Winter is here, which means gamers everywhere rejoice as they can expect to get new gifts over the holidays. The best part is actually getting the time to play! Sometimes though, finding the correct present can prove to be difficult. That’s why we here at High Ground Gaming are coming to the rescue with our top 24 best Christmas gifts for gamers for this holiday season.
The list is separated into four different categories: Games (duh), Peripherals, Big Ticket Items and Accessories. So whether you’re looking for a special gift for a special someone or a stocking stuffer guaranteed to get a laugh we’ve got you covered! Who knows, you might even find something for yourself. Trust us, you’ve earned it.
The quintessential gift for gamers, who doesn’t want to open up a new game and promptly spend the rest of the day playing it? Our list covers a wide array of genres with some of 2021’s best hits and underrated gems.
A game with a fresh concept- perfect for the avid gamer.
Live. Die. Repeat. The cycle continues on and on in Arkane Studio’s Deathloop, the successful merger of the hitman genre and the plot of the movie Groundhog Day. Though there’s nothing particularly festive about meticulously planned murder, Deathloop instead makes the list by being entirely different from any other game released this year. Players take on the role of Colt Vahn, a man suffering from amnesia, who can only escape his temporal prison by assassinating the six “Visionaries” before the day ends. A deeply satisfying experience, Deathloop is a must for any gamer looking to break out of their usual routine.
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A cozy game perfect for the creative gamer.
The leading brand in cozy gaming, Animal Crossing has delivered in spades with New Horizons. Nintendo’s latest entry in the series, New Horizons truly expands on the tried-and-true formula by allowing players an incredible level of customization. Instead of just the house, the sandbox expands to the whole island, lending to an artistic experience for those who love to create. Besides, what game could be better by the fireside?
If someone on your shopping list already has the game, find out if they would be interested in the recently released DLC: Happy Home Paradise!
3. Monster Hunter Rise
For any Monster Hunter fans, or newcomers.
Another Switch exclusive, Monster Hunter Rise is the latest in Capcom’s epic series, and is a follow up to 2018’s Monster Hunter World. Instead of being a sequel to World, Rise takes many of the formulas that made World great and expands on them while adding some incredible new content. A must for any Monster Hunter fan or for someone getting into the series, especially since more support is on the way. An expansion, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is scheduled for mid-2022 and the base game is expected to release for Windows in January 2021.
4. Age of Empires 4
A classic that’s only getting better with time.
Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. Age of Empires 4, developed by Relic Studios, is in many ways a refreshing of Age of Empires 2. I’m here to tell you that’s a good thing. Age of Empires 2 was an all-time great game, one that any PC gamer from the early 2000’s was at least aware of. 4 takes the series into the modern age, and for any RTS fan that’s a dream come true. Most impressive might be that Age of Empire‘s competitive scene has grown over all of this time.
5. Disco Elysium
An exciting plot that you’ll want to replay over and over.
Nothing can get you through those cold winter months like a good story. For the gamer who loves plot driven narratives, there’s no better RPG this year than Disco Elysium. A murder mystery game developed by ZA/UM, Disco Elysium takes place in a meticulously crafted world, rich with historical backstory and vibrant characters. Choices matter intensely, whether they be gameplay or moral decisions. Because of how many options there are, Disco Elysium has in an incredible amount of replay value. Just be careful about who you trust, Elysium is a dangerous place.
6. Mario Party Superstars
Perfect for holiday get-togethers and family game night.
Looking to get a new multiplayer experience for the Switch? Look no further than Mario Party Superstars. Instead of making a new formula, Nintendo took several pages out of past entries and put them together. Everything from the boards to the minigames stems from older Mario Party titles, making Superstars feel like an all-star lineup of fan favorites. This greatly benefits a series with this much history. There’s also no game quite like Mario Party to spice up an otherwise peaceful family holiday.
Third-person shooter, aliens, and constantly changing.
A PS5 exclusive, Returnal is an action third person shooter roguelike developed by Housemarque. A unique genre blend, Returnal combines rougelike gameplay elements with a time loop plot to explain why the player must return again and again to a hostile alien world. Unlike our earlier entry, Deathloop, Returnal relies on everything being different each time you play, forcing adaptation through exploration. The main draw of the game though is the sheer combat variety, with ten base weapons and over 90 weapon “traits” that can be added to them (each with three levels) no playthrough will be the same.
8. Halo Infinite Campaign
Halo is always a safe go-to for gamers.
Open world Halo. If you said that to me back when Halo: Combat Evolved was released in 2001 I would have said, “what’s open world?” Now 343 Studios has Master Chief exploring a Halo ring with full player freedom, which for many is a dream come true. In addition, the new mobility skill, the Grappleshot, isn’t a new concept in gaming but perfectly fits the game. Halo broke ground and dominated the industry for a decade, now it looks to return to form. It might not reach those heights again, but the Halo Infinite Campaign is sure to bring a smile to any FPS veteran.
9. Psychonauts 2
This new release is a great gift grab.
The long-awaited sequel to the original Psychonauts, Psychonauts 2 is a third person platform game developed by Double Fine. After spending many years in development limbo, Psychonauts 2, announced back in 2015, released in August of this year. Players take on the role of Raz, a psychic who uses his abilities to explore the mental worlds of NPC’s. A mesmerizing game, Psychonauts 2 takes platforming to new heights, and is a great gift for gamers of all ages.
10. Elden Ring (Pre-order)
A pre-order receipt for this game is a great stocking stuffer!
Though not releasing until February 2022, Elden Ring makes this list on hype alone. Generally, I’d advise against pre-ordering games, but there’s something very special about knowing you’re going to be able to play a highly anticipated title the day it drops. This is the case for Elden Ring, an action role playing game developed by From Software and with collaboration from Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. A more open-ended game than other titles by From, Elden Ring seeks to combine atmospheric worldbuilding and exploration with an already prestigious combat formula.
Understandably, some gamers prefer to select their own games. However, everyone’s setup could use an upgrade. Here are some premium choices for different peripheral slots as well as some other interesting suggestions. Nothing like opening a shiny new device to make any gamer smile.
11. Controller: Xbox Wireless Controller
Best gift for Xbox players.
While perhaps an odd addition to this list, the Xbox Wireless Controller is a fantastic gift for any PC gamer who needs a way to play games outside of using the mouse and keyboard. The connectivity to Windows is peerless, and the design absolutely gets the job done. The best new feature is a highly responsive D-Pad, a must for fighting game enthusiasts.
12. Microphone: Yeti Nano
Best gift for gaming streamers and chatty players.
The Yeti Nano from Blue is a very affordable choice for crisp input sound for streaming or in-game chat. With high quality 24-bit/48kHz recording, the Yeti Nano is both premium performance and size efficient. A great gift for the gamer with a static filled mic.
13. Mouse: Glorious Model O
Best gift for PC gamers.
Developed by gamers for gamers, the Glorious Model O is a high-performance mouse designed for function and comfort. The Model O achieves a feather-light weight with its honeycomb design (which have the added benefit of looking awesome. In addition, the mouse is ambidextrous, making it a great gift for anyone, even the lefties out there.
14. Camera: Elgato Facecam
Best gift for PC gaming streamers.
The next on our list of hardware gift recommendations is the Elgato Facecam. A premium option for those looking for high quality video, the camera offers uncompressed 1080p/60fps recording resolution. Elgato opted to omit the microphone from their webcam, but since most people don’t use it anyway that’s no real loss. What you get in return is the clearest, most lag-free picture for the price.
15. Headset: HyperX Cloud II Wireless
Looking for an upgrade to your earphones? Look no further.
We went for a high-end option for the headset this holiday season. In addition to glowing reviews, the HyperX Cloud II Wireless headset provides surround sound, memory foam, and a noise cancelling microphone. It’s also multi-purpose, serving both console and PC gaming with equal efficacy.
16. Mobile Gaming Controller: Backbone One
Best game for the mobile gamer in your life.
Got a gamer who isn’t console or PC? Gift them the Backbone One, the leading accessory for mobile gaming. A fantastic snap on skeleton for the iPhone, the Backbone provides support for games like Genshin Impact and Call of Duty: Mobile. You can even use steam link to play games from your library on your mobile device in comfort.
17. Keyboard: GMMK Pro
Runner up: best gift for gamers.
The GMMK Pro keyboard by Glorious PC Gaming Race takes a similar approach to the Model O mouse. Customizable, built for gamers by gamers and easy on the eyes, the GMMK Pro checks all the boxes. Reviewers also love how it’s easy to build and how solid it is.
Big Ticket Items
Looking for something flashy to give this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. This section is for those gifts that will really change the game.
18. Xbox Game Pass
For Xbox or PC Gamers, the gift that keeps giving.
Maybe the best overall bang for your buck, the Xbox Game Pass is the quintessential purchase for any Xbox owner, but also a great gift for the PC gamer. A subscription service that grants access to a bevy of great titles, the Game Pass even offers a first month for only 1 dollar. After that it’s $14.99 per month for Xbox and $9.99 on the PC. Some great titles you get include the aforementioned Halo Infinite Campaign, Sea of Thieves and Back for Blood.
19. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a top gift for gamers again this year!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard of the Nintendo Switch. Obviously, it’s been on must-buy lists since it came out, but that’s only grown truer over time. The library of the Switch is massive and contains hits anyone could enjoy. It also offers some truly great multiplayer experiences. Also available is the Switch Lite at two thirds of the price, but if you want to play on the big screen stick with the original version.
20. Xbox Series X/Playstation 5
If you want to give the best gift ever this holiday…
A debate as old as time. Or at least as old as 2006. The real choice between the two high powered machines is game exclusivity. If you’re looking for a wider range of games the Xbox Series S probably has you covered with the game pass. The Playstation 5 though probably has the better exclusives. Which you get though might depend on what you can get your hands on.
Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes… and price ranges. Gaming merchandise and apparel always makes great gifts since many people amass collections. It’s also great for smaller gifts since hardware and games can run on the pricey side. Here are some of our top picks.
21. Blue Light Glasses: Gunnar Razer RPG
Keep your gamer eyesight safe this holiday.
A forgotten aspect of gaming is reducing eye strain. Blue light glasses ease the amount of blue light you take in (I guess that’s why they call them that,) letting you game longer. Gunnar glasses combine form with functionality, which is why they’re so trusted in the industry.
22. Halo Hoodie
For the Halo enthusiast.
Finish the fit. Any Halo veteran will know this logo, as it represents the game’s highest difficulty. A great gift for the diehard who will already own the latest in the series.
23. Monster Hunter Poster
Best gift for the Monster Hunter fan!
A gorgeous poster depicting some of the coolest monster designs the series has to offer. Aesthetically pleasing and nails that sweet spot between tasteful and nerdy.
24. Ugly Christmas Sweater
A holiday grab for Destiny fans.
Speaking of tasteful, this sweater isn’t. That’s ok though because that’s the point of an ugly Christmas sweater! This design combines the different class logos of Destiny into a wintery blend.
Join the High Ground
We hope you enjoyed our best Christmas gifts for gamers list and it gave you some good gift ideas, or at least gave you some inspiration. Our best recommendation this winter is some hot chocolate when you’re gaming on some snowy days. What do you think the best gift is this year? Let us know in the comments below.