The 5 Best Releases Your Favorite Gamers Want for Holidays 2021

Many of the biggest console and computer games of the year are released around the holidays—and 2021 is on track with tradition. If you’re looking to pick up a great game for yourself, or as a gift for someone lucky, let’s look at five of the best new games available.

While the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S were released over a year ago, they’re still hard to get your hands on. The good news is that there really aren’t that many exclusives available just yet for these next-gen consoles—so all the games on this wish list are still available to play on last-generation consoles, like the PS4 and Xbox One.

Battlefield 2042 

The Battlefield series is one of the biggest first-person shooter (FPS) franchises, and this year’s Battlefield 2042 looks set to continue the legacy.

Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer-only game, so you’ll need a solid internet connection to play. Up to 128 players compete on huge maps with futuristic weapons, gadgets and vehicles. The specific objectives depend on the game mode, but they generally involve taking or defending “control points.” Basically, it’s an over-the-top video game version of Capture the Flag.

Multiplayer games like Battlefield are always a solid bet as a gift as they’re endlessly replayable. It takes dozens of hours to master the tactics and learn to navigate the huge maps—plus, plenty more content will be added over the coming months.

Available: Now

Available for: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC

Forza Horizon 5 

Since the arcade days, racing games have always been popular—and the best racing game of the year is unquestionably Forza Horizon 5.

Set in an open-world re-creation of Mexico, you get to drive around in, collect and customize an utterly ludicrous list of cars. While the single-player gameplay is getting rave reviews, it’s the online multiplayer that’s particularly exciting. After all, what’s a racing game without people to race against? (Just make sure to eliminate any lag from your setup!)

Available: Now

Available for: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC

Halo Infinite 

Halo Infinite is another multiplayer-focused futuristic FPS. While it features a single-player campaign that continues the story of the series’ main character, Master Chief, a multiplayer version will be free-to-play for anyone with an Xbox or PC—buying the game just unlocks the single-player story mode.

Online, players compete in a variety of different 4v4 and 12v12 team battle modes. With smaller maps and fewer players, it will have a much more frantic feel than Battlefield 2042. Halo games have always been classics and defined the experience of owning an Xbox—Halo Infinite looks to fit right in.

Available: December 8, 2021

Available for: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy—The Definitive Edition 

Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were some of the biggest games of the early 2000s. Originally released on the PlayStation 2, they’ve now been totally overhauled with improved visual effects and gameplay for modern consoles.

For anyone who grew up playing the GTA games, this collection is unmissable. It’s also a solid choice for anyone who wants to experience gaming history for themselves. After all, without the influence of these three games, open world gaming wouldn’t be the same.

Available: Now

Available for: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch

Fortnite: Chapter Two, Season Nine

While Fortnite isn’t a new game, its clever serialization and constant updates and gameplay changes have kept it super relevant. It’s the free-to-play Battle Royale multiplayer game that every other game maker is trying to match, so it’s no surprise that it’s still incredibly popular.

The latest season, Fortnite: Chapter Two, Season Nine, is sure to bring more zany changes to the map and introduce new ways for players to have fun.

As a free-to-play game, you can’t actually buy it—it’s free! However, you can buy gift cards loaded with the in-game currency, V-Bucks, that can be used to buy things like custom outfits, gear and “Battle Passes,” which include lots of extra cosmetic items.

Available: December 6, 2021

Available for: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC, Android phones

Faster internet

Let’s be honest, as exciting as new games are, many gamers have their old favorites they revisit time and time again. The best gift might actually be something that makes them better—like a faster internet connection. For online multiplayer games, it really will make all the difference.

Game features and availability may have changed and are subject to change.

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