It's the most wonderful time of year—that special season where you get to spend all the money you've spent the year toiling away for on other people! Your parents. Your siblings. Your friends, who are now all insisting on making new small humans. When does the madness end? Well sit back, pull on your ugly holiday sweater, and sip a hot toddy in your favorite PC gaming mug. Don't have a PC gaming mug? That's exactly the kind of problem we're here to fix!
We're ready to help you trim your Christmas tree with the best gaming flavored treats that money can buy, perfect for family, guild pals and, if we're being really honest, yourself.
Gifts under $25
When Grandma insists you have just one more glass of her homemade cocoa—which you suspect might be accidentally seasoned with her dog's cataract medication—you can at least do it in style with this delightfully restrained piece of Fallout memorabilia. Because nothing says "I wish I was stuck in an apocalyptic wasteland" like spending the holidays with the family.
Sometimes, you just need to wear your personality with pride. This pin is the easiest way to warn those around you that hey, you seem like a reasonable person, but if you run into someone playing Razakus Priest in Hearthstone you're going to flip a table. Will also allow your dad to make terrible jokes about your level of seasoning at the dinner table.
A sturdy snapback that will let people know that not only is your hair not fit for public consumption, but you've killed actual demons for fun. Anyone can rock a cap that supports their hometown sports team or struggling artist Ed Hardy, but only a real hero can tame the imposing typeface of the Doom logo. And if you ever run into John Romero on the street, he'll legally have to give you a high five.
Designed by JP Coovert, this is a shirt that looks cute regardless of whether anyone at the party knows what a Crysknife is and how to use it. One thing's for sure, rock up in this adorable little numbers and everyone's Udjat Eyes will be on you.
Whatever you think of Destiny 2's mod system or DLC plans, there's no denying that it rocks some of the most intoxicating concept art in the galaxy. That mix of industrial decay and fantasy tropes is basically irresistible, and this book screams "yes my light level is intimidating, but can I not also appreciate beauty?"
Some of us are still upset about not winning this year's Easter Egg hunt in Stardew Valley. Others are still happy to celebrate this land of corruption and its sinister festivals. I mean, sure, somehow they've overlooked your ovum-seeking skills for a third year running, but why not wallow in this beautifully illustrated Kari Fry print? It'll make you feel better, promise.
This Hollow Knight is so cuddly that it's the perfect way to show your affection for a fellow geek. Imagine the romantic moment you pass this fluffy little bug warrior into their care, a symbol of your respect and warm-feeling. Or, if it all goes tits up before the exchange of gifts, it can symbolise the plague that has ravaged your heart and soul. Multiple uses, one plush.
If you're even pretending to be adult for the holidays, you're going to need to do some cooking, or find someone who likes doing it for you. Spice up the usual menu of turkey and cranberry sauce with a few additions from the World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook. It has over 100 recipes including Graccu’s Homemade Meat Pie, Fel Eggs and Ham and Greatfather’s Winter Ale.
Gifts under $50
When the world is garbage fire, it's nice to give the gift of a wholesome Jumino for the holidays. This cuddly version of the forest spirit won't give you gifts or repair any bridges, but equally it won't demand you grow five perfect pumpkins or spend eleven hours fishing for an eel.
Our favorite tabletop RPG, D&D 5th Edition, continued to get great supplements in 2017. Xanathar’s Guide is a must-own for your group—it's a bundle of character backgrounds, subclasses, items, spells, useful encounter tables, and more stuff that can enhance any campaign. Play as a samurai Fighter, or a drunken master Monk. For dungeon masters, there are new rules for fun details like sleeping in armor, and a new set of 'mundane' magic items, like the Clothes of Mending, the Boots of False Tracks, or an unbreakable arrow.
In case you've have one too many eggnogs and it's slipped your mind, The Kestrel is the first ship you manage in FTL: Faster Than Light, and will either serve as a cosy reminder of your proficiency as a space captain or a horrific momento of the time you accidentally suffocated everyone on the bridge because of a slight life support miscalculation.
If you liked Mei before you saw the Overwatch short Rise and Shine, you had to love her afterwards. Now you can pay tribute to our favorite climatologist and protect your feet from winter's chill with a version of the adorable slippers she wore in the mini-movie. Should things get boring on Christmas day, use them to tell the story of Mei and get into a row with your Uncle Bruce about climate change. The hours will fly by.
Ugly sweaters - World of Warcraft and Atari
It's just not festive to make it through the whole of winter without sporting a sweater that would physically repel you at any other time of year. It didn't take long for gaming studios to cotton on to the fact that logos and monsters are utterly preferable to reindeer—who have a depressingly low K/D ratio—and that you'd pay handsomely for the privilege of repping your favorite brands to the office Christmas party. These are two of the best, so wear them with pride.
Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer by wearing this tasteful maroon polo emblazoned with the torch emblem of our favorite RPG of 2016. To those unfamiliar with Red Hook Studios' brutal dungeon crawl, you'll appear as a big fan of handheld flame, a beacon of golden hope. But fellow adventurers will know that the garment is a handsome reward for a task well performed. Seize this momentum! Push on, to the task's end!
And while you're building a loved one's vinyl collection why not counterbalance the jolly jazz sounds with a little sinister Japanese horror? Mondo has a whole bunch of stylish vinyl soundtracks for games, ranging from the AAA hits to weird punches to the nostalgia glands like Streets Of Rage 2.
The classic design of the Super Nintendo gamepad, but compatible with your PC and wireless. Perfect for those sweet sweet retro games.
Gifts under $100
Aunt Vivien will be seven Pina Coladas in before she thinks to ask why she's drinking out of a tiny suit of Power Armor, such is the furtive geekiness of this cocktail set. It comes in a set of four along with a Deathclaw, Dogmeat and Vault Boy, and is the perfect set for entertaining whether at home, trapped in an underground vault, or from an irradiated penthouse in Boston.
If you’re a gamer and serious about audio, but have already stocked up on gifts for other people and want something for yourself, the Cloud Revolver is awesome. The audio quality pumped out of these cans is comparable to serious audio headphones, and they’re comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.
Show them that while you might look completely average up top, you're well and truly exotic. While these spandex-blend delights would be perfect for vaulting over derelict cities or dodging the Vex, they'll serve just as well when it comes to vanquishing a second round of turkey sandwiches. Unisex and also available in Warlock and Titan flavors.
This keyboard came out of nowhere and shocked us. Who would have thought mechanical keyboard enthusiasts would be clamoring for a membrane? But it’s true. Razer’s Ornata keyboard features a hybrid mechanical-membrane switch. Your fingers bottom out after pushing through a satisfying click. We can’t get enough of these into the office. It feels that good.
Some people would say vinyl is only for old people and hipsters, but this special edition from the fine people at iam8bit will change your—wait for it—tune. The retro styling of this soundtrack perfectly suits the aesthetic of one of the most visually arresting games of 2017, and will make you look dead classy whether you gift it to a dear friend or whip it out at parties.
Like Santa Claus and Mariah Carey, you can trust Fantasy Flight Games to make Christmas magic happen. Here they've turned their attention to the wastelands of Fallout (look, we know there's a lot of Fallout, but 2017 has been a bit apocalyptic) with a game for up to four intrepid survivors. Players will explore, survive, battle Critters, Humanoids, Robots, Super Mutants, and Monsters and try not to notice when cousin Hannah tries to steal the Deathclaw figurine.
Maybe your family has nuclear trauma in its past, or a bad experience with an irradiated cockroach, and Fallout isn't an appropriate gift. Lucky for you Fantasy Flight Games's adaptation of Sid Meier’s Civilization series is back in stock. Finally you can challenge mother for control of the Asian continent!
Not quite available yet is a brand new board game adaptation, this one hewing a bit closer to Civ 6. If that strikes your fancy, you can pre-order it from Fantasy Flight.
iFixit dismantle phones and laptops and other complex pieces of technology every day. As you'd expect, they have a pretty good idea what kinds of tools it takes to do that job well, and their recently revamped toolkit contains the whole lot. Its screwdriver set will help with assembling or disassembling a new PC build, and the rest of the included tools will come in handy around the house when you need something highly specialized: a spudger or tweezers or anti-static strap.
High roller gifts: $100 and up
While the Xbox One X is the high-powered newcomer, the Xbox One S remains the absolute best 4K HDR Blu-ray player around, given its totally reasonable price. For just a bit more than a dedicated player, you get a fully featured media center. And it plays games too, if you're into that.
Say what you like about the Draenei, but they know their loungewear. Their pajamas are legendary across Azeroth, and their robes, well, worth every piece of gold you've ever farmed. Not content with coddling your skin in softness, this has horns and a tail too, so it doubles as the laziest piece of cosplay ever.
A great wireless gaming mouse gives you the joy of playing without a fussy cord, and it's like floating above all your earthly worries… but then you have to plug it in every few days to charge, and it's like being pulled back down to the ground. Logitech's Powerplay charging pad solves that one remaining wireless bummer. Using the mouse feels identical, but you simply never have to charge it. Because it's always charging. That's as good as it gets.
If you love Dungeons & Dragons but have trouble getting four or five people to meet several times a month to play, consider this cooperative, standalone official board game—it's essentially D&D in a box, for 1-5 players (yeah, you can play it solo), without the daunting task of having someone play dungeon master. Tomb of Annihilation itself is a fun, less conventional setting: it's the closest D&D comes to Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, with players fighting their way through dinosaurs and undead shamans en route to ruins embedded in jungles.
MSI’s GTX 1080 Ti TRIO delivers massive graphics horsepower in a card that's physically huge to match, because there’s no better way to show off your 3D rendering muscle than having 3 large cooling fans. They help keep the card running cool even with the factory overclock.
Gaming dens often don’t have the best fresh air. Why be disturbed by outside noises when you can shut all your windows and doors and get immersed in a game? Unfortunately, this often leaves your room’s air quality degrading to subway train levels. The Blueair Classic 405 handles up to 434 sq. ft of space, thoroughly purifies the air and is even wifi and Alexa enabled. Control your air quality from your mouse and keyboard!
If you or a loved one spends as much time gaming as we do, you might as well do it with good posture. The thing we like about the VARIChair it is it forces you to engage your legs while sitting, promoting a healthy posture and preventing you from leaning. If you're constantly frustrated by your chair's armrests bumping up against your desk, give this fancy, flexible stool a look.
Has anyone in your life been really really good this year? Pull you out of a burning building? Carry an actual baby for you, Kardashian style? If so, they may be worthy of this millionaire's plaything, one of a limited edition of 50. Its carved wooden exterior is home to a selection of classic emulated games including Pac-Man and Street Fighter 2 and Streets of Rage, and you can expand the library through the power of USB. The classiest possible portable arcade.
Look, you could get someone a shiny Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for someone this Christmas, and there are some pretty great VR games to play on them these days. But you know what a true gift would be? The gift of realizing how much better VR is now than it used to be. Give the gift of the 90s, and the horror of squinting at a red screen until you get a headache. That's true love.
If the R-KAID-R is a declaration of love, this is a declaration of "I have so much money I don't know what to do with it, and am reading this gift guide for some reason instead of drag racing in my Tesla." A ludicrously expensive monitor, yeah, but don't you want the eye gouging sharpness of 7680x4320 pixels? You know the old saying: if you really love someone, make them bleed out their eyes.