The world of video games can be a fickle mistress. It seems like just as something becomes popular, it begins to fall out of favor to make way for the next big thing. And while that’s worrisome for a lot of gamers, it makes buying gifts for said gamers a lot easier — as they’re almost always in need of new, upgraded gear.
Of course, as abundant as good gaming gifts can be, there are also quite a few imposters and rip-offs — pitfalls of people jumping on the bandwagon to make a quick buck. But we’re here to keep you on the right track by rounding up 20 of the absolute best gifts for the gamer you can pick up this year. For the video game fanatic in your life, these presents are the best way to become their holiday hero.
Gaming Gift Cards
The world of gaming can be pretty quick to change — and gamers themselves are often also difficult to shop for as a result. But you can rarely go wrong with a gaming gift card. These allow the gamer for which you are shopping to pick out their own gift which, while sometimes considered tacky, can be greatly preferred to getting a game they’ve already beaten or have no interest in. Just make sure you get a gift card for the right system.
Arcade Game Typography: The Art of Pixel Type Book
While some might argue, we’re firm believers that video games are an art form — and that includes design-focused things like their iconic typography. If you know a gamer who appreciates said things, then this beautiful and informative book might just be the perfect gift.
The Gift of Games
So long as you know for whom you are shopping and what system they own, picking up the latest and greatest video game can be an easy way to score points. In this case, Nintendo Switch players should adore the upcoming spookfest that is Luigi’s Mansion 3, Xbox players can help save the galaxy from the remnants of the Empire in Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and PS4 fanatics can explore the far reaches of colonized space in The Outer Worlds.
Jedi Fallen Order: $60
Luigi's Mansion: $60
The Outer Worlds: $58
Sega Genesis Mini Retro Console
Not all gamers are interested in the latest and greatest. Some just want to go back in time and enjoy the titles from their childhood. And the Sega Genesis Mini retro console is one of the best ways to make that happen with its HDMI output, 42 pre-loaded classic video games, and a pair of wired controllers so you can game with a friend.
Corsair Nightsword Tunable Gaming Mouse
Touted as the world’s most customizable gaming mouse, the Corsair Nightsword is a brilliant gift for anyone looking to up their PC gaming clout. Yes, it’s plenty complicated for non-gamers, but what you need to know is this: it offers some of the most accurate and acute control of any optical peripheral available.
Western Digital WD_Black Gaming Drive
Especially in the age of virtual reality and games that are more realistic-looking than ever before, gaming requires way more data storage space than ever before. To cope with that, Western Digital has released a lineup of external hard drives specifically geared toward gaming storage — and that makes them quite special.
Razer Junglecat Android Gaming Controller
Statistically, mobile gaming is the most popular type of video gaming in the world. Conversely, smartphones are not optimized for serious gaming, as they rely on screen-based controls. However, Android users can get a huge leg-up by popping their phone into the Razer Junglecat — a clever device that essentially turns your phone into a handheld gaming console.
Google Stadia Game Streaming Service
While we’re not quite at the end of the home console era, it looks like the next big wave in gaming will be streaming. And Google is diving headfirst into it with its Statia game streaming service. Essentially, what this service offers is remote processing that’s far more powerful than any home console — giving users to play lag-free games with insane fps speeds and unparalleled graphics quality — for a monthly fee.
Commodore 64 MicroComputer By Retro Games
The record holder as the bestselling single computer model of all time, the original Commodore 64 is touted as the world’s first true home video game console. Now, it’s been revived as a retro console pre-loaded with 64 classic games in a smaller, HDMI-friendly package. We wouldn’t go so far as to call it the best retro console ever, but it’s not far off.
Scuf Vantage 2 PS4 Professional Controller
Scuf is legendary in the gaming world for their aftermarket controllers and their Vantage 2 might just be the ultimate PS4 controller ever made. It offers unrivaled trigger and joystick customization, completely custom mappable buttons, and tons of colorway options that will please just about any gamer’s preferred style.
Nintendo Switch Lite Handheld Console
It was huge news when Nintendo announced that they were paring down their already-fairly-portable Switch console into an even more travel-friendly format. And it’s pretty likely that the Switch Lite is going to be one of the favorite gaming gifts of the holiday season. While it doesn’t have TV docking compatibility, it can do just about everything the regular Switch can do and has longer standalone battery life.
Razer Turret Gaming Lapboard
The very first wireless gaming keyboard that was designed for use with both Wireless PCs and the Xbox One, the Turret has unrivaled mechanical precision, a built-in mouse mat, and comes with a Razer mouse boasting the brand’s fabled Razer 5G Advanced Optical Sensor.
DOOGEE S70 Rugged Gaming Smartphone
Equipped with enough processing power to handle next-gen video games, but also built to withstand mil-spec durability testing, DOOGEE’s S70 smartphone might just be the toughest mobile gaming device ever created. It’s even IP68 water-resistant, offers wireless charging, and even offers a trio of camera lenses — and that’s just the start of it.
Sennheiser GSP 670 Wireless Gaming Headset
There are a lot of gaming headsets on the market, but there aren’t quite as many made by audio brands as trusted and lauded as Sennheiser. Their GSP 670 headset offers up to 20 hours of straight operation, state-of-the-art low-latency technology, and no wires of which to speak — meaning you’re free to be as animated as you like while you game.
GAEMS Sentinel Pro Xp Portable Gaming Monitor
It’s no secret that home consoles don’t travel very well. But, if you can’t take a trip without your Xbox or PlayStation, there’s always the GAEMS Sentinel Pro Xp portable gaming monitor. This rig essentially functions as a briefcase-enveloped entertainment center for your console of choice — complete with a 1080p FHD monitor and onboard high-end speaker system.
Oculus Quest All-In-One VR Gaming Headset
Oculus — the brand that helped light a fire in the virtual reality industry — and their new Quest VR gaming headset have done away with the single biggest downside to high-powered virtual reality systems: the wires that tether it to a computer. Instead, this one is fully standalone, giving users unheard-of levels of freedom of movement in their virtual adventures.
HP Omen X 2S Gaming Laptop
Probably the most advanced gaming laptop HP has ever produced, the Omen X 2S is loaded to the gills with processing power and graphical capabilities that can handle even the most demanding of games. It also boasts an entirely unique secondary screen mounted on the keyboard designed to give you access to other apps and services without compromising your gaming.
Love Hulten R-Kaid-R Portable Retro Arcade
Brilliantly combining retro gaming goodness with modern contemporary styling, Love Hulten is a masterful video game-focused brand whose every product impresses. One of their latest, the R-Kaid-R boasts that same spot-on styling but also offers a portable format — so you can take all your favorite old-school games on the go. Complete with arcade-style controls, this device houses an emulating computer capable of storing up to 10,000 games from across video game history.
Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor
It should come as no surprise that a brand as prominent as Alienware is responsible for the world’s very first 55″ OLED gaming monitor. This massive display boasts a 4K resolution, true-to-life vibrant colors, and extremely low input latency for a lag-free gaming experience.
Acer Predator Thronos Gaming Chair
If money is no object, then there’s probably no gift more over-the-top than the Acer Predator Thronos gaming chair. This massive rig clocks in at a scale-tipping 485 pounds and includes a solid steel construction, support for up to three 27″ monitors, onboard lighting, game-synchronized vibrations, and a motorized cockpit that lets you recline at up to 140 degrees.
The 15 Best Retro Video Game Consoles
Just as new systems and games are coming out on a regular basis, so too are old-school devices being revived for the modern era. If you’ve got a fan of the games of eras passed, you might just find the perfect gift for them on our list of the best retro consoles.