As the Christmas season nears, we've run through the top video games you should settle in with this winter ranging from the return of Lara Croft to the game that'll have you honing your guitar-playing skills.
1 | Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Call of Duty's 12th entry in just as many years follows a team of soldiers contending with an influx of robotics in military warfare, as well as the bonus zombie action we've come to expect from the Activision series in recent years. With an enhanced multiplayer co-op and a voice cast including Jeff Goldblum and Heather Graham (AKA genuinely famous people), their pace shows no sign of slowing.
Available on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC
2 | Fallout 4
Those who remember the early RPG incarnations of Fallout will be familiar with the game's post-apocalyptic theme. With the hotly-anticipated fourth installment - now converted to a first-person open-world shooter, of course - developer Bethesda sets the action 200 years after a nuclear war in post-apocalyptic Boston and follows a character, whom you design yourself, as he emerges from an underground bunker into a beautifully realised world. The completion of quests leads to fresh character abilities, with the open world setting permitting freedom to explore as you wish.
Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC
3 | Rise of the Tomb Raider
On the cusp of next year's 20th anniversary, the Tomb Raider franchise is in good health thanks to an excellent reboot in 2013 that saved it from sliding into 1990s kitch. Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to that success, and follows Lara as she attempts to unearth the truth beind a series of supernatural myths before malevolent a enterprise called Trinity can cover them up. Expect more Uncharted-style galavanting through gorgeous worlds and, hopefully, a further return to the puzzle-based action that made the series great in the first place.
Available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360 and from 2016 on PS4 and PC
4 | Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars games have a mixed history to say the least, but with the new film on the horizon on looking promising, there is reason to hopeful here too. A first or third-person shooter in which you can play as either a Rebel Alliance soldier or Stormtrooper (your choice), Batterfront let you delve into locations lifted straight from the universe – Tattoine, Hoth, Jakku – where you can participate in cooperative missions, and even control the movements of legendary characters including Darth Vader and Han Solo.
Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC
5 | Assassin's Creed Syndicate
The ninth instalment in the Ubisoft series, Syndicate is set in 1868 London during the Industrial Revolution where twins Jacob and Evie – the first playable female protagonist in its eight-year run – must fight against the established order by infiltrating organised crime of the Victorian era. A game of firsts (you can freely switch between the two protagonists), this also marks a return to the no-multiplayer mode of old, refocusing the game on single player story telling. New weapons and travelling systems (including a rope launcher) are further reasons to be excited.
Available now on PS4 and Xbox One and from 19 November on PC
6 | Halo 5: Guardians
Forever Xbox's baby, Halo's fifth entry, subtitled Guardians, follows two fire teams of human supersoldiers (Blue Team and Osiris) with the latter forced to track down the former's leader, Master Chief, when he decides to go AWOL. Fans of the series can expect returning characters, armour upgrades and a non-playing character who'll be with you at all times.
Available now on Xbox One
7 | Guitar Hero Live
A reboot of the Guitar Hero brand, major changes include a revamped guitar controller (now with six frets) which makes gameplay more competitive and a diverse soundtrack ranging from Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys through to Skrillex and Ed Sheeran – dare we say, it could be fun to get your family involved on Boxing Day night?
Available on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U