PC gaming is alive and strong. It's been an amazing year for PC gaming — from awesome AAA games like Battlefield 4 and Tomb Raider, to smaller indie games like Gunpoint and The Stanley Parable. And let's not forget the ever-increasing domincance in the eSports scene from League of Legends. A PC gamer will always appreciate some awesome games or some component upgrades to their gaming rig, so here's a chance for you to blow them away with these must-haves of the holiday season…
Nvidia Graphics Card Bundle with free games
Need a new video card for your PC? Nvidia has a two great bundles for your needs. Not only can you choose from one of Nvidia's great GeForce GTX video cards, but you get up to three free games and up to $100 off an Nvidia Shield with the bundle. For the lower priced option, you purchase a GeForce GTX 660 through GeForce GTX 760, which start at $189.99, and you get $50 off the Nvidia Shield, as well as Splinter Cell Blacklist and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag for free.
The higher priced option nets you a GeForce GTX 770 through GeForce GTX Titan, which start at $329.99, but it gets you $100 off the Nvidia Shield, and then three free games: Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag.
If you know the person you're buying for is in the market for a new video/graphics card, this will honestly blow them away and allow them to play any of the amazing games to follow on this list, as well as future-proofing their computer.
League of Legends RP
League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the world, if not the most popular. It is driving eSports to new heights and more and more people get into it every day. Even better, the game is completely free. The only thing you have to pay for is different skins (costumes) for Champions, or you have the option to buy the Champions themselves with RP (which you get by paying real money) instead of the currency you earn every match, IP.
Find out if your friends or family play League of Legends. If they do, you can never go wrong by gifting them an RP Gift Card, purchaseable in Target Stores (not online), or you gift them directly to the player within the game's client. Either way, they'll appreciate the gift.
Steam Gift Card
If the person you're buying for is a PC gamer, odds are that they are using Steam. Steam is the all-digital platform on PC, and you can buy gift cards that add funds to your Steam Wallet from stores like GameStop. That way if you don't know what games he/she has, you can always let them choose the games themselves. And with the amount of awesome sales and discounts that Steam constantly has, they could get a lot of bang for their buck.
Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Legendary Edition
Skyrim is a huge game, both in sales and the amount of gameplay you get out of it. Seriously, you can spend hundreds of hours playing Skyrim. So give the gift of seclusion for the holidays with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Legendary Edition. Legendary Edition has everything from Skyrim, including all of the DLC/add-ons and a ton of added features. For $60, you're getting a $75 value. The three add-ons included are Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
The first launch of Final Fantasy 14 was a disaster, but Square Enix has redeemed themselves with Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. A Realm Reborn offers a traditional MMORPG experience with traditional class roles, combat and a grand amount of polish. And it's all in the Final Fantasy universe. It's one of the better MMOs you can play right now, so if you're buying for a fan of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, I definitely recommend this.
EverQuest Next Landmark Founder's Pack
One of the next big MMOs coming out is EverQuest Next. With it comes EverQuest Next Landmark. Landmark is a different type of game. It's an online social building game — think Minecraft but with a ton more people and features — wher eyou can create anything you imagine. You build using a ton of tools, realistic physics, and have your creations stand the test of time. Even better, objects and building that players construct in Landmark may be featured in EverQuest Next
Now, Landmark will be free-to-play. But with a Founder's Pack, you can access the game early, like in Alpha. The person you buy a Founder's Pack for will be able to play before the masses, and they get rewards and special items like special titles, gear and more. There are three different options ranging from $19.99 to $99.99, so check it out and see which one to get.
The well-known Lara Croft gets a reboot in grand fashion with this year's release of Tomb Raider. Watch and experience Lara's transformation into the hardened tomb raider that we all know. With really impressive visuals, in-depth progression and good action create a wonderfully crafted action-adventure game that any PC gamer will enjoy. And it's definitely easy on the eyes.
I can't recommend BioShock Infinite enough. It's one of the best games of the year, with a masterfully crafted story that will blow your mind. And the world has such a crazy amount of detail and backstory that you won't want to leave. If you're a fan of the BioShock series, or just good storytelling in general, this is a must-purchase for any gamer on your list. It deals with very adult themes, so make sure the one you're buying for can handle it. As a gamer and father, I got goosebumps more than once and the story resounded with me. It's a great game that everyone should experience.
One of the true next-gen shooters that you can find, Battlefield 4 is chock full of exciting set pieces, great multiplayer, vehicular combat and tons of destruction. From watching a level flood, a tropical island get pounded by a storm, or being inside a collapsing skyscraper, Battlefield 4 is the perfect first-person shooter for the gamer that loves modern warfare shooters with a robust multiplayer.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Take the awesome, open world and game of Far Cry 3 and apply an over-the-top sci-fi/action 80s filter to it. That, my friends, is Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Michael Biehn — the awesome actor from Aliens and Terminator — voices Sargent Rex Colt, a Mark IV Cyber Commando in this really fun cyber shooter. The visuals are bright and colorful and the gameplay is just flat out fun. Get the girl, kill the baddies, save the world. #greatgift #buyitforme
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is the perfect gift for any fan of real-time strategy games or the StarCraft franchise. It picks up right where the end of Wings of Liberty left off, but let's be honest, people will be playing this for the multiplayer and replay value. The competitive multiplayer side of this game is huge, and the eSports following is staggering, making this the perfect gift for anyone that enjoys the meticulous, competitive side of PC gaming.
Gunpoint is an indie game — made by one man, actually — that combines stealth-puzzle gameplay with a slick noir style. And it's one of the most enjoyable games I've played of the year. I definitely recommend Gunpoint for PC gamers that enjoy retro-style graphics with really good puzzle gameplay. Oh, and the humor is fantastic.
If the person you're buying for likes to be scared and is a fan of horror games and movies, look no further than Outlast. This first-person survival horror game is one of the most terrifying games I've played this year; I mean, you sneak around a scary asylum. With plenty of tension and jump scares, tell your loved one to play with the lights off and try not to wet their pants.
The Stanley Parable
It's hard to describe The Stanley Parable. It's a game like no other. This first-person exploration game follows a story, but doesn't. You will have a choice, but you will have no choice. The game ends, but it never ends. Very confusing. That said, it's one of the most mind-boggling PC experiences of the year. It's quite a gem of a gift.
Super Sanctum TD
In my review of Super Sanctum TD, I described the game as tower defense's best-kept secret, and it's true. Coffee Stain Studios did a wonderful job with this retro-style tower defense game, all based on their world of Sanctum. There's a ton of strategy, progression and difficulty here, all for the low price of $3.99, making it the perfect virtual stocking stuffer. Fans of the tower defense and strategy genre would be hard-pressed to find something better.
Be sure to check out all of the other awesome gifts, games and consoles in GameZone's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Gamers (Click on the image below).