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. Below, you’ll find our gaming team’s picks for the gaming gifts they would love to see under the tree this year:
This year, my gaming wishlist is a little bit different. Just a quick glance at my backlog tells me that adding MORE games to the mix isn’t a great idea. While games always make a great gift (who doesn’t like saving money for things they won’t have to buy themselves), there are so many this holiday season that it might be difficult to choose. Instead of games this year, I’m putting some other cool gaming related stuff on the wishlist:
Arcade1Up Cabinets – Everyone loves Arcades, and being able to bring one into your home, with sweet games, is now cheaper than ever. Coming in a couple styles, these are perfect for your game rooms or personal spaces.
Super Mario Light-Up Wreath – I love nerdy holiday decorations, so this new Mario themed wreath from ThinkGeek seems perfect for gamers to show off their love to the world while spreading that holiday cheer. For only $20, it’s a steal.
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Headphones – Over the years, I’ve been sent a number of gaming headphones to test out and the ones I use on a regular basis, personally, are the Arctis 3’s from SteelSeries.
Viotek GN Series Monitors – I know, this would be on the HIGH end of your gift-giving/receiving, but no gamer would be disappointed to see one of Viotek’s incredible gaming monitors among their presents this year.
Nintendo Switch – I can’t stress this enough…there’s literally no reason to NOT own a Switch at this point. The console is so damn good and the amount of games available now makes it a no brainer.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas for Nintendo Switch is an awesome gift for the person that likes Toys to Life games. The really cool thing about this game is that you can get the other ships, weapons, or characters digitally. So if you already have a huge TTL collection you can just buy the add-ons for so much less. Even though the game is for PS4 and Xbox also you really want the Switch version because the ship you get is the Arwing with Star Fox and an added storyline for Star Fox. Best buy will have the game for $35 on Black Friday so if you wanna brave the crowds to get it that would be the time.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man – Every PS4 owner should have this game. Every Spider-Man Fan should have this game. If you are neither of the two mentioned above you should probably rethink your life choices.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of An Elusive Age for PS4 is my game recommendation for the holidays. It is seriously one of the best games I’ve played this year (and despite being the 11th in the main series, you don’t really need any prior knowledge of the Dragon Quest story to get into this game). In the game, you play a hero who has to save the world of Erdrea from the powers of darkness and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. Also, the characters are designed by Akira Toriyama (the creator of Dragon Ball) which is really cool.
God of War(PS4) – This has to be on of the best titles I have ever played. We get to see Kratos like never before in beautiful 4K visuals, as well as seeing him take on the role of a single father in a very harsh and dangerous world. Not only does this give you some connections from the previous titles, it starts its own path for the God of War series and makes us excited for what’s coming in the future.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – We have waited sometime for a continued story from Rockstar Games groundbreaking title Red Dead Redemption. Now that RDR2 is here, I can say with 1000% confidence that this is the best open world title I have played in sometime. Outside of the controls being a little dated, the over all story and “living world” aspect of the game is something that has blown my mind so far. This is the first game that I have played that actually has NPCs that build and change the world as you go! Please, do not pass on this title.
LEGO DC Super-Villains – If you are a parent looking for a fun co-op title or just looking for something heavily geek based, make sure to get Lego DSV! This game has everything from co-op fun, challenging puzzles, to even a ton of DC easter eggs it’ll give you a geek overload!
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Although the game specifically online based, I have really enjoyed my time with the game so far! The online mode and BlackOut, Battle Royale modes are sometimes aggravating. . .but the zombie mode is by far the best since Black Ops 1! With Black Friday around the corner, I would say if you waited to get this title now is the time to buy it!
Spyro Reignited Trilogy – This is the perfect gift for any long-time gamer. Spyro has captured the hearts of gamers since the 90s, being the first game I myself remember ever playing. If you have a long-time gamer in your life, it’s likely that Spyro was a big part of their childhood, and I’m willing to bet they’re at least somewhat interested in what these remakes have to offer. I’m even more willing to bet that they can’t wait to get their hands on these remakes but are just too bashful to directly ask for it as a gift if they haven’t already. You can’t really go wrong here!
Spyro Funko Pop– While we’re at it, the Spyro fan in your life will also love the Spyro Funko Pop that just recently released. My husband isn’t a fan of Funko Pops in the slightest, but the stylized Spyro is oozing with so much charm that even he couldn’t resist its cuteness! Maybe this is the perfect time for a Spyro-themed Christmas to keep you toasty this winter season~
Nintendo Labo – Now this is a weird one for me, because I do think that the Labo was a bit of an odd Nintendo move that I couldn’t entirely get behind. BUT! I feel like it’s the perfect gift for a day like Christmas where all you want to do is be lazy and tinker with the new stuff you got from your loved ones… oh, and also maybe include hanging out with them in there too. And you can do all of that with Labo, like including them in building each thing and then marveling at how it works. Maybe let the cat snuggle into the boxes and have some fun cleaning the hair off each inevitably chewed-on piece. I don’t know, it just screams “lazy Christmas morning” to me.
Fangamer Merch – This one is vague, but oh-so important. I can speak to Fangamer’s merch quality and it’s fantastic. My Undertale shirts are some of the softest shirts I’ve ever worn, and they’re all so high quality and include little extra goodies in each purchase. They don’t have a huge selection, but they have merchandise from games like Undertale, Deltarune, Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley, Night in the Woods, Dark Souls and so much more. They have shirts, figures, plush characters, and all sorts of things from each series, including some amazing physical copies of games. I’m never disappointed when I get something from Fangamer, and I’m sure you’ll find something on there that the loved ones in your life won’t even know they needed until they unwrap their gift and love you forever for it.
In 2018, the gaming scene was absolutely incredible. I’ve played more memorable games this year than I probably have the last couple of years. Whether your gamer is part of the Console Elite or the PC Master Race, giving the gift of gaming is always an excellent choice. Here are the games that I loved and should be part of everyone’s collection, this holiday season.
God of War
Destiny 2: Legendary Collection
Spyro: Reignited Trilogy
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Pokemon: Let’s Go
This year’s God of War has become one of my all-time favorite games because the story it tells and the revolutionary mechanics it features. For Marvel’s Spider-Man, this is your opportunity to become Your Friendly Neighborhood Wall Crawler and it’s an enthralling experience. Insomniac Games really outdid themselves with this title. Destiny 2: Legendary Collection features the main Destiny 2 game and all of the expansions, including Forsaken. Destiny 2 is by far one of my favorite games of the year, and one that I consistently go back to. It’s the most complete game you can experience socially on console, right now. Toys for Bob outdid themselves with Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. It’s remarkable how they found a way to make the trilogy feel brand new, while mixing in nostalgic moments that take you back 20 years. It’s a definite must-own for gamers, old and new. 2018 was also an excellent year for stealth and stories with two premiere assassin games in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Hitman 2. Plus, Pokemon: Let’s Go brought us back to the Kanto region in a brilliant remake.
One more great idea would be to pre-order Kingdom Hearts III for your gamer of the family, if they’re a fan of course. It releases in January, so it’s a good gift for later. I guarantee that any of these gifts will excite your gamer enough that they’ll be jumping on the couch more than Tom Cruise on Oprah.
If your gamer happens to already have all of these games, I’d suggest giving the gift of gaming tech to enhance these experiences. The biggest and most immediate upgrade you could give is the gift of a new headset. The three headsets I reviewed this year, would make for excellent gifts:
The Stealth 300 headset is the most affordable of the three but still provides an explosive upgrade if your gamer is still using headphones or a lower quality brand. It’s an easy plug-and-play headset, but it does still need to be charged every now and then. The Stealth 600s are an amazing Wireless headset that gives gamers an intense, gaming experience and the ability to move around. The most elaborate and powerful of the three are the Elite Pro 2s. The SuperAmp is a phenomenal piece of hardware that takes gaming sound to a theatrical level, with Dolby Surround Sound. It’s definitely worth the hefty price tag. Any of these would be a major upgrade for any gamer no matter if they’re part of the Console Elite or the PC Master Race. Although, Turtle Beach does have their own new PC line of headsets, called the Atlas Series, that are worth a look, as well.
For my part of the guide I wanted to make some budget friendly suggestions that will still make any gamers happy. The suggestions from everyone else are absolutely stellar, so if you have the budget having something like a retro gaming cabinet is unbeatable!
Xbox One S – While Microsoft is lacking in games, but will most likely change that very soon, the Xbox is doing a lot of secondary things right. One of those key aspects is pushing gamers into 4K. The Xbox One S is capable of upscaling content to 4K and runs great HDR, but most importantly it’s the most affordable Ultra 4K Blu-ray player. Even the PS4 Pro can’t do Ultra 4K. With bundles coming in at around 200 dollars this holiday, that’s a total steal. And it’s a safe bet that next year Microsoft will be announcing a robust lineup of games.
Retro Controllers For Switch – As mentioned above, the Switch is one of the best consoles ever and making it even better is 8bitdo with their retro controllers. If you’d like you could opt for the pricier official controllers Nintendo will be releasing, or you can go with 8bit and get an assortment of controllers for around 30 dollars. The best part is that the adapter allows not only retro controller, but other controllers as well such as PS4 or Xbox controllers.
Raspberry Pie – If the gamer in your life is also a big techy nerd then this is the best gift ever. The little chipset has countless guides online to do so many things. You could load basically any retro game you ever had onto it, or you could even build a home security camera. The chipset is made to be easily accessible and introduce people to engineering different things. Hell you could take some handy work and even build your very own arcade machine. The best part, you can find many chipsets for under 80 dollars, I’ve often come across them at around 40.
PlayStation Coloring Book – Something I personally have always wanted is the official coloring book for PlayStation games. The book is called Art For The Players and has many of PlayStation’s greatest games ready for you to color. I personally enjoy taking this books and scanning them into photoshop to make digital art, but any person of any age would enjoy coloring them.
And for those that maybe are buying their friend or family a new console, some easy suggestions to make their gaming life even better. For Xbox get rechargeable batteries, or a recharge kit for around 20 dollars. For PS4 a controller charging stand always comes in handy and in around 15 dollars. For Switch buyers, a carrying case (character themed cases at Walmart for 10 dollars) and a few screen protectors will keep the investment in strong condition for the adventures ahead.
I’ve never been much of the gamer. I like my games, and that’s about it. I play the games I like, and I don’t really venture to far from those. But this year was pretty big for games, even for me. Spider-Man PS4 was absolutely incredible. I have loved every moment of playing it, and this holiday season is great time to add Spider-Man to your collection. Red Dead Redemption 2 is also a must have from this year! But to be honest, the biggest gaming surprise to me, was how much I enjoyed WWE 2K19. It is a great step up from past games, and fun to play! Definitely a good game to get this holiday season. And if you don’t have one already, pick up the Nintendo Classic.
Hopefully you can find the perfect gift for the gamer in your life (or something to put on your own list there year) through our team’s choices. If you have other great gaming gift ideas, be sure to tell us!