Looking for a game the whole family can play on Christmas Day? Here’s our pick of the bestThere’s no shortage of great new games right now: Call of Duty 4, Assassin’s Creed, The Orange Box, Crysis, Mass Effect… and Halo 3’s still knocking around too. But none of that lot is likely to have Mum and Gramps glued to the TV after dinner. No, what you need is something everyone can play.This is where the Wii comes into its own (if you’ve managed to get hold of one). There’s Wii Sports of course, which is genuinely popular with people of all ages and (both) sexes. If you want something to tire out over-excited kids high on chocolate-filled stockings, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is perfect, although it might be a little too strenuous for more senior relatives. Unlike most Wii games, this really does give you a proper workout as you flap, swing and flail those Wiimotes to beat your rivals in a range of track, field and gymnastic events.Still on Wii (and also for PS2 and Nintendo DS) there’s Boogie, a spangly disco dancing and karaoke game that’s just the ticket for X Factor wannabes. Try a kids vs. oldies dance-off, then edit your own pop videos with funky effects that include true 3D (although you’ll have to dig out some 3D specs or borrow the ones from the DS version to see that effect properly). Our pick of the bunch for later in the day, once everyone is suitable well-oiled, is Warioware Smooth Moves. It’ll have you pumping, flipping and poking frantically at the screen with its bizarre stream of snappy mini-games. Laughs guaranteed.
If you’re an Xbox 360 household, try Scene It? Lights Camera Action, which comes bundled with four wireless buzzers. It’s based on the DVD board game but works a lot better on 360. There’s a good range of different rounds to test your movie knowledge and powers of observation using movie clips, multiple-choice questions and Catchphrase-style sketches.Further generation-spanning entertainment can be found in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, out now on PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360. Hook up two of the guitar controllers and go head-to-head or team up with one on lead and the other on bass. Many of the songs are taken from the original multi-track studio recordings, and range from The Rollings Stones’ Paint It Black, through The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK to The Killers’ When You Were Young.Finally, if all else fails, there’s always football. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 is far from perfect, and online it can be a complete mess, but offline in multiplayer it’s still the best kickabout. For maximum social interaction, set up a four-player co-op game with two players on each side. It’s complicated at first, but once you get the hang of running into space while your team-mate has the ball you find all sorts of new ways to open up the game. If Pro Evo is a bit hardcore, there is of course FIFA 08, which has all the official player and team names and keeps getting just a tiny bit better every year. It doesn't play the most realistic game, but it's easy enough to pick up and looks the biz.Oh, and Skate, which is out on PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s a fantastic single-player game that wipes the floor with Tony Hawk’s old pants, but also has a neat multiplayer battle mode that’s great in short bursts.And that’s your lot. Have a good one!Horganator out.