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Best party games 2011: 14 titles to power up Christmas

Banish the post-turkey blues: the best party games - and where to get them cheapest...

Christmas Day afternoon. You've done the giving, the getting, the forgiving and the forgetting, and now you and the family have settled into a tedious turkey-stuffed stupor in front of the five-hour Eastenders Christmas special.

But it doesn't have to be like this.

Below are a selection of the very best party games and finest family-focused titles on offer this Christmas, ones that will arm you - Chuck Norris style - with enough ammunition to take down the usual boredom of Christmas afternoon. You'll know best what sort of games your brother, sister, mum, dad or gran might enjoy, so - for ease of use - we've broken them down into genre, given first, second and third choices, plus sorted out the best available price too.

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BEST DANCE GAMES

Get the family up for a Christmas boogie - but maybe not straight after dinner...

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1. Dance Central 2
Format: Xbox 360 Kinect
"The very best dancing title available," said Xbox World in its recent review of Dance Central 2, before slapping a mighty 8.6 score on the game. The music may be a little 'modern' for older relative's tastes - unless your gran loves herself a bit of Daft Punk - but its two-player simultaneous-play versus and co-op modes are the best in the genre and a vast improvement over those in the original Dance Central. Another plus is that players can dance together but on different difficulty settings. Handy when your creepy uncle has been on the Scotch since 11am.
Best price: £24 at Amazon.co.uk

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2. DanceStar Party
Format: PlayStation 3
PlayStation Move's answer to Dance Central 2 features a slightly more oldie-friendly tracklist, with the likes of Elton John and Barry White featured, and up to 20 people can play in DanceStar Party's, er, Party mode. Not all simultaneously, obviously. That would be madness. No, it's two at a time with players chosen at random, and difficulty settings can be adjusted for each pairing.
Best price: £9.71 at Amazon.co.uk

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3. Just Dance 3
Format: Wii, PlayStation Move, Xbox 360 Kinect
This is a multi-format offering but for Wii owners it's your best bet for a boogie, although as the Official Nintento Magazine noted, it's "more of the same, really. Fans of the previous versions will probably love it but the controls are still suspect." Eight players can share four Wii Remotes, so it's good for getting everyone involved. If your lounge is large enough. Note: if you're feeling in a 'boy-from-the-John-Lewis-ad' mood, you can pick up Dance On Broadway dead cheap which uses the same game engine, and mum can sing along to show tunes from the likes of Chicago and Guys And Dolls.
Best price: £12.99 at The Hut (Wii version)

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