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Christmas Gift Guide

Mass Effect

Broforce

Fallout Shelter

Hearthstone

NBA 2K17

Overwatch

Persona 5

Rainbow 6 Siege

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Street Fighter V

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

World of Warcraft

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Horizon: Zero Dawn

I'm a big Mass Effect fan. I loved 2, and enjoyed 3, but I never played the first one. I was fired up for Mass Effect: Andromeda, but after hearing all the negative/mediocre reviews I kept it wrapped up and felt that I should probably get through the first game and enjoy its story.

Sure the original game came out in 2007 and the combat feels a lot older, and that Mako can be hard as hell to drive. But story trumps all for me, so it's Mass Effect right now, and then I'll get to Andromeda once they make their promised improvements.

Brian Tong, Senior Editor/Host

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I've never much been into video games, but a couple of friends introduced me to Broforce (Devolver Digital), which is a side-scrolling platform game that sends up '80s action movie heroes. It's wonderfully absurd -- you fight as characters like Rambro and Brobocop, and there's a lot of 8-bit bloodshed and explosions. I appreciate the game's self awareness and that's probably a big factor in why I like playing it.

Erin Carson, Staff Reporter

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I picked up Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios) free on Steam. I've played 36 hours, but I'm trying to quit. It was satisfying getting the Vault running nicely and making everyone happy, and the quest minigame is cute, but once you're thriving it's mainly just waiting around to squash occasional disasters, which is too real. I should just recall everyone from the Wasteland and delete the game.

Kelsey Adams, Senior Copy Editor

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I play Boom Beach daily whenever I get a break. I also play HearthStone (Blizzard Entertainment), mostly when I'm doing cardio (treadmill.) In fact it's the game I use to force myself to go to the gym since I only allow myself to play it on the treadmill first on a particular day. After that I can play whenever. It works for me!

Dong Ngo, Labs Manager/Editor

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I'm currently riding the NBA 2K17 (2K Sports) wave as the NBA Playoffs are coming up! Plus, it gives my friends a reason to come over and have a tournament battle for the ultimate prize: PRIDE.

John Kim, Video Producer

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Most of the time I'm playing Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment), but I also spend a good amount of time playing Fallout 4 and Street Fighter V. I like that Overwatch makes you learn different play-styles in order to be effective in any team. It's also got a lot of addictive aspects to it. For example, the loot boxes. I get excited every time it tells me I have a new loot box.

Daniel Pitts, Principal Architect

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I'm only a few hours in to Persona 5 (Atlus), and it's my first swing at a Persona title, but I'm already hooked. There's school drama, crime drama, melodrama, talking cats and style on top on style. It took me two years to beat The Witcher 3, so by that rate, check back in around 2023 for final impressions.

Morgan Little, Social Media Strategist

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Right now I'm loving Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft) because it's a fun, tactical shooter that requires a lot of teamwork and coordination. If you have a group of friends you regularly play with and are looking to break away from Overwatch and MOBAs, Siege would be a strong contender.

Donovan Farnham, Roadshow Social Media Editor

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2.5 years after its release, I finally started playing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) and can't get enough of this game. So much so in fact that I've vowed to get every collectible and every achievement before moving onto another game. Which by the time I'm done (there's a crap-ton of stuff to do in this game) will probably be its sequel, Shadow of War in late August.

Eric Franklin, Managing Editor

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I went back to the world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios), first of all because I find RPGs the most satisfying due to character advancement and open world gameplay. I'm also finding the many quests I missed on my first play through, and getting to explore different character builds, for example ditching the sneaky archer for a straight-up melee fighter. Maybe I'll even try a pure mage on a third run-through.

Wayne Cunningham, Managing Editor, CNET Roadshow

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I've been playing Street Fighter V (Capcom). I've been a Street Fighter fan since the second in the series and still remember spending my weekly allowance on the arcade machines at the local comic book store. SFV is well designed and carries over some Street Fighter II elements to it which I appreciate. Mastering combos and various strategies keeps me immersed. Since each match only takes a few minutes, I'm able to control how long my sessions are at a much more granular level than most other games.

Nader Zaidan, QA Engineer

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I am flying around the world climbing on top of ancient buildings, rocks and pretty much everything else as Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Sony Computer Entertainment). Seriously this game could be named: Don't Know What To Do? Trying Climbing On It. All climbing aside, this game is one of the best games I have ever played. Switching between action sequences, puzzle solving and in-depth character stories doesn't get much better than Uncharted 4. The story easily equals the tension and drive of a great film/tv show.

Patrick Holland, Associate Editor

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I've been playing the same character in World of Warcraft since the beta in 2003. The game has changed a lot over the years and through expansions, but the core mechanics of improving your character hasn't changed. With over a decade of equity in my toon, how could I ever quit?!

Tristan R., Product Manager

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Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Entertainment) is phenomenal. It feels reminiscent of the original Legend of Zelda on the NES, and of other games in that era, where technical limitations forced players to learn on their own. Today, where so many games patronizingly hold a player's hand through an hour of tutorials, there is something very simple and pure about the joy and surprise of finding things out on your own, in a natural way. The game is stacked with detail, and most people will lose hours at a time, immersed in its world.

Ryan Derry, Manager, Systems Operations

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I'm also currently consumed by Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Entertainment). It's easy to get lost for hours in the massive and beautifully complex world with seemingly never-ending content.

Ashleigh Chape, iOS Software Engineer

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I got to Horizon: Zero Dawn (Sony Interactive Entertainment) a little while after its release, and I'm so happy I finally bought it. The main story is awesome as you travel a huge world killing giant robot dinosaurs. Even the side quests have multiple parts making the game that much more deep. Also, you get to be a badass archer the whole game, which doesn't hurt.

Jason Parker, Senior Editor

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