The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3, 360)
Enter a fantasy realm where knights battle dragons, mages fight skeletons, and magic is commonplace in the universe of Skyrim. Explore a grandiose world teeming with life, towns, cities, and dungeons just waiting to be entered. Take on monsters of all shapes and sizes, take on the game your way-- follow the story or follow your own path. Sure, the game may have all the bugs you'd expect from a Bethesda-made title, but patches will be forthcoming, and the experience will be all the better for it. If you like a lot of bang for your buck, Skyrim is definitely the title to nab this holiday season. Western RPG lovers, this game was built with you in mind.
Dark Souls (PS3, 360)
If you don't mind having your hind parts handed to you on a daily basis, then might I suggest Dark Souls for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360? Progression through the game's daunting dungeons is the aim, but that is easier said than done as every enemy encounter might be your last. To say the game is difficult would be an understatement, but the reward you feel for conquering a beast is like nothing else on this earth. The weapon based combat is wonderful, and it gives you an extraordinary amount of freedom to take on a battle your way with your methods. Dark Souls will make anyone a battle-hearty warrior.
Batman: Arkham City (PS3, 360)
Batman: Arkham Asylum was a tremendous license game starring none other than everyone's favorite caped crusader. Arkham City exponentially grew the perimeters of the game world to an entire section of city where thugs, goons, and lowlifes infested the streets like cockroaches. Thankfully, you're the Batman with all the cool gadgets and tech right on your utility belt. Face off against foes like Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, and the Penguin as you figure out a way to stop the big bad's sinister plot. Whether you're a fan of the bat or a fan of excellent combat, engaging characters, and comic books, Batman: Arkham City has something for nearly everybody.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3, 360)
While not my cup of tea (I don't appreciate military shooters or people online who wish to unleash their racial or homosexual ignorance on people-- as someone cut partly from that cloth, it's a real turn-off), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 showcases Treyarch's greatest efforts in presenting a balls-to-the-wall blockbuster experience. The gunfights and war scenarios create for some intense situations that many players (hopefully they're 17 or older like intended) will no doubt fall in love with. The multi-player still has various perks and levels for the most devoted to reach higher ranks. Showcase your online superiority today by picking up a copy of the latest Call of Duty.
Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3 (PS3, 360)
It's Marvel, baby. What else do you need to know? With multiple new characters such as Nemesis, Phoenix Wright, Frank West, Rocket Raccoon, Ghost Rider, and Iron Fist, new stages, new modes, and a $39.99 recommended price tag, Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3 is a fighting game fan's dream come true. Some might consider this a cheap cash grab by Capcom as the original MvC3 only came out earlier this year, but those who look beyond that will discover a game that is insanely pleasurable and fun. Did I mention the game was only $39.99? Yeah, that's not that bad of a deal...
Saints Row: The Third (PS3, 360)
The Saints go marching in, but this time they're in Steelport. Follow the story or explore the city on your own time-- the choice is yours. Dress up as a pimp, a cheerleader, a cosmonaut, or any other costume you can come up with. From sex toys to rockets, the weaponry is always extravagant and eccentric. The game oozes wackiness. It is as if Volition (the developers) were trying to outdo their previous efforts tenfold. For the (im)mature gamer on your holiday shopping list, look into getting them a copy of Saints Row: The Third.
Rayman Origins (PS3, 360, Wii)
A title that surely going to be under the radar for a lot of people unfortunately is Rayman Origins. While the HD versions retail for sixty bucks, the Wii version is only fifty. The difference is graphical, but you can't go wrong either way. The fast and frenetic platforming and slap happy gameplay is something magical for sure. After dealing with an endless assault of Raving Rabbids game, it's honestly refreshing to have a return to form for Ubisoft's limbless wonder. Grab lums, chase after chests, and run from massive monsters in this near-perfect platforming journey. No matter the platform, the receiver of this gift is in for one special holiday.
Sonic Generations (PS3, 360, 3DS)
Sonic Colors was the first truly excellent 3D Sonic, and Sonic Generations follows up that game with a sensational adventure featuring both Classic and Modern Sonics. The self-deprecating humor, the 2D and 3D levels, the great remixes of past Sonic themes such as Chemical Plant, Rooftop Run, and Planet Wisp, the entertaining boss battles, and the cast of characters made for a wild ride. This is a game that Sonic Team and Sonic fans can be proud of. Both Sonics play splendidly with Classic Sonic mostly having 2D levels with Modern Sonic mostly having 3D levels. For the young, mascot-loving child in your life or the fan of the blue blur, Sonic Generations can't be beat.
That wraps up SuperPhillip's 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. Perhaps I've given you some games to add to your holiday wish lists. Did you enjoy this feature? Did I leave out a game? (I did intentionally at least two.) Let me know in the comments section.