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Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim top packed release week

Plugged In

In case you didn't notice, Modern Warfare 3 is here.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)

Almost guaranteed to be the year's best-selling video game, the latest in the massive Call of Duty series is exploding onto store shelves just in time for the holiday season. The new game is formulaic, say the critics, but still awesome -- especially in multiplayer, where an avalanche of tweaks and changes add up to a game that some are calling the best in the series so far. Get the full details right here -- if you're not one of the millions that have already snapped up a copy.

Of course, Modern Warfare 3 isn't the only big game releasing this week. In fact, it might not even be biggest.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Because this one is simply massive.

Perhaps adrenaline-packed online shooters aren't your bag. Maybe you're more the swords-and-sorcery type, and prefer story and atmosphere to thrills, spills, and the fog of war. If that's the case, this is your lucky week, too. In a big, open-ended way.

Eagerly-awaited role-playing game Skyrim is finally hitting streets, bringing with it an impossibly huge world, deep customization, and dragons. Lots of 'em. Don't go looking for it just yet, though -- no doubt wishing to miss the chaos of the Call of Duty launch, Skyrim won't be out until Friday. You can wait that long, right?

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7

After its staggeringly successful Star Wars debut, Traveler's Tales' series of Lego-themed games has struggled to keep its momentum. Here's the cure: a touch of magic, courtesy of everyone's favorite wizarding adolescent, Harry Potter. Given that the last Lego: Harry Potter game, Years 1-4, gathered a healthy spread of reviews at its 2010 launch, expectations for the new chapters are high.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Three of the best games in Hideo Kojima's stealth-action series are releasing this week with a high-def makeover, in one convenient package. Fans will relish the chance to play them through again, while newbies will get to see what they've been missing. Either way, it's a superb value.

L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition

It was raining again, sweeping the streets clean of the oil, the cigarette butts, and the last few skeletons of the fallen leaves. Somewhere in this troubled town, Rockstar's hard-boiled detective mystery L.A. Noire was re-releasing, bundled together with all its downloadable content for just $50. Even the boozehounds under the bridge know that's a good deal.

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