by Adam Benjamin | November 22, 2013 9:00 am
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have officially launched now. That means gamers will be fighting to get their hands on the top video games this holiday season … whether during Black Friday shopping, Cyber Monday deals or beyond.
As we recently pointed out, video games are the new blockbusters — creations with massive budgets which turn to billion-dollar products. And when the holiday season comes around, those big-budget titles are often some of the top video games.
Last holiday season, Borderlands 2, Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed 3 were just a few of the top video games jockeying for position in gamers’ hands. But this year could be even bigger. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are in their twilight, as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One make their way over the horizon. And you can be sure that developers want to get some of their best video games onto the new consoles.
Here’s a look at five of the top video games for the 2013 holiday season.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of the top video games this year, and for a pretty simple reason: Activision (ATVI) just announced that it sold in $1 billion of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
That doesn’t tell us how many copies ended up in gamers’ hands, but it does demonstrate Activision’s confidence in the title. And CEO Eric Hirshberg added that the new video game is “the No. 1 best-selling game on PS4 in North America at Best Buy (BBY), GameStop (GME), Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT).”
Last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sold $500 million in its first 24 hours, making it one of the top video games for 2012. It held the record for biggest entertainment release until Take Two Interactive’s (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V recently smashed it. Ghosts perhaps suffered from being segmented into three separate launches: the initial launch for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U on Nov. 5, a second wave with the PS4 on Nov. 15, and the upcoming third wave alongside the Xbox One.
Still, the the new video game has received positive reviews, particularly for its multiplayer gameplay — a crucial component of any modern blockbuster. In fact, it’s definitely one of the strongest titles among new PS4 games. And when the dust settles on new console releases, expect sales numbers to be strong.
Disney (DIS) has a massive library of franchises in its vault — everything from Monsters Inc. to Pirates of the Caribbean. And Disney Infinity lets gamers experience them all together, making it another one of the top video games for the 2013 holiday season.
Infinity, like Activision’s Skylanders games, uses NFC toys to connect to the game. The more toys you own, the more characters you can control. The game allows users to build their own landscapes and scenery, then plop the characters inside them for whatever kind of mayhem they can dream up.
Infinity has been one of the best Wii games out there, and is also available on the Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Infinity sales crossed 1 million units back in October, and you can bet that consumers will make it one of the top video games this holiday season.
Superhero fans, this next pick for our list of top video games is for you. Because if you’ve ever wanted to be Batman (and really, who hasn’t?), the Batman: Arkham series of video games is like a dream come true.
Batman: Arkham Origins is a follow-up to the megahit Batman: Arkham City, which sold 4.6 million copies in its first week of release back in 2011, making it one of the top video games of that year.
Origins has had a slower release, but has still quickly sold millions of copies. The game takes Batman back to his early days and pits him against an array of supervillains hired by Black Mask to take out the Dark Knight.
Arkham Origins is available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U consoles. Sure, it’s not going to help folks hunting for new PS4 games or new Xbox One games, but it’s likely to be one of the top video games this holiday season nonetheless.
It’s hard to go wrong with The Legend of Zelda. In fact, the classic has already created some of the best Wii games.
And now, Nintendo (NTDOY) is giving Link his first original 3DS game.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds takes the hero of Hyrule back to the setting of Nintendo’s best video games: A Link to the Past. This is one of the top video games because it not only features the same swordplay and dungeon crawling that Zelda fans love, but also adds a new mechanic that transforms Link into two-dimensional wall art, allowing him to traverse obstacles in a brand-new way.
Nintendo has another major franchise release with Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. But given the Wii U’s disappointing sales so far, A Link Between Worlds is far more likely to end up as one of the top-selling video games for the 2013 holiday season.
First-person shooting video games make a lot of money, so it’s no surprise that Electronic Arts (EA) has been marketing its entry as one of the top video games for the PS4 and Xbox One releases.
Battlefield 4 throws gamers into a war in the year 2020, and includes a few new features from Battlefield 3. Marketing for the game has focused heavily on the interactive environments, including vehicles and — in one instance — a collapsing building. The game released at the end of October, and has received generally positive reviews.
Battlefield 4 is available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4, and will launch with the Xbox One on Nov. 22. And considering Battlefield 4 is likely to be one of the best Xbox games and one of the best PlayStation games hitting shelves for the 2013 holiday season, it’s a clear choice for our list of top video games.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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