The mistletoe is pinned to doorframe, or the belt buckle in Lewis' case, and the Christmas cheer is jolly well in. So what better time is there to celebrate the best the festive season has to offer us gaming Santas? From the best titles of last year, to this year's hottest games and next year's sickly sweet candy-coated treats, here's part one of PSW's take on A Christmas Carol...
Ghosts Of Christmas Past
Christmas 2007 was a whir of excitement and hype. It was PS3's first Christmas. It turned from 'the best ever!' to a 'mixed bag'. Here are the best releases worth a second gander...
Call Of Duty Modern Warfare
Developer: Infinity Ward
Call Of Duty had already overtaken the Medal Of Honor series as our preferred WWII shooter, and then Infinity Ward levelled up... dragging the series kicking into the modern era, fuelled by a game engine dripping with detail and boosted by the best online set-up yet.
The game redefined the console FPS as it stamped one muddy foot on the opposition's efforts. We feared for the future of EA's lacklustre Medal Of Honor series. We frowned on the PS2-ness of Insomniac's Resistance. On PS3, Modern Warfare was the daddy.
Was it the instinctive controls? The rain-soaked, mud-splattered detail of the scenery? The emotional Story mode? The addictive Perks system? The hassle-free online set-up?
In reality it was all of this together with an online mode that welcomed newbies with open arms, encouraging us all to go on ten-hit kill streaks as the 'Woo-ha!' and triumphant music boomed from the TV. Every tour in Modern Warfare was like having a pat on the back as you levelled up. Christmas dinner be damned, there are Perks to earn.
Uncharted Drake's Fortune
Developer: Naughty Dog
Adventurer Nathan Drake is on the hunt for the lost treasure of Sir Francis Drake, a double-crossing partner, mercenaries, rival gold diggers, a feisty reporter and something nasty lurking in the shadows all conspire to get in his way. As Nathan would say: "Sweet!"
Something of a sleeper hit this one. While the likes of Heavenly Sword, Lair and Ratchet & Clank soaked up the attention from Sony's admirers, but ultimately failed to deliver, Naughty Dog was hammering away on its sublime Indy-meets-Resi 4 adventure.
Uncharted's lead hero had all the charm of a young Michael Douglas, if a young Michael Douglas looked like Matthew McConaughey with the attitude of Harold and Kumar. The success of this platform romp was myriad, bounding between rocks and leaping waterfalls was easy, the coverfire system enabled you to crack headshots and the game's visuals left onlookers reaching lustily for their credit cards.
Uncharted sold PS3s by the armoured truckload - it had the console flying off the shelves. This isn't conjecture, it's cold hard fact. Trophies were added in August, forcing diehard fans to replay it for extra rewards, and encouraging those that missed out to pick up the game, reminding us all what a jewel in the crown Sony has in Naughty Dog's new franchise.
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
A stealth adventure set in 1191 at the time of the Third Crusade into the Holy Land. Throw in time travel, a conspiracy and a hunt for a relic imbued with world conquering powers, and you have the makings of a cracking game.