Sam Winstrom & Joshua Rivera
—There’s a game for every kind of man. So why not show dad some love this Father’s Day with a new one? Whether you’re a video game know-it-all or can’t stand them, dad might enjoy something new to play. Use our handy guide to figure out what game to give him after the barbecue this weekend.
LittleBigPlanet 2/ Garry’s Mod/ Minecraft
The handyman dad has the skill and the know-how, but sometimes he doesn’t have the tools. That’s where open-world building games like Minecraft, Garry’s Mod or LittleBigPlanet 2 come in to play. With limitless tools and space the only thing stopping dad is his imagination.
This mind-bending puzzler combines physics and humor to deliver a one-two punch that’ll make dad break a mental sweat. And speaking of one-two punches, Portal 2‘s co-op mode gives dad the chance to play with his new favorite child (you).
Plants vs. Zombies/ Dungeon Raid/ Drop 7
Plants vs. Zombies is a solid tower-defense game (translation…kind of like playing chess against a perpetually-moving opponent). It has a ton of different game modes and mini-games that can keep dad busy for five minutes…or five hours. Expect to see dad tending this garden like his life depends on it. It’s available on Android, iPhone, iPad, and nearly every other mobile platform. There’s also the infinitely-enjoyable Dungeon Raid which is essentially the Mom-hit Bejeweled with swords and a little more complexity. You could even recommend the free iOS game Drop 7, which might make you seem cheap but also wise.
Plants vs. Zombies (For PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, Nintendo DS, iPad, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Dungeon Raid (for iOS)
Drop 7 (for iOS)
MLB The Show 11/Major League Baseball 2K11
Father’s Day comes around just when the baseball season is about to pick up, so if your dad looks forward to every Game Day with anticipation, make the wait a little easier to bear with one of these games. We prefer The Show, but buyer beware—it’s a Playstation exclusive. If your dad is more into the fairway then the outfield, then this year would be a great time to get him Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. It makes a fantastic gift for golfers as it marks the first time the Masters Tournament has been incorporated into a videogame—it’s kind of a big deal.
Gran Turismo 5/ Forza Motorsport 3
For the dad who loves his vehicle as much as (or more than) his family, these games are the ultimate in video game automotive passion. Endless customization, every car he’d want to drive, and every track he’d want to race; both games also include casual modes for the more passive hobbyists. A word of caution: Gran Turismo 5 is exclusive to Playstation 3, Forza to Xbox360. Check which console dad owns first!
Lego Starwars III
The Lego Star Wars games have always been crowd pleasers for kids and adults, and the third entry does not disappoint. The Clone Wars , which playfully depicts episodes of the first two seasons of the ongoing Cartoon Network hit, is the biggest and prettiest of the bunch with a dynamic split screen for those times when your partner wanders off screen—and if dad is playing with the kids, this feature is bound to come in handy.
A serial crime story in the film noir tradition, this detective game is great for film lovers—it even has a black-and-white mode for genre devotees. The game’s levels are structured like episodes in a television series, making it easy to pick up and play.
There are many more potential video game Father’s Day gifts out there. Recommend your own—or plead for advice—in the comments section below.