December is always the busiest season for video games, with companies releasing their big franchises in an attempt to grab that Christmas cash. Yet this is a particularly bumper year, with new consoles and releases from Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and others. We’ve rounded up the best new video games and peripherals to help you end 2017 on a high (score).
Halfway between a home console and a portable, this is a barnstorming return to form for Nintendo. Playing Mario on your TV then simply lifting the console out of the cradle to continue the game on the bus never gets old, and it already has one of the best line-ups of games ever, including series-best entries from Mario and Zelda.
He is the original gamer everyman, and now Mario is back to show you why he’s still the OG. It may be a classic platformer in the vein of Mario 64, but Odyssey stuffs more invention and pure fun into its dinky cartridge than any other game in years.
The Switch might have stolen some of its thunder, but the 3DS (and its 2D only version the 2DS, which is kinder to young eyes) remains the king of pure handheld gaming. This one has a snazzy design and comes packaged with the latest Pokémon.
A terrible name for a great console. The Xbox One X is an upgrade to the Xbox One (which was actually the third Xbox, keep up). With more powerful innards, it can handle 4K and HDR, but will still play all of the same games as the original One. The Project Scorpio special edition is patterned to look a wee bit like the first Xbox, as in, the one released back in 2006.
After some extended trips to space and the far future, CoD is back to where it all began: World War 2. Fans of a certain age will get a certain nostalgic thrill, but there are some modern tweaks. The updated graphics are certainly welcome. The influx of loot boxes and other ‘pay to play’ mechanics designed to bleed you of money? Less so.
Get back in the perfectly rendered driver’s seat. It’s a leaner experience than the old games – like one of those carbon fibre track day cars that don’t even have a radio– but on a 4K TV with a PS4 Pro (£300), this is as close as you can get to the real thing.
At this point, FIFA is almost as old as having a kick about in the park, but it’s changed a lot in that time. 18 builds off last year’s entry with a full story mode, following a young hopeful who dreams of being Wayne Rooney. (Well, in some ways.)
The SNES is clearly having a bit of a moment. Not only has the classic console returned with a mini version (above), but 8Bitdo has produced this loving tribute to the original controller. With Bluetooth and more buttons and joysticks than its 90s ancestor, this can be used with almost any classic game on any modern platform you throw at it, including the Nintendo Switch. Plus with an adapter (£15) you can give the SNES Classic Mini the wireless controllers you only dreamed about as a child.
For the young gamer who dreams of one day going into the industry, this is a great first step. Incredibly, it lets you build characters and levels in the real world using Lego style blocks, then import them into the app for playing.