Best Last Minute Gifts for Gamers in 2023

Last minute shopping panic.

The clock is ticking, and you need the perfect Christmas or birthday gift for the gamer in your life—fast. Life’s commitments be it work, family engagements, or the whirlwind of social events can often leave us scrambling for presents as the eleventh-hour approaches. But don’t worry, your gamer’s delight doesn’t hinge on a timely delivery truck. This guide is your lifeline for snagging the “Best Last Minute Gifts for Gamers” without the stress of shipping deadlines.

The key to success is to embrace the digital age where instant gratification reigns supreme. Whether they’re a console loyalist or a PC enthusiast, we’ve curated a treasure trove of digital gifts that cater to any platform preference. These gifts don’t just save you time; they’re a thoughtful nod to your gamer’s digital lifestyle. From game codes to online memberships, our recommendations come with the ease and speed of a few clicks—no packaging, no waiting.

Dive in as we guide you through an array of last-minute digital gift ideas that are guaranteed to be a hit with any gamer—be they console warriors or PC aficionados. Plus, we’ve organized our top picks by console for effortless navigation, ensuring you find the perfect match, no matter their gaming allegiance.

The Key is Getting A Digital Code

When buying any of the last-minute gift ideas on our list the key is for you to buy the digital copy and receive a digital code for the gift you are looking at.  With all of the products on our list, you will have the option to buy either a physical or digital copy. Both digital and physical versions of these products will work the same, but when you buy the digital version you don’t need to wait for it to be shipped. Instead, you will instantly receive a digital code that can be quickly and easily redeemed to receive the gift.

So when you are making your purchase on Amazon be on the lookout for the words digital copy and digital code. They will be the clues that tell you that you are not buying the physical version of the gift. Below are some images that show what you should be looking for.

digital onlybuy digital example

Please note that some products, specifically video games, may not have digital copies available for download or might only have certain editions of the game available for digital purchase/download.

Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S Gift Ideas

Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - Cross-Gen Bundle - Xbox Series X [Digital Code]The most popular gift to give that Xbox owner in your life is a new game. There are always new games coming out, which means that there are always new gift-giving options available. Plus, you can find a ton of games on Amazon that have digital copies available for purchase. Below are some links for the current best selling Xbox video games that are available on Amazon.

Not familiar with what digital copies of video games are or how they differ from physical copies? You can learn more about digital copies along with their pros and cons here. However, it is worth pointing out that if you are shopping for someone who has the Xbox One All-Digital Edition console or the new Xbox Series S console, both of which don’t have an optical drive, digital copies of video games are your only option for those versions of the Xbox console.

If you don’t know what video game(s) the person you are shopping for wants, or if you can’t find a digital copy of the game you are looking for, or if the person you are shopping for prefers physical video game copies, don’t worry. There are other great gift options for you to look at.

Xbox Gift Card

$25 Xbox Gift Card [Digital Code]

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Xbox Gift Cards are another great last-minute gift option. You can buy digital versions of these gift cards and redeem them instantly. They come in several different denominations ranging from $10 to $100. You can purchase them from Amazon here.

An Xbox Gift Card can be used to buy and download Xbox games, apps, TV shows, movies, and more. Unlike some other types of gift cards, there aren’t any fees or expiration dates that you need to be concerned about.

Immediately after purchasing a digital version of an Xbox Gift Card from Amazon, you receive a code that allows the person you give it to redeem it on their console and have the value of the gift card added to their account for future purchases.

Xbox Game Pass Membership

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – 3 Month Membership – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows [Digital Code]

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With the retirement of Xbox Live Gold in 2023, the gaming landscape on Xbox consoles has been redefined by the Xbox Game Pass. This membership isn’t just a replacement; it’s a significant upgrade that has reshaped the way gamers access and enjoy a plethora of gaming titles. Xbox Game Pass Core is at the heart of this transformation, offering a service that has taken the baton from Xbox Live Gold and sprinted ahead with more features and benefits.

Let’s delve into the various Xbox Game Pass Membership options and break down what is included with each:

Xbox Game Pass Core

  • Online console multiplayer for all games.
  • A catalog of over 30 games is available to play at no extra charge.
  • Additional deals and discounts on games.

For console players, this foundational service provides a substantial library of games across genres and generations. While Xbox Live Gold was revered for online console multiplayer gaming, Game Pass Core seamlessly integrates this feature with the added bonus of a comprehensive game catalog of over 30 games.

Xbox Game Pass Console

  • Access to the Game Pass library on Xbox Consoles.
  • Access to select games the day they are released.
  • Additional deals and discounts on games.

Exclusively designed for Xbox console players, this pass includes all the benefits of the Core tier with a focus on harnessing the power of the console experience. Note: Online multiplayer play is not included with this tier of membership.

Xbox Game Pass for PC

  • Access to the PC games from the Game Pass library.
  • Access to select games the day they are released.
  • Additional deals and discounts on games.
  • EA Play Membership included.

Tailored for the dedicated PC gamer, this membership grants access to a rich library of PC titles, including those from EA Play, making it a haven for those who prefer the precision of keyboard and mouse gameplay. Note: Online multiplayer play is not included with this tier of membership.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • Access to the Game Pass library on Xbox Consoles and PC Platforms.
  • Online console multiplayer for all games.
  • Access to select games the day they are released.
  • Additional deals and discounts on games.
  • EA Play Membership included.
  • Access to the Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The pinnacle of Xbox subscriptions, Ultimate encompasses everything the Core and Console versions offer and goes beyond by including additional perks. Subscribers get access to Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, and cloud gaming, along with the ability to play across both console and PC with online console multiplayer play included.

No matter which Game Pass membership you are looking for flexibility is built-in, as each tier is available in various subscription lengths. Whether you’re considering a short-term 1-month trial or a long-term 12-month commitment, you can find a duration that fits your needs and gifting intentions. Intermediate options like 3-month and 6-month subscriptions are also available, providing a middle ground for those looking to give a substantial gift without the year-long tie-in.

If you are wondering which version of the  Xbox Game Pass Membership to buy I would suggest sticking with either the Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate as both memberships include online console gaming, which is something most Xbox owners will want and enjoy.

Below are links to Xbox Game Pass Memberships at Amazon.

Choosing an Xbox Game Pass Membership is more than just a last-minute gift; it’s an investment in a gamer’s passion. It’s an invitation to explore new worlds, challenge oneself with a diverse array of games, and connect with a vibrant community. Instantly available for purchase, it’s the ideal solution for those seeking the best last-minute gifts for gamers, delivering endless excitement at the click of a button.

PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 Gift Ideas

Games

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy PlayStation 4 with Free Upgrade to the Digital PS5 Version

The first and perhaps easiest thing to get for the video game fan in your life is a game. If the person you are shopping for likes digital copies of games, they can be a terrific last-minute gift. Unfortunately, since Sony has discontinued offering digital codes for PlayStation games at Amazon and other retailers, buying someone a game at the last minute can be more difficult. However, if you find a game that is in stock on the Amazon website their Amazon Prime service can deliver things extremely fast.

Below are links to the bestselling physical game titles at Amazon.

If you aren’t familiar with what digital copies of video games are or if you want to purchase one you can learn more about them along with their pros and cons here. Note: For those who are not familiar, there is a Digital Edtion of the PlayStation 5 console, which doesn’t have a disc drive, meaning that digital games are the only option for that version of the PS5 console. 

If you can’t find a copy of the game you are looking for or can’t get it delivered in time there are other gift options for PlayStation owners that you can opt for.

PlayStation Store Gift Card

$50 PlayStation Store Gift Card [Digital Code]

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Getting a Playstation Store Gift Card is a great option. You can get them here from Amazon and they come in various denominations from $10 to $100.

PlayStation Store Gift Cards can be used to buy both new and classic PlayStation games as well as game add-ons that can be downloaded. These gift cards can also be used to rent or buy movies and TV shows that you can stream or download to the PlayStation consoles.

When you purchase one of these PlayStation Store Gift Cards from Amazon you will receive a code that allows the person who redeems it on their console to have the money added onto their account for future purchases.

PlayStation Plus Membership

$70 PlayStation Plus – Wallet Funds [Digital Code]

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If you want to buy something that will be sure to be used by the person who receives it a PlayStation Plus Membership is the perfect gift.

The PlayStation Plus Membership gives each member several benefits. The main motivation for having a membership is that it allows people to play multiplayer games online with their friends. However, if your friends aren’t online when you are playing you can still play with random people online. The second thing a PlayStation Plus Membership gives people is access to free games each month. The third thing members get is exclusive deals and discounts in the PlayStation Store.

You can purchase a PlayStation Plus Gift Card for varying amounts with all of them being able to be applied toward a PlayStation Plus Membership. Click here to see the prices of the various options that are available. Just like with the other digital purchases for the PlayStation, after purchasing a membership you will receive a code that will allow the membership to be redeemed on the PlayStation console by whoever you give it to.

Nintendo Switch Gift Ideas

Games

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Nintendo Switch

Just like the other gaming consoles out there the most popular gift option for Nintendo Switch owners is a new game. And like the PlayStation and Xbox systems, there is a multitude of Nintendo Switch games that you can buy a digital copy of on Amazon. You can see them here.

If you don’t know what a digital copy of a video game is or how it differs from a physical copy you can read our article where we discuss the pros and cons of both digital and physical video game copies.

Like the other video game consoles, if you purchase a digital copy of a Nintendo Switch game you will receive a code that allows a digital copy of the game to be downloaded onto the user’s console.

What do you do if you can’t find the game you are looking for or don’t know what game the person you are shopping for wants? Don’t worry Nintendo has other great options for last-minute shoppers who are looking for gift ideas.

Nintendo eShop Gift Card

$20 Nintendo eShop Gift Card [Digital Code]

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When you don’t know what game(s) the person you are shopping for would like a Nintendo eShop gift card is the perfect gift. An eShop gift card allows the user to purchase and download new games and apps directly from their Nintendo Switch console.

Just as with all of the gift options on this list, when you buy a digital version of a Nintendo eShop gift card you will get a digital code that can quickly be added to the recipient’s Nintendo eShop account in seconds so they purchase new games or apps right away.

You can buy Nintendo eShop gift cards from Amazon here. They are available in denominations that range from $5 to $99.

Nintendo Switch Online Membership

Nintendo Switch Online 12-Month Individual Membership [Digital Code]

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The Nintendo Switch Online Membership is pretty much what you expect. It is a subscription service that allows you to play multiplayer games online. In addition to online gameplay, it also gives you access to play classic NES games and saves your game data to the cloud so you don’t have to worry about losing your progress.

It should also be noted that online gameplay isn’t a part of some Nintendo Switch games. However, a lot of games do include online gameplay and the number will continue to increase as game developers continue to make use of this functionality.

You can buy the Nintendo Switch Online Memberships here. Memberships can be purchased for both individuals or for families (where multiple people play on the same Switch) and range in duration from 3 to 12 months.

Personalization: Make Your Digital Gift Stand Out

Even in the realm of digital gifts, personal touches can make a world of difference. Here are a few ideas to infuse your last-minute digital gift with a bit of heartfelt customization:

  • Custom Messages: Some digital storefronts allow you to include a personal message with your gift. Seize this opportunity to write something memorable that resonates with the recipient’s love for gaming.
  • Creative Presentation: Pair your digital code with a thematic card or a creatively designed email template. Websites like Canva offer gaming-inspired design elements to craft a custom virtual card that’s as unique as the gift itself.
  • Tailored Recommendations: If you’re gifting a subscription service like Xbox Game Pass, accompany your gift with a list of recommended games you think they’ll enjoy. It shows you’ve put thought into their gaming preferences.
  • Virtual Unboxing Experience: This personalization idea is more difficult for most people, but you could create a mini “unboxing” video or a digital scratch-off image that reveals the gift code underneath. It’s a fun, interactive way to mimic the excitement of opening a physical present.

By incorporating these personal touches, you elevate a simple digital transaction into a thoughtful and memorable gift-giving experience. Even when time is short, these details can leave a lasting impression and show your gamer that you care.

Conclusion

In the rush of our busy lives, finding the perfect gift for a gamer doesn’t have to be a source of stress. Digital gifts, with their instant delivery and vast array of options, offer a convenient solution that doesn’t skimp on thoughtfulness. They cater to the modern gamer’s digital preferences and can be personalized to ensure they feel just as special as a hand-wrapped present.

Remember, it’s not about how much time you had to find a gift, but the care you put into choosing something that aligns with their interests. Whether it’s an action-packed new title, a subscription that offers countless gaming adventures, or virtual currency for their favorite online world, these gifts are sure to bring joy and excitement to any gamer’s day.

So take heart, last-minute shopper: your digital gift, chosen with affection and delivered with a personal touch, is every bit as meaningful as one selected weeks in advance. Let this guide help you to confidently select a gift that will be enjoyed and appreciated by the gamer in your life.

Last update on 2024-03-04 at 10:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Dan G.
Dan G.

Dan is a video game enthusiast who has been playing games for over three decades. Starting out as an "old school" gamer, Dan has since embraced the modern age of gaming, thanks in part to his kids who inspired him to explore today's current consoles and games.

With a passion for video games and a desire to help others, Dan has become an expert in the field, specializing in video game consoles and hardware. Through his numerous articles and reviews he enjoys answering questions and helping parents understand the different options available for their kids.

If you're looking for expert advice on video games and consoles, Dan is a go-to source for reliable and informative information.