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The RPS Christmas gift guide 2017

Festive gift giving

Left your Christmas shopping until the last minute again? Fear not! For we've compiled our very own RPS Christmas gift guide for such an occasion. Whether it's small bits of hardware you're after or a fancy bit of gaming merch to complement your best mate's favourite game, you can find all this and more in our carefully curated list below.

To make things easy, we've split our gift recommendations into a few categories: gifts under £20/$20, gifts under £50/$50, gifts under £100/$100, and for those feeling particularly extravagant/good-natured this year, gifts over £100/$100. Of course, this is by no means a definitive list. There are plenty more art books, game novels, books, t-shirts and accessories out there from a whole range of games I couldn't possibly hope to cover in just a single article. But hopefully what we've picked out below will at least give you a few ideas about where to start. After all, with less than two weeks to go until the big day itself, any idea is a good idea at this point.

Gifts under £20 / $20:

Trixes mouse pad

Trixes Gel Mouse Wrist Pad (£4 / $6)
We'll kick things off with a 'sensible' gift idea - this Trixes gel mouse wrist pad. Alice swears it's the best piece of gaming kit she's ever bought, and while she's sure there are more professional, gamer-branded pads available, this one does the job just fine. Even better, it costs less than a fiver if you're in the UK. An excellent stocking filler, if nothing else.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Destiny 2 journal

Destiny 2 Ruled Journal (£10 / $17)
With Destiny 2 finally available on PC, why not gift your fellow Fire Squad members this ruled hardcover journal this Christmas? Featuring images and concept art from the game, a ribbon placeholder, elastic closure plus a small back pocket for photos and other bits and bobs, this will earn you far more points with your friends than any number of Cayde-6 Funko Pops.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Brief History of Video GAmes

A Brief History of Video Games: From Atari to Xbox One (£10 / $13)
Rich Stanton's wide-ranging history of games is getting a new edition next April that extends the timeline further to include VR, but its current form on Kindle is still a fantastic read for those after a deep dive into the stories behind your favourite games and developers since the birth of the industry. (Disclosure: Rich is an on-again off-again contributor to RPS.)

Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

You Died

You Died: The Dark Souls Companion (£10 / $10)
Love Dark Souls? Then while away a few hours this Christmas reading Keza Macdonald and Jason Killingsworth's collection of Dark Souls essays, including an exclusive interview with the director himself, Hidetaka Miyazaki. Praise the sun, indeed.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Blood Sweat Pixels

Blood, Sweat and Pixels (£11 / $10)
Ever wondered about how games are made? Kotaku's Jason Schreier tells the stories behind the making of Destiny, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Diablo III, Pillars of Eternity, The Witcher III, Stardew Valley and the now-cancelled Star Wars 1313 to name just a few. Compiled from around 100 interviews conducted between 2015 and 2017, Blood, Sweat and Pixels could be just the thing for those curious to know more about what game development's actually like.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Evil Within Interlude

The Evil Within: The Interlude graphic novel (£14 / $12)
If there's an Evil Within fan in your life, then this brand-new graphic novel from Titan Comics should be right up their haunted alleyway. Bridging the gap between the first and second games, this original story sees detective Sebastian Castellanos experience an all new nightmare scenario. It's written by Ryan O'Sullivan (known for his work on Warhammer 40000), while art duties are courtesy of Spawn's Szymon Kudranski and Dark Souls' Damien Worm.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Shovel Knight cards

Shovel Knight Playing Cards ($15)
There comes a time during every family Christmas when someone has the bright idea to play a game. Not a video game, mind; an actual, physical game involving cards, dice and moving pieces. Impress your fellow relatives, therefore, with this rather lovely Shovel Knight playing card set. Yes, it's just a pack of regular cards decked out in Shovel Knight illustrations, but they're very nice illustrations.
Buy now from Fangamer

Gifts under £50 / $50:

Steelseries Rival 100

Steelseries Rival 100 (£20 / $30)
Know someone in need of a new mouse? Then you can't go wrong with Steelseries' Rival 100. We've been using this for a few weeks now, and it's definitely an upgrade over our previous bog-standard Dell mouse. It comes with six programmable buttons and a dash of RGB lighting, and its ergonomic, right-handed design is immensely comfortable. Left-handed? Then direct your attention to the Rival 110.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

XCOM 2 art

Art of XCOM 2 (£21 / $27)
If you've spent hundreds of hours defending the Earth from XCOM's aliens, then the game's official art book could be the biggest prize of all. With tonnes of concept art and words from the developers, this book should satisfy would-be alien hunters.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Steamworld Dig 2 tee

SteamWorld Dig – Far From Home T-shirt ($24)
Brendan loved SteamWorld Dig 2 when he played, and if your friends feel similarly they might like this fetching official tee from Fangamer. Available in both women's and unisex sizes, you can also add a Gears of Industry lapel pin for another $10 to save $2 on your final purchase. If you don't dig this particular design (geddit?), then there are plenty more available instead.
Buy now from Fangamer

Stardew Valley guidebook

Stardew Valley Guidebook ($29)
The official Stardew Valley guidebook is a true thing of beauty. Lovingly illustrated with more facts on farm tools, livestock and shop inventories than you can shake a carrot stick at, this hardcover guide and art book is an absolute essential purchase for all fans of Eric Barone's epic agricultural smash.
Buy now from Fangamer

Gifts under £100 / $100:

Samsungn 850 Evo

Samsung 850 Evo 250GB (£84 / $90)
PC storage isn't the sexiest present in the world, but if your friends and family have ever complained about how they can make a cup of tea and read the paper before their PC boots up, there's nothing quite like a nice SSD to spruce up their machine – and the Samsung 850 Evo is a great place to start. The smallest size is 250GB, making it a great pick for installing Windows and a few other applications, but the 850 Evo is also available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB sizes as well.
Buy now from Amazon UK or Newegg

Gifts over £100 / $100:

Steelseries Arctis 7

SteelSeries Arctis 7 (£100 / $150)
This wireless headset is the absolute cream of the crop. Not only does it sound fantastic, but it's also the comfiest pair of headphones you'll ever clap ears on. If the Arctis 7 is a little bit too far outside your budget, then its entry-level cousin, the wired £90 Arctis 3 is an excellent alternative, as it features the same great design and comes with exactly the same audio drivers, giving it a near-identical listening experience to its wireless cousin.
Read our SteelSeries Arctis 7 review
Buy now from Amazon UK or Steelseries US

AOC G2460VQ6

AOC G2460VQ6 (£136 / $166)
An excellent budget monitor with built-in AMD FreeSync support, this 24in TN panel has a superb colour-accurate display and a good selection of ports. It's also got a 75Hz refresh rate, making it a great fit for those looking to squeeze a little more out of their current graphics card before upgrading to a newer model.
Read our AOC G2460VQ6 review
Buy now from Ebuyer or Newegg


EVGA GeForce GTX 1050Ti Gaming 4GB (£144 / $170)
Our top pick for high-quality 1080p gaming, EVGA's GeForce GTX 1050Ti card is the perfect gift for younger siblings looking to get into PC gaming or anyone whose PC is still running with integrated graphics.
Read our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti review
Buy now from Scan or Newegg

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