With holiday shopping on the horizon, it’s time to feed the warm, electric glow of our family room TVs with delicious video games.
Scores of Black Friday gaming deals will be available, as many retailers like Target and Amazon will hold digital sales throughout the week. Some are a lot better than others, so here are a few noteworthy deals to look out for.
Console deals everywhere
Most stores are offering bundles on Black Friday. The Xbox One bundle includes “Gears of War Ultimate Edition,” and the PlayStation 4 bundle comes with the “Uncharted Collection.” Both are $300. It looks like Target may get the edge here – it’s offering a free $60 gift card with the purchase of each Xbox One bundle. That essentially means two free games.
If your household is lacking a new console, this is your chance. If you’re like me and bought one (a PS4) two holiday seasons ago, it’s time to add the other. Both systems now have robust exclusive rosters that are only going to get better in the next year.
Great games at Walmart
Walmart appears to be the place to go for actual games. Stores are offering “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate,” “Destiny: The Taken King,” “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” “Until Dawn” and a few less-impressive titles for $35 each. There are some genuine game of the year contenders available for nearly half price, so don’t miss this.
The retail giant is also offering a few noteworthy titles for $25: “Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited,” “Grand Theft Auto V” and “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” These games are a little older, but I believe all three are must-haves for adult gamers.
The EA bundle at GameStop
If you buy “Star Wars: Battlefront” at GameStop, the retailer will give you $30 off the purchase of “Madden 16,” “FIFA 16,” “NHL 16,” “Dragon Age: Inquisition” or “Need for Speed.” I’d suggest going with “FIFA” or “Madden,” depending on which football you lean toward.
‘Skylanders SuperChargers’ and ‘Disney Infinity 3.0’ starter kits for $45
I will have a more in-depth review of each for next week’s column, but they are both solid options for kids.
“Disney Infinity 3.0” appeals more to the player’s creative side. You can create your own Disney home or design game levels using all the tools of the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars universes. It’s possible to play through this game without ever fighting any bad guys.
“Skylanders SuperChargers” is all action. There’s a ton of stuff to keep kids excited, and it has a “Mario Kart” knockoff racing feature that is dynamite. Beware: This option will be the more expensive of the two in the long run. Both games market directly to kids, pressing them to ask their parents to buy more characters. However, “Skylanders” now includes cars, boats and aircraft. If you want to see the entire game, you will need at least one of each. The starter kit comes with a land vehicle, but the boats and planes are about $17 each.
‘Rock Band 4’ and ‘Guitar Hero Live’ deals
It looks like every major retailer is offering some sort of musical game deal. I have yet to play either, but both were met with mixed receptions. The deals aren’t earth-shattering – $51 off the “Rock Band 4” full set, which includes drums, a guitar and a microphone, and $41 off the “Guitar Hero Live” set, which is just a guitar. The former set will be down to $200, and the latter will run you $59.
If you’ve been on the fence about either, now is as good a time as any. I’d suggest the “Rock Band 4” set – the whole point of these games is to embarrass yourself (or show off) with a group of friends in one room. That isn’t really possible with “Guitar Hero Live,” even though it is financially the better deal.
Super-cheap Target options
Target has a few solid $15 choices for the frugal gamer. It’s offering “Evolve,” “Far Cry 4” and “Titanfall” for home consoles, as well as “Mario Kart 7” and “New Super Mario Bros. 2” for Nintendo 3DS. These are older games, but each are worth checking out if you missed them.
Most retailers are already offering the latest Nintendo 3DS XL handheld system for $179 – $20 off of its regular price – in case you want to package the “Mario” games with a shiny new toy.
Video games are great gift options because few other presents can match their longevity. If your loved one falls in love with “Far Cry 4,” it could easily provide 100 hours of fun and enjoyment – for $15.
Are you going to get that from a sweater?