If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the gamer on your Holiday shopping list this year, the Cinelinx crew has you covered with our annual Gaming Gift Guide!
It’s that time of year again when the weather gets cold, and the Christmas decorating/shopping has begun. If you have movie lovers, gamers, or nerds in general, on your shopping list the Cinelinx team is here to help you find the perfect gift with our annual gift guides.
We’re keeping things the same with our gaming guide as we did last year, which was a little different than how we’ve done things in the past. Below you’ll find our picks broken down by categories, so you can choose the best game/gift suited to the tastes of whoever you’re shopping for.
[Note: This post contains links to the producst listed, many of which are affiliate links.]
The Last of Us Part I (Jordan) – Look, I don’t care that it’s a remake of a game barely ten years old. That doesn’t make it any less impressive, nor take away from it being one of the best gaming stories ever. If you haven’t played the game, or know someone who’s a fan but maybe hasn’t decided to pick up the remake, this would be an excellent gift to throw their way this year.
Gotham Knights (Jordan) – While Gotham Knights isn’t a perfect game, there’s something insanely fun about exploring this expanded Gotham and having new adventures in the absence of Batman. If you’re looking for something fun to play with a buddy, this is a very solid pick under the tree.
Cuphead Collectors Edition (Dustin) – I am a big fan of Cuphead, the game is extremely challenging but honestly one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had. Then iam8bit goes and releases honestly the coolest collectors edition I’ve seen in a long time. The package comes with a puppet theater, and it’s just pure perfection. I am jealous of anyone that is able to get it because I can’t afford it yet.
Saints Row (Dustin) – This game and Gotham Knights are honestly some of the most fun co-op experiences of recent. Since Jordan already took Gotham Knights, I get to go ahead and add this one to the list. While the game has some technical drawbacks, it was easily ignored during my multiple playthroughs and I’ll gladly jump back in when more content is released.
Books for Gamers
God of War: Ragnarok (Matt) – While Dustin is suggesting one Game of the Year contender, let me talk to you about the other, God of War: Ragnarok. If your gamer journeyed through Midgar in 2018, then they absolutely will want to continue the adventure with this next one. Heralded as the best narrative game of 2022, God of War: Ragnarok blends incredible gameplay with mind-bending puzzles within a story that pushes the boundaries of our beloved characters. This is definitely one to get this holiday season.
Stray (Matt) – Do you have a cat? If you do, chances are your furry feline friend has been waiting for you to get them Stray. All that meowing, scratching of the sofa, biting, and flipping over their food bowls should’ve been enough of a clue, but in case it wasn’t, your cat wants you to get them Stray. They’ll love it so much, they’ll paw at the screen as they watch their cat hero save a post-apocalyptic world.
The Callisto Protocol (s0leb) – Though I am very excited for God of War: Ragnarök, one game that has been in my mind since it was announce is STRIKING DISTANCE STUDIOS “The Callisto Protocol”. This is the spiritual successor of the Dead Space series and is looking to gross us our and scare us more that ever! Be sure to keep an eye out for this game when it releases this December!
Tiny Tina’s Wonderland (Becky) – I originally wasn’t the biggest fan of the Borderlands games, but when I finally understood that this was a fantasy game, albeit one set in the mold of Borderlands, I was instantly hooked. This game is absolutely packed with things to do and is guaranteed to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Hades (Becky) – While Hades isn’t exactly a new game (it turned two this year), I still think it’s worth recommending as a gift because it is, quite frankly, one of the best games I’ve ever encountered. Even if you’re not that experienced with roguelike games, the great thing about Hades is that everything you do, for better or worse, progresses the story, which is one of the things I love the most about it.
Elden Ring (Dustin) – Honestly I’m not a fan of “Souls-like” games, I find them frustrating and not fun at all. Yet Elden Ring drew me in and didn’t let me go. The ability to basically explore and do things at your own pace kind of eases the pain of souls like games, and the lore is just thrilling.
Pokemon Scarlet/Violet (Jordan) – As if there’s any way we can let a gaming gift guide come to pass without any Pokemon goodness. While I haven’t had the chance to play the games just yet at the time of this writing, I have no doubt I (and many others) are going to be obsessed with these new games. Legends Arceus did everything I’ve been wanting the franchise to do for a while, and Scarlet/Violet look to be taking that to the next level.
Tactics Ogre Reborn (Jordan) – Even without the fancy visual upgrades, just having a modern way to play this strategy-RPG classic is more than enough reason to put it in the gift guide. There’s a good chance there’s a gamer on your shopping list who never had the chance to play this iconic title. As such, it makes for a pretty excellent gift.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Matt) – Pretty shocked that Jordan didn’t write about this one. That man LOVES him some Xenoblade Chronicles. Nevertheless, your JRPG lover would be thrilled to dig into this incredibly expansive, captivating third mainline game in the series. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 introduces us to a whole new world and characters who can merge to become powerful beings that take on evil counterparts. However, the game has a huge twist that connects all the games in the series. Your gamer would be all in on this game this holiday season…now that I think of it, I probably should get this one for Jordan…
Castle Crashers (Dustin) – Behemoth makes some of the best 2 player games, and Castle Crashers is one of the best co-op games I’ve played. I really loved Battleblock Theater and wish it was available on more consoles, but the fact Castle Crashers is available on everything puts it over the top.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Physical Edition (Jordan) – Dotemu gave TMNT fans a big dose of awesome this year with the release of Shredder’s Revenge. Taking inspiration from the retro beat ‘em up games TMNT was known for, it’s a ridiculously fun time with an all new story. Much like those older games, this one gets even better when you’re playing with a friend. I’m suggesting the physical edition because, well, you don’t want to risk the game disappearing like Scott Pilgrim did for so long!
Disney Dreamlight Valley (Jess) – While not a co-op game, Disney Dreamlight Valley is the most fun single-player game I have ever played. Granted I am a big Disney fan and it is probably targeted towards a younger (pre-teen and teen) audience, the story is enticing and set amongst beloved Disney characters and their realms.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tarot Deck
I am not really a gamer and I lose patience with games easily, so what I love about this game is that it is easy to figure out where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing, and when in doubt and if you can’t find instructions in-game, the online guides are helpful and super easy to access. I would recommend this game to Disney lovers and any of your less-gamery friends who want an easy, relaxing, at-their-own pace type of gaming experience!
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Galactic Edition – After several years of waiting, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga finally arrived this year and it was impressive. It’s massive scale and easy to pick up controls make this a fun adventure for gamers of all ages, and even better with a partner. The new Galactic Edition that just launch also brings ALL of the DLC together making it an ideal choice for gift giving.
Team Sonic Racing(s0leb) – Team Sonic Racing is a return of a fan favorite racing game, that not only improves from its previous iterations but tries to stand out in the crowd with new gameplay, better customization, more beautiful levels than ever before, and of course smooth, fun racing. Although the game did feel a bit “reskinned” at some points and the Adventure mode felt like it was lacking a bit of life, Team Sonic Racing is still a premier racing game that a lot of fans will love.
Sports, Strategy, and Sim
Jurassic World Evolution 2 (Jordan) – Jurassic World Evolution 2 took everything that made the first game great and managed to improve on all of them. Throw in a new story to help bridge the gap between movies, along with a hefty dose of DLC content already, and any dino-loving, strategy game will be thrilled to find this under the tree. Even better, it’s on pretty much all platforms!
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (Jordan) – The Mario + Rabbids games have been a surprise trove of great strategy. With XCOM-esque combat and the quirkiness inherent in the story, there’s tons of fun here for strategy gamers of all ages.
Two Point Campus (Dustin) – Two Point goes back to basics for management simulation games, and Two Point Campus expands on the hospital version in all the right areas. I spent probably too much time in this game trying to build all the available campuses.
WWE 2K22 (Jordan) – After a hiatus to try and improve things and generally fix issues fans had with previous entries, WWE 2K returned this year. For the most part it’s a solid return to the wrestling franchise, featuring tons of new features and a major roster of wrestlers that will appeal to both newer fans and older ones.
Accessories and Collectibles
Ahsoka Tano Phone and Controller Holder (Becky) – Every gamer needs a place to hold their controller right? If you’re looking for a gift for someone who is both a gamer and a Star Wars fan, consider getting them this awesome Ahsoka Tano stand that can hold either your phone or a gaming controller and look really cool while doing it. Be aware that this item is exclusive to Target.
Rematch Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch (Jordan) – If you’re on the hunt for a new “pro” style controller for your Switch, this wired option from PDP is pretty solid. On top of looking sleek (even allowing for swappable designs), it’s officially licensed and allows for button remapping. Even better, coming in at under $30 makes it far cheaper the many other options with fewer features.
Dog From Silent Hill 2 (Dustin) – When Konami decided to slam us with almost too many Silent Hill projects, there was a quick segment showing all their cool new merchandise to go with the new games. One of the best ones was the dog plush for Silent Hill 2. It’s a pre-order so I’m not sure it’ll arrive before the holidays, but I’d still be thrilled to know it’s coming.
Higgs Mask From Death Stranding (Dustin) – I saw this when browsing around Etsy and found it to be one of the coolest things I came across. The resin mask is gold and looks just as good as from the game. It’s tempting to add the strap to the mask to wear it under a hood.
Metal Gear Glitter Stickers (Dustin) – You think i’m going to make this full list without listing something Metal Gear? I found something that will make pretty much every Metal Gear fan smile galore, these are glorious in so many ways. They are cheap and easy to sneak into stockings or to go along with a bigger gift, but highlighting Snake’s butt is just something I can’t pass up!
Quick Pick Games
ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini & Vulcan II Optical Gaming Keyboard (Matt) – With it being the end of the year, chances are your PC Gamer needs a new keyboard. Well ROCCAT released two this year that are pretty impressive, the Vulcan II and a Mini version. So, whether your player prefers the full keyboard or the smaller style of keyboard, there is a version for them. Featuring ultra smooth TITAN Optical switches, the Vulcan keyboards offer 100m press life and impressively fast actuation. Plus, both keyboards have loads of customization features like AIMO lighting and customizable keys. It’s hardware that can help improve your PC gamer’s gaming experience.
ROCCAT Syn Max Air Gaming Headset (Matt) – To go along with the Vulcan keyboards, ROCCAT also released a new and improved version of their Syn Gaming Headset from a year ago with the Syn Max Air. This headset is a major improvement from its predecessor, sporting 3D audio with 50mm Nanoclear drivers from their parent company Turtle Beach, long-lasting battery, a fast-charging dock, and an RGB lighting system that is much brighter than before. Plus, this headset works on PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, in addition to PC. It’ll make any gamer thrilled this holiday season.
Turtle Beach React-R Xbox Controller (Matt) – Ok, we’ve talked about PC presents, PS5/PS4/Nintendo Switch presents, and now it’s time for Xbox players. There were a lot of amazing games that were released for Xbox players in 2022. So, why not get your Xbox player a new controller to experience their games with? While Microsoft sells swanky, customizable controllers, they can be pretty pricey for people on a budget. In comes Turtle Beach. The tech company released a new Xbox controller earlier this year called the React-R controller. It works on any Xbox device and has the capability to enhance the audio of any headset. Plus, it’s only $39.99. So, you’re saving a lot of money while getting your player something they’ll love.
Limited Run Games – This one is a bit broad, but if you’re shopping for a game collector, Limited Run Games is definitely a place you’ll want to look at. Their collector’s editions are stuffed with amazing goodies for fans, and while many of their releases are timed, you can still find some gold over on their site.
Gamevice Flex – The newest product from Gamevice arrived just last month and it makes mobile gaming easier than ever. Their new design allows for the device to fit comfortably over their phone CASE as well as the phone, eliminating the need to take your phone out in order to use the controls. If you have someone on your shopping list that does a bunch of mobile gaming, this is pretty ideal.
It seems there are a whole lot of great gifts to choose from for the gamers on your shopping list. We hope this helps you find what you need!