ComicBook.com’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Nintendo

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This year was a big one for Nintendo Switch, with a lot of really cool new games and accessories releasing for the platform. It can sometimes be difficult to decide the best items to give to gamers, which is why ComicBook.com has assembled a list of the best options for the Nintendo fan in your life. Readers should keep in mind that the Nintendo Switch has a huge library, and no list can perfectly account for every gamer’s individual tastes. If you’re looking to give gifts to a Nintendo fan this year, however, this list should provide a good hint at what to look into!

This year’s list features a mix of games and accessories. Gamers that have already owned a Switch for a while probably won’t need a case for their system, and can skip that particular entry. However, most of the items on this year’s list should be helpful for those that already own the system, or are just getting one this year.

Scroll down to see our picks of some of the best Nintendo gifts to give this year!

Metroid Dread metroid-dread-stance-1273053.jpg

My personal pick for the Nintendo Switch Game of the Year, Metroid Dread encapsulates everything great about the series. This 2D action-platformer follows the classic “Metroidvania” style, but takes advantage of the Switch’s capabilities with massive and intimidating boss battles and some stunning environments. The game offers a good challenge, so it won’t be for everyone. Gamers that already played Metroid Dread should check out the excellent The Mummy Demastered, a similar Metroidvania game that might have flown under the radar.

Our Metroid Dread review can be found right here.

Where to Buy Metroid Dread: Amazon

Price: $59.88

Where to Buy The Mummy Demastered: eShop

Price: $19.99

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Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury super-mario-3d-world-bowsers-fury-bowser-key-art-new-cropped-hed-1252193.jpg

Originally released on Wii U, Super Mario 3D World was one of the system’s best games. The beauty of Super Mario 3D World is that it’s a great single-player adventure, but it gets even better when three others join in. Everything that made the 2013 original great returned this year, but the Switch version added Bowser’s Fury, an excellent new adventure that keeps many of 3D World’s elements, but exchanges the isometric perspective for a third-person perspective similar to games like Super Mario Odyssey. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is an incredible value for those that missed the game on Wii U, and a good purchase even for those that already played one of the two games. Plus, it’s a great game for players of all ages!

Our Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury review can be found right here.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Price: $59.95

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New Pokemon Snap rockruff-new-pokemon-snap-1277525.jpg

In the summer of 1999, Pokemon Snap traded in Pokemon-catching for photography, and the result proved to be one of the most beloved Pokemon spinoffs ever. More than 20 years later, developer Bandai Namco revisited the concept with New Pokemon Snap on Nintendo Switch. The gorgeous game offers players plenty of scenic opportunities to photograph Pokemon in their natural habitats, and the game’s free DLC provided more areas to discover. For Pokemon fans that already experienced this adventure, ILCA’s solid Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are well worth checking out, even if they don’t quite reach the heights of Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Price: $58.49

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Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania super-monkey-ball-lives-1281770.jpg

After years of weaker entries into the series, Sega got things right this year with the release of Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania. The puzzle game can be incredibly challenging, but also rewarding. However, the highlight of the series has always been its party games, and Banana Mania has a bunch of reasons to get the gang together. In particular, games like Monkey Golf and Monkey Billiards remain a blast after all these years.

Our Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania review can be found right here.

Where to Buy: Amazon

Price: $38.99

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Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda legend-of-zelda-game-and-watch-new-cropped-hed-1272359.jpg

This year marked the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, and Nintendo celebrated the occasion with a new handheld system. Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda is a small portable device inspired by the predecessor to the Game Boy. The original Game & Watch devices were pretty basic, but these new ones are a bit more advanced, offering three classic Zelda games, a watch mode, and more. It doesn’t offer nearly as much functionality as a Nintendo Switch, but it’s a fun diversion that Zelda fans will love.

Where to Buy: Best Buy

Price: $49.99

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JETech Protective Case and Screen Protector jetech-switch-case.jpg

For those that plan on taking their Switch on the go, a case and protective screen cover are absolute necessities. As I detailed in my Buyer’s Guide last year, JETech’s protective case is my choice for the best case as far as protection and price point. This year, I upgraded my system to a Switch OLED, and the case I used for the last few years didn’t quite work as well, thanks to some of the changes Nintendo made. Thankfully, JETech offers a new model for the OLED. This one is clear, which allows the Joy-Con colors to remain much more visible. Whichever Switch model you’ve got, I can’t recommend JETech’s designs enough.

Where to Buy JETech case: Amazon

Price: $12.99

Where to buy JETech OLED case: Amazon

Price: $14.99

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Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack nintendo-64-switch-online.jpg(Photo: Nintendo)

This year, Nintendo added a new tier for Nintendo Switch Online with the Expansion Pack. At $30 extra per year, the Expansion Pack is a steep upgrade, but it does come with some nice benefits. Animal Crossing: New Horizons players get access to the game’s Happy Home Paradise DLC (which normally costs $24.99), and the pack also allows players access to growing libraries of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games. For some, the price is worth it; I personally upgraded this year and like the games that are offered. However, for everyone else, Sega Genesis Classics offers quite a few of those old Genesis games on one cartridge.

Where to Buy: Nintendo Switch eShop

Price: $49.99

Where to Buy Sega Genesis Classics: Amazon

Price: $29.99

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Controllers nintendo-switch-pro-controller-in-use-top-1155956.jpg

When it comes to Nintendo Switch, there are so many different controller options. The best is easily the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. It’s wireless, it’s sleek, and it feels great to use. The only thing it’s missing is a headphone jack. Thankfully, this year Nintendo added Bluetooth support for Switch (after more than four years), allowing users to game using wireless headphones. Switch’s prior lack of headphone support while docked is the reason I purchased one of PowerA’s Enhanced Wired Controllers last year, and the reason I included it in our previous Buyer’s Guide. That feature is no longer exclusive, but PowerA’s offering is still significantly cheaper than Nintendo’s, even if it does offer fewer features. That makes it a tempting option for those looking to spend a bit less.

Where to Buy Pro Controller: Best Buy

Price: $69.99

Where to Buy PowerA Wired Controller: Best Buy

Price: $14.99

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eShop Gift Cards eshop-1237943.jpg

Can’t figure out what to get that special Switch fan in your life? eShop gift cards might seem like a cheesy gift, but there’s nothing better than having an excuse to go spend some money on a game you’ve had your eye on. The Nintendo Switch library has gotten gargantuan since it launched in 2017, so gamers will have no problem finding something to buy.

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Where to Buy: Amazon

Price: Varies

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