Game Informer's Graduation Gift Guide 2024

4 weeks ago 75

Students across the land are donning gowns and readying their cap-throwing arms. If you’ve got a gaming or tech fan celebrating their big accomplishment, it’s likely you may also be looking for a way to congratulate them on their achievement. We’ve assembled a curated selection of tech, toys, tabletop games, and more to delight the new graduate this year.

Disclaimer: Recommended products are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, GameStop.

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Headset For Consoles

Razer’s continued iteration on the BlackShark headset line has borne fruit with this excellent product release, which joins a prior iteration that was more targeted to PC players. Extremely impressive battery life is a big selling point, as is the overall sound quality. That high fidelity is supported by THX Spatial Audio tech, which does wonders in a tense game when zeroing in on targets. If you’ve sometimes struggled with mic issues, that’s another win, as the captured sound is crystal clear. The headset is exclusively wireless, and there are separate versions for Xbox and PS5, so that knowledge should factor into a purchase decision. Nonetheless, for a well-rounded and satisfying gaming audio solution on your console of choice, it’s an excellent selection $200

Purchase Purchase at GameStop

iBUYPOWER Slate Mesh Gaming PC

So you’re looking to go big for your grad gift but not quite ready to spring for that new car? We’ve got you covered. IBUYPOWER’s pre-built PCs provide an excellent route into high-end PC gaming for those not interested in fiddling with a piece-by-piece build. The spec (as priced) has no problem handling even the most technically demanding of modern games, thanks to components like its Intel Core i7-14700KF Processor and GeForce RTX 4070 Super graphics card. If your giftee is instead the type who wants to craft their own, the beautiful and customizable ARGB case is an affordable start to the build. $1,900 (Full PC), Case ($99)


For The Queen

This surprising storytelling card game is seeing a refresh and re-release under Darrington Press, complete with brand-new breathtaking art. Players set out one of 13 lavishly illustrated art cards to represent the queen, and each player takes on the role of part of her entourage on a long journey. A series of question cards prompt each player to detail and expand upon the nature of the queen and their relationship to her, leading to a new emergent narrative every time it’s encountered. The game is quick-playing, creative, and compact enough to take anywhere – a perfect fit for the story enthusiast in your retinue. $25


The Lord of the Rings Artisan Keycaps

Does the target of your gift-giving celebrate the works of Tolkien, enjoy the feel of mechanical keyboards, and spend ample time at the computer? Congratulations, we’ve found your gift! These gorgeous individual keycaps from Drop are handcrafted by Dwarf Factory and made of resin with transparent elements. Each features a tiny but incredibly detailed call-out to the world of Middle-earth visualized in 3D, including the helm of Sauron and a Morgul Fellbeast. For our money, it’s hard to beat the Eye of Barad-dur, gazing out across its domain. Each keycap is an SA R1 profile cap compatible with the ubiquitous Cherry MX switches and its clones. $65 apiece


Nanoleaf Screen Mirror

Nanoleaf has become a favorite of streamers thanks to its neon-accented lighting and customizable LED décor, but the product that will most elevate your gaming experience is the Nanoleaf 4D. The screen mirror kit includes an adhesive lightstrip, control console, and camera for your monitor, allowing you to sync the lighting behind your TV with what is on your screen in real time. Best of all, you can add the device to your phone and control it using the Nanoleaf app, Apple Home, or Google Home, letting you sync with other devices, including other Nanoleaf products like its popular Shapes panels. $100


Halo Collar 3

When we regularly recommend high-end wearable tech, it’s usually for things like watches and sunglasses. However, if your celebrating graduate has a four-legged friend at the center of their life, the Halo collar might be just the thing. A phone app is your chief interface to set up boundaries anywhere you go, whether in a backyard, your favorite picnic spot, or a friend’s ranch in another state, keeping your dog contained within a precise GPS space you establish. If they ever run off while on a walk, the collar provides real-time tracking and a whistle function to summon them back. The whole system involves a few weeks of training upfront, but it’s a solid option to give your graduate and their best friend more freedom to enjoy each other. $600


iPhone 15 Pro

We’ve all got some variation of a phone in our pocket. We occasionally like to check in on how the different tech is treating gamers. On that front, the iPhone 15 Pro continues to be an enticing choice for several reasons. The A17 Pro Chip offers unparalleled visual fidelity for gaming – it’s a big reason why we’re increasingly seeing triple-A PC and console games like Resident Evil Village and Death Stranding make their way to mobile screens. And between the Apple Arcade subscription service and an ever-increasing selection of standalone titles, the mobile gaming market is on a different level than just a few years ago. While those features might first capture gamers’ attention, the improvements to camera, battery life, and the new ultralight titanium build are ample evidence of how Apple is holding onto its crown. Starting at $999


Star Wars Yoda Force FX Elite Lightsaber

“Pass on what you have learned,” Yoda tells Luke in Return of the Jedi. No Star Wars character better represents the passage of knowledge from one generation to the next than the ancient Jedi master. A gift of his lightsaber is a nod to the completion of training, but it’s also just a thrilling collectible. The green blade is scaled smaller than many other lightsabers, but true masters know that size matters not in a fight. The shimmering saber features progressive ignition, battle clash lights and sounds, and a removable kyber crystal, among other fun features, and can be displayed with or without the blade on the included stand. $250

Purchase Purchase at GameStop

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gallery Dioramas

The Turtles have been a fixture of the pop culture landscape for a long time, and these striking new statues are an excellent way for your graduate to celebrate their longtime fandom. Each of the four mutant heroes stands roughly 10 inches in height. The meticulously detailed sculptures aim to bring each brother’s personality to the forefront. You can pick a favorite or snag all four, which can be lined up on the shelf or displayed bunched on their rooftop perch. $60-75 apiece


Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City

CD Projekt’s evocative sci-fi opus makes its way to the board game scene with this gritty competitive play. Up to four players each navigate one of the infamous gangs of the city, like the Tyger Claws or Animals, as you each try to take control of the criminal opportunities across the sprawling neon city. Powers are asymmetric between the gangs, lending a lot of replay value and nuance to turns. The best part of the game is the interaction from the many mechanics at play, from area control to combat to economy management, even as different story scenarios play out. Together, it makes for a rewarding and thematic play for anyone who loves this dark futuristic setting. $110


Zelda Hyrule Triforce Mini Backpack

Fans of The Legend of Zelda, in its many incarnations, should be delighted by this visually appealing little bag. At 11 inches in height, this isn’t the roomy book carrier they’ll need when they head off to pursue their next degree. Instead, it’s a fun fashion accessory that’s big enough to haul around personal effects, tablets, or perhaps the Switch system on which they’re replaying Tears of the Kingdom. The synthetic leather features embossed patterns and the recognizable Triforce metal symbol near the top. $49


Star Trek: Picard The Complete Series Blu-ray Boxed Sete

Many sci-fi enthusiasts have wholly transitioned away from physical discs in favor of streaming. However, a boxed set is still the way to go for fans who want the comprehensive package, especially if you’re looking for this level of breadth and depth in bonus features. Along with all 30 episodes of Star Trek: Picard, the return of The Next Generation captain is accompanied by gag reels, deleted scenes, and extensive featurettes on the making of the show; one of the best additions is a commentary track for several of the season 3 episodes that saw the original cast reunite. $55


The Vale of Eternity

In board gaming circles, there’s sometimes a misperception that you must have a large and expensive game if you want rewarding strategy and depth, but games like The Vale of Eternity help buck that notion. Players compete to tame unusual magical creatures, eventually seeking control of mighty dragons. The whimsical art is compelling, but the clever approach to card drafting on each turn will keep players coming back, thanks to a fascinating approach to acquisition that uses discrete “stones” that each have a specific value. Despite its charming presentation, The Vale of Eternity can be a competitive and challenging play as each player vies for victory while often squashing the potential for other players to succeed. For such a fast and approachable game, it also features hidden depth. $35


Marvel’s X-Men Cyclops Bust

It’s been too long since we’ve had reason to celebrate the tactics genius leading the X-Men into battle, but the recent X-Men ’97 show helped remind fans that Scott Summers is a particularly compelling superhero when he’s given the chance to shine. The new half-scale bust features Cyclops’ iconic blue-and-yellow suit with intricate texturing, his ’90s-era headgear, an X-Men-themed base, and some awesome trailing wisps of energy after that last Sentinel he blew away. $175


Avatar Legends The Roleplaying Game Bundle

The imaginative world of Avatar: The Last Airbender has gotten some new attention recently thanks to the Netflix live-action adaptation, but the excitement around the original series has never really gone away. Graduates who share a love of the shows and an enthusiasm for tabletop role-playing should find a lot to appreciate in this faithful game adaptation. Players navigate action-packed stories set across the eras described in the shows, and the mechanics focus on a character’s need to find balance between extremes – a big theme within the fiction – as well as a slick system for completing cool “moves” that emulate the martial arts motions players expect in this universe. This recommended bundle includes the game’s core book plus a ton of extras like a GM screen, action card deck, and a dice pack. $100


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