Game On Gift Guide: Power up with gifts of Halo, Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Adventure Time

It is time to step up your gifting game. Unlocking the achievement of being on your coveted giftee list should be rewarded with sweet schtuff that shows how much you like your recipient. Unless you can conjour some floating coins for them (and if so, can we be pals?), we have some other suggestions below for gamers of the tabletop and console variety. Of course, the list below includes actual, y’know, games but also items connected to gaming culture.

And look, since you are bestowing these items on a lucky loved one, it only makes sense for you to kill an entire afternoon and night playing with them following a holiday turkey binge. Right?

Keep on the look out for Play Time, our next gift guide dedicated to toys! And don't miss our prevous gift guide installments below:

Gateway Nerd Gift Guide: Gifts to introduce fledgling fans to the stories you love

Get Creative Gift Guide: Fresh finds for fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings

Fan Sights Gift Guide: Steven Spielberg, Batman, X-Men and Sherlock gather for very important viewing

Paper Cuts Gift Guide: Books about Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Doctor Who, The Expanse, Game of Thrones

Playtime Gift Guide: Epic toy picks with Batman, Indiana Jones, Black Widow...and William Shatner?

Live It Up Gift Guide: Geek lifestyle gifts from Firefly, Hellboy, The Hobbit, Star Trek, and more

Freak Out Gift Guide: Cheeky, drinky, scary ideas with DC Bombshells, Game of Thrones, Captain America, and Battlestar Galactica

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    A decade following its debut, Halo 2 – and the entire series -- has earned a spot in the gaming pantheon and this Master Chief Collection is quite simply the best, most gorgeous and a frankly kick-ass way to celebrate. Offering the complete story of our protagonist, H:TMCC has a total of 45 campaigns from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary (entirely re-mastered), Halo 3 and Halo 4, all unlocked from the very beginning. Also included is access to the new live-action digital series, Halo: Nightfall, and the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. The Master Chief Collection is available for Xbox One for $60, and is a damn fine gift for new and experienced gamers. But because we’re feeling all Santa-like, we here at Blastr will also be giving away this H:TMCC VIP kit (valued at more than $500), which is loaded with a customized MadPax backpack, customized Xbox One controller, customized Vmoda headphones, and customized New Era Snapback. Keep an eye on our Twitter handle for more info. – Aaron Sagers

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    It’s been around for approximately 80 years, and during that time this Parker Brothers classic has seen its share of seasonal and tie-in versions to try and keep the board game version of capitalism fresh. One of the latest iterations might be our favorite. It basically keeps the original concept in place, but adds walker-filled twists. Instead of a thimble? How about playing as Rick’s iconic hat, or Michonne’s katana. Instead of hotels? Collect prison guard towers. If you’re looking to add some stakes to this holiday staple, this bloody spin that features zombie herd attacks is an easy way to do it. ($40) - Trent Moore

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    Slot car racing, while fun, it can become repetitive over time (and the time is "over the age of 9"). Not Anki DRIVE, which is both a toy and a game. Each car has its own "build," which you control on your iPhone; while one car may have better weapons (well, virtual ones), the other has a heavier shield. This, plus upgrading and leveling systems, brings some of the challenging and fun aspects of videogames to your living room. ($150) - Carol Pinchefsky

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    Want to stuff your loved ones stocking with something less obvious than an EA game? Go for space sim Elite: Dangerous, where docking a ship with stolen goods takes testicular/ovarian fortitude and serious lateral thinking. Yes, there's a learning curve … but there's also 400 billion star systems. With some of the best graphics and sound of 2014, it's a cosmos your giftee will want to be immersed as well as a great excuse to buy an Oculus Rift. E:D releases on December 16. (Note: Instead of the game, purchase a gift card here, so your giftee can create his/her own account.) ($50) - Carol Pinchefsky

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    By now, if you’re into tabletop gaming at all, you’re no doubt familiar with Munchkin, the betrayal and humor-filled fantasy card game that’s spawned countless sequels, expansions, tie-ins, and spinoffs. You might be shopping for someone who already has Munchkin,Star Munchkin, Munchkin Fu, Munchkin Axe Cop and Munchkin Zombies, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of Munchkin gifts to give. Now, Finn and Jake have joined the Munchkin family, so you can take your gaming to the Land of Ooo. If that’s not your speed, check out the new Munchkin Pathfinder set as a gift for your favorite Dungeon Master. ($25) - Matthew Jackson

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    Sure, the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS take most of the spotlight these days, but there are still some nifty ways to game on the go if you’re into the retro stuff. Enter the Retro Duo. This nifty little device essentially looks like an old Sega Nomad — but instead of Genesis games, it plays NIntendo’s vast library of NES and SNES titles. Stats claim it’ll run a cool eight hours on a charge, and it also includes a video out option to play on a full-size television if the included screen is feeling too tiny. If you know someone with a stack of old SNES games sitting in the closet, this could be the best gift they never knew they wanted. ($80) - Trent Moore

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    What do you get the retro gamer in your life, if not a retro game? This, and it’s a perfect Christmas option. Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, written by Guardian Games Editor Keith Stuart, includes a boatload of concept art and pics from the genesis of the, well, Sega Genesis. It also includes an excellent history of the creation of Sega’s most famous console, and interviews with the folks who made the console and some of its most iconic games. It captures a slice of mostly-forgotten life in the video game world, and the gorgeous full-color pages really gives the concept art and game images a new life. ($55) - Trent Moore

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    For those gamers with a flare for music (and those still mourning the slow death of Rock Band), Harmonix has introduced the next level in musical gaming with Disney’s Fantasia: Music Evolved. Using more than 30 songs with 60+ remixes (i.e. Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"), you can create versions of popular tunes and go head-to-head in multiplayer mode. Become the ultimate maestro and live out those abandoned dreams of becoming a rock star with this gesture-based game on the Xbox One with Kinect. ($30) - Cher Martinetti 

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    Nothing brings more Whovian holiday drama than an aggressive assault of extraterrestrial cyborgs bent on annihilating mankind. Fill a mug of Christmas cheer and play this awesome Doctor Who variant of the classic Risk board game as one of five relentless Dalek armies invading Earth in the early 20th Century, searching for an ancient artifact while the notorious Doctor tries to snuff out your plans. Exterminate boredom while you attempt to conquer the planet and the universe. ($50) - Jeff Spry

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    In Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, you play a ranger who finds himself, well, merged with a revenge-seeking wraith. It has the open-world, freeform gameplay that makes the Assassin's Creed and Arkham series' so much fun to play -- but with an epic Tolkien style. Want to stab an orc in the face, or stealth him to death? The choice up to you. Only know this: Slay one enemy, and another takes his place. But if he lives, he'll become more powerful. And he'll remember you. Mordor is gorgeous, dynamic, extremely playable, and especially well-timed as the cinematic adventures to Middle Earth are at an end. The gamer in your life will thank you. In Elvish. ($60) - Carol Pinchefsky

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