While the popular game systems are two years old now, plenty of families are new to the current generation of consoles. Microsoft Xbox One, Sony Playstation 4, and Nintendo WiiU continue to top holiday wish lists.
Here are some games and accessories suitable for the gamer in your life:
New on the WiiU are two additions to the Mario franchise, celebrating a 30th anniversary this year. Mario Tennis Ultra Smash adds jump shots for extra power and a mega mushroom to one-up the competition. An online mode allows you to compete with players around the world. ($50, nintendo.com). Also new this year, Super Mario Maker gives you the ability to create your own Mario lands and game play. Edit and modify levels, play as different characters, hide treasures within levels you create. Super Mario Maker works with Amiibo characters bring toys to life right on your Wii U game controller. ($60, nintendo.com)
The 2DS handheld gaming system plays most 3DS games, but in a less-expensive 2D format. A bundle with the new direct-from Japan phenomenon Yo-Kai Watch + Nintendo is available for under $100. Yo-Kai Watch is also available for a variety of other Nintendo systems as a standalone game or download. ($40-$100, nintendo.com)
Snoopy's Grand Adventure, for Xbox One or Playstation 4, is a family-friendly adventure game where players are challenged to help Snoop find Charlie Brown and friends. Rated E for “Everyone”, the game is available from The Peanuts Movie Official Store powered by relentlessGenerator. ($50,http://store.snoopystore.com/)
Minecraft has quickly risen up the charts to be one of the most popular games of all time. Available for nearly every gaming system, Minecraft is newly available for the Wii U. The game's creator, Majong studios , was purchased by Microsoft in 2014. Pick up Minecraft for $20 on Xbox One at the Microsoft Store or via. digital download for game consoles, computers, or mobile devices. ($20, microsoftstore.com)
Halo 5 is the latest installment in the “first-person shooter” series by Microsoft Studios. The game features a new story and three new worlds with extensive multiplayer content and updates available online. The new Xbox One-optimized game has been rebuilt for the new, faster, processor of the latest-generation console. ($50, microsoftstore.com)
The Elite Controller by Microsoft, for XBOX One, is a fully customizeable game controller with a pro-quality feel. It's not the cheapest controller; pick it up and you'll know why. The $150 controller allows users to swap out components and reprogram buttons to suit an individuals game play. It has already proven to be a tough find this holiday season so if you're looking for one order early! ($150, microsoftstore.com)
Many of the latest games are available as digital downloads for instant gratification. Those looking for a gift might opt for a traditional boxed copy more suitable for wrapping.