Some people are just hard to shop for. That especially includes gamers because each player has very different tastes. And on top of that, there are a ton of different games, consoles, and accessories to keep track of.
Want to make shopping for the gamers in your life that much easier? It’s dangerous to go alone. Here, take this 2019 holiday gift guide!
After the failure of the Wii U, the Nintendo Switch has become a worldwide sensation. It allows people to enjoy gaming on a TV or gaming on-the-go, but the $299 price tag has been too steep for some people.
Now, Nintendo has released the portable-only Switch Lite. It’s smaller in size but also in price, clocking in at about $199. At that price, even existing Switch owners may want to grab a second system to make multiplayer gaming that much easier.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
For better or for worse, Star Wars is in the air again. And since the latest film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes out on December 20, franchise fever is likely to be at an all-time high this holiday season.
If you know a gamer who also loves these movies, then the newly released game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a perfect gift. It follows the story of a Jedi Padawan trying to survive in the aftermath of Order 66. It’s available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC for $59.99 on Amazon.
And don’t fret, Battlefront fans. This game has no microtransactions or multiplayer modes anywhere in sight!
Super Mario Maker 2
How to best describe Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch? This game is a fairly literal dream come true.
Every gamer who falls in love with the fiercely inventive Super Mario level design dreams of creating their own levels. This game refines on the original Wii U and 3DS titles to make level creation a matter of dragging, dropping, and playing.
You can dazzle friends and family with your challenging levels or post them online. And even if you’re not the creative type, you can spend years simply playing through the levels other players have dreamed up.
Currently, it’s about $58 on Amazon.
The initial selection of Arcade1Up games was simply okay. These scaled-down arcade games made for nice conversation pieces, but initial offerings such as Galaga could only get so exciting.
The company has since upped their game (and price tag) with some newer titles. This includes the Ninja Turtles arcade games (complete with 4-player action) and Golden Tee (so Dad can practice his swing without heading to the bar).
For a real retro gamer, they also offer a Star Wars game that includes the first arcade game in the series. Memory lane will definitely “stay on target” when they touch the recreation of the X-Wing flight stick.
These games go for anywhere from $149 to $399 on Walmart depending on the title.
Mortal Kombat 11
This guide has touched on ideas for retro gamers and modern gamers alike. But is there a franchise that can bring them together? Sure thing: Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat 11 has all of the nasty blood and fatalities fans remember from the original. But it’s also a fast-paced and well-balanced fighting game. Put simply, it no longer feels like an “okay” fighting game with a bloody gimmick. Instead, this is a game fighting fans will love that also happens to redefine “fighting dirty.”
Plus, no gamer is too old to whip out the controller and try to beat up their sibling or parent. This much fun can only be described with two words: “flawless victory.”
Mortal Kombat 11 is available for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC for $59.99 on Amazon.
Everything old is new again. Modern games like Minecraft and Undertale have brought the old 8-bit and 16-bit aesthetic back to life. And there are more ways than ever for gamers to experience those original classics that they enjoyed as kids.
Sure, you can buy someone one of those assorted classic systems that has a handful of games pre-installed. But the Raspberry Pi is a more versatile option. It plugs directly into modern TVs and can emulate everything from the Atari 2600 to the original PlayStation.
It takes time to set it up correctly. But once you do, a Pi can hold thousands of classic games on a single memory card. That’s sure to keep your gamer busy through the holidays.
Super NT/Mega SG
Game emulation on things like the Raspberry Pi is not every gamer’s cup of tea. At the end of the day, the computer is simply using software to pretend it is something like a Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis. This means games might run slower, faster, or just plain differently than you remember.
Why not just play on the real thing, then? Old game systems fall apart easily and are hard to repair. And they don’t play well on modern TVs without special modifications.
The company Analogue offers a middle ground with their Super NT and Mega SG systems. These are hardware-based solutions that perfectly recreate the originals while outputting seamlessly to modern TVs. You can load your original cartridges and use original controllers.
For added fun, you can “jailbreak” the system and play cartridge-perfect games directly from the memory card.
The Super NT and Mega SG each go for $189.99 from Analogue.
Custom Xbox Controller
Your controller is arguably the most important part of any gaming experience. However, most controllers are boring and bland. Therefore, the last great gift idea is to get your friends and family a customized controller.
Microsoft’s Design Lab helps you whip up a custom Xbox One controller with ease. You can add unique colors and laser engraving so that they have a controller unlike anything else on the planet, all for $59.99.
As a fun bonus, your giftee will be thinking of you each time they play!