Gamer Gift Guide: Nintendo's Best Family-Friendly Gifts

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The holidays are upon us, and so are the deals! This year, most retail stores and websites are getting a leg up on the shopping season with month-long Black Friday sales, while others are holding out for the actual day before rolling out the big savings. 

Of all the video game systems, software, and gear out there, few bring the family together better than those from Nintendo. Whether you're an long-time fan of the Big N, or you're looking for something perfect for the little ones, this list has something for everyone hoping to unwrap some Nintendo goodies this year!

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Wii U Bundle 

Rating: 5/5

Price:  $250

Buy it: Walmart

Last week, Nintendo announced a special Wii U bundle for Black Friday. With the home gaming console comes this year’s popular family-friendly shooter, Splatoon. And the fighting game-phenomenon, there's Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Though the bundle is currently available at Walmart for $280, you can save another $30 by waiting until Black Friday.

Super Smash Bros. GameCube Adapter for Wii U

Rating: 5/5

Price: $20

Buy it: Amazon

Though made for the Wii U, Super Smash Bros. is best played on the controllers from Nintendo’s legacy system, the GameCube. Fortunately, the Big N has made this nifty adapter, so pro players can plug their old gamepads right into the Wii U. If you’re planning on grabbing this one, you might want to consider picking up some new Super Smash Bros. Classic GameCube controllers.

Wii U Pro-Controller

Rating: 4/5

Price: $50

Buy it: Amazon

Unfortunately, the GameCube adapter is not compatible with any games besides Super Smash Bros. For all your Splatoon, Mario Kart, and Zelda: Wind Waker action, check out Nintendo’s Pro controller. This gamepad offers a more standardized controller experience for the modern gamer. Also, unlike the GameCube controller, the Pro plays wirelessly and comes with a rechargeable battery.

Mario Kart 8

Rating: 5/5

Price: $45

Buy it: Amazon

Indisputably one of the best game franchises for couch co-op, Mario Kart 8 takes the best of the series and brings it all into one stunning amalgamation of cartoonish beauty and competitive fun! Nintendo games often don’t reduce in price, but this instant classic is now going for $45 on Amazon. If you have a Wii U, or plan on grabbing one, Mario Kart 8 is simply a must for all ages!

Super Mario Maker

Rating: 5/5

Price: $53

Buy it: Amazon

Though plenty of kids look to video games for competition, more and more are looking to the medium to express their creativity. Super Mario Maker gives you the tools to create your own Mario levels! With an easy-to-learn tool template paired with the Wii U’s intuitive GamePad tablet, this simple level editor allows for endless entertainment and boundless creativity!

New Nintendo 3DS XL

Rating: 5/5

Price: $180

Buy it: GameStop

Nintendo’s handheld system has been out for a few years now, and has seen several iterations and many improvements. It has also established a robust library of excellent games, making now the best time to pick one up! With improved 3D graphics, excellent battery life, an eShop filled with classic Nintendo games available to download, and hundreds of amazing 3DS titles, the New Nintendo 3DS XL is a no-brainer for any Nintendo fan!

 

Amiibo (Mario 30th Anniversary Amiibo Figure)

Rating: NA

Price: $13

Buy it: Amazon

Nintendo’s new line of toys has become something of a phenomenon since its launch exactly one year ago. These figures based on Nintendo characters not only look great, but can also be used in select Nintendo games with its toys-to-life functionality. Recently, this 8-bit Mario went out of stock, but is once again available for $13. Grab this for the old-school Mario fan in your life, and check out other Amiibo for games like Super Mario Maker, Mario Party 10 and Super Smash Bros.

Wii U GamePad Extended Battery

Rating: 5/5

Price: $40

Buy it: Nintendo Store

One major complaint about the Wii U is the stock GamePad’s battery life. Though being able to play Wii U games entirely on the controller, its 3 hour battery life can be a pain. With this high capacity battery, you’re more likely to get 5-7 hours of game time before having to go wired.

3DS CitySlicker Carrying Case

Rating: 5/5

Price: $60

Buy it: CitySlickers

It’s never been a better time to play handheld games, but the dangers of travel and butterfingers are all the same. Grab this nifty leather case for the gamer in your life who can’t leave home without getting their Nintendo fix on the go. Also, for the Legend of Zelda fanatic, check out this Triforce-emblazoned carrying case from GameStop.

What do you think of these deals? Will you be waiting outside Target for hours before grabbing your gifts, or will you be wrapped up at home with your snuggy waiting for Amazon flash sales? Let us know in the comments!

Published Nov. 21st 2015

Featured Contributor

Games critic and journalist based in Queens, NY. Fan of platformers, Star Wars, and Tchaikovsky.

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