You gave away a video game console last vacation. Now what?

Let’s say you were one of the lucky ones who managed to gift your loved one a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X last holiday season. First of all, congratulations. It was no small feat and I’m sure you’re thanking your lucky stars for pulling it off given how hard it was to find consoles this year. That leaves you with a tricky question though: what are you buying this year?

You have to be a superhero last holiday, which means you have high expectations to fulfill. You’re probably not going to find such a spectacular gaming giveaway this year (thanks in large part to the Steam Deck delay), but you can find plenty that are fun or, at the very least, practical. Here’s what to get the video game enthusiast in your life if they already have a shiny new console.

Accessories

The most immediate option is to get them accessories for whatever you bought them last year. Did you manage to get a PlayStation 5? Grab a DualSense controller charging station. Buying for someone who already owns an Xbox Series X? Consider something like a Seagate hard drive to give their console some extra storage. The options are limitless here, as you can get quite creative with third-party hardware. For example, if you know someone is using their Series X to play Forza Horizon 5you could catch them one Logitech G923 steering wheel and pedal implement.

The easiest option is always controllers. It can be an easy way to give people a more personalized gift that didn’t come with their original machine. For PS5 owners, Sony introduced two new colors for the DualSense this year that would add a splash of personality to anyone’s setup. Xbox owners have a few additional options available. My favorite Xbox controller is Turtle Beach’s Recon, which comes with a built-in sound mixer – perfect for someone who uses voice chat a lot. You can also use Xbox’s Design Lab program to customize your own controller, allowing you to make a personalized gift.

Colt kicks an enemy in Deathloop.

Games

Games are also always easy to win, as long as you know what your loved ones already own. For PlayStation users, Death Loop and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are the two hot products this year. Return is also a killer exclusive that’s flown a bit under the radar, which might be a good idea to add to your list.

It’s a bit more difficult for Xbox owners to shop, especially if they have Game Pass. This means they already have games like Microsoft Flight Simulator Where Psychonauts 2. You can always go the third-party route and grab games like Battlefield 2042 which are not included with the service. And if your loved one doesn’t have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, go ahead and toss a free month into their stocking.

A gamer holding a Razer Kishi.

A mobile controller

Just because your loved one has a console doesn’t mean they always play on their console. Many games today can be played on just about any device thanks to advancements in streaming and the cloud. PS5 owners have Remote Play, allowing them to stream a console game to their phone, while Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers have instant access to Microsoft’s selection of cloud games. If you want to increase someone’s handheld gaming potential, a phone controller accessory is a good solution.

You have some good options here. personally i use Kishi from Razer, which easily attaches to an iPhone or Android phone, turning it into a complete handheld console. Many swear by the Spine, which is widely regarded as the best mobile controller on the market. Either option will give the gamer in your life complete control over their mobile games.

An Ocolus Quest 2 in purple lighting.

The VR option

If you want to think a little more off the beaten track, there’s always VR. It’s one of those technologies that people might not buy for themselves, but would be happy to play with. While we wouldn’t recommend getting a PS VR with a new release around the corner, there are a few other options you could use. Personally, I would recommend the Oculus Quest 2. Meta’s lightweight device is a wireless headset that doesn’t need a computer connection at all. It’s cost-effective, which makes it feel like an expensive freebie that doesn’t break the bank.

Of course, you can still go all out and get something like the HTC Vive or the Valve Index. These devices are beefier and more impressive in some ways. However, the Quest 2 is a more casual investment that anyone interested in VR will appreciate. You get bonus points if you can get grandma to wear it to your end of year party.

An iiRcade arcade cabinet standing against a brick wall.

Go big with an arcade machine

Maybe these are all small potatoes for you. You were a hero last year and you just want to keep that momentum going at all costs. It’s a recipe for pride, but I still have a Hail Mary. If you really want to wow someone, why not get them their very own arcade machine? Many companies make reproductions of classic cabinets that you can easily assemble and place in your home, without the need for parts. It’s a statement, but who doesn’t want their own arcade machine?

If you want to give someone a classic game they love, Check out Arcade1Up, which has machines based on classic games like Ms. Pacman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, and many more. My personal recommendation is to check out iiRcade. The Independent Cabinet has a new concept that you won’t get anywhere else. The machine is not locked to a game; it connects to a constantly updated store where players can purchase titles a la carte (it comes with 11 games preloaded). New titles are always added to the machine every month, but it already has some great options, including indie hit dead cells. At the very least, your loved one won’t see this one coming.

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