The holiday season is here! With only a handful of games left to come out before the year ends, we created a guide to help match you with this year’s best games and gaming platforms.

1) Nintendo Switch

An underrated console, the Nintendo Switch manages to shine through its own games and portability, even if it does live in a world dominated by the likes of “Red Dead Redemption II” and “Spider-Man.”

Nintendo’s jump to a paid, online service mirrors what Microsoft and Sony have been doing for years. This may upset longtime fans, but the ability to play beloved Nintendo titles such as “Mario Party” and “Mario Kart” with people around the world outweighs the cost. Online services offer players the ability to play Nintendo Entertainment System classics such as “The Legend of Zelda” and “Dr. Mario.”

Being able to play these titles on-the-go elevates the Switch into a realm of its own, making it a must-have for most gamers.

Best games of 2018:

  • “Super Mario Party”
  • “Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu!” & “Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee!”  
  • “Overcooked 2”

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2) PlayStation 4

Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro serve as competition for the Xbox family. The PlayStation brand boasts a broad collection of console-exclusive titles that ultimately edge out Xbox.

Games like “Spider-Man” and “God of War” (2018) are new additions to the list of great PlayStation 4 exclusives, but the list extends further, containing the likes of “Horizon Zero Dawn,” “The Last of Us” and the “Uncharted” series.

The PlayStation 4 shares a number of great games with the Xbox, but the deep list of PlayStation exclusives sets the console apart, making it an easy sell to gamers.

Best games of 2018:

  • “Spider-Man”
  • “God of War”
  • “Red Dead Redemption II”

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3) PC

Computers can be built with the most expensive parts to endure the stress of day-long gaming sessions or built with cheaper components to simply run games like “Minecraft,” but at the end of the day, they get the job done for what gamers want.

PC gamers may not always get to experience mainstream exclusives like “Spider-Man,” but thanks to Microsoft’s “Xbox Play Anywhere” program, gamers can now play titles such as “Sea of Thieves” on their computers. The only caveat is the games must be part of the Xbox program and must be purchased digitally. If you already own a physical copy, you must purchase an additional digital copy to play on a computer.

The limitations of PC gaming end there. PCs offer an unrivaled amount of control — controls can be entirely remapped across keyboards and mouse scroll to fit any gamer’s style of play.

Best games of 2018:

  • “Stardew Valley” (Multiplayer update)
  • “Monster Hunter World”
  • “Sid Meier’s Civilization VI” (“Rise and Fall” DLC)

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4) Xbox One

Microsoft’s Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X are great consoles to enjoy classics like “Halo” and new gems like “Forza Horizon 4.”

Picking up an Xbox One S or Xbox One X would be a better move with more technologically-demanding games coming out during the holiday season, but gamers can still get by with the Xbox One.

Older classics such as “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” may persuade people to hop on the Xbox train, but games like “Forza Horizon 4” and “State of Decay 2” can convince anyone to convert to the Xbox console.

Best games of 2018:

  • “Forza Horizon 4”
  • “Red Dead Redemption II”
  • “State of Decay 2”