Year on year the games available to us continue to get better, with iterations in existing popular franchises often taking the spotlight due to their refined mechanics and overarching story lines. 2013 has been full of fantastic action titles from all the big franchises plus a brand new entry that blew them all away. Here’s the 5 action games we recommend you play this Christmas.
The Last Of Us
Platform: Playstation 3
Having come from the creative team that gave us the amazing Uncharted series, The Last Of Us had many of us itching in anticipation for what could be the best game we’d ever played. We weren’t disappointed, The Last Of Us has it all, a thrilling engaging story, real human characters and a perfect balance of action and stealth to make it a joy to play. It’s worth noting how excellently balanced the character roles are in the story and developer Naughty Dog have done a service to women and gaming as a whole with the inclusion of a fully realised female protagonist with out any of the inherit misogyny that often pervades the industry and make it so exclusive. The Last Of Us is for now the pinnacle of gaming creation both in storytelling and action, only available on PS3 so don’t miss out and make sure you play it as soon as you can.
Grand Theft Auto 5
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
An exceptional return to form, Grand Theft Auto 5 has an open world the scale of which we’ve all been waiting for since Grand Theft Auto 3 first gave us a taste of things to come back on playstation 2. The game keeps it’s trademark humour and excellent satire, yet shows a maturer edge with a smarter story, more interesting characters and some truly unique gameplay that overshadows it’s peers. Not only is the main single player game huge, but the accompanying fully online open world multiplayer tops this off as an excellent package with real value for money too.
Dead Rising 3
Platform: Xbox One
The only next generation title to grace this list, Dead Rising 3 is straight up excellent. A real open world zombie adventure with scale that really shows promising signs of things to come on the next generation consoles. 100s of zombies swarm all around and with no loading times the game is fluid and exploration and adaptation make for some awesome gameplay. Additionally Dead Rising 3 has eased up on some of the cheesier elements of the franchise and while goofy costumes and weapons still remain the whole experience feels a lot smarter and just as much fun. Whilst the game doesn’t feel truly next gen it’s excellent nonetheless and by far the best launch title available on the Xbox One.
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Irrational games return to the franchise they created with an explosive and awe inspiring entry that will keep your finger on the trigger and your mind in the clouds. Taking a complete change from Bioshocks dark and dystopian underwater city, Columbia the city in the clouds in which the game takes place showcases some true beauty. As the player you get to experience the otherwordly social and economic politics that ultimately force chaos to ensue and you to battle through it. With an excellent story and some amazing revelations in the final act, Bioshock: Infinite will keep you hooked till the very end.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U
Whilst Arkham Origins is the weakest of this current run of Batman games, it remains a game full of excellently refined gameplay and an open world gotham setting that makes you feel like you’re Batman. Some minor story elements left us dissapointed, but the scope of this game lays more within it’s rich environment and continual nod to fans of Batman from Comics to Movies and all other media. A game you’ll most certainly enjoy hammering through, but a story that might not keep you quite as gripped.
Ben Corbett-Mills / @benleopards