Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Written by The GN Staff on 12/12/2014 for
More On: Holiday Guide

Black Friday came and went. Cyber Monday is out of here. There was even something called Green Monday, but it's long gone, too. You've probably got only one more paycheck before Christmas. But before panic settles into resignation, know that you've come to the right place. The Gaming Nexus staff came together to write down items from our personal wishlists. This is the stuff we actually want, but we're showing it to you, in case you've got a gamer on your shopping list and you don't have a clue what to get them—or you do have a clue but are currently drawing a blank.

Click the item name to link to a product page. We listed the full retail price of each item, but there are still a lot of deals out there. Merry Christmas, everyone.


Sunset Overdrive
Retail: $59.99
Sunset Overdrive is an open world shooter that's been tossed into a blender without the lid on. Insomniac Games hit one out of the park with their sandbox-style game that mixes elements from the old Jet Set Radio games, while keeping things recent with gameplay that matches up with Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row. This is a must-have for Xbox One owners.

Wasteland 2
Retail: $39.99 
Many years ago, well before I could even drive, I stumbled across a PC game known as Wasteland, which was a sci-fi role-playing game for the PC that was my first foray into post-apocalyptic game worlds. Now, many years later, after a highly successful kickstarter campaign, a sequel has finally been released. Fans of the original will want to jump into this strategy-based RPG.

ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Premium USB Connector Circumaural Headset
Retail: $149.99
What good is PC gaming without a quality headset? The Kave XTD 5.1 brings true surround sound without having to shake the walls of the house, has an onboard 5.1 sound card that allows quick hookup to an existing stereo system, and also has Bluetooth capability to link up directly to your phone so you'll never miss a call again while gaming. A quick press of the button and the call will override your in-game audio.

Digital Storm Bolt II Gaming PC
Retail: Starting at $1,674
For those who want to get into the wonderful world of PC gaming but don't have the knowledge to build their own system, Digital Storm offers many options with their system designed initially as a Steam Machine, but is truly an all-in-one PC rig for both entertainment and gaming.


Nintendo Wii U (Includes Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Nintendo Land and Super Smash Brothers)
Retail: $349
Yup, it's finally time to pick up that Wii U. Regardless of your taste in games, there has got to be at least a few games on that console that everyone can enjoy. I bought a Wii U back when Mario Kart 8 came out and have absolutely no regrets. Since then, I have been playing tons of incredibly fun games like Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and Bayonetta 2. I was incredibly disappointed by the original Nintendo Wii. I bought one and it pretty much sat on my shelf collecting dust for years. I am just thrilled that I am finally able to enjoy a Nintendo console
A Gigantic Video Game Collection
Retail: $164,000
I'm no sure if that "64" was intentional or not, but regardless, if you've got a boatload of cash, why not buy the gamer in your life something that could keep them busy for quite awhile? How does 5,700+ games sound? Yup, it's one of those crazy video game auctions again. This one is currently being watched by over 6,000 people and includes over 5,700+ games, 50 consoles, and complete Nintendo and Sega sets. I wonder if by "complete" it means that it includes those rare Nintendo games like Nintendo World Championships and Stadium Events. Regardless, if you've got the cash, buy yourself or someone you like this huge piece of gaming history. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy some truly classic gaming. 
The best gamer gifts that aren't games or consoles are controllers, controllers, and more controllers. I bring it up every year at this time. Controllers are literally the link between you and your game, and you can't use one without the other. They wear out so fast nowadays, or you simply rage out and throw them with such velocity that they rupture the space-time continuum. Whatever happens, you cannot have enough, and getting a new one every year would be like getting a new pair of bionic hands every year. My personal preference is for first-party controllers. I've been burned by Razer and Mad Catz one too many times, although the wired Mad Catz controllers I use for my Xbox 360 have been more than acceptable.  
Retail: $59.99 and $69.99
If you just have to get a game, and you're buying for a gamer who is a bigger fan of single-player than multiplayer, and they're also far more into swords than guns, then look no further than Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Both are huge sort-of-open-world games and, at least in Inquisition's case, it's long.  
Retail: Varies
Finally, if you maybe just sold your pet-grooming practice for $7 million, just buy every gamer you know a solid gaming PC, because every day it gets a little harder to be a console-only gamer.  

Ultimate Smash Bros party pack: Wii U+Super Smash Bros for Wii U bundle+3 additional GameCube controllers+1 additional GameCube Adapter
Retail: $550–$800
If you want to have the ultimate eight-player Smash Bros. party, this is the way to do it starting from scratch. Granted, the base price assumes regular availability and MSRP for each of the components. A Wii U is never hard to find, but some of the other parts of this gift are getting increasingly scarce, and Amazon and eBay prices are starting to skyrocket. The $100 Smash Bros. bundle that comes with a controller and adapter is literally sold out everywhere, going secondhand for as much as $225. The Smash-branded controllers, originally $30, are pushing $50 apiece now, although paradoxically buying white Japanese GameCube pads is cheaper than the new Smash ones. The GameCube controller adapter is the most absurdly expensive piece of kit, currently in low stock on Amazon for 115 freaking dollars, up from its $20 MSRP. It’s a hefty price, and personally I’d wait until the holiday buying frenzy dies down, stock bounces back and prices go back to normal. But if you want eight-player Smash Bros. on all GameCube controllers, you’ll need two of those scarce USB adapters. Once again, Nintendo grossly underestimates the sheer rabid passion of Smash Bros fans.

Amiibo (full set)
Retail: $160
Once you’ve dropped all that coin on the ultimate Smash Bros. experience, why not make it rain a little more by snapping up an entire set of Series 1 Amiibo figurines to go with it? Despite their somewhat counterintuitive nature, the new Nintendo toys-to-life are surprisingly hot sellers, with most local stores briskly running through stock. I picked up a mere handful, forgoing the $150+ price to catch 'em all. While individual characters are supposedly rarer than others—Marth and Captain Falcon are particularly hard to find in the wild right now—you can get most of them at the $13 MSRP on Amazon. With a little extra hunting and a bit of luck, you could score the whole set with relative ease. At least it’s easier than tracking down one of those GameCube adapters, or selling blood to afford one secondhand on Ebay.

Bayonetta 1 and Bayonetta 2
Retail: $59.99 each
If you’re going all out with the Wii U stuff, you might as well get two of the best action games ever made. The Bayonetta series has arrived on Wii U with the exclusive debut of the sequel, and a revamped, improved port of the original, optimized for the fresher tech of the Wii U console. Bayonetta really isn’t like anything else out today, and that’s what makes it so great and special. Like Bayonetta herself, the games don’t give a damn what anyone things of them, and are content to be their own sexy, shooty, stabby, ridiculous selves. Platinum Games’s headlining action titles harken back to the reckless abandon of the Dreamcast days, when the most colorful ideas were welcomed with open arms. In any case, two amazing action games for the price of one is a pretty sweet deal.


Far Cry 4
Retail: $59.99
I know that a lot of people had high expectations and were really looking forward to the new Far Cry game, but I wasn’t one of them. I have never been a huge fan of the series but have been completely blown away by Far Cry 4. The gunplay is spot on, and the vast, open world of Kyrat is intoxicating. I love just cruising around and having an absolute ton of things to do. Plus, if all else fails, just dive off of the nearest cliff edge and go for a scenic flight in your wingsuit.

Charging Controller Stand
Retail: $19.99–$29.99
I don’t care what system you play on, it absolutely sucks to be in the middle of a great gaming session and get a low battery indicator on your screen. Sure, every console comes with the basic USB cable for charging, but that is annoying and nobody wants to consciously tether their self to the console. Give your loved ones the gift of convenience with one of the various charging cradles available for their console of choice; this way their control pads are ready to go every time they hit the power button.

LootCrate Subscription
Retail: $19.37–$105.99
LootCrate is all the rage nowadays, and rightfully so. There are a lot of gaming and comic companies getting on board with the service, and the quality of their crates gets better each and every month. LootCrate is a monthly service that sends out random boxes of goodies to subscribers. For roughly $20 a month, you get a random collection of goodies valued at more than $40, including things like digital copies of games, action figures, t-shirts, and a wide variety of other gaming gear and goodies. You can sign them up for either a single month or up to a whole year. 

Alienware Alpha Gaming PC
Retail: $899.99
While I am a console gamer at heart, I can fully acknowledge the power behind a great gaming PC. If I had the money, I wouldn’t hesitate to put a seriously jacked-up Steambox-like machine into my living room, such as the Alienware Alpha. There are plenty of options out there if Alienware isn’t your thing. Just make sure that if you go this high end (in terms of a gift) do it right and don’t skimp out.


Payday 2 Four Pack
Retail: $89.99
What better way to spend the holidays with friends than to rob a bank? Payday 2 is a co-op first-person shooter, where you get to perform heists ranging from banks and jewelry stores to rigging voting machines and busting old partners out of jail. With tons of free and paid DLC available, this game is already established and ready for everyone to hop into. Whether it's the holidays or not, this is a great gift for any co-op or shooter fan.

Batman: Arkham Knight Limited Edition and Batmobile Edition
Retail: $99.99 and $199.99
The next installment in the Batman Arkham series, and the first for next gen, is one of the most anticipated games of next year. What better way to get ahead than by snagging a pre-order for one of it's two collector's editions. The Limited Edition, weighing in at $99.99, will include a copy of the game, an 80-page artbook, exclusive steel book case, a DC comic of the same name, exclusive skins for the game from the DC "New 52" era, and (my favorite part) the Batman Memorial Statue that has batman standing over a small-scale Gotham. The higher-end Collector's Edition, dubbed the "Batmobile Edition," swaps the statue for a Transforming Batmobile Statuemade by Tri Force, and is a smaller-scale replica of Batman's ride in Arkham Knight. The Batmobile Edition comes in at a whopping $199.99, but is a must have for any major Batman fan. 


Halo Master Chief Armor
Retail: $1,254
The only thing between me and my inner cosplayer is having someone just give me a sick costume that I don't have to build myself. If only I lived near a Jo-Ann Fabrics and had 1,000 man-hours to tailor an outfit. Forget it. I'll just have Mask World shove it into a box and mail it to me instead.

Kingston HyperX Cloud Pro Gaming Headset
Retail: $99.99
First off, there's no reason for this headset to be in the $75 to $100 range. My hearing is hypersensitive on the high end and damaged from too much rap music on the low end—and this set of cans is still eye opening. Only purchase these if you want some hallelujah moments with your movies, music, and gaming.

Star Citizen Game Package
Retail: $30–$15,000
Haha kidding, the $15K package is sold out. But there are still some $10K packages available for purchase in Star Citizen—a game that doesn't fully exist yet—in case you have someone on your Christmas list that doesn't like to work towards anything in life and would certainly appreciate owning one video game for the price of 200. There are $30 packages, of course, but you might as well just drop a lump of coal in their stocking if that's your angle.

Humble Bundle
Retail: $1–$15
Over $20 million has been donated to charity through Humble Bundles. The mix of video games and original soundtracks is different every couple weeks, but if you throw $10 or $15 at a Humble Bundle, then forward the email to your gift recipient, they're going to get a pretty sweet stack of game codes to redeem on Steam. They won't love every single game, but there'll be at least one or two in there that they'd like to try out.


Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones
Retail: $24.99 and $29.99
If you want to get a gift that keeps on giving, Telltale Games is giving you two options this holiday season. Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones are both out, and if you get one or both of them for your giftee, they'll be thanking you throughout all of 2015.

Sentinels of the Multiverse
Retail: $39.99
If you want something that involves spending a little less time behind the screen, but still involves co-op multiplayer, you should look into picking up Sentinels of the Multiverse. Essentially, you and your friends are a team of superheroes in the final fight against the Big Bad Evil Guy. Everybody picks a superhero, and since the Villain and Environment pretty much play themselves, no one has to be the bad guy. The base game is normally $40, and there's a few expansion packs you can get for $20, and a few extra characters for even cheaper.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Collector's Edition
Retail: $149.99
Got a friend that just got a next-gen system and loves video game paraphernalia? If you've also got a chunk of change to spare, you could always pre-order The Witcher 3 Collector's edition for them. For $150, they'll get: The Witcher 3 (obviously), the original soundtrack, some stickers, Witcher Universe—The Compendium, a gigantic polystone statue of Geralt fighting a griffin, a Witcher medallion, a one-of-a-kind SteelBook, a 200-page artbook, a cloth map, two Gwent card decks, and a collector's edition box to go in your collector's edition box!


PlayStation 4 (with Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us)
Retail: $399
I moved exclusively to PC gaming because I moved to England for grad school and both couldn't fit my PS3 in my luggage and really didn't need the distraction of a console. At least with the PC I could rationalize that I was also using it for my degree. Well, I done graduated and now is the time to take a step to the side from glorious the PC master race and get back in the next gen of things. My belated graduation gift: a PS4 with Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us, two of the best games of recent history for under $400.

NVIDIA geforce GTX 970
Retail: $349.99
The thing about graphics cards is, the top-end cards are more than it cost me to build my entire gaming PC. Unless you have the monitor (or monitors, really) to harness that bad boy, it's the easiest part of a build to spend more than you maybe should. With that blasphemy out of the way, I would love to upgrade my 1GB Radeon 7850 that I got secondhand for a steal off eBay two years ago to something a little more modern—and that won't crash every time I try to crank up the settings. So, for a realistic gift idea (are you reading this, Mom?), I think the sweet spot would the GTX 970. It offers solid performance at practically half what it would cost to take the next step up.

The Original Crazy Creek Chair
Retail: $48.50
I used to spend a lot of time outdoors, both hiking and camping for fun and having worked previously as a guide for canoe and hiking trips in the Carolinas, doing backcountry substance abuse counseling in the canyonlands of Utah, and spend a few summers in the Cascades preparing all the food and equipment for expeditions up Mt. Rainier and Denali. The best gaming chair I ever had was my old tried-and-true Crazy Creek camp chair. That thing saw me up so many peaks and down back to so many trailheads and could still give me that cozy hug I needed as I rocked back and forth after getting destroyed in Halo for the umpteenth time by some 14-year-old kid. It's been years since my last Crazy Creek busted a seam, and I've been without one for too long. So the last item on my wishlist is a bit of nostalgia that just happens to be perfect to plop down on the floor with in front of the TV for another session with a controller in your hand.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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