Thanks to the rise of digital and the overwhelming takeover of online only games as a service, buying friends and family awesome video game gifts gets harder and harder with each new holiday season. But thankfully, physical games aren’t quite dead yet. There are still plenty of goodies available out there to snatch up, wrap up all pretty like, and give to someone you love in hopes of seeing that smilin’ face on Christmas morn’ for your generosity.
In Geeks of Doom’s Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2019: Video Games, you’ll find plenty of video game options to consider for your holiday shopping. This includes some of the year’s top games, the various console options and bundles currently available, and more. Check it out below.
Note: The games listed below include links to physical copies of the game, because again, those are much more satisfying to give as a gift. But be careful before purchasing, as sometimes Amazon sells out and only has used copies available.
Many of these games are also available on PC, which are usually acquired digitally, and there are many great smaller games which are only available digitally. So if it’s not linked or you don’t see something that sounds good, there will also be links to gift cards included below which would be great for anyone to grab one of those digital titles.
THE OUTER WORLDS — Fans of Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas were immediately giddy with nostalgia when the developer’s latest game, The Outer World, was announced. Like New Vegas, the game is a first-person RPG in which your actions and the choices you make—including what you choose to say while engaged in conversations with the many characters you’ll meet—will help to determine how the story will play out and who your character becomes. It’s set hundreds of years in the future at the edge of the galaxy, and begins with your character waking up on a colonist ship decades later than expected. It’s also nominated for Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2019. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
KINGDOM HEARTS III — It took a long, long time, but the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III finally arrived in 2019. The game is an action role-playing game, which brings together the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
FAR CRY NEW DAWN — A continuation of the story which unfolded in last year’s Far Cry 5, Far Cry New Dawn is a first-person shooter set nearly two decades after the events of that game. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
METRO EXODUS — The third entry in developer 4A Games Metro series, Metro Exodus is a post-apocalyptic horror first-person shooter set in Russia. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
DEVIL MAY CRY 5 — Also released this year was Devil May Cry 5, the latest in the action adventure hack-and-slash game series from Capcom. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
A PLAGUE TALE: INNOCENCE — Easily one of my favorite games of 2019 (my review of the game, if interested), A Plague Tale: Innocence is a third-person action stealth game about a young girl trying to protect her sick younger brother from both an ongoing war and the plague in France in the year 1348. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
THE DIVISION 2 — If you are looking to buy a game for someone who prefers the online only games as a service type titles I was bashing above (and still somehow continued reading—thanks for sticking with us!), The Division 2 is one option that scored solid ratings from critics. The game is a post-apocalyptic third-person shooter set in Washington, D.C. after a pandemic wiped out a devastating percentage of the human population. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for a trailer and gameplay video.
SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE — The latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer FromSoftware, and another nominee for Game of the Year, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a third-person action adventure game in which you play as a shinobi warrior in a re-imagined 16th century Japan who faces off with a variety of enemies, including some strange and sometimes truly terrifying foes. Available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
THE WALKING DEAD — After a little uncertainty following the closure of Telltale Games, The Walking Dead: The Final Season was ultimately completed in 2019. In addition to that, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series was also released so that anyone who has yet to discover the hit episodic adventure series can dive into the Game of the Years favorite first season and keep right on playing through the final season. The Final Season available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The Telltale Definitive Series available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
MORTAL KOMBAT 11 — Not a whole lot needs to be said here. Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest in the brutal and beloved fighting game series, perfect for anyone who loves mastering sick combos or just button-mashing their way to a Flawless Victory. Available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
CONTROL — Max Payne and Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment’s 2016 release Quantum Break was one of my favorites of that year. This year, they released a new game titled Control. Like Quantum Break, Control features a main protagonist who possesses some bad ass abilities. And as if that wasn’t enough, like a deadly outlaw in the Old West, you also carry a hell of a cannon at your side. The game also looks great, and features some insane particle effects, which Remedy is really darn good at. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
WORLD WAR Z — Based on the book of the same name and set in the same world as the movie adaptation of said book, World War Z is a co-op multiplayer game in which you and up to three other players work together to fight off hordes of infected enemies which could number in the hundreds. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here to check out a trailer.
RAGE 2 — Developers id Software and Avalanche Studios’ sequel RAGE 2 opens up a wild and crazy over-the-top post-apocalyptic wasteland to roam around and wreak some havoc in. Available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE — Actually released in 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate arrived a little too late to be included in last year’s guide and, slightly more importantly, to score any nominations for the 2018 Game Awards. But it was a big hit, and is another one of the Game of the Year nominees for the 2019 Game Awards. The Nintendo fighting game is perfect if you’re looking to buy someone a fighting game but want to avoid something a little bit more violent like Mortal Kombat above. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for an overview trailer.
TROPICO 6 — For anyone in your life who can’t get enough simulation games, Tropico 6 is a construction and political simulation in which you take on the role of the leader of a group of small islands on which you will build and manage your own little world. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
SUPER MARIO MAKER 2 — A sequel to the 2015 Nintendo hit which allowed fans to create their own Super Mario levels, Super Mario Maker 2 is more of the same with some new features. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for a trailer, and click right here to check out the video of the diabolical creation seen in the image above.
THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: ELSWEYR — We’re now just past eight painfully long years since the last game in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim, was released, and still years away from the arrival of The Elder Scrolls VI. Because of this the best place to find new adventures in the world of Tamriel—if you’ve done everything there is to do in the main games, of course—has been and is still the online MMO The Elder Scrolls Online. The latest expansion for the MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr, was released this year. It comes with the base game, too, so it’s a good gift for those who already play the game and new players alike. Available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. Click right here for a cinematic trailer.
RESIDENT EVIL 2 REMAKE — Remakes aren’t always the most exciting thing, especially when it comes to something that means a lot to us. But when done right, they can be really great. This is especially true with video games, which don’t always age so well. A faithful remake of a classic allows you to re-visit a favorite with a shiny new look, and offers those who never played the original a chance to experience it for the first time. We saw a good example of this last year with the Shadow of the Colossus remake, for example; now we see it again this year with the Resident Evil 2 remake, which even scored a Game of the Year nomination. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a trailer, and right here to see some amusing mods created for the game.
DISNEY CLASSIC GAMES: ALADDIN AND THE LION KING — If you’re shopping for an old school Disney fan or someone who’s younger, Disney Classic Games could be a good option. It offers a pair of retro titles: Aladdin, which was originally released in 1993; and The Lion King, which was originally released in 1994. Both games are classic side-scrollers set in the worlds of the two Disney classics, and are available to play in multiple versions including console versions, handheld versions, and even Japanese versions. Available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
THE SINKING CITY — Venturing far away from Disney, The Sinking City is a game for horror fans and fans of the works of author H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a third-person mystery thriller set in 1920s Massachusetts, and follows a private investigator looking into the devastating flooding affecting the city of Oakmont while also fighting to maintain his sanity. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay.
STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER — A game that Star Wars fans have been waiting for since EA landed the exclusive rights to develop new games in the franchise, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order finally offers fans a single-player, story-driven gaming experience. The game is a third-person action-adventure title set after the events of Revenge of the Sith and the execution of Order 66, which declared that all Jedi were traitors and authorized eliminating them with lethal force. It follows a young Padawan who was able to elude the initial slaughter and is now fighting to stay alive and help restore the Jedi Order. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay.
WOLFENSTEIN: YOUNGBLOOD — Developer MachineGames’ Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the first co-op title in the franchise. The game brings the rebooted series—which began with Wolfenstein: The New Order in 2014 and continued with 2017’s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, both set in an alternate 1960s in which the Nazis won World War II—into the 1980s. It follows Jess and Soph Blazkowicz, the daughters of series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz, who has gone missing in Paris. Available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Click right here for a few trailers.
ETRIAN ODYSSEY NEXUS — If you’re buying for someone who plays on 3DS, one option is Etrian Odyssey Nexus . The game is a dungeon crawler role-playing game, and the sixth main game in the Etrian Odyssey series. Available on Nintendo 3DS. Click right here for a trailer.
DAYS GONE — Developer Bend Studio’s Days Gone is a solid option for anyone who loves seeing how they fare in the zombie apocalypse. The game takes place in a world that’s been ravaged by a global pandemic, and though not technically “zombies,” this pandemic turned most people into mindless, violent creatures. In it you play as a character named Deacon, who navigates this bleak new world on his motorcycle and fights to survive against both human and infected enemies. One of the big selling points was that you can sometimes find yourself dealing with a massive amount of the zombie-like infected, which are called “Freakers.” Available on PlayStation 4. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
BLOODSTAINED: RITUAL OF THE NIGHT — Another game that found life thanks in large part to a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a Metroidvania side-scroller RPG—which makes lots of sense considering it’s produced by longtime Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi, and is a spiritual successor to that series. The game is a gothic horror set in 19th century England, and features some gorgeous artwork and level design. It follows an orphan named Miriam on a quest to save humanity from a paranormal force. While fighting through the many dangerous foes and making your way through the game, you’ll acquire new weapons, gear, and other items, and also learn new magical abilities which will aid you in your endeavors. Available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here to check out a trailer.
GEARS 5 — The next title in the beloved Gears of War franchise, Gears 5 from developer The Coalition offers players multiple ways to dive into the game. There’s the story campaign, which as always can be played alone or with friends. Then there are the various modes to check out, including Horde mode, Escape, Versus, and a Map Builder option. Available on Xbox One and PC. Click right here for a few trailers.
THE DARK PICTURES: MAN OF MEDAN — Last year it was announced that Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda, and The Inpatient developer Supermassive Games would be creating an anthology of standalone horror games titled The Dark Pictures. The first entry in that series, Man of Medan, was released this year. And like Until Dawn, the choices that the player makes determines how the story will play out and which characters will live or die. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a pair of trailers.
FIRE EMBLEM: THREE HOUSES — The latest entry in the long-running Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a tactical role-playing game which features some new gameplay options as well as a few changes to some of the aspects fans of the series are used to. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for an overview trailer.
GREEDFALL — A new game from Technomancer, Bound by Flame, Mars: War Logs, and Faery: Legends of Avalon developer Spiders titled GreedFall was released this year. The game is an action adventure RPG set in a fantastical 17th century setting. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for some trailers.
SHENMUE III — The long-awaited Shenmue III, the third entry in the action adventure series which first began back in 1999, required a highly successful crowdfunding campaign to finally find life. Available on PlayStation 4 and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
BORDERLANDS 3 — Described as a shooter-looter, Gearbox’s Borderlands 3 is a first-person shooter in which you play as a Vault Hunter who will run-and-gun their way through numerous adventures, collecting new gear and goodies along the way. It can be played alone or with friends, and features “bazillions of guns and gadgets” to make the ride more enjoyable. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
AGE OF WONDERS: PLANETFALL — For the strategy gamers in your life, Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a 4X turn-based strategy game which features multiple factions, customizable units, and destructible environments. The game is the fifth entry in the Age of Wonders series, which is usually set in the realms of fantasy, opting instead for a science fiction setting this time around. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
THE SURGE 2 — A sequel to 2017’s The Surge, The Surge 2 is a third-person action RPG set in a futuristic city that’s now in ruins. In it you make your way through the city while dealing with a variety of enemies such as military, cult members, and nanomachines, collecting useful upgrades to your Exo-Rig from your fallen foes along the way. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a gameplay overview trailer.
ASTRAL CHAIN — From developer PlatinumGames, Astral Chain is a third-person action adventure game which combines hack-and-slash combat with investigative and puzzle-solving gameplay elements. It’s set in a futuristic megacity where the few survivors of a global disaster now live, and you play as a member of a special police force tasked with protecting those survivors from otherworldly invaders. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for a gameplay overview trailer.
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE — The latest in the long-running military first-person shooter series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is also a reboot of one of the series’ most popular titles, 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It features a single-player campaign, multiple multiplayer modes, and a four-player co-op mode. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
DEATH STRANDING — The final Game of the Year nominee at this year’s Game Awards is Death Stranding. It comes from legendary gamemaker Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, and fans of his work have been eagerly anticipating its arrival for over three long years now. The game follows a man named Sam Bridges (played by The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus), who is on a dangerous journey to try to save mankind from extinction. Available on PlayStation 4. Click right here for trailers and gameplay videos.
LUIGI’S MANSION 3 — Another great family friendly option, perfect for anyone who likes things slightly spooky, is Luigi’s Mansion 3. The newest game in the series sees Luigi in a haunted high-rise hotel trying to free his friends, who have all been trapped in picture frames. The game features both a story campaign, and multiplayer and co-op options as well. Available on Nintendo Switch. Click right here for a gameplay overview trailer.
CRACKDOWN 3 — The third-person Crackdown series returned with the trilogy-maker Crackdown 3 this year. The game offers a story campaign which can be played solo or co-op with a friend, and the “Wrecking Zone” multiplayer mode in which two teams of five can have themselves a firefight and unleash massive amounts of damage to the environment around them thanks to the cloud-powered, fully destructible city which serves as their battleground. Available on Xbox One and PC. Click right here for trailers and a gameplay video.
INDIVISIBLE — Developed by Lab Zero Games, Indivisible also began with a crowdfunding campaign. It’s an action platformer role-playing game with real-time combat. But the real selling point is its beautiful hand-drawn art and animation. If you’re buying for someone who’s a fan of Japanese anime, they’re very likely to enjoy their time with this one. Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click right here for a trailer.
SPORTS & RACING
Below is just a quick list of some of the year’s top sports and racing games:
- NHL 20 Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- Need For Speed Heat — Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
- Madden NFL 20 — Available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
- Team Sonic Racing — Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
- Wreckfest — Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
- NBA 2K20 — Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
- Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fueled — Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
- Instant Sports — Available on Nintendo Switch.
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 — Available on Nintendo Switch.
- FIFA 20 — Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and PC.
- WWE 2K20 — Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 — Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
If you didn’t find anything in the games above, you can also check our video game gift guides from previous years, where you should be able to find some older titles on the cheap.
Here you’ll find the various consoles and bundles which include one or more games.
If you’re looking to buy someone an Xbox One, there’s quite a few options on sale right now for $100 to $150 cheaper than usual.
The cheapest option is the Xbox One S 1TB All-Digital Edition Console, which is not capable of playing any physical discs you find above. But if you’re buying for someone who buys most of their games digitally this console, perhaps paired with one of the gift cards below, is a good option.
There are plenty of bundles available as well. These include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Xbox One S 1TB and Xbox One X 1TB bundles; Gears 5 Xbox One S 1TB, Xbox One X 1TB, and Xbox One X 1TB Limited Edition console bundles; and Xbox One S 1TB and Xbox One X 1TB NBA 2K20 bundles.
Controllers: Another good gift, especially if you’re buying someone a shiny new console, is an extra Xbox Wireless Controller (Available in a number of different colors and styles—just click the drop down button to the right to see the others).
For bundles, there’s the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Limited Edition Console – Death Stranding Bundle, the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Bundle, and the PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console – Fortnite Bundle.
And if you want to grab an extra PS4 controller, there’s the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller (Available in many colors).
For Nintendo fans, there’s the Nintendo Switch – Gray Joy-Con and Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con console options. Those both also have the option of adding 64GB to 256GB of hard drive space, or even a $25 Amazon gift card.
Bundles include the Pikachu & Eevee Edition Pokémon bundle.
If you’re looking to give someone the gift of virtual reality, here are some of the VR headsets, bundles, and games available.
Once again, PlayStation VR is the best and most affordable way to get someone a new VR setup if they happen to already own a PlayStation 4 console.
You can pick one up in the PlayStation VR – Mega Blood + Truth Everybody’s Golf Bundle. Though not available as of the writing of this guide, there’s also a PlayStation VR – Trover + Five Nights Bundle and a PlayStation VR – Borderlands 2 and Beat Saber Bundle that may just be back in stock soon.
Newer games include:
For Oculus Rift there’s the Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset.
Nintendo has their own version of VR for the Switch. It’s available in a Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster, and a Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit.
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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