Whether you need a Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle, a PS3 Move Bundle, a Nintendo Wii or 3DS, our 2011 Holiday Buyers Guide will give you the best advice on what to buy this season.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: What To Get Your Gamer Boyfriend


Posted November 24, 2011 - By Matt Swider

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Holiday Buyer's Guide: Boyfriends

Asking a boyfriend what he wants for the holidays typically elicits one of two types of answers. The first, if you’ve been going out for a long time, is “I don’t know. Whatever you decide.” This no-help response doesn’t actually mean “I want nothing.” It means you’re going to have to find out some other way.

The second type of answer, if you’ve just started dating, is something along the lines of “You know what I want this year? World peace.” An alternate to this is “To have more time to be with you.” These overly sappy responses don’t help much either.

Thankfully we can help you translate all this dead-end dialogue into four words: “We Want Video Games.” From the time we were boys to now that we’ve grown up to be boys at heart, our wish list hasn’t changed all that much. To give you even more precise directions, here are the most desirable gaming gifts that should be on your significant other’s ambiguous wish list.


If You Want A LOT Of Time Alone: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Need a distraction for your man? There’s no better solution than Skyrim. This open-world action RPG from Bethesda Softworks has the ability to captivate him for more than 80 hours. On top of that, thanks to its more natural character creation scheme, it gives him a newfound sense of freedom without the need for you to give anything up. With Skyrim’s more mountainous terrain and dragon-filled battles happening within, you can finally get to all of the tasks you haven’t been able to do since the release of Oblivion, this game’s predecessor. How do you know that your boyfriend hasn’t already explored the epic world of Skyrim? Well, if you haven’t reported him missing to the police because he’s been locked away in his room for three days straight, there’s a pretty good chance he hasn’t been in contact with this time-hording epic.


Because He Still Enjoys Toys: Skylander Spyro Adventure Starter Pack

It’s true. Skylander Spyro’s Adventure is be a game aimed at kids. But it’s also true that we secretly still love toys. That’s why it’s going to be extremely difficult to avoid this revival of the Spyro series - it comes with detailed figurines that are magically brought to life in the game. The best part is that you can save your platforming game progress directly to the toy and use it at a friend’s house if he or she owns the game and a portal. The $70 Starter Pack comes with a copy of the game, three Skylander figures, a “Portal of Power” to transfer them into the game, trading cards, stickers, web codes and a character poster so he can hang it up and dream of buying all 32 of these “InterAction Figures.” The suggested age on the box is 6+, so before buying this bundle, be sure your man’s juvenile excitement can handle it.

More Uncharted 3 Details, Screenshots Released

Cinematic Storytelling for your Adventure Buddy: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Hint: there’s a good chance that your boyfriend wants Uncharted 3 if he was clutching onto a Subway fountain drink long after visiting the restaurant. That’s because the extremely large version of this cup included a code to enter this PS3 game’s multiplayer beta. The bad news is that this ridiculous promotion ended and now he has to man-up by asking you for the full game. The good news is that there’s a fantastic treasure-hunting story that awaits him in the single-player mode. This doesn’t have to be all about him, however. With Nathan Drake and his pal Sully traveling the globe and facing danger in the name of archaeology, you’ll still enjoy watching the plot cinematically unfold even if you’re not into video games. Just a pro-tip: don’t compare your boyfriend to Nathan Drake. It’s not fair.

New L.A. Noire Screenshots Feature Crime Scenes, Lineups, And Stylish Sauntering

For Your Partner In Crime Solving: LA Noire: The Complete Edition

Have you and your boyfriend burned through every episode of Mad Men? LA Noire may be your between-seasons fix because it includes the voices of six actors from the AMC series and their faces are impressively mapped onto in-game characters. This groundbreaking MotionScan technology makes playing through the game feel like a noir film, but one in which you have control of the story’s LAPD detective. LA Noire will also give you and your boyfriend an appreciation of Los Angeles from a simpler time, when traffic wasn’t a daily struggle. Hunting down LA’s serial killers and locking up its arsonists as Cole Phelps is easy enough that non-gamers can pick and play through this 1940s-set open-world game. And with the DLC-included LA Noire: Complete Edition on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, there’s no better time for you two to interrogate all of Los Angeles if you haven’t already.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Supports 32-Player Console Games?

Because He’s Still Playing Black Ops: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already been released, so if your boyfriend wasn’t one of the millions of gamers who contributed to MW3’s first five-day sales of the $775 million, there’s a good chance this is the perfect gift for him. A sound-proof room or at least a pair of headphones might also be a great gift to give in tandem; the six-hour campaign mode doesn’t hold back on the deafening thrills and eardrum-busting explosions. Likewise, multiplayer has been tweaked to perfection. It has 16 maps out of the box compared to the nine from rival Battlefield 3, and the game types are more creative than anything else out there. Spec Ops is also is back, giving your boyfriend and his most trusted buddy an even better way to evolve their bromance.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: What To Get Your Gamer BoyfriendIf He Needs a Throne: X Rocker Pro Series Wireless Game Chair

You may not realize this, but playing video games for hours on end can be straining on your boyfriend’s non-muscles. That’s usually because we’re either playing PC games while sitting on a cheap desk chair or playing console games on the couch and slumped in a way that would make any chiropractor cringe. That’s why you should upgrade your bad posture-stricken boyfriend with the X Rocker Pro Series Wireless Game Chair, which retails for about $140. That may be more expensive than a computer chair bought at your local office supplies store, but this top-of-the-line chair contains cushioning that won’t wear away in a week and built-in speakers complete with a subwoofer. So, in case you’ve been fighting about where his the speaker system should go, tucked away in this armchair isn’t a bad compromise.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: What To Get Your Gamer Boyfriend

If He Dreams of Reclaiming His Football Stardom: EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp

The problem with video games that are supposed to inspire exercise is that the games are usually one-dimensional and boring. However, if your boyfriend recalls his high school football glory days more than Al Bundy, then Electronic Arts may have the perfect NFL-approved drills for him. EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp combines the company’s NFL license monopoly with its line of Active fitness products. The result is a Wii-exclusive game that comes with a total body tracking system. This allows your athlete-in-recovery to monitor both his heart rate and calories burned, then automatically sync them to an online portal. The best feature of NFL Training Camp is that it can be found for under $20, which is much cheaper than sending him to an NFL boot camp.

Dark Souls Screenshots -- Is That A Zombie Dragon?

In Case He Doesn't Curse Enough Already: Dark Souls

Some men swear like a sailor. Others don’t curse at all and just let life’s complications roll off their back. If your boyfriend sounds like the latter and you kind of want him to exhibit some sign of natural frustration, by all means, buy him Dark Souls. As the dungeon-crawling sequel to the ultra-challenging Demon’s Souls, it will have him swearing up a storm in no time. This is thanks to the relentless trial-and-error-and-sometimes-error-again gameplay that makes this the most infuriating, yet addictive action RPG ever created. And while the first game was limited to the PS3, Dark Souls is out for both PS3 and Xbox 360, meaning even more gamers can indulge in the expletive-inducing fun.

Incredible Captain America & Thor Concept Art

If You Secretly Don't Like Him Very Much: Thor: God of Thunder

Giving your man a copy of Thor: God of Thunder is akin to gifting him a lump of coal. That’s because this failed God of War clone wasn’t able to capture the god-like presence of Marvel’s most overlooked superhero. Sure, it gives your boyfriend the chance to wield the Mjolnir hammer and all of its awesome power. But what’s the use when the gameplay is dull and prone to glitches? If you do get Thor: God of Thunder for him, don’t be surprised if he re-gifts it to GameStop the next day. 

(To continue your gift-recommendation odyssey, check out all our 2011 holiday gift guides.)

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: What To Get Your Gamer Boyfriend


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