Best Gifts for Gamers: Kids’ Consoles and Accessories

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Best Gifts for Gamers: Kids’ Consoles and Accessories

Playstations make great gifts for kids of any age, and a few accessories can let them do even more

Jennifer Allen Jennifer Allen
  • Swansea University, Staffordshire University
Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology since 2010. Her work has been published in Mashable, TechRadar, and many other publications. lifewire's Editorial Guidelines updated on April 24, 2024

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game console

  • Nintendo Switch OLED
  • Sony PlayStation 5 Ultra Slim Edition
  • Microsoft Xbox Series X


  • Backbone One (USB-C) PlayStation version
  • Backbone One (Lightning) PlayStation Edition
  • PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller
  • Xbox Wireless Controller


  • Logitech G Pro X Wireless
  • Xbox Wireless Headset

Driving game accessories

  • Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Steering Wheel

  • Can be taken with you or used with your TV

  • Lots of exciting games for kids

  • Great for couch multiplayer gaming

  • Not as fast or advanced as other latest consoles

  • Can be quite sophisticated

For most kids, the Nintendo Switch OLED is the perfect gaming console to consider. It has all the big Nintendo franchises you probably grew up with, thanks to games like The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom Tears and Super Mario Marvel. Games like these are fun and sure to appeal to kids of all ages. Many also have features that help younger children figure out what to do. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also great for providing a game that the whole family can play and enjoy together.

The console is a bit delicate for younger hands, but very versatile. You can use it as a handheld gaming console, and its 7-inch OLED screen looks sharp and crisp (if the resolution offered is lower than the PS5 or Xbox Series X), but you can also hook it up to a TV so the whole family can gather around Together. You can detach the console's Joy-Con controllers, so there's no need to buy additional controllers for the first two players.

If you want a console that the whole family can enjoy, the Nintendo Switch OLED is a great choice.

  • powerful hardware

  • Many exciting exclusive games

  • One of the best controllers

  • Most online multiplayer games require payment

  • expensive

The latest version of the Sony PlayStation 5, the Sony PlayStation 5 Slim, is a good console choice for older kids who can play more mature games. Some games, like The Last of Us and the God of War series, are still too old for them (but perfect for you to try in secret). Nonetheless, there are more suitable games, such as the Uncharted series or Gran Truism 7, that can entertain children with beautiful graphics and visuals.

The console is simple to use, with a simple user interface that makes it easy to find what you're doing. Separate from the games is the media section of the streaming app, where you can also watch 4K Blu-rays if you so choose. It's great as an all-in-one entertainment device for the older kids in your life.

One of the highlights of the PS5 is the DualSense controller, which feels great in the hand. With haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, you can feel part of the game better than other regular controllers. I loved traveling through New York City in Marvel's Spider-Man games; the triggers made me feel more in control.

The only downside is that the Sony PlayStation 5 is quite expensive. Additionally, a PS Plus membership is required if you want to play online, but popular free-to-play games like Fortnite are exempt from this requirement.

  • An Xbox Game Pass subscription adds incredible value

  • The game looks great

  • Works with Xbox One accessories

  • Bulky console

  • There are relatively few truly exclusive products

Microsoft Xbox Series X It's the company's most powerful console. It's heavy, so you'll need to find space for it (or you can always opt for the less powerful but smaller Xbox Series S), but it's sure to be a hit with kids. Refreshingly, it works with all older Xbox One accessories, so if you've owned an Xbox One before, you can use the same controllers, headsets, and other add-ons, which can significantly reduce the cost.

Continuing the trend of backward compatibility, Microsoft's Xbox Series X can also play many games from the previous generation. Buying a Microsoft Series Xbox X means your games will get 4K-level detail, and Xbox Game Pass is the best option. The service works like Netflix, you pay a monthly subscription fee to access hundreds of games, and new games are added every month.

For kids, there's entertainment for the little ones like Bluey, Paw Patrol and the Forza series. Exclusive games like Halo and Gears of War can be violent for younger generations.

  • As comfortable to use as a PS5 controller

  • Works with all phones with USB-C port

  • Still not the same as playing on a real console

  • a bit fragile

Mobile gaming has come a long way in the past few years, and many mobile games are just as fun and fulfilling as their console counterparts. That's where Backbone One for the iPhone 15 series and Android (USB-C) PlayStation version comes in. It's the ideal accessory to solve the awkward problem of using your phone's touch screen to control operations. If you're going on a trip and want to entertain your kids, hand over your phone and plug this controller accessory into it.

In addition to hundreds of mobile games, you can also use it to stream from your PlayStation via PS Remote Play, or use GeForce Now or Xbox Cloud Streaming, greatly expanding your gaming options.

Two sets of magnetic adapters mean it fits your phone well, while the D-pad and other buttons feel good under your fingers. If you prefer, you can also use standard ABXY buttons. While it's not as good as using a regular gaming console or a dedicated portable device, it's a relatively cheap way to turn your phone into a mobile gaming device when the opportunity arises.

  • Works with older iPhones

  • Model selection

  • Not as good as an ordinary game console

  • Not compatible with iPhone 15

If you own an older iPhone and want to play games more happily, you need Backbone One for iPhone (Lightning). It works on all iPhones with a Lightning port, so we're talking about the iPhone 14 and iPhone 6s. Like other Backbones, you can connect it to your phone via a magnetic adapter, turning it into a full controller. Pass this to your kids while you travel and they'll be happy to be able to play games more often than just on their phone.

As before, Backbone One for iPhone (Lightning) works with all iPhone games. This means Apple Arcade, games purchased on the App Store, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, or PS Remote Play. Anything compatible with the controller will work here. It's more responsive and more fun to use than tapping the screen like before, and there are a variety of models to choose from, whether PS way or ABXY.

Backbone One (Lightning) for iPhone has never been as satisfying as a regular gaming console. Still, if you want a relatively cheap solution, or your kids only play games occasionally, this is a great way to go compared to buying a new console.

  • Tactile feedback (vibration) is great

  • Rear buttons can be adjusted to be easier or harder to press depending on the game situation

  • expensive

  • Built-in microphone not very good

The PlayStation 5 already has a controller, but if you want to bring the family together, you'll need to purchase an additional Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller. It's a worthwhile investment that will keep the kids from fighting over who's next to play, and there are plenty of co-op and local multiplayer games on the PS5.

The Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller is more than just an ordinary controller. More attractive to use. It features haptic feedback, an upgraded vibration that provides a more accurate feel to everything you do in the game.

It also features adaptive triggers that change the tension of the rear button, making it harder or easier to press depending on your gameplay.

You can squeeze it to feel more control instead of just hitting a trigger button to swing objects or speed up. It's incredibly responsive and completely changes the feel of the game. In racing games like Gran Turismo 7, this pretty much means there's no need for separate driving accessories, as you always feel in control. In games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2, you can wander around New York in a very satisfying way.

The Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller also has a built-in microphone for you to use when chatting with friends while gaming. It's not as good as a dedicated headphone/microphone setup, but it's a great starting point for the odd occasion your child might be hanging out with friends. The dedicated share button is also great for sharing clips and images of what you're doing.

  • Available in various colors

  • Ergonomic design

  • Use standard batteries instead of rechargeable batteries

The Xbox Wireless Controller needs to charge quickly rather than requiring you to have batteries ready at all times, but it's otherwise great. It's designed to fit nicely in your hands and is small enough to fit in children's hands while still feeling comfortable in adult hands.

With a variety of colors to choose from, you can quickly make sure every member of the family has a controller, reducing arguments over who gets what. There are also various options. The controller has the typical triggers and ABXY buttons, but now there's a dedicated share button, which means you can tap it and save a screenshot or record a clip of what you just expanded. It's fun to share your wins or anything humorous that happened.

Almost all controllers will pair with your PC, but pairing the Xbox Wireless Controller is much simpler than other controllers. So if you or your kids also play PC games, then it works well as a controller for PC and Xbox. For a gaming family, this is great value for money.

  • Excellent sound quality

  • Comfortable design

  • Many wired connection options

  • Microphone could be better

  • No application support for console

There are many different gaming headsets around, and it’s crucial to choose one that’s right for your specific console. While they both work with PC and Switch (if they have a wired connection), you'll generally need one dedicated solution for PlayStation and one dedicated for Xbox. Once you've figured that out, if you're a PS4 or PS5 owner, it's time to give the Logitech G Pro X Wireless a try. It has a solid build but is very comfortable, which isn't always guaranteed even with the best gaming headsets.

It has a built-in adjustable microphone that works well, but the highlight is how good the Logitech G Pro X Wireless sounds. The Logitech G Pro The 3.5mm option even means you can use it with an Xbox, but we recommend opting for the wireless option.

No matter how you listen, the Logitech G Pro X Wireless does a great job of blocking out sound thanks to its sound-isolating features. It won't block the loudest noise, but your kids will still hear it when you call their name at dinner. Ultimately, this is a great option that ensures your kids can enjoy some privacy and you don't have to hear game sounds all the time.

  • No dongle required

  • comfortable

  • great bass

  • Sound sometimes lags between console and headphones

For Xbox users, the Xbox Wireless Headset is a good headset choice. It's affordable, so you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars, and your kids will still enjoy a more immersive experience than relying on TV speakers. Refreshingly, the Xbox Wireless Headset features an equalizer that you or your kids can adjust, and it's all available in the Xbox Accessories app you probably already have installed.

The Xbox Wireless Headset sounds great right out of the box, with strong bass, perfect for playing the roar of the engines in Forza Horizon 5 or the exhilarating soundtrack from Halo Infinite. As needed, the Xbox Wireless Headset is very comfortable, so your child won't mind wearing it for long periods of time. It can also handle the occasional toss-up. It might be a little small for adults, but that's what I like about using it for kids because it doesn't feel too big for them.

Xbox Wireless Headset comes standard with six months of Dolby Atmos support, improving audio quality. The only downside is that latency, which is the gap between when the game plays music and when you hear it, can be a little low. It's not big, so your kids probably won't notice, but if you're looking for headphones that you'll be using too, you might find it a little annoying.

  • Powerful force feedback

  • Truly immersive steering

  • Large and difficult to store

  • Pedal feels stiff

If your kids love playing racing games and you want them to learn the basics of real driving, the Logitech G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel is a fun and rewarding way to enhance the experience. This kit is pricey but has foot pedals so you get an almost realistic driving experience.

Steering feel is great, with 900 degrees of rotation ensuring you're always in complete control. It takes practice compared to using a game controller, but the ergonomics are excellent and the force feedback quickly teaches you how to drive effectively. Whether you're playing Gran Turismo 7 or Forza Motorsport, it's a great time.

Under the wheel are paddle shifters for selecting manual gears, while the pedals are well constructed and provide clutch control as well as acceleration or braking. The pedals can be a little stiff at times, but that's arguably the case with car pedals as well. Regardless, if your child is passionate about real driving, this is the closest opportunity they can get for the time being.

Do you have a PlayStation? There are also versions for PS5 and PS4.

Are you looking for more gift recommendations? Check out our roundup of tech gifts and the best gaming consoles for any occasion.

We also have a roundup of tech deals, including the best Apple deals and Samsung deals.