Still stuck for some last-minute Christmas presents for an avid gamer? Fortunately, gamers are surprisingly easy to buy for. Nintendo fans seem especially dedicated so there’s still a wealth of great bounty on offer.
1. Super Mario Maker 3DS
If you’re buying for a gamer, an actual game has to be at the very top of the list, and you can’t go far wrong with something as fun and endlessly-entertaining as Super Mario Maker 3DS.
The Wii U has had a decidedly rocky life so far (unfairly, it has to be said), but some games have transcended the console, making a great name for themselves, and making the unit’s price-point worth considering. Super Mario Maker is certainly one such title. Its popularity, and obviously that of Mario as one of Nintendo’s best-loved characters, means it’s recently made the transition onto the 3DS.
It does what it says on the tin: allow players to build the courses of their dreams and share these with locals via StreetPass or Wi-Fi. Annoyingly, the ability to upload and play other people’s hand-made courses online has been removed, but at least it comes complete with 100 built-in courses to enjoy.
2. Duck Hunt T-Shirt
It’s only natural to feel a nostalgic warmth when talking about Nintendo, particularly as its history stretches back to the early 1980s (at least as a video game company; if we take into account its years dedicated to toys and cards, Nintendo was actually founded in 1889).
One of the highlights from those early years was Duck Hunt, a quirky little shooter released as a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Its graphics were simple, but the packaging soon became iconic. This awesome t-shirt proudly displays that design in all its glory.
But be warned: you might need to get the next size up from your usual size. It’s a snug fit!
3. Donkey Kong Barrel Game Card Storage
I know I’m not the only one to marvel at how small game cards have become, but they can be a bit of a pain, especially if you’re prone to untidiness.
Cartridges for the 3DS and 2DS are particularly tiny, and very easy to misplace, so this storage unit is an ideal present. Some resign themselves to a boring case that fits a couple of cards plus their 3DS, but this unusual barrel, based on the iconic Donkey Kong item, holds eight games.
It also has an extra storage section to hold numerous styluses. Let’s face it: there’s not a DS owner in the world that hasn’t panicked because they’ve lost a stylus.
4. Pokemon Stylus Set
Speaking of which, it’s always handy to have as many styluses spare as possible.
Pokemon has risen in popularity even more this year — quite rightly, considering it’s the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
Of course, Pokemon Go took the world by storm, not just with youngsters but also with those reliving their youth. Children of the 1990s will recall the hours spent on Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and this fun stylus pack includes two of the most recognizable characters from the series (Charizard and Pikachu) plus a relatively-new evolution of a further one, Mega Gengar.
5. Mario Kart 2017 Wall Calendar
Equally popular, the Mario Kart franchise can always be relied upon to deliver some amazing graphics and even better gameplay. With this year drawing to a close, it’s time to look to the future, and for Nintendo, that’s the Switch.
Due for release early next year, the Nintendo Switch offers a unique way of experiencing games at home and on-the-go. As with the Wii U, however, its success largely depends on its launch games. That’s why Nintendo is teasing a Pokemon title, Splatoon, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart!
This colorful wall calendar (UK) takes its lead from 2014’s Mario Kart 8, one of the strongest instalments in the series, and features the most notable characters against bold backgrounds. A few favorite images include March (Yoshi with a cone stuck on his bum), October (Mario v. Bowser!), and December’s pit stop.
6. Legend of Zelda Travel Journal
I’m a real sucker for notepads, and while it’s easy to settle for a gorgeous Moleskine, sometimes, it’s good to splash out on something a little bit different. That’s exactly what you get with this journal, embossed with imagery from the ever-popular Legend of Zelda series.
With off-color pages and a leather strap wrapping around it to keep everything in its place, its rustic charm is a definite winner for Link addicts. The center is actually a ring-binder, so it comes with three plastic sheets to hold cards (trading, business, or otherwise) in, but you or the recipient can easily pick up refill pads.
It will a great, durable companion throughout 2017 — and beyond!
7. Amiibo Question Block Case
The popularity of amiibos, the supplementary figures with additional downloadable content, is pretty surprising. But even traditionalists should be won over by the likes of an 8-bit Mario, Toon Link, and Mega Yarn Yoshi.
While amiibo display stands are available, they’re not always suitable, especially if whoever you’re buying for is a collector. That’s where this case comes in. Modelled after the Question Blocks seen in all Super Mario titles, it can hold around 10 figures, depending on size, and is easy to carry around.
Naturally, it’s not solely useful for amiibos. It can be used to store anything, from spare instruction manuals to controllers, cables to snacks.
8. Pokemon Sun or Moon
These two games introduce new ways of playing and caring for Pokemon, so you can still battle and collect to your heart’s content, but also enjoy the bold and fresh ideas introduced solely for Sun and Moon. The releases are arguably the most accessible for years, meaning they’re a great buy for newcomers and old fans looking for something new to take from the franchise.
Now all you have to do is decide whether to buy your loved one Sun or Moon.
9. Super Mario Chess Collector’s Edition Tin
Forget poring over a video games console for hours: let’s go traditional for a minute.
Christmas is a time to bring the family together, and board games always prove a winner. A game of Monopoly can take up a whole day. UNO can eat up half an hour. But there’s nothing like chess when it comes to an intense one-on-one competition. It’s especially fun when you’re playing on behalf of Bowser. Everyone loves a bad guy, right?
This special set comes with well-crafted models of all your favorite characters — Kamek! Birdo! An inanimate gold coin! — all of which fit in a sturdy tin so it’s a sizeable, quality gift to give come Christmas Day.
10. Good Nintentions: 30 Years of NES
We’ve mulled over Nintendo’s history a few times already, and that’s because the sense of nostalgia remains strong whenever you pick up a Nintendo controller. Nintendo has bargained on increased interest in its past with the release of the NES Mini, the plug-in-and-play console with 30 pre-installed games. It’s a must-have item this year… but good luck finding one!
You can still bring back lovely memories with this unofficial guide to the NES (UK), including its influences, catalogue of games, and details of how it’s inspired modern gaming. Released for the console’s 30th anniversary, the extensive book is available in color or black-and-white (with color cover), the latter of which is obviously cheaper but you basically get the same content anyway.
Any Further Festive Favorites?
The release of the Nintendo Switch still feels ages away, but you can still bring the joy of gaming to this year’s festivities.
So what other Nintendo presents have you got your eye on? Are they presents or treats for yourself?