Square Enix has created some of the best games over the past year. Their titles encompass a wide range of experiences and provide something for every gamer. Whether you’re talking about the magnificent Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or the captivating Life is Strange, Square Enix brings something to the table for everyone.

The holidays are pretty much here, and with Black Friday sales and other deals beginning to pop-up, you might be wondering what to get your gaming family this year. Let’s take a look at Deus Ex: Mankind DividedRise of the Tomb RaiderHitman and Life is Strange Limited Edition Box Set.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is easily a Game of the Year candidate for its incredible storytelling, intricate and brilliant game design and diverse characters. The game released this past August and is a hit you cannot miss out on.

This is the third iteration in the popular series and it is quite possibly the best. Many games try to sell choice as a central element to a game, but few end up delivering legitimate meaning to those choices. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the latter.

Throughout your time in Mankind Divided, gamers are constantly faced with decisions. They range from small ones found in a side mission to major ones found in a main quest. How you deal with a character, whether or not you choose to divulge or withhold and who you choose to kill or let live are all instances gamers are confronted with.

What is right versus what is wrong is something everyone answers on their own. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided confronts you with those decisions in a way that just isn’t seen in video games these days. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the best games of the year and is the type of experience any gamer would be lucky to have.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).

Hitman returned earlier this year, and it did so in a different manner. Gone are the days of the one off AAA release for Hitman, and now is the time of episodes that periodically deliver new content.

The series has taken a major turn and from a gameplay standpoint is far better off as a result. Hitman‘s level design has been given a chance to shine like never before because of the episodic model. Each episode has introduced a new level into the experience. Anytime a new level has been introduced, that has meant a new puzzle for gamers to solve.

Replayability is a term used often, like the element of choice, but Hitman embodies the term in a magnificent way. Gamers have to understand all of the intricate parts of a level, and then make gameplay choices based off of that. There are secrets, weapons and tools hidden throughout each map. Understanding the best ways to get around a level can mean the difference between executing a perfect kill and being discovered by your enemies.

Hitman has been rejuvenated by the episodic model. With every new level has come new challenges, and it is in how you overcome those challenges that makes the game extremely rewarding. Gamers can digitally pick up all of the episodes that have been released from March through December now, while a physical release is coming Jan. 31, 2017.

Hitman is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).
Hitman is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).

What can I say about Rise of the Tomb Raider? It was easily the best action game I played in 2015, and playing it again on PlayStation 4 hammered home just how great this game is. This past October, Square Enix released the PS4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider and did so with a new DLC called Blood Ties. 

The DLC gave gamers the chance to learn more about Lara Croft’s family. This piece of DLC is more of a narrative-driven experience and doesn’t possess any combat. It is a wonderful chance to step inside of Croft Manor and experience some of the secrets it has to offer.

Where Tomb Raider will be heading next is currently unknown, however, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a masterful experience. If you have yet to pick up the game, I highly, highly recommend doing so and the Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration version on PS4 provides far more bang than the bucks you are giving up.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).
Rise of the Tomb Raider is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).

Lastly, Life is Strange was another 2015 hit that I recommend to everyone who is seeking out a refreshing, excellent game that’s driven by narrative. It too is an episodic adventure and is another shining example of the power of choice and the consequences of them.

If you have yet to experience Life is Strange then I recommend the Limited Edition Box Set ($39.99) wherever you can get your hands on it. The package contains all five episodes of Life is Strange, a director commentary, 32-page art book, all 14 licensed songs from the official soundtrack and eight songs from Life is Strange‘s composer, Jonathan Morali.

Life is Strange's Limited Edition is available now on PS4 and Xbox One (Courtesy of Square Enix).
Life is Strange’s Limited Edition is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC (Courtesy of Square Enix).

Square Enix has some of the best games you can find this holiday, so be on the lookout for these titles when you’re looking to find the right gift for your gaming family. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video games.



About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.