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10 Best Gifts for Gamers This Holiday Season

Give the gamer in your life something extra special in their stocking or under the tree

best gifts for gamers arcade1up cabinet mobile
Arcade1Up’s retro home gaming cabinets. / Digital illustration by Michael Saintil

The Christmas season has arrived. And just like every year, those unmistakable hints of holiday cheer came early in November—the Hess Toy Truck commercial, the throwback Hershey’s Kisses TV ad and the inescapable music like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” For gamers, 2019 has been gifting them with greatness all year long with gaming gems like a proper Resident Evil 2 remake, the long-awaited release of Kingdom Hearts III, a strong lineup of Nintendo Switch exclusives, a quality single-player Star Wars game and so much more.

 

While it’s easy to wrap up and gift one of those titles to your favorite gamers, chances are they already have it in their library and have probably beaten it more times than they can count. If you’re in the market for the best gift for gamers, our recommendations will surely help you. Besides your usual gamut of new controllers, digital currency and online service subscription cards and corny video game clothing, there are tons of video game-related items gamers would prefer unwrapping on Christmas Day. Here are ten of those potential gifts for you to consider.

1. A Retro Arcade1Up Home Gaming Cabinet

gifts for gamers arcade1up
Arcade1Up

Arcade1Up has made quite the splash in the mini gaming market with a line of home arcade cabinets. So far, Arcade1Up has covered a wide range of coin-op classics with its first array of cabinetsMortal Kombat, Golden Tee, Galaga and Rampage make up just a small fraction of the retro machines Arcade1Up has produced. For 2019, Arcade1Up has increased its production efforts by putting out five new cabinets that belong in every retro gamer’s living room. The Marvel Super Heroes cabinet comes with three classic Capcom brawlers, the TMNT cabinet includes two of Konami’s greatest beat ’em ups and the Star Wars cabinet is jam-packed with addictive arcade shooters based on the original three films. And if you’re looking to engage in some heated head-to-head game sessions in Pac-Man and Street Fighter II, then Arcade1Up’s gaming table setups for either title are definitely worth a look.

$200-$500, GameStop

2. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time’ Vinyl

gifts for gamers turtles in time vinyl
Konami

Now we already mentioned how one of Konami’s most revered beat ’em ups is a TMNT game. That game happens to be Turtles in Time, a beautifully animated four-player arcade classic that defined the ’90s. Smashing multicolored Foot Clan ninjas while traveling through trippy interpretations of various time periods made Turtles in Time an endearing arcade experience back in the day. One of the best qualities of this cartoony game is its amazing soundtrack. “Big Apple, 3 AM,” “Alleycat Blues” and “Neon Night-Riders” are playlist-worthy tunes that still pop off to this very day. A remastered version of Turtles in Time’s incredible soundtrack can now be found on vinyl and played within the comfort of your own home. The special packaging and neon green record elicits warm memories of the lovable “turtles in a half shell.” So go ahead and take the plunge by giving this audio throwback to a gamer you love. 

$35, Amazon

3. SNK Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro

gifts for gamers neo geo arcade stick pro
SNK

SNK already hit the mini gaming console market with miniature arcade cabinets full of noteworthy games. The Neo Geo Mini comes with its own gamepads, plus they’ve been released in numerous special editions worth checking out. Now SNK has released an even better nod to the past with the Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro. It doubles as a PC arcade stick that you can use for fighting games and a mini console packed with classic SNK fighters. One of the cooler features tied to this arcade stick is its ability to be paired with the Neo Geo Mini and gamepads for even more pixelated fun. This hook-up-and-play mini console/arcade stick is one of the best bargain deals on the market for SNK fanatics.

$130, Amazon

4. Sega Genesis Mini

gifts for gamers sega genesis mini
Sega

Sega couldn’t possibly let Nintendo get all the mini gaming console glory, right? Sega made sure to remind everyone just how legendary its ’90s run was with the release of the Sega Genesis Mini. Sega did a bang-up job in honoring its past and also included a few unexpected surprises with this mini gaming machine. Forty games are playable in Sega’s mini box, plus two of them are extra rare 16-bit titles no one was expecting to see in 2019—the Genesis version of Tetris and Darius. Two controllers come packaged in with the Sega Genesis Mini, so you and a friend can enjoy the holidays together by saving the day in some co-op Altered Beast or Gunstar Heroes playthroughs.

$50, Amazon

5. ‘The 100 Greatest Retro Videogames: The Inside Stories Behind the Best Games Ever’

gifts for gamers retro video games book
Retro Gamer

If you know a gaming history buff who loves a good coffee table book, this pickup will certainly put a smile on that person’s face. This fittingly titled book counts down 100 of the most iconic video games and throws in all sorts of extra info about each one. Developer interviews, behind-the-scenes tales, plenty of trivia and other tidbits of important facts are included in this book alongside some amazing imagery. The 100 Greatest Retro Videogames: The Inside Stories Behind the Best Games Ever is the perfect book for longtime gamers, as well as the younger ones who need a history lesson about the hobby they love so much.

$18, Amazon

6. SN30 Pro+ Wireless Controller

gifts for gamers sn30 pro wireless controller
8BitDo

The Nintendo Switch is home to a bunch of throwback games lifted from Nintendo’s massive library. One of the best ways to enjoy those retro games is by putting this wireless controller in your hands. 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro+ just feels right when you’re trying to properly play and enjoy side-scrolling platformers and all of your favorite Switch first-person shooters. This controller comes with a host of customizable features that allow you to save personal control profiles on a game-by-game basis. The SN30+ wireless controller isn’t just a Switch peripheral though—it’s also compatible with PC and mobile devices.

$50, Amazon

7. BT Audio Sync Wireless Headphone Adapter for Nintendo Switch

gifts for gamers bt audio sync headphone adapter switch
Bionik

At the moment, the Nintendo Switch only gives you the option to enjoy your gaming on the go with a wired headset. Thankfully, enjoying the portable console with your preferred choice in a wireless headset can be done if you own this awesome device. BT Audio Sync’s Wireless Headphone Adapter for the Switch comes in the form of a miniature USB C wireless Bluetooth adapter that lets you install and pair wireless headphones. While enjoying your Switch games, the pass-through charging port on the BT Audio Sync allows you to simultaneously charge your console. You can play countless hours of portable gaming with your Switch while your wireless headset stands ready to handle all of your audio needs.

$40, Amazon

8. Artovision Classic Video Game Desktop Art

gifts for gamers artovision desktop art
Artovision

Artovision crafts the finest pieces of collectible artwork that can be placed on anyone’s wall or laid atop a desk. Artovision’s retro gaming art stands out as some of the company’s best work, and after scrolling through a few of them, it’s easy to see why. Artovision’s desktop art pieces recreate the best scenes from Street Fighter II, Contra III, Space Quest, Frogger, Cuphead and a slew of other recognizable video games. Spice up your workstation with any or all of Artovision’s gorgeous gaming desktop art.

$40, Artovision

9. Razer Kraken Gaming Headset

gifts for gamers razer kraken gaming headset
Razer

Razer’s most known for giving esports competitors one of the better wired and wireless headset products. One of Razer’s best 2019 products is the Kraken headset, which offers compatibility with the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Besides its slick light green color scheme, the Razer Kraken gaming headset offers maximum comfort thanks to its cooling-gel earmuff cushions. The 50 mm drivers are fine-tuned to provide the best soundscapes for every game you play, and its retractable microphone cancels out any background noise that could hamper your gaming experience. The Razer Kraken gaming headset is an affordable and quality pickup for all types of gamers.

$50, Amazon

10. ‘Overwatch: The Official Cookbook’

gifts for gamers overwatch cookbook
Blizzard Entertainment

The diverse hero lineup and massive world contained within Overwatch is the main inspiration behind this delicious cookbook. Blizzard’s popular first-person shooter steps away from all the multiplayer madness with this book and concocts a delectable collection of easy-to-make dishes. This fully colored cooking tome teaches gaming chefs how to make an Orisa ice cream sundae, a cup of Valkyrie’s Flight tea, a tray full of Canadian Butter Tarts and so many more mouth-watering recipes. Step into the Overwatch universe with the help of this helpful cookbook and wow all your most trusted co-op heroes.

$18, Amazon
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