This year the Nintendo Airstream was back on the road to showcase some of the year’s best titles for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Although it looks small on the outside, you’d be surprised at how many Nintendo goodies can be packed inside. The Airstream was decked out in holiday cheer (and fantastic Super Mario Bros. throw pillows that I briefly wondered if I could fit into my purse) to highlight great gift ideas for gamers.

It’s been a landmark year for Nintendo fans, from the colorful ink-filled fun of Splatoon to the unending appeal of Super Mario Maker. Those games, plus other recent releases, are all fantastic gift options for the gamer in your life no matter how old they are.

Wii U

Super Mario Maker – This innovative game is on a lot of “best of” lists for the year, and it’s easy to see why. There’s no better way to celebrate 30 years of Super Mario Bros. than by putting your own personal touch on the classic franchise. Creativity paired with a healthy dose of nostalgia makes Super Mario Maker a game that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Splatoon – With regular downloadable content releases in the form of new maps and Splatfest tournaments, Splatoon could be a gift that keeps giving this holiday season. Bright colors and characters filled to the brim with personality have made this family game one of Nintendo’s biggest hits of the year.

Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival – If a slower-paced, stress-free game is more suited for someone on your holiday list, amiibo Festival combines the charm of the Animal Crossing franchise with sweet and silly mini-games for all ages.

splatoon competitive games nintendo airstream

Nintendo 3DS

Yo-kai Watch – It’s easy to compare Yo-Kai Watch to Pokémon, and the game already seems to be on its way to enjoying the same popularity. Nintendo is even offering a special 2DS bundle that comes with the game installed for just $99.99, an incredible deal for someone who doesn’t yet own the handheld system.

Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon – Speaking of Pokémon, the most recent release in the Mystery Dungeon franchise is another great title to pick up for “gotta-catch-em-all” fans. While it’s more of an RPG, the randomly generated dungeons are filled with enemies and strategy-based battles that should hold the interest of anyone who’s a fan of Pokémon.

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash – One look at the Chibi-Robo amiibo and you’ll be saying “awww” before you know it. The amiibo comes with the side-scrolling adventure Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, which is a platformer that might feel familiar to gamers who have played Metroid. Use Chibi-Robo’s power cord to zoom through the levels and solve puzzles to reach the next objective.

This holiday season you can also find big name games that you might haven’t have already picked up, like LEGO Dimensions and Guitar Hero Live, for the Wii U. And for the gamer who seems to have just about everything, don’t forget to check out the Nintendo eShop for lesser-known, exclusive titles like FAST Racing NEO and SteamWorld Heist.

This article was written by

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in the Seattle area. She's also a content editor for, and can often be found covered in paint and glue making crafts for her blog Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Kelly worked as the community manager on the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies.