2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Xbox 360 Edition

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Yesterday we gave you a brief rundown of some of your holiday gift options on the Wii. Today we're covering the Xbox 360, a very different console for a very different audience.

Recommended For a Crowd (of Gamers) - "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2"

This generation is all about online play, but recently there's been a resurgence of same-system, split-screen multiplayer, which warms my heart. There were a handful of excellent split-screen titles released this year, but "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" probably takes the cake with its excellent Spec Ops mode. Plus, when you're done with that, you've got one of the best online games around to enjoy.

Recommended For A Crowd (of Non-Gamers) - "The Beatles: Rock Band"

While "Call of Duty" will please most gamers out there, your mom probably won't want any part of it. She does, however, own six copies of The White Album, making "The Beatles: Rock Band" a good option for getting her into the mix during the holidays. Because of the soundtrack (all Beatles songs) and the addition of up to 3 microphones, you can really get a good sized group going, potentially bringing in multiple generations of would-be rockers.

Recommended For The Younger Gamer - "Mini Ninjas"

The Xbox 360 is not exactly known for its kid-friendly releases, but every once in a while there's a solid entry that's cute, cuddly and inoffensive to everyone. "Mini Ninjas" won't be winning any game of the year awards, but it's still creative and, more importantly, fun. That being said, there's also a pretty decent "Sponge Bob" game ("Sponge Bob: Truth or Square") that just came out on the 360, so if your kids/cousins/nephews/nieces are still obsessed with him, you'll do alright there, too.

Recommended For The Solo Gamer - "Batman: Arkham Asylum"

Lovers of Batman have probably already purchased this one, but if your giftee's only Dark Knight experience is from the two recent movies, they'll probably love "Batman: Arkham Asylum." Great presentation values, gameplay and story make this an easy pick for one of the best games of the year. It's single-player only, but there's plenty of meat in there to keep folks occupied for a solid 10 hours or so.

Recommended For The Anti Social Gamer - "Dragon Age: Origins"

If your mark doesn't spend much time outside and you want to keep it that way, "Dragon Age: Origins" has dozens of hours of gameplay and will probably someone right on through to 2010. Great story, complex but managable RPG elements and some really interesting characters make it a heady experience from one of the best developers in the business.