Gamers are tough to shop for. Luckily, the industry has grown unbelievably quickly, so there are a lot of potential gifts that any gamer would love to have. Of course, a gift is worth nothing if you can’t get it by the holidays, so all the products listed here are already available or at least should be by the time the celebrations kick in.
1) Nintendo Wii U- from $299.99
A difficult purchase, especially since no Wii U game ranks above 90 on Metacritic, but this is Nintendo’s next-generation console. There are fairly decent games available for purchase, compelling software is set to arrive in the coming months, and it is backwards compatible with existing Wii games and controllers.
2) Sony PS Vita – from $249.99
With the Nintendo 3DS proving to be a bit underwhelming, the handheld to purchase is the PS Vita. While it costs more than current generation consoles, PlayStation 3 games often offer a Vita duplicate for free. Perhaps even more impressively, the Vita game actually is a legitimate duplicate of what you’re playing on the screen and you can actually continue your games from one to the other. Therefore, you never have to stop gaming, even when you’re on the go.
3) The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series – $29.99
Yes, the comic book and television sensation is now a great videogame too. Ranking a commendable 95 on Metacritic, this standalone disc combines all five chapters of the episodic series that sees you trying to survive yet another zombie invasion. The game has already won several awards but, according to some, is perhaps downloaded because the disk has performance issues.
4) Far Cry 3 - $59.99
While the shooter fans are clearly busy with Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops II, this Ubisoft game managed to sneak up and actually deliver a unique experience. The series has always been regarded for fantastic graphics and gameplay but, best of all, it now has a compelling story revolving around mysticism and betrayal. Don’t ignore this amidst all the sci-fi shooters; it really is a gem.
5) Sleeping Dogs - $49.99
A game that has more lives than a cat, Sleeping Dogs was originally cancelled but came back, taking the gaming community completely by surprise. With fantastic voice acting, an atmospheric representation of Hong Kong and some of the best martial arts ever used in video games, this game really should be the start to a fantastic new series. Don’t hesitate to pick it up.
6) Dishonored - $59.99
The game that really tests the limits of variety in gaming, Dishonored is an action-adventure game brought to you by the people behind the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. It is possible to shed blood by the second in the game, but you can finish it all without having to kill a single person. You have a variety of supernatural powers and are the world’s best assassin; what you do from there is up to you.
7) The Last Story - $49.99
Perhaps the last hurrah for the current Wii, The Last Story is a true ode to the classic Japanese role-playing games of yesteryear. Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, former executive producer for Final Fantasy, this it the closest you will get to experiencing the joy of gaming as it used to be.
8) Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed - $39.99
Yes, there are better rated racing games out right now (such as Forza Horizon) but Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed gives us something no other game can: the best cast for a racing game outside of Mario Kart. For all the people who were desperate to finally see Sega be awesome again, look no further.
9) Fifa Soccer 13 - $59.99
The FIFA franchise was getting criticized for becoming stale; this was their response. Perhaps the most responsive soccer simulation in history with the most up-to-date teams, this is the game to go to when you want to relive all your fantasies of imitating your favorite athletes.
10) Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - $49.99
Simply the best original fighting game of the year, Tekken Tag Tournament II continues the trend of being a difficult game that even novices can have fun with. With stunning graphics, fantastic competitive options and the classic Tekken gameplay that has been refined for over a decade, this game is a total hoot and something to play with all your friends come the holidays.
So there you have it — the 10 things any gamer would be happy to receive. If you are buying anything for a friend or loved one, understand that the thing gamers most want is the love. So when you buy a gift, be sure to sit down for 15 minutes and just play. There is really no game sweeter than the one played with someone you love.