Holiday shopping is always difficult. It doesn’t really matter if it’s for a friend or for yourself. The older we get, the harder it becomes to find a gift worth pulling the trigger on. Sometimes, the cost talks ourselves out of purchasing something we were so set on owning. Other times, the sheer obscurity of a product we might want would make it virtually impossible for us to even know we wanted said product, to begin with. It’s doubly hard if most of your gifts are of the gaming variety. Sure, it’s easy to buy someone the hot new game, but that doesn’t say something meaningful from a gift-giving perspective.
If you’re the gamer who has it all, or you know someone who is, this is the perfect list for you. You’re going to need to do that holiday shopping sooner rather than later, so why not start now? We’ve picked 25 of the best gaming related gift ideas this season. Some are relevant to 2018, referencing games that have recently released. Other are a bit more obscure, perhaps giving you that thrill of finding something you truly want to own. A rare few are genuinely quite difficult to find and are reserved for only the most hardcore gamers- those who really want to indulge this holiday season.
25 N30 Pro 2 Bluetooth Gamepad
So, you want a new controller with a retro flare that both looks and feels like it was made in the early 90s while also forward-thinking enough to feature a modern feature like bluetooth. Well, do we have a controller for you. The N30 Pro 2 Bluetooth Gamepad might very well be one of the best controllers on the market.
Select your flavor.
In general, just about any 8BitDo controller is worthy of the title, but this one is special. Not only is one of the most comfortable controllers this gen, it comes in a variety of flavors. Famicom, Super Nintendo, GameCube, you name it. They pair magnificently with the Nintendo Switch and even rival first-party controllers in many respects.
24 Western Digital External Hard Drive
If you purchased a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One at release, chances are you’ve been struggling with maintaining space on your console. Simply put, the base consoles just weren’t packaged with enough memory. While 500GB seemed like quite a bit at the time, current gen games have needlessly required more space than necessary to install.
That’s why you get yourself a Western Digital External Hard Drive for the holidays. From 1TB to 4TB, the extra space an External Hard Drive affords you is out of this world. You want one you can trust, though, and that’s why you go for the Western Digital. They store games safely and even speed their loading times up in some cases.
23 Hallmark’s Exclusive Nintendo Ornaments
Hallmark is honestly the last place you would expect to see exclusive Nintendo merchandise yet here were are in 2018. Not only does Hallmark have their own line of Nintendo ornaments, they’re actually insanely high quality. To be frank, these ornament actually rival legitimate Nintendo figurines in quality.
The highest quality ornaments this season.
The Super Mario ornaments are all fantastic representations of the current series’ aesthetic, but the cream of the crop absolutely has to be Link’s ornament. Modeled after concept art from the very first game in the series, the Link ornament is worth owning if only to keep on your desk. It is downright beautiful in terms of sculpting.
22 Snorlax Bean Bag Chair
Snorlax is arguably the most huggable Pokemon in the series. Large and in charge, if Snorlaxes were real, you call fall right into their bellies and just sleep for hours on end. Unfortunately, Pokemon are not real so you’ll have to settle for merchandise! Thankfully, you can simply buy yourself a life size Snorlax.
Relax with Snorlax.
The Snorlax bean bag chair is wish fulfillment come to life. Not only is he to scale, he’s soft and big enough where you can realistically lay down and nap on him. Naturally, just a massive piece of merchandise costs a pretty penny. Be ready to dish out upwards to $100 for your very own Snorlax.
21 Hyperkin RetroN 5
If the RetroTINK 2x applies to you, so will the Hyperkin RetroN 5, especially if you’re very serious about retro gaming. Any collector will naturally wind up with countless consoles, many likely hooked up at once. It’s not the best solution, but there’s really only so much you can do with old games.
For ALL your gaming needs.
The Hyperkin RetroN 5 alleviates the burden, however, by serving as a multipurpose console. With a single RetroN 5, you can play: NES, Famicom, SNES, Super Famicom, Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive, Master System, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. It’s worth owning for any retro gamer.
20 The Legend Of Zelda Rupee Chest
Video game iconography can make a statement. A familiar symbol can say a lot about a person, especially when said symbol is used as a means of decoration. The Legend of Zelda Rupee Chest is that rare piece of merchandise that evokes feelings of familiarity while also being aesthetically pleasing enough for subtlety’s sake.
Get yourself a nice 26 Rupees!
The chest itself is wonderfully crafted, paying tribute to the series where a trained eye will catch the reference immediately. The grown gems, however, are the Rupees themselves. Weighty and well polished, the Rupees look just how they would in the many pots and fields of Hyrule.
19 Hyperkin SupaBoy S
The Super RetroN 5 isn’t the only Hyperkin product worth owning. If the Super Nintendo is your go-to console and you happen to love handheld gaming, the Hyperkin SupaBoy S was designed specifically for you. Basically a portable SNES, the SupaBoy S plays NTSC and PAL Super Nintendo games while also featuring compatibility with Super Famicom titles. It doesn’t have the same all purpose appeal of the RetroN 5, but the concept of a portable SNES is a fantastic one.
18 Xbox Design Lab Controller
We can take our controllers for granted given how natural a part of gaming they are, but, when it comes down to it, we all have our preferences. Without a doubt, we all have a “favorite controller” we like using best. Whether it be due to comfortability or design, it’s a natural part of the video game experience.
To further create an closeness between gamer and controller, the Xbox Design Lab allows you to customize your own Xbox One controller with unique color schemes and engravings. As the Xbox One is already one of the best controllers this gen, the added level of customization is very much welcome.
17 Gbros. Wireless GameCube Adapter For Nintendo Switch
With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to buy a GameCube controller. That said, precisely because the hottest game of the year is about to come out, said GameCube controllers might be incredibly difficult to find, especially with adapters.
The definitive way to Smash.
That’s where the Gbros. Wireless GameCube Adapter comes in. A slick adapter that connects to your Nintendo Switch. The Wireless Adapter lets you pair any of your GameCube controllers you may have with your Nintendo Switch. Forget that Wii U adapter, this is the adapter you need this holiday season.
16 Merchoid’s Legend Of Zelda Holiday Sweaters
A holiday sweater can say a lot about a person. Are they boring? Do they have a good sense of humor about themselves? Do they have good taste? Are they wearing warm enough fabric? Do they really like The Legend of Zelda? If you feel like that last one applies to you, maybe check out Merchoid’s holiday sweater line.
Although they do cater to other tastes and feature multiple franchises, their Legend of Zelda sweaters are by far their best product. Officially licensed by Nintendo, each sweater is clearly made for a hardcore fan in mind, referencing symbology from the franchise in a meaningful, yet subtle, manner.
15 RetroTINK 2x
Unless you have a CRT, chances are you’re going to be struggling to play some retro games in their purest form. When it comes down to it, old games were designed in such a way to match TV standards of their time. Our modern HD televisions don’t bring out the graphical capabilities of retro games to their fullest.
Unless you own a RetroTink 2x, of course. If you’re someone who adores retro gaming, but often struggles with getting the picture just right, we highly suggest you look into purchasing the RetroTink 2x. Compatible with multiple formats, it’ll make your older games pop in a way you never imagined they could.
14 Fallout 1:1 Super Sledgehammer
What kind of gamer doesn’t love owning novelty weapon merchandise? You can play with them, display them, or even look at that from a distance as you contemplate where to get the funds to buy a weapons rack. If you’re a fan of Fallout and happen to love impractically large sledgehammers, the 1:1 Super Sledgehammer might be for you.
Obviously, as the name implies, the Super Sledgehammer is actually to scale. For that reason, be very mindful if you choose to buy it. It goes without saying that you probably won’t be pulverizing people into dust, but it’s still a massive prop sledgehammer. Buy responsibility if you choose to do so.
13 Zadii Hard Carrying Case For Nintendo Switch
If you own a Nintendo Switch, but don’t own a carrying case, you’re making a big mistake. The carrying case is the perfect accessory for any Switch owner. You shouldn’t just get any Switch case, though. While having a Switch case is better than having none at all, why not spring for luxury?
The Mario variant is easily the best one.
The Zadii Hard Carrying Case is by no means luxurious in terms of price, but it does offer the most compact place for your Switch. It can fit a dock, a charger, the Switch itself, and dozens of games. It is a bit bulky, but it is by far the best carrying case for the Nintendo Switch currently on the market.
12 PlayStation TV
In a last ditch effort to pump new blood into the PlayStation Vita, Sony desperately developed the PlayStation TV, a portable home console that allows users to essentially emulate a PlayStation Vita on their television. Low cost with plenty of games to choose from, the PSTV, unfortunately, failed due to poor marketing.
If the prospect of a cheap PS Vita that plays off your television appeals to you, buy one asap. Sony only made so many and stocks are running low. With each passing month, PSTV prices increase. Soon enough, they’ll be a rare piece of video game history. We highly suggest you buy one while they’re still reasonably priced.
11 The Legend Of Zelda Collector’s Chess Set
Modeled primarily after Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Chess Set might genuinely be one of the most beautiful sets of the classic game available for purchase. In terms of piece quality, both sides of figurines are a smooth vinyl with a sleek metallic finish, giving each piece a clear identity.
It is a bit pricey, but every good chess set is. If you’re an avid player of chess and a fan of the series, we strongly recommend you at least look into buying the Collector’s Chess Set for yourself. Even if just for display, the sheer level of craftsmanship and care is impeccable. It is a love letter to both chess and one of gaming’s most revolutionary titles.
10 Panasonic Q
The Panasonic Q might very well be the most high maintenance gift idea on this list if only because of the time, effort, and money you’ll need to put into purchasing one. Released exclusively in Japan as a variant of the GameCube, the Panasonic Q is basically a DVD player alongside a proper game console.
Consoles are incredibly rare and expensive, but for good reason. Not only were they produced in low stock, but the Panasonic Q’s architecture is also downright beautiful. It’s one of the best looking GameCube variants available. Your only chance at getting one will be eBay, but if you have the time and money, absolutely treat yourself to a rare piece of gaming history.
9 Game Boy Player
On the more affordable end of rare GameCube products, we have the Game Boy Player. While it will still fetch a bit of a price- considering most people sell their Players and CDs separately- it is worth owning if you’re a fan of the GameCube. Being able to play GBA games not just on the big screen, but through a GameCube, is one of life’s most precious novelties. Sure, there are probably better ways to play Game Boy games, but who doesn’t want to power through them with a GameCube controller?
The GameCube has always been one of Nintendo’s more beloved consoles, and said love has only grown with time. While most of its killer apps have been since ported to modern consoles, there is a certain charm to playing a GameCube game with GameCube visuals on a GameCube controller, but it can be hard to get those visuals just right.
That’s where the GCHD comes in. A GameCube HD adapter, the GCHD brings out the latent potential of the GameCube’s visual to life in a way you’d never have previously imagined. In many respects, playing with a GCHD can make any given GameCube game look right at place with its modern counterparts.
7 Legends Of Localization (Any Volume)
Legends of Localization may very well be the best piece of literary-based video game merchandise ever written. Taking a look at the looming presence of localization over the gaming medium, Legends of Localization analyzes multiple games under the goal of educating the masses on the nuances of localization.
Don't pass on the intricacies of localization.
Honestly, any volume is worth owning. The first focused on the original Legend of Zelda, while the second tackles Earthbound. Other volumes focus more on general localization concepts, but they’re all guaranteed to be informative, enjoyable reads. If you care at all about translations in gaming, pick up a volume.
6 Art Of God Of War (2018)
2018’s God of War is one of the most visually impressive games this generation, not just in terms of graphical fidelity, but outright art design. The Norse mythology inspired world is given life unlike ever before. With so many great designs, it’s natural to want to stop and take in the world.
With the Art of God of War, you can get direct access to concept art, stills, and information on the visual design of God of War. Even if you aren’t a fan of the series, it’s still worth owning only to appreciate how much thought and effort went into creating an artistic landscape for Kratos’ newest adventure.
5 Escargo Express Messenger Bag
Messengers bags are cooler than backpacks, this is just a simple fact of life. Everyone looks cool as heck slinging a messenger bag over their shoulders. Not just any messenger bag will make you a style savant, though. Rather, you need one that suits your personality. If you’re a fan of Earthbound, consider an Escargo Express messenger bag.
Lifted directly from the hit SNES JRPG, the Escargo Express messenger bag comes and goes fast- meaning you’ll want to buy it as soon as you realistically can- but for good reason. Not only is it a subtle reminder of an excellent game, but it’s also actually just a really great bag with a lot of pocket space.
4 Fallout Fusion Flea Die-Cast Replica Car
Who didn’t love playing with toy cars as a kid? It’s a pastime that transcends background. Everyone loves cars! Now, you can extend that love to adulthood and mix it with a love of Fallout. The Fallout Fusion Flea Die-Cast Replica Car is a bit of a mouthful, but it is a nice piece of merchandise.
Perfect for both leisure play and display.
Painted with a cool turquoise finish, the Fusion Flea Die-Cast Replica Car is a perfect representation of the series come to life. Display it proud on your desk or shelf, or simply play with it to your heart’s content. It’s the perfect piece of merchandise for pristine collectors and those who just like a nice car to fiddle around with.
3 Mother 3 Handbook
Earthbound has one of the greatest strategy guides of all time. Dense, colorful, and with plenty of love put into it, it is the gold standard. When Mother 3 released in 2006- and without an international release- fans were naturally quite upset that their series wasn’t continuing. Thankfully, a fan translation came shortly after release.
One of history's greatest games is now one of history's greatest guidebooks.
Not just that, however, a Mother 3 Handbook was written and designed in the style of the Earthbound strategy guide to accompany the translation years later. While it’s typically out of stock more often than not, it has been restocked for the holiday season. If you’re a fan of the series, jump on it asap.
2 Hero Of Time 2xLP
Koji Kondo is one of the greatest composers of our time, and not just in regards to video games. He is a master of his craft, creating music for the past three decades that would put even the greatest contemporary artists to shame. As a result, it’s only natural to want to own his own in some capacity.
Own Koji Kondo's best work on sweet vinyl.
The Hero of Time 2xLP is a vinyl recording of Ocarina of Time’s entire soundtrack spread across two records. It is, without a doubt, the best way to consume arguably Koji Kondo’s greatest soundtrack to date. If you’re a gamer and a vinyl collector, strongly consider picking up the Hero of Time 2xLP.
1 Nintendo Wii U (Yes, Really)
Although the Sega Dreamcast is well beloved now, it did not meet nearly as much praise while it was still in production. After a successful launch, more marketing and hardware drove the Dreamcast to an early grave. Fans praise it for its hidden gems, but the fact we’re calling them “hidden gems” says it all. So why mention this in an entry about the Wii U?
There's never been a better time to buy a Wii U.
Well, because the Wii U is a modern Dreamcast. It suffered the same way the Dreamcast did and has a truly fantastic library of hidden gems- almost all worth playing. You should especially buy a Wii U now while it’s still on its way out. Historically, this is the best time to buy a console. Once they’re off shelves for good, you’ll need to spend a fortune on both the system and its games.