With Christmas just weeks away, households the world over will want to be stocking up on video game goodies to unwrap on the big day. So whether you are looking for a brand new console, some game-based clothing or maybe some post-turkey tabletop gaming, our gaming gift ideas should have you covered.
Xbox One S bundles
‘Tis the season to be jolly… and to hunt out the best bundles for video game consoles. Microsoft’s recently re-designed Xbox One S is a splendid option, arguably the machine that the original Xbox One should have been. Xbox can boast some terrific exclusives -from Halo 5 to Gears 4 to Forza Horizon 3- while the S also comes equipped with a 4K Blu-Ray player and HDR support. This £279.99 FIFA 17 bundle for the 1TB version at Amazon is one of the most eye-catching deals. But if you are not football inclined there are 1TB versions with Gears of War 4 (£279.99) or a Battlefield 1 package for £299.99. There is also this spiffy MInecraft favourites 500GB bundle for £249.99.
PlayStation 4 bundles
If you would prefer a PS4 under your tree, you have plenty of choice on Sony’s best-seller. Whichever you go for, you will have access to an amazing exclusive games library -from Uncharted 4 to The Last Guardian- with plenty more to come. This bundle for the redesigned PS4 Slim and Uncharted 4 for £223 is tremendous value or for a little extra you can get the 1TB version with Uncharted 4, The Last of Us and DriveClub for £279.99.
For the more serious gamer in your life you might consider the PS4 Pro. The upgraded premium PS4 enables 4K gaming and bolsters PSVRperformance, so you will need a 4K television or PSVR headset to enjoy the benefits. But this is the most powerful console on the market today. Official bundles are thin on the ground, but Game online has a decent range of deals, including one that includes Fallout 4 and Infamous: Second Son for the PS4 Pro’s RRP of £349.99.
NES Classic Mini
With its new console Switch not out until March, few would have expected for Nintendo to be a big player this Christmas. But its diddy replica of its original NES console has been flying off the shelves to the point they have been difficult to track down. We wouldn’t recommend paying over the odds on eBay, but for the RRP of £49.99 its 30 classic games and delightful form factor would make for a retro gaming treat this Christmas.
We love Numskull’s gaming range -from its Mega Drive keyrings to Dark Souls mugs- but the London based company comes into its own for the festive season. Its Christmas jumpers are fabulous, injecting their inspirations with plenty of cheer. New this year are Pac-Man, Skyrim and Sonic-themed jumpers. While there are plenty of non-gaming options too, from Spider-Man to Star Wars.
Insert Coin gear
Insert Coin are one of the world’s leading video game clothing ranges. And for good reason. Whether its t-shirts, jackets or bags, Insert Coin’s stuff is always smart and stylish, using the games as inspiration rather than plastering logos over t-shirts. The new Destiny and Pokemon ranges are particularly good, but the choice and range of games is terrific.
Beasts of Balance
If you are looking for something a little different to play after Christmas dinner this year, you might find what you are after in this lovely hybrid of board game and smartphone/tablet app. Beasts of Balance is a kind of Jenga evolved, having you stack different creatures and ‘artefacts’ on a plinth while they appear in a colourful world on screen. You have to balance not just the physical models on your table, but the attributes of the beasts that appear on screen. Its beautifully presented, with weird creatures appearing as you combine objects, and the hilarious panic as you desperately re-assemble your fallen tower before a volcano erupts is worth the price alone.
League of Legends: Mechs vs Minions
For a rather more hardcore tabletop gaming experience, Riot Games adaption of their hugely successful MOBA is fantastic. Mechs vs Minions is a co-operative story-driven game for 2-4 players, as you take war-walkers into battle against scores of minions in the fantasy world of Runeterra. This is a hefty, luxurious board game with fabulous pieces and plenty of scope.
Pokemon Go Plus
Still know someone trying to catch ‘em all? While the Pokemon Go phenomenon might not be at its height, particularly as the cold sets in, it remains staggeringly popular as players venture into the real world to hunt down the elusive pocket monsters. The watch-like Pokemon Go Plus (£34.99) will help them along the way, meaning they can hunt for Pokemon without having to stare at their phones. If a Pokemon is nearby, the LED button will flash green, while you can press it to lob a Pokeball. It will also shine blue if you are near a Pokestop, allowing you to hoover up those lovely Pokeballs and potions without having to delve into your pocket.
Minecraft comes full circle. The hugely popular block-based building game now has its own Lego set. Stands to reason, really. As always with Lego, they are beautifully made, keeping that Minecraft feel with additional Lego charisma. There is plenty to choose from, from Cabinsto Caves, while of course you can get your hands on Steve and Creeper minifigs.
Of course, there’s little that beats the buzz of a freshly unwrapped game on Christmas morning. The choice has never been greater, so take a look at our suggestions in our Best Games of 2016 list and our all-time favourite titles for PS4, Xbox One and Wii U.