It's the holiday season and video game companies are releasing their best material. But with so many choices, how do you know which ones to get your favorite gamer? Don't worry, these 12 will help you earn high scores.

2K Sports’ NBA 2K9 is the perfect gift for the sports fanatic in your life. Player animations mimic the behaviors of their real life counterparts, and even the crowd feels real as they jump to their feet after an especially poster-worthy play. The game’s biggest draw: it's franchise mode called The Association, featuring the latest stats and news including injuries and trade rumors updating daily courtesy of NBA.com. As the #1 rated NBA simulator seven years running, only serious ballers need apply.

Price: $19.99 PC; $29.99 PlayStation 2; $59.99 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
More Info: 2K Sports - NBA 2K9

Set on an unpopulated tropical island, players navigate the rough terrain at breakneck speed avoiding molten lava, cliffs, and dense foliage at every turn. Pacific Rift doubles your pleasure with 16 tracks and a new monster truck class. Add this to motorbikes, ATVs and monster trucks, racing becomes just as much about strategy as it is about speed and skill. Multiplayer is especially fun since players have the option of challenging three friends face to face or take it online and enter races 20 vehicles deep.

$59.99 PlayStation 3
More Info: Motorstorm Pacific Rift

Prince of Persia offers a new hero, new art style, but the same breathtaking acrobatic action fans have come to expect.. The new Prince sports heavy metal in the form of a spiked gauntlet and a vicious doubled-edged sword. Instead of battling legions of monsters as in previous Prince titles, the majority of combat is a one-on-one affair. The most interesting addition to the series is Elika, a supporting AI character that assists the Prince throughout the game using her magical abilities.

$59.99 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
More Info: Prince of Persia

Developer Traveller’s Tales spun a yarn of a game with its latest release, LEGO Batman, which combines two cult classics – LEGOs and Batman.. Put on the mask and cape to fight Batman’s most notorious nemeses including the Joker, Penguin, and. of the game combines funny cutscenes, smashing LEGOs, and busting baddies, that make it an entertaining albeit silly action title.

Price: $29.00 Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2 PlayStation Portable; $49.99 Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
More Info: LEGO Batman : The Videogame

Sonic's celebrity has declined since he first appeared on the Sega Genesis, but things are looking up for the Blue Bomber. BioWare, creator of critical and commercial success Mass Effect, has taken the reins for Sonic’s latest outing on the DS. Sonic Chronicles is the hedgehog’s first RPG (Role-Playing Game) adventure. Sonic and friends join together to battle a powerful new enemy. Battle sequences are a nice mix of regular, super, and team attacks. The super and team attacks employ a touch-based mini-game.

Price: $39.99 Nintendo DS
More Info: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

World of Warcraft: War of the Lich King is set in the continent of Northrend, where players go on a quest to stop Arthas, the Lich King from unleashing a plan so nefarious it could end all life in Azeroth. Players can raise their character to near omnipotence before the final showdown with Arthas by questing alone or with friends. With the new character customization, dungeons, and the promise of awesomely epic battles, Wrath of the Lich King will keep any MMORPGer enthralled long after the holiday seasonThere's also a collector’s edition, including a 208-page book showcasing the art of WOW, an in-game pet baby Frost wyrm, a behind the scenes DVD, and more.

Price: $39.99 Regular Edition; $69.99 Collector’s Edition
More Info: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

In Fallout 3 the world’s in irradiated ruin and players are tasked with finding their father who has mysteriously disappeared. Combat can be played from a first or third perspective, giving it the frenzied action of a traditional shooter game. But the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) adds a kick to the action, allowing players to pause the fighting and target specific body parts for extra damage and a warm, fuzzy feeling of a job well done.

Price: $49.99 PC; $59.99 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
More Info: Fallout

In LittleBigPlanet, players create their own personal avatar called a sackboy (or girl) and guide him through approximately 50 levels of grabbing, swinging and jumping platforms. Game progress is rewarded with skills and the items necessary to help you create your own custom levels. A level editor makes creating your own level simple, and the only limit is your imagination. After your level is complete, go online and share it with the LBP community.

Price: $59.99 PlayStation 3
More Info: LittleBigPlanet

For gamers with rock & roll fever, Guitar Hero: World Tour is just what the doctor ordered. The latest installment from Activision is bigger than ever with over 85 rocking tracks. Players can rock solo, strike up the band, or go head-to-head in a battle of the bands. The addition of drums, vocals, or bass guitar adds a welcome component to the gameplay. Character customization is back with plenty of unlockables including clothing, tattoos, and hairstyles. Wannabe rockers can create their own tracks that other players can download and play in GH Tunes -- the game’s version of iTunes.

Price: $189.99 Band Kit Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360; $99.99 Guitar Kit Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360; $49.99 Game only Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2; $59.99 Game only PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
More Info: Guitar Hero World Tour

Dead Space is survival horror at its finest. Players take control of engineer Isaac Clarke who’s investigating a lost spaceship when he’s attacked by hideous monsters. It becomes a struggle for survival as Clarke searches for a way off a spaceship filled with fleshy, pulsing walls, and bloodthirsty creatures. Clarke is an engineer by trade, so don’t expect many guns. Instead gamers can modify mining tools that dismember the baddies in a satisfyingly gory manner. Dead Space is dead on. For extra screams, try picking up the animated movie “Dead Space: Downfall” on DVD and the “Dead Space” comic book series.

Price: $49.99 PC; $59.99 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
More Info: Dead Space

Fable 2 is set in the world of Albion 500 years after the original. After brief origin story, players craft their new hero. While it may not seem like a big deal, every decision affects the world’s perception of your hero and the future of the world. Beyond the main quest, Albion is a pretty lively place. There’s treasure to be found, properties to purchase, townspeople to save, and baddies to dispatch. But all that questing can get lonely. The solution: your hero can bring along a buddy along in co-op play in addition to his faithful canine companion.

Price: $59.99 Xbox 360
More Info: Fable II

If you're craving run and gun action, look no further thanGears of War 2. The highly anticipated sequel picks up whereGears 1 left off with planet Sera under attack from the brutal Locust Horde. Marcus Fenix and the Delta Squad battle to overcome insurmountable odds to save the last human stronghold. This third-person shooter has all the jaw-dropping gameplay and graphics that made the original a hit. Combat additions include chainsaw duals and old favorites like the Lancer have returned. A top-notch shooter with a matching story, Gears of War 2 will be on the top of most gamers’ wish list. Ramp up the action with the collector’s edition that contains an Xbox LIVE token for a gold-plated Lancer for use in online play.

Price: $59.99 Xbox 360
More Info: Gears of War

The 12 Games of Christmas

It's the holiday season and video game companies are releasing their best material. But with so many choices, how do you know which ones to get your favorite gamer? Don't worry, the 12 featured here will help you earn high scores.

It's the holiday season and video game companies are releasing their best material. But with so many choices, how do you know which ones to get your favorite gamer? Don't worry, these 12 will help you earn high scores.

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