21 kick-ass sci-fi and fantasy videogames that'll make great gifts

It's been a good year for videogames. In 2011, sequels, trilogies and anniversary packs dominated the market. And when it comes to shopping for gaming gifts, there are plenty of amazing titles to choose from.

We've found 21 of the year's biggest releases that are (probably) on every gamer's wish list.


The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

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Lord of the Rings has returned with a new videogame called War of the North. Set against the backdrop of Peter Jackson's trilogy, players (a man, dwarf and elf) are pit against Middle-earth's darkest forces as they embark on a difficult journey. Think your friends are up for another adventure in Tolkien's fantasy world? (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $59.99


Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

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Nathan Drake is at it again. The fortune hunter has returned for another adventure in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Released Nov. 1, the game sold 3.8 million copies worldwide on opening day, easily besting the previous entries in the trilogy. If you haven't already purchased Uncharted 3, please run, don't walk to your nearest retailer. (PS3) List Price: $59.99


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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Who doesn't love Call of Duty? Modern Warfare 3 was one of the most anticipated releases of 2011, and it doesn't disappoint. The latest installment features a revamped Pointstreak system (under Strike Packages) and new game types: "Kill Confirmed" and "Team Defender." There are also plenty of weapons and visual enhancements to keep you entertained. (Xbox360, PS3, PC, Wii) List Price: $59.99


Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection

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You can hit three birds with one stone thanks to the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection. The package consists of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. All three games have been upgraded and rendered in beautiful high definition. (PS3, Xbox 360) List Price: $49.99


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Skyrim is one of those games that'll keep your friends up at night, because The Elder Scrolls V is filled with an abundance of action and drama. Rulers have been killed, war has broken out, and there are dragons—awesome dragons! The upgrades are amazing, and the "Dragon Shout" system gives us goosebumps. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) List Price: $59.99


Assassin's Creed: Revelations

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Ezio Auditore has returned for Assassin's Creed: Revelations and follows in the footsteps of the legendary Altaïr, which leads him through some dangerous territory. But let's be honest, the danger is what makes this game fun. No blood, no guts, no glory. (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) List Price: $59.99


Batman: Arkham City

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Following the extremely successful Batman: Arkham Asylum is Arkham City, a sequel that takes crime fighting to a whole other level. The Dark Knight tackles a new super-prison, which contains Gotham's worst villains. But don't worry, he gets some help from protégés Nightwing and Robin (via DLC packs), who hand out beatings left, right and center. (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $59.99


Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

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When it comes to gaming, there's before Halo and after Halo. The new Combat Evolved Anniversary celebrates 10 years of awesome first-person action remastered in HD and 3-D. It's dripping with nostalgia and reminds us of why we fell in love with the game in the first place. (Xbox 360) List Price: $39.99


L.A. Noire

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If your friends are fans of L.A. Confidential or any gangster flick starring Humphrey Bogart or James Cagney, they'll love L.A. Noire. The game centers on the cops and criminals of '40s L.A. as they duke it out through car chases and gunfights. Aside from its film noir theme, the game has an impressive cast of voice actors, including Fringe's John Noble and Lost's Greg Grunberg. (PS3, Xbox 360) List Price: $29.99 - $59.99


Mortal Kombat

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Get over here! We just can't quit Mortal Kombat. The franchise's latest release got back to basics with what some fans call Mortal Kombat 9. The game focuses on elements from the original trilogy, which allows gameplay with classic characters and scenarios. There's also a new conflict and storyline that involves Raiden, telekinesis and time travel. (PS3, Xbox 360) List Price: $59.99


Gears of War 3

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Put your game face on, because Gears of War 3 is in full effect. The latest installment in the series, once again, takes us into do-or-die territory. Marcus Fenix and his team continue to battle the Locusts while trying to prevent another threat that's infecting the planet. (Xbox 360) List Price: $59.99


Crysis 2

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Welcome to an alien-infested New York City. In Crysis 2, the year is 2023 and aliens are roaming the streets like common thugs. But players can utilize the superhuman abilities of a Nanosuit, which gives them an edge over the competition. Your friends can become faster, stronger and even invisible if they activate its stealth mode. (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $59.95


Red Faction: Armageddon

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More Mars and more problems dominate this sequel to Red Faction: Guerilla. The game follows Darius Mason, the grandson of revolutionaries Alec Mason and Samanya, as he tries to right a serious wrong. Mason accidentally unleashes a dormant race of Martian creatures that quickly overrun the planet causing (Dun! Dun! Dun!) Armageddon. (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $59.99


Dead Space 2

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Dead Space 2 is a survival horror game that centers on troubled engineer Isaac Clarke. He's an amnesiac who's being hunted by the government, battling an alien infestation and having some tripped-out visions of a loved one. Can you say drama? (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $29.99 - $59.99


Killzone 3

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The latest game in the Killzone series features a revamped combat system, diverse locations, jetpacks, a powerful W.A.S.P. launcher, and did we mention multipurpose jetpacks? They make everything better. (PS3) List Price: $59.99


Tekken Hybrid

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Tekken Hybrid is exactly what it says—a hybrid. It's a combination of Tag Tournament HD and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue, as well as the 3-D feature film Tekken Blood Vengeance. That's two amazing games and a compatible movie in one package. It's an attractive three-piece set that could turn into an amazing gift. (PS3) (Nov. 22) List Price: $39.99


Dark Souls

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Some critics have called Dark Souls "the hardest game of this console generation." It pushes players to their limit, making them work for the smallest success. If your friends are into games that mentally beat them within an inch or their lives, Dark Souls is the way to go. (PS3, Xbox 360) List Price: $59.99


Resistance 3

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It's been four years since the events of Resistance 2, and the world's gone to hell in a handbasket. Hordes of Chimera are everywhere, but thankfully players have access to a fair share of weapons. In addition to oldies like Auger and Bullseye, you have the Mutator (whose name speaks for itself) and shrapnel grenades. Don't those sound like fun? (PS3) List Price: $59.99


Rage

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Rage features amazing graphics that highlight its post-apocalyptic setting. As with most games on this list, the story centers on one or a few survivors trying to inhabit a damaged planet. But players have plenty of obstacles, access to guns (lots of guns) and nice combat vehicles to get them through the day. (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) List Price: $59.99


Marvel vs. Capcom: Fate of Two Worlds

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Will the kids from Marvel and Capcom ever get along? We hope not! Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds features characters old and new on its combat roster. Some fighters your lucky gift recipient can play include Ghost Rider, Hulk, Doctor Strange and Hawkeye from Marvel or Ryu, Chris Redfield, Firebrand and Vergil from Capcom. (Xbox 360, PS3) List Price: $59.99


Star Wars: The Old Republic

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The latest game in the Star Wars series is set 300 years after Knights of the Old Republic, and its puts players on either side of the war (with the Republic or Sith Empire). Players can be a Sith, a Jedi or other classic characters as they embark on a journey for the light or dark side of the Force. (PC) (Dec. 20) List Price: $59.99

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