RED DEAD REDEMPTION (PS3, X360) £29.99
What was merely potential in gritty Wild West game Red Dead Revolver became reality in this blistering follow up, in which former outlaw John Marston tracks down his former compadres. The technical brilliance of the gunplay is more than matched by the beautiful scenery and oppressively tough, dusty atmosphere.
STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY (PC/Mac) £34.99
A mere 12 years after the original legendary strategy game was released, its sequel pretty much lived up to the hype. In a distant part of the Milky Way, three different civilizations battle it out, with your real-time strategic skills put to the test in a series of missions as rebel leader Jim Raynor. The online play and multiplayer functions are nothing short of sensational.
DEAD RISING 2 (X360, PS3) £34.99
Wiping out zombies doesn’t get much more outlandishly enjoyable than in this slick thrasher set in Vegas-like Fortune City. As hero Chuck Greene you can use duct tape to combine objects and thereby create awesome super-weapons – the zombie-crushing wheelchair/lawnmower combo and canoe paddle with chainsaws at each end are particularly entertaining.
ROCK BAND 3 (X360, PS3, WII, DS), £37.69
Yet more musical amusement in a game that arguably gives you the closest experience yet to playing real instruments. There are now over 2,000 songs to work your way through, while vocal harmonies and a keyboard you can strap on like a guitar, Jean Michelle Jarre-style, are among the innovations.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC, PS3, X360, Wii, DS), £42.69
The quest to replicate the brutal totality of modern combat has reached its most immersive level yet in the seventh Call of Duty outing, set during the Cold War as you carry out missions in Russia, Vietnam and Cuba. All prices from www.play.com