In Australia, we love playing video games. In fact, nearly 70 per cent of Australians do some gaming, according to the most recent study from the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association.
And while we like to use tablets and phones to game when we’re out and about, we still love sitting to down to play when we’re home. But what are the best games to play on a TV?
Some games genres are great to play on a TV while some just don’t work quite as well. Here’s a brief rundown of which is which.
First Person Shooters
The FPS as it’s better known can be a little contentious. The PC gaming purists will say that only a mouse and keyboard can get you the precision you need. For the more competitive games like Counter-Strike they might be right but single player FPS action adventures are perfect on the TV.
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Consider the upcoming game Far Cry 5 from Ubisoft. That’s going be available in Ultra HD with 4K for the Xbox One X, which means it’ll look absolutely amazing on a 4K TV. If you want something more than a plank of wood to balance your peripherals on, the Corsair Lapdog might be some use.
These were made for TV gaming. They’re also the classic lounge room game – you and a mate in a friendly rivalry over a few sessions of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.
These days there’s an extensive list of similar titles, all with their own twist. For my money, grab Injustice 2, the latest in the DC Universe fighter series. Watching your favourite superheroes slug it out on your own big screen is well worth it.
Whether it’s Formula 1, World Rally Championship or down-and-dirty street racing, these high-octane games have always been popular on home consoles. The latest tech makes it more realistic than ever and if you’re not going to disturb anyone else, why not ditch the gaming headphones, fire up the surround sound or soundbar and just let that engine noise wash over you.
Both Forza 7 for Xbox and Gran Turismo Sport on the PlayStation – the classics when it comes to the racing genre – have been given an HDR graphics boost and the results speak for themselves.
Roleplaying Games (RPG)
The RPG genre goes back to the dawn of home gaming and there’s a lot to love. The genre can be a bit of a catch-all and you’ll find plenty of RPGs that edge into FPS or Action Adventure. The epic sized RPGs – we’re thinking the Fallout series, Skyrim, Dragon Age – are perfect for TV gaming.
Anything with meticulously designed worlds and environments lends itself to a bigger screen experience, while the RPGs that feature ‘turn-based combat, where you can pause and figure your next attack, mean you’re able to relax into that couch and still get the best experience.
A bit like the RPG, this is another catch-all genre that sweeps up more than a few very different games. Perhaps on the best example is the Assassin’s Creed series which, for ten years now, has been making award-winning games that are set in sprawling open-world historical settings.
There’s nothing inherent in the demands that it be played on a TV, but like the RPG, it’s usually the way the game has been designed that benefits from a TV experience. The upcoming new Assassin’s Creed Origins even has a combat-free exploration mode to turn the gaming into a living museum to explored at your leisure.
Of course, one of the best-loved action adventure games of recent times is Nintendo’s Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Although it was made for the handheld Nintendo Switch console, you can buy a TV dock and play this award winner on your TV – although I think it actually looks a little smoother on the smaller Switch screen.
Sadly, this venerable genre isn’t one we’d recommend for your TV. These are games that are best for the PC and while you might have a great gaming PC set up for your TV, it’s the highly desirable mouse and keyboard combo that can make it tricky in the lounge room: for one thing, the tiny icons and meters rarely scale well for people sitting away from the screen.
There are exceptions, like 2009’s Halo Wars, but they’re few and far between.
Using your TV is arguably the only way to play party games. Whether it’s Guitar Hero, Singstar, Wii Sports or, er, Johann Sebastian Joust, having the space of a lounge room and a screen large enough that everybody can see from behind the sofa is essential for getting the best out of these timeless favourites.
#HisenseHack: If you’re playing 4K games, make sure your games console or PC is attached to an HDMI port that supports 4K!