Microsoft’s Xbox One might not be the most popular game console this generation, but chasing those in the lead has also made it one of the most interesting systems. Microsoft’s first-party Xbox studios have crafted some unique games this generation, and with tons of different console types, accessories, games, and merchandise to choose from this holiday season, you can make the Xbox fan in your life very happy. With our Xbox holiday 2019 gift guide, you can quickly find what that Xbox player is looking for and surprise them with some presents under the tree, by the menorah or wherever else you put gifts.
Yes, Microsoft released the newer Xbox One S All-Digital Edition earlier this year at a cheaper price, but the loss of a disc drive is worth far more than the $50 price difference. With the original Xbox One S system, you get a console capable of playing games in HDR with a much smaller size than the 2013 Xbox One, all with an internal power supply and fewer technical issues. It’s one of the prettiest consoles Microsoft — or any other company — has ever produced, and it even packs in a 4K Blu-ray player despite not supporting 4K gaming. If you do want to go all-digital, you can still do that by downloading games or making use of the upcoming xCloud streaming service.
If you need that extra power to make your 4K television shine, then the Xbox One X system is the way to go. It looks almost identical to the Xbox One S but is actually slightly smaller and makes use of a special vapor chamber to keep it cool during resource-intensive gaming sessions. The Xbox One X is more powerful than Sony’s PS4 Pro and can run many games at native 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. It can even make certain original Xbox and Xbox 360 games look better than ever, but its true power is shown on the very latest Xbox One titles like Gears 5 and the stunning Forza Horizon 4. If you already own an older Xbox One, swapping your data and games to the Xbox One X is a breeze.
The standard Xbox One controller does its job well, and it is significantly less battery-hungry than the PS4’s DualShock 4. However, for players who need the absolute most out of their controller, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is what you need. The controller features interchangeable thumbsticks and directional pads to suit your style and game type, along with trigger locks to give you an edge in online shooters. You can customize nearly everything in a controller app, and there are paddles on the back to give your controller even more input options.
On the opposite end of the controller spectrum, sometimes you just need a gamepad that can do one thing extremely well. The Hori Fighting Commander resembles a Genesis controller in its design and puts six face buttons right on the front along with a directional pad to give you easier access to your favorite fighting combo moves. It’s also compatible with Xbox 360 and PC, and its cheap price means you can purchase two of them as a gift and game alongside your loved ones this holiday season.
Just like with the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro, the Xbox One supports external game drives, and because it doesn’t support internal drive changes without voiding the warranty, purchasing an external drive is the only way to expand your storage safely. The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox not only sports a green Xbox color but 2TB of space for holding the latest games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare alone takes up over 100GB and there are plenty of Xbox games you’ll want this holiday season. Particularly if you have a 500GB console, an external game drive is practically essential.
Microsoft is currently conducting public tests for its Project xCloud service, and you will soon be able to stream games directly from your home Xbox One to your mobile phone regardless of where you happen to be. To make the most of this, you’ll need your phone connected to a Bluetooth controller, and this mobile phone clip from TPFOON lets you carry the two as one unit. It can accommodate a wide range of phones, doesn’t require any special tools to install, and comes with a year-long warranty in case you run into issues.
A surprisingly emotional and genuinely exciting third-person shooter, Gears 5 proved that developer The Coalition is more than capable of handling the Gears of War franchise going forward. Along with new open environments, psychological horror elements, and tough-as-nails enemies, the game’s competitive multiplayer, cooperative Escape mode, and returning Horde mode all add up to make it one of the most complete games of 2019. Gears 6 will have a hard time matching its predecessor.
A reimagined take on the sub-series that defined the previous console generation, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a tremendous first-person shooter across its campaign and competitive multiplayer modes. The new story is darker and less blockbuster-like than its predecessor, with returning characters working alongside brand new ones in a globetrotting adventure. On the online side, the addition of Ground War has Call of Duty beating Battlefield at its own game, which vehicular combat and objective-based gameplay that is incredibly addictive.
After From Software finished the Dark Souls trilogy, it wasn’t clear what the studio would do next — but we’re very glad it decided to create something wholly original with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Ditching the role-playing class elements of its previous games for a focused take on shinobi stealth-action, the game plays like a blend of the Tenchu series and Bloodborne, made even better by a parrying system that turns every battle into a back-and-forth struggle. Sekiro is also brutally hard, but that challenge comes with a feeling of triumph when you finally win a fight.
The third entry in 4A Games’ massively underappreciated post-apocalyptic shooter series also happens to be the best. Set after a nuclear war devastated most of the Earth and left its population on the verge of extinction, Metro Exodus is the first in the series to let us venture into the outdoors for an extended amount of time, but it doesn’t lose sight of its roots in the process. This is still a survival-based shooter with a heavy focus on resource management and stealth, and the storytelling is among the best in the industry.
Sometimes, you just don’t want a role-playing game that will take dozens of hours to get through. Obsidian understood that when it created The Outer Worlds, a science-fiction game heavily influenced by its work on Fallout: New Vegas but with an even more cynical view of mankind’s future. In The Outer Worlds, everything is owned by corporations — and the irony of Obsidian being purchased by Microsoft midway through its development is not lost. Funny, refreshing, and political, The Outer Worlds is a must-have for role-playing fans.
You’ve just finished playing Gears 5 and you can almost feel the series’ iconic Lancer rifle in your hands, but what if you actually owned one? This replica weapon from PDP is a 1:1 scale toy that features the lights and sounds of the in-game rifle, and it can be adjusted to your preference. There is even a hinged chamber included so you can pretend the reload the weapon if you use it for cosplay, and each replica includes a DLC code so you can make your in-game rifle look identical to your toy.
If Halo is more your speed and you can’t wait for 2020’s Halo Infinite, then you need the Halo UNSC Infinity replica ship. Measuring nine inches across and heavily detailed to match the ship first introduced in Halo 4, the ship comes with its own display stand so you can proudly show it off to your friends, and its gorgeous exterior colors and lettering make it feel like you’re looking at an in-game screenshot. Of course, it’s also small enough that if you need to put it alongside all of your other Halo merchandise, it won’t be a pain to find enough room.
Just because it’s getting late doesn’t mean your gaming session has to end, and why not show off how much you love Xbox with an Xbox logo light? This officially licensed collectible from Paladone can be left on a stand or mounted on a wall and can be powered either through a battery or USB. It’s the perfect ornament to light up your game room and give it some extra flavor, or to use as a low-profile light whenever you need to keep playing online after dark. It’s also simple enough to not seem cheesy in a living room or bedroom, as well.
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