Video games have always been a great way to escape reality for many. But I’m not sure that there has ever been a better year to escape to video game worlds than the one we’re all clawing our way through right now.
While some games that were set to release this year have been delayed due to the pandemic, there are still plenty of great video game gift options this year. The most exciting of these options (to some folks, anyway) is no doubt the release of a couple of shiny new consoles.
So if you’re looking for some gift ideas for the gamers in your life, be sure to head below for the Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2020: Video Games edition.
NOTE: As always, the games featured below include links to physical copies because those are much more satisfying to give as a gift than a digital code printed out on a piece of paper.
If you’re shopping for someone who plays on PC and/or prefers digital games, however, you can find plenty of gift card options at the bottom of this guide. Not as much fun to give, but the recipient will no doubt put them to good use.
Some of the games might not be available when clicked on because Amazon is horrendous when it comes to keeping physical copies available, but if you keep checking they may show back up or you can find other sellers offering new copies.
The Last of Us Part II — Developer Naughty Dog’s long-awaited sequel to the 2013 Game of the Year, and one of the best games of all time in the eyes of many, finally made its way to store shelves this year. The game was met with overwhelming praise, surprising not a single soul. Available on PlayStation 4. Click right here for trailers, gameplay, and more.
Minecraft Dungeons — For any Minecraft fans in your life, this is a classic dungeon crawler-style game with that familiar blocky look. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Click right here for a trailer.
Paper Mario: The Origami King — The latest paper-crafted Mario adventure sees Mario and a new partner on a quest to save Princess Peach from an origami menace named King Olly. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for a gameplay trailer.
DOOM Eternal — The sequel to id Software’s 2016 first-person shooter reboot of the fan-favorite series, this is a game for anyone in your life who just can’t get enough demon slaying, shooting, slashing, and squishing. Available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. Click right here for trailers, gameplay, and more.
Watch Dogs Legion — The latest ambitious release in the Ubisoft series, this one promising a London in which anyone you see has a story and can become the character you play as. Available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/Xbox One, and PS4. There’s also a Gold Steelbook Edition available. Click right here for trailers and gameplay.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR — See what it’s like to be Iron Man as you step into Tony Stark’s suit and take to the skies in this Marvel VR experience. Available on PlayStation VR. It’s also available in a bundle complete with the PS VR headset, camera, and controllers if the person you’re buying for has a PlayStation 4 already. Click right here for a trailer and video.
Cyberpunk 2077 — It’s been eight years since we first learned about The Witcher developer CD Projekt RED’s ambitious futuristic RPG, and the game is just barely squeaking out in time for the holidays this year. At least, we hope. It was delayed a couple of times previously before being delayed one more (hopefully last) time recently. But unlike other games, it hasn’t been bumped to 2021 so far. It’s currently scheduled to be released on December 10th, so you still might be able to score a copy to give someone this holiday season. That someone would surely be ecstatic if they’re as excited about the game as most are. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. There isn’t a version specifically meant for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 yet, but apparently the Xbox One and PS4 versions will work on the newly released next-gen consoles at launch. Click right here for trailers, gameplay, and more.
Star Wars: Squadrons — A new Star Wars game arrived this year, and this one is all about the flying and space dogfights. In it you jump into the cockpit of a starfighter for the New Republic or the Empire, in either multiplayer or a single-player campaign which is set after the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Available on PlayStation 4 (which also features the option to play entirely in VR) and Xbox One. Click right here for a gameplay trailer.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars — A collection of three classic 3D Super Mario games: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for an overview trailer.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — The latest game in the long-running Assassin’s Creed series sees players taking on the role of a viking in the Dark Ages. Available on Xbox Series X/Xbox One (Gold Steelbook Edition) and PlayStation 4 (Gold Steelbook Edition) with free upgrade to the PS5 digital version. Click right here for a trailer.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War — The 17th release in the main Call of Duty series and the fifth Black Ops title, the game is set between the original Black Ops and Black Ops II. Available on Xbox Series X/Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. Click right here for a trailer.
Demon’s Souls — An incredible looking remake from the ground up of the first game in FromSoftware’s Souls series, and a must-play for any fans of the Dark Souls trilogy who never got to play the original. Available on PlayStation 5. Click right here for a gameplay trailer featuring an adorable spider and a nasty beastie I still have nightmares about known as Flamelurker.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope — The second game in Until Dawn developer’s anthology series. It follows the previously released entry in the anthology, Man of Medan, and precedes next year’s Dark Pictures release, House of Ashes. Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Click right here for a trailer.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales — A follow-up to the 2018 hit Marvel’s Spider-Man, this time following Miles Morales as he discovers what sets him apart from his mentor, Peter Parker, while a war between an energy company and and a criminal organization rages on. Available on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. Click right here for a trailer.
Maneater — It’s a game that lets you swim around as a shark and eat pretty much whatever you want. Nothing more need be said. Available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Click right here for a trailer.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon — The latest game in the hit Japanese RPG fighter series follows a low-level member of a yakuza family who is betrayed and ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox Series X/Xbox One. Click right here for a trailer.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners VR — A virtual reality experience set in the Walking Dead universe. It’s a free roam survival horror which takes place in New Orleans. Players will explore, scavenge for things like food and weapons, craft, and of course, fight off walkers. Available on PlayStation VR. Click right here for a trailer.
Ghost of Tsushima — One of the most anticipated new titles of 2020, and what might have been the most anticipated PlayStation exclusive of the year if The Last of Us Part II hadn’t also released this year. Available on PlayStation 4. Click right here for a gameplay demo.
Mafia Remake — The Mafia trilogy was re-released this year, including a full Definitive Edition remake of the original and remasters of Mafia II, an all-time favorite of mine, and Mafia III. The remake is available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The full trilogy doesn’t even appear to be available as a physical purchase (only digital) here in the States—only the UK version is on Amazon—so that’s…fun. Click right here for a trailer.
Destroy All Humans! — A remake of the classic game, which lets players experience the alien side of a 1950s-style alien invasion story. Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Also available is a DNA Collector’s Edition and a Crypto-137 Edition. Click right here for a trailer.
Resident Evil 3 — Following the massively successful release of the Resident Evil 2 remake, a remake of the third game in the classic survival horror series was released this year. It wasn’t quite as popular as the RE2 remake, but still a game that fans of the franchise and survival horror seemed to enjoy for the most part. Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Click right here for a trailer.
Marvel’s Avengers — In the latest Marvel game, you play as Kamala Khan as well as other Avengers such as Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk. Available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Also available in a Deluxe Edition and an Earth’s Mightiest Edition. Click right here for trailers, gameplay, and more.
Deliver Us The Moon — This one is a Kickstarter-funded game that wasn’t initially released in 2020, but I wanted to include it because it made its way to consoles this year and it’s not as well-known. I really enjoyed it when I played earlier this year, and if you know any gamers who love anything to do with space I think that they would likely enjoy it too. The game takes place after a permanent operation on the Moon, established to provide energy to our planet after most of Earth’s resources had been depleted, goes dark. You play as an astronaut who, after all others have given up hope, launches from an abandoned facility on a mission to get to the Moon and restore power. Available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Click right here for a trailer.
NOTE: If you’re hoping to buy someone one of these new consoles, keep in mind that they’re popular gift items this year and might be in and out of stock as the season moves forward. If out of stock, be sure to keep checking and enter your email to be notified.
Xbox Series X — The main attraction of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles. A big beast of a console, which is likely floating beyond the spending limits of most (I know I sure as a hell won’t be getting one for quite a while). But for those who can afford, here she be.
Xbox Series S — A smaller and cheaper option, this console is digital only. So if you’re buying for someone like me who still buys games on disc as often as possible before the inevitable, tragic death of physical media, this isn’t the way to go. But for those who fully embrace all-digital, it’s a great option.
This is where I would usually suggest awesome bundles so you could get one of the new consoles with games to play included, but there doesn’t appear to be any. At least not on Amazon. Probably because there’s really not that many games yet.
It’s always felt like it was way too soon for a new generation of consoles, and I guess that feeling was correct. I’m sure the pandemic hasn’t helped, either. Nevertheless, work with whatcha got.
Extra Controllers — For anyone who’s buying for someone who will be playing games with siblings or friends often.
PlayStation 5 — Sony’s counter to the Xbox Series X.
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — Speaking of counters, Sony also has a cheaper digital-only option.
Extra Controllers — For anyone who’s buying for someone who will be playing games with siblings or friends often.
If you don’t know what to get the gamer in your life this year, if they play on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 there’s another intriguing option: a streaming subscription. These are basically like Netflix for video games. You pay a monthly fee, and there’s a collection of games instantly opened up to you to play as much as you want of.
Microsoft has Xbox Game Pass, which is just the streaming service. But they also have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes the Xbox Live Gold. Gold lets you play multiplayer games online, and also comes with multiple free games each month (you can find links to just Gold with the gift cards below):
Sony’s streaming service is called PlayStation Now:
Nintendo also has something similar called Nintendo Switch Online. It’s not quite like the Netflix of gaming like the two above, but does include online gaming, cloud saves, and some classic Nintendo and Super Nintendo games to play such as classic Super Mario Bros. and Zelda titles.
GIFT CARDS & SUBSCRIPTION CARDS
Don’t forget to check out some of our other Holiday Geek Gift Guides as well, which include Blu-ray/DVDs, Books, Music, and Specialty Items.
Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card. You can have an eGift Card emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.
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