Welcome to a special series of VideoGamer.com's Top 10, where we bring you the essential genre by genre video game buyers' guide for Christmas and New Year. It'll run every Thursday from now until the end of the 2008 holiday break, so, whether you're looking for some family video game ideas to get you through those boring Christmas get-togethers or some top sports games to spend that holiday cash on, look no further than VideoGamer.com. In the second of the series, we look at the Top 10 Family Games. And don't forget, if you need more info on any of these titles, just click on it.
10. Buzz! Junior Jungle Party, PS2.
This is a great family mini-game collection which is suitable for kids as well as entertaining for adults. Tom, a kid in adult's shoes, liked it so much he gave it eight out of 10. He said: "It's certainly not a game that experienced gamers will want to play every day, but as something to entertain the whole family every now and again, it's brilliant." Perfect if you've got screaming little ones doing your nut in over Christmas.
9. Tetris Splash, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox 360.
Everyone knows what Tetris is, and everyone knows how Tetris works, so you shouldn't have any problem getting the family around for a four-player versus match of this excellent downloadable version of the classic puzzle game. In Tetris Splash there are a few new game features, like being able to store blocks for later and being able to see what's coming next, but it's essentially the Tetris we all know and love. Perfect for a bit of competitive family gaming round the fire.
You've probably seen the adverts on TV, featuring a raft of celebrities flexing their mental muscle on Nintendo's massively successful brain teaser. While you might think this more of a solo experience, there are excellent multiplayer games to play wirelessly with other DS owners. The best thing? You only need one copy of the game and you can get a four-player match going. Fun for all ages.
7. Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action, Xbox 360.
Better for teens and up, this movie-based quiz game ticks all the right boxes, with 1800 questions on everything from classic comedy Monty Python to modern day blockbuster King Kong, four wireless controllers included in the box so you're not tied too close to the console and the promise of more stuff through downloadable content. One of the best party games out there.
6. WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Wii.
If you're after crazy family fun that will make you look silly, look no further than WarioWare: Smooth Moves. As Tom said in his hugely positive review: "It's not the most in-depth game you'll play in 2007 and there's every chance you'll get bored after repeated play, but everyone with a Wii should get the chance to make a complete fool of themselves in their living room, ideally with friends and family watching on to much amusement." A word to the wise though, some of the mini-games will have you making questionable movements with your hands.
5. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Wii.
10 years ago, if you'd told me Mario and Sonic would be appearing in the same game hand-in-hand, all friendly like, I'd have punched you in the stomach and stolen your lunch money. Yet here we are, with one of the best party games out on Nintendo's consoles. You can play almost every Olympic sport four-player, with, of course, Nintendo's everlastingly cute back-catalogue of characters to pick from. Classic Nintendo family fun.
4. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 and PC.
If the idea of playing the part of a rock god in front of your family this Christmas appeals, then look no further than Guitar Hero. It comes with an actual replica guitar and sees you pressing buttons on the neck while strumming a trigger back and forth to on-screen visual cues. It can be a bit tough, and only two players can play at once, but it's great fun, is quite good to just watch and comes with some excellent fist-pumping tracks. There's nothing quite like Guitar Hero - one of the best party games ever.
3. SingStar, PS3.
SingStar, the video game world's version of karaoke, is guaranteed family and friend fun. It's very accessible, perfect for those post-pub Christmas "round my place" late nights and you can even get it with a microphone. As Will said in his review: "This is so far from Call of Duty 4 and Assassin's Creed it's like reviewing another medium, but it's still on the PlayStation 3, so get round your mates, put a limit on your credit card, turn up the volume and get ready to party like RTSs and FPSs never existed."
2. Buzz!: The Mega Quiz, PS2.
Buzz feels more like you're on a quiz show than other quiz games. The diverse range of questions, the variety in the round types and the opportunity to go from last place to first in the blink of an eye makes Buzz! top quiz game on the market right now. Sure, the game's special controllers aren't wireless, but they do light up. Christmas is what Buzz! was made for.
1. Wii Sports, Wii.
While Wii Sports looks on the face of it like a very simple sports game, it is in fact one of the most fun casual games ever made. We can't think of a better game to recommend if you're after some casual family gaming this Christmas. Bowling has masses of depth, tennis rewards players for their skill and boxing will leave you breathless. Quite simply, the best family-friendly four-player game money can buy. And it looks like you'll need quite a lot of cash to get one, since you can only buy it when you buy a Wii, and we all know how hard they are to get these days.
For a complete run-down of all our Top 10s in this series head over to our handy index page.