Holiday Buyers' Guide 2006 - PS2

For the one who's seen it all… Okami (read ourreview)

If your favorite gamer has grown bored and listless with the same tired genres and gameplay formulas, then Okami could be just the game to catch their interest. Meticulously crafted and artfully realized, Okami's bizarre watercolor-style visuals and adventuresome action put it on equal footing with the beloved Legend of Zelda games. That you're a dog-shaped sun goddess who uses a magic paintbrush to control and reshape her surroundings doesn't detract from that in the slightest.

Okami's weird premise might have scared a few potential fans away, but once you start playing this charming story, it's hard to stop. Even if the gamer you're buying for seems to have already played everything on God's green earth, Okami's unique approach to adventure has the requisite levels of awesome to rock his or her face.

Second choice: Yakuza

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.