7 Best Gaming Books To Take On Vacation This Summer

Summer is well underway, and vacations are in full sway. Yet wherever you may go, you'll surely want to bring a bit of gaming along for the ride. Sure, that can include toting around your Nintendo Switch. Yes, technically, you can lug your Xbox Series X through the airport, too. But why not enjoy some relaxing reads instead?

Reading is good for the brain, after all, and these gaming books are good times. Whether they're the latest video game series tie-in novels, deep dives into the movers and shakers of the industry, or exhaustive compendiums stuffed with the sort of lore that lights up our gamer imaginations to the max, be sure to make some room in your suitcase for some good old-fashioned nerdy page-turners.

A Guide To Japanese Role-Playing Games

We begin our list with an incredibly detailed look at nearly three decades of JRPGs. Bitmap Books has pulled out all the stops to showcase this gem of a genre from its ambitious early-eighties roots all the way through to the end of 2020, contextualizing the gradual shift from mimicking Western RPGs to creating something distinctly Eastern.

Remarkably, A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games contains reviews for over 600 titles, covering a range of subgenres. Pokemon, Dragon Quest, and classic Final Fantasy lead the huge list of traditional turn-based RPGs, but there is plenty of room left in the book for tactical fare like Fire Emblem and more action-oriented entries such as Kingdom Hearts and Ys. You'll learn loads of neat details about your all-time favorites and discover a ton of titles that are perhaps too niche to have caught your eye until now.

Get it on Amazon here!

Ask Iwata: Words Of Wisdom From Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's Legendary CEO

In 2015, the gaming industry lost one of its founding icons, not to mention a positively joyful man who brought his love of the medium to the forefront in everything he did. Satoru Iwata served as President and CEO of Nintendo from 2002 until his passing. Before that, Iwata was an eager architect who assisted in the creation of Kirby, Pokemon, and Super Smash Bros.

But Satoru Iwata was so much more than all that, as this book, Ask Iwata, ably demonstrates. Named after the titular interviews that Mr. Iwata frequently hosted covering everything from specific games and hardware to the importance of a happy life, Ask Iwata is a collection of insights from a genius of the gaming world who left us far too soon. His leadership shines through the pages, as well as his compassion, his eye for honorable business, and most of all, his humanity.

Get it on Amazon here!

Destiny Grimoire Anthology Volume 4: Royal Will

The Destiny games are filled with glimpses into a much larger degree of worldbuilding than players often experience firsthand. The lore is baked into the setting we explore as we run and gun our way past myriad obstacles, and the desire to learn more can be positively tantalizing. Clearly, Bungie knows this, as it's now on its fourth lengthy hardcover volume in a series that tackles a select aspect of the Destiny universe in each new book.

But you don't need to own the preceding three volumes in order to enjoy Destiny Grimoire Anthology Volume 4: Royal Will. As its name implies, this book centers on the rulers of the world of Destiny, the movers and shakers who set events into motion. You'll learn everything there is to know about major characters such as the Taken King, the Queen of the Awoken, and the very essence of Light and Darkness.

Get it on Amazon here!

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights

It's been a long, long wait for the next big Dragon Age game — Dragon Age: Inquisition launched in November 2014. Even its final DLC, the splendid 'Trespasser', was out by September 2015.

The wait continues, but diehard Thedas veterans and fresh-faced new Grey Wardens alike will get a hefty dose of Dragon Age goodness with Tevinter Nights, an anthology of short stories set within the franchise's universe. These tales are written by BioWare's very own writers, so they're as authentic as authentic can be. Many of the things you'll read in Tevinter Nights will doubtless play a role in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, too, so this summer's a great time to get primed.

Get it on Amazon here!

Final Fantasy 14 Picture Book: The Namazu And The Greatest Gift

Final Fantasy fans know there's never a shortage of good reads to go around. Square Enix's seemingly endless set of standalone JRPGs has inspired tome after tome. From encyclopedic Ultimanias to eye-catching artbooks, Final Fantasy is everywhere.

But Final Fantasy 14, the series' award-winning MMORPG, has perhaps the most passionate fandom of all. And its world is populated by creatures ranging from cute to terrifying. Final Fantasy 14 Picture Book: The Namazu and the Greatest Gift, clearly leans toward the former, as it tells an intriguing all-ages story about one of FF14's most adorably bizarre made-up races.

If cute-and-colorful is your vibe, don't miss Final Fantasy 14 Picture Book: The Namazu and the Greatest Gift when it hits online storefront shelves on August 9th.

Get it on Amazon here!

Halo Encyclopedia (Deluxe Edition)

When your series is as hot as Halo, you're bound to need more than just a single book like this one through the years. Indeed, it was all the way back in 2009 when the original Halo Encyclopedia delivered a richer appreciation of the space franchise that put Xbox on the map. Even then, the goods were great; but now, in 2022, the Halo Encyclopedia (Deluxe Edition) is on another level entirely.

Vast and informative, not to mention gorgeous, the Halo Encyclopedia (Deluxe Edition) includes deep dives into every major planet, every important character, every piece of made-up tech, and more.

Get it on Amazon here!

The Witcher: A Grain Of Truth

Something pretty great's been going on recently in the world of The Witcher, and we're not even talking about the Netflix show. Dark Horse, a leading name in comics, has been crafting some beautiful graphic novels based on Andrzej Sapkowski's grim fantasy franchise, and we can say hello to another this summer.

The Witcher: A Grain of Truth is a sharply drawn visual depiction of the short story by the same name, written by Sapkowski in 1993. As is often the case with Geralt's adventures, the plot involves a clever upending of fairy tale tropes and cliches. Longtime Witcher fans should have a fun time seeing this particular story spring to life in comic form.

Get it on Amazon here!

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