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The Best Christmas Gifts For Retro Gamers

What do you buy an avid retro gamer? So glad you asked! Read on to find out more about the best gifts for the retro gamer in your life.

It’s often tough to know what to buy a loved one so it stands to reason that you focus on one of their key interests. For retro gamers, you can’t really easily hop onto eBay and buy them a bunch of old games. For one thing, it’s pretty expensive but also you might end up buying the wrong titles or for the wrong platform. Instead, buy these retro gaming related items—you won’t wipe out your bank account, and they’ll still appreciate the effort you’ve put into thinking of them.

Here are the best gifts for retro gamers.

Super NES Classic ($80)

Ok, so the Super NES Classic is the most expensive thing we’ve included here, but wow, does it offer value for money. The device offers 21 classic SNES games including Super Mario Kart, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Zelda: A Link To The Past, Super Metroid, and basically everything you loved from your childhood. It also tosses in Star Fox 2 which was never released for the SNES.

It’s fun for all the family but especially for retro game lovers. It comes with two wired controllers and it’s powered by USB, so it’s pretty convenient to set up. Want more options for retro game consoles? Check out our treatment of the topic here.

The Nostalgia Nerd’s Retro Tech ($16)

Nostalgia is an understandable driving force behind retro gaming. The Nostalgia Nerd’s Retro Tech is a great book for bringing all those lovely old memories back to the forefront of your mind. It looks back at the arrival of home computers as well as games consoles, with a plethora of screenshots to make you feel nostalgic.

It’s an ideal coffee table book for when you want to read something a little lighter than usual over the holiday season.

You Have Died of Dysentery T-Shirt ($4-$19)

For many, The Oregon Trail was their first taste of gaming. Tough and unforgiving, it was easy to experience the ‘You have died of dysentery’ ending. So, how about celebrating those times with a neat t-shirt that says exactly that?

The t-shirt is available in sizes from small to 5XL so you’re sure to find the right fit for you. It’s made from 100% pre-shrunk cotton, as well as designed and printed in the USA. That way, you know that the quality is guaranteed. It’s a fun talking point for when you come across other retro gaming fans.

Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game ($16)

Christmas is a great time to gather around a card or tabletop game. Why not add a retro gaming twist with Brotherwise Games’s Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game? A dungeon building card game, it only takes about 20 minutes to play through so it’s ideal for those that want a quick fix. It has you taking on the role of a villain, attempting to establish a great dungeon to lure in adventurers.

Given its retro credentials, there are plenty of cool references and nods to games of old, so your retro gaming loved one will be delighted by what’s on offer. Younger players will still find something to enjoy here too, as the satisfaction isn’t dependent on retro gaming knowledge.

Nintendo Socks ($10)

Socks are the perfect stocking filler gift because everyone needs socks, right? These Nintendo Socks are pretty cool. They look exactly like an original NES controller, adding a little personality to your normal attire. This pack is a two pack, so you get two variants on the NES look. Made from comfy stretchy material, they’ll feel nice and warm during the winter months too.

Pac-Man Boxer Briefs ($10)

Boxer briefs are another thing that are one of life’s little necessities (for men, at least) so these Pac-Man Boxer Briefs are practical as well as a neat fit for the retro gaming theme.

The boxers depict Pac-Man negotiating a maze, ghosts and all. Ok, they’re not exactly something the recipient will probably be showing off to many people, but hey, it’s Christmas. Novelty gifts are all the rage!

Paladone NES Cartridge Coasters ($10)

Drinks coasters might sound like a dull gift idea but these Paladone NES Cartridge Coasters are pretty cool. They look like NES cartridges of old, including all the Mario games, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Duck Hunt, and Metroid.

In fact, they look so good that we don’t recommend you use them as drinks coasters. They’re a little delicate for that. Instead, frame them or just use them as something in your home office to add a much needed retro twist to your home environment. They’re a versatile gift like that.

Paladone Space Invaders Mug ($10)

Heat changing mugs are always pretty fun. This Paladone Space Invaders Mug switches from a classic opening level screen to a screen full of alien enemies — all because you poured a hot drink into it.

The game might be 40 years old now, but it’s hard to resist its allure. Retro games fans will love this throwback to a bygone era, and now they can enjoy their coffee in a cool mug all year round.

Jennifer Allen Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelance writer for ReviewGeek. In the past decade, she's also written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, Eurogamer, Gamasutra, Playboy, and PCWorld. Read Full Bio »