When it comes to video games and geekery, January is shaping up to be a fantastic month. Never mind the recent shower of snow, which has been spewing its way across the country for the past week; it’s possibly the closest we’ll ever get to being in a snow level from Super Mario World, after all. Besides, with workplaces and schools shutting down for the cold snap, you’ve never had a better opportunity to catch up on twenty twelve’s finest games.
Fortunately, with the sale season in full swing, there’s never been a better time to hunt for gaming bargains. Indeed, whether you’re buying a shiny new game or pre-owned gem, there’s a plethora of fantastic games out there for you to enjoy – and we’ve rounded up the very best of them. Here’s our pick of the biggest gaming bargains around…
Far Cry 3
While a tropical island might sound like the perfect holiday destination, you might want to think again. Set on an island ravaged by violence, players find themselves caught up in a bloody brawl between psychotic warlords and indigenous rebels. With a beautiful, sprawling environment to explore; mysteries to uncover and brilliant gunplay, Far Cry 3 is an absolute steal for thirty quid.
Best Price: £30 at Amazon Total Saving: £9.99
Assassin’s Creed 3
While not quite the pinnacle of the popular stealth series, Assassin’s Creed III is still worth your time and money. Set in an alternate history, the game follows Renaissance stabber, Altair, and bland-o-man Desmond Miles as they embark on a journey through time to discover hidden truths. It’s a bit like the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are, but with less Jeremy Clarkson and the more disembowelling. Well worth a look.
Best Price: £29.99 at Amazon (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £10
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Okay, okay, so the campaign makes less sense than Inception watched in reverse, but that hasn’t stopped Black Ops: 2 selling like hot cakes. While it’s certainly not as brilliant as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Treyarch has done a fantastic job emulating the style and sass of Infinity Ward’s military cash cow. While the campaign mode has its fair share of highlights (nightclub shootouts, anyone?), it’s the multiplayer that truly stands out here.
Best Price: £24.99 at Play (pre-owned) Total Saving: £10
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Good old Criterion Games, eh? The Need for Speed franchise had been waning for years until the arrival of NFS: Hot Pursuit – a high-octane, arcade racer that breathed new life into the ageing series. Now, the Guildford-based developers have done it again with NFS: Most Wanted, a game that’s every bit as explosive as its 2005, cop-dodging original.
Best Price: £18.99 at Play (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £21
Resident Evil 6
Essentially three games in one, Resident Evil 6 gives a lot of bang for your buck. While not as terrifying as previous instalments, thanks to a new-found emphasis on kicking things in the face, Resident Evil 6 is an adrenaline-packed adventure that should appeal to anyone who loves the Gears of War franchise. With ballsy set pieces, honking melodrama, and a soundtrack worthy of the biggest Hollywood blockbuster, Resident Evil 6 is certainly worth a look.
Best price: £12 at Amazon (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £28
After the lukewarm reception of IO’s Kane and Lynch, fans were overjoyed to see their favourite, follically-challenged agent return for yet another stab-fest. With decidedly Hollywood production values, Hitman: Absolution takes a more story-based approach to proceedings, as opposed to the mission-based structure of previous games. While there are certainly a few missteps, Hitman: Absolution shows great promise for the future of the franchise, and comes highly recommended for fans of the series.
Best Price: £14.99 at Play (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £25
Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is a storytelling experience like no other. Picking up where the last game left off, players once again assume the role of Commander Shepard – humanity’s last hope against the Reapers, a synthetic race of star ships, hell-bent on wiping the galaxy of sentient life. Boasting incredible dialogue, stunning visuals, and voice acting from Hollywood’s finest, Mass Effect 3 is essential.
Best Price: £11.99 at Game (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £28
When it was first announced, games critics fell to their knees at the mere sight of Dishonored – and it’s not hard to see why. Mixing the best elements of Half-Life 2 and BioShock into one cohesive package, Dishonored is a first person shooter like no other. Oh, and it’s dash pretty to boot.
Best Price: £24.99 at Game Total Saving: £15
Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 is arguably the darkest game in the series yet. Double-crossed and locked in a city of violence and bloodshed, Max must blast his way to the truth in this third outing, resulting in one of the most electrifying experiences of the year. With breathtaking animation and some of the most cinematic storytelling ever committed to a video game, Max Payne 3 is a full-on assault on the senses.
Best Price: £14 at ShopTo Total Saving: £26
Nothing gets pulses racing faster than the launch of a new Halo game. Helmed by new developer 343 Industries, Halo 4 is a game of tremendous scope, and one that far outpaces its forerunners when it comes to narrative. With powerful new weapons to wield, vehicles to drive and enemies to battle, the game rarely sports a dull moment. Couple this with a brilliantly addictive multiplayer mode, and you’ve got of the best games on Xbox 360. Halo 4 is about as essential as gaming gets.
Best Price: £25 at Play (Pre-owned) Total Saving: £15
The follow-up to the original ‘looter shooter’, Borderlands 2 once again returns to the land of Pandora – which now finds itself in the clutches of Handsome Jack, a corporate bigot who is mining the planet of its precious resources. Needless to say, it’s up to you to defeat him before he awakens an ancient alien evil known only as “the Warrior.” With beautiful cel-shaded visuals, an imaginative world to explore, and an anarchic sense of humour, Borderlands 2 comes highly recommended.
Best Price: £19.85 at ShopTo Total Saving: £20.14
Want to expand your gaming library this year, but don’t want to spend an absolute fortune? Be sure to keep an eye on myvouchercodes.co.uk for all the latest gaming discounts.