Christmas Gift Guide 2023: Video Game Gifts for Nintendo Fans

This Christmas, treat your Nintendo-loving pals to new goodies like books, gaming accessories, plushes, and more.
animal crossing christmas

Nintendo has had a bumper year in 2023, with a range of excellent games launching in recent months – from Super Mario Bros. Wonder to Super Mario RPG, WarioWare: Move It! and even The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Pikmin 4, and a bunch more. In a stellar year, the company has gained a bunch of new fans – and those newbies might have an eye on Nintendo-themed Christmas gifts and goodies in December.

Whether you’re shopping for a new fan, or someone who’s always loved Nintendo, the good news is that a blockbuster year means there’s plenty of merchandise to discover. From books to plushes to gaming accessories and more, Nintendo has a range of excellent Christmas goodies on offer – with any of them being the perfect gift for your nearest and dearest.

If you’re looking to get started on your shopping, here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.

Note: All gifts are selected from the US version of Amazon. Check your local online stores for equivalent pricing, and other gift ideas. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small percentage of commission for products purchased via affiliate links.

Nintendo Strategy Guides and Reference Books

zelda book

Gamers love to know things. Whether it’s how to overcome the latest dungeon in The Legend of Zelda, or how to catch every butterfly in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The good news is you can help teach them exactly what they need to know, with a variety of Nintendo and third-party-published books. There’s plenty around, including handy encyclopaedias, art books, biographies, and strategy guides. If you know the Nintendo fan in your life loves a particular franchise, check out the books on offer. They could make for delightful Christmas gifts.

Here’s a few options to peruse:

New Nintendo Joy-Cons

Joy-Con (L)/(R) - Pastel Purple/Pastel Green
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05/15/2024 03:16 pm GMT

Nintendo Joy-Cons (US $79.00) are a great Christmas gift, for a number of reasons. They ensure everyone in your family or friendship group can play games together, they can jazz up consoles with fresh new colours, and they’re going to need to be replaced anyway at some point – so you might as well fork out for Christmas. Joy-Cons are still subject to annoying drift the older they get, rendering some games frustrating to play. With a new set of Joy-Cons, drift can be waylaid for another few years, all while making a console brighter and more fun. It’s a win-win.

If you’re keen for a more affordable gaming accessory gift, you can also purchase something simpler – like a charging base for Joy-Cons (US $16.99) or a fun Zelda-themed game cartridge holder (US $15.99).

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

Nintendo Switch – OLED Model w/ Neon Red & Neon Blue Joy-Con
$349.99 $333.00
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05/15/2024 03:51 pm GMT

If you’re shopping for a family member or someone you really appreciate, you might want to consider a whopping Christmas gift, in the form of an upgraded Nintendo Switch OLED Model. These consoles are miles above the base Nintendo Switch, and make games pop in handheld mode with a more vibrant and wider screen. As of writing, the Nintendo Switch OLED is at its lowest price yet – it’s going for around US $349.99 – making it a somewhat affordable Christmas gift.

While you will need to fork out if you’re going to treat the Nintendo lover in your life to a brand-new console, it may be worth it for the warm, fuzzy feeling of making someone’s life brighter.

CRKD Nitro Deck

Image: CRKD

For the nostalgic Nintendo fan in your life, the CRKD Nitro Deck (US $69.99) could be a very novel Christmas gift idea. This handheld deck is a replacer for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons that essentially allows you to transform a regular Nintendo Switch console into an aesthetically retro-style gaming machine.

Pop the console into the deck’s base, and you’ve got a fresh new, ergonomic chassis available in a range of colours – including a GameCube-era purple, and a mint green.

The Nitro Deck also comes with a neat carrying case, making it a snazzy and very portable “outfit” for any Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Hallmark Christmas Ornaments

It’s not Christmas without a few festive decorations – and the good news is these can be gamified. In recent years, Hallmark has opened its hallowed doors to more ‘nerdy’ pop culture figures, with an array of games like Super Mario, Animal Crossing and Pokemon getting official Hallmark ornaments to hang on trees, and around the house. They make for delightful little gifts, and should light up any room.

Here are a few of the best Hallmark Nintendo ornaments:

Animal Crossing and Mario Plush Toys

You’re never too old for a plush toy – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Nintendo is well-known for being a proprietor of delightful plushes, with each of its major franchises having tie-in toys for kids and adults of all ages. You can buy a plush Mario with a cute Goomba companion, or an array of Yoshis, or even lovely plush Animal Crossing folks. They make for soft and adorable gifts, and look great on beds, couches, or mantlepieces.

Here are a few of our favourite plushies from Nintendo:

Pokemon Plush Toys

Pokemon plush toys are also massively popular – which is why they get their own entry. After years of new releases and countless new Pokemon – nearly every one with their own plushie – there are simply far too many of these cutesy toys to collect. That said, if you know your Nintendo-loving pal likes a particular Pokemon, there’s certainly a plush with their name on it. Do some sneaky reconnaissance or make an informed guess, and any of these Pokemon toys would be well received for Christmas:

Nintendo Board Games: Monopoly and More

Nintendo has a long history with board games – and the sheer variety of licensed titles is impressive. We’ve tried and tested Monopoly: Animal Crossing (US $15.49) and loved it, but there’s also a range of other exciting and frantic Nintendo board games around, including:

Super Mario Lamps

If you’re looking to get really niche with your Nintendo Christmas gift, you can also go for something a bit more fun: novelty lamps. The Super Mario franchise has a phenomenal array of novelty lamps, each more hilarious than the last. You can buy a glowing Yoshi egg, or even a yawning Piranha plant. There’s mushroom power-up lamps, level lamps, and even lit question blocks. They’d all make for fetching decorations in any Nintendo-lover’s home.

Here’s a few of our favourites:

If you’re looking outside the Super Mario series, you can also nab a Zelda Triforce Lamp (US $35.99), or a Majora’s Mask LED Light (US $39.99).

The Best Nintendo Games of 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Nintendo Switch
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05/15/2024 06:12 pm GMT

As we all know, Nintendo has had a cracking year, launching a range of stellar video game adventures – including multiple Mario titles. There’s a fair chance your Nintendo-loving pal hasn’t played every Nintendo release this year – but they really are all worthwhile. Check out what your pal already has, and consider gifting them any recent release to bulk out their collection.

Here are a few of our favourite Nintendo games of the year:

Note: All prices are accurate as at the time of writing. As sales end, these may differ. Equivalent discounts will be available around the world.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.