What to buy a gamer
2019 was an incredible year for anyone who loves video games, but buying a gift for a gaming enthusiast can be tough if you aren't up to speed with this year's latest and greatest offerings.
While you may have heard about the recently released game streaming service, Google Stadia, the initial reports of performance issues mean you're probably better off sticking with some of the tried-and-true names in gaming like Nintendo and Playstation when shopping this holiday.
Here are the top gaming-related presents that we'd be excited to receive for the holidays.
If you're planning to buy a gaming console for someone, here's the breakdown of the best and most popular options available.
Nintendo Switch: $299
The Nintendo Switch took the gaming world by storm when it launched in 2017 as the first platform specifically designed to switch between home console and portable system. It's easy to dock on a TV for traditional gameplay or to quickly convert into handheld or tabletop mode.
Best for: College students who want an easily portable option or adults who grew up playing NES or Nintendo 64.
Nintendo Switch Lite: $199
The recently released Nintendo Switch Lite is more affordable than the original console and is specifically for handheld gameplay. It was optimized as a lightweight and compact system that allows players to enjoy gaming on the go with its vibrant screen and long battery life.
Best for: Kids who want to play games like Super Smash Bros and Pokémon or teens and adults who want the modern version of their old Gameboy Advance or Nintendo DS.
PlayStation 4: $288
This is the lightest and thinnest PlayStation ever, so it's streamlined to fit with a high-tech but minimal flatscreen and soundbar setup (or any other rig). It offers its own streaming services that include games, movies, and music, but it can also connect with Netflix and Hulu.
Best for: The person who wants a gaming console and streaming device all in one. The PS4 removes the need for a separate streaming box, so it's great for the minimalist.
Xbox One S: $265
Microsoft's Xbox One S is the smallest Xbox yet, and it can display in 4K and Ultra HD when the user is gaming or streaming video. It can also play Blu-ray discs and the included controllers can connect to other compatible devices via Bluetooth
Best for: Someone with an up-to-date 4K and Ultra HD television setup who wants a console that can keep up.
For the person who already owns their favorite gaming console, you might gift them one of these popular games so they can enjoy new adventures.
Pokémon Shield and Pokémon Sword: $199 for the bundle
Players are invited to collect, train, and battle with the 400 different evolutions in what will likely be the most wanted games of the year. With so much to see, secrets to uncover, and online challengers to defeat, these new Pokémon games will keep players engaged for a long while.
Console: Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite
Best for: Younger players or nostalgic adults who loved playing Pokémon growing up.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: $69.99
Players take on the role of Cal Kestis, a young Jedi doing his best to survive constant persecution from the Empire and its band of ruthless Imperial Inquisitors as he attempts to revive the Jedi Order. This cinematic game features intense lightsaber battles, exotic worlds to traverse with the aid of impressive Force abilities, and a range of menacing foes.
Console: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC
Best for: Young fans of the recent Star Wars movies and series releases or older fans of the original franchise.
Luigi's Mansion 3: $59.99
Although Mario was historically the more popular of Nintendo's red and green plumber duo, Luigi has taken off with the younger generation. The skinny green avatar has new tools and skills at his disposal as he navigates situations with the help of various inventions.
Console: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite
Best for: Younger children, especially elementary through college age.
The Outer Worlds: $39.99
This role-playing game throws players into a galaxy of beautifully designed planets as they attempt to solve the many problems that come with waking up after being cryogenically frozen. Every decision deeply impacts the story as it unfolds all around the player.
Console: Xbox One or PlayStation 4
Best for: Adult players with active, curious imaginations.
Resident Evil 2: $29.99
Capcom pulled out all the stops when they released a remake of the 1998 survival horror classic earlier this year, but there are more than enough creepy surprises to keep veteran Resident Evil players on their toes. It's an affordable must-buy for gamers who enjoy a scary story or two.
Console: Xbox One
Best for: Fans of the previous Resident Evil or those who enjoy the horror genre.
Controllers and accessories
The textured rubberized grip, built-in 40-hour battery, hair-trigger locks, adjustable thumbsticks, and Bluetooth connectivity make this the best controller on the market for the Xbox One as well as Windows 10 PC and tablet players who need an extremely customizable controller.
Best for: Those who spend a lot of time playing Xbox One or who want another gameplay option for a PC or tablet.
This controller is a blast from the past, as it has the same look and feel of a classic GameCube controller. But now it's new and improved. It connects wirelessly and has motion controls to be compatible with all modern Nintendo Switch games.
Best for: Nostalgic Nintendo Switch Players who always talk about the simpler gaming consoles of their youth or big fans of Super Smash Bros.
A high-quality gaming headset allows the player to be fully immersed without disturbing others (or being disturbed). This best-seller is compatible with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, plus it's comfortable enough for prolonged use and the noise-cancelling microphone makes multiplayer mode easy.
Best for: Those who like to connect with other gamers virtually or those who want to enjoy their game without disturbing neighbors, roommates, or parents.
People who prefer to play video games on their PC can feel the difference between a run-of-the-mill mouse and a high-end model. The wireless speed, precise sensor, 70 hours of battery life, and ergonomic design of the Viper Ultimate make all the difference.
Best for: Serious PC gamers.
Arnold Carreiro is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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