With the mercury dropping outside, it's easy to find a reason to stay indoors and catch up on some quality game time. Luckily, we’ve got your back if you’re looking for some excellent gaming gifts to sustain you — or that special someone in your life — through the long winter months ahead. Whether you’re in the mood to gift something truly great this holiday season or simply treat yourself, we have a few ideas that should appeal to both casual and diehard gamers.
Here, we’ve pulled together a variety of suggestions from different price points, just in case you’re not looking to spend a grip just to cross a few names off your holiday shopping list. Some of this year’s picks include clever card games like Arkham Horror ($32) and blue-ribbon controllers like 8BitDo Pro 2 ($40), both of which cost less than $50. Of course, if you’re willing to spend quite a bit more, we’ve also highlighted some big-ticket items, including Samsung’s behemoth Odyssey G9 monitor ($900) and what is probably the most ambitious handheld to hit shelves in years: the Steam Deck ($399).
Not all of the gift entries on our list are considered tech, per se, but they should appease anyone with a penchant for screens, storage, and sword-swinging mammals.
PowerA Protection Case
PowerA makes a wide variety of fun, protective cases for the Nintendo Switch, many of which are centered around Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and other landmark Nintendo properties. That said, our personal favorite is the apt-titled PowerA Protection Case, which looks great, offers ample storage for games and accessories, and does a nice job keeping your console safe from harm.
(PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
Tunic borrows heavily from classic Legend of Zelda titles, but its adorable aesthetic betrays the difficulty of this stylish, isometric adventure game. It's a title that rewards exploration and is chock-full of secrets for you to discover. Admittedly, the enemies and boss battles can be grueling at times, but they're also incredibly gratifying to overcome once you've figured them out.
Apple TV 4K (128GB)
The third-gen Apple TV 4K is a snappy streaming device that provides access to all your favorite content, along with services like Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness Plus, at a more affordable price point than its predecessor. While the 64GB model offers excellent performance and can serve as a hub for Apple's HomeKit ecosystem, we prefer the slightly pricier 128GB model, as it includes support for gigabit ethernet and Thread networking.
Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink (2TB)
Whether you're gaming on a PC or PlayStation 5, you're going to need more storage at some point. Fortunately, Samsung's heatsink-equipped 980 Pro supports transfer speeds of up to 7,000MB/s, letting you quickly bulk transfer files and, in some cases, speed up loading times for games. The built-in heatsink makes the speedy SSD suitable for use with the PS5 but can be removed for use with an M.2-equipped motherboard.
NBCP Controller Holder
With NBCP's Controller Holder, you can finally give your accessories the home they deserve. The simple, inexpensive stand can accommodate a pair of controllers and a gaming headset, as well as a smartphone or Nintendo Switch. It also features silicon padding on the contact points to prevent unwanted damage, along with a slated design that renders the aluminum cradle as stable as it is sleek.
Pulsar Superglide mouse skates
If you're a speed freak when it comes to your gaming mouse, the Superglide mouse skates from Pulsar have got what you need. They're made from glass and offer little resistance, even when compared to PTFE mouse feet, making them a great option for keeping your favorite gaming mouse feeling like new. They're available for a range of mice, too, including those from Razer, SteelSeries, and Logitech, as well as smaller manufacturers.
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox
PowerA's Enhanced Controller for Xbox consoles is a wired accessory, true, but it's less expensive than its wireless counterpart and never needs to be charged. It's also available in a bunch of cool designs and comes with a 10-foot detachable USB-C cable, making it a great choice for gaming on your living room console, as well as the desktop machine in your bedroom.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (three-month subscription)
Becoming an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber grants you access to more than just a library of AAA titles for your Xbox, PC, or mobile device (via streaming). Doing so also lets you cash in on exclusive deals, access online multiplayer, and take advantage of upcoming titles like Hollow Knight: Silksong, High on Life, and Forza Motorsport as soon as they launch.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a co-op title with more cultists, zombies, and elder gods than you can shake a stick at. Assuming the role of an investigator, players attempt to unravel some type of supernatural mystery while keeping a handle on their own sanity. The base game comes with a campaign of three linked scenarios that play out like a choose-your-own-adventure book, where every success or failure follows you.
Logitech G502 Lightspeed
The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is the longtime GOAT of gaming mice and has remained a favorite among PC gamers for years thanks to its 11 customizable inputs, powerful 25K DPI optical sensor, and its compatibility with Logitech's Powerplay charging system. There's no shortage of wireless gaming mice on the market, but the G502 can run indefinitely without having to recharge when paired with the Powerplay charging mat — a unique feature even among modern gaming mice.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Gaming Headset
The Logitech G435 is a slick gaming headset that ticks a lot of boxes for around $50. It can connect with devices using Bluetooth or the included 2.4Ghz wireless dongle, and it's compatible with PCs, PlayStation consoles, and mobile devices. It also comes in some sharp colorways, cementing it as a great gaming headset option that doesn't cost a mint.
(PC, PlayStation, Xbox)
Earlier this year, fantasy author George R.R. Martin and the FromSoftware development team collaborated on one of the biggest "Souls" games to date. Elden Ring is set in a sprawling, dark-fantasy world full of unforgiving enemies and deep lore to uncover. Even if you've deliberately avoided the Souls-like genre in the past, Elden Ring is worth checking out for its spectacle alone.
SanDisk Ultra microSD card (256GB)
Whether you're a Nintendo Switch devotee or the proud owner of a new Steam Deck, you're going to need a microSD card sooner or later. And while there's no shortage of options out there, the SanDisk Ultra is a model we frequently recommend thanks to its reliability, relatively low price, and vast array of sizing options.
Asus Zephyrus G15
The Asus Zephyrus G15 remains one of our favorite gaming laptops in part to its excellent performance and battery life, as well as its lightweight form factor. The superb 15-inch machine pairs an RTX 3070 graphics card with a Ryzen 9 CPU, letting you run even the most demanding games in QHD without breaking the ol' proverbial sweat (or your checking account).
(PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
If Tony Hawk did a kickflip that landed squarely in the pastel-tinted world of Adventure Time, you'd end up with something like OlliOlli World. More of a rhythm game than a skateboarding title, OlliOlli World introduces some fun wrinkles to the genre by focusing on the fundamentals and making you feel extremely cool in the process.
Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller
The Backbone One makes your phone function more akin to a console. Designed to accommodate both Apple and Android devices, the handy controller clamps to either side of your smartphone, plugging into its charging port in the process. The accompanying app then consolidates all of your mobile and cloud gaming titles in a single spot, allowing you to capture gameplay footage, take screenshots, or stream directly to Twitch or YouTube.
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
Exercise your right to repair with iFixit's Pro Tech Toolkit. This handy and meticulously organized kit has just about everything you could need to fix laptops, watches, phones, or even glasses. It contains virtually every type of head you could ever want for a screwdriver, too, as well as a multitude of other handy tools. The next time you need to put together a PC or make emergency repairs to your phone, you’ll be glad you have the toolkit on hand.
Lego Atari 2600
The Lego Atari set is a 1:1 replica of the iconic Atari 2600 your dad brought home shortly after its debut in '82, complete with cartridges for Asteroids, Adventure, and everyone's favorite chilopod blaster, Centipede. The 2,532-piece set also comes with a single joystick and diorama versions of each game, making it a must for any nostalgic gamer.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is one of the best gaming headsets on the market as a result of its comfortable fit, hot swap battery, and noise-canceling capabilities. The SteelSeries software also allows you to fine-tune your audio, while the base station allows you to change your settings on the fly. The adjustable headband and plush earcups just add to the mix, ensuring the headset retains that plush feeling as long as you're willing to game.
Mountain Everest Max
There are plenty of keyboards that cost $250, but there is only one Mountain Everest Max. The lofty, modular system makes for one of our favorite gaming keyboards, one that comes with a detachable number pad and media dial in addition to a wide array of customization options. The luxe build is primarily made of metal, giving it a sturdy feel, and it includes hot-swappable switches, PBT keycaps, and a detachable USB-C cable.
LG C2 (55-inch)
The LG C2 is the like-minded successor to the C1, one that serves as a terrific follow-up, thanks to its lighter build, brighter display, and a set of gaming features that continue to set it apart from its peers. In addition to a 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision support, the C2 is also compatible with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, allowing for an incredibly smooth gaming experience.
SteelSeries Arena 7
Gaming headsets are nice, but there really is no substitute for the feeling you get from a dedicated subwoofer. Thankfully, the SteelSeries Arena 7 is the kind of speaker system that offers a lot without being overkill. The three-piece kit includes a pair of squat stereo speakers and a 6.5-inch sub, along with screen-mimicking RGB lighting for upping the ambiance while you're chasing that ever-elusive victory royale.
Persistent bugs and noisy fan aside, Valve's Steam Deck is the best gaming handheld that isn't the Nintendo Switch. The powerful Linux machine makes it possible to enjoy many of your favorite PC games on the go and does so while running them natively on its own hardware. Once only available via a reservation, you can now pick up the portable device in one of three configurations directly from Valve.
PlayStation 5 God of War Ragnarök Bundle
Strangely, Sony's God of War Ragnarök package has become one of the easier ways to get your hands on Sony's rarified console. The bundle includes the disc-based PlayStation 5 and a DualSense Wireless Controller, as well as a download code for God of War Ragnarök. It's worth keeping an eye for if you've been struggling to get a PS5, especially if you have yet to play Sony's exceptional exclusive.
Secretlab Titan Evo
Secretlab is a brand that's become synonymous with gaming chairs. The company's flagship model, the Titan Evo, is comfortable and durable and comes in a wide variety of styles and materials, ranging from a soft, breathable fabric to premium Napa leather. It's suited for a wide variety of users and desk setups, too, so you needn't worry about it fitting your giftee's gaudy — err, glorified — battlestation.
Samsung Odyssey G9
For the gamer who has everything, there's the Samsung Odyssey G9, an absolute unit of a monitor that dwarfs all other gaming monitors by a wide margin. The curvaceous, 49-inch display offers just about every perk available in a gaming monitor — including 5120 x 1440 resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync support. The price tag certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’ll be the proud owner of a gaming monitor without peer.
Grid Game Boy Color
The deconstructed tech items put on display by Grid are peak art. The company takes aged tablets, phones, laptops, and handheld consoles, breaking them down into their key components and putting them on display, shadowbox style. The prices fluctuate slightly based on availability, but if I had to pick one piece to put on my wall, it would have to be the transparent purple Game Boy Color.
Govee Glide Wall Lights
Just when you thought you couldn't use any more RGB lighting, Govee comes along with an amazing set of diffused RGB lightstrips. The reactive kit includes everything you need to get started, including eight straight sections and four angled corner pieces, which you can connect in any order you choose. They're chunkier than your average lightstrip, sure, but the Glide Wall Lights also support voice controls via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Less "bubble bubble" and a little more "toil and trouble," The Quacks of Quedlinburg has players filling the roles of medieval chemists competing to brew the best potions. Quacks is a delightful combination of "push your luck" mechanics combined with rapturous joy that only comes from watching your friends screw up.
8BitDo Pro 2 controller
If you’re looking for a premium controller but don’t want to buy Nintendo’s first-party model, the 8BitDo Pro 2 is a fantastic choice. The controller touts many of the same features as Nintendo's official Switch Pro Controller but works with a range of devices via Bluetooth and costs roughly $20 less. It can’t turn on your Switch remotely and lacks Amiibo support; however, even with those omissions, we still wholeheartedly rec this gamepad for Switch enthusiasts.