Choosing the right Christmas gift for a self-professed “gamer” is surprisingly tricky: there are so many video games, toys, clothes, books and doodads on offer that you’re completely spoiled for choice. Luckily for you, Lifehacker has sifted through this sea of electronica to bring you a definitive list of awesome gaming goodies: from video game soundtracks to Super Mario Bros socks. We’ve also included links to where you can buy this stuff online.
As with out previous gift guide, you can click on the below prices to go to the online store. (There’s currently a little over three weeks before Christmas, so any gifts you order should arrive on time — if you act fast. Good luck!)
Monopoly: The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition [$75]
If you know any Zelda fans who also happen to love Monopoly, this gift is a no-brainer. The gameboard spaces are all based on Hyrule locations while the houses and hotels are replaced with Deku sprouts and Deku trees. But the best bit are the specialised game pieces which include the Hylian Shield, Triforce symbol, Boomerang, Slingshot and Bow.
Game Of Thrones (Multi-platform)
Telltale Games’ first foray into the world of Westeros tells the tale of House Forester; a Northern family sworn to Rob Stark. The game begins on the eve of the Red Wedding with the player controlling a lowly squire. As the story progresses, more Foresters come under your direct control, all of whom are struggling to survive and preserve the honor of their house. The game was developed in partnership with HBO and several actors from the show lend their voices and likenesses to the game, including Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Lena Headey (Circe) and Iwan Rheon (Rhamsay Snow). Game Of Thrones is split into six episodic chapters which sell for around $8 apiece. It’s available for PS4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS and Android. A worthy gift for any Game Of Thrones fan.
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
This one’s just good, nerdy fun. It’s essentially a reskinned Dynasty Warriors that replaces all those Chinese warlords with characters from The Legend Of Zelda. Way better than it sounds!
Grand Theft Auto V [PS4, Xbox One]
GTA V was recently given a fresh lick of paint and unleashed on next-gen consoles (is it still okay to call them that?) Protagonist/antagonist Trevor Philips remains one of the most fascinating and disturbing figures in video game history. He also gives the player the perfect excuse to wreck havoc in the game world without compromising the narrative. The enhanced version boasts an increased draw distance, finer texture details, improved weather effects and additional graphics, all running at a native resolution of 1080p. [Note: If you’re planning on buying this for Christmas, don’t bother going to Target or Kmart — it’s been banned from both retailers. Click here for details.]
Halo: The Master Chief Collection [Xbox One]
This one’s a no brainer for any Xbox One owner; especially if they’re new to the Xbox fold. The collection includes the first four chronological installments of the Halo series, from Halo: Combat Evolved on original Xbox through to Halo 3 on Xbox 360. Each game has been enhanced for the Xbox One with updated HD graphics and revamped multiplayer modes.
Lord Of The Rings: Shadow Of Mordor [Multi-platform]
Is it wrong that I let my 5-year old daughter play this? Actually, don’t answer that. After years of so-so movie adaptations and frivolous Lego games, Tolkien fans finally have a Lord Of The Rings game that’s worthy of carrying the title. The game is a sprawling open-world adventure in which the player seeks revenge on the Black Númenóreans and orcs who slew his family. Everything from the highly tactical combat to the gritty depiction of Mordor is note perfect. It’s available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Dragon Age Inquisition: Inquisitor’s Edition [$93]
Dragon Age Inquisition is a big, grand game which makes this special edition fitting. It comes with more bells and whistles than you can shake a halberd at, including a dragon skull, lock pick set, tarot card deck, Inquisitor’s Badge and cloth map of Thedas. You also get a slew of bonus digital content and the whole thing comes packaged in a chest covered in red silk and faux reptile skin. The game is available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Little Big Planet 3 [PS4, PS3]
These days, it can be tough finding appropriate video games for children that aren’t crappy licensed cash-ins. Thankfully, we can still rely on Sackboy and his assorted plush buddies to babysit the little ones. The series’ first foray onto PS4 introduces a host of new tools, power-ups, abilities and characters. It also boasts 1080p graphics.
Remote Play GCM10 Control Mount [$38.99]
Remote Play is a mobile app compatible with the PlayStation 4 that lets you play your games on a mobile device instead of your television. The best way to experience this is with the GCM10 Control Mount which attaches your phone to your PS4 Dual-Shock controller. Remote Play is currently compatible with the Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z2.
TMNT Krang T-Shirt [$34]
Okay, so this one has nothing to do with video games but c’mon: it’s a T-shirt that turns the wearer into Krang’s exo-suit. Every gamer needs this in their wardrobe.
Black Milk Mass Effect N7 “Wet Look” Leggings [$85]
These skin-tight leggings are guaranteed to turn Paragons into Renegades — there’s just no way anything this slinky can be virtuous.
Say What Again! T-Shirt [$23.57]
The Pulp Fiction Brett/Jules face-off “re-imagined” as an 8-bit adventure game. The perfect gift for gamer-cum-movie buffs.
Portal 2 Inter-Spatial Portal Earrings [$12.99 ]
Sometimes I kinda wish I was a girl. This is one of those moments.
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone Socks [$12]
Most kids hate getting socks for Christmas and with good cause — it’s a total non-present. On any other day of the year, they would be purchased with the groceries and tossed in the sock drawer without comment. These Super Mario Bros Warp Zone socks are something different. Finally; a sock worthy of its place beneath the Christmas tree.
Portal Chell Romper Suit [$79.99]
This officially-licensed Romper jumpsuit lets you dress just like Chell from Portal 2. It comes in a range of sizes and appears to be gender-neutral so anybody can strut their stuff. The best bit is the tiny Companion Cube zipper pull. Awww.
Classic Arcade Wristwatch [$24.99]
Okay, this one is properly geeky. It’s a wristwatch shaped like a retro arcade cabinet; complete with a working fire button that makes “pew-pew-pew” noises. (Sex is overrated anyway.)
Nintendo Power Glove Oven Mitt [$39]
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
8-Bit Treasure Chest [$29.99]
This one’s just cute, okay? It lights up and plays a treasure-finding ditty when opened.
Game Of Thrones Legacy Collection [From $28]
The latest Game Of Thrones video game is based on the HBO TV series, which just about justifies the inclusion of these action figures. Each character boasts more than 20 points of articulation and stands up to 6.5 inches tall. Some moulds are more faithful than others: the John Snow figure looks nothing like Kit Harrington while Tyrion/Dinklage doll is spot on. Prices start at $28.
Remote-controlled Pac-Man and Ghost Racers [$44.99]
These retro 1980s throwbacks can move in six different directions and make the sound effects you’d expect. Now I want to build a huge tabletop maze and play Pac-Man in real life. The joystick-shaped remote controls are an especially nice touch.
Minecraft Light-Up Torch [$17.99]
If you know any pre-teen Minecraft fanatics, this is the gift to get them: in addition to mimicking the game’s pixelated aesthetic it also lights up.
Doom Cacodemon Plush [$15]
Remember that floating red demon from Doom? He’s back — in plush form. The perfect stocking stuffer for any veteran gamer.
Mass Effect Bobble Heads [$7.99]
First, the bad news: no FemShep. Boo-urns! Now the good news: each bobble head costs just $7.99 and they all look totally adorable. You can choose between Garrus, Grunt, Miranda, Shepard, or Tali.
Console Wars by Blake J Harris [$28.25]
Blake J Harris’ Console Wars gives a fascinating insight into the battle for video game supremacy waged between Sega and Nintendo in the early ’90s. It focuses on the exploits of Sega America’s CEO Tom Kalinske and his gung-ho team of marketers, strategists and engineers. A movie adaptation is currently under development (ironically from Sony) with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg tipped to star.
The Art of Naughty Dog [$42.90]
This fascinating tome charts the visual evolution of the video game developer Naughty Dog: from Crash Bandicoot all the way through to The Last Of Us. The book includes introspective essays from studio staff as well as a selection of jaw-dropping fan art. It also comes with its own slipcase.
Cosplay World [$28]
From Kotaku’s own Brian Ashcraft and Luke Plunket comes this glossy celebration of all things cosplay: it contains a detailed history of the phenomena, interviews with the biggest cosplay celebrities, tips on creating your own costumes and over two hundred photographs.
Nigri by Larry Alan [$40]
Cosplay queen Jessica Nigri also has a new book out showcasing her collaborations with photographer Larry Alan. The result is a 150-page coffee table book chronicling three years of highly creative cosplay. If you know any closet Nigri fans, this is the gift to get them.
The Art of Alien: Isolation [$41]
Alien: Isolation was one of the most visually arresting video games of 2014. This 176-page art book contains a gallery of nostalgic terror, including swathes of promotional paintings and concept art from the game’s production team. There are over 300 images in all. You may want to pair this gift with a nightlight: the recipient is going to need it.
Halo 2 Anniversary Digital Soundtrack [$21.99]
To celebrate Halo 2’s 10-year anniversary (blimey, I feel old), Microsoft has re-recorded the complete orchestral score. There are a whopping 35 tracks to digest, including some original music inspired by the game. The Halo 2 Anniversary Soundtrack is available on iTunes and Google Play for $29.99 and $21.99, respectively. `
The Music of Grand Theft Auto V collection [$55]
Nobody buys CDs anymore, right? Nevertheless, this will make a very cool present for any die-hard GTA fan. This handsomely produced box set contains 59 tracks from the game spread across three discs; including original music from A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, Twin Shadow, Wavves, Flying Lotus, Yeasayer and others. An LP version is also available which comes with six vinyl records.
Alto C Ocarina Flute [$17]
The Lengend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is one of the best video games of all time. You can now get a ceramic, kiln-fired version of the titular flute for just $17. It contains 12 holes with a pitch range of A4 to F6, including sharps and flats. The box includes playing instructions and a picture of Link getting his groove on: a perfect gift for musically-minded Zelda fans.
Extravagant (over $100)
Fallout Vault-Tec Aviator Watch [$265]
Wear your Fallout devotion on your sleeve with this stylish wristwatch officially licensed from Bethesda. Limited to 500, each Vault-Tec Aviator watch is individual numbered and encased in a custom-designed “vault” that includes a certificate of authenticity. It boasts Japanese 6-Hand Seiko VD53 Chronograph Quartz movement with hours, minutes, seconds and date displays.
Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device [$119]
The Chell suit we mentioned earlier isn’t complete without this bad boy. This is a 1:1 scale replica of the Handheld Portal Device that can be customised with different outer shells and LED colors. It also plays sounds from the games when you hit the fire button.
Loot Crate [From $27 per month]
The gift that keeps on giving! Loot Crate is a special gift service that delivers a mystery batch of geek-and-gamer gear every month of the year. Past goodies have included Zelda T-shirts, Halo trading cards, Minecraft merch, Pokemon figurines and Street Fighter Bobble Heads. Recipients also score a bunch of movie and comic memorabilia. Pricing starts at $27 per month including shipping. Each crate contains a combined retail value of at least $40.
Nintendo 3DS Retro NES Edition [$299]
It’s a Nintendo 3DS designed to look like a classic NES controller. Put this one on my Christmas wishlist please.
Dragonborn Metal Print [$275]
For the Skyrim fan who has everything. There are only 100 of these limited-edition aluminum prints in existence. Measuring 17×30 inches, each print is glassless and frameless with a chromaluxe aluminum white gloss finish. The applied coating process provides an incredible depth of color that can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner. Fus Ro Dah!
First 4 Figures Tanooki Suit Mario Statue [$129.99]
This exquisitely detailed statue depicts Mario in his famous flying suit from Super Mario 3D Land. It stands 15 inches tall and boasts hand-finished detail and paint work. It’s limited to 2000 pieces and includes a hand-numbered base and certificate of authenticity.
Assassin’s Creed Altair cosplay costume [$168]
For the parkour fan who has always wanted to get into cosplay, but can’t be arsed making their own costume. This is a hand-crafted replica of Altair’s iconic threads. The package includes a vambrace gauntlet, waistband and boots. You can also get one custom-tailored.
Shenmue Ryo Statue [$169.99]
No, your eyes don’t deceive you: you’re looking at an officially licensed Ryo Hazuki statue from the cult-favourite Shenmue series. It stands an impressive 12-inches tall and has been painted by hand. Now if only Sega would pull its finger out and release Shenmue III.
Sonic Screwdriver Official Replica [$1800]
How come there haven’t been any good Doctor Who video games? It’s literally one of the most game-friendly premises imaginable: you could have the Doctor traveling through time and space as he battles famous foes with a mixture or brain and brawn. Telltale Games would totally hit it out of the park. But I digress. This is an exact replica of the 11th and 12th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver that also plays sounds from the show. This one isn’t shipping until early 2015, but we reckon the recipient will let that slide when they consider the price tag.