The holiday season is in full swing and chances are, if you are reading this, you have a gamer in your life. This is a top 10 list in no particular order of some of the best games to purchase as gifts this holiday season. What we have listed here is a handful of quality titles that you might want to try getting that beloved gamer in your life to spice up their gaming lives. To avoid treading typical ground, we’ll spare you more obvious ‘Halos,’ ‘Grand Theft Autos,’ ‘Call of Dutys,’ ‘Maddens’ and ‘Assassin’s Creeds.’ Instead, we’ll dabble on the titles you might not consider in your search for the best video game gift this Christmas. Anyway, let’s have at it!

1. ‘Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’ (Rated M)

‘Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’ is an open-world action game that is a definitive purchase for the gamers in your life who have any sort of interest in Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit‘ or ‘Lord of the Rings’. It offers a very well-done open-world action game experience with combat similar to the Arkham Batman games and its unique Nemesis system, a dynamic gameplay system that remembers the player’s interactions with the characters and enemies they encounter and adjusts the manner in which they react to the player throughout the game.

Available for PS4, PS3, Xbox one, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

2. ‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ (Rated E)

‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ is an adorably charming but simple puzzle platformer game that throws players into the shoes of Captain Toad, a treasure hunter  who must navigate a variety of levels filled with obstacles and challenges. The title originally started out life as a mini-game in last year’s ‘Super Mario 3D World.’ However, due to positive developer response, the mini-game was expanded to become its own stand alone game. ‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ is an unexpectedly solid title that is a good fit for people of all ages who are fond of solving clever puzzles or want a refreshing game that is a little bit different than the standard ‘Mario’ game.

Available for Wii U.

3. ‘Shovel Knight’ (Rated E)

‘Shovel Knight’ is a 2D side-scrolling platformer that harkens back to the golden age of 8-bit graphics. While this is nothing new for indie games that aim to do the very same thing, ‘Shovel Knight’ does so with a fair amount of charm and old-school challenge to make it stand out among the rest. Players take on the role of Shovel Knight, a small shovel wielding knight who must defeat the evil Enchantress and find his lost beloved, Shield Knight. This one is a good gift for the old school gamer looking for something to pry themselves off of their classic Nintendo Entertainment System.

Available for Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC.

4.  ‘Sunset Overdrive’ (Rated M)

This Xbox One exclusive title is a comically entertaining open-world third person action game with fast-paced combat and acrobatic navigation complimented by a colorful punk rock art style. With an insane premise involving an apocalypse resulting from an faulty energy drink that turns people into mutants, and humorous writing with fourth-wall breaking humor, ‘Sunset Overdrive’ is definitely the alternative choice killer-app to get for the Xbox One player who has already tired themselves out playing ‘Titanfall’.

Available for Xbox One.

5. ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ (Rated E)

The recently announced Game of the Year by The Game Awards 2014, Bioware’s ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ is an easy choice for any RPG or fantasy gamer you know. Its rich story, complex tactical action RPG gameplay and vast expansive world filled with quests and equipment to collect are more than enough to entertain and immerse any player for well over 90 hours. Definitely wrap this one up for under the Christmas tree if you haven’t already.

Available for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

6. ‘Alien: Isolation’ (Rated M)

This one is perfect for the ‘Alien’ fan in your life. ‘Alien: Isolation’ brings some Ridley Scott flavor to thev ‘Alien’ games franchise with tense survival horror gameplay that has you playing as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she avoids a lone Xenomorph on a derelict space station in order to find uncover information behind her mother’s disappearance. Because of its survival horror gameplay, fans of ‘Aliens’  rather than ‘Alien’ might find this one a bit difficult to enjoy due to its slower pace and more methodical stealth-based gameplay.  However, those willing to look past that will find quite a fulfilling gift in their hands on Christmas morning if you so choose to grab this one.

Available for PS4, PS3, Xbox one, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

7. ‘Mario Kart 8′ (Rated E)

If you want to get a gift for the gamer in your life in need of an amazing multiplayer experience, then ‘Mario Kart 8’ should be the first game you get.  The long running kart racing series has always had a reputation of being a fan-favorite among game party crowds, and ‘Mario Kart 8’ is no exception. It does a fantastic job at keeping players of all ages engaged  with its easy to play but difficult to master high octane kart racing gameplay. With new series features like anti-gravity racing along with new characters and items, ‘Mario Kart 8’ is as refined of an entry in the series as any other. If you haven’t gifted this to someone already, you’d best do it now before it’s too late.

Available for Wii U.

8. ‘Super Smash Bros. For Wii U’ or ‘Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS’ (Rated E)

Though a bit of an obvious choice, the release of the new ‘Super Smash Bros.’ needs to be reaffirmed. This is a must buy game for any gamer who owns a Wii U or 3DS. While the core experience of the game is the same across both platforms, each version includes their own unique set of features. So its best you gauge which platform your gamer plays on most. But as the ultimate multiplayer fighting game clash between a host of Nintendo characters and even those seen in other classic games, the new ‘Super Smash Bros.’ is definitely a good fit for fans of the series, casual fighting game fans and anyone in need of a great pick-up-and-play multiplayer game.

Available for Wii U and 3DS.

9. ‘The Wolf Among Us’ (Rated M)

‘The Wolf Among Us’ is a graphic adventure game by Telltale Games of ‘The Walking Dead’ fame that is based on Bill Willingham’s comic ‘Fables’. It offers up a gritty fantasy neo-noir detective game experience that will definitely pique the interests of gamers looking for a great narrative and impressive visuals. In it, players take on the role of Bigby Wolf aka The Big Bad Wolf, as he tries to solve a murder in Fabletown, a community comprised of classic fairy tale figures grounded in our reality. ‘The Wolf Among Us’ is a solid pick for gamers who are more into games for their story than gameplay. This episodic series recently got a compilation release containing all five of its episodes.

Available physically and digitally for PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Available digitally only for Windows PC, Mac and iOS. 

10. ‘The Evil Within’ (Rated M)

‘The Evil Within’ is spectacular survival horror title created by the creator of ‘Resident Evil‘ that will be sure to thrill gamers looking for tight third person action shooter gameplay and chilling psychological scares. The game puts players in the shoes of Sebastian Castellanos, a police detective who during an investigation of a mass murder encounters a powerful force that forces him to have to fight for survival against a multitude of hideous creatures and threats against his sanity. If you have a gamer in your life who is a fan of the more recent action-based ‘Resident Evil’ titles or tense survival horror games, then ‘The Evil Within’ will be likely to tie them over.

Available for PS4, PS3, Xbox one, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Got any suggestions that we didn’t cover? Feel free to comment below!