Finding the best gifts for gamers can be tricky, especially if you're not much of a gamer yourself. But there is a plus side. More specifically, you've got lots to choose from.
Luckily enough for us, the best gaming gifts don't have to be video games or particularly pun-ny mugs. Instead, there's a wealth of accessories, books, toys, and merchandise out there to put a smile on the face of the gamer in your life. So long as you know what the recipient likes to play on (be it a PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, or something else entirely), there's no shortage of options when it comes to gifts for gamers.
To get the ball rolling, we've scooped up some recommendations that span cheap and cheerful novelties to more premium presents. Seeing as that includes gifts for gamers on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, PC, and tabletop, there should be something suitable for almost everyone below. We've been sure to include options for every budget as well, so don't worry about breaking the bank to get a decent present.
Best gifts for gamers overall
The best t-shirt gift for gamers
+ Generic enough to suit anyone
+ Available in multiple fits and sizes
- Not very personal
'Gamer' t-shirts are often naff and tacky, but this one breaks the trend with what is actually a cool design. Available in multiple sizes for men, women, and kids (not to mention multiple color options), this is the perfect gift for gamers of any age. It's generic enough that you don't have to worry about what the recipient plays, either.
The best PS5 gift for gamers
+ Eye-catching and atmospheric
+ Classy design
- Adaptor plug not included
Paladone is one of the biggest names in giftware, and its PlayStation Icons light is an example of why. This fun curiosity brings the console's iconic symbols to life with an atmospheric glow, and that eye-catching yet simple design will really enhance the recipient's setup.
The best Xbox gift for gamers
+ Won't take up loads of space
- Doesn't come in green
There's also an Xbox version of the PlayStation lights we mentioned earlier, and it's the ideal gift for gamers who play on Microsoft's console. As well as being well-made official merch, it looks as if it's been pulled from straight from a Twitch streamer's studio.
The best gift for Nintendo gamers
+ Iconic design
- Relatively small
Nothing says 'Nintendo' more than Super Mario, and one of the most iconic things from that series is its oversized mushroom power-up. That's why getting a novelty light version to sit on the recipient's desk, shelf, or coffee table makes such a decent gift for gamers. Its soft glow sets a really atmospheric mood that's ideal for an evening of gaming.
The best book for gamers
+ Covers big-name games
+ Intriguing insights
- Might not appeal to more casual gamers
Besides being a well-known games journalist and reporter, Jason Schreier is famous for shining a spotlight on industry issues… and he puts that know-how to good use with this tome detailing the development process behind beloved games like Dragon Age or Destiny. It's a fascinating peek behind the curtain.
The best practical gift for gamers
+ Neat and tidy
+ Themed versions available
- Needs more space for games
If you're looking to get a more practical gift for gamers, this locker from Numskull is a great shout. Along with storage space for a few games, it can hold controllers and headsets as well. Seeing as it keeps the recipient's gear neatly packed away in one place, this is also a good way of keeping your setup tidy and organized.
The best last-minute gift for PlayStation gamers
+ Delivered instantly
+ Recipient can choose
Credit for the PS4 and PS5 Store is a great gift idea thanks to the huge choice of games available on this official marketplace. In the USA, Amazon is the best place to buy cards even though there are no discounts (it's easy and reliable). As for the UK, CDKeys (opens in new tab) is often a better bet; many offers are actually discounted.
The best last-minute Xbox gift for gamers
+ Instant delivery
+ Recipient can choose
- A bit impersonal
Not sure what to buy a loved one? If they have an Xbox, it's worth considering this Gift Card. It allows players to get whatever they want on the official Xbox Store, helping you avoid any disappointment if they already own the present you bought. It's simple, but effective.
The best last-minute Nintendo gift for gamers
+ Delivered right away
+ Gives recipient choice
- Quite impersonal
If the gamer in your life has a Nintendo Switch and you'd rather let them decide what they want rather than trying to find something you aren't sure they'll like, you can always get them an eShop card. This gives credit to use on the official Nintendo eStore, and prices range from $5 to $99.
Gaming gifts - under $20 / £20
Want to keep costs down without skimping on cool gifts for gamers? The following options sit at the affordable end of the scale, and they range from fun curiosities to genuinely useful gear.
+ Fun twist on playing cards
+ Console tin
- Need to like card games
If you want to get a good but cheap gift for the PlayStation gamer in your life, this is a really fun novelty option that should go down well. It replaces the deck's normal suites with PlayStation controller icons (square, triangle, circle, and cross) and also comes in a snazzy tin based on the original PS1.
+ Subtle but stylish
- Pattern flakes off easily
Alright, so a lot of gamer mugs are clatteringly rubbish. But there are a few diamonds out there that make for thoughtful, endearing gifts. This Xbox option in particular is a real gem, especially because the color changes to Microsoft green when hot water is added. It's classy, straightforward, and clever - one of the better gifts for gamers, in other words.
+ Striking design
+ Heat-change is neat
- Pattern chips away easily
Not sure what to get someone, but know they have a PlayStation? This is probably the best 'playing it safe' present on offer. A sleek and minimalist mug that displays the PS5 symbols when filled with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate it's a cool tip of the hat to the console while also being practical. Perhaps they can use it to fuel their next late-night gaming session.
+ Iconic characters
+ Really affordable
Looking for something cheap and cheerful for the Minecraft fan in your life? This is a really cool novelty that offers a slice of the video game for display or as a toy, making it perfect for all ages. It brings together the most iconic parts of the franchise too, so it's one of the best kits in terms of gifts for gamers.
+ Generally cheap
+ Lots of accessories
Buying for a Fortnite fan? Even though they're inexpensive (for the most part, anyway), these toys are of a surprisingly high quality. Boasting more than 20 points of articulation and plenty of accessories, they're cool presents regardless of whether they'll be going in a toybox or sitting on a desk.
+ Available in lots of colors
+ Retro designs
- Hard to get in the UK
Keen to get a gift for gamers that's more than a five-minute novelty? This t-shirt is a fun, nostalgia-filled present the recipient should get plenty of use out of. Just double-check the sizing before hitting checkout - it's unclear what kind of fit it has.
+ Brilliantly retro
- Hard to find in the UK
This ode to the original Super Mario Bros. games is the perfect gift for gamers who either grew up with the plumber or adore the franchise. The fact that the design changes color when hot water is added is the cherry on the cake. Not for you? Don't worry, there are plenty of gamer mugs at Amazon (opens in new tab) to check out instead.
+ Very cute
+ Lots of personality
- Quite small
If in doubt, go for a Super Mario plushie. For Nintendo fans, this esteemed mascot is likely to be behind many of their fondest memories, so a soft toy version of the hero will always go down well with gamers.
+ Cool novelty, but also practical
+ Sturdy metal design
- May mark wooden tables
Here's another great gift for D&D gamers; dice. Speaking from experience, players can never have enough of these... and the fact that this particular set can glow in the dark makes them one of the cooler novelty presents on this list. A must-have.
+ Lots of fun designs
- Can be hard to find
These soft toys are adorable takes on D&D's best-known monsters, so they're ideal gifts for gamers who like to play Dungeons and Dragons. We've been hands-on with the first wave and can vouch for them as desk buddies, and their quality impressed us.
+ Classy design
+ Subtle fan-service
- A bit boring
This is a simple but awesome gift for gamers; besides looking great thanks to that PS5 color-scheme with the PlayStation symbols in a snazzy metallic style, these coasters are also practical. They'll look great on any desk or coffee table.
+ Novelty design
+ Controller handle
This light-hearted novelty gift is spot-on for the avid PlayStation gamer; while its handle may not be entirely practical, it's a lot of fun. Just make sure they handwash it after use, though - mugs like this don't play well with dishwashers.
+ Holds 10oz
+ Officially licensed
- Not dishwasher safe
This nostalgic coffee mug is a great choice if you're hunting down retro gifts for gamers. Plus, the 'screen' activates when hot water is added, displaying a scene from Super Mario Land. It's a very cool party trick - metaphorically, at least.
+ Classy design
- Not dishwasher safe
Here's another surprisingly classy but cheap gift for gamers: a sleek, minimalist PlayStation 5 tumbler. With a frosted white pattern featuring the famous square, cross, triangle, and circle buttons from the PlayStation controllers, it's a cool tip of the hat to the system.
- Won't be for everyone
GamesRadar's own Joe Donnelly (our Features Writer) wrote a book about the positive power of video games before he joined us, and it's an affirming read that challenges common narratives of the medium being harmful.
Gifts for gamers - under $50 / £50
Stretch the budget a little and you can start to get your hands on more substantial gifts for gamers. Although they're more expensive, these presents are definitely worth the increased cost.
+ Stylish fan-service
+ Embroidered symbols
- Hard to get alternative colors
Wearing your finest 'ugly' Christmas sweater over the Holiday is practically mandatory these days, so why not give your loved one a jumper celebrating their console of choice? This one features intricate embroidery and premium material for a very cosy piece of kit.
+ Comfortable and cosy
+ Covered in fun details
- Garish colors
'Ugly' Christmas sweaters are a godsend if you're struggling to come up with gifts for gamers, and this beauty from Numskull would be our jumper of choice for anyone hunting down Xbox presents. It's cosy, covered in fun little details, and of a high enough quality that it won't wear out after a single season.
+ Absolutely adorable
- No alternate colors
Zavvi offers an entire range (opens in new tab) of 'ugly' Christmas sweaters based on Pokemon, and they're all utterly adorable. If your loved one likes these pocket monsters, they'll probably be happy with any of these, but our favorite might just be the Charmander variant. It's too cute!
- Takes up a USB slot
This particular PS5 present looks awesome and will make any setup cooler, but it's also practical - it helps keep your home tidier and avoids headsets getting tangled up with other accessories.
- Takes up a USB slot
We're really keen on this particular gift for gamers. Yes, it looks fantastic and will add a cool ambience to your setup. But it keeps everything tidy as well by stopping your headset getting tangled in your other accessories.
+ Hours of replayability
+ App support plays Mario in real life
- Can be difficult to get out and pack away
Is there anything better than playing on the Switch? Yes - making Mario courses in real life with Lego. Duh! This starter set will get you going with a short 'level', a villain in the form of Bowser Jr, and Super Mario himself. What's more, you'll be able to ride this one out for a few birthdays yet... there are plenty of expansion packs to pick up.
+ Themed Norse recipes
+ Stuffed with lore
- Some dishes lack punch
As we mentioned in our feature on making Tyr's stew, this is ideal for any God of War fans out there. Along with delicious Norse-themed recipes, the book is absolutely crammed with lore that should enrich the recipient's love of the game series itself.
+ Lore-accurate recipes
+ Entries from all Tamriel
- Some dishes are a bit bland
Being able to lose yourself in the world of Skyrim is one of gaming's greatest pleasures, and this cookbook brings that joy into the real world with recipes based on those seen in the game itself. And yes, there are sweetrolls.
+ In-universe recipes
+ Excellent presentation
- Finding ingredients can be a hassle
Themed cookbooks are a solid novelty present, at the best of times, but this D&D version is better than we'd expected. It's crammed with delightful recipes from that tabletop world, yes, but it's also got options based on the game's fantasy species like elves and dwarves.
+ Fascinating gaming history
- Won't appeal to younger gamers
Want to give a loved one a walk down memory lane? This coffee table book features pages of snaps and facts showing the journey from Atari to Xbox. Crammed with info and a breakdown of what made these systems tick, it's a great choice for fans of retro gaming systems.
+ No need for more AAs
+ Decent battery life
- Not very exciting
Fed up of having to buy AA batteries for your loved ones? Good news! This gift for gamers bypasses all that hassle with rechargeable packs. While they have a decent lifespan, getting the charging station is a definite bonus.
+ Can charge up to two controllers
+ Sleek design
- Practical, but dull
It's a little dull in terms of gifts for gamers, but that's not to say it isn't a very useful present - especially as an add-on to a console purchase. This lets you charge two controllers quickly and at the same time, which is obviously handy.
+ A slice of retro joy
+ Features a classic game
- Can't get more games
Want to give the gamer in your life the ultimate retro console? This option from Nintendo comes with Super Mario Bros pre-installed, not to mention the tricky Lost Levels pack that fans will love. While this one's available pretty much everywhere (including Walmart (opens in new tab) and Best Buy (opens in new tab)), you can also get a Legend of Zelda version if you're lucky - it's often out of stock.
+ Lots of variety
- Could do with more heroes
It can be tricky to picture where your character is during combat in D&D, so this pack of reusable icons is a real help. It's also a clever system - the stickers can be stuck onto plastic pucks, peeled off, and returned to the sticker sheet good as new and without damaging them.
+ Can be reused
+ Easy to set up scenes
- Not enough variety
This is a companion piece to the creatures case listed above, and it's equally good in terms of bringing your D&D encounters to life. Modular tiles snap together to create the basic scene, and reusable stickers can then be put down onto them for any scenery you need.
Gifts for gamers - up to $100 / £100
Happy to push the boat out and get the ultimate gift for gamers? These are the premium options we'd recommend. Cool merch is also highlighted below, including some entries from the best Lego sets.
+ Perfectly captures the game
+ Looks amazing
- Not interactive like Mario
Sonic is by far one of the most iconic characters in all of gaming, so this Lego ode to his first adventure is amongst the best gifts for gamers by a mile. Recreating the Green Hill Zone level with Eggman and other enemies, it's a slice of old-school heaven.
+ Excellent details
+ Simple instructions
- Not very poseable
Lego recently got into making gaming sets, and we couldn't be happier - they're superbly done. One of the best so far is this kit, and as we said in our Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck review, it's magnificent. Perfect for Horizon fans, in other words.
+ A really cool idea
+ Make your own tracks
- Expensive for what it is
If the Nintendo Switch fan in your life has already rinsed Mario Kart, this AR Home Circuit peripheral can get them back on the race track. It's like a cross between video games and Scalextric, so it'll go down very well as a gift for gamers of all ages.
+ Attention to detail
+ Decent selection of games
- Controllers don't hold up
The Genesis is one of the most beloved games machines of all time, and now you can relive those glory days with a pint-sized version of the console. This recreation includes 60 of the best games, and it connects to your modern TV via HDMI.
+ Full of nostalgia
+ Perfect recreation
- Only has 20 games
Party like it's 1994! This remake of the classic PlayStation console is going to delight any gamer who's been there from the very beginning, especially due to the fact that it includes 20 of the system's best games (ranging from Metal Gear Solid to Final Fantasy VII).
+ Funny and unexpected
+ Actually works
- Expensive for a joke gift
This might be the most ridiculous gift on the entire list, but if your budget can stretch that far, it's actually an amazing present. What began as a joke turned into a fully-functional mini-fridge from Microsoft, and setting it up beside the TV for on-demand drinks results in the ultimate gaming setup.