Whether you’re a gamer yourself or not, chances are you’ll need to shop for someone who enjoys video games this holiday season. Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology and the constant release of new games, finding the right gaming-themed gift can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. To help make things a little easier, we’ve put together the ultimate console holiday gift guide to help you find something for your favorite gamer at a variety of price points. To make things easier, we’ve separated the guide into categories based on platform – as long as you know whether your giftee prefers Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, you’ll be able to find something that matches. We’ll only be discussing more “major,” under the tree-style gifts here – if you’re looking for stocking stuffers, we’ll be doing a separate guide for those soon.
A note about Black Friday: many stores have already announced their deals or are running early sales. While prices and stock are accurate as of this writing, there are generally a lot of great games and console bundles on sale during the weekend of Black Friday, so prices may go even lower or new bundles may be announced. Keep an eye on your store of choice for any good sales they might run.
Without further ado, here are some awesome things to buy for the gamer in your life.
Xbox Series S – $299.99 at Target
Gaming consoles have been in short order since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global illness, manufacturing slowdowns, chip shortages, and supply chain blockages have all prevented consoles from reaching the hands of consumers. Thankfully, things seem to be getting a little better: it’s now possible to find the Xbox Series S, one of Microsoft’s latest consoles, at major retailers like Target. (The more powerful version, the Series X, is still difficult to find.) If your giftee is a big fan of games like Halo, Battlefield, and Forza, they’ll love being able to play them in high definition on a big-screen TV. Just note that the Series S doesn’t have a disc drive – players will need to download all their games through the Xbox store. It might be a good idea to grab them an external hard drive, too.
Xbox Game Pass – $15 – $50 at Amazon (and other major retailers)
No Xbox is complete without Xbox Game Pass. This subscription service for Xbox and Windows PC players is one of the best deals in gaming. Subscribers have access to a wide variety of games for free, and new games are added every month. Microsoft has even started designating many of its biggest upcoming games as day one Game Pass titles, meaning that subscribers can immediately play them for free (minus the cost of the monthly subscription, of course). If your gamer is interested in dipping their toes into the Xbox back catalogue and getting instant access to the latest games, get them a few months of Game Pass for the holidays. They’ll be thanking you all year.
The Skyrim Library Box Set – $57.99 at Amazon
Know a gamer who’s a little more literary than most? How about one who’s an avid fan of Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Get them this incredible hardcover box set of some of the game’s most fascinating lore and writing. The world of Skyrim is scattered with books and texts that players can read, which these volumes collect all in one place. Besides being fascinating and expanding on the world of TES while we wait for VI, the box would look amazing on any hardcore collector’s shelf.
Funko Pop! Master Chief – $15.99 at Amazon
If your favorite gamer is a Halo fan, chances are they’ve already dived into Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer and have a pre-order on its upcoming single-player campaign. Get them something to decorate their desk while they spend hours playing: this cute vinyl Pop! figurine of the protagonist himself, Master Chief. Many gamers are toy and figure collectors with hefty collections, and this one is sure to look right at home among their growing Pop! army.
Nerf Halo Bulldog Dart Blaster – $34.89 at Amazon
Modeled after a gun in the upcoming Halo Infinite, this Nerf gun would make a great gift for a younger gamer in your life. It comes with several foam darts so fans can gleefully pretend to be Master Chief while mercilessly raining foam on their siblings or the family dog. If this one isn’t to your style, there are a variety of other Halo-themed Nerf weapons out there, so take the time to look through all of them before you pick one.
PlayStation 5 Faceplate – $33.99 at Amazon
PlayStation 5s are hard to find right now, but if you know someone who has one, this faceplace is a good way to change up the look of their console. Many gamers like their setups to look sleek and monochromatic; if your gamer feels the same way, they’ll love being able to match their console to their living room aesthetic. If black isn’t their style, this faceplate also comes in magenta, for the pink-inclined among us.
PlayStation Classic Beer Mug – $22.99 at Amazon
If your PlayStation fan enjoys having a pint with their nightly games or simply loves that old-school PlayStation aesthetic, they’ll love this 90s-themed PlayStation beer mug. It’s an officially licensed product with a durable ceramic exterior that’s perfect for holding their drink of choice. (We won’t judge.) If PlayStation isn’t their style, there’s a surprisingly large amount of gaming-themed steins and mugs out there, so take a look – you’ll never know what you might find.
PlayStation Watercolor Symbols T-Shirt – $21.99 at Amazon
PlayStation lovers who like to show off their fandom publicly will really enjoy this t-shirt. It comes in both unisex and curved styles and a variety of background colors, all of which make the watercolor designs of the symbols pop. Whether they’ve been around since the original PlayStation or just jumped on the boat with the PS5, this shirt will make a statement about what they love to do.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game – $75 at Amazon
Not all gamers are only into video games; some also enjoy board games and tabletop games. If you have one of these hybrid gamers on your list, wow them with the official Horizon Zero Dawn board game. While it’s a little more expensive than your average Monopoly set, it comes with incredibly detailed game pieces modeled after the game’s heroes and creatures. Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the biggest PlayStation games out there, so it will definitely be a recognizable sight under the tree.
PlayStation 5 DualSense Charging Station – $29.99 at Best Buy
No matter what console they’re using, every gamer needs a dock to charge their wireless controllers. While it might not be the flashiest or most exciting gift, no one wants to come home with a brand-new game only to find that their controllers are dead. Keep them fully charged with this official Sony charging station. Its white exterior matches the PlayStation 5, and it can charge two controllers at once, ensuring that siblings, friends, and parents can jump in as player two whenever they want.
Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons edition – $299.99 at GameStop
Animal Crossing: New Horizons shook the world last year when it came out just as the pandemic was beginning. If you’re looking to splash out for someone this holiday season, this adorable New Horizons-themed Switch is the perfect way to introduce them to the magic of Nintendo’s hybrid console-handheld. If you don’t want to spend quite that much, you can get them a handheld-only Switch Lite for $199.99. Note that the New Horizons console doesn’t come with the game, so you’ll need to purchase that separately if you’re looking to give the gift of Animal Crossing this holiday season.
Build-a-Bear Tom Nook – $44.00 at Nintendo
If you’re looking to give the gift of warm winter cuddles without having to go out into the cold world of the mall, you can order one of Nintendo’s Build-a-Bear collaboration stuffed animals right from the comfort of your living room. Tom Nook is soft, snuggly, and ready to hug, and he even comes with one random Amiibo card, which allows Animal Crossing players to unlock new characters and experiences in New Horizons. If Tom Nook isn’t their favorite character, the shop also carries the fan-favorite Isabelle.
Pikachu Switch Protection Case – $19.99 at Nintendo
Part of the appeal of the Switch is being able to take it wherever you go, whether that’s to a friend’s birthday party, on a vacation, or even just to school or work. Unfortunately, the Switch’s built-in screen is extremely susceptible to scratches and scrapes, even when handled carefully. If your gamer likes to take their Switch everywhere they go – and loves Pokémon, to boot – gift them this Pikachu carrying case. It’s specifically made to carry a Switch or Switch Lite and has a built-in screen protector as well as slots for accessories and six game cartridges. For something a little trendier and more feminine, try this clutch-style case for $10 more.
The Art of Splatoon 2 – $30.49 at Amazon
Nintendo shocked the fan community earlier this year when it announced Splatoon 3, the third installment in the groundbreaking squid-themed FPS series. While fans will have to wait until next year to get their hands on the game, they can spend the rest of this year flipping through this beautiful artbook. Fans interested in art and visual design will love the peek behind the game development curtain that the book provides. With hardcover binding and oversized, full-color pages, The Art of Splatoon 2 is great as a coffee table book or collector’s item.
Lego Super Mario Master Your Adventure Set – $59.99 at Nintendo
Fans of Super Mario Maker, which allows players to build and design their own Mario levels, will love being able to do the same thing in real life with this intricate Lego set. Gamers young and old can build the set out of the included 366 pieces, some of which can be substituted and changed for a different play experience each time. If builders get stuck, they can use the official Lego Super Mario app to find instructions, tips, and tricks to make their very own section of the Mushroom Kingdom.