Ready or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us. And if a video game fan happens to be on your list, you’re in luck — there are bargains aplenty to be had whether you’re in the market for a new console, a great game or an always welcome accessory.
Deals on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles are as good as they’ve ever been, thanks in part to new hardware on the horizon. Both the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s next console, codenamed Project Scarlett, are expected to arrive in time for next holiday season. While neither has a firm release date or price, a recent rumor suggests the PS5 will retail for $499. In the meantime, most retailers are offering deep discounts of $100 or more on current-gen consoles, including several packages that feature free games to sweeten the deal.
For instance, a 1TB PS4 Slim with digital copies of The Last of Us Remastered, God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn is available for just $199. The console typically sells for $299 by itself. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has slashed the price of its premium Xbox One X console by $150 and bundled it with either Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or Gears 5 for $349. The Xbox One S and Xbox One S All-Digital consoles are $100 off. If a Nintendo Switch is on your shopping list, however, deals are few and far between. Some retailers are offering a free game with the purchase of a console, but there’s nary a price drop to be found on Nintendo’s popular hardware.
For those looking to give the gift of a new game, the struggle is more about finding the right game than finding the right price. Here are some suggestions:
You can’t go wrong with Madden NFL 20 (multi), NBA 2K20 (multi), MLB 19 (PS4) or FIFA 20 (multi). NASCAR Heat 4 (multi), Formula 1 19 (multi) and Need for Speed: Heat (multi) are solid options for racing aficionados, while Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a fun and competitive family-friendly option for Switch owners.
For fans of shooters, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (multi), Gears 5 (XB1) and Borderlands 3 (multi) are each can’t-miss options. You may also want to consider the fast-paced Rage 2 (multi) or the gritty Metro Exodus (multi). If the gamer on your list is one of the many hooked on free-to-play battle royale games like Fortnite (multi) or Apex Legends (multi), a gift of virtual currency is a no-brainer.
There’s a ton of quality options, from the outrageous space role-playing game The Outer Worlds (multi) to the stylish Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (multi). Devil May Cry 5 (multi), Control (multi), The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch), Kingdom Hearts 3 (multi) and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (multi) are sure to put a smile on the face of that special gamer on your list.
Finally, for gamers who may be searching for something a little different, take a look at the excellent Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (multi), the haunting Blair Witch (XB1) or perhaps Civilization VI (multi), the console port of the wildly popular PC strategy game.
Enjoying video games these days requires more than just a console and a game disc, so you may also want to consider gifting someone a subscription to the games service of their choice. Both Microsoft Live and PlayStation Plus subscriptions are on sale for the holidays and make great stocking stuffers. If you’re shopping for an Xbox owner, the new Game Pass Ultimate — which combines the Xbox Live subscription needed to play games online with the Game Pass service that lets you play dozens of games from an every-changing library of titles — is the best deal going in gaming.
Gamers can always use a new controller or headset, both of which can be found on sale for Black Friday. And several retailers are also offering deep discounts on memory cards for the Switch, which are must-haves if you prefer to get your games digitally rather than purchase physical copies.
Many retailers will open their doors for the start of the holiday shopping season Thursday evening. The Charleston Town Center mall will be open from 6 p.m. until midnight, then reopen at 7 a.m. Friday. The Huntington Mall is open from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., then reopens at 6 a.m. Friday. Area Target stores will open at 5 p.m. Thursday, with Walmart stores opening at 6.