Buying a holiday gift for a PC gamer might seem challenging at first, but you have the power of choice on your side. The PC platform is rich with options for both hardware and software. Below, we'll take a look at some of the best picks for gifts for a PC gamer in 2015.
Alienware Steam Machine [Sponsored Product]
Price: $449 to $749
The Alienware Steam Machine is the result of combined efforts between Alienware and Valve to custom-build a hardware solution that combines PC flexibility with console simplicity. Alienware offers four price points so everyone can find the right choice for their budget. With upgrade options like an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, or 1TB storage, the Alienware Steam Machine packs in a ton of capability into a sleek black console that looks great in any home entertainment setup. And, unlike consoles, as time moves forward your giftee can swap out components and keep their investment future-proof.
Review: 4.5/5 – "Soundly reclaims the franchise as forward thinking."
Fallout 4 is one of the biggest games of the year, and one that has enough content to last well into the future. It has hundreds of hours of quests to engage in and adventure to embark on. It also has the year's best leveling system with perk choices that make earning experience points a rewarding affair. It is most enjoyed on PC where mods, higher graphics settings, and early patches are available. With vacation time coming up, there are few games that are as recommendable as Fallout 4.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
Legacy of the Void is the final chapter of the StarCraft II saga. It includes a wide range of content such as an enjoyable campaign, all new Co-op and Archon game modes, as well as new units. Unlike many RTS games it has something for everyone, casual or veteran. It is also a standalone expansion pack, meaning that no additional purchases are required.
There are few games that are emotionally stimulating as Undertale. It might have the look of an old 8-bit game, but it has the heart of a lion. Its hilarious writing, enjoyable combat, and varied gameplay have made it one of the best-rated games of the year. It's also very inexpensive, making it a safe gift choice for anyone who enjoys story-driven games. Note that it is only available for purchase on Steam, so you'll need to buy the game through the service and then gift it to your giftee.
If your giftee is a competitive person, Rocket League makes for an outstanding gift. Its interesting blend of soccer and racing makes it unlike anything else on the market. It's fast-paced fun that has remained one of the most played games on PC since the summer.
Heroes of the Storm Starter Pack
Review: 4.5/5 – "Hero of the MOBA"
Action RTS has quickly become the most popular gaming genre in the world. While many games in the space have tried to craft their own niche with unique systems, Heroes of the Storm was tremendously successful in focusing on the most enjoyable elements of the genre: gameplay and characters. It foregoes a lengthy laning phase to allow players to quickly engage in combat. It is a free-to-play game, but players need to purchase characters in order to play as them. This affordable pack is a great way for new players to get started as it includes four characters and a few vanity items. It's worth mentioning that Blizzard will be hosting a two week long sale at the end of November which will offer all heroes, mounts, and skins in the game at a 50% discount.
Pillars of Eternity
It's become increasingly uncommon to encounter compelling stories in RPGs. Enter Pillars of Eternity, a game that pushes away modern conventions to deliver something more classically inspired, and it's better for it. It's a cRPG with a grand tale to tell that lasts for dozens of hours.
It was just a few years ago that EA debuted its latest SimCity. Unfortunately, it was a misstep in several regards. Instead of letting the genre flounder, Colossal Order got to work on its very own game. What resulted was exactly what fans of SimCity have been hoping to play for half a decade. It doesn't tie you down with multiplayer servers and provides a ton of strong mechanics at a budget price point.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of controller options on PC, but only one Steam Controller. After multiple years in development, this device allows keyboard and mouse emulation within a controller form factor, allowing PC gamers to enjoy a broader range of games by playing even those that don't natively support controllers.
Steam Wallet Card
Price: $20 to $50
If you aren't sure which game to buy your giftee, consider buying them a Steam Wallet Card. This functions like a gift card, but can be recharged at a later date with additional funds. This will allow your giftee to choose their own purchases so you know that your money is going toward something they like. These cards are available at GameStop and Best Buy.