The best gifts for gamers (Photo: Reviewed/Amanda Tarlton)
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If you’re wondering what to give the gamer in your life this holiday season, we’ve got everything you need right here. Forget mugs, socks, or novelty junk and snag something your game-loving relative or friend will actually appreciate. At Reviewed, we test products all year long to make sure we only find the very best. And whether you’re buying for your girlfriend, your husband, your daughter or yourself, these are the best gifts for gamers in 2020 according to our in-house experts and thousands of reviews from happy buyers.
We don’t often see a new generation of game consoles, so the freshly released PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles, along with useful accessories, will be the most coveted gifts this holiday season, as will the ever-popular Nintendo Switch. But gaming doesn’t start or end with the big consoles, and besides, they’ve proven nearly impossible to get this year. So we have some fantastic alternatives for mobile gamers, retro gaming fans, and PC gamers as well. Here’s everything you need for a merry gamer’s holiday season.
Table of Contents
1. For the retro-gamer: Sega Genesis Mini
The best gifts for gamers: Sega Genesis Mini (Photo: Sega/Reviewed)
Once a gaming titan, the Sega brand is still beloved by many. Anyone with fond memories of titles like “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Golden Axe,” or “Ecco the Dolphin” will love this official miniature replica of the Sega Genesis console, which has thousands of positive reviews and comes with 42 classic games and two controllers. The original upon which it is based landed in the States in 1989.
2. For young gamers: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet
The best gifts for gamers: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet (Photo: Amazon)
For younger kids, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a window to a curated world of age-appropriate entertainment. This tablet tops our round-up ofthe best tablets for kids, and is perfect for watching TV and movies, playing games and reading. You get a full year of the Amazon Kids+ service included, so simply set your child’s age and rest assured they’ll enjoy a constantly updated buffet of child-friendly entertainment. Excellent parental controls allow you to set screen time and other limits easily. It also comes with a special bumper case and a 2-year worry-free guarantee promising a free replacement from Amazon if your little cherub finds a way to break it.
Get the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition from Amazon for $139.99
3. For gamers on the go: Nintendo Switch Lite
The best gifts for gamers: Nintendo Switch Lite (Photo: Nintendo)
Smartphones have certainly eaten into the handheld gaming market, but the widely adored and positively reviewed Nintendo Switch Lite proves there’s still room for a dedicated, portable, handheld gaming device. The pocket-sized Switch Lite boasts a lovely design that’s comfortable to game on and can run most of the same games as its bigger sibling. It is, quite simply, the best handheld console Nintendo has ever produced.
4. For the Nintendo superfan: Nintendo Switch
The best gifts for gamers: Nintendo Switch (Photo: Nintendo)
At its core, gaming isn’t about frames-per-second or high dynamic range, it’s about games; immersive, joyful, impossible-to-put-down games, and that’s what Nintendo does best. The Switch is a little older now, but that means you have a huge list ofgreat Nintendo Switch games to choose from. If you want a console that’s sure to gather the family to play together, the Switch is a great choice that also has a handheld mode for gaming anywhere.
Get a Nintendo Switch from Amazon for $499
5. For group Nintendo fun: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The best gifts for gamers: Nintendo Switch Pro controller (Photo: Nintendo)
Not everyone will love the Joy-Con controllers that come with the Nintendo Switch, but there is another option: the highly regarded and very positively reviewed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller offers a more familiar and classic controller design. It also boasts motion controls, rumble support for vibrations, NFC functionality, and it comes with a USB-C charging cable.
Get a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller from Amazon for $59
6. For the Nintendo gamer who wants to play online: Nintendo Switch Online 12-Month Membership
An essential purchase for Nintendo Switch owners, this subscription enables online multiplayer play, and it gives access to a long list of classic NES and SNES titles for free. Subscribers get cloud save support into the bargain, and there are special offers from time-to-time. There’s also a family membership option that gives you the same privileges for up to eight Switch accounts.
Get a Nintendo Switch Online 12-Month Family Membership from Amazon for $34.99
9. For the mobile gamer: Razer Kishi mobile game controller
The best gifts for gamers: Razer Kishi controller (Photo: Razer)
While there are loads of great mobile games for your phone, using a tiny touchscreen can be tricky. Razer’s solution is a special controller that you slot your Android phone or iPhone into. The Kishi controller offers dedicated physical buttons, thumbsticks, and a D-pad. Unlike Bluetooth controllers, it connects via the charging port for lag-free gaming on the go.
1. For gamers with Apple devices: Apple Arcade subscription
The best gifts for gamers: Apple Arcade (Photo: Apple/Reviewed)
Some of the best mobile games ever made can be found in Apple Arcade, alongside the promise of no ads and no in-app purchases. From “Sneaky Sasquatch” to “Assemble with Care” this is a great gaming space for the whole family. The monthly subscription buys access for up to six family members to play more than 100 games on iPhones, iPads, Macs, or on Apple TV.
Get an Apple Arcade subscription from Apple for $4.99/month
10. For the multiplayer gamer: PlayStation Plus subscription
The best gifts for gamers: PlayStation Plus subscription (Photo: Sony/Reviewed)
If you want to play online with friends or strangers on your PlayStation 4 or the new PS5 console, you must sign up to PlayStation Plus. A PS Plus subscription enables online multiplayer, but it also gives you cloud storage for saved games, exclusive discounts, and access to some tempting titles for free. As we mention in ourPS5 review, owners of the new console who subscribe get the PS Plus Collection, which is a library of 20 top PS4 games.
Get a PlayStation Plus subscription for $9.99/month or $59.99/year
11. For the gamer seeking lots of games: PlayStation Now subscription
The best gifts for gamers: PlayStation Now subscription (Photo: Sony/Reviewed)
Any gamer with a PlayStation 4 or 5, or a PC, can subscribe to PS Now and get instant access to more than 800 titles from the PS4, PS3 and PS2 libraries. You can download games to play locally on your console, or you can stream games to your console or PC—just bear in mind that you will need a fast internet connection to enjoy the latter. Sony suggests 5 Mbps minimum, but realistically you’ll need more than that. While this service disappointed at launch, it is improving and so are the reviews.
12. For the gamer seeking immersive audio: SteelSeries Arctis Pro gaming headset
The best gifts for gamers: SteelSeries Arctis Pro (Photo: Reviewed / Jax Ruckar)
Great sound is vital for gaming immersion and nothing beats a headset for pulling you into your avatar’s shoes. The Arctis Pro tops our list ofbest gaming headsets because it combines comfort, high-quality audio and all the customization options you need. There’s also a microphone with background noise cancellation, so you can comfortably chat with friends and other gamers while you play. This headset also boasts SteelSeries’ Prism RGB system for custom lighting to add some ambiance.
Get a SteelSeries Arctis Pro from Amazon for $179.59
13. For the PC gamer who wants the best keyboard: SteelSeries Apex Pro
The best gifts for gamers: SteelSeries Apex Pro (Photo: Reviewed)
This full-sized mechanical keyboard is the ultimate in terms of customization, offering the ability to tweak the actuation point and lighting on each individual key, so you can get the perfect look and feel. As the top pick in ourbest gaming keyboards guide, this would make a wonderful gift for the PC gamer in your life. It also has USB pass-through, cable management, and even its own mini OLED display.
Get the SteelSeries Apex Pro from Amazon for $199.99
14. For the PC gamer seeking the best wireless mouse: Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro
The best gifts for gamers: Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro (Photo: Reviewed)
Every feature you’d expect to find in a top-notch wireless gaming mouse is present and correct in Corsair’s Dark Core RGB Pro. Currently leading ourbest gaming mice roundup, this mouse has eight programmable buttons, nine customizable lighting zones and a sensor that tops out at 18,000 DPI. Connectivity is also flawless, thanks to a choice of channels on the 2.4 GHz frequency or Bluetooth, with a USB-C cable as backup.
Get the Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro from Amazon for $70.29
15. For the messy gamer: Corsair MM350 Pro mouse pad
The best gifts for gamers: Corsair MM350 Pro Mouse Pad (Photo: Reviewed/Simon Hill)
A good mouse pad provides a smooth surface for your mouse, ensuring no move goes untracked, but it can also protect your desktop and add a touch of comfort and style. The extended MM350 Pro is a perfect pick, as it has a silky top layer that’s spill-proof and it provides enough room to house your mouse and keyboard. It grips the desktop firmly, and it provides a thick, cushioned layer for your hands.
16. For the Xbox gamer who wants it all: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Photo: Xbox/Reviewed)
There are a few subscription options with Xbox, but the highest-rated one offering the complete package is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You get access to more than 100 games, which you can play on Xbox, PC or Android devices, exclusive discounts and offers, Xbox Live Gold for console multiplayer, access to EA Play and a host of extra free perks. With stellar reviews this is the subscription service to get for Xbox owners.
17. For PC gamers on the go: Asus Zephyrus G14
The best gifts for gamers: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop (Photo: Reviewed.com)
It may be a compact ultraportable, but this gaming laptop packs plenty of power. OurAsus Zephyrus G14 review lauded the durable keyboard and long battery life, and it proved capable of running intensive AAA titles. It’s also an outstanding value, with comparable alternatives coming in a lot more expensive. All good reasons that this was named the best gaming laptop in ourbest tech of the year awards for 2020.
Get the Asus Zephyrus G14 from Walmart for $1,649
18. For tablet gaming: Apple iPad Air
The best gifts for gamers: iPad Air (2020) (Photo: Reviewed.com)
Incredibly sleek and amazingly powerful, with a truly silky 120Hz display and Face ID for effortless secure unlock, theiPad Air provides plenty of reasons it landed in ourBest of Year tech awards of 2020. With support for the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, you could use it for work, but the most fun you’ll have with the iPad Air is playing games.
Get the Apple iPad Air from Amazon for $599
19. For PC gamers seeking the best monitor: Asus ROG Strix XG279Q
The best gifts for gamers: Asus ROG Strix XG279Q (Photo: Asus/Reviewed)
This 27-inch gaming monitor delivers the dream: a fast IPS panel with a 1ms response time. It offers a 1440p resolution, up to 170 Hz refresh rate, and has support for HDR. Because it’s an IPS monitor you get excellent brightness, the full range of vibrant color, and superior viewing angles. There’s also support for G-Sync and technology designed to reduce motion blur.
20. For the uncomfortable PC gamer: Secretlab Omega
The best gifts for gamers: Secretlab Omega chair (Photo: Secretlab)
To be crowned champion of our list of thebest gaming chairs takes something special and the Secretlab Omega has it. Most gaming chairs ape racing style car seats, but Secretlab has elevated the form with sturdy construction, adjustable tilt and recline and a wonderful memory foam cushion with cooling gel inside. It also comes in a wide choice of finishes and there’s a larger Titan model for taller folks.
Get the Omega from SecretLab for $379
21. For the burgeoning VR gamer: PlayStation VR
The best gifts for gamers: PS VR (Photo: TOMOHIRO OHSUMI/GETTY IMAGES)
Virtual reality may not have taken over gaming (yet), but it’s still a lot of fun and PlayStation VR works with the PS4 and Sony’s new PS5 console. It’s a bit cheaper now than it was when it first appeared, so you can snag an affordable bundle with the Move controllers, camera and a game included. There are some interesting games and experiences, but my top picks are “Rez Infinite” and “Star Wars Squadrons.”
22. For the VR enthusiast: Oculus Quest 2
The best gifts for gamers: Oculus Quest 2 (Photo: Reviewed.com)
If you’re seeking a good standalone VR headset, consider the latest release from Facebook-owned Oculus. We praise the display, processing power and affordable price in ourOculus Quest 2 review, and there’s a growing library of apps and games to try out. There’s no need for a PC or console with this VR headset as you can set it up using a smartphone app.
Get the Oculus Quest 2 from Amazon for $399
23. For the PlayStation fan: PlayStation 5 Console
The best gifts for gamers: PlayStation 5 (Photo: Reviewed.com / TJ Donegan)
The tempting prospect of cutting-edge graphics in 4K with HDR, lightning-fast loading times thanks to solid-state storage, and a line-up of new and remastered games is enough to have PlayStation fans dizzy with anticipation. If there’s one gift they truly want this year, this is it, and ourPlayStation 5 review spells out precisely why. Unfortunately, it may be near impossible to get your hands on one at the moment. If you do manage it, we recommend opting for the disc drive model, as you can use PS4 discs with it, rentnew PS5 games and press it into service as a 4K Blu-ray player.
Get a PlayStation 5 from Amazon for $499.99
24. For group PS5 fun: PS5 DualSense Controller
The best gifts for gamers: PS5 DualSense controller (Photo: Reviewed / TJ Donegan)
If you’ve managed to secure a PS5, part of the joy will be playing with friends and family. But you’ll need an extra controller if you want to do that, as you only get one with the console. This controller is expensive, but you’ll see why as soon as you pick one up; from the textured grip made of tiny PlayStation button symbols to the adaptive triggers to the versatile haptic feedback this is a class act and a highlight in ourPS5 review. Each DualSense controller also boasts a speaker and microphone, with the option to plug in a headset.
Get a PS5 DualSense Controller from Amazon for $69.96
25. For tidy gamers: PS5 DualSense Controller Charging Station
The best gifts for gamers: PS5 DualSense Controller Charging Station (Photo: Sony/Reviewed)
Avoid the scourge of dead batteries and ensure that your PS5 controllers have a home between gaming sessions with this official charging station. With positive reviews rolling in, this elegant addition to your TV stand matches the console, and it’s quick and easy to click your controllers into place to charge up. That way, you’ll always know where to find them and they’ll be ready to go.
26. For the Xbox fan: Xbox Series X
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Series X (Photo: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk)
If Xbox is your jam, the most powerful gaming console Microsoft has ever produced is going to be a must-have—again, if you can manage to get your hands on one. We were impressed by the zippy loading times, HDR gaming and raw power in ourXbox Series X review, and we love the “Quick Resume” feature for jumping straight back into the action where you left off. Whilecompelling new titles are a little thin right now, this powerful console promises years of entertainment.
Get an Xbox Series X from Amazon for $499.99
27. For the Xbox fan on a budget: Xbox Series S
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Series S (Photo: Xbox/Reviewed)
While it’s a bit smaller, a little less powerful and lacking a disc drive, the Xbox Series X is a more affordable way to jump into next-generation gaming. You still get to sample ray-tracing and lightning-fast loading times, gaming in HDR, and the same mix of new and remastered titles. For a full breakdown of the differences we have anXbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S explainer. Unfortunately, this model is currently as difficult to secure as the pricier version.
Get an Xbox Series S from Amazon for $299.99
28. For group Xbox fun: Xbox Wireless Controller
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Wireless Controller (Photo: Xbox/Reviewed)
If you want to play Xbox with family and friends, then you’ll need at least one extra controller, and this is the best choice for most people. The previous version was our value pick of thebest Xbox controllers, and this new one has a slightly refined design for better comfort, a hybrid D-pad, and a dedicated button for capturing and sharing screenshots and gameplay clips. It comes in a range of colors, including the rather snazzy “Shock Blue”.
Get an Xbox Wireless Controller from Amazon
29. For Xbox gamers who don’t want to stop: Xbox Rechargeable Battery + USB-C Cable
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Rechargeable Battery and USB-C Cable (Photo: Xbox/Reviewed)
There’s no need to bother with disposable batteries if you get this well-reviewed official rechargeable battery from Microsoft. It comes with a long USB-C cable for the new controller and only takes four hours to fully charge. If you run out of power during a game session, you can plug in and keep on going while it fills up.
29. For the Xbox gamer craving customization: Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
The best gifts for gamers: Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (Photo: Xbox/Reviewed)
With a unique modular system that allows you to switch out thumbsticks and program the paddles to suit your play style, this Xbox controller is perfect for gamers who like to tweak and tailor their accessories. The original topped our list ofthe best Xbox controllers and this second edition improves on it. Designed for the Xbox One, this controller is also compatible with the new Series X and S consoles.
Get an Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 from Amazon for $176.12
30. For the tricky one to shop for: A gamer gift card
The best gifts for gamers: Steam gift card (Photo: Steam/Reviewed)
While it may not be very imaginative, a gift card is often the safest choice for the gamer in your life. Let them pick the game they really want, or at least put something towards it. Gift cards come in all shapes and sizes, so they work no matter what your budget is. Steam is a good option for PC gamers, or you can opt for the relevant console stores.
Get a $25 PlayStation Store Gift Card from Amazon
Get a $25 Xbox Gift Card from Amazon
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