When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic gaming can be daunting if the only controller you’re used to just changes channels. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list - made up of the year’s most highly acclaimed video game releases and Black Friday and online-only deals that will save you some scratch.
Part I | For the older kids
Prices were gathered via PriceGrabber.com and Black Friday ads. All deals are accurate as of publication.
Missed out on some of these savings? Plenty of online retailers will be running price drops and sales through December. Check out some of these reputable sites:
The Last of Us | PS3
The Last of Us could go down as the the magnum opus of Sony developer Naughty Dog's already stellar catalog. With dozens of "perfect" review scores and numerous "Best of E3 2012" awards under its belt, The Last of Us sent the Playstation 3 out with a huge bang. The pinnacle of immersive storytelling, The Last of Us combines some of the best motion-captured actor performances seen in this console generation with a dramatic and emotional character-driven narrative that tugs on the heart strings. The Last of Us will thrill and awe anyone who appreciates the video game medium, period.
Battlefield 4 | X360/XOne/PS3/PS4/Wii U/PC
Grand Theft Auto V | X360/PS3
The team at Rockstar continues to one-up itself with each inevitable installment of its notorious flagship title. Grand Theft Auto V, which has been unsurprisingly lighting up sales charts and endlessly engaging gamers everywhere, is set to take a huge swath of Game of the Year awards. The series shines as an in-your-face satire of modern American life - in GTA V, players can take selfies before heisting a bank or stretch out in a yoga class to relieve the stress of breakneck mayhem and violence. All action gamers can lose themselves in GTA V's sprawling fictional state of San Andreas - this one is a guaranteed win.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag | X360/XOne/PS3/PS4/Wii U/PC
Bioshock Infinite | X360/PS3/PC
The second Bioshock title from creator Ken Levine's team at Irrational Games expands on the political themes and eerie, carefully crafted atmosphere that drove gamers wild in the original release. Instead of taking place in the underwater city of Rapture, with its shattered, objectivist society and 1920s art deco environments, Infinite vaults players above the clouds - literally - to the floating city of Columbia. The gripping story, which centers around a divergent American history and toys with the laws of physics, is complemented by Columbia's bursting horizon hues and amber waves of clouds that play up the story's nationalism motif. Visually and narratively, Bioshock Infinite is an experience not to be missed.
VIDEO | ‘Best friends killing friends’: Kids share concerns about drugs, bullying, shootings
Sara Norman wasn’t shocked to learn that a 15-year-old stands accused of shooting a Johnstown police academy recruit July 13 in Oakhurst.
And she wouldn’t be surprised that a 16-year-old took three bullets Thursday in another Oakhurst neighborhood shooting.
VIDEO | 'Just be a kid': Coping with help from family and each other
With such weight threatening to drag modern youths down a dangerous path, rising above the negative influences surrounding them can be a real test of inner strength and conviction.
VIDEO | Kids: Future bright, but it might be somewhere else
For some of the young people interviewed by The Tribune-Democrat, the future may be bright, but it won’t necessarily be in Johnstown.
VIDEO | NAACP honors Heritage Leaders
Bertha Hill of downtown Johnstown was in her late 30s when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. From her birth and throughout her formative years, Jim Crow laws were in effect, barring her and other African-American citizens from becoming equal members of U.S. society.
She now lives in a drastically different world.
- VIDEO | Police: 16-year-old Oakhurst shooting victim won't cooperate with investigators
VIDEO -- Spanish American war vet’s service saluted
A military belt with two bullet holes told the story of the late Samuel Steele’s service to his country, his grandson, Charles Zilch, said.
VIDEO | Relay for Life event honors 'heroes' of the fight against cancer
Hundreds of heroes big and small, young and old joined forces at Windber Recreation Park Friday to take up the fight against cancer.
Although a handful of caped crimefighters cameoed on signs and nonprofit merchandise at the 13th Windber Relay for Life, the event was meant to honor those who don’t have extraordinary strength or speed.
VIDEO | Sleeping fan suing Yankees, ESPN for $10M
A fan caught on camera sleeping during a recent game at Yankee Stadium has filed suit against the Yankees and ESPN, claiming he suffered emotional distress when two announcers mocked him on the air.
VIDEO | Foiled beach gear theft goes viral
Video capturing a bizarre confrontation with two women allegedly attempting to steal beach gear on a Florida beach has gone viral.
VIDEO | New York passes bill to outlaw tattooing, piercing pets
New York lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that would outlaw the "unnecessary body modification" of animals such as tattoos and piercings for pets.
- More Multimedia Headlines
- VIDEO | ‘Best friends killing friends’: Kids share concerns about drugs, bullying, shootings