For gamers, the holiday season is a glorious time of year. 2011 is especially strong, as players have new portables to look forward to and a giant roster of top-tier software to enjoy. There are so many great games on the market this holiday that it’s actually scary. We’ll be playing them well into the fall of next year.

To the shopper: be warned, buying games without any knowledge of the market is a tricky business. Make sure you figure out what your intended recipient likes, wants or already has before heading out to the shop. Nothing burns quite like opening a wonderfully wrapped game and finding Barbie’s Horse Adventures within.

Money is No Object

Super Nintendo Games

A Super Nintendo with Every Game Ever Released


I said Super Nintendo because that’s my retro machine of choice. You could be buying for a Genesis, Dreamcast, PSOne, NES or Atari fan, so, in the land of money being no object, head out and ask your recipient which they’d prefer before you make the purchase. Retro games are great, and a massive collection, or even a starter collection if you’re a little less fiscally endowed, is an awesome way to enjoy the medium.

Gifts Under $2000

Extreme Gaming Rig

$2,000 to Build a Gaming Rig with Some of the Best Components on the Market Today.


You could do it for less, sure, but if you have the $2,000 in scratch to throw down on a gift like this, you may as well give this person the whole pile. There are a ton of options out there for gaming components, so cash is really the best bet when it comes to a build-savy loved one. They’ll hop onto their favorite hardware retailer and feel like a kid in a candy store.

Gifts Under $500

XBox 360 - Gears of War 3

The Uncharted 3 PlayStation 3 Bundle -or- the Gears of War 3 Limited Edition Xbox Bundle

$299 / $399

If you’re looking to land a console for the holidays, these two bundles are awesome ways to do it. Both games are some of the best the latter portion of 2011 has to offer. You’ll also have some extra money to pick up a few more titles, should your recipient be interested in, say, RAGE, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or something else…

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A Nintendo 3DS with Ocarina of Time 3D -or- $250 in Cash for the Purchase of a PS Vita


I decided to go portable with this one. The PS Vita isn’t available yet, and the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t exactly have the most robust launch library. However, both systems will pack something special for the party on the receiving end of the gift. Nintendo is set to drop some awesome 3DS games this holiday (Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land), and the future looks much brighter than the launch era. The PS Vita will be the most technically advanced of the portable platforms, and it also has a nice, robust list of lineup games coming at launch.

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Gifts Under $50

Zelda - Skyward Sword

Two Video Games


There are a ton of games out there, especially given that the holiday season of 2011 is one of the most jam packed release periods we’ve seen in years. You have a lot of options here, but make sure you buy games for the right platform. Moreover, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games will cost you $59.99. Our picks? Here are a few safe bets for your gamer, just pick which ones you think would fit their lifestyle…

  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Gears of War 3
  • Uncharted 3
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Battlefield 3
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • FIFA 12
  • NHL 12

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