The best gifts for gamers to buy this holiday season, from $20

·Buyer's Guide Editor
·9 min read

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Electronic Football, Super Mario LEGO, Razer Enki, Razer Kraken Kitty, 8BitDo Pro 2
Games are for all ages, and so are gamer gifts! (Photo: Razer / Basic Fun / LEGO / 8BitDo)

What do you get for the gamer who has everything? Well, not games — they probably have more than they have time to play! Instead, why not make their lives just a bit better with some well-chosen items that will brighten up their spaces, relax their bodies and let them look a little cooler both in-game and real life? Scroll for our picks.

8BitDo Pro 2

8BitDo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller in gray
Upgrade your Android or Switch gaming with this stylish controller. (Photo: 8BitDo)

Some people are console gamers, others prefer computers while many play mostly on their phone. This controller is basically a Swiss-Army knife, as it can handle all three types of gaming. Whether that’s playing shooter games on a Windows or Mac computer, tackling puzzles on Android or even just doing a little racing or farming on a Nintendo Switch, the 8BitDo is compatible thanks to its Bluetooth connection. The arrangement of buttons is similar to Nintendo machines and the shape of it is like a PlayStation controller, so the gamer in your life will feel right at home with this in hand.

In fact, gamers like this customer say it has a "very nice, solid build. Great D-pad, precise triggers, and the face buttons have a good feel. The shoulder buttons are not clicky like my old controller. The desktop software is very good and allows every button to be customized. The two back buttons are nice to have, and can be customized to anything with the software. I really like being able to toggle auto-fire per button very quickly. This controller is a great upgrade over my old Xbox One controller."

$50 at Amazon

Razer Kraken Kitty

Razer Kraken Kitty in pink
Gamers don't have to look tough; they can look like cute kitties too! (Photo: Razer)

Who says gaming accessories have to be all aggressive and manly? Couldn’t they be a little cute, too? This stellar-sounding headset is adorned by two adorable ears for a bit of an anime look, and they even light up — if a gamer installs the Razer Chroma software they’ll even be able to customize the color scheme. It’s available in a very gamer-traditional black, but there’s also a lovely quartz pink that will look great on a Twitch or YouTube livestream.

This grownup girl gamer says, "These headphones are amazing. They're super cute, girly, and cancel out all background noise. My husband keeps trying to talk to me while I have them on and I can't hear a word he is saying, haha. If you're super girly or just want to make your gaming/computer station girly, I suggest getting the kitten ears that attach to the top of the headphones. I love these headphones and will be buying all the matching Razer products."

$125 $150 at Amazon

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless in black
The Arctis 1 is the best gaming headset when you're on the go. (Photo: SteelSeries)

When you need a gaming headset for on-the-go that isn’t too flashy and is also super easy to use, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 checks all the boxes. This under-$100 wireless headset has a minimalist style but offers maximum comfort thanks to its padded ear cups and headband. The mic is great for meetings as well as online matches, and it’s easily removable for when a player just wants to kick back with some tunes. And it’s compatible with Android phones and the Nintendo Switch thanks to the included USB-C dongle — just plug it into a device and you’re good to go.

One uncle "bought this headset for my nephew as his first gaming headset. I tested it out with him. The sound is impressive and feels multi-dimensional and the microphone worked flawlessly. He wore it for 8 hours the day I gave it to him, and could have worn it for 8 hours more if his Mom hadn't interjected. And given that it's SteelSeries, he will have bragging rights at school. I am very pleased with my purchase."

$98 $100 at Amazon

LEGO Super Mario Starter Course

Mario faces off against Koopas.
It's much more fun to fight Koopas when you build the level yourself. (Photo: LEGO)

Even gamers get tired of staring at screens all the time, so why not give them a gift that brings some of that video game magic into the real world? This LEGO set will help players recreate their favorite Mario adventures in real life thanks to the included selection of bricks, plus and interactive Mario figure that makes sounds whenever he jumps or spins. This set is only the beginning, though — the starter set is compatible with the entire collection of Super Mario LEGOs, letting builders construct the entire Mushroom Kingdom with all its baddies at home.

One dad says it's "incredible," "so cool" and he'd "give it more stars if I could." This shopper gave it to their nephew, but "was pleasantly surprised to learn that the figure makes sounds and even the eyes are digitally blinking." And this grandparent says it's "well worth the money."

$48 $60 at Amazon

LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System

NES Lego set
Turn the crank to make Mario jump, jump, jump. (Photo: LEGO)

If the gamer in your life thinks they’re too old to “play” with LEGOs, then it’s time to step them up to a complex kit that will take a lot of time and patience to build, like this 2,646-piece replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It includes the original boxy gray system, an old-style television set and controller and even a game cartridge to put together — in LEGO, of course. And once the whole thing is assembled the game can be “played” by turning the crank on the side of the TV, allowing the little Mario figure to jump up and down on the screen. It’s a great display piece and party trick!

Shoppers love this set, giving it a 4.9 out of 5 stars in their reviews. One builder calls it "a beast of a set. It took me a couple of hours a day over 5 days to complete but it was a fun if difficult build [...] now that it's complete, it works flawlessly. It's even got a nice little easter egg inside for fans of the original SMB. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys assembling Lego sets and is a fan of video games."

$230 at Amazon

Basic Fun Retro Electronic Football

Basic Fun Classic, Retro Handheld Football Electronic Game
There's no school like the old school with this retro handheld game. (Photo: Basic Fun)

Sure, an NES is pretty old school, but for "mature" gamers, why not take them even further back to the very beginning? This handheld Electronic Football game was a lot of people’s first experience with video games at home, and now Basic Fun has a great replica available for only $25, one which is fully playable and will hopefully bring back cherished memories. It’ll look great on display, but is even more fun to play — and to confuse kids used to flashy graphics and music.

In fact, one parent who remembers playing this in the '70s and '80s "told my six-year old son about it and he seemed excited to give it a try. After receiving it as a Christmas present, he loved it! He didn't put it down for weeks. Now, going on a year later, he still plays with it from time to time and enjoys it as much as any PS3 game we have with killer sound effects and graphics. I guess there's something to be said for those simplistic retro hand-held games!"

$23 $25 at Amazon

Paladone Super Mario Question Block Table Lamp

Paladone Super Mario Question Block Table Lamp with Mario Chain Pull
Brighten up a day (and a room) with a little Mario magic. (Photo: Paladone)

Forget big splashy posters taped to the wall. When it comes time to decorate your gamer’s space, why not go for something a little more classy and way more useful. This Mario lamp is both bright and colorful, depicting one of the iconic “?” blocks from the Super Mario Bros. games. To switch it on you pull on the Mario hanging from the chain, which is kind of like having the heroic plumber jump to activate it.

Shoppers love picking this up to decorate their child or grandchild's room, with one mother saying that "My 7 year old son loves Mario and asked for his room to be Mario theme. This lamp was the perfect piece to make the room. [...] He is so happy with his Mario room!"

$50 at Amazon

Razer Enki X

Black chair on green background
Take better care of your back (and butt) with this comfy gamer chair. (Photo: Razer)

When you really want to pamper the player in your life, a gaming chair is a great investment. Gamers spend a lot of time in front of computers working and playing, and it can really play havoc on their backs. This comfy chair from Razer was designed with the help of ergonomic experts to provide support in all the right places. A chair with this much thought put into it would normally cost up to $1,000, but Razer also designed this chair with tight budgets in mind — at $300 it’s practically a steal, and great for working at home in addition to long gaming sessions.

The early reviews for the chair are promising, with this shopper gushing, "Oh my GOD. This chair is the greatest. [...] I work from home all day every day. My back, shoulders, everything hurt for MONTHS. Just days after having this chair, I have NO PAIN. The bottom seat cushion is so comfortable and supportive I have 0 ass pain or numbness. My legs feel great with the circulation, and my back feels so good. The lumbar is PERFECT. The headrest is sooo soft and nice. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS CHAIR IS AMAZING." 

I've tried this chair myself and I agree 100 percent.

$300 at Amazon

Roblox Gift Card

Roblox Gift Card - 2000 Robux
You don't have to know what Roblox is to buy the perfect gift for a fan. (Photo: Roblox)

In the end, the best gift you can give any gamer is in-game cash for their favorite titles. And if your player is on the younger side, odds are good they’re obsessed with Roblox. Roblox isn’t a single game so much as it’s a virtual world full of games to play, places to hang out and lots of stuff to buy — all player made. Having a gift card in hand can help a kid keep up with whatever’s hot with their friends — and they may even use some of that cash to building their own Roblox experiences for others to enjoy.

$25 at Amazon

Steam Wallet Card

Steam Wallet Card $20 $50 $100
You can't go wrong with a Steam Wallet Card. (Photo: Valve)

For a gamer on the older side it can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what systems they own: either PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch. But one safe bet is a Steam gift card, because pretty much everyone and their mother (well, my mother) has a Steam account for Windows or Mac. Steam is where you’ll find the latest and greatest hot games, and the service is famous for its massive sales, which can let even a little amount of money on a gift card go a very long way.

$20 at GameStop

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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