Top 5 Xbox One games for this year's holiday wish list

Video games are always popular gifts during the holidays. With so many incredible games out there, it's nearly impossible to choose just one. Since the release of the Xbox One, next generation games have entirely distinguished themselves from their previous-generation counterparts. With such an abundance of choices, this list of the top-five games for the holidays should give you a jump start on your holiday shopping.

(Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft) (Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft)

5. "The Crew"

"The Crew" is being released Dec. 2, just in time to add to your holiday wish list. "The Crew" is an open-world driving game created by Ubisoft, and probably the least known game on this list. What makes this game so magnificent is the world in which its players can immerse themselves. The map is a complex representation of the U.S. This virtual version of our great nation is massive, and takes players an hour and a half to drive across! This isn't the only reason to add "The Crew" to your Christmas list; the entire world exists online. This means you and your friends are always playing in the same space, competing in the same challenges and racing the same races. Together, you can even form your own "crew." Scores and progress are constantly saved and updated, so friends can compete to see who's the best.

(Photo Courtesy of ZeniMax Online Studios) (Photo Courtesy of ZeniMax Online Studios)

4. "The Elder Scrolls: Online"

Now, I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Elder Scrolls series from platinum hits like "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" and "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim." "The Elder Scrolls: Online" is Bethesda Softworks's latest installment to the series and is set to be released sometime in December. Like the previous games, ESO takes place on the continent of Tamriel and its story is indirectly connected with the other games. After creating a character, players can choose to join any of three factions warring over the Throne of the Emperor of Tamriel. It takes place a millennium before the events of "Skyrim," and around 800 years before "Morrowind and Oblivion." What really sets this game apart is its new open world aspect. Now, players will be able to interact with each other as they explore the massive continent of Tamriel, and complete missions and side-quests.

 

(Photo Courtesy of Rockstar Games) (Photo Courtesy of Rockstar Games)

3. "Grand Theft Auto V"

"Grand Theft Auto V" has been out on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 for some time now, but only recently released for the next generation of gaming consoles. This revamped instant classic has been rebuilt with breathtaking graphics and a fun new first-person mode that can be used through the whole campaign. Since the original "GTA V" was such a big hit, many people will be faced with the choice of whether or not to purchase this game for a second time. What makes this game worth buying (or buying again) isn't just the graphical improvements, but the fact that "GTA V" is one heck of a wild ride, and the addition of the first person game mode creates an entirely new perspective for players to enjoy. Another bonus of re-purchasing the game is the ability to transfer saved files from the last generation consoles — making the transition between last gen and next gen a seamless one.

(Photo Courtesy of Activision) (Photo Courtesy of Activision)

2. "Destiny"

Yes, "Destiny" has been out for a couple of months now, but there are still plenty of people who haven't purchased it. "Destiny" is a unique blend of a standard first-person shooter experience, with a "Halo"-like combat dynamic dominating the campaign. This "Halo"/"COD" lovechild is the newest hit Bungie released since they said farewell to the "Halo" franchise and set their sights on bigger and better things. "Destiny" certainly fits that bill. It can be described as the first "shared world shooter" to be released on the next-gen consoles. In a SWS, players are confined to an on-the-fly matchmaking system, instead of being able to see and interact with all other players in the game. This only allows for interaction between matched players. "Destiny" also features random "community events" that may occur in-game. These events were not necessarily designed by the developer, and help to create a more dynamic experience for the players. The true genius in "Destiny," though, can be found in the game's elegant attention to detail. The little things, like how multiplayer fits into the overall story, and how every transition in the games is tied together with cinematic cutscenes, remove distractions that remind the player that it's only a game they're playing. "Destiny" creates a harmonious balance between gameplay and visual experience, putting it near the top of any gamer's holiday wish list.

(Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft) (Photo Courtesy of Ubisoft)

1. "Assassin's Creed: Unity"

"Assassin's Creed: Unity" may be the most exciting game release of the holiday season for one reason: The French Revolution. Set in Paris on the eve of one of history's bloodiest rebellions, this newest installment in the "Assassin's Creed" series follows the life of a Frenchman named Arno Dorian who was born in Versailles to an Assassin father. "Unity" has been entirely redesigned for the next generation consoles and boasts an array of new features. The rebuilt hand-to-hand combat based on fencing and the addition of the Phantom Blade to your assassin's arsenal of ancient weapons are both new. This new Hidden Blade replacement serves the same function as its predecessor with one major distinction: The ability to launch the blade as a silent projectile. This makes it easer to transition from fighting in close quarters, to striking enemies down at a distance. Player navigation was also overhauled, allowing your assassin to move more easily and fluidly across the gorgeous architecture dominating the Paris skyline. The biggest change to the series, though, is the addition of cooperative multiplayer within the campaign. Players can enter bars and taverns to meet up with friends online. This allows them to complete co-op missions and the majority of the campaign with their buddies.

This comprehensive list of the "Top Five Xbox One Games this Season" should be just right for jump-starting your holiday shopping. Keep in mind that not all of these games are appropriate for younger children. Anyone giving a game as a gift should always read the ESRB rating to make sure it is the right choice for the recipient. Happy hunting!

 

Reach the reporter at wjschliesmann@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @wjschliesmann

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