Video game variety is so widespread now that buying for the special gamer in your life is more challenging than ever. Here are a few suggestions for the many types of gamers you may encounter on your shopping list
For the young gamer
Ratchet and Clank
Sony raised a few eyebrows with this reboot/remake priced at just $40 USD. Don’t let the price fool you, this game looks incredible. It should provide plenty of wacky fun for gamers too young for the usual mature fare.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
The first Garden Warfare had some great ideas but fell short. For the sequel, Popcap refined the formula and added a whole bunch more. An inventive hub filled with battles replaced the menu system and there’s now a single player campaign.
For families with more than one young gamer, this is also one of the better splitscreen games available.
For the Strategist
If you like Civ, you can’t go wrong. Firaxis upped the ante by introducing districts. Now players can no longer stack everything they need on one city tile, but must deal with sprawling cities as more buildings and Wonders are added.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
My personal favorite. Fans of older Homeworld games or RTS will love this. A sand-crawling carrier is your mobile base as you venture deep into the desert to find humanities last hope.
Wonderful ambience and art direction complement quick thinking strategy.
Like Civ, if they’re fans of the previous game, this is a can’t miss.
For the Fan of Alien/Sci-Fi
At first glance, the low-fi green visuals don’t offer much, but this is a wonderful game for fans of gritty sci-fi.
Explore abandoned space ships through the eyes of drones while avoiding the hidden dangers that lurk in unopened rooms.
I love this game.
For the OCD
It borrows heavily from Harvest Moon but the way almost every mechanic progresses and links together is wonderfully executed. It oozes passion.
If the gamer you’re shopping for loves making shopping lists and organizing items into rows, they’ll find a lot to obsess over here.
For the Dark Intellectual
You may never know what it all means, but Inside will have you pondering it’s questions long after the credits roll. A secret second ending and a few easter eggs along the way add a bit of replayability to a short, but powerful experience.
It looks and feels incredible, this is one of the best games of the year.
Gorgeous scenery, a mature look at relationships, and a decent mystery had me enraptured for one fine evening back in February. The ending isn’t great, but it’s a worthwhile experience for those seeking something more mature.
For the Adventure Fan
One of the best games of the year trades in a few of the franchise’s usual set-pieces in favor of a surprisingly touching story of married life, commitments, and the desire for adventure.
It may lack a train or plane sequence, but the overall package felt more complete than previous games.
For the Music Lover
A rythm game dripping with horror. Thumper is not for the weak. Having a knowledge of music and an ability to find the beat (and polyrythms) will greatly increase your chances of getting through this.
A surprise gem I’d love to see more of.
Guitar Hero Live
Last generation I preferred Rock Band’s feel and setlist, but this time around I like where GH:L is going. They upped the ante with the button layout and the new modes fit our current method of streaming music.
Rockband 4 is always there for those wanting the classic experience, but getting your old tunes back might be a issue.
For the Rich
If money is no object, then an Oculus Rift or Vive are the ultimate gamer gift this holiday (assuming they already have a powerful enough PC).
The Vive has the slight edge in hardware and has a larger library due to it’s platform freedom.
The Rift’s new touch controllers close the gap but it lags behind in software.
PSVR is the weakest of the big three but still provides a decent entry point to VR.
Personally, I’ll be waiting for version 2.0 and for developers to figure out better experiences, but if someone bought me one, I’d be a happy boy.
The multiplayer game for everyone. Wether you’re a headshot wizard or just want to help out with some healing, Overwatch nails the team dynamic and serves up crazy amounts of fun. The colorful presentation and psychologically gripping loot progression showcases Blizzard at the top of their game.
If you’ve sworn off multiplayer games, Overwatch could bring you back.
It’s easy to grab the most popular game of whatever sport your loved one is most into, but Rocket League is a fantastic alternative just in case they missed it last year.
If all else fails, a gift card to the online store of their choice is always a safe bet.
Happy Holidays and good hunting!