai Namco

“In short, Captain Tsubasa is a simple tactics-adjacent sports game with characters you’ll quickly grow to love. Nothing here is particularly groundbreaking, but it is so much fun seeing Japan’s Golden Generation grow into tomorrow’s stars. […] If you’re looking for a game that’s easy to get into and hard to put down, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is as good as any.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 isn’t a simulation, unlike most modern skateboarding games we’re seeing today, but instead, it’s something fun, enjoyable in short bursts or long sessions. It’s a throwback to the past in a way that hasn’t erased its charm and legacy; it instead expands on that and becomes one of the finest remakes to come out of 2020 while keeping its original roots intact, but to modern standards.”

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DualShockers’ Game Review

-Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC


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