The Top 10 Xbox One games for Christmas 2014

Christmas Gift Guides, Gaming
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Christmas 2014 is going to be big for Xbox One – and there’s a tonne of big releases that will be vying for space under your Christmas tree. But what will you be playing, and will campaign mode last you until 12th night? Here’s our pick of the ten games you should be playing this Christmas.
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Sunset Overdrive

What happens when you mix Tony Hawks with a third person shooter, and blend them in a paint mixer? Sunset Overdrive appears to be the answer to the question that nobody realised they wanted to ask until they picked up the controller and tried it out.

There’s apparently a storyline, but nobody really cares what it is, because everyone is too busy grinding on every surface and shooting aliens with the most ridiculous weapons.
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Assassin’s Creed: Unity

This year’s Assassin’s Creed is also looking good. Set in the French Revolution and sporting some astonishing graphics, the game introduces cooperative play and a number of other new features.

They say that history repeats itself, but if the experience is always as great as Assassin’s Creed, is that really such a bad thing?

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Sniper Elite 3

Sniper Elite 3 is in the unusual position of being (as far as I can remember) the only (played straight) WWII game on Xbox One. So if you want to get your Nazi-killing fix, this is the only way to do it. Lucky then, that it is also a great game.

When you snipe someone in this game, the gameplay slows down as you watch the bullet pierce their skin. Then the game goes inside the enemy – X-raying them so you can watch your shot puncture their internal organs. I’m not joking. Pretty soon you’ll be punching the air whenever you get a “kidney shot”, and losing whatever ounce of humanity you had left.

What is also satisfying about the game is that in contrast to the likes of COD, it is very slow paced. As you’re a sniper, it is all about sneaking around and waiting for the opportune moment to take your shot. This means that you’ll spend ages working your way around the sprawling maps – and it feels very rewarding when you complete it.
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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

It’s as traditional as turkey and Only Fools and Horses, but this year’s instalment of Call of Duty looks set to shake things up a bit: Advanced Warfare is set some time in the future and sees Kevin Spacey take a lead role.

Don’t expect too much new stuff gameplay wise, but it is always a solid experience – and guarantees plenty of dramatic, Bond-film style action.

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Far Cry 4

2012’s Far Cry 3 was a surprise hit: A really great, tropical shooter – with an interesting story and some endlessly challenging outpost-capturing missions. Far Cry 4 looks set to recreate the magic, this time set in a mysterious mountain kingdom – and should provide a nice, brightly coloured counterpoint to the darkly lit, serious shooters that you tend to get these days.

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Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition

Unexpectedly, the Xbox One has seen the re-release of one of the most overlooked games of the last generation: Sleeping Dogs. Think GTA, but set in a beautifully rendered Hong Kong, with martial arts combat instead of guns – and an intriguing protagonist to boot.

The “Definitive” edition didn’t add much to what was already there – but you do also get all of the DLC for free. And if you haven’t played it before, then you really have no excuse.

If you like sandbox games, GTA or simply good games, you owe it to yourself to get this.
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Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Re-live the hundreds of hours you spent playing Halo 2 online by, umm, playing Halo 2 online. The Master Chief Collection has remastered the game giving the graphics an Xbox One level of polish – and all of the other Halo titles have been packed in for good measure too.

Best of all is the ability to create custom playlists mixing up levels from across the series.
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Minecraft: Xbox One Edition

If you’ve played Minecraft before, you know what to expect, but heck – the game is like crack for its millions of addicts. We don’t need to explain why Minecraft is incredible – just make sure you occasionally switch off and get some sleep.

If you’re not the gamer, and are looking to buy for a kid, then chances are if you get them Minecraft, they’ll be very happy indeed.

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Grand Theft Auto 5: Remastered

Okay, so you may have spent last Christmas playing Grand Theft Auto 5, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend this year doing it too. The game is being re-released on the PS4 and Xbox One and has been given a new coat of paint for the new generation. With increased draw distances, denser traffic and cars, Los Santos feels even more like a living, breathing city.

Not only is there a whole load of new missions and things to do packed in, but you can even pick up on GTA Online where you left off on your old console – even if you’re switching Xbox 360 to PS4, or PS3 to Xbox One.

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Finally another hugely anticipated new IP: Destiny. Developers Bungie, most famous for Halo, didn’t exactly go thematically a million miles out of their comfort zone with this space shooter – but it did create the first proper stab at a console massively multiplayer online shooter. And unsurprisingly, its reward has been millions of converts.

James O’Malley
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