Never mind the horrible Amazon reviews — if you're that concerned about Franchise Mode, perhaps it's time you go outside anyway. As for the rest of us, Madden NFL 13 ($60) is ready to fill the gaps between Monday and Thursday nights with the best football gaming yet, thanks to improvements like the all-new Infinity Engine for more realistic impacts and momentum transfers, a new pass-ready system, an all-new defensive AI system, and a new, refined presentation that mimics CBS NFL broadcasts. Of course, if you just have to have your classic Franchise goodness, Madden NFL 12 is only $20 bucks these days.
Side-scrolling mixed with zombies mixed with fantastic visuals equals a damn good time. Deadlight ($20) is set in mid-'80s Seattle, and has you playing as a man named Randall who has been separated from his family right as a virus has spread throughout the world, turning most folks into "shadows", which is really just another word for the undead. Using nothing more than an axe, revolver, pistol, shotgun, and your bare fists, it's a quest worthy of classic consoles — but with much better graphics.
Prepare for the upcoming college football season by starting one of your own in NCAA Football 13 ($45). This latest version offers a new passing system, a new read and react defensive AI system, improved presentation with mid-game updates from studio analysts, enhanced commentary from Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler, and new team run-outs, mascots, and pre-game traditions, a new Heisman Challenge that lets you add a former winner to your squad in an effort to win the trophy again, and an improved dynasty mode. Best get to it — the season kicks off in just 29 days.
Alright, we'll admit The Godfather series might not make the most sense for a Monopoly translation — Risk might be more appropriate? — but what the hell. Monopoly: The Godfather Edition ($40) brings the world of the Corleone family to the classic board game, with destinations such as Moe Greene's casino, Woltz Mansion, and the Corleone Lake Tahoe Estate serving as properties, Friends and Enemies taking the place of Chance and Community Chess, and iconic props such as cannoli, olive oil can, and horse head serving as game tokens. On second thought, maybe it does make sense — it takes about as long to finish a game as it does to finish all three films.
Do more with your Kinect than just race cars and kill Sith by picking up a copy of Nike+ Kinect Training ($TBA). Arriving this holiday season, this virtual personal trainer uses the Kinect's motion-sensing mojo to make sure that you're doing your exercises correctly and let you interact with on-screen obstacles to keep your workouts fresh. Here's to hoping it'll keep us interested longer than Wii Fit.
We see a lot of game pitches come through Uncrate HQ, but when a sports game arrives with an actual piece of sporting equipment — a racquet, in this case — we can't help but take notice. Gratuitous press pack aside, Grand Slam Tennis 2 ($45) has a lot to offer hardcore fans and casual gamers alike, including an all-new total racquet control system, Playstation Move support, the ability to play with or against more than 20 all-time greats — including McEnroe (!) — and a mode that lets you relive 25 legendary Grand Slam moments. Yes, we're serious.
Waving your limbs around wildly while virtually dancing to Justin Bieber: Embarrassing. Doing the same thing while virtually hacking away at a Sith Lord: Pretty damn cool. Such is the contradiction presented by Kinect Star Wars ($50; Dec. 2012). This motion-controlled adventure lets you live the life of a Jedi, crossing the galaxy to keep the Dark Side at bay. Is it wholly original? Probably not, but if you've ever tried to force choke anyone in real life only to come away disappointed, you probably won't care.
Tired of WoW? Die-hard Star Wars fan? Looking for new ways to alienate friends and family? Grab up a copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic ($60). This new MMORPG lets you explore the Star Wars universe as one of eight character roles, while your decisions take you further down the path to the light or — more likely — the Dark side of the force. If you're really into it, spring for the Collector's Edition ($150), which includes a Darth Malgus statue, a full hardcover book, a music CD, a custom security authentication key, and a host of exclusive digital items. May the Force be with you, and may it keep you from becoming morbidly obese due to marathon Cheetos-and-Mountain-Dew-fueled gaming sessions.
The holiday shopping season is nearly upon us, which means long lines at the mall, crazy deals everywhere, and the release of a new Call of Duty game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ($60) is the latest in the long line of FPS titles, serving as a direct sequel to 2009's Modern Warfare 2, continuing the Russian invasion plot with the battle ensuing in the U.S., England, France, Germany, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Moscow, and Dubai. Of course, multiplayer is the big deal here, and returns in full force, along with a new two-player co-op Survival mode.
It might be ten years old, but we're still stoked to get a taste of the real GTA on our phones. Grand Theft Auto III: 10th Anniversary Edition ($TBA) will be bringing the open-world classic to the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, and a gaggle of various Android phones and tablets later this fall, letting you explore Liberty City and violently murder hookers all while waiting in line at your local drive-thru. We've only got one question: where's Vice City?
Can't wait for next summer's The Dark Knight Rises? You can get your fix well before the new year by playing Batman Arkham City ($60). As the sequel to the highly-regarded Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City places you in the shoes of Batman — as well as Catwoman — as you face down the new section of Gotham that's been set aside to house the most vicious, vile scum the city has seen, including The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Penguin, and more. Oh, and you can use your wings/cape and grappling hook to fly, which is every bit as much fun as it sounds.
Playstation owners have Gran Turismo, Xbox players have