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 | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man
One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.
VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong
The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.
VIDEO | Northern California bus crash kills 10
At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.
VIDEO | Cement truck crashes into minivan
A professor at Texas A&M University was fortunate to escape serious injury recently when a cement truck ran a red light at a College Station intersection and crashed head-on into his minivan. A dash camera that Dr. Guan Zhu had installed about a year ago captured the entire incident.
VIDEO: Pittsburgh catches on to McCutchen's hairstyle
Major League Baseball is using Andrew McCutchen in its newest advertisement. The spot is part of the "For the Love of Baseball" campaign and features the Pittsburgh residents showing their support for the Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP by wearing their hair in his trademark dreadlock style.
VIDEO | Nebraska prom mishap goes viral
A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.
3 apps to make your flight easier
Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.
VIDEO | White House may ban selfies
The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.
VIDEO | Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game
Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.
VIDEO | Aaron's historic homer
On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.
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- VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man