‘Tis the season, and it’s time to start planning the gifts for your family and friends. If there are gamers (or geeks in general) among them, finding the right present might be challenging if you aren’t one as well. Thankfully we have just the list to help you make the right choice, or at least narrow down the possible options to a manageable few.
This is probably the most obvious option for a gamer gift, although it can be hard to pick the best titles from the vast numbers of games released each year. Games are without a doubt the best gifts ideas for gamers of all shapes and sizes, but the staggering diversity of genres makes choosing the right one a bit of a problem. Which is where our shortlist of this year’s hottest releases comes in. For clarity we provide the genre and the platform (PC/PlayStation/Xbox).
Available for: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Genre: Action-adventure, stealth Dishonored 2 Price: from 35$ The sequel to an unexpected hit of 2012. The plot of Dishonored 2 takes place fifteen years after the conclusion of its predecessor, and provides two characters to play as. The first is Corvo Attano, known to veterans of the original game, and Emily Kaldwin, a dethroned Empress. Launched in November this year, it’s a perfect present for patient and creative players.
Available for: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Genre: First-person shooter Titanfall 2 Price: from 32$ Another sequel on the list, this time to 2014 online shooter, which enjoyed a significant, if short-lived success. In Titanfall 2 gamers can experience and engaging single-player experience in a creative campaign, or jump online. Either way, the massive Titans (a mix of robot and mech suit) provide an optional second layer to this highly entertaining game.
Final Fantasy XV
Available for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One Genre: jRPG, action role-playing FF XV Price: from 84 $ (Premium Edition) A long-awaited game of the legendary franchise. It is the 15th entry into the core Final Fantasy series, and the first single-player experience since 2009. A road-trip story of crown prince Noctis and his friends/advisors, on their way to regaining Noctis’ rightful place on the throne. Beautiful visuals and the return of a single-player focus make Final Fantasy XV a great gift for the enthusiasts of the franchise and of the genre in general.
The Last Guardian
Available for: PlayStation 4 Genre: Action-adventure The Last Guardian arrives after nearly a decade in development. Coming from Team ICO, creator of a warmly welcomed Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The game is a story about a boy and a giant creature called Trico, together trying to escape an unfamiliar castle. The game involves many puzzle elements. Much like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the game’s insistence on the subtle storytelling and the bond between the boy and Trico makes it a memorable and touching experience.
Available for: PC Genre: Turn-based strategy, 4X Civilization VI Price: from 41$ A title for patient and forward-thinking players. Civilization VI is the sixth core entry in a long-running series of strategy games, where players control various aspect of a nascent culture. Victory conditions range from conquest to cultural influence. Possibly infinite unique scenarios make this game infinitely replayable, and thanks to this Civ VI is one of the best gifts for gamers.
Available for: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Genre: Puzzle-platformer, adventure Inside Price: from 13$ Inside is an enigmatic game with subtle storytelling. The player controls a boy through a series of dangerous scenarios in a bizarre and hostile world. The game is presented in a side-scrolling, 2.5-D fashion, with scarce use of color.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Available for: PlayStation 4 Genre: Action-adventure A PS4 exclusive, and one of the highest-rated games of the year. Uncharted 4 is the finale to the story of one Nathan Drake, a compulsive adventurer and victim of bad luck. The Uncharted games are known for their spectacular action scenes, enjoyable narrative, and the excellent voice acting of Nolan North.
Available for: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Genre: Turn-based tactics XCOM 2 Price: from 13$ XCOM 2 is a sequel to 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It is a demanding game for tactically-minded and patient players. The aim is to overthrow an extraterrestrial occupation of Earth through a series of turn-based guerilla warfare scenarios. Unforgiving difficulty, broad unit customization, and an chess-like “easy-to-learn, hard-to-master” mechanics make XCOM 2 a great training in patience and planning.
Available for: PC Genre: Role-playing game Tyranny Price: from 28$ A proposition for fans of narrative-heavy games. In Tyranny the player takes to role of a Judge Dread of sorts, working for an evil overlord. The game has branching storylines and a fresh take on morality and corresponding systems. A single playthrough may be short, but the replay value of Tyranny fully makes up for it.
Available for: PC, PlayStation 4 Genre: Simulation, racing Additional hardware required: a VR headset: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Eagle Flight allows the player with a Virtual Reality headset to become an eagle flying through and fighting other animals in a post-human version of Paris. The players control the eagle’s flight by tilting their heads. The game can be enjoyed in multiplayer by up to five other people who have the game and required hardware.
Gadgets are a bread and butter of any self-respecting geek and there are so many it may be hard to even imagine them all. So instead we picked some of the most popular ones. If you’re looking for gifts for geeks, these are a great start.
Virtual Reality has become one of the signature tech gadgets of 2016 and there are numerous VR games and solutions are already out or will come in the near future. Stay ahead of the curve and buy a VR set for yourself and/or a geeky friend. Notable examples: PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard
Much like VR, drones are gaining in popularity fast. Not hard to see why. Remote-controlled, equipped with decent camera, flying drones let you see the world from a new perspective. Not to mention that “piloting a quadcopter” sounds cool regardless of the ‘copter’s size. And they can be 3D-printed, too! Notable examples: DJI Mavic Pro, Parrot Bebop, Hubsan X4
Another rising star of the 21st century gadgetry. While a 3D-printer can (but doesn’t have to) be a costly purchase, the possibilities are nearly endless. Using a malleable filament or resin, 3D printers can create nearly anything, from gaming figurines to a drone frame. Alternatively, there are many companies offering 3D-printouts and shipping. All you need is a properly optimized 3D model. Notable examples: He3D Delta DLT180, Q3D TwoUp, Velleman K8400
RC BB-8 (Star Wars)
After Star Wars Episode VII premiered last year BB-8 joined the gallery of memorable (and adorable) droids perfect for becoming a gadget. One of the best examples is the Sphero version. BB-8 by Sphero is smartphone-controlled tiny version of [spoiler]’s droid, and comes with convenient controls, authentic sounds and movement, as well as a patrol mode. Merging gadgets and fandom, an RC BB-8 is definitely among the best possible geek gifts.
NES Classic Edition
Nintendo brings back the memories of the 1980s to those who have them, and gives retro-gamers a new favorite thing this year. NES Classic Edition includes an “original” controller, visual filters simulating old TV displays, and 30 legendary games. The list includes Donkey Kong, Ninja Gaiden, and even the original Final Fantasy. The product is in high demand and low supply, so be quick.
If you’re buying for a gamer who moves a lot and rarely stays in the same place for long, a gaming laptop might be the best present. Yes, usually they have less power than desktop PCs and cost a lot, but that’s the price of a more compact form and higher mobility. Notable examples: MSI GS60 Ghost Pro, Asus ROG Strix GL502, Origin EON15-X,
Laptops can weigh a bit. Gaming laptops even more so, making carrying them around in bags a literal pain in the neck. A way to avoid it is buying a laptop-capable backpack. A dedicated pocket for the machine itself, pouches and smaller pockets for accessories, cables etc. – they make travelling with your gaming machine a breeze. And they usually have enough space to carry other things, too, if need be. Be sure your laptop can fit in! Notable examples: STM Drifter, Asus ROG Nomad V2, Ghostek NRGbag
Fitbit Charge 2
A nice gadget for geeky sport enthusiasts. A comfortable wristband with an in-built screen looks like a smartwatch, but offers a number of neat options like heartbeat monitor, GPS tracking, and even breathing guide. It’s like Endomondo in a physical form.
Streaming is all the rage these days. Some of the most prominent gamers were made famous thanks to them streaming their favorite games. It can be difficult sometimes, though, and this is where streaming peripherals come into play. Plug them in and enjoy convenient streaming and video editing options at your leisure. Notable examples: Elgato Game Capture HD60, Hauppauge HD PVR 2
When all else fails, turning to a custom controller may be a nice gift for any gamer. Custom button colors or backlight, skins for the chassis, sometimes even engraving, when the supplier goes all in. Notable services: thecontrollershop.com, customcontrollerzz.com, controllerchaos.com, pluscontrollers.com
The chances are high that at least one of the things we suggested will be a perfect present for any geek and gamer. This list in no way exhausts the gift ideas, but it is a good start and may help you get an idea what interests gamers and geeks this year.