Adulthood seems to always be about choices. Choices only become more numerous around the holidays, potentially making it a stressful time of year. Should I fly out to the in-laws for the holidays or fight with my spouse to get out of it? Should we send Christmas cards to Aunt Darlene, Cousin Nick, and my ex-step sister Beth, or hope they care as little as I do? Oh, and let’s not forget about having to find presents for all our closest friends and relatives. Fortunately, Nintendo Enthusiast can help out with that last one! With our Nintendo holiday gift guide, you will be fully equipped to buy presents for your gaming-minded friends and family.
What kind of Nintendo site would we be if the #1 thing we recommended wasn’t all the latest and greatest first-party games on the Nintendo Switch console? Super Mario Party, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offer great multiplayer fun for all ages. Super Mario Odyssey and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offer excellent solo adventures.
Adult Nintendo fans will also enjoy first-person shooter titles like Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, or open-world adventure games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and L.A. Noire. We’re a year further into the Nintendo Switch’s life, which means the library is only expanding.
You might be thinking right now, “Gee, what fantasy land do you live in where you think I can just drop that kind of cash on every single person on my list?” I get it. Games are not cheap. But maybe there are entire families on your list who each own a Switch. Then you can make the gift about the entire family! Or you can check out our regularly updated list of discounted games available on Black Friday. This listing also includes a Nintendo 2DS bundled with Super Mario Maker for those in the market for a handheld and various other 3DS games.
A new pair of Joy-Con is going to cost more than a brand new game. So these might not be what you’re angling for. Unless, of course, you are. In that case, Amazon has them discounted right now just below $70, where these controllers usually cost $79.99 for a pair.
Pro Controllers are the next best option. Wireless Pro Controllers are the more traditional option for gamers and are currently priced at around $60 on Amazon. The PowerA wireless controllers are very similar and a bit less expensive. There are also some savings here as these are currently listed at about $45. The fun thing about these controllers is that there are a lot of cool designs available. So not only are you gifting a controller, but the kind of design you choose could be speaking to someone else’s fandom.
Wired controllers will knock the price down even more at the $25 range. PowerA has a number of options on Amazon. PowerA, Nintendo, and Hori also provide a few offerings available in the popular GameCube style that are launching soon with the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These can be found in Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda themes.
Hardened platformer gamers out there may also enjoy the left Joy-Con Hori controllers that include a traditional D-pad instead of the individual directional buttons. With the multitude of retro-inspired and side-scrolling platformers making their way to the console, this could be a great buy for any fan and will cost you $25. These come in Mario and Zelda themes.
The first thought for someone who has a Switch would be to eventually procure a travel case. These consoles are made for mobility after all! There are many options here. While Amazon has a few generic options like medium and large cases, other retailers such as Target have cases with awesome designs. Why settle for a plain black case when gamers can sport their Nintendo fandom with a sweet faux leather Zelda case or a brightly colored Mario case? The medium cases cost approximately $20 depending on the retailer and are meant for holding the console, Joy-Con, and some games.
Large cases will cost upwards of $30 apiece and are meant for the long haul. That means that there is room for the power cord, the docking station that you may need to hook up to a TV, and more slots for even more games.
Aside from the carrying cases available, any Nintendo Switch owner would be interested in Joy-Con/Pro Controller chargers. These are very handy. I actually recommend this Fosmon charger. It can charge up to two pairs of Joy-Con simultaneously. One side even has an extended port for Pro Controllers as well. So, this charger will serve folks who own both types of controllers and only costs $13.
Joy-Con grips might make playing with an individual Joy-Con during multiplayer a bit easier. There are a few options here that typically don’t cost much more than $12 for a pair of grips.
Amiibo figures make perfect gifts for any Nintendo fan in your life. They carry a dual purpose in that they interact with various Nintendo games and are just plain cool collectibles. Depending on what you’re looking for, however, they could be the difference between 13 bucks and a significantly larger chunk of change. Amiibo figures, like any collectible, have certain shelf dates and are retired at certain points in time. Once an amiibo is retired, the prices from outside sellers on Amazon and eBay go up exponentially.
The Super Mario Odyssey amiibo available right now include Mario, Peach, and Bowser all in the wedding attire from the game and are available at a regular retail price. If you want to score a really cool amiibo collectible for a friend or family member, an Amazon store called iPlay-uPlay is currently selling the Japan-imported version of the classic 30th anniversary pixelated Mario with Prime shipping. This version of Mario contains the original colors from the classic NES game, brown and red. I can vouch for this one as I snagged my own from iPlay-uPlay the moment I saw it available at this price.
There are also three new amiibo figures headed our way on Dec. 7 just in time for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Consumers will be able to get their hands on Ridley of Metroid fame, Star Fox villain Wolf, and Inkling from Splatoon. These will surely be available at normal retailer prices.
This concludes the first part of our holiday gift guide. If you found this helpful, or want to offer your own gift-giving insights, please drop us a comment in the comments section below. And be sure to check out the second part to our holiday gift-giving guide where we cover all the best Nintendo merchandise beyond the games and accessories.
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too. If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it. I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.