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The best gifts for gamers at Christmas

The best gifts for gamers
(Image credit: Sony / Microsoft)

So you're looking for the best gifts for gamers? Well given how late it is, you'll want to check out our first section below which specializes in instant delivery gifts that are for digital codes for a range of things. The rest of the guide relies on the traditional post, but if you're seeing family and friends later than usual this year or are still looking for something to send them anyway, then there are some great options below.

We've found a wide range of items including games, hardware, accessories, and merchandise. If you're thinking about getting one of the new consoles, we have to warn you, both of them are sold out and really, really hard to come by right now. We'd advise making alternative plans in all honesty, but be sure to check out our guides for the latest information on where to buy a PS5 or where to buy an Xbox Series X. Nintendo Switch bundles are selling out fast too.

If you are buying a game for someone, it's best to check which games console they use (or are they a PC gamer?) so you get the right one for it. Don't forget to double-check with their family members too to avoid doubling up. Keep your receipt and the seal intact on the plastic wrapping though and you shouldn't have any problems returning the item for an exchange at most stores though (excluding digital keys for games/subscriptions). 

If you're not sure about games, or perhaps you want something a bit cheaper then merch is a good way to go with gamers spoiled for choice with clothing, mugs, toys, and more to choose from. Or there's always the gamified Christmas jersey to choose from.

Hardware accessories like an extra controller (maybe a third-party one with some unique features), or perhaps a headset, are great picks to enhance the playing experience. If someone you know has picked up one of the brand-new consoles (or Santa has one on the way), you should hop on over to our dedicated best PS5 headsets and best Xbox Series X headset guide. Or if you really want to blow their socks off, we've done extensive research on our guide to the best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X - these are fantastic picks for any console and of course watching TV on too so it's a great idea for the whole home to enjoy.

The best gifts for gamers this Christmas

Gifts with instant digital delivery

12-month PS Plus subscription (US) | $59.99 $29.89 at CDKeys
This allows PS4/PS5 gamers to play games online and membership also includes a range of free games each month (plus 20 on PS5 straight away). Better yet, even if the recipient already has a subscription, they can simply stack this one on top to extend their membership. This is a really good price in the US too. You'll get a digital code for this rather than a physical product so jot it down or print it off and pop it in a card if you like. Save £5 in the UK and get it for £44.99.

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PSN Credit for PS4/PS5
Store credit for PSN (PlayStation Network) is a great gift idea as there's a huge choice of games available on Sony's official digital marketplace. In the UK, the best place to buy is from as you get instant delivery of a code and many top-up codes are actually discounted. These work on both PS4 and PS5, despite some of the images being a bit dated and only mentioning older consoles. In the US, Amazon is the best place to buy, although there are no discounts. You will get instant delivery though.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
A fantastic gift for any Xbox gamer, especially as you can extend currents subs with it, so no worries if they already have one. This double deal grants you access to Xbox Live Gold (to play games online) and the incredible Game Pass service which is essentially Netflix for games. You'll receive a digital code rather than a physical card as is standard with this store.

3 months: $34.88 at Amazon US / $36.69 / £27.99 at CDkeys
12 months:
(EU only) £99.99 at CDKeysView Deal

Disney Plus gift card (1 year) | $69.99 at Disney Plus
With so much to watch now on Disney Plus, this is a great time to gift someone a whole year of the service, but these can only be redeemed by new subscribers, so make sure they're not already signed up. It's packed with Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and more. Also available for £59.99 in the UK.View Deal

Amazon Prime
You can now gift someone an Amazon Prime membership with three-month ($39) or 12-month ($119) options available. Prime members get super fast delivery, Prime Video for streaming movies and TV shows and there's even a gaming element where they get a bunch of free games and digital DLC too. If they already have Prime, Amazon will let them exchange it for an Amazon gift card of equal value. The service will not auto-renew by the way, so you're not on the hook for this beyond what you pay for. Gifting Prime is not an option in the UK.
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Roblox Gift card for Robux from $10 from Amazon
Roblox has become one of the year's biggest games this year, especially with the younger crowd on Xbox and mobile platforms. These gift cards start at $10/£10 and provide in-game items to use and this is the smarter choice over attaching credit card details to an account to avoid nightmare scenario accidental overspends. Also available in the UK at Amazon.
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Gaming gifts - under $50 / £50

The Last of Us Part II (PS4) | $60 $29.99 at Best Buy
That's the lowest ever price for Naughty Dog's latest masterpiece. We certainly wouldn't hold off for a better price this year. Mature audiences only though on this one folks, it gets a bit grim. We're also seeing the rarer special editions back in stock for the first time in a while and with healthy discounts as shown below. The Collector's version includes a statue of Ellie.

Last of Us 2: Collector's Edition | $169.99 $139.99 at Best Buy
Last of Us 2: Special Edition | $79.99 $49.99 at Best BuyView Deal

Assassin's Creed Valhalla| $59.99 $39.99 at Amazon
Twenty bucks off the biggest game release of the year? That's crazy so soon after release and it's not what you're thinking - the reviews have been great. Stock is flying on this one though, so it might only get delivered after Christmas. It's the also same price on XboxView Deal

Cyberpunk 2077| $59.99 $49.94 at Amazon
Cyberpunk 2077 has admittedly had a very rough start on PS4 and Xbox One, but it is being patched and fixes are slowly improving what has been a very buggy experience. We'd still wait for that free next-gen upgrade though, so this might be worth picking up now while it's on offer. If you have something else in mind though, we'd arguably give this a miss for now.
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Nintendo Game and Watch | $49.99 at Amazon
We didn't expect to see this back in stock again before Christmas, but this retro mini console is a fantastic buy for the older gamer and comes with Super Mario Bros pre-installed along with a Lost Levels pack that any long-standing fan will relish.View Deal

Lego Super Mario playsets
It'll come as no surprise but the new Lego Super Mario playsets have been a big hit this year. There are already loads of expansion packs to go with the playsets too and some have been discounted for Christmas. Given how pricey Lego can be, we'll take what we can get! Check out the range at Amazon US, Best Buy, and Amazon UK.
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Samsung 256GB SSD memory card | $49.99 $24.99 at Amazon
A great gift idea for any Nintendo Switch owner. The Switch only has a miserly 32GB of storage so we'd advise getting a memory card to increase storage as soon as possible. Switch games aren't as GB-hungry as other consoles, so 256GB will actually get you quite far and this is a bargain. In the UK, the best offer right now is this 256GB SanDisk model at £37.99.View Deal

Christmas sweater for gamers at Amazon / Amazon UK
The wave of Christmas sweaters/jumpers can't be stopped and gamers don't have to feel left out either as there are loads of them out there with Amazon seemingly stocking the most, including this Crash Bandicoot one.View Deal

Star Wars T-Shirts at Amazon US / Amazon UK
You really are spoiled for choice for Star Wars T-Shirts and they range from super loud, to discrete and with plenty rocking that word faded look too. Expect to find plenty from the original movies, the prequels, the modern era and of course, The Mandalorian.
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The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox | $22.46 at Amazon
For those looking for a documentation of our favourite gaming machines, then this is the tome for you. It'll make the perfect book for those who love all things retro and current, and also be a great reference book.View Deal

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels | $15.29 at Amazon
Jason Schreier is a well-known games journalist and reporter who has been busting open the industry with wide-ranging and revealing reports. This book from him takes a similar approach and opens the door on the development trials and tribulations of some famous and excellent games.View Deal

Fallout: The Vault Dweller's Official Cookbook | $31.50 at Amazon
No, don't worry there aren't real radroaches you'll have to farm for these - instead, it's just a real fun cookbook 'based on the irradiated delicacies of the world of Fallout'. The brand new Vault Dweller's Official Cookbook Gift Set is also available at Amazon for $44.99.
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The Witcher book series
A big hit with gamers, and now even more so with the hit Netflix show. There are lots of books to get stuck into and the comparison chart below lists them in order, starting with The Last Wish, along with the cheapest prices. Check out our guide on The Witcher Season 2 for the latest details on the show by the way.
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Gaming mugs at Amazon US / Amazon UK
You'll find hundreds of different mugs to choose from at Amazon related to gaming, comics, movies, and the like. The links above will give you a head start on some gaming ones though. Chances are you'll be able to find mugs on most games, movies and so on if you know they have a favorite.
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Gaming gifts - up to $100 / £100

Evercade handheld retro console from $79 / £59 (in the UK)
A fantastic gift for the older gamer in your life or someone you want to introduce to retro classics. The Evercade handheld runs games from physical cartridges and there are loads of extra ones you can pick up featuring collections of titles from gaming's early years, especially the 8 and 16-bit eras. Check out the link to see the range of bundles and individual carts. We also have a full Evercade review and we rated it one of the best retro game consoles in our guide too.
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Nintendo Switch Pro controller (open box) | $69.99 $59.99 at Best Buy
When you buy a Nintendo Switch, you only get a pair of the small Joy-Con controllers, but if you want a traditional controller experience for those longer-play games, then you need something like this. It rarely gets a price cut and is fairly expensive, but having tested a bunch of cheaper third-party options, this official option is worth the cost to be honest. Check out my full Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review for more info. Currently £53 at Amazon UK.View Deal

DulaSense PS5 controller
The PS5 comes with one in the box already, but some players will want a spare one too. this could be for local offline multiplayer titles or just to make sure they always have one fully charged and ready to go. We've seen these sell out on a regular basis lately, so we wouldn't wait for long on these. So far, you can only get them in white, but we imagine (hope) more colors are coming in 2021.

Xbox Series X controller
Unlike the PS5 controllers, the new Xbox Series X controllers are available in different colors. The blue one is slightly more expensive than the others for some reason, which is a bit annoying as that's the one we want. These controllers run on batteries though so there's no need to buy an extra one just to have one charged at all times.

Razer Kishi from $79.99 at Amazon
This is one of the best mobile controllers you can get for gaming on the go (check out our Razer Kishi review). We especially like using it to stream Xbox Game Pass title via Xcloud. You can choose Android or Apple versions and there's also a specific Xbox-branded variant if you like everything to feel a bit more in tune with that ecosystem, although you're free to use the Andoird one instead for the same games. Also available in the UK from £79.99 at Amazon.
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Ring Fit Adventure | $79.99 at Amazon / £69.99 at Very
With more and more people choosing to work out at home, Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch has spent large parts of the year completely sold out, so grab it while you can. If you know someone keen to work out more, but not too keen on heading to a gym, this is ideal if they have a Switch.
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Orzly Nintendo Switch Accessories bundle | $59.99 at Amazon / £59.99 at Amazon UK
This is a fantastic gift idea to go with a new Nintendo Switch as it's packed with controller cases, steering wheel grips, cart cases, carry cases, screen protectors, a charging station, headphones, and more. To be clear you don't get any actual controllers - just covers for them.
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Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch | $74.99 at Amazon
This neat device will save you the hassle of moving the official Switch dock into different rooms to play the console on other TVs. Simply plug the discrete piece of kit into the mains power, plug an HDMI into it and you're all set. While there are a lot of unofficial Switch docks out there, some of them are seriously dodgy too, this one has been tried and tested and has reviewed incredibly well by users and press alike.
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More gifts for gamers

Nintendo Switch Lite | $199.99 at Best Buy
The handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite has been in high demand all year but is generally still available whereas the regular Switch has basically sold out at most stores. Best Buy currently has all four colors in stock in the US. In the UK, you can actually save £20 on the Yellow mode and get it for £179 if you're quick.
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Razer Wolverine Ultimate | $159.99 $139.99 at Amazon
This is one of the finest Xbox controllers ever made and is great for both the Xbox One and Series X. The premium price is due to the extensive customization options on offer with swappable analogs and d-pads, six extra mappable buttons, super responsive buttons, and incredible grip. It's been my go-to controller for the last few years. Don't miss this chance to save $30 off the MSRP too.
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Xbox Series X expansion card
This official 1TB Series X expansion card from Seagate is the only way to upgrade the SSD storage capacity on the Series X. Unlike using regular external storage devices (like the ones below), this card runs at the same super-high speeds as the internal SSD of the console, so you'll get all the same next-gen benefits. It'll be handy further down the line if you're buying for someone that buys lots of new games on a regular basis and is likely to run out of storage capacity soonish. It's seriously expensive though and we'd be tempted to opt for something else given it's far from essential so soon after launch.

Portable hard drives
Below you'll find some comparison charts for some of our favorite portable hard drives. These are especially handy to expand the storage options on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, including the new generation ones which only come with a small starting amount. They're best for running PS4/Xbox One games on the backward-compatible PS5/Series X.

Secretlab Omega Cyberpunk 2077: $460 $449 at SecretLab (save $11)
Our favorite gaming chair looks better than ever with this special edition Cyberpunk 2077 design, featuring all the same comfort and customizability as before. You can save a nice chunk of change by buying direct from Secretlab, and if you're in the UK you can pick up a pre-order for the January restock now.

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Secretlab Titan Cyberpunk 2077: $520 $489 at Secretlab (save $31)
The Titan is the Omega's big sibling, featuring a flatter seat which gives your tush a little more room (and is ideal for sitting cross-legged). The manufacturer's discount from Seatlab will keep your bank account sitting pretty, and if you're in the UK you can lock in your order for when more stock arrives in January now.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones $349 $278 at Best Buy
While not a gaming headset, if the gamer in your life is a big music fan and/or spends a lot of time working at a desk then these class-leading noise-canceling headphones are bound to go down well. These only came out a few months ago, to red hot reviews and this is a great chance to save $72.
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Stay tuned folks, as we're going to keep updating this guide for the best gifts for gamers right up until the last dispatch date ahead of Christmas. A few other guides you might find useful though include best gaming headset, best Nintendo Switch accessories, and best PS5 games.

Brendan is GamesRadar's Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. Formerly the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar, he's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead.