Gamers are a hard breed to shop for. Each year, hundreds of video games hit the shelves, but not all of them are any good. Of the dozen or so great games, you never know what your gamer already bought, rented or played, and if you're not careful, you could buy a game that your gamer already owns. Fortunately, video games are only one type of gift you can get for gamers, and if you're ready to impress the gamer in your life and get one of the best Christmas gifts for him or her, take a look at these perfect gifts for gamers.
1. Game Guides
Borderlands 2 Signature Series Guide: $13.59
Some gamers believe that game guides are cheating. For them, this is not a good gift. Other gamers have that one game in their collection that they've never been able to beat. If your gamer is having trouble with a game and getting frustrated, a game guide will offer direction to the end of the game, showing off some of the game's extra features along the way. There is no greater satisfaction than getting to the ending credits after seeing all that the game has to offer. No matter what your gamer's taste in games may be, there is a guide for nearly every major game.
Halo 4: Original Soundtrack: $7.99
The music in video games has become as triumphant and epic as a movie's score, and some of the names associated with early video game compositions have become legendary, like Nintendo's Koji Kondo. Today, every major game release has a soundtrack nearby. From "Halo 4" to "Borderlands 2," from "Journey" to "Jet Set Radio," you can complete your gamer's experience with a soundtrack highlighting the music from this year's popular games. While some people are listening to the "Dark Knight Rises" soundtrack, your gamer could be blasting Jesper Kyd's "Darksiders II" original soundtrack.
Razer Onza Professional Gaming Controller: $39.00
All consoles support at least four controllers, and many PC games allow gamers to customize their experience with an optional gamepad. As a gamer's library grows, some multiplayer games will sneak in. Owning multiple controllers makes local multiplayer an option, encouraging socialization and bonding. Without multiple controllers, Luigi would not exist, since he was only playable by a second player in "Super Mario Bros." If you want to see your gamer playing with siblings or neighbors, one option is another controller. If you have a PC gamer, a racing wheel or a flight stick makes simulation games more realistic.
Astro A40 Wired Headset: $199.99
Just like music is better with a great set of headphones, gaming headsets offer gamers a new level of immersion. With headsets that simulate 7.1 surround sound, gamers can easily find and annihilate the competition by listening to footsteps around the corner. The best headsets come with a microphone, so gamers can communicate and coordinate with teammates. Wireless headsets cost a little more, but your gamer will not be tethered to a single location while playing. Gaming headsets give a gamer a professional feel and complement any play experience.
Nintendo Wii U 32GB Delux Console: $349.99
With the launch of the Nintendo Wii U, many gamers are looking to expand their play experience. Unlike gaming PCs, consoles are affordable and will play any game made for the system – including many games made for previous generations. If your gamer is not interested in Nintendo's new console, filling the gap with a slim version of the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 makes a great gift. In addition to home consoles, you can get a handheld console, like the Nintendo 3DS XL or the PlayStation Vita. A console opens up a wide range of gaming experiences.
6. Pre-ordered Video Games
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: $59.96
Traditionally, January and February bring many huge titles. For instance, games like "Mass Effect 3," "LittleBigPlanet 2" and "Dead Space 2" all had release dates early in the year. If your gamer will buy the major holiday releases before you get a chance to wrap them and get them under the tree, look to the future. Many gamers complete games quickly and start looking for a new world to rescue or conquer. If your gamer is looking ahead to January and February for "Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch" or "Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time," you can buy it before it launches: Your gamer will be able to walk into a store, show your receipt and leave with a new game. Also, many stores offer additional bonuses to early buyers, like downloadable content or game-related swag.
7. Capture Cards & Personal Video Recorders
Roxio Game Capture | Standard: $99.99
For many gamers, taking their abilities to the next level means posting gameplay videos online. A few games offer in-game recording and upload abilities, but for real creative freedom, gamers need capture cards or personal video recorders. These devices save play footage onto a computer. Gamers can start their own "Let's Play" shows, offering commentary while beating their games, or they can show off their drumming skills by posting "Rock Band" songs online. Capture devices are also useful for gamers trying to become reviewers or testers, as they are able to record their experiences and share them with others.
Gaming apparel goes beyond a graphic tee. Sweaters, hats and bags become the canvas for embroidered logos or character-specific designs. Gamers still going to school can show their hobby by storing books in an "InFamous" tote bag. In winter, "Mass Effect" fans can wear N7 jackets. Let your gamer take their hobby with them with a "Super Mario" watch or "Legend of Zelda" Tri-Force necklace. The options available are as plentiful as the games they are based on.
Video games and toys go hand in hand. Before Nintendo made arcade games like "Donkey Kong," it was a toy company in Japan. With every major video game, a line of toys or figurines will hit the shelves. CL4P-TP, or Claptrap, from "Borderlands 2" makes a great 7" figure, complete with a face mask and machete. Fan-favorite Master Chief from the "Halo" series gets a new toy with each game, each one detailing his different graphical designs. Nothing completes a gaming room like a row of toys and figurines overseeing the play happening below.
10. Candy Stocking Stuffers
Chocolate Gaming Dice Set: $7.99
It wouldn't be the holidays without a sock full of candy, and with chocolate gaming dice, if you start losing, you can destroy the evidence. From tabletop to video, gaming's biggest icons aren't legendary until they've been turned into candy. Let your gamer munch on gummy "Super Mario" characters while playing the newest games for this holiday. Or turn the candy into a game of its own. Nothing caps a great holiday like a mouthful of sugar!