With the big day just around the corner, the panic may be setting in - with so many games out there, which games should I buy? Which are the best games for my family? Which games are suitable for my kids? And which will they actually enjoy?
Here at Everybody Plays, we do our best to take the guess work out of Christmas shopping, with our handy console Christmas gift guides, providing a selection of games, divided up into age groups, that'll go down a treat with your little ones. With options for kids of 3-5, 6-10, 11+, something for the adults, and a few picks to get the whole family playing, there's a game out there for everyone - and we're here to help you find them!
So, without further ado, here's our 2015 list of the very best games on the Playstation 4 for your family (and if you're after any other options, be sure to check out our Family Game Finder!):
Frozen: Free Fall
OK, while it may not be something you can actually wrap up and place under a tree, seeing as it's a downloadable free-to-play game, there's so little else that's come out on the PS4 this year that can skew this young. With bright, colourful graphics, and easy pick-up-and-play gameplay, Frozen Free Fall is a match three game that knows its target audience well. Playing with one of a number of Frozen characters cheering you on, it's up you to make matches of three or more like-coloured tiles to score points. Make a match and they'll disappear; cause a cascade, and you'll score even more points. While this is a free to play game, so optional micro-transacations do play a part, you can have hours of fun here without spending a single penny - and the local multiplayer mode lets two players face off, too. If you're getting a new PS4 for Christmas, and have a little one who'll be dying to play, this is well worth downloading ready for the big day.
Tearaway Unfolded is a charming papercraft adventure from the creators of one of our favourite games of all time, Little Big Planet. Telling the tale of a messenger - a little character with an envelope for a head, on a quest to deliver an important message - it's up to you to explore the gorgeous, papercraft world, helping out its unusual residents as you go. As you'd probably expect, the game has an emphasis on creation, with characters often asking you to help decorate them, design a shield, or create a cloud - and, thanks to the PS4 controller's touch pad, you can do just that, tracing a design with your finger. While there's little in the way of voice acting for quests, so a solid reading ability is required, this is a great pick for families.
Full Tearaway Unfolded Review
Parental Review: Tearaway Unfolded
Buy Tearaway Unfolded from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Tearaway Unfolded from Amazon.com
Bigger, better, and more gorgeous than ever before, Skylanders SuperChargers is the latest instalment in the Skylanders series, and brings with it a number of new enhancements. A "toys to life" game, SuperChargers comes as a starter pack bundling two toy characters, a vehicle, a portal, and the game itself, giving you everything you need to get going. Letting you play in co-op out of the box, this is a bad-guy bashing, world-spanning, vehicle-racing platform-style adventure that kids - and big kids- alike will love. The big new addition for this year's game are the vehicles, which let you take part in Mario Kart style races, as well as solve various puzzles in the levels. While there are plenty of additional figures available (check out our complete list of Skylanders Superchargers characters for more), the starter pack comes with all you need to play through the main story - although additional paths and side-branches will open themselves up as you buy more, different figures.
Full Skylanders SuperChargers Review
Parental Review: Skylanders SuperChargers
Buy Skylanders SuperChargers from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Skylanders SuperChargers from Amazon.com
Disney Infinity 3.0
While past Disney Infinity games have been somewhat wide of the mark, Disney Infinity 3.0 gets almost everything right. Another "toys-to-life" game, like Skylanders SuperChargers, Disney Infinity 3.0 comes as a starter pack bundling two figures - Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano - with the Disney Infinity base, and a "Play Set" piece, which unlocks a co-op adventure set in a galaxy far, far away. Called Twilight of the Republic, this Star Wars themed adventure is set during the events of the first three films (and, unfortunately, that means it also features Jar Jar Binks), and sees Anakin and his Padawan chasing down Darth Maul, destroying battle droids, and generally partaking in their Jedi duties. With hundreds of side quests to complete, and loads to find and collect, there's hours of fun here - but that's not all! Disney Infinity 3.0 also comes with a "Toy Box" mode, which is kind of like a slightly more limited version of Minecraft, only with Disney characters and toys, letting you create your own levels, worlds and adventures - and download those other people have made over the internet! There's also loads of extras you can buy to expand your game, including co-op adventure Play Sets themed around Inside Out; the good Star Wars films (called Rise Against the Empire); the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, along with an upcoming Marvel themed beat 'em up style Play Set, and dozens of characters taking in all three "pillars" of Disney Infinity - Disney/Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.
Full Disney Infinity 3.0 Review
Parental Review: Disney Infinity 3.0
Buy Disney Infinity 3.0 from Amazon.com
Buy Disney Infinity 3.0 from Amazon.co.uk
What do you get when you cross Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Portal 2, The Simpsons, Back to the Future, Jurassic World, Ghostbusters, the LEGO Movie, and loads of other franchises with a traditional LEGO adventure? The answer is probably something like LEGO Dimensions, a game that sees 14 different worlds collide - and sends you off on a quest to put things right. A "toys to life" game like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, LEGO Dimensions' big advantage is that it actually involves real LEGO - the game comes with a "build your own" portal that means you'll have to actually build the portal yourself, shortly after you've started your adventure. Again, coming with everything you need to get going, bundling three character minifigs - Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle - together with a load of LEGO bricks and the Toy Pad base, the starter pack will take you on a sizeable, co-op adventure through all 14 franchises, with a level based on each, as you try to thwart the evil Lord Vortex. If you want more, there are dozens of expansion packs available, each adding a combination of characters and vehicles to the game, with some even adding all new levels. Either way, with its great mix of real LEGO and an awesome game, this is the present we'd want to be waking up to on Christmas morning. We recommend it for 11+ due to a relative lack of tutorials and pointers, and the fact that many of the franchises featured within are old, so the game tends to skew towards and older audience - although those younger than 11 can certainly jump in too. For more on how the game works, be sure to check out our review. A word of warning though - an internet connection is required for LEGO Dimensions, in order to download the latest updates, worlds and characters.
LEGO Dimensions Review
Parental Review: LEGO Dimensions
Buy LEGO Dimensions: Starter Pack from Amazon.co.uk
Buy LEGO Dimensions: Starter Pack from Amazon.com
Minecraft: Story Mode
Minecraft is a game that needs no introduction. With millions of copies sold worldwide, it's a game that almost everyone seems to be playing - but Minecraft: Story Mode offers a totally different take on the Minecraft universe. Set in the same world, but adding a gripping story, Story Mode takes you on an adventure to find four legendary warriors known as the Order of the Stone. With decisions to make, a story to follow, and mini-games to complete, this is a fantastic Minecraft adventure that serves as a great side-project to the original game.
Minecraft: Story Mode Review
Parental Review: Minecraft: Story Mode
Buy Minecraft: Story Mode from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Minecraft: Story Mode from Amazon.com
LEGO Jurassic World
LEGO Dimensions wasn't the only great LEGO game to be released this year, as the summer also saw the release of LEGO Jurassic World, a more traditional tie-in that lets you play through a plasticy retelling of the events of all four Jurassic Park/World films. Not a toys-to-life game, all you buy and all you need here is the disc itself to have access to hundreds of characters, four open world hubs full of quests to complete, a two player, drop-in, drop-out co-op mode, and dozens of levels taking in all the best moments from the films. With so much to do, this is a game that'll keep them coming back for more for months, and offers incredible value for money.
LEGO Jurassic World Review
Parental Review: LEGO Jurassic World
Buy LEGO Jurassic World from Amazon.com
Buy LEGO Jurassic World from Amazon.co.uk
Divinity: Original Sin
At a time when so many games seem to be trying to squeeze every last penny out of their players (we're looking at you, "free to play" games and season passes), it's nice to see a game doing everything right. Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is such a game, offering a gigantic role playing game that harks back to the glory days of old, only this time, on console, and with full support for two-player split-screen! After creating your character and choosing their class, it's up to you to explore the fantasy world, completing quests, solving puzzles, exploring dungeons, and, perhaps most surprisingly, taking part in turn-based battles as you go. Yes, Divinity: Original Sin is no button mashing hack and slasher - and it's all the better for it.
Buy Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition from Amazon.com
Tales of Zestiria
From one role playing game to another now, only this time with a distinctly more Japanese flavour. Tales of Zestiria is the latest in the long line of incredibly popular JRPGs, and takes the series back to its roots, with a more traditional fantasy inspired world to explore. Set in a world on the brink of war, you play as Sorey, a saviour known as the Shephard, tasked with restoring the land's faith in the god-like Seraphim spirits to drive away the darkness in their hearts and stop the spread of war. With a huge world to explore, a colourful cast of companions to join you on your journey and the ability to join forces with the Seraphim in battle for devestating elementaly charged attacks in Tales' fast-paced, button mashing real-time battles, this is a fantasy-inspired adventure for anyone who likes their role-playing games colourful and light-hearted.
Buy Tales of Zestiria from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Tales of Zestiria from Amazon.com
Just Cause 3
Some people just want to watch the world burn - and if you're buying for someone like that, then you can't go far wrong with Just Cause 3. A game with its tongue firmly in its cheek, this is a game that eschews realism in favour of the sheer thrill of just blowing things up. And there's even a story here to justify it too - with an evil dictator oppressing the people of Medici, it's up to you to liberate them in the only way you know how - by blowing things up. Whether you're making use of your handy grappling hook to attach enemies to gas canisters, then shooting the canister and watching the baddie fly off into the horizon; using your parachute to sneak into an enemy base; or otherwise causing as much destruction as possible, this is a non-stop roller-coaster ride.
Buy Just Cause 3 Collector's Edition from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Just Cause 3 from Amazon.com
Little Big Planet 3
If you're looking for a game to get the whole family playing on Christmas morning, you can't go far wrong with Little Big Planet 3. While it technically wasn't released in 2015 (it's a late 2014 arrival), there's little else like it on the Playstation 4. Letting up to four friends play today on the same console (controllers permitting), this is a creativity inspired platformer that sees series protagonist Sackboy (or girl) team up with some new friends - Oddsock, who looks a lot like a dog; Swoop, a bird that lets you fly; and Toggle, a character that has two modes - big and small. With each having their own uses when it comes to solving the game's many puzzles, this is an adventure with co-op at its core - and one that'll get the whole family working together. Just make sure you don't go too crazy sticking stickers to each other!
Little Big Planet 3 Review
Parental Review: Little Big Planet 3
Buy Little Big Planet 3 from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Little Big Planet 3 from Amazon.com
From one great game that'll get the whole family playing to another one now, with the triumphant return of Guitar Hero. While some of the songs may not be all that wholesome in terms of lyrics, there's plenty of "pass the guitar" fun here for families to have fun with on Christmas morning. The basic concept here is as simple as it is cool - holding the bundled guitar shaped controller, it's up to you to hold the relevant buttons to match the icons as they come down the screen towards you, and strum as they cross the line. Easier than the real thing - but every bit as cool - this is intuitive, yet exhilierating fun, and one that'll get everyone playing on the big day. For those who want more of a competitve experience, there's even a dual guitar bundle available, letting you go head-to-head with a friend!
Buy Guitar Hero Live with Guitar Controller from Amazon.co.uk
Buy Guitar Hero Live with Guitar Controller from Amazon.com