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Holiday gift guide: Video games

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Console games are competing with downloadable titles, social games and apps
  • Here are 10 games, in a variety of genres, that would make great gifts
  • Don't know what the gamer on your list would like? Try giving gift cards

(CNN) -- With hundreds of titles available in dozens of genres, choosing a holiday gift for the gamer on your list is never simple. It's even harder in 2010, with thousands of downloadable games, social games and iPhone apps competing for gamers' attention, as well.

First, a few caveats. Don't know what they'd like? Try giving gift cards that let players download from services such as Xbox Live, WiiWare and PlayStation Network, or purchase in-game items from their favorite Facebook game or massively multiplayer online virtual world.

Subscriptions to rental services such as GameFly or codes for online game portals such as WildTangent also offer good value, allowing friends and family to play hundreds of titles for less than the price of one. Electronic gift certificates from online vendors such as Steam, GamersGate and GOG.com also make unique stocking stuffers, letting fans sample cutting-edge indie releases, revisit treasured classics or browse obscure European imports.

Prefer to go big instead? From "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" to "Epic Mickey" and "DC Universe Online," many titles offer special collector's editions brimming with such extras as action figures, bonus DVDs and even remote-controlled toy vehicles.

New motion control systems like Sony's PlayStation Move and Microsoft's hands-free Kinect also provide novel gift options. Techies may further appreciate fancy gadgets like MadCatz' "Call of Duty: Black Ops"-branded Dolby True 5.1 Gaming Headset, or PDP's special "TRON" collector's edition controllers for PlayStation 3, Wii or Xbox 360.

Gamers who are traveling for the holidays will no doubt savor treats like the "God of War: Ghost of Sparta" PSP entertainment pack or the Nintendo DSi XL red bundle, which offer handheld gaming to go.

Finally, there's no shortage of thumb-numbing smashes available for every platform. Just make sure the game you buy is compatible with your gamer's preferred console (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii).

See the above gallery for 10 recommended recent games in a variety of genres, from sports to first-person shoot-'em-ups to a new dance game that lets you bust a move in your living room.

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