Holiday Gift Guide: The Retro Gamer Edition

Holiday Gift Guide: The Retro Gamer Edition


By Miguel Acuña

What’s old is new again and nostalgia is king.  While many new gamers are enjoying 4K resolution, high speed online gaming, and VR, others are celebrating the return of classic characters, pixelated style and design, and old-school gaming at its finest.  There’s something about hearing certain sound effects or seeing a familiar favorite character that instantly brings you back to a different time in gaming history.  It’s incredibly refreshing to see so many people taking a break from the realism of today’s most advanced games to enjoy the roots of what made gaming what it is.  

If you’re anything like me, you have also procrastinated on some (if not most) of your holiday shopping.  If you have and are still unsure what to get the gamer who likes retro games and their style, then you are in luck! Plus, with all the recent sales and promos going on for last minute shopping, you’re bound to find these items for the listed price or possibly less!  To the list!



SNES Classic Edition

$79.99 at Gamestop

This is the big rare item for the year that many gamers want.  Whether it’s the charm of a tiny console with a bunch of fun games or a callback to fond memories; the SNES Classic is on the list of many fans and has been extremely hard to find.  While it is sold out in most online retailers, most Best Buy, Gamestop, and even ThinkGeek brick and mortar stores have at least a couple available a week.  This would be your best bet to find one if you can. 

Retron 5 System

$139.99 at Gamestop

For those old-school gamers who still have their old games but their systems have not survived the test of time.  The Retron 5 allows a player to use their old games from the original NES, Super NES, Genesis, Game Boy, GBA, and a few other systems and play them with a single system which connects to modern TV’s.  You can use the wireless controllers it comes with, but it also has ports to use the original controllers as well.  


$39.99 at BittBoy

The ultimate in Retro portable gaming.  The BittBoy is a TINY device that is very similar to the original Game Boy, but better.  It comes with 300 pre-loaded games and includes favorites like Tetris, Chip & Dale, Double Dragon, and a bunch of interesting knock-off games.  It’s not perfect, but for the same price of a 3DS game, it’s a pretty cool throwback. 



Cuphead (XBox One) $19.99 

In a world where gritty realism can be seen in shooters, fighting games, and action games, Cuphead brings an old-school design with very impressive gameplay.  It’s already considered one of the top games of 2017 and has been a must-have for XBox One owners.  The classic animation style has the feel of a cartoon from a great time long ago. 

Sonic Mania (Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBox One, PC) $19.99 

There was a time that Sonic was king.  After many disappointing games, many fans were ready to let go of the fastest hedgehog alive.  Sonic Mania arrived and brought back the best things about the franchise that have been missing for so long.  It’s the perfect mix of a 2D animation in HD with updated levels and challenges.  A great way to remember the glory days of Blue Blur.  

Pokemon Gold or Silver Version (Nintendo 3DS) $9.99 

It’s difficult to meet a gamer who isn’t a Pokemon fan in one form or another.  Last year Nintendo released the original Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow on the virtual console for the 3DS.  This year, they released the original Gold and Silver.  At $9.99, it’s a great value for fans wanting to relive their original adventures or newcomers who want to learn the origins of this beloved series. 



Ready Player One $9.60 on Amazon 

In 2018, we will be finally getting a movie version of this amazing book which has garnered a huge following.  It’s filled with so many references to classic games that half the fun of enjoying the book is finding all of these Easter eggs.  A great gift and read for anyone who gets a kick out of nostalgia. 

Zelda Hydration Cartridge w/Straw $14.99 at ThinkGeek 

Underage drinking is bad.  For general discrete drinking with a nice NES touch, this flask is perfect.  It features the gold finish that was iconic for the original Legend of Zelda game but is subtle enough to pass as a great piece of memorabilia.  

The Witcher 3: Original Soundtrack $54.99 at ThinkGeek 

The Witcher series is FAR from a retro game, but few things are more of a call back than vinyl records.  The game has an amazing soundtrack that instantly transports you back to your adventures, but throw in a retro feel with these records and it’s a great gift for anyone looking to re-live record players.

Street Fighter Enamel Pin Diorama $7.99 at ThinkGeek 

Pins are what’s hot in the street right now.  Every company trying to find a collectible niche for themselves has come out with some kind of enamel pin for fans.  Capcom and Street Fighter are no exception.  The diorama set features Ryu and Chun Li in their classic outfits on Ryu’s iconic stage. 

Funko Black Friday Mystery Box 2017 $19.99 At GameStop

Pins are very popular, but the true ruler of the collectible market are Funko Pops!  Almost every franchise, series, and fandom have at least 1 kind of Pop! to collect and they are available almost everywhere.  The popular Pops! this year were the mystery Pops! at Gamestop.  It’s unknown what you’ll get but it will either be an 8-bit version of Megaman, Ryu, Raiden, the Joker, or the Predator.  And there’s a 1 in 5 chance of getting a rare chase variant.  



80’s Tees Retro Video Game Shirts $15 – $38 at 80’s Tees 

T-shirts are a mainstay of any gamer.  It helps to represent some of their classic favorites as well as dedication to their roots.  The shirts have a vintage feel and a few feature the actual box art from the game they are based on.  There is a shirt for almost every fan.

Mega Man Hoodie $19.99 at ThinkGeek 

Capcom just announced a new Mega Man game for 2018 (Mega Man 11).  This will definitely revitalize the hype for the Blue Bomber and his fans.  ThinkGeek is offering a great cosplay hoodie with a helmet/hood as a nice touch. 

Nerdy Soaps $4 – $8 on Etsy 

Gamers need to stay so fresh and so clean.  A small company on Etsy based out of the UK sells homemade soaps in the shape of classic game cartridges.  There is a bit more shipping due to it being away, but the end products definitely seem worth it. 

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