It’s graduation season. Over the next few weeks, students will be graduating from high schools and colleges all across the nation and moving onto (hopefully) the next big step in their lives. If you have a young soon-to-be graduate in your life, now is the time to start looking at potential graduation gifts. If your graduate is big into gaming — like many young adults are — there are tons of great gifts to get him/her to bring to college or their apartment (or back home) with them.
So without further ado, here are the top 10 best graduation gifts for gamers:
1. Lenovo Erazer X510 Gaming Desktop
It’s probably been a little while before your high school or college grad has been able to upgrade their desktop computer, so what better way to reward them for their hard work than to buy them a brand new shiny gaming rig. The Lenovo Erazer X510 is frequently voted the best gaming desktop for the money. It comes with an Intel i7-4770k 3.5 GHz processor, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 8 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX760 2GB Graphics Card, so they’ll be able to play all of the latest games with ease. It also has a cool look to it, with a cool blue glow (or red or purple). Of course, it doesn’t have to be used just for gaming; they’ll also be able to get future school work or other online work done with no problems. You could also buy them a gaming laptop, so check out our Top 5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 2015 list.
2. LG Electronics 55-inch 1080p 120Hz LED TV
There’s a lot of things that gamers want but usually can’t afford, especially since they’re living on a high school/college budget. Especially if they’re graduating college, they’re going to have to worry about paying back those student loans. Yikes. One of the things gamers ALWAYS want is a TV upgrade so that their games will look even better. One of the best TVs that you can buy for the money is an LG 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED TV. This TV is basically made specifically for gamers, thanks to its high-definition and 120Hz refresh rate (which makes games look GREAT). This is the TV that I have in my own living room, and I highly recommend it.
3. Nyrius Aries Home+ Wireless HDMI Transmitter
The Nyrius Aries Home+ would be one great graduation gift that they don’t have any idea about. What the Aries Home does is allow gamers to wirelessly stream any HDMI-capable device — like your Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, BluRay, etc — to a second device, so that if someone else is occupying the main living room TV, they’re still able to use their consoles or media players on another TV without having to go through the painful process of unplugging them from one TV and bringing them to another. The Nyrius Aries streams your content, flawlessly, laglessly and in full 1080p HD to another TV. I have my Xbox One and PS4 both plugged into it in case one of my kids is occupying the TV so that I can always game when I want to. Don’t let the higher price tag fool you — it’s much cheaper than buying a second gaming console. And, this will especially come in handy if their moving back home after college (they won’t hog the living room TV) or if they’re moving to a dorm with a shared living room.
4. ASTRO Gaming A50 Xbox One Headset
Nothing beats a great gaming headset, and the best wireless gaming headset available is the ASTRO Gaming A50 Xbox One headset. It has a great design, blending great looks and great features. It has full Dolby 7.1 surround sound and is wireless, so they don’t have to worry about annoying wires getting in their way. They’re tuned by pro gamers and top audio designers to deliver the highest level of clarity at every frequency. It also uses a higher frequency than most wireless headsets, as it uses 5.8GHz wireless technology (meaning clearer sound and further range). The ASTRO Gaming A50s are a great addition to any gamer’s Xbox One.
5. Elgato Game Capture HD60 for PS4, Xbox One or Wii U
Especially if they’re graduating high school and heading to college, they’re going to have a lot of free time on their hands — more than they probably realize right now. Even with classes and a part time job, they’re likely not going to be spending 8 hours in class every day. One way to waste the day away is to stream on Twitch (which can also actually earn them a decent income if done right). To stream their Xbox One, PS4 or Wii U gameplay on Twitch, they’ll need a gaming capture card, and the best available is the Elgato Game Capture HD60 which captures their gameplay in full 1080p and 60 fps (the highest quality possible). Streaming gameplay on Twitch is not only fun, but some people actually make a living off of doing it, and they’ll also be able to create videos for YouTube as well. You could let them fill their time with this, or I’m sure they could find other ways in college to keep them busy (see where I’m going with this?).
Price: $169.99 (6 percent off MSRP)
6. Xbox One
If they have yet to upgrade to the next generation of gaming consoles, consider buying them an Xbox One as a graduation gift — they’ll love it. The Xbox One has tons of games, apps, and social features (like Skype & voice chat). I wouldn’t recommend buying any of the premade Xbox One bundles right now, since the ones available are Assassin’s Creed Unity (which was poor quality) and Halo Master Chief Collection (which is currently having some online connectivity issues). Buy just the console, and then maybe pickup a great game or two like Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or Ori & The Blind Forest.
7. PS4 w/ ‘The Last of Us’ Remastered Voucher
The PS4 has a power advantage over the Xbox One, but the menus and apps aren’t as good as they are on the Xbox One. Still, one thing the PS4 has right now is The Last of Us: Remastered, which takes what is widely considered to be the greatest game of the last generation and adds better graphics and all of the DLC. The PS4 itself is a powerful gaming rig, selling over 28 million units so far. The PS4 is typically considered to be the console for the “hardcore” gamer, although the choice between Xbox One and PS4 is really all about personal preference.
8. Mad Catz Arcade Fightstick Tournament Edition 2 for Xbox One
If they already own an Xbox One and are really into fighting games like Killer Instinct or the recently released Mortal Kombat X, consider getting your new grad a Mad Catz Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 for Xbox One as a graduation gift. It has all premium-quality components with OBSF-30 action buttons and a durable metal base with non-slip foam padding. It has the layout that you’d typically see for arcade fighting games. It’s tournament ready, and it’ll help prevent accidental interruption (which happens frequently on a standard Xbox One controller due to the placement of the Xbox home button.
9. Akracing Ak-6014 Ergonomic Series Gaming Chair
Especially if they’re a PC gamer or spend a lot of time on their PC, having a great comfortable and ergonomic chair is important. The Akracing AK-6014 Ergonomic Series computer chair is THE chair to own for long gaming sessions, with adjustable tilt, height and back, armrests and back angle. It supports up to 396 lbs, and comes in four different colors (red, blue, green and white). These chairs are built to last, and make a great graduation gift for the graduating gamer in your life.
10. Nvidia Shield Portable
The Nvidia Shield Portable is a fantastic addition to any gamer’s life. It not only runs apps, movies, music and games from the Android OS, but it also allows them to stream their PC games to the device anywhere in the house. Meaning, they can play their PC games on the handheld, or plug it into the TV and play their PC games using the Shield’s controller. What’s more is that the NVIDIA Shield allows outside of the home streaming with any Wi-Fi connection, meaning they’ll be able to play their PC games inbetween classes. Basically, it’s like a Nintendo 3DS for the hardcore gamer.