Money is tight these days. We all feel it. And instead of going out and buying brand new games and game systems, you can buy used. Many of the game specialty stores, like GameStop, sell used games and allow you to trade in old games and systems for a credit. So if little Johnny wakes up Christmas morning and asks where did his PS2 go to, just tell him Santa “borrowed” it and show him his new Wii.
The Nintendo Wii is the best-selling system for a reason. The price ($249.99) is right and the games are fun to play. This machine will get you and your kids off the couch and literally exercising – as well as playing all the hot new games like Madden football or Guitar Hero. Our silver medal goes to Sony’s PlayStation 3, which comes with a Blu-Ray player for Dad’s HD movies.
Best Games For Everyone
Fifa 08: If you like soccer, this game is as real as it gets. It’s also beautiful to look at on your Xbox 360 or PS3 in high-def. EA Sports did a wonderful job of capturing every nuance of the game.
Kung Fu Panda (all console systems and handhelds): It looks just like the movie your kids loved and it’s a fighting game without brutality. For all ages.
Madden ’09: It’s the best sports game ever made and this year it’s better than ever. EA Sports seemed to listen to critics and created a good-looking, fun-playing football simulation that you can personalize down to creating your team’s stadium.
Mario Kart (Wii): An optional wireless steering wheel gets you onto 16 futuristic race tracks and you can play with up to 11 players. The action is fast and furious – and (cartoonish) explosive.
We Ski (Wii): Using the Wii balance board, you hop on and swivel your hips and go down virtual mountains using the numchuck controller attachment like ski sticks.
Best Games For Teens and Grownups
Grand Theft Auto IV: It’s violent, it’s misogynist and if it were a movie, it would be rated MA-17. It’s also one of the most thoroughly entertaining videogames to come along in several years. You truly feel like you are a living character in a film about slipping into the crime-ridden underworld in the big city.
Guitar Hero: The top-selling franchise lets you become part of a rock band, down to playing (real-enough) instruments. And here’s your “Economy Tip”: If your family hasn’t tried this yet, you can get an older version on the cheap, new or used, and still enjoy the same type of game play.
Metal Gear Solid 4: A little safer bet for teens than GTA IV but with plenty of violent action. Game hero Solid Snake has aged and his skills have, too. Makes for an interesting few hours of gaming.
Wii Fitness: Who knew a videogame could help you get your workout on. Stick this in your Nintendo machine and it will calculate and track your weight loss goals and have you doing calisthenics, Yoga and even running (in place).