Holiday shopping is hard, and if you’re like me, it can be stressful to find the right gift for the important people in your life. This can be doubly hard for the nerds and geeks you know. Not because there’s nothing to find, but because there’s way too much. The space is so saturated right now that separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. But have no fear! We here at CheckpointXP are here to help. Here’s a handy gift guide for the Xbox fan in your life!

Xbox Game Pass

I have spent a lot of time the last few years being critical of the Xbox. One thing I am not critical of however is their Game Pass subscription. If you’re unfamiliar, think about what Netflix did for the movie industry. Game Pass is the same exact concept. Pay the monthly fee, and the player can download the games that interest them and take away a ton of your guess work. It’s 9.99 a month, so a 6-month pass would be about the same as buying a regular game.

Game Pass should only become a better deal as time goes on, as you also get access to X-box Live Gold with it, the online service needed to play with your friends. And as we move into a new console generation, getting access to new games for 10 dollars a month is an insane value. It actually is that good of a service. Props Microsoft.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed has had an interesting few years. The series reached an all-time low in the mid-2010s, but it stormed back strong with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins in 2017. Since then, it had another great release with Odyssey and now Valhalla. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla isn’t the best game in the series, but it ranks right near the top. Nothing has topped Assassin’s Creed 2 yet, and I would be surprised if they ever do, but Valhalla is amazing.

The characters are strong, the gameplay is crisp, the world is massive. It’s everything you want in a modern Assassin’s Creed game. As with all things on this list, I would preface it by saying that you should ask the receiver if they already have it. Yes, it takes some of the surprises away, but no one likes getting a gift they already have.

Xbox Series X

To be clear, I am not advocating to go out and buy a brand new console for just anyone. This is more for the people out there who have already committed to getting an Xbox and are just debating between the Series S and Series X. Like the Playstation 5, there are two different systems to choose from this time around. But unlike the Playstation 5, this decision really matters. While both the digital and disc versions of the PS5 are pretty much the same system, the Series S and Series X are quite different.

The X-box Series X is a more powerful system that will be relevant for longer. While I will be advocating to save the 100 dollars and get the digital PS5, I can’t in good conscience do the same for the X-box. Put down the extra 100 bucks and get the Series X. (If you can find one.) Ultimately, no X-Box gift guide would be complete without a console, and the Series X is the only way to go.

Cyberpunk 2077

There is not going to be a bigger game release in 2020 than Cyberpunk 2077. This is why I must say once again to ask the recipient whether or not they already have it. The game will be releasing just a few weeks before Christmas and is expected to be one of those industry-changing titles. (Think Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Witcher 3.) Set in a dystopian cyberpunk future, the game boasts incredible customization and branching narratives.

There’s unlikely to be a better game at the 60 dollar price point maybe ever again, so this is absolutely one worth picking up. Originally, this game was set to release last spring. But given multiple delays to polish the title, it makes a fitting conclusion to our Xbox gift guide.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to ask.

People today are better informed than ever about what products are available out there. Growing up, my best guess was coming out of what I could learn from my Nintendo Power magazines. Today, game shows are streamed for millions of people to see. Everyone knows what titles are coming out, and what ones they’re interested in. Game trailers are all over Youtube. So don’t be afraid to sit and talk with the geek or nerd in your life and ask them what they want! You’re very unlikely to surprise them with a shocking gift that is just what they wanted. It’s just not the way these things happen anymore.

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