Retro is all the rage right now, and that’s great news for your old school gaming pals. There’s more merchandise, consoles and nostalgia goodies for retro gamers than you can shake a stick at right now. From throwback controllers to mini arcades, board games, lights and more there’s plenty of solid options for great retro gifts in 2020.
This excellent history book charts the birth of the Gamecube from beginning to end including every major game along the way. It’s an extensive book and covers everything you need (or want) to know about one of gaming’s most popular and iconic consoles. Whether they’re a fan of the Gamecube specifically or games history in general, it’s the perfect gift.
This nifty little device was just released by Nintendo and would make for the perfect stocking filler for retro gamers this Christmas. It replicates the original look and feel of a Game & Watch console and includes the classic original Super Mario Bros. game. Older gamers will definitely appreciate the retro styling of this console, even if it’s a bit of a novelty.
While it is sold out in most places, you can still pick it up at smaller retailers and online.
These Retro Arcade machines can be found pretty much anywhere, and they’re a great buy for retro lovers. While your mate might not have any attachment to the 300+ knock-off games housed within, the machines do a great job of replicating the feeling of wandering down to your local Timezone as a kid and popping your hard-earned cents into a dusty cabinet. Plus, it looks awesome and fits well into any retro setup.
8Bitdo make fantastic controllers, and this replica SNES controller is no exception. It’s fully functional and compatible with Mac, Windows and Android operating systems as well as the Nintendo Switch. That’s great news for Switch owners who enjoy playing retro games, particularly if they dive into the retro collection Nintendo Switch Online members get. Bring on the good old days with this nifty and well-designed controller.
Pixel Pals lights come in a variety of different 8-bit characters from gaming and pop culture, like Mario, Ryu and Ratchet. These lights look awesome, and are made up of LED pixel-ly goodness. They work as a night light, or just a fun accessory for a gaming set-up, but they’re sure to charm with their cute retro style.
If your budget is larger, you could consider a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite as a great retro gift. These consoles have a great little service called Nintendo Switch Online which lets subscribers play classic NES and SNES games including The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Star Fox and Super Metroid (just to name a few). There’s even an ultra cool retro controller that’s available exclusively for subscribers to the service to purchase.
8Bitdo’s newest controller is designed to fit an Android device for use as an Xbox Cloud Streaming device. With cloud streaming slowly rolling out in Australia, there’s never been a better time to invest in a hardy mobile controller — and retro gamers will love the classic style here. You can use it for cloud streaming or emulation across Android or tablet (there’s even a clip you can use to attach it) so retro gamers are sure to get plenty of use with the Sn30 Pro.
Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of by Stuart Ashen is a book that charts the early days of video games, and all the bad games that came out of an era filled with bad graphics and low quality control. It’s also a very funny look at the history of gaming, and how retro games developed. There’s a heap of fun books surrounding the days of retro gaming and the death of the arcade, but this one comes highly recommended, and will give your retro gamer giftee a good laugh too boot.
You can also pick up the sequel Attack of the Flickering Skeletons, which covers even more ridiculous, bad games.
Video Games You Will Never Play is a fascinating book charting the history of cancelled games from the 70s until today. There’s all kinds of exciting tidbits involved including the real story of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, why the original adaptation of The Witcher fell through and more. It’s the perfect coffee table book for any retro gamer. If you’re looking for a companion title, you can also check out Jason Schreier’s excellent tome, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, which covers how games are made in the first place.
Boss Monster is a cracker of a board game, and it’s inspired by retro dungeon crawler games and aesthetics. Basically, it’s a card game where you take the role of a video game monster as you attempt to build the most dangerous dungeons for heroes to travel through.
Each card features stunning video game-style art, and it’s a genuine delight to play. Anyone nostalgic for the good old days of gaming should have a blast with this game.
There’s never been a better time to be a retro gamer, and with these great throwback gifts, you’re sure to make any retro gaming fiend happy.