I know what you're thinking: "A hat? Really? How could that possibly be a good gift?" But the right hat can be both a practical and a fun gift. Hats are essential for bundling up against the winter weather, and picking one themed after the recipient's favorite game or character shows that you care about their interests as well as their comfort.
One important note: as with my previous guide about video game dresses, some of the following items are custom-made to certain head measurements. If you don't know them, don't guess! Just make a little coupon or something telling them you'll buy them the hat once you can get these measurements. (Or I guess you could creepily try to measure their head without them knowing, but good luck getting away with that.)
So, could the gamer in your life use a new hat to bundle up against the cold weather? Then check out the following hats to see which one would be right for them!
Mega Man Hats
Where to Buy: ThinkGeek; tallib on Etsy
Rating/Store Rating: N/A; 5/5 (686 reviews)
Price: $19.99; $23.42 to $35.90
The hat on the left is a commercially-made hat based on the classic Mega Man helmet which can be bought at ThinkGeek. The hat on the right is based on MegaMan.EXE from the Mega Man Battle Network games; this one's custom made to head measurements ranging from newborns to adults, so make sure you get those before ordering!
Are neither of these the super fighting robot you're looking for? Then take a look at this made-to-order Mega Man X helmet hat, this handmade Zero helmet hat, and this sweet Protoman helmet hat.
Where to Buy: Hot Topic; CraftedCreatureShop on Etsy
Rating/Store Rating: N/A; 5/5 (45 reviews)
Price: $19.50; $30
The commercially-made hat on the left is knitted and decorated with appliques to resemble Pikachu, and comes with flaps to keep your ears warm. The handmade Weepinbell hat on the right is made of cozy fleece, and can be made in kids' sizes on request.
Not feeling either of these? You can also check out this Pokeball hat and this shop that sells a wide variety of handmade fleece Pokemon hats.
Crocheted Assassin's Creed Cowl
Where to Buy: KidsNKrochet on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (25 reviews)
Price: $16 to $25.99
This is another custom hat that can be made in any size, and you can choose your own color from a few options as well. Another nice thing about this hat is that it covers both the ears and the neck, which may help keep the wearer warmer.
Legend of Zelda Hats
Where to Buy: CosplaySnap on Etsy; Hot Topic; critknits on Etsy
Rating/Store Rating: 5/5 (239 reviews); N/A; 5/5 (54 reviews)
Price: $14.95; $19.50; $49
The fleece hat on the left is just one of many colors and styles available at the seller's shop, with some of the others themed towards Link's look in certain Zelda games. The beanie in the middle might be a little more standard-looking, making it good for gamers who want to share their love of the game without looking like Link.
The knit hat on the right has a unique pattern based on the Lon Lon Milk bottles that appear in some games, and comes with ear flaps for extra coziness.
Where to Buy: JAVsDesigns on Etsy; LolipopperKnits on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (207 reviews); 5/5 (1 review)
Price: $25; $49
The hat on the left comes in five different colors - one for each of the ghosts and dark blue for the vulnerable form of the ghosts - and has warm ear flaps too. The hat on the right is more traditional in form, with pom-poms and a cute blue and gold Fair Isle-inspired pattern featuring Pac-Man eating Pac-dots.
Plants vs Zombies Hats
Where to Buy: NanetteCrochet on Etsy; SweetiePeas3 on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (40 reviews); 5/5 (133 reviews)
Price: $26.99; $16 to $24
The Snow Pea Shooter hat on the left comes in one-size-fits-most, and if you like the style but not that particular plant the store also sells hats like it for the plain Pea Shooter, Flaming Pea Shooter, Chomper, and Sun-shroom.
The more low-key beanie on the right features a green Pea Shooter symbol made of felt, and comes in sizes ranging from Toddler to XL-Adult.
Where to Buy: WoollyRhinoCrafts on Etsy; SweetiePeas3 on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (51 ratings); 5/5 (133 ratings)
Price: $65; $18 to $24
The Inkling Bobble Hat on the left includes "the label and two pins on the brim, as seen in the game" and the shop offers four color variations: purple, pink, orange, and lime green. The beanie on the right comes in four sizes and six colors, allowing for a wide range of customization.
Additionally, if neither of these appeal to you, another shop is offering a Squid Boy hat.
LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Hat
Where to Buy: littlepopos on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (225 reviews)
This made-to-order Sackboy hat comes with hand-sewn details and was specifically made to be washable. It also comes in sizes ranging from Kids XS to Adult XL, so make sure you get the measurements for the right size!
Where to Buy: NoodlesKnitting on Etsy; JustTeesPlease on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (7 reviews); 5/5 (310 reviews)
Price: $20; $15
The Enderman-inspired hat on the left is knitted from acrylic yarn and is available in four sizes from Infant to Adult. The Creeper-inspired hat on the right is made of fleece and vinyl and comes in five sizes ranging from Newborn to Adult.
Super Mario Bros. Hats
Where to Buy: AnimeNoms on Etsy; JAVsDesigns on Etsy
Store Rating: 5/5 (430 reviews); 5/5 (207 reviews)
Price: $19.99; $30
The red-and-white mushroom hat on the left is made of washable fleece and comes in three sizes. The Yoshi hat on the right comes in five sizes and includes earflaps (a slightly cheaper version without earflaps is also available).
Don't think either of these will work? There's also a crocheted Boo hat and a Chain Chomp beanie for sale in other shops.
Didn't see the right series here? Check out these honorable mentions: