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- Finding gifts for the gamers on your shopping list can be tough with so many gadgets to choose from.
- We’ve put together a list of our favorite gaming gifts, ranging from controllers to collectibles.
- Before choosing a gift, it’s helpful to know if your gamer prefers PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, or PC.
Gift shopping for a tech-savvy gamer can be challenging, but we’ve put together a list of suggestions that will leave any gamer happy.
From this year’s most popular releases to wireless headsets and awesome collectibles, our gift ideas offer something for all gaming tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for more tech gifts, be sure to read our guides to the best tech gifts under $100, the best tech gifts under $50, and the best tech gifts under $25.
Here are the best gifts for gamers:
The right pair of headphones can help players feel fully immersed in their games, whether they’re exploring a fantasy world or listening closely for enemy footsteps. Headsets with microphones are essential for communicating with teammates online, whether you’re playing on your computer or a console.
The HyperX Cloud II headset with 7.1 surround sound is available for $150 right now, and it works with PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It uses a USB dongle for a faster, more consistent wireless connection than Bluetooth can provide, at ranges up to 60 feet.
The battery can last for up to 30 hours on a single charge, and even without power, you can always connect the HyperX Cloud II to your phone or controller with a 3.5mm audio cable. There’s a physical mute button for the microphone, and you can even remove it when you only need the headset.
PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch have different headphone requirements than the Xbox, so you’ll have to pick up a pair of Xbox licensed headphones like the HyperX CloudX if you know the gamer in your life prefers Xbox.
If you’re willing to go with a more affordable wired headset, the Razer Kraken X provides 7.1 surround sound on PlayStation, Switch and Xbox, and it’s only $50.
A gaming monitor for 4K resolution and competitive play
Sharing the living room TV with a gamer can be tough, so consider getting your favorite player a dedicated screen so they can play in peace. Monitors have become increasingly popular for gamers of all types, including console players, since they offer less delay than TVs and sport smoother frame rates while playing.
Newer monitors have support for popular TV features, like HDR color and contrast, making them easier to pair with consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This BenQ 28-inch gaming monitor is about the size of a small TV, it supports 4K resolution, it’s AMD FreeSync compatible, and it boasts a fast 1 ms (GtG) response time.
This year’s best blockbuster games
The best games of the year can vary based on a gamer’s platform of choice, so it’s essential to know if your gift recipient owns consoles (like the PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox) before buying a game.
Some of the best games released in 2020 and 2021 are console exclusives, like “Ghost of Tsushima” and “The Last of Us Part II” on PlayStation 4. “Ghost of Tsushima” is an open-world samurai adventure set on a scenic Japanese island, while 2020 Game of the Year winner “The Last of Us Part II” features impressive cinematic storytelling and cutting-edge graphics.
Nintendo’s offerings are known for being more family-oriented; the casual village-building game “Animal Crossing New Horizons” helped millions of people spend time together amid social distancing. “Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” is a four-player platforming adventure that’s reminiscent of classic “Mario” games, with an extra open-world mode called “Bowser’s Fury.”
A rare collection of classic Mario games
“Super Mario 3D All-Stars” is a collection of three classic Mario adventures remastered for the Nintendo Switch, but it was discontinued on March 31. That means you can’t buy it digitally, and Nintendo isn’t planning on making any more copies; you’ll have to find one of the remaining ones in stores.
With the Switch continuing to grow in popularity and the longstanding legacy of “Super Mario,” you can expect “3D All-Stars” to become a collector’s item in the years to come. “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” includes “Super Mario Sunshine,” which hasn’t been re-issued since its release in 2002, along with “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Galaxy.”
A subscription to hundreds of games on PC, Xbox, and Android
Millions of people picked up Microsoft’s Netflix-style subscription for video games to help pass the time at home during 2020. The library has more than a hundred games, ranging from Xbox classics, like “Halo,” to some of the most popular games of 2020, like “Among Us” and “Doom Eternal.”
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn’t exclusive to Xbox consoles; games can be played on Windows computers and streamed on Android phones. For Xbox owners, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold, a $10 monthly service required to play games online, so you get a ton of value for just $5 more per month.
A premium controller with customizable buttons
If you know a gamer who has been playing with the same old Xbox or PlayStation controller for years, you can give them a major upgrade. The $180 Xbox Elite 2 controller has a rechargeable battery, four extra paddle buttons on the rear, and comes with extra tools to customize and tighten your joysticks and directional pad.
The Xbox Elite 2 works on PC, is Bluetooth compatible, and will work with the Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X.
Sony doesn’t make their own premium version of the PlayStation’s DualShock controller but Scuf Gaming makes a $160 PlayStation 4 controller with paddles similar to the Xbox Elite 2, plus a wide selection of customizable faceplates.
Extra storage space to spend more time playing, and less downloading
The latest games can require anywhere from 20GB to 200GB to install, so gamers of all types will appreciate an upgrade in storage space. PlayStation and Xbox both allow external USB drives for storing games, screenshots, and your video recordings. You’ll need a USB 3.0 drive with between 250GB or 8TB of storage.
We recommend buying a drive from a reliable brand like Seagate or Western Digital — 1TB is enough to at least double the space available on consoles, and there’s not much of a performance advantage if you buy a more expensive solid state drive for your consoles.
The Nintendo Switch uses MicroSD cards to expand beyond its 32GB of internal storage. The Switch supports MicroSD cards up to 2TB in size but we recommend a 128GB or 256GB card, which offer plenty of space at a significantly lower price.
A retro console for nostalgia and preserving the classics
Retro consoles like the Sega Genesis Mini pack a bunch of classic games into a nostalgic replica of consoles past. The Sega Genesis Mini comes with 42 games from the ’90s console including “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Street Fighter 2.” Games are displayed in high definition and the digital copies let you instantly save.
Nintendo set off a craze for retro consoles a few years ago with the NES Classic and Super NES Classic, but those consoles had a limited run and have less games than the Genesis Mini. The PlayStation Classic also collects 20 games from that console, but the selection isn’t as impressive as the competition.
An all-in-one VR headset to explore gaming from a new perspective
Released in May 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 has set a new standard for virtual reality headsets with finger tracking, greatly improved image quality, and no external sensors needed for setup. Oculus Quest 2 can be used as a standalone device for gaming, chatting, and watching movies, or connected to a PC for even more immersive performance.
Iconic collectibles inspired by popular games
Not every video game series is popular enough to have its own set of collectibles, but you can find a wide selection of gaming-inspired figures and statues from brands like Pop!, Nendoroid, and Kotobukiya. Prices can range from $10 to $250 or more depending on the item, but what’s important is finding a collectible that matches your gamer’s style.
The collectible shop iam8bit also offers lots of rare and limited collectibles, like vinyl video game soundtracks and customized cartridges for old games. Limited Run Games also puts together physical releases for popular indie games and retro titles that include unique collectibles like t-shirts and art books.