News Article

Feature: A Guide to the Best Nintendo Gifts For the Holiday Season

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Consoles, games, and random stuff that must be owned

Farewell, stable bank balances. Prepare yourselves, credit cards. The Holiday season is upon us, with Black Friday — which is really Black Friday Week now — already kicking into gear in the U.S. and plenty of other places besides. It's the season to be jolly and generous to others, while risking financial ruin, and we feel that such reckless spending should have plenty of Nintendo goodies thrown in for good measure.

And so we've put together a list of consoles, games, accessories and gifts that we think should be on some lists to Santa or the bank manager. We've been selective — we're leaving out plenty of alternatives and delightful treats — and are only listing specific retailers or regional limitations when applicable; for the rest you can hit up the online search engine of your choice, as all of these items are available to buy in some form or other.

We hope this list also highlights that, for Nintendo fans, there are a lot of great potential gifts out there. Let's get right to it.


Easily the most heavily marketed Wii U bundle, this offering comes with a 32GB system and copies of both New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U on a single disc; an introduction to HD Nintendo gaming with some familiar 2D platforming.

This one is a UK exclusive we're afraid, and only on the official Nintendo Store; this is the same as above but throws in the brilliant Super Mario 3D World, a lovely Mario-themed Wii Remote Plus and a Mario hat — it costs £299.99, which essentially means the Remote and hat are free extras when everything is considered at its standard retail price.

We reckon these The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD 32GB bundles will still be kicking around at various retailers, and it's a lovely option. It includes a special GamePad design, a download code for the game and a digital copy of Hyrule Historia.

One of multiple 8GB bundles targeting families and those in need of an extra Wii Remote. This will typically cost the same as the 32GB equivalents outlined above, with the difference being that it comes with a bundled game — Wii Party Uand a Wii Remote Plus; it's a trade-off, ultimately.

We think the box says it all. This is the much publicised and rather attractive Zelda-themed 3DS XL, which comes with a copy of the marvellous The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Just look at it.

This Cobalt Blue standard 3DS comes bundled with one of 2013's most charming and entertaining games, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It'll arrive in stores on 2nd December and be exclusive to North America.

This Year of Luigi 3DS XL was initially released in Japan but has now made its way to the UK, available only through the Nintendo UK Store; it's rather pretty, though unfortunately the online store doesn't deliver to mainland Europe, while there's been no announcement of an equivalent in North America as yet.

The 2DS, which prompted many snorts of derision when announced, has been cited as a strong contributor to 3DS 'family' sales in Europe and North America. This is an excellent budget option for young gamers in particular, and takes away any concerns over the 3D screen; many retailers on both sides of the Atlantic are running bundles and promotions, some with the hardware dropping below $100 / £100.

Over on the next page we recommend 10 games each for the Wii U and 3DS.

From the web

User Comments (38)



Expa0 said:

Bravely Default for real play, Super Mario 3D World for party fun and Disgaea D2 for additional spice. My xmas should be awesome.

I'm currently preparing by playing a really bad game (Sonic 06) just so that I can truly apreciate these good games.



Gioku said:

I'll take the 2DS!

I really want it as my second 3DS system! Especially since it's the cheapest model!



Mahe said:

Just Dance is a must-buy. Either Just Dance 4 which can be had for cheap now or Just Dance 2014, the latest one.

But nobody should buy the Basic console pack in any situation, ever. Not even if it comes bundled with Wii Party U and a Wiimote. It's better to buy the Wii Party U and Wiimote bundle separately with a Premium version of Wii U.



ueI said:

I'm surprised you didn't include Nintendoland or Wonderful 101.



rjejr said:

No love for the Wii Mini?

I was in TRU this morning looking for a 1 day sale on Skylanders Adventure packs for $9.99 (picked up Pirate Adventure) and I noticed a bunch f the red Wii Minis in the display case. There were also a couple of Zelda bundles and Mario bundles but nt Nintnedoland bundles that I could see. They also had a SKylanders bundle but as somebody above said, its the 8Gb so I'ld be leery. Though I think it is on sale somewhere Friday for $250 which might be tempting for someone looking for both a Wii U and Swap Force.



Gorlokk said:

I uh...
It's just...
Well, I mean...
No Wonderful 101? You gave that a 9/10, so I think it's pretty worthy, especially when you include titles like... Wii Party U.



ItalianBaptist said:

Target has the sega genesis classic game console for $40. It's got 40 genesis games and 40 throwaway games (including a shameless bomberman ripoff), but it also TAKES GENESIS CARTRIDGES!!! No need to worry about not being legit with that



LegendaryQ said:

Just an FYI, you may want to look at the image for Animal Crossing New Leaf. It's not exactly correct.



JaxonH said:

Already own every console and game on this list. As for the gamepad batteries, I ordered 2 of them from an eBay seller in the UK back in October since they are exclusive to that region (and AmazonUK in particular if I'm not mistaken, which won't ship to the US). Unfortunately, my shipment has been stuck at ISC Chicago in customs for nearly a month now. I'm hoping I'll get those bad boys before the year ends.



JonnyKong said:

I put up a comment about how much I wanted the Bowser plush because I have a small collection of Nintendo plush toys, but then I started to ponder whether or not a 29 year old male should be buying plush toys and then I came to the conclusion that's why I'm still single.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Gorlokk Yeah, that's fair enough. I was going for different brands, genres etc, and also some that are often reduced price nowadays. I think Wii Party U needs to be there because of its family focus, but in hindsight Wonderful 101 could have taken the place of Deus Ex or ZombiU.



Vriess said:

I'm all set. I got the Wii U with Wind Waker and the Golden 3DS XL with ALBW...aaaaw yeah!



ThumperUK said:

@JaxonH (plus anyone outside UK/Europe wanting to get hold of the Gamepad battery).

There are strict rules for what can be sent international post, and the International Civil Aviation Organization has deemed batteries to be dangerous items when not integrated into a device (therefore you could send a Gamepad abroad, but not the battery on its own). It may well be if you order a battery from another country you won't receive it,.

There are other rules which may restrict posting within your own country, and you should check them out. For the rules for posting from the UK, a link to Royal Mail is:-

I hope this is of help to anyone thinking of ordering a battery from another country.



PorllM said:

All of these bundles are incredible and I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who isn't sure. As a 3DS Xl and Wii U owner, however, I was hoping this list would contain stuff outside of consoles like cool Nintendo merchandise, keyrings, statues and other baddonkey gifts. I know you can get Zelda piece of heart soap on Etsy which is awesome.
Please watch the profanity — TBD



AJWolfTill said:

My partner keeps wanting me to buy plushes, including Nintendo one, so I think you just need to find the right person : )
(No you can't have mine )



Shambo said:

I f anyone were looking for an expensive gift for a random stranger -being me- I'm looking for a Panasoniq Q, that Japan-only, DVD-playing, mirror-shiny Gamecube.



Kirk said:

There's some nice bundles there. The one with the extra copy of Super Mario 3D World is by far the best deal though.



Nintenjoe64 said:

I definitely got my money's worth of fun out of year one but it is slightly annoying that I could have got a Wiimote+, Mario Hat, Luigi U, NSMBU, SM3DW for the price of my Nintendoland Bundle if I had waited.

Amazon are doing a £199 premium with NSMBU bundle, possibly with with some other cool stuff.



CaviarMeths said:

I got a flyer in the mail yesterday from Microplay (French-Canadian retailer). It had a pretty good spread for Wii U, a full page (same as PS4 and XBone), and the most featured game across the 3 platforms was Super Mario 3D World.

Looks like some retailers are pretty enthusiastic about the machine.



unrandomsam said:

Everybody I have seen commenting on this site about 3D World seems to have finished it already. (10/10 should mean perfect i.e a good level of challenge for everybody - but from reading this site you get the impression it is a good level of challenge for nobody).



Dazran303 said:

Finally! Got my login details right! Been so long! >.<
I already have a 3DS & WiiU, but I want to buy all these! They look so nice!



Ferg said:! (well, except for the consoles, already have them



Gamer83 said:

That Zelda 3DS XL is awesome. I imagine there will be a large number of happy Nintendo fans receiving one this holiday season.



rjejr said:

If this was posted Wed and it's now Fri why does it still read "1 day ago"?

For that matter why is it still #1 on the page w/ only 32 comments?

Best hardware deals that SHOULD be on the list - perhaps US only?

Skylanders Swap Force Wii U bundle for $299. It's only 8GB but if you're a parent buying Swapfroce and a Wii U separately for your kid(s) than it sitll might be worth it. On sale someplace for $250ish today.

That 3DS XL Dream Team bundle for $199 at Target. Very tempting.



Anclation said:

Shame on you for ignoring The Wonderful 101, while including Wii U Party and a late port. Such a high quality third party exclusive deserves way better..



mostro328 said:

I just witness a toys r us employee tell a women who was going to buy a wiiu that she should get the wiimini because it does all the samethings and its cheaper, i wanted to scream, of course the mom went with the mini



Porpoise said:

And now for not alerting her some kid's x mas is gonna be ruined........triple facepalm



Buzzthebatgirl said:

No Wonderful 101? That's confusing knowing you guys gave it a great review a few months ago and it is simply amazing...

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