Be it Christmas or your friends upcoming birthday, you’ll be needing a go-to list of retro gaming gifts that you can scout in order to hunt down the ultimate retro present.
We’re avid retro gamers, so this list is going to be easy for us to make.
But for those of you not into your games or nerdy accessories, we hope this list helps you find a gift that will whack a big smile on someones face when they open it on that special day.
These retro gaming gifts range from a handful of pennies all the way up to a small loan, so don’t feel as though this is the normal price to spend on retro gamers.
This list will fit all budgets, and believe us when we say that any gift on this list will go down well.
So let’s jump right in with the ultimate retro gaming gifts list!
1. Retroid Pocket 2
This $80 from China has the ability to play most of your old school games, including Playstation 1, Dreamcast and N64.
What makes the Retroid Pocket 2 stand out is that it runs Android 6, allowing you to use Android apps, stream PC games, and even watch Netflix.
It’s an all-rounder!
The build quality is superb too, with Nintendo Switch analogue sticks, a stunning 3.5″ IPS display, and a large 4000MAH battery to get you through your day.
This is by far the ultimate retro handheld you can buy, and it makes the perfect gift for retro gamers who need to play their games on the go.
Just take into consideration that shipping takes around two weeks, so get your orders in in good time if you’re purchasing for a special occasion.
2. Pixel Frames
We all want to make our gaming rooms look as awesome as possible, right? And for us, sometimes posters just don’t make the cut.
So we picked up ourselves these awesome Pixel Frames.
They’re dioramas inside of a frame that makes it look as if the game is being viewed from a 3D perspective.
They have a wide selection of games to choose from too!
For example, our favourites are the Sonic The Hedgehog variants, but there are also Street Fighter, Mega Man, Castlevania, Contra, Altered Beast and more scenes from your favourite titles to choose from!
These will only set you back around $20 too, making them the perfect affordable gifts for your gaming friends and family.
3. 8BitDo Pro Controller
The 8Bitdo Pro Controller is a superb wireless controller for retro gaming enthusiasts.
Not only is this controller incredibly comfortable, but it has also taken its style from the original GameBoy and can connect to any of your modern-day consoles, including the Nintendo Switch.
So, if you’re fed up of those tiny annoying joy-cons, then you can pick up one of these and your friend or family member will be completing Link’s Awakening in no time!
8Bitdo is renowned for creating some of the best Bluetooth controllers on the market, and their designs are like no others on the market. They’re oozing with nostalgia!
It can even connect to smartphones and the upcoming Analogue Pocket, which is another console that you should definitely consider having in your collection!
4. SEGA Mega Drive Mini
The Sega Mega Drive Mini is a brand new remake of the old 90’s console that was undoubtedly one of the best retro games consoles of all time.
This remake comes in a miniature version packed full of 40 playable games straight out the box.
Simply connect this scaled-down unit to your TV’s HDMI port and you’ll be playing the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, and Dynamite Heady in crispy 720p on the big screen.
It comes with two controllers should you want to play with friends and it has the ability to switch to “Japanese mode” which changes all games to Japanese and unlocks the Japanese versions of the games which most western gamers have never even played!
Now that would make a pretty exciting present for a retro gaming enthusiast.
Plus it looks great in your gaming setup. Sega has done a splendid job with this console, and it comes with the old nostalgic box design too, ready to be displayed (or played to the death!).
5. TUBBZ Cosplaying Ducks
POP! figures are so last year; the latest collectable on the block is Tubbz.
We’re talking cosplaying ducks with a touch of retro.
And no, we’re not ‘quackers’.
Created by Numskull, these ducks are the perfect retro gaming gifts for those that like to show off their love of gaming characters in a slightly adorable manner.
Some of the characters that you can purchase are Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Dr Neo Cortex, Batman, Blanka, and many more!
These feathery friends are well designed, they look great on your desk, and they even come in an actual bathtub display allowing them to be stacked and given pride of place on your mantlepiece!
A cheap, affordable present that will certainly put smiles on faces and happily sits in our retro gaming gifts list!
For those that go beyond the 90’s gaming scene, there are incredible 1/4 scale replica arcades cabinets by Numskull.
We have two of these arcade cabinets and can confirm that not only do they play perfectly because they use the original game ROMs, but they also look amazing in your geek room or game cave!
We have the Pac-Man and Galaga versions; both are great, and both light up on the top section when turned on, making them look even cooler when on show.
An arcade cabinet is not a cheap present, but they will keep you entertained for hours, even in 30 years time.
They make great ornaments and are a great way to entertain guests. Plus the detail in the design on these things is so on point they look just like the real thing!
7. Paladone Retro Gaming Lights
These had to be on our retro gaming gifts list! Could you get any more retro than Crash Bandicoot?
These little things are adorable lights that can be places all around your home with ease, adding a bit of geeky goodness to any room.
Each light comes with batteries and a stand. There’s a wide number of retro gaming characters to choose from, covering everything from the Crash franchise to The Legend of Zelda.
They are quite small but come fairly cheap, so they’re great for placing on a desk or for any readers who might have kids.
If little hands break them, then they’re only $15 to replace!
The characters are all designed with a big head, making them look very unique and filled to the brim with nostalgic vibes which we absolutely love.
The bigger the head, the more nostalgia you can cram in…
…which is why the Retro Dodo team all have massive bonces!
8. Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch Lite is without doubt the ultimate retro gaming gift. It might not be “retro” but it can play a lot of new retro games that have came out over the last few years.
Take the Pokemon Lets Go games that came out in November 2019; you can pair the Switch Lite with SNES controllers and create retro gaming experience with a modern touch.
And because it’s smaller than the original Nintendo Switch, you can take it where-ever you want in your pocket without lugging around a larger handheld.
It’s cheaper too, but it does lose the ability to go dock mode.
Unfortunately, that means that there is no TV/dock syncing ability with the Lite, but you can always use a classic HDMI cable and pair up a couple of old joy-cons if you’re desperate to see your games on the big screen.
But this is one of the best handheld consoles out there and will give years and years of entertainment for whomever you buy one for.
Plus, you can get lots of accessories for this thing to make it look really cool, just like we’ve done here.
9. Custom Gameboy Color
One of our personal favourite retro gaming gifts of all time has to be the Game Boy Color.
It holds a small place in our hearts because it was what started our passion for gaming back in the day.
I suppose you could say that this handheld started Retro Dodo.
And what better way to resurrect the original Game Boy Color than by modifying it into a modern-day masterpiece!
Our good friend Aaron over at CHROMA_WORKS is a retro gaming enthusiast who turns the old Game Boy Color into a modern day handheld by adding in a backlit display and a rechargeable battery.
Say goodbye to those old nasty batteries!
He has a few variants, but the all crystal white version is our personal favourite.
Consider signing up for email notifications to get notified when pre-orders go live.
Or, if you’re local to Los Angeles, feel free to stop into Retro Game Camp in Little Tokyo to see and purchase a CHROMA_WORKS Game Boy Color in person.
These don’t come cheap, but if you want to keep the nostalgia of the design and want to be able to actually see the screen, then this custom Game Boy will one of the finest handheld consoles to add to your collection.
10. Retro Gaming Mugs
Would it be a retro gaming gifts list without terribly great mugs?
Probably not.. and you’d be a mug to miss out on some of the epic designs out there.
The mug is the go to gift, everyone loves them and everyone also hates to love them.
It’s the present that says ‘I know nothing about you apart from the fact that at some point in your life, you’ll have to consume some liquids’.
But they do their job, and they do it well! You can get some good ones like this Playstation controller above, or even heat changing mugs that show a GameBoy’s screen when it’s hot.
You just need to do some searching around the find the best one. I’m trying to think of more things to write about a mug… but a mug is just a mug.
Can you ‘handle’ the choice out there? Will you find one that’s your ‘cup of tea’?
… Time to move on.
11. Geeki Tikis
One of our favourite retro kitchen products has to be these adorable Geeki Tikis!
These little things are perfect for parties; add some ice and your favourite beverage, perhaps a cocktail, and you’re ready to get your geek on.
These are very also very cheap, coming in at around $15 for one.
Each set comes with a number of characters, and Geek Tikis have lots of sets from Star Wars to Pop Eye.
There’s a set for everyone!
Collect them all and put them on show, a great cheap product that happily sits on our best retro gaming gifts list!
12. Gaming Dioramas
You may have seen our Pokemon Diorama across our Instagram lately, and that’s because we absolutely love them!
They’ve been popping up all over our feed,s but the company behind them is called Gamer Nostalgia, and they create a wide variation of retro gaming dioramas.
They’re are basically cardboard pieces of art constructed into an adorable cube to create a 3D effect that replicates out school games.
These are the perfect gifts for retro gaming friends, and even make a great treat yourself present to yourself.
13. Super Mario Sneakers
Super Mario 64 is hitting the switch as part of the Mario 3D All-Stars collection, which means you definitely need these Super Mario Puma sneakers to play the game in.
It would be absurd to start an adventure without the correct footwear!
Ninty have certainly released a lot of apparel and gear to go alongside Mazza’s 35th Anniversary, and these shoes are so slick that we’re thinking of buying a couple of pairs!
Alongside these sneakers, Nintendo and Puma have also collaborated on two other designs, with Super Mario Shoes now being available in ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Galaxy’ patterns to compliment the other two games in the new release.
Will you buy all three for someone you love, or just keep them for yourself?
We’re voting for the second option!
Next up on our list of the best retro gaming gifts is a handheld console that plays games from a variety of different consoles.
And the best part is that you actually have to buy the cartridges, so you get a box with an instruction booklet and everything.
I miss that new instruction booklet smell and reading through the game plot and controls like back in the old days!
That’s right, I did say I missed the smell…
Each game cart comes with about 10-20 games, so when you work out the cost of an individual game, you’re looking at a price of around $1 – $3 per title.
That’s great value for money, and it will make the recipient of your gift feel like they’re getting a better deal than they actually are!
The console fits nicely in your hand and has large buttons that are perfect for mashing while trying to send Earthworm Jim on his adventures or controlling Worms on the battlefield.
Check out our full review on the Evercade here, and click below to buy!
15. Retro Gaming Books
Retro games are all well and good, but we don’t always want to play games…
… sometimes we like to read about them too!
Plus, at least this way you can save a partner or friend’s eyes from going square and give them something ‘educational’ to have a look at.
We’ve already made a list of the best retro gaming books available, covering all of the different systems and some of the best 90s toys on the market, perfect for collectors and gaming enthusiasts alike.
One of the best places to shop for nerdy novels and geeky gaming books is Bitmap Books. They have a wide range available and are bound to have the perfect title for someone special in your life.
Check them out below!
So there you have it; a list of extraordinary retro gaming gifts for any occasion!
Hopefully this list will help you out with Christmas planning and getting that surprise birthday sorted.
We’ll be adding to this list on a monthly basis, so make sure to pop back to get even more inspiration.
Or you can go one step further and join us over on Instagram @retro_dodo for daily inspiration on the best retro gaming products on planet earth.