Black Friday Video Games 2016


Black Friday can often be used as a microcosm for the state of the game industry. By glancing at video game sections of our leaked black Friday ads, its easy spot which consoles are hot and which are on their last legs. This Black Friday, we say goodbye to two consoles altogether, as neither the Wii U nor the PlayStation Vita are featured in any nationwide Black Friday advertisement.

While we hate to say goodbye, there are also a couple of exciting new comers to the video game arena, as both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have seen hardware refreshes in 2016. Which console has the better deals and where should you be lined up on Thanksgiving to grab them? We answer these questions and more in our Black Friday 2016 Video Game Buying Guide.

Xbox One S

The push for the new Xbox One S this Black Friday has been huge. While some may have thought that retailers would use Black Friday as a means to clear out old Xbox One stock, every deal in our leaked ad for a new Xbox is the Xbox One S. This is great news for shoppers since the Xbox One S includes a 4K Blu-ray player and the ability to stream 4K content and even has HDR support in addition to an improved controller. Rather than going with a single holiday bundle sku this year, shoppers can choose from a variety of different bundles at various retailers including special edition consoles, with most discounted $50 across the board.

Our Pick

Xbox One S 500GB Minecraft Favorites Bundle $249.99 with $75 Kohl’s Cash at Kohl’s

With nearly every retailer discounting Xbox One S console bundles by $50, it’s all about the incentives and add-ons when getting the best deal. This year, Kohl’s runs away with our top pick here thanks to the inclusion of $75 in Kohl’s cash with purchase of this Xbox One S bundle, which includes a 500GB Xbox One S console, wireless controller, Minecraft for Xbox One S and a slew of textures, character skins, and mashups.

Runner Up

Xbox One S 1TB Battlefield 1 Special Edition Console with Free Controller $299.00 – Best Buy

Shoppers that have a more avid gamer on their shopping list should forgo the 500GB bundle altogether and instead set their sights on the 1TB Xbox One S bundle at GameStop. This Special Edition OD Green console includes a matching controller and a downloadable copy of Battlefield 1. Best Buy is throwing in a free second wireless controller on top of this deal, an offer that is good for any 1TB Xbox One S console purchased this Black Friday.

Honorable Mention

Xbox One S 500GB Battlefield 1 Bundle with Gears of War 4 and Free Wireless Controller $249.99 – Dell

Dell has had a reputation for offering unbelievable console deals the past couple of years, and last year they won our top pick. This year’s deal falls right in line with that, since on paper, this offers what is hands down the most value for your dollar. For $249.99, shoppers will get am Xbox One S 500GB Battlefield 1 bundle, with a free second controller and copy of Gears of War 4. So why didn’t a deal this enticing win our top pick this year? Last year, Dell’s holiday console bundles were literally sold out within seconds of going live, which left many of our readers disappointed believing that consoles were only available in extremely limited quantities. So buyer beware, if this is the deal you’re going to go after, make sure you have a backup plan should this happen again.

Exclusive Title Pick

Gears of War 4 $29.99 – Target, Best Buy

After Halo, Gears of War is the most recognizable and celebrated exclusive series on Xbox. The first all-new Gears of War title on Xbox One follows JD Fenix on an all new campaign against an all new enemy force. Players have no shortage of options for teaming up with friends, as Gear 4 features a cooperative campaign playable via split screen, LAN, or Xbox Live.

PlayStation 4 Slim

Although it’s disappointing to see that there are no PlayStation 4 Pro bundles or even core console sets discounted on Black Friday, shoppers disinterested in 4K can still find a great deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim. The PlayStation 4 Slim holiday bundle includes a 500GB PS4 Slim, Dualshock 4 controller, and what is arguably the best game on the system, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Shoppers should be aware that while the new console is smaller and slicker than the original, the optical-out port was also removed. If you use a TOSLINK cable to output sound from your gaming console to your home theater, the PS4 Slim will not work for you.

Our Pick

PlayStation 4 Slim 500GB Uncharted 4 Bundle $249.99 with $75 Kohl’s Cash – Kohl’s

Kohl’s runs away with the prize again thanks to their Black Friday Kohl’s Cash promotion. Just as we saw with the Xbox One S console, every retailer around is simply slashing the price by $50 with a few offering toss-ins to sweeten the deal. Kohl’s tops them all here, but if you’re not an avid Kohl’s shopper, you can also head to Walmart where they have the same bundle for $249.99 with free $40 Walmart gift card.

Runner Up

PlayStation 4 Slim 500GB Uncharted 4 Bundle with Ratchet & Clank and The Last of Us Remastered $249.99 – Best Buy

For those with a gamer on their wishlist but no use for gift cards, there is another great option for the PS4 Slim Uncharted 4 bundle this Black Friday. At Best Buy, you’ll get the same 500GB console and Uncharted 4 game, but with free download vouchers for Ratchet & Clank and The Last of Us Remastered for $249.99. readers may have noticed GameStop’s ad curiously offering a very similar deal as a “GameStop Exclusive,” but the fine print reveals that their deal is your choice of either Ratchet & Clank or The Last of Us Remastered, not both.

Exclusive Title Picks

Bloodborne and Until Dawn $15.00 each – Target

Advertised within a large assortment of Black Friday discount titles are two of the best exclusive titles on PlayStation 4. Bloodborne is a challenging if not punishing action RPG in the vein of Dark Souls, taking players must find the Paleblood within a city decimated by a blood-borne plague. Until Dawn puts players in the shoes of eight unsuspecting teenagers who find themselves trapped in the woods being hunted by a killer straight out of a slasher movie. Shoppers should note that while these are two of the top games on PlayStation 4, they are both rated M for mature by the ESRB and are intended for mature audiences.

New Nintendo 3DS

If you’ve shopped for a 3DS product over the last few years, you may have been a bit confused by Nintendo’s somewhat puzzling naming conventions for their products. For two Black Friday’s running, there have been advertisements for varying iterations of the 3DS, all with very similar sounding names, including Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 3DS XL. For better or worse, there is no naming confusion this year, since retailers are all advertising the exact same special holiday bundle from Nintendo.

Our Pick

Nintendo 3DS Super Mario Edition (Black or White) $99.99 – Various Retailers

This Black Friday, you can pick up this slick new Super Mario Edition of the New Nintendo 3DS in either black or white at various retailers including Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, and GameStop to name a few. While this stylish new design is one of the best looking New 3DS consoles released to date at the lowest price ever, shoppers should be aware that there is no AC adapter or game included in the box.

Exclusive Pick

Kirby Planet Robobot $25.00 – Target

Kirby Planet Robobot follows everyone’s favorite bulbous pink hero as he fights to retake his home planet Popstar after it is attacked by the Access Ark. Using his usual gobbling abilities along with new mech suits, this is action platforming at its best on 3DS. One of the best titles on 3DS of 2016 can be found nationwide at Target for $25, but shoppers who are lucky enough to have a Meijer in their area can pick up this title for $19.99.

Multiplatform Picks

Overwatch (XB1, PS4) $34.99 with free Winston Figure - GameStop

Blizzards first ever first person shooter is also one of the best shooters of the year. Players can take the role of any of 23 wholly unique characters as they fight complete team-based objectives. Overwatch is a breath of fresh air for gamers, as Blizzard has pledged to not charge for any expansions or DLC. This game can be found at a variety of retailers for $34.99 this Black Friday, but GameStop’s free Winston figure with purchase gives them the only edge.

Titanfall 2 (XB1, PS4) $27 – Walmart

Formerly an Xbox exclusive series, Titanfall 2 has landed on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this year. Titanfall 2 allows gamers to fight for control of the Frontier planets while calling down massive robot mechs to aid them in battle.

Skyrim Special Edition (XB1, PS4) $25.00 - Best Buy (p1), Walmart (p14)

Is a gamer on your shopping list ready to head back into the world of The Elder Scrolls? Skyrim Special Edition lets players relive one of the best titles in the series with Skyrim Special Edition for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Skyrim SE includes all released Skyrim DLC and features remastered assets, new lighting and other graphical enhancements that make it the most beautiful Elder Scrolls game ever to grace a console.

Doom (XB1, PS4) $15 – Walmart

The re-imagining of the most influential shooter of all time took gamers by surprise this past summer when Doom hit the store shelves earlier this year. Relive the original story of a research mission on Mars turned escape from hell in one of the best single player first person shooter campaigns of 2016.

Final Thoughts

With dozens of video games discounted at retailers nationwide, we are bound to have missed a few of your favorite titles on sale this Black Friday. Head down to our comments section and let us know what the loved one in your family will be playing on Christmas morning.

As always, keep your browsers pointed at throughout the holiday season for the latest on ad leaks, door busters, early Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday deals, and more.

November 20, 2016
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