269 – Video Game Holiday Guide – The Family Gamers Podcast

Engaged Family Gaming holiday
Engaged Family Gaming holiday

We welcome Mr. Videogame, Stephen Deutzmann, to answer all our questions about video games for this holiday season. Skip to 38:00 to get right into the recommendations!

The music this week is our fact! U2’s “Hawkmoon 269”.

Thanks to our sponsor: If you want to talk through other ideas to take some of the stress out of the holidays, set up a time to talk to First Move by going to firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers.

What We’ve Been Playing

World of Warcraft – Stephen plays with his teenage son.

Forza Horizon 5 – our kids have really been enjoying this one too.

(Aside: XBox Game Pass is an excellent gift.)

Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Gears of War 4

Halo Infinite

Ghosts of Tsushima (rated M, definitely adults only)

Hades (rated T)


Watch the video or read the transcript for our review of this one-player game.

Holiday Gift Guide – Video Game Edition

It can feel overwhelming, so Stephen

Nintendo Switch Games

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Pokemon Shining Pearl

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury – superior to the Wii game in every way. Very co-op friendly.

Mario Party Super Stars

New Pokemon Snap (and you can even export pictures into an app and modify them!)

Bravely Default II


For more information, read the EFG holiday guide for Nintendo Switch games.

But wait – what about all the different types of Nintendo Switch?

This EFG guide breaks it down.

Short version: you probably want the original Switch (black dock, all kinds of colored joycons). If you’re looking for a Gameboy-style experience (exclusively for one person to use, no need for TV), then get the Switch Lite.

The OLED Switch is “a replacement, not an upgrade”.

Microsoft XBox Games

“Just buy Game Pass”. Practical, and can be bought cheaper than an individual game disc.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 & 2

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (won’t hold up if you have Smash Bros, but otherwise awesome).

More on the EFG XBox holiday guide.

Playstation Games

The same as above (Tony Hawk, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl), plus

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (only on PS5)

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (“looks like you’re playing a Pixar movie.”)

More on the EFG Playstation holiday guide.

Holiday Video Game Tips

Start early.

Give gift cards creatively (make online game buying work for you).

If you buy a console, OPEN THE BOX and set it up ahead of time. It needs software/firmware updates.

Even open up boxed discs and put them in so that your console can download & install updates.

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