PC gamers are perhaps the most particular breed of gamers out there, which makes buying a gift for them all the more challenging. Below, we outline a list of good suggestions to bail you out this holiday season of 2016.
Review: 4.5/5 – "It’s recommendable to just about anyone."
Overwatch is probably the biggest sensation to hit gaming in 2016. It won Game of the Year at The Game Awards, and not many people cried controversy. While Overwatch is available on PS4 and Xbox One, PC really is the premier platform. By all accounts, it has the most players by far, and new updates generally drop at least a few days before consoles. If you have the extra cash lying around, the Origins Edition will run you $60, but will include a lot more cosmetic content that any fan of the game will enjoy.
Sid Meier's Civilization VI
Review: 4.5/5 – "A tremendous achievement."
Civilization VI is probably not for your casual PC gamer. But if you know the particular type of PC gamer that spends hours on end pouring through every game they play, then this is the game. It's currently the highest-rated PC exclusive title of 2016, according to Metacritic, with only one negative review compared to 73 positive reviews. It's got a steep difficulty curve, as does any 4X or Grand Strategy game, but Civilization VI is the genuine article.
Gears of War 4
Price: $59.99 (On sale until Dec. 21 for $38.99)
Review: 4/5 – "Not just something new, but something relevant too."
Gears of War 4 marks the first installment in the series to debut on PC as well as Xbox One. More than just that, they're phasing in crossplay, meaning the recipient of this gift won't be left out if all their friends play the game on Xbox One – they can all play together, regardless of platform. Although it probably had the quietest release of the fall season, being overshadowed by Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, sometimes staying out of the news is a good thing, as Gears of War 4 also had perhaps the most solid release of the season.
If there are any parents reading this article, the name Roller Coaster Tycoon might ring a bell, and that's the best way to picture Planet Coaster. It's by the same developers, and it's easily the best theme-park simulator to come out since. It made people care about the genre again, and it's relatively cheap for a brand new game. Not to mention the depth of customization the player has at their fingertips – it's unrivaled by any game on the market today.
Steam Link/Steam Controller Bundle
Think of a Steam Link as a wireless HDMI connector. This will allow a PC gamer in your household to stream games from their PC to any connected TV in your home, so long as they are connected to the same home WiFi network. While you can buy the Steam Link and the Controller separately, they're really better as a package deal, and you'll save $10 by buying the bundle.
Steam Wallet Gift Card
Price: $20 to $100
This is the best gift for a PC gamer if you don't really pay attention to what sorts of games they play. This is available from all major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Amazon.com, and it takes all the stress off you. And, if they already have all the games they want (unlikely), several Steam games, such as Dota 2, have in-game purchases.
Battle.net Gift Card
Battle.net Gift Cards wouldn't have been the best purchase a year ago, but, with the exploding popularity of Heroes of the Storm and the wild success of Overwatch, both of which have in-game purchases in case you already own those games, it's becoming one of the best gifts of the year. With Overwatch's winter holiday event on the horizon, I can name at least a dozen people who would love more money to spend on event loot boxes.
Origin Access Subscription
Despite the fact that most gamers prefer Steam as their preferred app for PC gaming, Origin Access is regarded as one of the best deals in gaming today. For a paltry $5 per month (the same price as one new-AAA game a year), Origin Access gives a player access to more than 40 games, and these aren't bottom-shelf titles either, including Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, Battlefield 4 & Star Wars: Battlefront (coming soon).
Gaming Headset Stand
I don't know about most PC gamers, but my gaming headset is currently hooked on the arm of my computer chair with the cord running through a binder clip attached to my desk edge. It's the most convenient way I could think of to not buy a gaming headset stand. This little piece of plastic will unclutter your desk and untangle those cords, and, while I can't recommend a particular brand, Amazon.con seems to have a wide selection of cheap options.
Dishonored 2 Prima Strategy Guide
While the PC problems are still being worked through, it will be hard to recommend buying the game outright unless you know the gamer you have in mind has a PC powerful enough to adequately run the game. That being said, if you know someone who already has Dishonored 2 on PC and is able to enjoy it, this $10.00 book from Barnes & Noble is a must-buy for the fall season. This will give you detailed maps of each area, show you blueprint and safe-combination locations, recommend tips and strategies for each and every playstyle. The list goes on. Since Dishonored 2 is perhaps the deepest game to come out this year, in terms of sheer things to do, it's the best one for which to own a Prima guide.