5 video game books to start (or complete) a bookshelf

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Cover to The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia. Image via Nintendo/Dark Horse.

The Legend of Zelda Goddess Collection

Technically, this collection spans three separate titles: the Hyrule Historia, Art & Artifacts, and the upcoming Encyclopedia, which will come in both in a regular and special edition that looks like the cartridge of the original game next month.

However, for the Zelda fan in your life, these three books will absolutely make for great gifts. The Historia focuses on the lore of the series — although it’s not updated for recent titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — while the other two books are pretty much exactly what they sound like. Alas, even the Encyclopedia won’t cover Breath of the Wild; you’ll have to look at other titles, like Creating a Champion, for that.

If you have to pick just one, go with either the Historia or the special edition of the Encyclopedia; if you’re ready to splurge, pick up a matched set of the three books, with each title representing one of the main goddesses of the series.

The Art of God of War

There are a lot of options for good video game artbooks out there. The Final Fantasy series even spans multiple volumes — with the second title set for release this November — but for standalone artbooks for triple-A franchises this year, it’s hard to top The Art of God of War.

It’s big, it’s beautiful, and like many similar titles, it makes sure to give some extra information on the making of the game.

Of course, other good options here include The Art of Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Art of Overwatch.

A History of Video Games in 64 Objects

For the gamer in your life who loves the story of gaming — from 1947 all the way to 2016 — A History of Video Games in 64 Objects, which inspired this very list since Dey Street Books sent it my way, would be the best option.

There are beautiful shots of the objects themselves, including the original PC version of Tetris, the entirety of Pong contained on one chip, and even the classic Wii Remote. Each object also has a few pages dedicated to it — and there’s more reading material in the back thanks to the bibliography.

The best part? Pokémon has two separate entries. No points for guessing what they are.

Next: 6 essential games for a possible N64 Classic Edition

Gamers: what game-related titles are your favorites in your collection? Let us know in the comments below.