$1-$25 gift ideas

Looking for a game? Check out our game recommendation tool. Looking for a cheap game-related gift idea this year? Scroll down.

Nintendo 64 cartridge soaps

Rekindle your love of '90s gaming by rubbing cartridges all over your body in the shower. Wait, these aren't actual cartridges: they're perfectly modeled soaps that look nearly identical to Nintendo 64 classics, with your choice of label from games including GoldenEye 007 and Mario Kart 64.

Battletoads vinyl soundtrack

It's great to see game soundtracks finally getting their due with proper — even lavish — releases, and the Battletoads soundtrack on vinyl looks the part. It's the classic tunes wrapped in awesome new artwork with a hazy green disc, and it's limited to 3,000 units. iam8bit also has Perfect Dark and Banjo-Kazooie vinyl offerings.

Prepare to Meet Thy Doom audiobook

David Kushner's book Masters of Doom (about id Software) remains a seminal early work of long-form game writing. His new audiobook collection — read by Wil Wheaton — delivers a new follow-up story to that saga, and includes other stories from around the industry like the tale of the creator of Flappy Bird.

Death by Video Game book

It might not be the most uplifting holiday fare, but Death by Video Game explores a fascinating topic: people who died while playing the games they loved (or were obsessed with). It also tackles other pairings of these typically unrelated subjects; it's surely a one-of-a-kind gift for an open-minded player.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power comic

One of Marvel's most celebrated comics in recent memory is … Squirrel Girl? Believe it. The unlikely hero makes the most of her starring role, with hilarious dialogue, quirky scenarios and an infectious optimism that makes this a great pick for kids and adults, and girls and boys alike. It's a welcome break from typical superhero fare, too.

I Lost it at the Video Store book

As the move to digital continually erodes the appeal of physical media, we've also lost some experiences in the process — like going to the video store and chatting up the film-obsessed clerk. This nostalgic book uses video rental shops as a lens to explore how they helped shape today's top directors, along with the film industry as a whole.

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies documentary

Picking up the mantle from Indie Game: The Movie, this year's GameLoading: Rise of the Indies takes a broader look at the indie gaming boom, covering a wider array of developers as they create new, interesting and deeply personal games (and share them with the world). A bundle with bonus content is also available.

PDP Donkey Kong barrel 3DS card storage

Given the small size, it's pretty easy to misplace Nintendo 3DS cartridges — even if you don't take them out of your home. Luckily, PDP's Donkey Kong Barrel is ideally suited for the job: it'll hold up to eight 3DS or original DS cards, along with styluses, plus it totally nails the look.

ThinkGeek Level-Up pipe mug

Green pipes in the Mario series can be gateways to new areas, or paths to nasty surprises. Hopefully, this sweet tribute mug won't have any of the latter: it houses 15oz of hot or cold liquid, and has a fittingly retro look. Also, it's dishwasher and microwave safe.

Hori retro Mario Wii U GamePad protector and stylus set

Got a Wii U-loving pal who plans on playing Super Mario Maker well into the new year? Help deck out his/her GamePad with this slick Hori gift set, which includes a hard plastic cover with classic Super Mario Bros. graphics, along with a large, similarly-styled stylus. Hori has a few other options, too, including a Splatoon set.

7-Piece Polyhedra dice set

Your dice are broken. You don't need to waste time testing them; you know it's true. Have you rolled them lately? Yeah. They suck. Do you know why? They're too pretty. There. We said it. GameScience dice are bare bones, precision-crafted instruments of destruction, and even come with a two-year warranty against defects.

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