The 5 Biggest Games of December 2016

A boy and his bird dog.

Need a game to play in December? Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of options | Sony

You might be looking at the video game release schedule and thinking all the 2016 games you want to play will already be out by December. It’s true, a ridiculous number of major games are coming out before then, from Final Fantasy XV to Pokémon Sun/Moon. But if December rolls around and you find yourself looking for a game to play, you’ll still have plenty of options before the year’s end.

There’s a little something for everyone landing in December, whether you’re into making Mario levels, killing zombies, befriending giant bird dogs, or jumping off mountains in wing suits. Read on for everything you need to know about the games launching in December 2016.

1. Super Mario Maker

Release date: December 2, 2016
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

At long last, one of the best Wii U games is going portable. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. Not only does Super Mario Maker come with 100 Nintendo-made levels for you to play and use for inspiration, but it also lets you play a hand-picked selection of player-made levels, many of which are sure to be incredibly fun.

These levels offer a much wider variety of designs than you’d get from a standard Nintendo game, including homages to other video games and insane challenges that only the most hardcore fans would attempt. When you’ve had your fill of playing through the levels, you can spend untold hours crafting your own levels and sharing them with friends.

2. Steep

Release date: December 2, 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

“Extreme” is the name of the game in Steep, an open-world game that puts you at the top of the Alps and has you choose how you want to come down. You can ski, snowboard, wing-suit, or paraglide to make your descent. You can play it solo or with a friend, but whatever you do, try not to crash.

3. Dead Rising 4

Release date: December 6, 2016
Platforms: Xbox One and Windows 10

If you enjoy slaughtering hordes of zombies with any old weapon you can get your hands on, Dead Rising 4 will be your kind of action game. Just check out the trailer above to see the kinds of ridiculous weapons you can use, including — but not limited to — an electrified go-cart, a candy cane-shooting crossbow, and a triceratops mask that breathes fire. The game will start out as a Microsoft exclusive, but Capcom will eventually bring it to the PlayStation 4.

4. The Last Guardian

Release date: December 6, 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 4

One of the most anticipated video games of 2016 is Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, which was first announced way back in 2009. The game looks like a cross between the developer’s earlier games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, which ought to be a good thing if it matches the quality of those games.

In The Last Guardian, you play as a child leading around a giant bird-dog hybrid creature. The scenery looks stunning, and the little bit of gameplay we’ve seen suggests it’ll be an engaging adventure that almost anyone can get into. That said, most games don’t take seven years to make, so something must have gone wrong behind the scenes. It’s best to wait for reviews of this one before putting your money down.

5. Super Mario Run

Release date: December 15, 2016
Platforms: iPhone and iPad

This game is a big deal for the big N because it represents the company’s first major game on non-Nintendo hardware in many years. It’s an auto-runner, which means Mario runs forward automatically, leaving players to tap the screen to jump. That may sound simplistic, but one look at the similar platformer Rayman Jungle Run proves there’s plenty of room for creativity within those confines. I don’t doubt the game will be very fun to play, but I do worry it could ruin the Nintendo we love. Regardless, this game will definitely be worth a look for anyone antsy to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch in March.

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