Gamers are some of the toughest people to buy for around Christmas. In most cases, they will just buy whatever they need or want when they can, so that doesn’t leave many opportunities for friends and family to get them something they will truly enjoy. There are all kinds of lists around displaying the very best items to get for the gamer in your life, but what about the things you should avoid? Here are the worst Christmas gifts for a gamer in 2023.
Bad video game Christmas gifts in 2023
In general, buying video games for someone is a bad idea unless you are absolutely sure that they don’t already have it and will enjoy it. Unless they have expressly told you they want a certain game, a gift card to a game store is a better idea. Whatever you do, avoid buying these games in particular, as they are some of the worst to come out in 2023.
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
- The Walking Dead: Destinies
- Skull Island: Rise of Kong
In addition, here are some more games that aren’t generally some of the worst games ever made, like above, but have been highly disappointing this year.
- Cities: Skyline 2
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III
- Payday 3
- The Last of Us Part 1 (PC version)
- Mortal Kombat 1 (Nintendo Switch version)
Any gamer who grew up in the late ’90s and early ‘00s will remember the shoddy controllers produced by Mad Catz. There were always all kinds of issues, from buttons not working or sticking to just a terrible game feel overall. Luckily, Mad Catz went bankrupt in 2017 and doesn’t assault families with its third-party controllers anymore, but you should remain vigilant not to trust any controller not made by Nintendo, PlayStation, or Xbox. Yes, these controllers are cheaper, but in every single case, you are giving a worse product that the gamer will want to be replaced as soon as possible anyway. First-party controllers, even when used, are more expensive, but you are going to deal with much fewer complaints sticking with them.
Cheap gaming headsets
If you want to buy someone a gaming headset, you should really ask them specifically what one they want or do some serious research before putting money down on one. Of course, the top-of-the-line headsets that cost hundreds of dollars are not the best choice for everyone, but usually, anything that costs like $20 is going to break after a little bit of use anyway or be very uncomfortable to wear. There is a good midway point to find where you get a lot of value at a decent price.
If you know someone who loves their Nintendo Switch or other gaming console, you may think a bundle packed with items to get them the most out of their experience would be a good idea. Unfortunately, the items included in these bundles are usually pretty low-budget. Sometimes, they flat out don’t work, have no real function, or, in the worst cases, can damage your games, console, or controller.
We all know that staring at screens all day long isn’t necessarily the most healthy thing for our eyes. The eye strain and constant exposure to blue light can give people headaches and disrupt their sleeping patterns if they do not take breaks or keep in mind their general health. With that in mind, grabbing some marketed glasses that say they block out blue light and reduce eyestrain can’t be a bad thing, right? Well, we would recommend thinking twice. These glasses are usually overpriced, and the impact they have is generally minimal. The wearer is better off getting prescription lenses if they are struggling to the point that taking a five-minute break from gaming isn’t helping their eyes.
Staying in the same lane as gaming glasses, don’t waste your money on gaming gloves. Not only do these not give you the benefit of improved reaction times or fight arthritis like many of them say, but they make the wearer look like a complete tool. If you feel like a pair of cheap gloves makes you look cool when you hold your DualSense controller, we beg you to take a long look in the mirror and think about your choices in life.
Speaking of one of the biggest gaming scams around, avoid purchasing anything that talks about supplying “gaming energy.” These are overpriced basic powders and pills that have little to no impact on most people and taste awful. If your gift receiver wants to have more energy, tell them to start getting more exercise, plan out their sleep schedule, and focus on a healthier diet.
Lame gamer clothes
We’ve all seen those online ads showing some of the lamest, low-budget t-shirts around. There are some genuinely well-made clothes options out there for gamers, but avoid the ones that have really stupid sayings on them like, “I’m a gamer. I don’t die, I respawn,” or “They say I have a gaming problem like it’s a bad thing.” The gift receiver may fake a smile when they open these presents, but on the inside, they die a little bit. There are so many much better gaming clothing options out there.
Pretty much the same issue as with the t-shirts. If you want to buy someone a decoration for their gaming space, there are so many good options out there these days. Lights, statues, and posters made with great video game art are out there. However, generic items with sayings like “Video games don’t make me violent, lag does” or “I’m gaming, don’t disturb” are truly awful and get a trip to the garbage after family leaves.
Arcade machines are some of the most nostalgic icons for gamers. Unfortunately, getting a full-sized arcade for your place costs way too much money to be a viable gift idea, so you may think of buying one of those tiny arcade cabinets that are just a little bigger than your hand. We recommend avoiding these. They’re too small to really enjoy and are known to break very easily because they are made cheaply. Also, if anything says that it has 300 games packed in, run away. We promise you the gift receiver would much rather have access to the better versions of these games on their console, PC, or phone.