Top Ten Video Games to Give for the Holidays

Students and alums from The Guildhall at SMU weigh in with their top picks

Students and alums from The Guildhall at SMU, the country’s premier graduate video game development program, have released their suggested top ten video game gift list for this year’s holiday season.

Leading the list is Fallout 3 followed by Fable II at number two.  Rounding out the top five are Gears of War 2, Far Cry 2 and Rock Band 2.
Despite the economic meltdown this fall, video game sales are up 26 percent through October over last year and are expected to be big sellers this holiday season.

“Consumers find a better return on investment in terms of hours of gameplay through video games than outside entertainment,” said Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU. “It costs less to buy a video game than to take a family of four to the movies with concessions.”

Pay attention to two main factors when purchasing video games for friends and family:  what type of hardware is required and the ERSB Rating.  Both can be found by carefully reading the labels of the video game.

Hardware relates to what kind of platform the game runs on: PC, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PS3, PSP, or DS. Shoppers need to make sure the person they are buying the game for has the necessary hardware.

The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision.

ERSB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating or may be of interest or concern.

To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it’s important to check both the rating symbol (on the front of the box) and the content descriptors (on the back).

The top ten list is as follows:

  1. Fallout 3
    Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Microsoft Windows
    ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  2. Fable II
    Platform: Xbox 360
    ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
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