The 5 Best Games to Buy Your Parents This Holiday

Lucas DeRuyter

If you’re reading this article, there’s a pretty reasonable chance that you have moved out of your parents’ place and are trying to make it on your own. There’s also a pretty good chance that there are a couple of last generation consoles taking up space somewhere in your childhood home. The combination of these circumstances makes this holiday season the perfect time to try to get your parents into gaming.

Video games are a hobby that can be enjoyed regardless of age and can connect people from around the world. Now that you’re not around to bug them, your parents have more time than ever to adopt this rewarding recreational activity. With winter coming on and the holiday season rapidly approaching, here are the five best games to purchase for your parents as you convince them to begin their fledgling gaming careers.

Persona 5

Help your parents relive a better version of their youth.

While it would be fair to assume that your folks would not be able to relate to the supernatural exploits of a bunch of lovable Japanese high-schoolers, consider this: How many stories have you heard about your parents’ high school days? Probably almost too many. Persona 5 perfectly captures and presents this nostalgic and impossibly charming version of high school to players and is perhaps the best game of 2017 to buy for your parents.

Retired or nearing retirement parents might be the perfect demographic for Persona 5, as they actually have enough free time to play this exceptionally long JRPG. This ATLUS title takes around 120 hours to complete without skipping story content. While they might be a bit overwhelmed at first, you folks could easily get engrossed in this beautiful story and world. By the way, P5 is also available as little as 40 bucks right now and can run on last generation’s PlayStation 3 with hardly any drops in quality.

Wii Sports Resort

Fun, healthy, and approachable.

The Wii, perhaps more than any other console, made games that every member of the family could enjoy. It’s no surprise, then, that there are plenty of games for the Wii that are perfect to start your parent’s relationship with video games.

Wii Sports Resort might be the perfect game for those new to the entertainment medium to play on a quiet at home. It’s fun, easy to learn, and is endorsed by the American Heart Association as a means of light exercise. While it may not be narratively deep or compelling, it’s a great jumping off point and even better gift for older individuals to get into gaming.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection

Over the top action.

Metal Gear Solid invented the concept of games presenting their story as a cinematic narrative. The majority of each of the games are completable without having to kill or even fight enemies; with the exception of bosses. While fighting enemies can be fun – and a bit difficult for those not used to shooters – the game actually rewards players for avoiding confrontation and not killing enemies.

These elements make the MGS series a perfect starting point for your parents to get into video games. Sure, the games are a bit ridiculous and campy, but so are most of the 80s action movies that your folks absolutely have to watch whenever they air on IFC or AMC. This collection of groundbreaking games is also procurable for less than thirty bucks; although it would be more fun if were instead labeled as a “box set.”

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

A classic Zelda experience.

With Breath of the Wild revolutionizing open world games as we know them, there has never been a better time to convince people to play a Zelda title. However, your parents probably don’t own a notoriously hard to come by Nintendo Switch. Thankfully another great Zelda game – Twilight Princess – is available on both the GameCube and Wii.

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is probably the best place for parents to jump into the Zelda franchise. It’s fun, linear in a way that doesn’t feel limiting, and is one of the more narratively compelling Zelda titles. While it may not be Breath of the Wild, this more traditional Zelda game is a better starting point for older players who may find BotW’s open world a bit overwhelming.


Better than reality TV.

This ATLUS title is essentially the video game version of a trashy romance novel or a high stakes version of The Bachelor. This, of course, means that it would make the perfect gift to the parents of any household where these programs and books are commonplace.

While Catherine is a respectable puzzle-platformer, its main draw is its enticing narrative. The game allows players to take control of Vincent, a lay-about who accidentally cheats on his longtime girlfriend – also named Katherine – and has to deal with the ethical and physical ramifications of sleeping with Catherine. Your parents will even be able to control how good of a person Vincent is by answering dozens of subtitle personality questions. The nine unique endings will also allow your folks to replay it to their heart’s content.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.