So here we are again, another month coming to an end and what a month it’s been. November has seen the arrival of several cracking blockbuster titles finally making their way to our consoles. But with November finishing, that can only mean one thing, the new Xbox Games With Gold will soon be upon us…and for those of you preparing to put down the controller in order to find your Christmas spirit, don’t be so hasty. The latest offering has been announced, and it looks like Christmas has come early as Microsoft look to end 2016 on possibly the highest note of the year so far with December’s Games With Gold.

Starting off the month with a bang on December 1st is none other than Sleeping Dogs. Whilst this is a title that has already been around for some time now, with the original 360 offering appearing on the Games With Gold scheme just a few years back, there is no questioning just how much fun can be had in the busy and vibrant streets of Hong Kong – especially when it returns packaged with all the DLC content and a fresh lick of paint. In Sleeping Dogs you take on the role of Wei Shen, working as an undercover cop inside one of the most dangerous organizations in the world, the Triads, in order to bring the corruption and brutal criminal activity to justice once and for all. However, with the need to blend in high on the priority list in order to keep your cover, will your time on the inside be enough to blur the lines between truth, loyalty and justice permanently.

With a vastly exotic open world environment to explore, tons of activities to take part in, and an engaging story to keep you engaged for several hours on end, Sleeping Dogs is certainly a great way to kick-start the most festive month of the year and for the modest price of FREE, there will still be plenty of pennies left to buy the presents.

Following up the adventures of the sprawling criminal underworld is a game that brings criminal activities to a whole new level. Fans of horror and all things scary will be pleased to hear that Outlast is the game being offered on the run up to Christmas. Whilst the timing may be a little off, with the yearly fright night passing by several weeks back, there is no doubt in the quality Outlast brings to the table, and there’s no denying it’s certainly a great addition to anyone’s gaming library. In Outlast players take on the role of freelance journalist Miles Upshur, who, after receiving a tip off about the apparent ongoing corruption in the local psychiatric asylum, goes to investigate the story. Inside the asylum, Miles learns that all is not well, and quickly finds himself tangled in an extraordinary and grotesque situation. In Outlast, fighting is not an option, and with running and hiding the only form of defence, those looking to escape the dark and dreary constraints of the terrifying asylum will need more than just luck on their side. It’s a great playthrough for fans of horror and certainly isn’t one that should be missed.

So now we’ve established that December’s Xbox One offerings are certainly top notch titles, do the Xbox 360 options deliver such high quality to players in the festive period? Well, yes they do with the second title quite possibly the most sought after 360 game of all time.

The first Xbox 360 game for players to sink their teeth into though is none other than the quirky Xbox Arcade title, Outland. Players will get to take control of a man who finds out from his visit to a shaman that he is the reincarnation of a hero that perished 30,000 years ago in a war between the sisters of chaos, one which wields the power of light from the sun and the darkness from the moon. On top of this, the man is informed that the sisters have escaped their imprisonment from the Temple of Eternity, and that he is the only one capable of stopping them. Whilst Outland may prove to be the months least well known title, there is no denying that it is another quality title and will certainly be one to keep players occupied.

Whilst the start of the month is sure to provide more than enough to wow the masses, the end of the month simply builds on that quality and what better way to race on towards the new year than with a return to Paradise City. Whilst many people will be happy to see Burnout Paradise make its way to the backwards compatibility program (if being a top requested title is anything to go by), the addition to the Games With Gold scheme will be seen as the real joy for most gamers. Burnout Paradise is the fifth main title in the highly-acclaimed Burnout franchise and comes with a vibrant and fulfilling open world city, full of adrenaline fuelled, pedal to the metal races, and enough crashes to ensure you’re still looking for the rest of those car parts well into the new year. To be quite honest, this may be one title I, and many others, won’t be putting back down for some time.

So, it is indeed confirmed. Whilst the rest of the year hasn’t always provided the best titles for the fans, with the most recent months faring pretty poorly, December’s titles will be sure to keep fans occupied with Microsoft’s offerings possibly the best of the year so far.

In fact, no. They ARE the best of the year so far.

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4 years ago

Cant recommend Sleeping Dogs enough. Bought both the 360 and the One versions and would happily play through again