Much as we'll credit
Thanksgiving for the impending four-day weekend, the holiday may feel like an
interminable hurdle after reading up on these Black Friday sales, which kick
off at various times on Thursday and Friday and serve up some of the year's
biggest games at downright silly prices. Need a new console? It's the best time
of the year to nab a jam-packed, dirt-cheap bundle. If you're planning on
staking out a spot outside your big-box retailer of choice, our guide – split
between games and console sales – can help you plan out potential purchases. It
should make Thursday with the family more bearable, at least.
This page covers games; consoles are on page 2.
1. Walmart – Sale begins THURSDAY at 10 p.m.
For the second year
running, Walmart has the best overall game deals for a brick-and-mortar
retailer, and this year, they're kicking things off at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving,
although the deals extend through Black Friday. What's on tap? Games like
Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Forza Motorsport 4, Gears of War 3, Madden
NFL 12, and FIFA Soccer 12 are $28 apiece, while Dance Central 2 and Kinect
Sports: Season Two are going for the jaw-droppingly low sums of $15 each. Even
the $10 games offer up some solid picks, including BioShock 2, Pure, and Kane
& Lynch 2: Dog Days (although we've seen those for less elsewhere in the
past). And if you didn't snap up The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword earlier
this week, the bundle with the gold Wii Remote Plus is just $59.96.
2. Best Buy – Sale begins at midnight
Best Buy's serving up a
slick blend of new releases and older favorites at pretty stellar prices,
starting with Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Forza Motorsport 4, NBA 2K12 and
FIFA Soccer 12 for $34.99 apiece. Also available are titles like Gears of War
3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Disney Universe for $29.99 each, while a
variety of recent Kinect releases – including Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports:
Season Two, and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster – are available for $24.99 a
pop. Even lower on the price scale are older 2011 titles like Dirt 3 and
Homefront for $14.99 each, while the Gears of War Triple Pack (GOW1+2 and DLC),
Scribblenauts, and other stocking-ready options are just $7.99 apiece.
And while these aren't
listed in the ad (just on the website), games like Battlefield 3, Batman:
Arkham City, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Rage, Madden NFL 12, and Need for
Speed: The Run will be available for $29.99 each in stores on Friday, as well
as at bestbuy.com on Thursday.
3. Meijer – Sale begins at 4 a.m.
If you have a Meijer in
your area, you'll have your pick of several new releases at pretty stellar
prices between 4 a.m. and noon on Friday. Games like Battlefield 3, Need for
Speed: The Run, NBA 2K12, Rage, Forza Motorsport 4, Gears of War 3, and
Resistance 3 are priced at $29.99, while Star Fox 64 3D, Dance Central 2, MLB
12: The Show, and Disney Universe (only the Wii version is shown) will sell for
$19.99. And if you're seeking some cheap older games for gifts, God of War III
and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II are $9.99 apiece, among others.
4. Target – Sale begins at midnight
Amidst the pack, Target's
deals are a bit of a mixed bag – some aren't quite as alluring as the others
we've spotlighted, while a few are actually better. The retailer is offering a
$10 gift card with the regular-price purchase of games like The Elder Scrolls
V: Skyrim and Rayman Origins, while its top-tier sale games (without the gift
card) include Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, and Resistance 3 for $37 each.
Forza Motorsport 4 at $27 is a steal, though, and if you've been looking for a
reason to own a creepy plush baby that holds a Wii Remote, Babysitting Mama is
5. Toys R Us – Sale begins THURSDAY at 9 p.m.
Toys R Us isn't going for
the wow factor of individually lowered game prices – but based on what you're buying,
its "Buy One, Get One for $5" may prove a better overall option than
what's found elsewhere. Only select games are included in the deal (and you're
paying full price for the more expensive one), but the list includes titles
like Gears of War 3, Rage, Forza Motorsport 4, Battlefield 3, Need for Speed:
The Run, Dance Central 2, The Sims 3: Pets, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Madden NFL
12, and NASCAR Unleashed.
6. GameStop – Sale begins at midnight/5 a.m.
More than 2,200 GameStop
stores are opening at midnight, but not all of them – so be sure to check the website before plotting a late-night
trip. Admittedly, the deals aren't quite as eye-popping as at other stores, but
the sheer number of locations might yield a better shot at landing these
offerings. Standouts on the flier include Rayman Origins for $39.99 ($29.99 on
Wii) all weekend, along with Rage for $29.99 on Friday only. Gears of War 3 and
Forza Motorsport are both $39.99 on Friday, while Portal 2, Crysis 2, and Tiger
Woods PGA Tour 12 are $29.99 apiece all weekend.
Meanwhile, Battlefield 3,
Need for Speed: The Run, Madden NFL 12, and FIFA Soccer 12 are $39.99 apiece
all weekend. Sonic Generations is listed at $29.99, while Driver: San Francisco
is $19.99, with both deals seemingly available all weekend. And in typical
GameStop fashion, all used items are Buy 2, Get 1 Free from Friday to Sunday.
7. Kmart – Sale begins THURSDAY at 6 a.m.
Kmart has made a big push
towards gaming deals in recent years, but its Black Friday offerings are fairly
tame compared to the rest on this list. That said, Kmart stores in most states
are open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., stunningly, and its $39.99
sale does include some games that didn't end up discounted elsewhere. Among
those sale titles are Dark Souls, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and Lord of the
Rings: War in the North, along with Need for Speed: The Run, Madden NFL 12,
Gears of War 3, and Forza Motorsport 4. Meanwhile, for $29.99 you can nab Dance
Central 2, Rage, or Kinect Sports: Season Two. And the Skylanders: Spyro's
Adventure starter pack for Xbox 360 and PS3 is $49.99.
8. Sears – Sale begins at 4 a.m.
Sears probably isn't the
first place you think of for video games, and expectedly, its Black Friday game
deals aren't showstoppers. But there are some solid options in the mix, like
Rage for $29.99, while Battlefield 3, Need for Speed: The Run, and FIFA Soccer
12 are $39.99 each. Those are all valid from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, but
Sears also has some two-day specials, like Dance Central 2 and Kinect Sports:
Season Two for $29.99 a pop, along with Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4
for $39.99 each. Pretty much all of those, however, can be found cheaper
9. Amazon – Start time TBD (but probably early)
If you’d rather avoid long lines but still want to get into
the Black Friday mix, Amazon’s got a huge list of deals planned, as detailed by
Gamer. Most of the best deals are of the time-limited Lightning Deals
variety, which include Rayman Origins and Need for Speed: The Run for $39.99,
Assassin’s Creed Revelations for $34.99 and Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City
and InFamous 2 for $28. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is $29.99, Forza 4 matches
Target’s price at $27, and Driver San Francisco is just $19.99. If you’re not
quick enough to catch the lightning deals, Amazon’s also got a selection of
decent all-day deals, including Gears 3 and NFS: The Run for $39.99, Dark Souls
for $31.99 and Duke Nukem Forever for $9.99.
Next page: Console deals!