Mike Minotti’s retro gaming gift guide Mike Minotti’s retro gaming gift guide
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As we approach the gift-giving season, I wanted to suggest a few items that I think will delight retro gaming fans.

I tried to pick a mix of kinds of gifts and different price ranges, so hopefully you’ll find some ideas here for the gamers in your life that remember what it was like to change the TV to channel 3 before turning their console on.

Super Mario RPG

This is Geno's story.
This is Geno’s story.

Normal price: $60
Store: Amazon

Super Mario RPG was one of the best games on the SNES, and this new remake by Nintendo for the Switch captures the original’s magic with a few nice upgrades. It’s still very much that classic experience, but the new visuals and other touches help the game feel a bit more modern. This is a great gift for fans of the originals or even for younger players that might be ready for their first RPG (or first non-Pokémon RPG, anyway).


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Star Ocean: The Second Story R

What a pretty game.

Normal price: $50
Store: Amazon

Speaking of recent JRPG remakes, Second Story R is a gorgeous new version of the best entry in the Star Ocean series. Originally released for the PlayStation, this remake adds some gorgeous HD-2D visuals. Seriously, this is one of the prettiest pixel-based games you’ll ever see. This title is available on Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC. Perfect for retro JRPG and original PlayStation fans.

Video Game of the Year by Jordan Minor

Video Game of the Year.

Normal price: $20-28
Store: Target

Jordan Minor’s book is a fun way to go through gaming history, as he looks through the titles that have made the biggest impact on the medium. This is a great gift choice if you don’t want to give an actual game. It also features contributions from some of my friends, like Jeff Grubb and Dan Rykert.

LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System

Best LEGO set ever?

Normal price: $270
Store: LEGO

If you’re looking for a bigger gift for someone with a nostalgic love for gaming, you can’t do much better than the LEGO NES. It’s fun to put together and makes for a great display piece. It even has a little crank that you can turn to make the LEGO TV Mario move through the classic 1-1 level. There are a few cool Mario LEGO sets out there, but this is the best.

Mega Man X Water Bottle

Even robots need to hydrate.

Normal price: $24
Store: Fangamer

Here’s something that’s a lot more affordable. And as a big Mega Man fan myself, I’ve got to include something from the series here. The design on this water bottle should look familiar to any fans of Mega Man X for the SNES.

Snake? Snake?? SNAAAAAKE!!!

Normal Price: $29
Store: Fangamer

I picked this pin set up myself at the last PAX, and I love it. It basically gives you all the pieces you need to create any kind of codec call from the original Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation. Each lenticular pin can also show two different expressions for each character. This is a super fun gift for any MGS fans.

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