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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

The Order: 1886

Need for Speed

Mad Max

Batman: Arkham Knight's PC release and DLC

Star Wars Battlefront

Halo 5

Oh my. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 was a flaming hot Dumpster fire on arrival, filled with countless bugs, mindless mission objectives and an overall lack of polish that failed to pay any of the previous titles a notion of respect. Worst of all, this empty mess of a title went for a full $60.

Caption by / Photo by Robomodo

There's no doubt The Order: 1886 was a gorgeous exclusive for PS4, but beyond its pretty visuals and art direction, The Order fell flat as a compelling campaign. Filled with monotonous and uninspired gunplay, The Order left players wanting more. On the bright side, this is a game that could improve drastically with a proper sequel, but there's no word yet whether or not there will be one.


Caption by / Photo by Ready at Dawn

The latest reboot of the Need for Speed franchise failed to impress critics. While it looked the part, a lot of the game's mechanics weren't enough to rev up excitement about the game. That said, the NFS brand is big enough that we'll probably see another game this time next year.


Caption by / Photo by Ghost Games

What seemed like a perfect sequence of events to cash in on the fantastic (yet not officially connected) film released earlier this year, Mad Max failed to come together in the end. Refusing to break free from the open-world shackles that we've become so used to, Mad Max felt like another blip on an overcrowded radar. For what's it worth, we had a much better time with the same developer's recent December release, Just Cause 3.

Caption by / Photo by Avalanche Studios

One of 2015's most perplexing launches was Batman: Arkham Knight for PC. Essentially dead on arrival, Arkham Knight's PC performance was awful and led to many customers demanding refunds. The game was even removed from the Steam store until a more reliable build was completed, and even that one gave PC gamers headaches.

Then there was Arkham Knight's $40 season pass that brought the game's price tag up to an even $100 if you wanted to experience everything the game had to offer. Not a lot of details were initially given about what the DLC would entail, but as the underwhelming monthly releases began to surface, a general sense of disappointment reverberated throughout the community.

Caption by / Photo by Rocksteady Studios

Star Wars Battlefront is one of 2015's most disappointing games because while it made a mostly masterful use of the aesthetics of the Star Wars license, Battlefront's depth should be questioned. A cavalcade of uninspiring online game modes and a subpar single-player component make Battlefront a tough $60 sell. Any Star Wars aficionado should play it, but maybe not until it's at half the price.

Caption by / Photo by EA DICE

Sure, there's no lack of polish in Halo 5, but flashy visuals can only get you so far. Halo 5's short and mostly uninteresting main story campaign fell far short of expectations. Its online innovations like Warzone prevented things from entering total disaster, but overall this Halo installment did not make a memorable impression.

Caption by / Photo by 343 Industries
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