Whether you're buying a game for yourself or someone else, keep in mind the player's age and skill level, their operating system and what genres they enjoy. A game's ESRB rating is a good guide to what age range it's appropriate for. Games are rated E for Everyone, E10 for Ages 10 and Up, T for Teen, M for Mature and A for Adult. ESRB ratings usually include content descriptions as well, which will tell you whether the game features elements such as language or intense violence.
For a novice player, you'll want to choose a simple game that will let them build up their skills, while a more advanced player can handle more complex games. Always check whether a game is compatible with your or your gift recipient's operating system before purchasing. And think about what types of games you or your gift recipient enjoys, whether it's action, sports, strategy or world building.